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Slack Strikes Back by Landing IBM as Top Customer

Slack has just landed IBM as its largest customer with over 350,000 users. This announcement demonstrates that Slack is not going to take the onslaught by Microsoft’s Teams product lying down.

Slack and IBM have been partnering for the better part of the last five years, with Slack adopting IBM’s Watson analytics product and IBM wading into using Slack's collaboration product. The early days were an education for Slack on how to architect, build, and deploy applications that can support a true enterprise scale. In fact, this partnership led to the creation of Slack’s Enterprise Grid product line.

IBM touts the following key benefits of adopting Slack end to end:

  • IBM employees love it: they are achieving unparalleled levels of transparency and efficiency in communications across departments.
  • Massive integration layer: Slack has worked to enable thousand of integrations with IBM’s internal applications.
  • Security and reliability: Slack worked with IBM to ensure its unique and specific needs were met within the app.

Source: Slack Scorecard at SoftwareReviews. Accessed November 11, 2019

Our Take

As I have previously mentioned here, I don’t believe Slack will win the “collaboration wars” with Microsoft as its primary opponent. However, winning IBM’s business across all 350,000 of its employees is a fantastic step forward and does establish Slack as a legitimate player in the large enterprise market segment. Additionally, IT shops that wish to dilute their exposure to Microsoft may view Slack as a viable, albeit expensive, enterprise alternative.

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