Collaboration

Building stronger, more aligned partnerships with Slack Connect

Xero, Boldstart Ventures and Segment are bringing multiple organizations together in the same Slack channel to communicate and collaborate

By the team at SlackJune 24th, 2020Illustration by Abbey Lossing

With the global shift to remote work, building meaningful relationships with external partners is more essential for companies than ever. Yet challenges can arise when collaborating with multiple organizations, such as:

  • Communicating pertinent information to everyone in a timely manner
  • Juggling multiple projects and timelines
  • Enabling quick decision-making

That’s why companies all over the world are turning to Slack Connect, the secure way to work with multiple organizations in the same Slack channel. Slack Connect helps bring everyone and everything together in one place so that companies can easily:

  • Communicate faster with various stakeholders
  • Build trust and rapport among partners
  • Bring conversations out of inboxes and into channels to increase visibility and maintain alignment

But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s how Xero, Boldstart Ventures and Segment all use Slack Connect to enhance communication and break down organizational barriers with multiple partners.

“By communicating in the same Slack channel, we made sure all three companies were properly represented throughout the campaign. Plus, it guaranteed everyone was beating the same drum and speaking the same language.”

Justine WallendorfNew Zealand Partner Marketing Manager, Xero

Xero

Aligning multiple partners in a shared campaign

The cloud-based accounting software company Xero planned on making a big announcement at this year’s Fieldays, an annual agriculture and technology event for farmers held in New Zealand. Xero was extending its existing partnership with agricultural budgeting and forecasting software Figured to encompass payroll-software company PaySauce. Together, the three companies would offer a complete software solution for farmers looking to manage their business digitally.

When the in-person Fieldays 2020 event was canceled due to Covid-19, Xero, as part of its Xero for farming strategy, partnered with Figured and PaySauce on an online marketing campaign. By coming together in one Slack channel, #xero-partners, the sales and marketing teams across all three businesses could connect and ensure alignment on:

  • Immediate universal access to all campaign details
  • Consistent messaging across sales enablement deliverables, such as one pagers and slide decks
  • Quick feedback and turnaround times for deliverables
  • Clear leadership signoffs

“By communicating in the same Slack channel, we made sure all three companies were properly represented throughout the campaign,” says Justine Wallendorf, New Zealand partner marketing manager at Xero. “Plus, it guaranteed everyone was beating the same drum and speaking the same language, positioning our partnership as best as possible in the market.”

xero slack connect channel

Wallendorf is confident that Xero can coordinate similar marketing campaigns with other partners using Slack Connect. “Whether it’s a retail partner or professional services partner—whatever industry we want to focus on next—we can offer a similar partnership and work in a similar way with Slack channels,” she says.

Boldstart Ventures

Building a helpful community of startup founders and product leaders

Boldstart Ventures often writes a startup’s first check. The seed-stage investor also provides ongoing support as the startup grows, including connecting founders and product leaders with one another. Natalie Ledbetter, Boldstart’s head of people and platform, says making all these introductions over email made it difficult to establish an interactive and supportive community.

“We have a portfolio of incredibly experienced founders and serial founders, and I wanted to create a more symbiotic relationship by connecting them in Slack channels,” Ledbetter says. “If there was a way for one founder to save another founder some money or time by sharing their experiences, then we’re already helping our portfolio work smarter.”

With the #boldstart-family channel, Ledbetter says startup founders can lean on each other for advice and best practices. Founders can also share recommendations around tooling, service providers and vendors.

“The biggest benefits of having product leaders from multiple startups connect in a channel is the ability to quickly build up a strong community and share knowledge. We would not be able to create this community had this been an email group.”

Natalie LedbetterHead of people and platform, Boldstart Ventures

After #boldstart-family proved to be a success among founders, the company formed #boldstart-productguild. In this channel, a diverse group of product leaders and rising stars from various companies in Boldstart’s portfolio are brought together to learn from and support one another.

boldstart ventures slack connect channel

Boldstart also facilitates product showcases via Zoom, where product leaders demo what they’re building and provide feedback on each other’s products. After these events, attendees can continue to connect in #boldstart-productguild for suggestions, introductions or recommendations.

“The biggest benefits of having product leaders from multiple startups connect in a channel is the ability to quickly build up a strong community and share knowledge,” says Ledbetter. “We would not be able to create this community had this been an email group. Hopefully, as we develop deeper relationships among product leaders across our portfolio, these individuals will seek out Boldstart Ventures should they become founders.”

Segment

Enhancing collaboration between partners to optimize software deployment

For the customer success team at Segment, a customer data platform, delivering a superior experience for customers using the platform is a top priority. That’s why it works with several regional partners to help deploy its software to its largest customers.

Ensuring speedy communication with Slack Connect

In the past, Segment communicated with partners in separate, individual Slack channels—digital spaces for people to share messages and files—similar to how it communicated with customers. However, this led to a lot of redundant information being created and communicated across multiple channels. For instance, one partner in Europe might be working on a similar project as a partner in Asia, but both partners were asking questions about projects in separate channels, leading the Segment team to share the same responses multiple times.

So Segment brought its partners together in one channel. The company can now streamline communication among partners and create a better, more consistent software deployment experience. It can also make announcements about new initiatives and directions, provide tactical reminders, and share status reports on various projects—all in the same channel.

“Being able to work side by side with multiple partners and deploy Segment to a customer gives us this open line of communication without relying on hundreds of email threads.”

Jacob KramerSenior customer success manager, Segment

Enabling quick handoffs for global partners in the same channel

One of Segment’s customers is a large multinational company that operates in 77 countries across Europe, Asia and the U.S. So Segment uses multiple partners to help deploy its software for the customer. By connecting these partners in the same channel, it was able to successfully bridge time zones and speed up deployment because partners could hand off work to one another as each one came online.

“Being able to work side by side with multiple partners and deploy Segment to a customer gives us this open line of communication without relying on hundreds of email threads,” says Jacob Kramer, a senior customer success manager at Segment. “Being able to collaborate in one channel changes the game for how we can deliver the best experience to our largest customers.”

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