Salesforce Updates Collaboration Suite by Adding Quip Slides, AI

By adding slides to presentations that already include documents, spreadsheets and a chat function, Quip Slides offers a single application that enables teams to better collaborate and get work done faster, Salesforce said.

SF.Quip

Ahead of its annual Dreamforce conference, set for next week in San Francisco, Salesforce on Sept. 18 launched Quip Slides, an extension of the company’s cloud-based collaboration suite that, to absolutely no one’s surprise, adds PowerPoint-like slide decks as a new element for presentations.

By adding slides to presentations that already include documents, spreadsheets and a chat function, Quip Slides becomes a single application that enables teams to better collaborate and get work done faster, Salesforce said.

With this move, Salesforce is squarely targeting the well-established yet often-derided Microsoft PowerPoint (you've heard of "death by PowerPoint"?) application, along with the newer Google G-Suite Slides. But competition never stopped this company in anything it attempts to do.

Salesforce Paid $750 Million for Quip in 2016

Quip, which started out doing only word processing and spreadsheets, was acquired by Salesforce for a reported $750 million two years ago. Quip Slides will be included in a bundle of existing corporate software products offered by Salesforce.

Quip, which integrates directly with the popular Slack collaboration app, is a mobile-first app that also has a desktop version and offers chat rooms to give it a social-network look and feel.

Salesforce has since added a bit of artificial intelligence into this picture. Slides users can ask questions within their online presentations and receive feedback from colleagues without having to leave the slide decks. They can even track if colleagues have read their slides and also notate whether those readers actually clicked through the deck. Salesforce's Einstein artificial intelligence will offer suggestions (such as who to follow up with) to help with decision making.

That’s not all the news here. Quip Slides, thanks to deeper Salesforce and third-party integrations with Box and Dropbox also offers the ability for users to embed more live data and tools from Salesforce within Quip.

Modernizing the Collaboration Suite

Salesforce and Quip both saw that the standard collaboration suite was not keeping up with the way teams now work. Teams expect fully connected, always on, mobile-first experiences that enable them to work together, faster. But collaboration solutions have largely remained stagnant—as collections of disparate, disconnected apps built primarily for the desktop, lack real-time data and are ineffective in bringing teams together in any meaningful way. This has led to a heavier reliance on old-school emails, attachments and content versioning that ultimately slows productivity.

Quip Slides claims that 79 percent of slides created never see the light of day; instead, they are used for internal meetings, managing projects and training. Quip Slides was created to feature live Salesforce and third-party data, interactive prompts for feedback and insights powered by artificial intelligence. With Quip Slides, teams can create presentations using:

  • Real-time Collaboration: Built-in chat, co-editing and commenting capabilities that enable teams to create version-free slides and presentations together, faster.
  • Charting: Interactive charts connect to real-time data in Quip Spreadsheets and Salesforce Reports to keep Slides up-to-date, eliminating the drudgery of copy and pasting the latest data for every weekly meeting.
  • Live Data: Embedded directly in Quip, data from Salesforce and third-party systems is presented through Live Apps, delivering up-to-date content within any slide.
  • Interactive Feedback Prompts: Questions, polls and comment prompts can be embedded on any slide, enabling teams to engage audiences, get feedback and drive decisions quickly and interactively.
  • Engagement Insights: Intelligently surface and measure engagement data—including which stakeholders have opened the presentation, which slides have the most engagement activity and where engagement decreases—within any presentation, empowering employees to make smarter and more informed decisions.

Partner-built Live Apps allow teams to embed third-party data and functionality into any Quip document or slide. New partner-built Live Apps include:

  • Box Files Viewer Live App: Enables users to embed specific Box files and folders directly into Quip documents to accelerate collaboration. With the Box Files Viewer Live App teams can access and manage key project files embedded directly within Quip mobile documents.
  • Dropbox Live App: Now users and teams can insert a Dropbox folder directly within Quip to better stay in flow. With Dropbox for Quip, users and teams can navigate through folders and subfolders, in order to easily view, open and download any of the files inside Dropbox.

New native integrations between Quip and Salesforce enable teams to embed documents and spreadsheets directly within the Sales Cloud Lightning or Service Cloud Lightning Consoles. Now workflows are streamlined, enabling sales reps and service agents alike to capture notes, ideas and analysis without transferring work between applications or windows. 

Availability and Pricing

  • Quip Slides is available now with any Quip Business license for $10 per user, per month or Quip Enterprise license, for $25 per user, per month.
  • Engagement Insights for Quip Slides is available today. Einstein powered suggestions are expected to be available in early 2019.
  • The Box Files Viewer Live App is generally available in the AppExchange today. The Dropbox Live App will be generally available later this month in the AppExchange.  
Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...