Image: Slack

As part of Slack’s annual Frontiers conference, the company announced two big developments—the general availability of GovSlack for use by government agencies and new capabilities for its huddles feature. Both of these announcements are aimed at better connectivity between users on the platform, whether they be in government roles or in the private sector. GovSlack is set to become available in July according to the company, with the new huddles features rolling out this fall.

“Government agencies and their partners, colleagues and contractors can now work faster and more flexibly in a secure digital HQ,” said Rob Seaman, SVP product, enterprise at Slack. “With all their tools, workflows and integrations in Slack, institutions can empower their people and level up collaboration without compromising on compliance.”

GovSlack becomes widely available next month

Previewed at Dreamforce in September of 2021, GovSlack is designed to allow government agency workers the freedom to collaborate on projects while knowing that security of the application is of the utmost importance. Due to the sensitive nature of governmental work along with compliance measures that have to be achieved, this can cause federal employees to have limited software options.

Slack announced the following features for its GovSlack platform as part of the conference:

  • Built to support key government security standards (FedRAMP High, DoD IL 4 and ITAR)
  • Runs in AWS GovCloud data centers, maintained by U.S. personnel
  • Enables external collaboration with other GovSlack-using organizations through Slack Connect
  • Provides access to your own set of encryption keys for advanced auditing and logging controls
  • Allows permission and access controls at scale through Slack’s enterprise grade admin dashboard
  • Includes a directory of curated applications (including DLP and eDiscovery apps) that can integrate with Slack

The company as part of the announcement says that the tool is equipped to work in conjunction with tools such as Salesforce’s Government Cloud Plus CRM, allowing the user to complete work items in a fast and highly secure manner.

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Huddles upgrades coming to Slack

Within the private sector, Slack is also rolling out updates to its huddles feature, with the intent to increase collaboration no matter where a user is working from.

“As companies have navigated this uncharted world of flexible work, Slack has been rethinking what new tools are needed for the digital HQ,” said Noah Desai Weiss, senior vice president of product at Slack. “The new coworking capabilities in huddles provide teams with deeper ways to collaborate and quickly make decisions without leaving Slack—or adding to our overscheduled calendars.”

The biggest aspect announced includes a new coworking space within huddles, allowing teams to connect in real time with the ability to jump into a collaborative space and work side by side instantly. As part of this new huddle capability, users of the platform will have the option to turn on lightweight video within huddles. A new huddle will begin as an audio-only conversation, but in the fall coworkers will be able to turn on video if needed to meet their work needs.

Also within huddles, multiple users will be able share their screens simultaneously allowing teams to compare notes or edit documents with guidance from the rest of the team. As part of the enhancements to side-by-side collaboration, users will also be able to use live cursors or draw on a teammate’s screen as needed. In conjunction with the collaboration feature in the huddles screen, those operating in the platform will be able to refer back to any links, notes or chats that are shared within huddles, eliminating the need to reshare information after a meeting is finished.

Lastly, the company is also expanding its swath of emojis, effects and stickers in huddles, allowing users to react or co-sign a team member’s idea or even raise a hand to let the speaker know there is a question or comment that needs to be made.

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