Just two years young, Slack is THE social collaboration app...it's so hot right now ;). It now boasts more than 2.7 million active users (up from 2.3M last month) on a daily basis, who send nearly 2 billion messages a month. As its blurb at VentureBeat.com says, it is “trying to change the way we communicate, enabling continuous, fluid, more natural conversations to replace restrictive and time-consuming emails.”
I have to admit that I’ve been following this company for more than a year. Its awe-inspiring rounds of funding catch my attention (with the recent influx last week making it valued at $3.8B). At the same time, it reminds me of our company. We advocate and offer a Social Collaboration technology piece on our learning platform that is analogous to the Slate tool.
Imagine best practices shared in an instant, collaboratively and easily. Plus, informal, consistent learning among peers and managers is always in place.
It has often taken some explaining to customers how it enhances team's communications, makes training that much more effective and improving learning across the board. Companies can be resistant to such a free flow of information. Imagine best practices shared in an instant, collaboratively and easily. Plus, informal, consistent learning among peers and managers is always in place. We’ve also used the (valid) argument that e-mail gets so cluttered with learners wasting time to search and sort for answers and data when the information (in a highly-dynamic format) is at their fingertips, via this collaboration technology. Lastly, empowering people to share encourages the holy grail of employee engagement.
So, it was encouraging to hear Slack’s co-founder, Stewart Butterfield, state that it was a bottom-up strategy for the business. It took “the tech-inclined” to start the groundswell of enthusiasm at most of its clients’ companies vs. the decision-makers, or C-suite. (I believe it, since I know our Dev Team are avid Slack enthusiasts too, and we are increasingly using it in all areas at Scrimmage).
And, with the Slack phenomenon, other competitors are also emerging in popularity, including HipChat, WhatsApp & VMware’s Socialcast. Meanwhile, the conversation over collaboration technologies and platform expansion has carried-over to whether e-mail is simply on its way out. These headlines are almost daily now. Even as Tomasz Tunguz, Venture Capitalist at Redpoint Ventures, recognizes, “as chat becomes an increasingly important user interface in the workplace, there’s a massive opportunity…to enrich conversations with answers to questions that pop-up. It’s the future of collaboration.” (3.17.16 - http://tomtunguz.com/slack-your-data/)
I’m excited to see and hear that social collaboration technologies are being validated, with the innovations only expanding. I know they are evolving at Scrimmage.