Microsoft is expanding its line of productivity tools for businesses.
Today Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced a new app called Project GigJam at the company’s yearly Worldwide Partner Conference. The new tool allows workers to pull data from around their enterprise network in order to organize projects, delegate tasks, and work collaboratively with team members on a project. Most notable about GigJam is that it acknowledges the diverse number and type of apps people and businesses use in their day-to-day work.
“GigJam is designed for the emerging workforce that is more connected, more available and more social than ever before. With GigJam, a business can expect a dramatic transformation of every process where humans have the potential to exercise discretion and work with others, colleagues as well as customers,” Microsoft vice president of software strategy Darryl Rubin and Microsoft general manager Vijay Mital wrote in a blog post announcing the new software.
A video demonstration offers a few more clues into how the new app will help employees connect their various duties. In the video, a man named Ben summons up information about his customers using Cortana: “OK Cortana, show me my open orders,” and then “Hey Cortana, bring up my customers.” Ben then links the two sets of data (customers and and open orders) and shares that information with relevant colleagues. GigJam also has a chat component for collaborative working.
Here’s how Microsoft envisions this tool getting used out in the wild:
- A physical therapist who previously worked alone to create a rehab protocol now involves the patient and the patient’s family (each interacting from their own devices), all the while making sure that sensitive physician’s notes and the patient’s records are appropriately shielded.
- An engineer assigned to inspect an aircraft fuselage can opportunistically accelerate the work by divvying up some of it for a couple of colleagues who happen to be nearby and free, while still maintaining personal responsibility through the ability to review the colleagues’ input before committing it.
GigJam isn’t yet available, but interested parties can go to the product landing page and ask for a preview.