Slack Connect: Will this be a Market Disruption?

Businesses are consistently evolving—adding and removing employees, building and restructuring teams, creating and reconfiguring processes.

While their dynamic nature enables them to thrive, it can also add an extra layer of complexity. With so much going on, how do you ensure that your workforce is on the same page?

Enter enterprise collaboration platforms.

Over the years, these tools have revolutionized the way companies operate.

And Slack has been a standout in this space, building an entire $20 billion business on disrupting how employees work.

In the company’s ongoing commitment to expand its offerings beyond internal communications, Slack recently debuted its newest game-changing product—Slack Connect.

What is Slack Connect?

More than four years in the making, Slack Connect allows up to 20 organizations to work together seamlessly within a single channel. This means you can connect with multiple external clients, partners, and vendors using the same Slack account.

Currently, more than 41,000 Slack customers are already using the Slack Connect functionality. The goal is to get these corporations to use these channels for signing contracts with partners, checking on invoices, managing purchase orders, and monitoring service tickets.

“Slack pioneered channel-based communication, which was quickly embraced by our customers as the most effective way to work. The introduction of Slack Connect marks a major leap forward in our mission to transform business communication and make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive,” said Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield.

Key Features:

  • Move conversations out of siloed inboxes and into Slack channels, where users can work faster and more collaboratively.
  • By integrating tools and automating tasks, Slack Connect makes it easy to connect workflows across companies.
  • All of Slack’s existing security features and compliance standards spanning e-discovery, data loss prevention, and retention, are all included with Slack Connect.
  • Admins can monitor external access and are given full control over their business data.
  • With Slack Connect’s upcoming Outlook and Google Calendar integrations, the software can scan calendars across apps and organizations and suggest available meeting times.
  • Slack Connect is available for Slack’s paid plan users, while those on unpaid plans can take advantage of a 90-day free trial.

Catalyst for Market Disruption

Much of Slack’s initial popularity stemmed from its internal messaging capabilities. But after a series of upgrades and enhancements, Slack Connect was “designed to replace email.” After all, Slack once referred to email as the “cockroach of the internet” because it’s “impossible to kill.”

According to Larkin Ryder, Slack’s chief security officer, “Email is an open front door to security threats to an organization—$12 billion in losses are caused by business email scams, and 90% of data breaches are from phishing. If you want a more secure collaboration solution for your organization, the first thing you can do is take your employees out of email and into Slack.”

Unlike email, which leaves users vulnerable to spam and phishing threats, when they collaborate through channels, teams only receive messages and files from verified members.

What does this mean for Competing Collaboration Platforms?

Slack has been disruptive in many ways. For one, their offerings differ from conventional unified collaborated offerings. Secondly, Slack has been advancing at such a rapid rate that all the other key players in the industry have had to develop products to counter the growth. Plus, they have major companies like Time, Airbnb, Box, and Wayfair all using their software.

“My favorite part of Slack Connect has been the co-creation with customers,” says Tamar Yehoshua, Slack’s chief product officer. “We’ve used Slack Connect to build Slack Connect with our customers, gathering feedback about the product and the ways they’re using it with their external teams.”

And with the COVID-19 crisis prompting organizations worldwide to embrace work-from-home policies, Slack’s “simultaneously connected users” grew by a staggering 2.5 million within two weeks in March, reaching 12.5 million users total.

The epidemic has also escalated rivalries with Slack’s competitors—M.io, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco.

While all three offer intercompany collaboration, Slack has a monopoly on making people less reliant on email—an area in which Microsoft has the market cornered.

Cisco’s Webex showcases its video conferencing features above its chat and meeting functions, while M.io lacks the video conferencing and calendar management capabilities of its adversaries.

At its core, Slack is not just an IM app, but a tool designed to bring together various moving parts of an organization in one place.

Final Thoughts

Productivity can make or break your business and with Slack Connect, there are endless opportunities for communication and efficiency.

And in these uncertain times, that is priceless.

If all of these tools add value to your business, you can easily integrate them via NextPlane’s software. NextPlane supports interoperability across more than 20 different collaboration platforms, including Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex. Thanks to NextPlane, you can enjoy a unified collaboration experience and get the best of both worlds.

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