Why Slack is the new OS for enterprise collaboration

At TechSparks 2021, Brian D'Souza, Solutions Engineer, Slack, explained how a channel-based messaging platform is the need of the hour for businesses of all sizes.

Why Slack is the new OS for enterprise collaboration

Tuesday November 02, 2021,

5 min Read

According to a 2019 industry report by Slack and market research firm GlobalWebIndex, drawn from 17,000 knowledge workers, about 40 percent of employees feel disconnected from their company and business objectives. 

More recently, the October 2020 ‘Remote Work Tech Effect’ research report by Slack and Honeycomb Strategy showed almost two out of three employees working in enterprises believed they could do a better job if they had more information readily available to them. In fact, one of the two employees said they could do their bosses’ job if they had access to the same information.


Brian D'Souza, Solutions Engineer, Slack, pointed that 69 percent of employees feel it would be easier if software and apps were better integrated into a single platform.

On the other hand, about 62 percent wish they could access those same applications through the same platform. The research and statistics emphasised the need to enable access to information and collaboration via a single integrated platform. 

Brian said complexity in collaboration and information in organisations can be gauged by the fact that different teams — from sales, HR, finance, communications, to development — use different tools for their daily jobs, besides numerous productivity, security, analytics, and file sharing tools. 

“However, e-mail forms the common ground to get information from one system to another for these applications. But email is not built to meet the demands of modern enterprises,” he said, adding, “Email, about 50 years old now, is just not up to the moment. This is where Slack comes in,” he said.

Understanding the collaboration pyramid

Slack — a channel-based messaging platform for enterprises — transforms the way organisations work by giving people digital headquarters where they can come together.

To explain how Slack is different from other tools in the market, Brain pointed to understanding the collaboration pyramid. At the bottom of this pyramid are tools like Slack, WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook, and Messenger, among others, where the tools are essentially used for standard communication purposes rather than true collaboration. 

Then comes the channels — where people, apps and data come together to get the work done, including players like Microsoft Teams and Slack. Brian said, “We were the ones that potentially coined the concept of collaboration channel for the very first time.” 

Stepping up the pyramid, at the third layer, is where Slack begins to stand apart from a lot of other tools. The tool is different from others as it can support and integrate with any application.

“We do that through our open APIs and our one-of-its-kind Slack app directory — our flagship marketplace for third-party app pre-built integrations on Slack. This enables users to enable these apps and interact with them on Slack,” Brian explained.

While a few other platforms claim to have similar integrations, it is often integrated within their ecosystem of apps or developed by themselves, which can get challenging for users using different SaaS applications.  

The fourth layer is the concept of workflows.

He said, “This is where Slack shines because it can get both information in and out of systems and also pass information system information back. That's when truly work is getting done.” 

On the top of the pyramid is a world-class Search and AI that powers the platform to ensure when you're searching for information — be it in a different application, message, or file — it is uncovered at the time you need it the most.

“So if you can reach and complete all levels of this pyramid, you will notice you can drive a huge organisational impact on the way you do business, how you serve your customers, and how your employees and customers feel when they interact with you,” Brian added.

The fringe benefits: More secure, more compliant, better ROI

Another advantage of using Slack is ROI. According to Stewart Butterfield, Co-founder and CEO, Slack, “Our job is to be 2 percent of the software budget that helps you amplify the 98 percent of the money you've spent in other parts of the organisation.”

Brian emphasised that Slack was built to help all organisations regardless of their size. He highlighted the platform maintains the highest standards of security and compliance. All the data is encrypted in transit and rest. The platform has all leading certifications, including SOC 3 - a public report of internal controls over security, availability, processing integrity, and confidentiality, and CSA - a certification that indicates a product is independently tested and certified to meet recognised standards for safety or performance, among other ISO/EC certifications. 

Extending channel benefits to business partners 

Slack Connect transforms the way organisations work alongside their partners, vendors, or customers by moving conversations out of siloed email threads and into the same place.

It enables users to connect with up to 20 different organisations within the same Slack channel. “Whether it be sharing your document with a lawyer or an external party, or whether it be collaborating on a marketing project — Slack Connect has numerous benefits. Because, at the end of the day, it enables people to collaborate and automate their work,” shared Brian.  

The many features of the platform and its ability to drive collaboration in the truest sense has led to about 91,000 organisations adopting Slack. Brian said Slack provides the ability to message, share information, files, collaborate, and truly drive engagement, and that makes them come back to the platform every day.

“It’s like an operating system for the enterprise,” he shared.

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Edited by Suman Singh