Slack's 'highly requested' enterprise power move integrates users with Office 365
- Slack launched a slew of integrations for Microsoft's Office 365, including file previews, sending emails within Slack and calendar syncing through Outlook, according to a company announcement Tuesday.
- The calendar integration allows users to receive notifications for meetings via direct message with the corresponding link to Skype for Business, Webex or Zoom. Then, Slack will automatically update the user's status to reflect the meeting time, according to the announcement.
- The email feature allows users to forward an email from their Outlook inboxes to appropriate Slack channels. Channel members can start a thread for collaboration. Google's Gmail already has a similar feature with Slack.
Last month, Microsoft Teams surpassed Slack's user base. After two years on the market Teams has racked up 500,000 paying customers, whereas Slack has 85,000 paying customers.
However, Slack is used by more than 500,000 either paying customers or users on the free version, a sweet spot for Slack's collaboration software domination. Microsoft tried to woo customers using Slack's selling point by launching a free version in July. Slack users, however, favor Slack's nimbleness compared to Microsoft's corporateness.
Slack has integrations with competing companies, like Google. The company wants its platform to provide all the enterprise tools users need.
"Our platform has always been open and vendor neutral," said a Slack spokesperson in an email to CIO Dive.
The integrations announced Tuesday were "highly requested" by Slack customers that use Microsoft's productivity suite. The integration is another nice entry point for Slack to attract enterprise customers, one of the places Microsoft has no shortage.
Last month, Slack launched its Enterprise Key Management (EKM) tool for more layered protection in encrypted data sharing. EKM allows users to have more transparency in their data and "revoke access in a very granular" manner in light of a security incident.
The addition of the tool to Slack's portfolio is designed to reach beyond the small- and medium-sized businesses Slack already attracts. The platform is continuing to evolve into more of a central line of collaboration, which houses a combination of software and tools for video conferencing, file storage, collaborative documents, and email and scheduling, according to the spokesperson.
Instead of creating a suite of products to individually account for these needs, as Microsoft and Google do, Slack is partnering with the best of breed services. It alleviates the pressure for Slack, a smaller and decades-younger company than Microsoft, to create products that compete directly with Office 365.
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