What do you get when you mix one part project management software with one part real-time collaborative communication and one part artificial intelligence?
You get what was announced at Cisco’s (NASDAQ: CSCO) annual IT and communications conference, Cisco Live. It’s an integration between Redbooth, a project management platform, and Cisco Spark, a cloud-based messaging platform, that utilizes AI-inspired natural language processing to communicate.
It is a combination that, according to the announcement, will greatly enhance productivity and transform communication among teams.
About Redbooth, Cisco Spark
Redbooth’s website describes it as a collaboration and communication platform that provides a single place for shared tasks, discussions, file sharing, group chat and HD video conferencing.
Cisco Spark combines messaging, meeting and voice and video calling capabilities into a unified communications platform that lets users chat, hold virtual meetings and talk to each other in various ways.
Integrating the two platforms is a logical step that makes communication around projects, tasks and teams seamless and without friction. When team members use one platform, the information is transmitted via the API and bot to the other, back and forth.
It’s as if one platform lives inside the other in a symbiotic relationship. Sans the integration, a user would have to open each platform separately to carry on conversations or manage projects. The addition of the AI chat bot further enhances communication, as explained below.
Redbooth, Cisco Spark Integration Creates AI Project Management Assistant
The integration incorporates the use of Api.ai, a “conversational” user experience platform, and Cisco Spark APIs to enable workgroup team members to ask questions of a project plan using natural language processing via a chat bot and receive an instant response as if they each had their own project management assistant.
Think of it as Apple’s Siri applied to business. Instead of asking about the weather, users ask about various aspects of their project portfolio and team’s status in their own words. Rather than talking to the interface, however, users type their questions:
Team members can ask questions such as “What’s happening today?”, “Show me what my team is working on,” “How many tasks do I have today?”, and “What’s urgent?” Communication is not limited just to asking questions either. The chat bot recognizes virtually any statement and replies like a project management assistant should.
“As we’ve seen in the consumer market with the increasing popularity of Apple’s Siri and other artificial intelligence-powered products, natural language interaction with apps represents one of the next frontiers in how we manage work and collaborate with others,” said Dan Schoenbaum, CEO for Redbooth, in the announcement. “Through this integration, customers will literally be able to ask a wide range of questions to their Redbooth project in Cisco Spark rooms using natural language.”
How to Integrate Redbooth, Cisco Spark
Complete the following steps to integrate the two platforms:
- Sign up for Spark and Redbooth accounts. It’s easy to do; only a few steps are required.
- Go to the Spark dashboard and look down the left-hand column. You will see a menu item that says “Settings.” Click it.
- Look to the right-hand side of the dashboard. You will see the word “Integrations.” Click on it, and then click “Add Integration.”
- You will see a list of various applications from which to choose; Redbooth should be on the list. Click the icon and follow the instructions provided.
Redbooth, Cisco Spark Pricing
Small business owners and startup entrepreneurs who could benefit from project management tied to collaborative communications will appreciate the fact that the integration isn’t something limited to large enterprises.
Cisco Spark is free to use at a base level. And while Redbooth isn’t free — pricing starts at $5 per user per month — the company offers a 30-day free trial.
To learn more about the integration visit the Redbooth website.
Image: Small Business Trends