The easiest way to maximize business outcomes with Slack? Tap into the expertise and apps across the Slack partner ecosystem. At the Dreamforce 2022 conference, the sessions were full of stories about the fresh ways our partners and customers are using Slack to boost productivity and improve knowledge sharing.
Slack customers are empowered to build a digital HQ that suits their unique needs, sparking new and creative ways to work together by connecting conversations, automation and apps in one space. And thanks to our partner ecosystem, the journey there is smoother and delivers results faster. After implementing Slack, customers reported an average 29% increase in time savings from automation, and 91% positive ROI in 10 months or less.
“The world’s largest and most influential consultancies have recognized that every customer needs a digital HQ,” says Richard Hasslacher, the vice president of global alliances and channels at Slack.
New Slack innovations announced at Dreamforce
The successful outcomes our partners can help drive for our customers? They will only accelerate with the exciting solutions and features announced at Dreamforce:
- The new Slack platform is available to developers in open beta, with modular, reusable building blocks that are easy to customize and share across Slack.
- The first wave of Slack Partner Industry Solutions—for industries such as financial services, manufacturing, communications, retail, media, technology and more—have launched so partners can help you customize Slack exactly as needed for your business.
- Canvases, coming in 2023, offers a new surface for the digital HQ where teams can curate, organize and share mission-critical resources, as well as use time-saving automations.
- The enhanced version of huddles, available to all Slack users over the next few weeks, powers spontaneous discussions and live coworking sessions through video, lightweight audio, multi-person screen sharing and message threads.
“We’ve re-engineered the Slack platform from the ground up to help you achieve better results faster. Now it’s easier than ever to build automations that move work forward in Slack during the moments that count most, whether it’s closing deals, swarming incidents or launching campaigns.”
Six inspirations for revolutionizing work with Slack integrations
Interested in boosting productivity, accelerating incident response times, and closing sales deals faster? Slack partners with thousands of apps and integrations and hundreds of certified consulting experts who are ready to help you build your digital HQ.
Now we’re sharing some of their best practices, creative solutions and successful outcomes from Dreamforce to help you transform the way your business works in a digital-first world.
1. Adopt best practices to build an effective digital HQ
One of the largest IT service companies in the world, and an award-winning consulting partner to both Slack and Salesforce, IBM exemplifies the transformational value of a digital HQ. Using Slack, IBM streamlines its operations, automates basic tasks, and stays on the cutting edge of technology.
“We all have a ton of applications at our disposal to collaborate and get work done,” says Noah Stern, an associate partner with the Slack practice at IBM Consulting. “It’s really important for companies to guide their employees on how to collaborate with each other using this huge array of tools.” In the Dreamforce session “How to Create Your Own Digital HQ: Tips and Tricks from IBM,” Stern offered these suggestions:
- Define a workspace strategy: Either lock down workspace creation or create a workspace approval process.
- Establish channel-naming conventions: “A user should be able to move between workspaces and feel consistency to the way the workspace is organized,” Stern says. “Consistent naming conventions will also improve search relevance and sidebar organization.”
- Partner closely with internal communications and leadership: Comms and leadership teams typically know how their people consume information or have defined ways that they do it.
- Teach Slack etiquette: Take the time to think about and document your own rules that can be enforced across the company.
Get all the tips from this session by watching on Salesforce+.
2. Improve agility with incident response directly in Slack
As Slack’s preferred cloud provider, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the foundation for many digital HQs. As Abhijit Barde, a principal product manager at AWS, explained at the Dreamforce session “Simplify AWS Admin, Support and Security with Slack and AWS,” engineering and operations teams are choosing AWS Chatbot and AWS Support apps from Slack channels. This way, they can easily monitor and interact with AWS resources and collaborate with teams, including AWS Support, from their team’s channels.
The AWS Chatbot and AWS Support apps let Slack users monitor, troubleshoot and operate in AWS environments natively from within chat channels, creating what’s called ChatOps to help remediate issues quickly. “The ChatOps-based collaboration model is key to enabling agile and high-performing teams,” Barde says. “It expedites task resolution times, reduces context switching, improves information sharing and enhances team collaboration.”
