Slack buys Astro, eyes tighter email integration on its platform

Astro makes the popular Astrobot plugin that lets users check their email and calendar from directly within Slack.

Slack updates search tool with predictive features

Slack said on Monday that it's buying Astro, makers of the popular Astrobot plugin that lets users check their email and calendar from directly within Slack. Astro's also known for its AI algorithms and expertise in email infrastructure -- both of which Slack could parlay into native email integration within the Slack platform.

Slack has been vocal about plans to make its platform play nice with popular email services. With Astro, Slack is aiming to make it easier bring email functionality into its collaboration hub, connecting email and calendaring with channels and teams.

"We see this as a natural next step as channel-based collaboration becomes the default way of working," the Slack team said in a blog post.

Also: Microsoft says Teams is now at 'feature parity' with Skype for Business Online | Slack tips and tricks: Master the art of workplace collaboration | Microsoft introduces a free version of Teams, going head-to-head with Slack

As for Astro, CEO Andy Pflaum said his company has been working with Slack on ways to bring together messaging, email and calendar until "it became evident that we would have the biggest impact on workplace communications and realize our original vision by joining Slack."

The startup plans to shut down its apps for Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Alexa, and Slack on October 10.

Slack is relatively conservative when it comes to acquisitions, however it's some key purchases this summer as it follows through on its overall platform strategy.

In July Slack bought Missions, a startup behind a tool that lets non-developers build custom integrations and automate routine processes in Slack. The acquisition was Slack's third ever and marked its continued efforts to make the collaboration hub more flexible beyond engineering and IT. A couple of weeks later Slack inked a deal with Atlassian to buy the Stride and Hipchat intellectual property.

Previous and related coverage:

What a hybrid cloud is in the 'multi-cloud era,' and why you may already have one

Now that the services used by an enterprise and provided to its customers may be hosted on servers in the public cloud or on-premises, maybe "hybrid cloud" isn't an architecture any more. While that may the case, that's not stopping some in the digital transformation business from proclaiming it a way of work unto itself.

Nextcloud 14 rolls out with two major security features

Want a full-featured, easy-to-run, open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud to call your own? Check out the latest version of Nextcloud.

Cloud computing: Here comes a major tipping point

Application spending has moved to the cloud fastest, but other areas of IT spending are catching up.

Vendor comparison tool: Cloud-based integrated management services

Cloud computing systems provide a distinct and measurable competitive advantage, and implementing a successful transformation can reap significant long-term benefits for any enterprise.

Related stories:

Show Comments