At the end of January, Slack released Enterprise Grid, a much-anticipated version of its signature group chat program designed to suit the needs of large organizations. TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lundgren checks out the specs on the wunderkind tech startup’s competitor to Microsoft Teams and Workplace by Facebook, which “comes with a range of features that are essentially table stakes in the enterprise software market”:
IT administrators are now be able to manage and provision multiple large teams; and, in addition to the encryption that Slack already offers, add in new layers of security and identity management (integrating with Okta, OneLogin, Ping Identity/Federate, MSFT Azure, Bitium, LastPass, Centrify, Clearlogin and Auth0); set new security and compliance controls; and new HIPAA & FINRA compliance and data loss prevention integration (working withPaloAlto Networks, Bloomberg Vault, Skyhigh, Netskope, Relativity by KCura and Smarsh, among others).
Along with this, Slack is also adding in new partnership with SAP where the enterprise services company is building a portfolio of bots to integrate with SAP services. The first three will be a Concur travel and expense bot; a SuccessFactors performance management bot; and a bot to interact with the HANA Cloud platform. This expands on the kids of relationships Slack already has in place with other B2B businesses like Salesforce and Google Cloud, and it looks like these SAP bots will work across all of Slack, rather than just for users of Enterprise Grid.
Lundgren’s colleague Ron Miller calls the new enterprise offering “the next logical step for Slack”:
For Slack to continue its growth trajectory, it had to move on from being a tool for discrete teams to one that could deal with substantially more users, and provide some security and governance as it connected to other departments, repositories and programs across the enterprise.
One of the main features that has fueled Slack’s rapid rise as a communications platform has been its ability to connect to other enterprise tools via bots or agents. These are smart tools that can act as a member of the team, gathering information, automating tasks and allowing access to programs outside of Slack without actually leaving the messaging application.
Developing one central workplace hub has been the holy grail of enterprise communications, one companies have been working to achieve for close to 20 years. Slack seems to have solved that problem, and done it inside a tool that people like to use.