While the market for workplace communication tools has boomed in recent years, one cloud-based tool continues to gain enterprise support and funding: Slack.
Slack boasts 5 million daily active users and 1.5 million paying customers, according to the company. At its best, the platform can simplify internal communications and increase worker efficiency, according to TechRepublic's James Sanders.
Slack began as a side project for a video game company, and quickly took off due in part to word of mouth among tech companies using it. One of the company's mottos is "Be less busy," and as TechRepublic's Conner Forrest noted, many have heralded it as the product that could end reliance on email.
Here are 10 tips for getting the most out of Slack in your workplace.
SEE: The Ultimate Productivity Bundle (TechRepublic Academy)
If you or your company is new to Slack, you may be unfamiliar with all of the messenger's capabilities. Here, Forrest explains how to use features including channels, search, integrations, and Slackbot, as well as several shortcuts within the platform.
Moving to Slack may pose challenges to businesses that are used to more traditional email communication, writes TechRepublic writer Nick Heath. In this article, he shares how different companies sold Slack to their staff, and found the most effective ways of using the platform.
In this comprehensive guide, Sanders covers the common use cases of Slack, its technical benefits and limitations, and what to know before adopting the platform. This is a "living" guide that is updated regularly to keep IT leaders in the loop on new features, integrations, competitors, and ways in which this technology can be leveraged.
In May 2017, Slack gave paid users the ability to share their screen in a Slack video call. Here, Forrest walks through the steps necessary for a successful screenshare on the platform, and how the feature could make it more competitive against incumbent conference call systems from companies like Cisco and Citrix.
Along with office use, Slack can be tapped to support class conversations in a university setting, and to complement other collaborative web tools such as Google Docs. In this article, TechRepublic contributing writer Andy Wolber explains how he uses the platform in a course that he teaches to improve student learning.
In 2015, Slack announced the launch of Slack Platform, expanding the core product with new tools and a focus on app discovery. Here, Forrest explains how developers can build bots to integrate with Slack, and how users can interact with them.
An AI-based product called Vibe can analyze employee communications on Slack to determine worker morale, and send results to managers. In this article, TechRepublic's Hope Reese explains how the product works and what it could mean for businesses and employees.
In December 2016, Slack announced a partnership with Google Cloud on new features and a deeper integration between the platforms. Here, Forrest describes what is included in the new functionality, including updates to Google Drive, G Suite management, Slack channels, and a new bot as well.
As mentioned above, Slack can be a useful communication tool for both businesses and university students. In this article, Wolber explains how users can integrate other apps with Slack to centralize notifications and links, even in the free version of the platform, which can help make the product more useful in a school setting.
In January, Slack announced investments in 11 new bot startups as part of the Slack Fund, with the goal of helping enterprise users get more work done on its platform. These bots fall into three general categories: Information, sales, and meetings. Here, I explain what these new bots can do to help businesses.
- Slack message menus make it easier for professionals to get work done in chat (TechRepublic)
- Slack refines admin controls for guest access, profiles (ZDNet)
- Facebook launches free version of Workplace, goes head-to-head with Slack in enterprise chat (TechRepublic)
- Slack launches its first AI search feature (ZDNet)
- Facebook offers Workplace, its Slack rival, for free (CNET)
Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.