What brought my attention to this subject was an memo from a coworker. It was just a run of the mill comment, and it really was the implied meaning I took away from it. I got the impression, that some of my friends were thinking that the BOTS were going to be available to them in SKYPE for Business (SFB). Comments are generally warm, with the reception of SFB, but one persons BOT comment was left un-answered, presumably because most SFB people are not privy to any information about these BOTS.
I will tell you, I didn’t reply. But my instincts wanted to tell them BOTS are not part of SFB. Honestly, I didn’t know for sure. Really, I don’t know what a Bot is! So, if not for posterity, let it be my own curiosity which let me to find out; What are we missing in SFBLAND, that is so exciting in the rest of the industry? As is turns out, I think we should be paying attention. Its not going to be long, before we are up to our necks in BOT support!
Below I really lay out a case for the inclusion of BOTS in SFB, but I would reach out to my colleagues to ask them, is there any reason why SFB is left out at this phase? Is there a big awesome change coming? Is there a secret project a foot? Is it Top Secret? No I am not a conspiracy theorist, so let me just leave that where it lay!
BOTS ARE HAPPENING!
For the Skype for Business Users, if you had been ignoring BOT notifications in your email, let me catch you up! so much of this is going to be directly relevant to SFB at some point!
- “BOTS” are Artificial Intelligence In Microsoft’s usage.
- The closest I found to a definition was “conversation agents”
- Microsoft recently released a BOT framework, for Developers and programmers.
- This Framework, includes a BOT connector service, with a goal of enabling communication with Disparate platforms such as LinkedIn,Facebook,Skype,Slack,stack and more. You get it?
- Wand Labs Seems to have something to do with Bots. This company should be working with SFB for some Long term guidance, I would think. Why Else is SFB is not yet involved with BOTSVILLE?
- Cortana is supposed to be a BOT.
- SFB is coming out for the mac! SKYPE is too, With Group Chat!
- The above may not seem related, but I think it is! See the Skype Release is for Android, IOS and windows platforms. No one seems to be left out.
- To underscore the point I made about group chat, that is what enabled the First Bot to work, and it works on SKYPE and it works with the MAC!
- More then 20,000 Developers signed up for BOT Framework, and now there are more then 30,000 Signed up. Why? I think there is a synergy building here:
I would encourage you to read the papers I am placing into the links. I had to go through a lot of articles to get this trend about BOTS. It does look like a rather huge thing, looking into the future. I encourage you to tell me your thoughts on how this may play out.
Here is what was said on the MAC preview for SKYPE:
SKYPE FOR BUSINESS has NO BOTS
Ok so now that I have detailed the exciting part, let me shut down the idea that SKYPE for Business is involved with any of this. See below from the MS blog site, confirming:
There is currently no story yet for Skype for Business. With the Microsoft Bot Framework you can build a bot that “channels” through multiple chat application like Skype, FB Messenger, KiK, Slack, Telegram etc. Skype for Business is not yet part of the available channels and no information is available when that will be available.
Some very promising statements have been made, and it looks like there is a concerted effort, by Microsoft, to initiate this BOT to work across the entire platform and the entire Industry:
“BOTS are a new way to bring expertise, products, services and entertainment into daily messaging on Skype”
“Skype bots can introduce both audio and video experiences, the company (Microsoft) said.
In fact, there has already been requests, at the Developer level, to bring BOTS on board with SFB. Below is the question asked at the BOT NET feedback web site:
So at this point, the only thing I have proved, in this article, is that SFB does not work with BOTS. When A customer calls to support, we can now tell them that Microsoft Skype for Business Does not have support for BOTS.
Ill leave the conversation up to my readers. Do you think it will be long before SFB gets into the BOT world? The more important question is what is the hold up? Is there something else coming, that is a larger piece of the puzzle?
I hope this has raised your awareness about the BOTS and let you know we are likely going to be hit with BOT questions, until SFB finally joins the FOLD.
I do think that having SIRI on my Skype for Business Client is going to be just fine with me!!