The work-from-anywhere business model is here to stay. Research shows that 76% of knowledge workers want flexibility in where they work and 93% want flexibility in when they work. Globally, we’re seeing more and more leaders embrace a digital infrastructure as the backbone of work.
Slack is committed to helping companies such as Cole Haan and Autodesk to build a digital HQ so that they can thrive in this new era of work. That doesn’t mean replicating existing work patterns in a virtual space – it means fundamentally reshaping how work gets done, both internally and externally.
While legacy software bundles might offer early attempts at solutions, they provide siloed communications at best. Connection and collaboration suffer, and the burden on IT administrators increases exponentially. Enter Slack Connect.
Slack Connect has become the default standard for companies such as Zendesk, Airbnb and Time Magazine to collaborate with external organisations with the same speed and security that they’ve come to expect with Slack. Just as you would invite partners, customers and guests to work in your physical office, Slack Connect allows you to securely collaborate with them in your digital HQ.
Eighty-three per cent of users believe that losing access to working with partners in Slack Connect would negatively affect their ability to get work done. And a new IDC MarketScape assessment named Slack as a leader among major collaboration and community apps for our speed, reliability, robust developer community and variety of integrations.
Here are a handful of ways that we’re empowering top-notch teams to do their best work alongside their clients, customers and partners.
Faster, more flexible ways to collaborate with partners
When it comes to working with partners and customers, ad hoc collaboration is a notorious challenge. Slack Connect breaks down silos and speeds up communication by bringing everyone together in your digital HQ to get work done. From discussing the ins and outs of a contract to reviewing the latest designs from your creative agency, Slack Connect makes real-time collaboration happen.
With recent enhancements to Slack Connect, Slack Enterprise Grid customers can collaborate with anyone in their Slack workspace, regardless of whether or not they’re already Slack customers. This allows you to host any company within your digital HQ – without asking them to become paid Slack members themselves.
With Slack Connect, Free Now, Europe’s largest taxi app, collaborates with external partners across Slack workspaces, making it much easier to get work done in real time. The company currently uses Slack Connect with 40 partner organisations, and it has plans to add even more.
‘Our partners can add people on their side, so it’s a lot more flexible than simply inviting them to be guests in one of our channels. And we’re not drowning in endless email threads of status updates and newsletters any more. Using Slack Connect to collaborate with our partners is so much better.’
Digital-first tools that make work more simple, pleasant and productive
Digital-first means encouraging teams to work when and where it’s best for them. We’ve prioritised flexibility through developing new tools that promote asynchronous work. Slack Connect extends the power of these new capabilities to our customers’ entire external network, making work more simple, pleasant and productive for everyone:
Slack Huddles: Sometimes, the easiest way to reach a decision with partners is to talk through all your options. Slack Huddles, which work seamlessly with Slack Connect, are a lightweight, audio-first way to recreate the fast, informal discussions that took place when everyone met in the office. As Slack’s fastest adopted new capability, huddles are also a much-needed alternative to back-to-back video calls.
Clips: Rather than getting everyone together synchronously to talk, clips provide a more flexible way to share ideas and feedback with vendors, or to just say hello with recorded audio and video clips in Slack. Anyone in a channel or direct message (DM) – whether in Slack Connect or not – can play clips and reply in-thread with a clip of their own, at a time that works best for them.
Scheduled send: Whether you’re trying to avoid sending customers and partners after-hours messages or ensure that messages are seen, you might not want to share a message right away. Scheduled send allows you to set a time that you’d like your message to go out, helping you to communicate more empathetically and effectively with people both inside and outside your organisation.
Save precious time on routine work with apps and workflows
Without visibility into another organisation’s tools, it can be a real time sink to complete everyday tasks. Slack Connect allows you and your partners to use any of its more than 2,500 apps or build a custom integration unique to how your team works. These tools can help automate and streamline manual processes with your external colleagues, giving you time back to focus on the more creative side of work.
Time-saving tools are baked into Slack Connect. Case in point: meet Procore, a platform that helps construction professionals to keep their projects on time, on budget and safe. Before the pandemic, Procore relied on email to communicate with its network of consultants, system integrators and construction associations.
Now, Slack Connect is Procore’s go-to tool for secure collaboration with more than 100 external organisations. For onboarding new partners from consultants to construction associations, teams use Workflow Builder, a tool that lets anyone automate routine and repetitive tasks – with no coding required. Procore uses Workflow Builder to generate a welcome message with all the information that partners need to hit the ground running on projects, saving time and boosting productivity.
‘It’s really impressive how quickly our partners onboarded and adopted Slack Connect as the preferred way to collaborate with Procore. Our partners recognise the investment that we’re making in their success.’
To make working with partners in Slack Connect even more efficient, take a look at some apps to get you started. Simplify meeting coordination, streamline access to files or easily start video calls – all designed to help you spend less time with incompatible tools and more time actually working together.
Offer client and partner services that put security first
Admins and security professionals can sleep a little easier at night, knowing that all Slack’s enterprise-grade security features and compliance standards extend to Slack Connect and their work with all their trusted partners. No matter who your partnership is with, you can choose how you set up and customise Slack Connect to meet the needs of your organisation.
ModSquad, a globally distributed crew of customer experience experts, relies on Slack Connect to keep client and vendor data secure. With Slack Connect, ModSquad swiftly manages day-to-day issues and service requests, connects its project team with client contacts to keep stakeholders in the know and addresses resource needs in real time to provide the best service to customers.
‘Since many of our clients were already using Slack and it passed their security requirements, it was very easy to start using Slack Connect and trust that our data was also protected.’
Transforming businesses with a new digital HQ
For organisations to thrive in a digital-first world, they must offer more flexible and productive ways of working – not just with their internal employees, but with customers and external partners. Whether it’s accelerating marketing collaboration at 1-800-Flowers.com or delivering increased revenue and enhanced client relationships at Stripe, more than 100,000 paid customers have embraced the transformative power of Slack Connect to extend the power of their digital HQ.