Slack Enterprise Grid, announced Tuesday, could help more large businesses get work done with Slack's popular enterprise chat platform. The platform targets organizations with between 500 and 500,000 users, and includes a host of new features to improve productivity.
Since its launch in 2013, Slack has been adopted by all types of companies. However, a Slack blog post noted that large, complex organizations often have different needs, which is where Enterprise Grid comes in.
Enterprise Grid is built on the idea that bigger companies often "operate as a team of teams," a Slack press email said. So, the platform offers more flexibility in terms of how communication can be structured than the standard Slack product, in an effort to improve efficiency, according to the blog post.
With Slack Enterprise Grid, customers get access to unlimited Workspaces and shared channels. The goal is for large enterprises to set up their Slack deployments in a way that better mirrors the communication structure at their company.
"What's different is that at the organizational level, administrators can control permissions and configure integrations on a per-workspace basis," the post said. "This gives each team a focused place to work, where they can access the people, information, and applications that matter the most to their projects."
In the past, the only option was for each team in an organization to have its own Slack instance, the post said. However, Enterprise Grid allows an organization to have one instance of Slack spanning the entire organization. This gives users better access to information they may need to retrieve or people they might be working with.
"With grid-level identity, users sign in to Slack once and are given access to all their workspaces with one set of direct message conversations," the press email said.
Slack is now HIPAA and FINRA compliant, and that is effective immediately on the new platform. Enterprise Grid also integrates with identity providers and identity management systems to improve user management. Additionally, it supports eDiscovery, data loss prevention (DLP), and offsite backup integrations. Data is already encrypted in standard Slack and will continue to be in Enterprise Grid.
As part of the Enterprise Grid news, Slack also announced a new partnership with SAP, which will be building a set of bots for Slack. Bots from SAP products like Concur, SuccessFactors, and the SAP HANA Cloud platform are among those planned.
New Search, Learning and Intelligence (SLI) features were also debuted alongside Enterprise Grid. Faceted Search offers better search filtering, while Prioritized Reading helps users determine their most relevant channels. Channel Highlights show the key messages from that channel, and Daily Briefings bring a streamlined feed of a user's most important messages. A new Universal Search tool provides "relevant results across all types of information, including people on your team identified as experts on the topic, channels where the topic is frequently discussed, and related files, all in a single set of results," the press email said.
The unveiling of Enterprise Grid comes only a few days after Slack added threaded conversations to help add context to chat threads. The addition of Enterprise Grid will be important for Slack to keep up its steam and better target traditional organizations, especially as Microsoft's competitor product, Teams, is growing, recently claiming use by 30,000 organizations.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Slack launched Enterprise Grid, a new platform geared toward businesses with 500 to 500,000 employees.
- Enterprise Grid offers new features like unlimited Workspaces, identity management, and security improvements.
- Slack must continue to add new features and innovate to compete in an ever-growing market.
- 5 tips for getting started with Slack (TechRepublic)
- Slack launches Enterprise Grid, introduces intelligent search features (ZDNet)
- Tips: What are the best ways to use Slack for business? (TechRepublic)
- Slack adds threaded conversations to collaboration mix (ZDNet)
- Microsoft launches Teams, goes to war with chat giant Slack (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.