- IBM is adopting Slack for its entire workforce — 350,000 international employees, Business Insider first reported Monday.
- Slack issued an 8-K filing, confirming IBM's companywide adoption but "is not updating its financial guidance" for Q4 2019. Slack said IBM has been its largest single customer for "several years."
- IBM was using Slack in small teams throughout the company since 2014, according to Business Insider. It became an "officially-supported app" in 2016 within now-departing CEO Ginni Rometty's internal modernization plans.
Slack's free version led to its expansion in IBM, first used by 68 engineers. By 2019, IBM was one of Slack's first Enterprise Grid users, a paid and more secure version of Slack for large companies, a Slack spokesperson told CIO Dive in an email. The Grid allows external communications with other Grid companies.
When Slack launched Enterprise Grid, IBM's Slack user base increased to 165,000. Slack has since been scaled to meet IBM's operational demands, according to the spokesperson.
The pure-play chat platform vendor is built on APIs, making it easy for onboarding. There's also an "emotional attachment" to Slack felt by small development teams.
But if a company is already a Microsoft shop, Slack's grasp will be harder to maintain because Teams is more or less a free offering within the Office suite.
Office 365 is the most popular enterprise application among customers, followed by Salesforce, AWS, G Suite, Atlassian, and then Slack, according to recent data from Okta. Though Office accounts for all business apps, in July Microsoft reported 13 million daily active users on Teams. Slack reached 12 million daily active users in October.