Slack Connect launched to enable messaging across organisations

Currently allowing up to 20 organisations to communicate with each other using the enterprise software platform’s channel system, Slack Connect allows for discussions about business between vendors and customers, as well as industry groups to collaborate.

Personnel from other companies can be invited via a link, and if they are not already using one of Slack’s paid plans, they can receive a free trial, according to today’s announcement.

Data generated by an average of 65 million messages per second is secured by Slack’s compliance standards and security features, which include data loss prevention, retention, e-discovery, with Enterprise Key Management via AWS set to become available on Slack Connect later this summer.

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Administrators of channels can maintain control of their organisation’s data, and added security will be provided by a user verification system akin to social media platforms such as Twitter.

“Slack pioneered channel-based communication, which was quickly embraced by our customers as the most effective way to work,” said Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack.

“The introduction of Slack Connect marks a major leap forward in our mission to transform business communication and make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive.

“Our largest customers, like TD Ameritrade and Iress, put enormous effort into security and compliance, and external communication often moves out of band. It goes to text messages and WhatsApp — and the organisation has no visibility or ability to retain important records.”

Larkin Ryder, CSO at Slack, added: “Email is an open front door to security threats to an organisation — $12 billion in losses are caused by business email scams, and 90% of data breaches are from phishing.

“If you want a more secure collaboration solution for your organisation, the first thing you can do is take your employees out of email and into Slack.”

In addition to message security, the environment aims to save time normally used to initiate meetings, allowing for a more real-time dynamic between collaborating companies.

While security of calendar data currently depends on the provider, Slack have announced plans for Outlook and Google Calendar integrations in the future.

Previous to its full launch for paid plans, the platform has been trialled by a select few clients, such as Deliveroo, Fastly and Xero, with it being used to better manage supply chains, collaborate with partners to finalise deliveries, and provide support for customers.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.