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Slack Briefs on Slack Connect and Enterprise Key Management
At Enterprise Connect 2020, Christina Kosmowski (VP, Global Head of Customer Success and Services, Slack) and Alex King (Senior Value Consultant, Slack) outlined Slack’s latest updates and showcased its potential for large enterprise.
Slack Connect is Slack’s solution for external collaboration. With Slack Connect, channel benefits can be extended to business partners. Slack Connect is also interoperable with major cloud storage solutions (such as Google Drive and OneDrive) for ease of information transfer. Indeed, Slack Connect can be used as a window to access other tools, such as Gmail, Box, Dropbox, Outlook, and Trello, saving the end user time spent switching back and forth between apps.
Of course, external collaboration raises questions about whether information transfer is secure. Slack’s solution is to only allow admins to manage and approve connections and to designate roles in the channel, as well as ensuring data transfer is compliant with the organization’s data policies. To reinforce security, Slack also has an upcoming EKM solution, which will allow the organization to bring their own encryption key for implementation. These keys are then stored in Amazon’s Key Management Service. The benefit is that organizations maintain visibility and control over their data.
Recent partnerships have also shown that Slack can scale quickly to large enterprises, including IBM, Amazon, and Verizon. For users who are not used to the software, Slack also offers the ability to automate tasks with its Workflow Builder. This includes the ability to automate the onboarding of new teammates.
For more information, watch Slack’s session Learn How Slack Keeps Teams Connected and Moving Forward during This Shift to Remote Work (available online until December 31, 2020 at Enterprise Connect 2020).
Source: SoftwareReviews Slack Scorecard. Accessed August 26, 2020.
Slack’s focus on channel-based instant messaging aims to push email out of the picture. There are some good arguments for this. Email inboxes are not built to facilitate rapid information flow or to organize multiple conversations.
However, email should not completely disappear. While Slack is right that email is not fit for these purposes, it is not true that email has no place in the modern enterprise. That email is being misused to facilitate instant messaging is a fair statement, and a tool like Slack is well-suited to fill that role. Email, though, is still better for asynchronous information transfer geared toward conveying lots of information.
As the above diagram shows, there is a time and a place for email and for a tool like Slack. Email is not well-suited for synchronous information or for creating quick alignment, but Slack certainly is. However, as much as email is reduced in its overall function, it's not dead yet! Bear this in mind when reviewing your communications infrastructure – Slack can’t do everything.
For organizations seeking to enhance their communications infrastructure, use the above diagram for your own purposes. Is Slack your preferred instant messaging tool? Or is it another like Microsoft Teams? Do you have both tools and employees get confused about which tool they should use? Use this exercise to start organizing your toolset. Ready to start optimizing your tools? Use Info-Tech’s Rationalize Your Collaboration Tools resource.
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On September 1, 2020, Info-Tech briefed with Cisco about current and upcoming features of its Unified Webex app for September. Significant changes include the introduction of Cisco Webex Classrooms and the Webex Control Hub, with notable updates also coming to Webex for Education, Webex Meetings, and Webex Teams.
On September 4, 2020, Info-Tech briefed with Zoho about current and upcoming features of Zoho Workplace, a global enterprise collaboration platform. Organizations, especially SMBs, that want to look outside of Microsoft’s and Google’s office productivity suite duopoly should consider shortlisting Zoho Workplace as a viable option.
Enterprise Connect 2020 Digital Conference & Expo featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for enterprise. Thomas Randall reports on Nemertes’ latest research. Nemertes studied the impact of team collaboration software on the enterprise and the need for a rationalized collaboration toolset.
Enterprise Connect 2020 Digital Conference & Expo featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for enterprise. Thomas Randall briefly explores Lenovo’s findings on the major challenges that employees face related to remote work, as well as best practices to counteract those challenges.
Enterprise Connect 2020 Digital Conference & Expo featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for enterprise. Thomas Randall reports on Cisco’s new solutions for remote work and a safe return to the office.
Zoho Workplace – a global enterprise collaboration platform – has reported that it is now supporting 15 million users and is experiencing a surge in usage for its business applications. However, compared to Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite, Zoho still has a long way to go in this marketspace.
Google has announced several updates to its G-Suite offering, which aims to heavily integrate and better secure its teamwork applications. The move represents a clear attempt by Google to directly compete with Microsoft’s office productivity suite, with several of the G-Suite updates mirroring the logical architecture of Office 365.
As of July 1, 2020, over 70,000 small business users receiving their Microsoft 365 services from Navisite will now receive them from Intermedia. The move means that Navisite’s users now have access to a range of Intermedia offerings, including Unite, Contact Center, and AnyMeeting.
Thinking about choosing a new software vendor but don't know where to start? Narrow down your shortlist by focusing on software that has received an Info-Tech Research Group award. New data from SoftwareReviews shows that organizations reported higher satisfaction when they switched to software that had received an Info-Tech award.