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Hello Product Hunters! Thanks to @bentossell for hunting us! Vijay Tella, CEO of Workato here. We love Slack and we love apps - we created “Workbot for Slack” to make you more productive with both! Some of its best features: Less spam: Get smarter, more relevant notifications from your apps in Slack. Better context: 360 degree view of customers across your apps to make smarter decisions. More control: Tell Workbot to automate actions across your apps right from Slack The best part: Workbot gets smarter the more its used, as it learns the patterns of your work. We’ve made it easy to make your own Workbot commands (or tweak the ones we provide) to personalize Workbot for your work. We’d love to hear your ideas for Workbot and what commands you’d like to see! Vijay
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@vijaytella Awesome work. Can't wait to see the growth of this industry and what companies come out on top. Are you sticking strictly to work-based integrations at the moment or will you look at personal assistant style integrations too. travel/uber/food/etc (I guess they relate to work too 😛) This is like a Segment for bots & integrations. What were some of the main challenges here? I'm interested in many people starting bots because its becoming the hot new thing but not really thinking of the design process and making it a simple interaction. Using a bot should be more convenient than using the app directly, and not just because we are sat in Slack all day. What do you and your team do to ensure the simplicity throughout the interaction?
@bentossell Thanks Ben! We've focused mainly on work based automations. Workbot is like having your own smart and tireless admin - pulling together all the info you need for your work, prompting you in a timely manner to take actions and actually get things done. You hit the nail on the head that working with bots should be simpler and more productive and it not just about context switching back and forth between Slack and your other apps. Most of the work you do cuts across several apps. Say, when a customer files a trouble ticket, Workbot asks you if you'd like to know more about that customer and simply gets that info from all the other apps where there may be info about that customer. This is a tough thing to do yourself. Same thing when you want to escalate actions on behalf of a customer within your company. You can do it across say Salesforce (for sales), Zendesk (for support) and Jira (for dev) without having to figure this out each time. Makes sense? Some things we have done to keep things simple: - We created deep integrations with over 100 top business apps, so we do all the heavy lifting. This is our core background, having created some of industry's first and largest app integration products. - Apps can talk a lot faster than people can absorb. We cut down drastically on the number notifications by enabling smart filtering to deliver only relevant updates. e.g. only when high priority trouble tickets are filed or when a customer has more than 3 high priority tickets outstanding. - We maintain context of the chat conversation so we prompt you to take actions that make sense. - We learn the patterns of your work, so we can make these prompts smarter.
@vijaytella what other apps are you hoping to integrate in the future?
@bentossell We have big plans around apps! Briefly, A. We have out-of-box commands for the more popular apps like Salesforce, Zendesk, Github, Intercom, JIRA, Eventbrite, Box, Mailchimp, SurveyMonkey, QuickBooks, Netsuite, Marketo, ServiceNow, Mixpanel, Twilio etc. B. You can, today, pretty quickly create your own Workbot Slack commands for any of these hundred apps. You can learn how to do this here. C. We are adding support for an additional 100 apps by mid-year, and D. Very soon, our customers and partners can add their own apps to Workbot and create commands, so we are not the bottleneck for their apps! Our goal is to make this a universal Workbot for all business apps. We started with nailing the experience deeply with the top 100 apps.
Nice work, @vijaytella. You and many others are building companies on top of Slack. It reminds me of the early days of the Facebook platform. Of course, reliance on a single platform has its risks. What will you do if Slack tightens up its developer ecosystem or builds something like this directly into the product?
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@rrhoover Great question, Ryan! We believe this shift to chat as consoles for enterprise workers is early, but real and fundamental. There is just too much fragmentation of info, too much context switching across business apps and too many distractions to getting things done. Slack has led the way in this shift. We are huge fans of Slack and our company runs on it. Slack bots that automate work with enterprise apps, however, are like tips of icebergs. - These bots must have a deep understanding of each of the enterprise apps and their workflows to be able to mediate effectively between users and these apps to get things done. Workato team invented integration middleware at companies like Tibco, created two billion dollar products in this space and is bringing this understanding and technology to enterprise chat users via Workbot. For instance, to be effective, bots and their commands have to be personalized for the combinations of apps you use, how you've customized and use those apps. No two companies are alike in the regard, Workato's Workbot has been designed ground up to be easy for even non-technical users to tweak out-of-box commands or create their own to fit needs and patterns of their work groups. - There are a number of other enterprise chat products like Hipchat, Skype for business and others that are emerging from the likes of Cisco, Facebook, ServiceNow and more that also see an 'enterprise console' opportunity. Once integrated, Workbot and its commands will work with any enterprise chat application. The enterprise chat products are amazing at what they do and we get integrating apps and automating workflows. We believe that we are a perfect complement to these terrific products.