3. Maximize a digital HQ with custom and out-of-the-box integrations
Marriott Digital Services (MDS) is the in-house digital marketing agency for the global hotel company. When Marriott hotels sign up for digital projects, including advertising campaigns and websites, they typically have many questions. This is when MDS’s customer success agents step in.
“The agents have great resources, like knowledge articles or their own team experience and training documentation,” says Lori Drake, a senior manager of MDS business support. “But there are gaps. They get questions that they don’t know how to answer.” Drake shared her solution at the Dreamforce session “Supercharge Your Digital HQ with Custom Slack Integrations.”
To help agents address this challenge and to make the most of its digital HQ in Slack, MDS brought in the global business and technology consulting partner Slalom. Slalom helped MDS integrate Salesforce Service Cloud into Slack through the out-of-the-box app and custom integrations so agents could more easily access CRM data on hotels and collaborate on finding answers to difficult questions.
“The agents now have a button on cases in Salesforce to create a dedicated Slack channel, which starts a swarm,” Drake explains. “It brings in their own team members automatically, as well as subject-matter-expert user groups if needed. Thanks to Slack and Salesforce, agents now say, ‘Look how quickly I got answers—I wasn’t waiting on someone to see a comment in their email inbox hours later.’ ”
Most important, the Slack swarming integration allows MDS to review what business areas most often require support and where additional training may be needed.
4. Automate incident response across operations and service
“The teams that drive customer experience have to be connected with the teams behind the product to create visibility into the customer journey,” says Kat Gaines, a developer advocate at PagerDuty. “A great customer experience is a partnership between both sides of the business.”
To drive that partnership, the PagerDuty platform triggers notifications in Slack of customer incidents so they can be resolved more quickly. As Gaines explained in her Dreamforce session “Automate Incident Response Between Operations and Customers,” using Slack for incident management reduces mean time to resolve incidents by 19% and improves incident detection time by 17%.
5. Simplify the contract cycle and close deals faster
Getting signatures can slow down deals: Who likes waiting for documents to get shuffled around by email or in person to get the final signatures?
“We want to solve a couple of different problems that slow down the quote-to-cash process,” says Prachi Mishra, a director of product marketing at DocuSign, who shared his solutions at the Dreamforce session “Close Deals Faster with DocuSign, Slack, and AppExchange.”
“How can we empower everyone in platforms that they’re already using, and how can we reduce friction—namely, better facilitate conversations across departments and help automate tasks?”
The answer to getting deals “unstuck” is to add the DocuSign app into your Slack workspace. Users receive real-time notifications in Slack across the entire contract life cycle on agreement status and task assignments. They can also collaborate directly—assigning tasks, suggesting changes and providing feedback—without leaving Slack.
6. Boost productivity and create efficiencies with a digital HQ
With a quickly growing team, an investment firm needed to enhance collaboration in order to better manage pipelines and processes. More specifically, the company wanted to create a secure space for internal conversations about deal reviews and strategy planning.
To learn best practices for merging its existing Slack workspace with Salesforce processes, the investment firm turned to Silverline, its certified Slack and Salesforce consulting partner. By combining both technologies with help from Silverline, the company was able to remove a significant amount of meetings, improve the speed of collaboration, and up-level communication across teams and business functions. The success of the investment firm’s digital HQ project was the subject of the Dreamforce session “How Investment Firms Cut Meetings by 50% with a Digital HQ”.
“When you’re looking for a response on a question, it’s immediate,” says the director of technology and operations at the investment firm, about the instant conversations his team now has with investment professionals. “You’re not having to wait for a scheduled meeting for that to happen.”
“We all have a ton of applications at our disposal to collaborate and get work done. It’s really important for companies to guide their employees on how to collaborate with each other using this huge array of tools.”
More Dreamforce to explore
Looking for more highlights from Dreamforce 2022? Watch the Dreamforce Salesforce+ series The Future of Work with ideas from Salesforce and Slack. Interested in learning more about the Slack partner ecosystem? Visit the Slack App Directory and Slack Consulting Partners page to find the right partner to help you realize your digital HQ vision.