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Slack Touts Customer Success, Slack Connect Updates

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A screenshot of someone using Slack Connect direct messages
Source: Slack
Since learning last December of a pending acquisition by Salesforce, we’ve heard mum from team collaboration provider Slack. It broke that silence yesterday, revealing an update to its Slack Connect service and hosting a Twitter livestream featuring Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and Phil Wiser, executive VP and CTO of ViacomCBS, a Slack customer.
Newsrooms to Late Night TV: Slack Connects
During the livestream, Wiser discussed how he led his enterprise through the pandemic with the help of Slack. With Slack, employees have been able to innovate on how they work. For example, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert crew uses Slack to write the show scripts and collaborate on skits, Wiser said. Similarly, the ability to collaborate using Slack has enabled ViacomCBS newsroom operations to manage the shift from crowded in-person offices to a virtual environment, Wiser added.
Not only are ViacomCBS employees using Slack for internal team collaborations, but they are leveraging Slack Connect to collaborate with external partners. Launched in June 2020, Slack Connect enables a shared channel for communications among disparate enterprises.
ViacomCBS uses Slack Connect to establish real-time dialogues with agency partners, and to bring together separate teams during mergers, Wiser said. “We’re finding more and more partners that naturally want to collaborate in this new way, and that’s really helping us transform the business even faster than we were previously,” Wiser said.
Slack Connect Update, DMs Go GA
To enhance these external collaborations, Slack announced Connect updates. As discussed in a blog post, these are:
  • Direct messaging (DM) is GA — Slack Connect allows organizations to send direct messages to external partners and stakeholders, as well as to collaborate, via shared channels. DM, now available with Slack Connect, will be coming to all service plans, including the freemium offer, Slack said.
  • Enhanced phishing protection — Slack is enhancing malware protection and link scanning for Slack Connect DM and channel communications, with availability set for this spring.
  • Enhanced admin control — Admins will soon have the option to restrict the ability of members from partner organizations to issue channel invitations, install apps, and undertake other such actions. This feature will launch this summer.
  • API for administration at scale — Admins will be able to create, approve, and monitor up to thousands of channels with the Slack Connect API, coming this summer.
  • More app integrations — Additional integrations for Slack Connect include calendar scheduling app Calendly, document signing app DocuSign, and partner ecosystem platform app Crossbeam.
  • Business networking — Starting this winter, two or more organizations will be able to create a private business network leveraging Slack Connect. These networks will allow enterprises to have unified directories, direct messaging, channel discovery, and shared applications, Slack said.
Team collaboration vendors are drawing new battle lines around shared channels, with these updates coming shortly after Microsoft announced its offering for cross-organization communications/collaboration, Microsoft Connect.