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November 2016 Vol. 57

Facebook's Workplace platform aims to crack the business social code

For years, enterprise collaboration software was often described in comparison to the world's dominant social software, with workers dubbing the products as being "like Facebook for work" or more often, not like Facebook. Now, there's the real deal: Today, Facebook entered the enterprise market with Workplace. The new platform, 18 months in beta, is touted by the company as "mobile first" and designed to bring in groups of workers who traditionally have not used collaboration software to do their jobs. "When we say 'enterprise' here, it's not just people working together at headquarters," Sean Ryan, vice present of platform partnerships at Facebook, said in advance of the launch announcement. Ryan pointed out that the platform's beta version has already connected a host of employees who don't work at desks, from sales-floor staff to baristas to telecommunication field workers to seafaring sailors. "This is first designed for everybody within the company," Ryan said. "It has a desktop version, but it's mobile first, and that's ...

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