Slack is a communication tool that also doubles as a collaboration and project management tool. Keep this in mind next time you are about to dismiss it for an alternative. However, since 2013, it has grown to accommodate some tools that make the two possible. Even though it is a perfect tool, it comes close due to its ability to integrate apps to enhance its performance. If you are planning to use Slack for business, whether an established enterprise or an SME, you won’t be disappointed. It is great in collaboration and even better in communication.
The real-time communication…
The real-time communication capabilities Slack offers is the best I’ve used in my professional career. Being able to upload files and integrate other software has been very beneficial for us too. The ability to “pin” a message or file to a conversation makes it easy for me to find important materials when I need to (if I can remember which user or channel the file is located). Also, the Google Hangouts link is a nice addition because you don’t have to leave the platform to call a team member.
The platform logs me out a lot, just about every day which can be annoying. Also, when I inserted a Google Drive link in the past it would show the destination URL but with recent Slack updates, this sync has not always worked. Similarly, Google Doc or Spreadsheet links would show the name of the file once it was pasted into Slack so the recipient could see what the doc was before opening it. That functionality seems to have disappeared so now it just shows the long link without a document title. Finally, I wish message history would save for longer periods of time and not get deleted.
lack has become our ‘go to tool’ for…
lack has become our ‘go to tool’ for internal communication, collaboration, and resource sharing at work. Whether conferencing or chatting with one employee or several, Slack enables us to quickly ask questions, share ideas, and post helpful resources with one another in a safe, secure environment.
In Slack, all of our conversations and resources are archived and searchable, helping users reference important discussions that happened days, weeks, or even months ago. In addition, Slack features a very robust API, allowing integration with third party application like WordPress, Salesforce, and email marketing platforms.
Slack has been incredibly industrious with their product roadmap, releasing new features at an aggressive pace. It would be very helpful if there were accompanying notifications, tutorials, and/or webinars that were available for users to help ease them into seeing the new changes. It can sometimes be a bit unnerving when changes occur that users are not aware of and this sometimes happens with Slack.
Slack helps our organization communicate and collaborate more efficiently and effectively and helps us do so in ONE tool. Rather than having to use multiple tools for chat, video conferencing, text, etc. Slack enables us to do all of those things in a single tool that is both dependable and easy to use.
it is an awesome tool. I use this…
it is an awesome tool. I use this within my team and to other teams as well in my company. I found it very easy to create a group/channel whether it is public or private, we can add as many people as we want in the group. it supports a lot of emoticons, it can save the history for as long as you want. can send and receive large files using this. it is having the quite fast response to the chat with individual and with the group as well.
we can make a video call, can share the desktop in easy clicks.in shorts I have found this very useful while performing my jobs and I feel quite relax and satisfied with the available functionalities with excellent tech. support. we can integrate with many apps and can even sen the mail to a user or a mailing list using this.
i don’t see many cons or disadvantage of this software, only thing i faced while using this is when i connect a video call and share the desktop the response for this operation is slow and it takes time to get connected and share the desktop
I love the ability to be in touch with…
I love the ability to be in touch with my colleagues through one single channel (instead of email, text messaging, phone calls, etc.). Additionally, the fact that there are multiple teams that you can connect to, allows this app to be usable for all the different projects, companies, family connections, or whatever you need.
The ability to set notification and do-not-disturb times, to get notifications on various devices, and to have the app on desktop and mobile devices is huge! Oh, and I can create groups of people or channels to message easily. And the integrations with other programs make it a cinch to get notifications about sales, customer interactions, and more.
Slack is the only IM service we need to communicate internally. It has replaced a lot of random text messages, emails that get buried, and phone calls that resulted in missed deadlines. Slack has improved our team communication significantly.
We’re a nonprofit organization with…
We’re a nonprofit organization with employees on three different continents across five time zones, and Slack makes it feel like we’re all in the room together. The problem with email and other instant messaging applications is that they’re not very inclusive; if you leave someone off of an email chain by mistake, they’re completely out of the loop.
With Slack, on the other hand, you can post general updates that the whole team is immediately aware of. You also have a central archive of all your messages and documents and discussions, so your institutional memory doesn’t walk away with various employees as they come and go from your organization.
The channels allow us to make sure everyone on the admin team gets every admin update, everyone on the fundraising team gets every fundraising update, etc. We even add outside vendors and visitors to our project site to Slack as need be, because it’s simply the best way to talk to any of us.
It’s hard to think of downsides of Slack. I guess I wish it loaded faster when we’re on a poor internet connection in a third world country, but that’s only a problem occasionally.
The only other thing I can think of is that messages can sometimes get lost in a stream of chatter, the way Facebook updates can get buried at the bottom of your newsfeed under less important posts. But I view that as a downside to any form of communication.
