Slack, a disruptor in the communication platform market, is constructing its own "safety engineering team" to combat service interruptions, reports Reuters. By comparison, its competitors suffer far lower outage rates.
In roughly the last year, Slack has had 40 days of outages and 51 days where its customers reported incidents of "reduce[d] functionality," according to the report. During the same time frame, Atlassian's HipChat and Stride had only four days of outages and 25 days of interruptions, combined.
The Slack team is designed to detect any interferences that could affect customers' ability to use the platform and will work with Slack's "software development teams to make their software resilient in a complex distributed cloud environment," according to a job listing for a role on the team.
Outages impact all service providers, and Slack is doing something to set its platform apart from the rest. Ensuring the platform can withstand an outage and still operate for users is vital to Slack's longevity.
Already outages have affected Slack's ability to keep up with juggernauts like Microsoft Teams and Workplace by Facebook. Teams, which is just over one year old, has more than eclipsed the user base Slack has worked to accumulate since 2014.
Still, the pedigree of customers Slack has grossed in the last several years speaks volumes to the capabilities of the platform. In January, Slack added Target, BBC, Liberty Mutual Group, Workday and E*Trade to its list of top tier customers.
Though acquiring household names is an impressive feat for the communication platform, experts have warned that the company must readily define its value proposition or risk losing such customers to Microsoft and Google.
Outages are crippling to service providers, therefore finding a provider with enough in-house support to offset the chances of a loss of operations is crucial. Slack will need some time to fully address the issue, but with the right talent built into the team, anything is possible.