Introducing Slack Connect: the future of business communication

Organisations can now work securely with multiple partners and vendors in Slack, driving stronger relationships and faster results

By the team at Slack24th June 2020Illustration by Wenting Li

For years, Slack has been changing the way that millions of people work together within their organisations. By shifting internal communication out of inboxes and into channels, teams can work more transparently with each other and get more done. But we know that the work doesn’t stop at a company’s walls. That’s why today, we’re taking the next step and bringing all the benefits of Slack to everyone that you work with, both inside and outside your organisation. Introducing Slack Connect: a more secure and productive way for organisations to communicate together.

‘Slack pioneered channel-based communication, which was quickly embraced by our customers as the most effective way to work. The introduction of Slack Connect marks a major leap forwards in our mission to transform business communication and make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive.’

Stewart ButterfieldCEO, Slack

More than four years in the making and developed with customers, Slack Connect is a secure communications environment that lets you move all the conversations with your external partners, clients, vendors and others into Slack, replacing email and taking business collaboration to the next level. ‘My favourite part of Slack Connect has been the co-creation with customers’, says Tamar Yehoshua, Slack’s Chief Product Officer. ‘We’ve used Slack Connect to build Slack Connect with our customers, gathering feedback about the product and the ways that they’re using it with their external teams.’

Starting today, up to 20 organisations can collaborate together in a single Slack channel, enabling customers to bring even more of their external ecosystem into Slack – such as their entire supply chain, corporate subsidiaries or industry peers. With Slack Connect, all kinds of teams can:

  • Securely connect to external organisations
  • Get work done faster with partners and vendors
  • Strengthen business relationships

Securely connect to external organisations

Keeping a company’s data protected is critical when working with external organisations. Admins and security professionals can rest assured that all Slack’s enterprise-grade security features and compliance standards extend to Slack Connect: data loss prevention, retention and e-discovery. Slack also provides Enterprise Key Management* via Amazon Web Services, giving organisations complete control over their data and who can see it.

A model for how Enterprise Key Management works inside Slack Connect

‘Our largest customers, like TD Ameritrade and Iress, put enormous effort into security and compliance’, Butterfield says, ‘and external communication often moves out of band. It goes to text messages and WhatsApp – and the organisation has no visibility or ability to retain important records.’

With Slack Connect, admins can maintain control over their organisation’s data and monitor external access. And unlike email – which leaves users open to the risk of spam and phishing – when they work in channels, teams receive messages and files only from verified members.

‘Email is an open front door to security threats to an organisation – USD 12 billion in losses are caused by business email scams, and 90% of data breaches are from phishing. If you want a more secure collaboration solution for your organisation, the first thing that you can do is take your employees out of email and into Slack.’

Larkin RyderChief Security Officer, Slack

As Slack has become trusted across regulated industries, we’ve invested to meet and exceed some of the most stringent security standards available. You can be confident that Slack offers solutions to help organisations to address all their compliance requirements.

Get work done faster with partners and vendors

When you bring projects with external teams out of siloed email inboxes and into Slack, communication happens in real time with all the right people. Organisations can join together to work and make decisions more quickly with customers, vendors and partners.

‘Having the ability to message an external vendor via Slack provides next-level support. The runaround you usually have to go through via email does not exist when you use channels.’

Marisa GuarinoSenior IT Systems Engineer, Snowflake

Customers have been using Slack Connect to:

New apps will speed up workflows such as these even further, and streamline the cumbersome tasks that are required to make them happen. Take meetings, for example. Scheduling them externally is time-consuming because of a lack of visibility across tools and organisations. With Slack Connect and our upcoming Outlook and Google Calendar integrations, Slack will scan everyone’s calendars – across different calendar apps and organisations – and suggest available meeting slots.

Members of multiple organisations work together inside a Slack channel

Strengthen business relationships

No matter where everyone is located, Slack Connect allows teams around the world to stay close to their partners, while building trust along the way.

‘We see ourselves as an extension of our customers’ teams. Working with our customers in Slack channels helps to reduce any friction.’

Jen Ong VaughanLeader, business division, Assembled

And as projects and relationships grow, all parties can add new teammates and access past conversations, files and context to keep everyone on the same page.

Members of multiple organisations work together inside a Slack channel

Get started with Slack Connect

Slack Connect is available for all paid subscriptions. If you’re already a customer but new to Slack Connect, feel free to get in touch or learn more on how to get started. If you want to see how others are using Slack to work with their external partners, take a look at a few of our recent customer stories.

*Slack Enterprise Key Management will be available for Slack Connect later this summer.

This information is for informational purposes only, and is not a binding commitment. Please do not rely on this information in making your purchasing decisions because ultimately, the development, release and timing of any products, features or functionality remains at the sole discretion of Slack and is subject to change.

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