@rrhoover @vijaytella Totally agree with this. I think there's a difference though, which is down to the intentions of the founding team. Slack by nature, is very open and developer-community-friendly. In fact, I suspect that 2016 will see Slack (and HipChat) demonstrate the power of APIs for developers like Mozilla did with Firefox extensions during the early days. And with Slack putting together a fund for developers, it only backs up the theory that they are going to heavily rely on apps that are built on their platform. Unfortunately Facebook and Twitter burnt a few fingers. But like angels investing in startups, you can't be put off by one bad experience. Vijay is someone I know and he's one of the smartest people I've met. This will be a success for sure. As a partner of Slack and HipChat I get to see what's on the horizon for developers and it's all about the outgoing webhooks.
@paul__walsh @rrhoover "I think there's a difference though, which is down to the intentions of the founding team. Slack by nature, is very open and developer-community-friendly". Well said! Could not agree more.
Hi everyone. I am Markus and head up BD at Workato. To develop a business you got to listen to your customers. That's where I spend all the hours of my day. I am obsessed about finding the next cool Workato use case. Workbot is launched! This is a big emotional day for us integration experts who finally see integration technology emerge from behind the scenes to take center stage in Slack, the new UI for SaaS. It simply wouldn't have happened without over 7,000 companies using Workato. Slack notifications were by far our number one enhancement request and one specific customer conversation inspired us to go far and beyond. The result is Workbot. Already, it's been a special treat to see 350 companies use and love Workbot as much as we do. Here are some of their stories.
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We’re very excited to see the creative ways product-hunters will use Workbot! Here are some things Workbot can do... - Chat with Workbot to create tickets in Salesforce, Zendesk, Jira or Github, all from Slack. Workbot connects with 100+ apps. - Get notified by Workbot when key events happen in your apps. For example, “new customer in your CRM” or “payment received in your accounting app.” - Automate your workflows across apps. For example, a new employee onboarding workflow spanning apps like BambooHR, Namely, Replicon, TSheets, etc. - Be more proactive with Workbot. Workbot understands the context around a command, so you’ll be prompted with related actions. For example, when you receive a notification about a customer issue, Workbot checks to see if want to see additional information about that customer. Workbot can also update issues in Github, send texts via Twilio, etc. Workbot has a set of pre-built Slack commands across popular apps. But we’ve also made it easy for you to create your own Slack commands and automations. Easy to create, fun to share!
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@vgautham "context around a command" - that's huge!! Can you elaborate on how this works?
@broy It really is! When you think of a work stream, say what a business does when an important customer has an issue, it usually involves working with different apps and people in some sequence to get work done. This context of what to do next and when is something we as humans carry in our heads. Workbot can infer/learn this context from the Slack conversation thread, and offer you guidance on what to do next at every step of the work stream.
I've talked about seeing a "Mega-bot" for other bots in Slack then I recently saw this article on TechCrunch: Workato Chatbot Brings Enterprise Workflow Into Slack h/t @ron_miller An excerpt from the article: The idea behind Workato’s Workbot is to let employees interact directly with enterprise applications that matter to them inside the chat client — and bring a level of automation to that. It’s worth noting that it requires a certain language to get that information (much like you have to ask the Amazon Echo a question just the right way), but it’s also possible to create connections to enterprise apps with simple aliases like ‘customer info’ to reduce the amount of typing. The makers are offering an exclusive discount for Product Hunters - 5,000 additional messages per free account per month (15,000 messages total). The normal limit for free accounts is 10,000 messages/month @vijaytella @vgautham @MarkusZirn @zanetteyzx tell us more :)
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