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Since COVID-19 began in 2020, there’s been a massive increase in the number of employees using collaboration tools, with Gartner reporting in its Digital Worker Experience Survey that almost 80% of workers used collaboration tools for work in 2021. The future of work is hybrid, with Tim Rowley, CTO and COO at PeopleCaddie, noting in a contribution to VentureBeat’s DataDecisionMakers community that organizations waiting for when the working world will return to a pre-pandemic normal are wasting time. As more organizations move toward a hybrid model for greater flexibility, the need to keep hybrid teams engaged will grow and the use of collaboration tools by enterprises will also rise.
Miro, a California-based visual collaboration and online whiteboarding platform used by companies like Cisco, Deloitte and Dell, yesterday rolled out new tools to improve collaboration for hybrid work. The company — which accelerates innovation through visual collaboration — unveiled a variety of new features and integrations designed to help organizations unlock new ways of collaborating and innovating, pushing beyond the boundaries of a typical digital whiteboard. This series of features is the company’s response to increasing demands from customers for tools that help them respond to changes in the tech landscape.
Miro’s infinite canvas enables teams to lead engaging workshops and meetings, design products, brainstorm ideas and more. Cofounded by Andrey Khusid and Oleg Shardin in 2011, Miro (formerly known as RealtimeBoard) claims to serve more than 35 million users worldwide, including 99% of the Fortune 100 and currently has more than 1,500 employees in 10 hubs around the world. With Miro’s tools, remote, in-office and hybrid teams can communicate and collaborate across formats, tools, channels and time zones without the restrictions of physical location, meeting space, or whiteboards.
New platform updates, features and partner integrations
At Miro Next, its all-virtual event “revealing the next big thing for hybrid teams,”, the company announced its updated Miro Developer Platform and a variety of new features along with it. Varun Parmar, Miro’s chief product officer, said the Developer Platform — which has three frameworks — enables fully interactive user-facing and server-side applications to bring the power of Miro to any web-based application.
He added that Miro has paired the frameworks with a world-class developer experience that includes a consistent, easy-to-use toolset focused on maximizing developer productivity. The updated frameworks include Miro Developer Platform Rest APIs, Miro Developer Platform Web SDK and Miro Live Embed.
Miro’s Developer Platform Rest APIs will enable the development of server-side applications for bulk management of users and boards, for synchronizing content between Miro and other systems and security management. In addition, the Developer Platform Web SDK will enable the development of apps and integrations that run within Miro, helping users visualize and manage any piece of content on the board. Meanwhile, Live Embed allows any Miro board to be accessed directly in a third-party application, for both synchronous and asynchronous work.
The launch also featured new partner integrations designed specifically to break down the barriers of hybrid work. Parmar told VentureBeat via email that new integrations with strategic partners and new platform features help address the challenges of hybrid meetings.
“It shouldn’t matter where you are, what timezone you’re in, or whether you have time on your calendar to meet. You should be able to contribute equally and inclusively to make decisions and move ideas forward,” Parmar said.
As of today, Miro has more than 5,000 apps developed by partners, community developers and customers alike. Organizations and developers distribute their app or integration privately or publicly in the Miro Marketplace, allowing users to add it directly to their Miro toolbar for immediate use.
Thor Mitchell, Miro’s head of product for the company’s Developer Platform, illustrated the updated frameworks by showcasing the new partner integrations built by Airtable, ClickUp, Gtmhub, Smartsheet and Unito. “These powerful integrations show how enterprises of all types are customizing the tools in their tech stack to deliver greater productivity and efficiency — transforming any piece of free form content in a Miro board to structured tasks and workflows,” said Mitchell.
New apps introduced by Miro at the virtual event include Miro App for Google Meet and Miro App for Webex boards. The company also introduced better features for running interactive presentations in a hybrid work setup, which is still a major pain point for businesses. These features include Magic Organize and Soundboard. Additionally, new features to accelerate work for product development teams and bridge the gap between product management, engineering and design were also showcased, including Apps for Agile and Advanced Diagramming.
The future of hybrid work
The event presented Miro with an opportunity to challenge enterprises to think about hybrid work differently. As businesses globally design the next phase of work, one thing is becoming clear: hybrid work is here to stay. The hybrid model is making teams physically and mentally isolated from one another’s work processes. Miro encourages companies to build skills, shift culture and invest in the right software stack to imbibe a working model that encourages flexibility, time management and collaboration among people of the same team working apart.
“At Miro, we think we need a different model of working altogether, one that responds to the needs for greater connectedness in a complex, hybrid world. We think you need one place where you can talk to your colleagues, one place where you store things like notes or ideas, track the work you’ve done and access all your work apps,” Parmar said. “Miro boards aren’t objects tied to meeting rooms, they are tied to teams, projects and workflows and allow people to collaborate together or asynchronously at every stage of the work process. Ultimately, we are creating more meaningful interaction, co-creativity and inclusivity through a better way of working.”
While G2 lists Miro as “the most used online whiteboarding platform for distributed team collaboration,” some of its competitors include Lucidspark, Mural, InVision and Webex App. Gartner’s Peer Insights also shows the company has competition in Zoom Meetings, Webex Suite, GoToMeeting, Google Chat, among others. Miro has raised $476.3M in total funding to date.