Business communication platform Slack has announced a new Slack Connect feature hoping to replace the traditional email services. The company has been working on this service for the past four years. It hopes that the new feature will allow private communications across different organisations with improved security.
For starters, Slack is an internal chat room developed by the company back in 2013. The company’s original goal was to replace email services.
Evolving from an internal chat functionality where teams would chat amongst themselves, the new Connect feature allows up to 20 organizations to communicate via Slack Channels. The new feature is available for all paid users of Slack while free users can run an ‘extended trial’ to test the new connect feature.
The company CEO Stewart Butterfield says this channel will pave the way for faster and secure to and fro communications. This will, in turn, reduce the dependency on email. He also said that rather than multiple email threads or in-person meetings, businesses can simply drop a link to their partners, customers, vendors in shared channels and Slack instances.
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Features of Slack Connect:
- Quick and collaborative communications with customers, vendors and partners with the introduction of Channels.
- Streamlined workflows across organisations thereby speeding up the collaboration between coordinates with supply chains. Teams can now work more efficiently by using tools and automating tasks between organizations.
- More emphasis on Admin’s control over the organization’s data. Monitoring the external access of Channels, teams to reduce spamming and Phishing attacks.
- Upcoming Integration with Microsoft’s Outlook and Google’s Calendar. This will allow it to scan across events of apps and organizations.
However, Slack has been developing this feature for four years now. The reason for this delay is said to be different security protocols across organizations to store the communication data. It said that it had to change the infrastructure for seamless communications while meeting certain standards of security.
Not a complete replacement?
According to TheVerge, restaurants like Nandos in the UK and businesses like Fastly, Zendesk have already started using Slack Connect for automated communications, customer support and connecting with their partners.
Slack also said that over the past several months, it has been testing the feature with government agencies and other vendors to achieve the higher communication speed. It says that apart from its intention to replace email for chats, the connect has a high-security level of blocking up to 90% of data breach that could happen due to phishing.
Further, Slack’s CPO Tamar Yehoshua says” we are not going to substitute for everything that happens in email. but we do see that when corporations move to use Slack’s wall-to-wall feature, there’s a significant reduction of email within their corporation”.