Which companies in Utah are using Slack

Digital workplace

In addition, Slack has announced additional features for better offline use. If an Internet connection is missing or unstable, users can at least work with the messages already available from Slack. The update and the new functions are to be made available gradually over the next few weeks.

The improvements that have now been announced mainly took place under the hood of the collaboration solution, explained Larry Cannell, Research Director at Gartner. Companies that have extensive Slack installations with many workspaces could, however, benefit from the lower memory requirements and faster program starts. It is good that Slack has proactively approached the limitations of its app and quickly remedied it.

Race in terms of user numbers

Microsoft is catching up with teams. The instant messaging service launched in 2014 is about asserting itself in the increasingly tough competition. Above all, Microsoft, which sent a competitor into the race with teams in 2017, is catching up. At the beginning of the year, Slack announced that more than ten million users would use the tool every day.

The number of corporate customers with a paid subscription increased by more than 50 percent to over 85,000 in 2018. Microsoft recently countered with the announcement that 13 million users would use Teams every day. The group announced in March of this year that more than 500,000 companies are using the collaboration tool. Microsoft has an important argument for itself: Teams is available to users as an offer at no additional cost as part of Office 365.

Collaboration tools at a glance: Slack, MS Teams, Hangouts & Co. - which chat tool is suitable for whom?

Analysts warn, however, not to overestimate the numbers. In particular, user numbers collected by the providers themselves should be treated with caution, says Wayne Kurtzman, Research Director of IDC. One must ask oneself how the companies counted and what standards they applied. That is comparable to the number of users on social media platforms. Basically, the analyst still sees plenty of potential in the market. Most companies haven't used collaboration software yet. Kurtzman estimates that business could grow by over 20 percent each year through 2024.

Teams as a collaboration hub

So it is not surprising that Microsoft Teams is increasingly developing into a central hub for employee collaboration. The software group recently announced new functions at its partner conference Inspire. Messages marked as urgent should in future pop up again and again every two minutes until the recipient reacts.

In addition, the tool should offer the option of obtaining a read receipt within a chat. Participants in a chat should be able to highlight important messages and announcements more prominently - for example to announce the start of a new project or to welcome a new colleague. In addition, it should be possible in the future to post certain messages across channels. With the help of new timing functions, users could record work and break times more precisely and thus also assign them more precisely to specific projects.

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In the future, Microsoft wants to work harder on building a kind of ecosystem around teams together with partners. As a result, you want to work with companies like Five9, Genesys and NICE on integrating teams in call center solutions. Together with REPL, a specialist in retail solutions, Microsoft is planning an integration with JDA's workforce management solution.

Slack is working more closely with Dropbox

Partnerships and the resulting ecosystem also play an important role for Slack. The company points to over 1500 apps in its directory and to integrations of its tool with applications from Google, Workday, Salesforce, ServiceNow and numerous other providers. Only at the end of July did the Slack managers announce an integration with Dropbox.

In the future, users should be able to distribute files in Dropbox directly in a Slack channel. In addition, the files stored in Dropbox would be provided with an activity feed. Slack users could use it to track how individual files were being edited and distributed. If two members of a team are editing a file in Dropbox, they could start a conversation about what they are doing right from there. In the future, it will no longer be necessary to call up Slack as a separate app.

Eight Billion Dollar Deal? Microsoft had Slack in its sights

Slack founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield is allegedly not afraid of Microsoft competition. The numbers don't matter, he said at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference in Aspen, Colorado. He compared the situation with Microsoft's unsuccessful attempts to establish an alternative to Google's search engine in the market with Bing.

In his opinion, a smaller company that maintains close contact with its own customers has advantages over a corporation that has to maintain many business fields. "Whatever Microsoft does, we will do what our customers need," said Butterfield. "If the performance of our application is important to the customers, then we will take care of it. If common channels are an important characteristic, we will develop that."