Our team’s communication has benefitted immensely from this software.
We’re not only able to communicate with one another much faster (rather than waiting days for an answer to an email, you can get an instantaneous reply to your question in Slack), but we’re also able to keep in touch with each other with a much higher level of detail.
We’re aware of more of the day to day occurrences in each of our spheres, and feel like we have a much better sense of what each program area is up to.
This is true even for simple logistics. At our nonprofit project site in Nepal, we used to have simple communication issues with people not getting the message that dinner was moved an hour later or a trip to the river had been planned. Now, one simple Slack message lets everyone know.
Slack is like many other messaging…
Slack is like many other messaging solutions, but differs in some important ways.
Other solutions have tried to copy some of the best parts of Slack, but have failed to deliver.
Starting new groups in Slack is a great way to separate conversations and keep only the necessary players involved.
Each group you create can have a specific purpose (fun, one-time project, ongoing discussions) and allows those thoughts that don’t contribute to the designated topic to be added elsewhere. Sharing content on Slack is also easy and intuitive.
There is one aspect of Slack that I don’t like and that is the ability of users to go back and retroactively delete their comments. This is problematic if you are like me and like to reference previous conversations.
I have a few coworkers that delete all of their part of every conversation. They claim it is to keep the conversation cleaned up and organized, but I have a feeling they are practicing CYA.
This software eliminates unnecessary and time consuming emails and phone calls. Great for quick thoughts and questions. Much better than large MS competitor.
Very easy to create groups of users, so…
Very easy to create groups of users, so only selected users take part in the conversation. Integration with web apps like ‘Trello’ and ‘GitHub’, so we receive notifications when something is actioned in one of those particular applications. Nice user interface, very easy to use and get to grips with.
The buttons make all the functions clear to the user right from the start. Slack also has access to various 3rd party apps like ‘RightGIF’, so you can even include GIF’s in your messages! Their web-based help page is very detailed and easy to use, although the in-app help isn’t good.
The notifications you receive from web apps like Trello can sometimes get too much, as you can’t control what notifications you receive so you get a pop-up whenever the smallest change is made. The search function could definitely be improved, as it can near impossible to find historic messages
Which has resulted in some confusion. The built-in ‘Slackbot’, is almost useless. If you don’t already know the keyboard commands to interact with it, all he does is tell you to go to heir help page. When a group is set to ‘Private’, the notifications that a message was sent there are very well hidden and can be easy to miss.
Slack supports all the major…
Slack supports all the major app-ecosystems (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Web) and has a lot of options to add on functionality via bots, including support for IFTTT.
This means it acts not only as a chat platform for a professional team, but can add on project management functions, record holidays and days off, signal who is in the office etc.
As a chat app, its original function, it excels in its fast sync and functionality to set up different channels (topics, chat rooms), adjust who has access to them and of course not also lets you send private messages.
For a company Slack has some advantages over other chat apps (like Line and its brothers) in that conversations are under the purview of the organization and records can be kept. As a boss you can also receive summaries of certain activities (provided you install the right add on)
For over a year I have been trying to get my team onto Slack. For some reason it never caught on and today all communications that would fit well into Slack are happening over groups in WhatsApp.
Since everyone in my part of the world seems to be on WhatsApp it seems hard to convince people to use yet another app. For the average user the advantages are just not obvious.
Also, most add ons seem not to be free, a number of them only reveal after installation that they are trial versions and require monthly fees after the trial expires.
It makes you feel a bit scammed when this is never mentioned during the installation of a bot and then you start receiving emails from the company behind it. Emails? I thought Slack was supposed to get rid of them…
If our user base had adopted it more readily it would be an excellent tool for company internal communications of all sorts, from ‘there’s cake in the coffee corner’ to corporate announcements and tracking work time and days off.
The basics are easy for anyone to pick…
The basics are easy for anyone to pick up on. Having any kind of texting or internet chat experience is a plus, though. Slash commands, threads, searchable history, and 3rd party integration are some of my favorite features so far.
I have not used the available screen sharing or calls yet but, look forward to. Mobile apps are available and have made it much easier for us to communicate no matter where we are. This makes internal emails feel a little dated and unnecessary.
It takes a while to get used to the fact that there is only one window. Everything is contained in this window. You cannot pop out a direct message or anything. This is just something that everyone was used to with the previous chat software we used so, this does not reflect on anything wrong with Slack.
The slash commands do go over the heads of the majority of my users. Usually because they don’t care to learn new things. Again, is not something to feel negatively towards the software about.
Real time, fun, intuitive, mobile, progressively improved based on user feedback. It’s just a great communication tool.
