Business communications platform Slack has made no secret of its desire to kill off corporate email altogether, and it looks to have taken a large step in that direction with the creation of its latest product.
Slack Connect uses shared channels to pull apps, chat and more together in one place, so people from up to 20 different organisations can keep updated on individual projects.
Though a simple idea on the surface, Slack Connect has been years in the making, with the company striving to ensure it would be a useful tool for all users and every scenario. This was arguably most pressing when it came to the issue of security.
For example, it’s likely that a small firm, a huge multinational corporation, a bank and a governmental organisation will have different security protocols when it comes to the storage and transmission of data. However, they could still feasibly work together on projects. Unifying them all and offering a comprehensive solution, therefore, is no small feat.
In fact, it took a whole reworking of Slack’s infrastructure to pull it off, so it not only stays within the right side of compliance but also so that clarity of communications doesn’t suffer.
It also required a change to the Slack interface, to remind users whenever they’re conversing with someone outside of their organisation.
Users shouldn’t expect to encounter issues with the system, despite being such a large-scale update. It has been tested by more than a million users over the course of many months. Some of those trialling Slack Connect are big names, including Nando’s (which used the technology to automate communications with Deliveroo) and Fastly (which has rolled it out for customer support).
Slack’s chief product officer, Tamar Yehoshua, was keen to highlight how this new technology wasn’t a new idea, but one that had been in mind since the very beginning.
“The vision for Slack has always been to build Slack Connect,” he told The Verge, “so that the benefits you get for channel-based communication within your own organization you’ll get when communicating with everyone.
“Email has been around for decades… we wanted to build a model that addresses [its] limitations.”
Slack Connect is available now for all paid subscribers.