Workplace Controversy

Slack Debuts New Enterprise Security Controls Beth Schultz August 06, 2019 Enhancements aim to provide the ability to deploy Slack at enterprise scale in “safe, secure, and centralized way.” Workplace by Facebook provides a powerful enterprise collaboration service. The concept of an online, digital workplace is great, it’s the ”by Facebook” part that’s become problematic.Workplace by Facebook (formerly known as Facebook at Work) provides a stream of enterprise-specific, conversational shared content. The application lives among our industry categories of Workstream Collaboration (or Team Collaboration), Team Chat, and Enterprise Social Networks.This highly competitive and emerging workstream collaboration space intersects with telephony, messaging, and video, and provides various integrations that complement workflows. Facebook is new to enterprise SaaS and is competing against other workstream applications from providers such as Microsoft, Cisco, Slack, Unify, RingCentral, 8×8, Vonage, and many more. Facebook has several big advantages over most of these competitors, including:Familiarity — Social networking started as a consumer application. Facebook’s brand and UI offer a familiar experience due to the popularity of the parent’s consumer social network. This facilitates adoption.Intellectual Property — Facebook has an arsenal of related intellectual property including messaging, AI, video, and mobility.Opportunity — For Facebook, the enterprise represents a new, incremental opportunity, rather than displaced revenue.Capital — Facebook is one of the largest and most powerful software companies on the planet.These attributes have given Workplace by Facebook some momentum. The company has largely built for consumers, what many competing providers are creating for the enterprise — not just the application, but the associated global infrastructure as well. Incremental revenue means it can afford to offer services at a very low monthly rate, and familiarity reduces implementation and training costs.Workplace by Facebook, with a nascent enterprise sales force, has been able to land some impressive household names as customers, including Walmart, Starbucks, and Campbell’s. It has done particularly well in organizations with a high percentage of mobile and deskless workers.However, a lot has changed in the past few months. Facebook is embroiled in several controversies that have resulted in its founder/CEO/Chairman Mark Zuckerberg being summoned to testify before Congress, a stark decline in share price, a #DeleteFacebook movement, and more. On top of this, earlier this fall, Facebook reported its largest security breach ever.Securing TrustEnterprises tend to value the trust that comes with brand names, but Facebook has become politically charged. It seems as though Workplace’s association with Facebook is changing from asset to liability. Just last month, Workplace announced plans to drop the “Facebook” from its URL ( becomes issue is not technical. Facebook’s technical capabilities and intellectual property are a strong fit for enterprise collaboration. The issue is trust. These applications are most effective when employees are able to confidently converse and share ideas, suggestions, and concerns. A solution that imposes too many restrictions on what can and cannot be said limits its versatility and effectiveness as an enterprise collaboration tool.In fact, Workplace has been using security as a competitive differentiator. Its promotional materials claim that Facebook is “serious about security” and exceeds “the industry standard for protecting your data.” Unfortunately, that claim was weakened last September when Facebook reported its largest breach in its 14-year history. The attackers exploited a feature to gain access and take over user accounts. Two of the three bugs reported were introduced by an online tool meant to improve privacy. The third was introduced more than a year earlier with a tool designed to facilitate uploads of birthday videos.Workplace has been very clear that it is not Facebook. Its revenue model is fee-based, and there is no advertising. The breach and other recent concerns have been around the consumer social network, not Workplace. While the platforms are separate, trust is not so easily containerized.Facebook’s Faltering Public ImageFacebook’s public trust has been declining for several years. The company was outed for abusing its trust when it shared personal data with third parties, particularly Cambridge Analytica. Facebook unwittingly hosted Russian-backed efforts to undermine the 2016 elections. U.N. investigators concluded that Facebook played a “determining role” in fomenting genocidal attacks in Myanmar. Hate speech on Facebook incited murderous mobs in Sri Lanka.Throughout most of this, Facebook presented itself as a victim of its own success, and stressed that it was taking steps to identify bad actors and restore trust. This month, we learned that Facebook knew more and did less than it suggested. The New York Times reported that Facebook knew about Russian interference much earlier than initially stated, and worked to cover up its internal findings. We also learned that it hired a public relations firm to negatively portray Google, Apple, George Soros, and other Facebook detractors.Facebook’s response was rapid denial, claiming the Times report was full of “inaccuracies.” