Slack launches shared channels, bolsters international footprint

Paul Rosania, head of core product at Slack, said Slack's shared channels feature was among the most requested since all companies need to integrate with teams from external firms and partners.

Slack has rolled out a feature called shared channels that will make it easier to connect collaborators from external groups. In addition, Slack launched versions of its collaboration and team management tools in French, German and Spanish as it aims to expand internationally.

The launches come as a bevy of team management software vendors are updating their wares. For instance, Microsoft Teams added guest access support to its software. And last week, Atlassian rolled out team management tool called Stride, which rethinks workflow and off ramps when employees need to focus.

For vendors, the focus on team management is a key effort to grab a bigger part of the smart office pie. Enterprises have focused heavily on collaboration, but early efforts have revolved more around furniture, snacks and open floor plans over new technologies. HP and Lenovo plan to hit collaboration from the hardware and integrated software side.

Microsoft adds Guest Access to Teams | Atlassian launches Stride, aims to curb 'over-collaboration,' noise in team communication | Lenovo to make bet on smart office: Here's why it makes sense

Paul Rosania, head of core product at Slack, said Slack's shared channels feature was among the most requested since all companies need to integrate with teams from external firms and partners. "We heard a lot of in-bound interest from our account managers and hearing use cases," said Rosania. "It'll be interesting to see what customers do with it."

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Slack has garnered a lot of traction in the enterprise with more than 9 million weekly active users, more than 6 million daily active users and an international customer base that's 55 percent of the total. Slack has more than $200 million in annual recurring revenue and 2 million paid users.

Shared channels in Slack will create a common space for collaboration and give admins more control. Under shared channels, members can post messages use calling features and send direct messages. These channels also work in your existing work area. Shared channels is in beta and admins need to opt in teams.

The challenge for Slack is the same for other collaboration vendors: Minimize the noise and surface the signal. Enterprise social networks can be as noisy as consumer sites and that reality means it's an uphill climb to keep employees engaged when they need to focus.

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