Slack has released new features with the aim to replicate in-person work collaboration. The most exciting, Slack Huddles, enables you to launch an audio call from any channel or DM, getting things resolved and avoiding the hassle out of scheduling meetings. Jumping into quick conversations reminded us of Clubhouse, and others have compared Huddles to Discord.
“Slack is your virtual HQ” is the greeting once you land on the Slack website, which is nicely aligned with the ‘work from anywhere’ message Salesforce is leading with.
Eyes from the Salesforce community have been on Slack more than ever since Salesforce announced they will acquire Slack at the tail-end of 2020; now there’s talk of how Slack will become the collaboration engine powering Salesforce CRM.
Launch an audio call from any channel or DM, getting things resolved and avoiding the hassle out of scheduling meetings – just like popping by someone’s desk in the office.
Slack Huddles are audio-only for now, however, you can screen share (a big bonus). With Slack Connect, huddling with people outside of your organization is possible, bridging the gap between your teams and partners/clients.
Video, voice and screen recordings
As Slack Huddles launch live conversations, the ‘video, voice and screen recordings’ features provide video meetings that are recorded (not live). The idea behind this is to share a message, and your team can watch the recording when it’s convenient for them, and ask questions in a thread. A great example use case would be for daily stand-ups. As someone who needs blocks of undisturbed time to work, this is a great addition to fend off distractions in my working day.
- New and improved playback experience, powered by their partnership with Amazon (leveraging Amazon Chime),
- Works with third-party videos,
- Allows you to speed up or slow down the content,
- Read through the recording transcript,
- Recordings are archived with searchable transcriptions.
Atlas also provides us with a glimpse of the virtual world that Slack are trying to create. Seeing as most users of slack spend a good chunk of their day on the tool, why not make more information readily available?
Slack Atlas is a directory feature that adds information to Slack user profiles. See data on their team structure, time at the organization, and any other custom fields. The intention is to enhance communication across your organization (and beyond, using Slack Connect). This has the potential to make other org chart/HR tools redundant.
How is this related to Salesforce?
Whatever moves Slack makes now drums up questions around how Slack’s new features will eventually enhance Salesforce CRM’s core products. As seasoned Salesforce professionals know, Salesforce has been trying to crack ‘social collaboration’ with features such as Salesforce Chatter; however, Slack’s intutive user experience has meant it was taken up by organizations globally.
TechTarget spoke to Slack CEO, Stewart Butterfield, who sums it up well:
“[There’s] this excitement around workflows from the big system of record [in Salesforce] into the communication [in Slack] and having the data show up where the conversations are happening. And I think there’s a lot of potential here for leveraging these indirectly in customer interactions, whether that’s sales, marketing, support or whatever”
Or, as Bret Taylor, Salesforce president and COO, phrased this “How do you rally your teams around these systems [eg. Salesforce] in this digital work-anywhere world”? Huddles, video recordings, Slack Atlas are all exciting features for Slack users; however, what’s especially promising for the future of Salesforce, is how Slack Connect will connect customers/clients/partners to your organization, forming a tight bridge for collaboration like never before.
When do these become available?
- Slack Huddles, rolling out to paid teams.
- Video, voice and screen recordings, coming to paid teams over the coming months.
- Slack Atlas, TBC.
Read the press release here.