Can Slack transform enterprise communication once and for all?
I think the business world is ready for chat as the users know it from their private life. They use Whatsapp, Skype (many also use their private Skype for internal chat with colleagues), Viber etc. Communication is so much easier if done via instant messaging. Files can be sent so much quicker via instant messaging. If the files are assigned to certain projects then they stay in these project folders/spaces and can be searched and easily found again. This works better than with email where files get replicated and are not findable after some time anymore. There are more and more business chats coming to the market (Lync, Lua and more) and also Facebook wants to start a serious engagement with businesses (more for enterprise to consumer) but we see that the market is ready. Email is slowly dying for the young generation. They are moving into the business world. Chat is the new means of communication. Thus, I think, Slack is lucky to have been one of the first and they come with a good and simple concept. So, yes, I think, Slack (and similar tools) can transform enterprise communication. It will take time but it will happen.
Those of us who have been around the block a few times have seen multiple attempts to kill email and change the way people communicate in the enterprise. Slack is just the latest, but one that has captured marketshare and money along the way.
Consider that just today, Slack got $200 million in funding on a whopping $3.8 billion valuation. It launched just three years ago and has raised almost $540 million. That’s an astonishing amount of money at a time when VCs are supposedly tightening their belts and making startups prove their value. To Slack’s credit it has built a popular platform, boasting 2.7 million users to-date.
I’ve been covering the enterprise since the turn of the century and I can tell you I first saw a similar concept pop up in the early 2000s when the darling of the enterprise was the instant messaging client. Before you spit out your coffee all over that expensive laptop, consider that IM was the Slack of its day. It provided an easy way to…
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