More and more organisations like us at Kalexiko are now introducing Slack into the workplace. “Slack?”, you’re astonished to hear? Slack as in ‘lazy’, ‘careless’ and ‘incapable’? Not quite. Slack in the software world is now its own antonym, defined as ‘smarter’, ‘faster’, ‘productive’ with more ‘collaborative communication’. It shouts out simplicity and healthy information flow. There’s no room for ambiguity in the term Slack here.
We first came across Slack when our current internal communication software impeded work sharing as one whole group. Google Hangouts ostracised our workplace to only have one to one conversations or file sharing; not the simultaneous team group chats we sought. We looked at other chat softwares, but nothing stuck.
Integration with Third Party Software
Sending messages and sharing files internally was always difficult. Composing emails to the whole team was painstakingly time consuming. Posting messages on Basecamp never provided a quick response when you needed one. With Slack, our team now receive less disturbances for an update, thanks to the number of applications (or ‘configured integrations’ as Slack calls them, e.g. DropBox, Twitter, Google Drive to name just a few) we can run parallel to each other all in one platform. So now when new code has been committed on GitLab, the team can view who made a commit on a project instantly on our Slack channel, which has caused a few commit wars.
It’s the first thing we open at the start of the studio day and waits for you in the background like a personal genie with an unlimited number of wishes forfeited as effortless commands. Freakishly easy to use, it’s almost as if Slack is holding your hand at each click. No more ‘to do’ lists either, Slack will send you reminders on anything you tell it to. That’s not all! Use it to talk to friends as well as your coworkers. So, instead of reaching for your phone to respond to WhatsApp messages throughout the day, be smarter and use your Slack app!
We can drag and drop files and urls into the app and it keeps everything neatly in one place, for everyone to find. Our mailboxes, as a result, are happily deflated and we feel we can keep more on top of things. We envisage inter office email being labelled as the cult of a pre-Slack era.
Best Business Practice from other Slackers
Slack lets us walk into open channels otherwise known as private Slack groups created by other external companies, to learn more about other best practice solutions out there. Either remain the silent spectator hoping to learn something new before taking it back to the office or delve deep into a hearty conversation with other Slackers on this busy trending social network for businesses.
Similar to the Yahoo chat rooms, where you could circle in and out at your own will; but with Slack, you also receive notifications from bots (on conversations) that you subscribe too. There are literally thousands of Slack interest groups or glorified chat rooms as we prefer to call them, for both new and old enterprises.
We’ve even read big brands, including Expedia, PayPal, eBay, Sony, Dell are using Slack. Newsrooms like Wall Street Journal and The Times of London are finding it extremely useful with fresh reports being shared constantly between internal members.
The stats that go with Slack are incredible. Within the first day of its launch, 8,000 companies signed up for an account! With a 5-10% growth rate per week, it now boasts over 500,000 users, with a big chunk paying for the full features account.
Slack is a feel good app. They will even refund you the difference whenever your account shows any inactive users on any particular day.
Built in, Instantly Searchable History
Think of Slack as a virtual house. We have lots of small rooms labelled by relevant #hashtag names like #general where we can notify each other if a train’s running late or #projects to post progress updates. All conversations are saved as history, making it even easier to search old referrals. It’s ingenious attributes don’t stop there; it has an attractive interface and chat history is synchronised across all your devices, so data is accessible via the mobile app when you’re away from the office desktop.
We’ve even invited some of our clients into relevant project related chat rooms to have a trial access to it.
Our bot is called ‘Bender’
… and we use him to add a hint of humour to the office, in the form of funny animated gif’s every now and again. Gifs are great and there’s very few collaborative tools that allow you to embed them in your daily conversations.
Slack has exceeded our expectations in every way possible. It’s solved a problem we never knew we had. It’s completely revolutionised our working style. Our processes last month were outdated and unfashionable. Now we’re cleansed, renewed and ready for anything.
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