Software admins from Etsy and Snowflake

Etsy and Snowflake ditch the inbox and use Slack Connect to work with partners

Admins from the online retailer and the cloud data platform share the inside scoop on how they championed Slack usage across their companies

Author: Jess DawsonMarch 23rd, 2021

When it comes to adopting new tools and processes at your company, software administrators play a crucial role. After all, their dedication and commitment to providing the best IT tools have the power to unlock success for your entire organization.

At our annual Slack Frontiers conference, we had the opportunity to speak with two such champions of Slack, the secure channel-based messaging platform. With Slack channels, teammates can share messages, digital tools and files internally. And for secure conversations with external partners, clients and vendors in channels, there’s Slack Connect.

Richard Bumbury, a senior software and systems engineer at online retailer Etsy, and Marisa Guarino, a senior IT systems engineer at Snowflake, a cloud data platform, share how they effectively replaced email and extended channel-based messaging to everyone they work with, both inside and outside their organization.

Etsy centralizes workflows, streamlines acquisitions, and more in Slack

At Etsy, Slack is central to the entire software development process. For example, the company relies on a range of custom bots to help manage software deployments, code reviews and software testing.

To support its growth, Etsy upgraded to Slack Enterprise Grid, using a Slack Connect channel with a customer success manager from Slack to support the transition. When Bumbury needed to find answers for Etsy leadership, or better understand how a feature worked, Slack was just a direct message away.

“It was like we had someone from Slack on our team,” he says. “When you get a visual cue and see someone is typing, you know there are eyes on it, and that somebody cares about my issue or question.”

Etsy relies on Slack Connect to increase visibility and alignment with its external stakeholders and, as the company scales, to streamline acquisitions. When the retailer acquired Reverb, an online marketplace for music gear, both companies used Slack Connect to sync throughout the process and address marketing needs, IT questions and every issue in between.

“Slack Connect really accelerated collaboration and helped Etsy and Reverb stay connected early on and in an organic way,” says Bumbury. “It was really easy for teams on both sides to work together, inject urgency into the conversation, and keep lines of communication open in a way we couldn’t before.”

Richard Bumbury, Senior Software and Systems Engineer, Etsy

“If we have the opportunity to create a Slack Connect channel with vendors and external partners and avoid email, we do it. It makes it a lot easier for us to handle problems, to grow and to work quickly.”

Richard BumburySenior Software and Systems Engineer, Etsy

Snowflake redefines customer relationships with Slack Connect

Snowflake is a global company that provides its customers with data analytics, data warehousing, data tools and the cloud, all on one platform.

From getting faster IT support to building deeper vendor relationships, Snowflake opts for Slack Connect over email. “We use Slack to talk to pretty much every external party under the sun,” says Guarino.

To close deals more quickly and offer distinctively high-quality service, Snowflake’s sales team connects with prospects, encourages adoption, and communicates with VIP customers in Slack Connect channels. “Once we realized Slack Connect would be a viable source of communication, we began to expand it toward longtime customers who wanted that closer interaction with us,” Guarino says.

With a central spot to exchange messages and files, Snowflake has redefined how it engages with customers. “When we’re giving clients and new prospects the Snowflake white-glove treatment, we heavily leverage Slack Connect,” Guarino says. “The Slack channel sets the standard in terms of the level of professionalism that you’re capable of and the amount of personalized material you can really leverage.”

The team also doesn’t have to spend time bringing new players up to speed. “It’s all historical,” Guarino says. “As soon as you add somebody to a Slack Connect channel, they have all the context already.”

Marisa Guarino, Senior IT Systems Engineer, Snowflake

“You’re not just missing out on convenience when you opt for email. You’re missing out on the opportunity to rewrite your relationship with partners and customers. With Slack Connect, it’s a candid, instant experience that humanizes people in ways that email never could.”

Marisa GuarinoSenior IT Systems Engineer, Snowflake

Sharing is caring: Getting teams on board with Slack Connect

To bring a similar kind of change to your organization, identify those who work externally with partners or are looking for innovative ways to connect and maintain relationships with customers or vendors, whether it’s your head of sales or the support team.

Bumbury recommends starting with governance and thinking through how your organization could use Slack Connect. “You might have different partner and vendor relationships, so it makes sense to explore how different teams will connect and document that governance,” he says.

Guarino agrees this is an important consideration. “I would start with your security team,” she says. “And the honest-to-goodness truth is, you have so much control—from how many parties connect to controlling retention. You have all the capabilities that are already available in your regular Slack instance.”

Once security is on board, she says, you can set up your teams to be self-sustainable: “That’s completely changed the landscape for us. We let our Slack champions take off with their plans for the tool and got almost 600 organizations connected to Snowflake today.”

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