Acquisition of Slack by Salesforce sent the shockwaves across the tech universe. Slack’s name got added to the list of ‘one innovation wonder’ tech startups who could not compete in the enterprise market. Its loyal users, sophisticated technology and awesome user experience could not help bridging the distribution challenges that the company faced. With Salesforce’s selling machinery and support ecosystem, Slack app will have a better reach to the enterprise clients just like the Microsoft Teams which is supported by Microsoft.
There is no doubt that Slack will expand its user base with Salesforce help. The question is whether the combination of the two through this acquisition will be providing more value to the Salesforce Customers now than what they had provided before the acquisition. The answer is Yes and No. And I am not trying to dodge the question.
The value of Slack
The business value of Slack is to keep all team members on the same page through easy communication. I asked the post-acquisition value question to one of our clients in the Wealth Management space. His answer was quite the same as you might have heard from others. He said that now clients team members can have a seamless communication about a client on and off Salesforce platform. He is right on the value part, except that the value proposition is not new as you could have used Slack in many creative ways with Salesforce even before the acquisition as Slack and Salesforce both are extremely easy integrate with.
So, what will be changing then?
Although the Salesforce and Slack combination will continue to solve the same business problem as before, a closer integration between the two makes solving that team communication problem easier. As the two platforms truly integrate, sharing the data between the two platform users will not require much development effort as it did before if you wanted to go beyond the standard Salesforce Slack app functionality. The setting up of the communication channels will be configuration work instead of development. The future version of both apps will include pre-defined communications triggers that add commonly needed business values. For example, in Microsoft world, when you leave a Team message for someone, you get an Alert in your Outlook. You will see a lot more equivalents of that between Salesforce and Slack integration in future. Like Salesforce has done so well with the other products, the additional value is very likely to come with additional price tag. So, for the techy teams the question will be to build or buy with additional costs.
What type of Salesforce clients benefit more?
Of course, all Salesforce clients who need to communicate across teams outside Salesforce will benefit. However, the clients who have a decent technology team could have built quite extensive communication workflows through custom development. The value increase is particularly more for the clients that do not have technical know-hows on how to build integrated solution between Salesforce and Slack without a pre-built close integration between the two platforms.
With tighter integration between Salesforce and Slack we should expect to see more prepackaged features that improve the team communication. The new pre-built features could be easily configured and very likely will come with the additional costs. It will be good value for the clients with limited technical skills. However, for the clients with good technical skills, this additional recurring cost could be a lot more than what they would have spent in developing their customer communication workflows.