Chat Apps

How we built the G Suite version of Microsoft Teams for Office 365

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Microsoft Teams was released in October 2016. We develop products for G Suite, so on the surface it would seem that we have nothing in common with the Microsoft product. As we read the articles describing it, though, we got very excited. We realized that WizyRoom, the application we had released just the month before, was the G Suite version of Microsoft Teams.

 

We saw this as a validation of our own idea. Microsoft had seen that there was a missing layer on top of the Microsoft Office Suite. Independently, we had perceived the same lack in G Suite.

 

Our realization came out of our own experience working as a global team in Wizy.io.

We are a small IT company spread worldwide, across five continents. Spread globally, we develop products that increase the productivity of G Suite users.

 

To do that, we used to employ a variety of a management tools to organize our work. Half of the development team was on Asana, and the other half was on Jira. We used Hipchat to communicate around specific topics. Google spreadsheets were employed to monitor tasks. Google Groups in “collaborative inbox” mode were what we turned to for tickets management. And, of course, a lot of Gmail

 

G Suite is great at offering a collaborative layer, with the ability to work together in Google Docs, Hangouts, shared calendars, and the like. However, as productivity sellers, we were acutely aware of missing features essential to heightened collaboration.

 

We started thinking about a custom platform for internal usage. We wanted to be able to not just to communicate around a specific topic, but also to automatically organize into predefined containers the company’s information flow. To communicate well or get things done, we need to get the right information at the right time. And we need to get that information quickly and in its context.

 

Based on this simple idea — that context overview is necessary to take effective action — we created an efficient tool. WizyRoom is easy to use and has great integration with Google. Context is made more important if we think about the near future. People in their daily work will be getting more automatic assistance from intelligent chatbots.

 

Of course the market is currently led by Slack. And there is also Workplace from Facebook. The Achilles heel of these great  tools is that they are independent. They are not integrated to any office suite. Stripped to the basics, they are just powerful communication tools.

 

Microsoft Teams and Wizyroom are in another category. Both were built to be digital workplaces. That means that a team can work almost completely inside them, while using the office applications they normally employ. Microsoft Teams and Wizyroom allow not just communication, but also the organization of company data flow produced by the team.

 

Every organization is concerned about efficiency and productivity. The main questions they ask are, “Where my employees are working, and with which tools?” We believe that keeping them in the office suites is the key.
In order to provide the best service to our market of Gapps users, you can bet that we are closely following the output of Microsoft’s brilliant brainstorm.

Apol MassebieauHow we built the G Suite version of Microsoft Teams for Office 365
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How to chat with your team on the go

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With WizyRoom, you can have conversations with your team whenever and wherever you need do. The mobile app makes it possible to chat as you go.

Download the Android app from Google Play here. Or you can go to WizyRoom, and click on your avatar in the upper right corner. From the drop-down menu, choose Download Android App.

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Once your have installed and opened the app in your mobile device, you’ll need to sign in with your Google account.

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That done, your WizyRoom account will appear. As with the web app, orange dots let you know which chat rooms have new activity.

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Click on a room to see what’s happening. Begin typing to start a conversation with members of the room.

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If you’re wondering about an application for iPhones, it’s coming soon!

In the meanwhile, if you aren’t using it yet, get WizyRoom here.

Laurent-Casual-croppedFrom 2006 to 2012, Wizy.io CEO Laurent Gasser headed Revevol, a consultancy in Paris that he co-founded and built to become one of the most important Google Apps resellers in the world. He moved on to head the startup Collabspot, a Gmail extensions. In 2015, he founded Wizy.io from teams from the two companies. 

Laurent GasserHow to chat with your team on the go
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How remote work in multiple timezones is easy with WizyRoom

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We’re all over the world in Wizy.io. Our CEO and our finance manager, Laurent and Annette, divide their time between Silicon Valley and Australia. Sales manager Gilles is in New York. CPO Gino and customer success director Apol are in Manila. Product manager Mohamed and CTO Jérémy are in France.

With such a global distributed team, getting everybody together can become difficult! We all used to turn to different tools to figure out where the others were. For example, Laurent had Google Calendar with a widget that shows different time zones. Gino and Gilles relied on World Time Buddy.

These solutions worked, but they did involve some setting up. And you often had to switch from one tab to another to check if the person you wanted to communicate with was on work hours.

Now we’ve stopped using any of them. They have become unnecessary because we are working together inside the chat and task management solution WizyRoom. It very conveniently displays the local time of each team member inside the app.

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You’ll see it in the right sidebar, next to each person’s name. It’s a small detail that makes working together easier. No setup is required, the area-specific times appear automatically. And you see the time right where you are working. No more switching from one tab to another. Each person is saved at least 20 minutes a day with this.

Want to try WizyRoom for your remote team? Get it here.

Laurent-Casual-croppedFrom 2006 to 2012, Wizy.io CEO Laurent Gasser headed Revevol, a consultancy in Paris that he co-founded and built to become one of the most important Google Apps resellers in the world. He moved on to head the startup Collabspot, a Gmail extensions. In 2015, he founded Wizy.io from teams from the two companies. 

Laurent GasserHow remote work in multiple timezones is easy with WizyRoom
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