Originally launched in August of 2013, Slack has quickly gained traction and became one of the most widely adopted workplace apps – both in and out of the office. At its core, Slack is just a messaging app for teams. Slack brings together all of your communications and files into one space. Slack helps organize your messages, conversations, online meetings, files and watercooler chat where everything is searchable and persistent on all devices. Slack is noticed for its unique design, sticky user experience, and simplicity – Slack is so much fun, you won’t even realize you’re getting work done, It’ll feel just like, well, slacking off. At this point, Slack has managed to gather about 4 million daily active users, with more than 1.25 million paid users.
With unique beginnings, its no wonder Slack turned out to be such a unique solution. Slack started officially working on the app in the end of 2012, but began much earlier – the company was previously working on a web-based massively multiplayer game, but by their own account, failed to deliver. Slack was actually the team’s internal chat app, to help them share ideas and code without picking up the phone or leaving their office. The innovation has not stopped there and Slack quickly realized that team size plays an important role on how the app is used – eventually Slack expanded to even allow Enterprise and massive companies to establish their own solution on premise with the Slack Grid.
Slack Pricing and Services
Slack For Teams
Free – $0 per month/user
- Searchable Message Archives, up to 10k of your team’s most recent messages
- 10 Apps or service integrations
- Native apps for iOS, Android, Mac & Windows
- Two-person voice and video calls
- 5GB total file storage
- Two-factor authentication
Standard – $6.67 per month/active user
- All free features PLUS
- Unlimited searchable message archive
- Unlimited apps and service integrations
- Custom retention policies for messages and files
- Guest Access
- Priority Support
- Oauth via Google
- Mandatory two-factor authentication
- Custom User Groups to reach a team or department
- Group voice and video calls
- 10GB file storage per team member
- Custom Profiles
Plus – $12.50 per month/active user
- All Standard features PLUS
- SAML-based single sign-on
- Compliance exports of all messages
- 99.99% Guaranteed Uptime SLA
- 24/7 Support with 4hr response time
- User provisioning and deprovisioning
- Real-time Active Directory sync with OneLogin, Okta, Centrify and Ping Identity
- 20GB file storage per team member
Slack Enterprise Grid
“Slack Enterprise Grid powers the design, usage, and administration of multiple interconnected Slack workspaces across your entire company.”
- Organization-wide search, direct messaging, and announcement-focused channels
- Unlimited workspaces, customized around the people, information and apps that matter most to a team
- Shared channels between workspaces to connect teams when needed
- Security, compliance, billing and platform integration management in a single view
- Support for integrations with data loss prevention (DLP), e-Discovery, and offline backup providers
- 1TB of storage per user
- Dedicated account and customer success teams
- 24/7 support with 2hr response time
Editor’s Bottom Line of Slack
Slack has easily grown to be one of the most popular workplace team collaboration and cloud based chat apps. If an office isn’t using Slack, chances are they have at least heard of it and considered the option. Slack can even be considered the catalyst for a trend shift we have seen in the past few years: the adoption of chat based collaboration apps to help get stuff done quickly, and easily. Similar applications have existed for years, reaching as far back as IRC, one of, if not, the original online instant messenger. But as time went on, technology ignored the instant messenger for the more organized and persistent email, which now thanks to Slack is slowly giving way to the chat app. These workplace chat solutions are more than just instant messengers, but allow for persistent information gathering and sharing just like email – but even simpler.
The beauty of Slack specifically is the marriage of a unique, colorful and fun design, with only the few solid features you really need, and a wonderful user experience. While at its core, Slack is fairly simply – it’s a chat app first a foremost, with the ability to separate your conversations into distinct “rooms,” dedicated for different teams or topics, and individual one on one conversations. Slack also allows for file sharing, more recently voice and video calls, and even third-party integrations with other work apps, or custom user made bots to expand and customize if your team sees fit. But down to the basics, Slack allows your team to message and chat in the office or on the go, share files, and search it all within an instant. If you need to find that file the design team sent over last week, instead of hunting through a massive email chain or bugging the team again, Slack lets users simply search or scroll up in their chat log to find their previous messages.
Overall, Slack is one of the best options for the small-to-midsize business that needs a simple, yet robust and capable, collaboration app. At its simplest chat form, Slack allows small teams to always stay in touch and keep information in one organized location. Quicker than an email, easier than a phone call, and less personal than a text message to your personal phone, Slack is the easiest and most fun workplace collaboration and chat app available. Large Enterprise teams can also utilized the more recent Slack Grid for their own on-premise and custom made solution. While Slack can be expanded and customized with integrations and add-ons, we recommend Slack for the more simple approach, where teams can get by with basic messaging and file sharing.