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg claimed that she was unaware that Facebook hired a PR firm to undermine its critics. “I did not know we hired them or about the work they were doing,” Sandberg said, referring its arrangement with Definers PR firm. This changed a week later, when Sandberg posted on Thanksgiving that she was aware of the PR firm’s efforts. These are not behaviors that instill trust.The Bigger PictureWorkplace was originally launched as Facebook at Work, later evolving to its current name, Workplace by Facebook, which still leverages the brand equity of its parent company. This poses a real challenge now as enterprises tend to avoid controversial solutions for their infrastructure.Certainly, enterprise software has become much more political this year. There were protests at Google over China and the handling of sexual harassment. Both Microsoft and Amazon had protests over immigration. However, the situation with Facebook is different. It’s bigger and more personal because so many people personally use the social app on a daily basis, and of course many take the election and government very personally. The issue here isn’t a disagreement about a policy, but trust.Trust is absolutely critical in workstream collaboration. The conversations, content, and relationships within these apps can reveal a lot. Confidentiality is the reason many organizations remain unwilling to adopt a cloud-delivered collaboration solution.Workplace has been fairly quiet, but it hosted its first customer event last month where it featured customer wins and made several announcements. After that event, my expectation was the time had arrived for Workplace to turn up the marketing. But now I think perhaps not. It will be interesting to see how Workplace navigates these controversies and works to build trust.Dave Michels is a Contributing Editor and analyst at TalkingPointz. Tags:News & ViewsWorkplace by FacebookFacebookteam chatworkstream collaborationtrustTeam Collaboration Tools & WorkspacesAnalyst InsightDigital WorkplaceIndustry NewsSecurityTeam CollaborationUser Adoption & Training Articles You Might Like Facebook_box_773.png See All in Team Collaboration Tools & Workspaces » Taming Teams: Microsoft Looks to Inspire Partners Kevin Kieller July 16, 2019 Pushes the multiplier effect of the cloud, and highlights embedded Teams capabilities Taming Teams: Where’s My Data? Kevin Kieller July 02, 2019 This simple storage question has a complex answer that any multinational organization considering Teams needs to explore. 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Frenchman and 3 Congolese hostages are released in Congo

KINSHASA, Congo – A French man and three Congolese men have been released after being kidnapped in March from a Canadian mining company in eastern Congo in March, Congo’s government said Sunday.They were among five workers, including a Tanzanian who had been kidnapped from the Namoya gold mine operated by Canadian company Banro Mining Corp. in Salamabila.“The four hostages, three Congolese and one French, were freed yesterday at 1800 (6 p.m. local time) in the Tengetenge locality,” about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Salamabila, according to the Maniema Provincial Interior Minister Bonaventure Saleh Zakuani. “Their release came after several days of negotiations with the abductors.”The five were taken by people living in Salamabila who felt Banro Mining Corp. was not looking out for the community, Zakuani said.The Tanzanian hostage was released more than a month ago, he confirmed.The four released Saturday are on their way to Kindu, the capital of the Maniema province, he said.French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated those involved in the release, “in particular Congo authorities for their mobilization and the effectiveness of their action,” according to a brief statement from his office.Mine administrator Balthazar Hemedi Kabemba at the time of the kidnapping had said members of the rebel group Rahiya Mutomboki left leaflets around the mines threatening its workers.The captors had asked the Canadian mining company for $1 million in ransom, he had said.The rebel group has criticized the mining company for not giving access or jobs to young miners who had been working on the site before it took over. Its members were also seeking a guarantee that the company will carry out basic contractual agreements to build infrastructure in the area, including schools, roads and a health centre, Kabemba had said.Banro Corp. issued a brief statement Sunday night saying its priority to reunite the employees with their families.It did not elaborate on what it called “a long and difficult ordeal” for the employees.___With files from The Canadian Press by Saleh Mwanamilongo, The Associated Press Posted May 28, 2017 5:49 am MDT Last Updated May 28, 2017 at 8:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Frenchman and 3 Congolese hostages are released in Congo read more