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On the Ground at Slack Frontiers — Day One Takeaways

Community September 13, 2017


On the Ground at Slack Frontiers — Day One Takeaways

Some of our team is spending the week in SF, hearing updates from both messaging platforms and bots themselves. So, we wanted to share all this great info in a two-part story. This is part one of two.

9/12/17- Slack chose a pretty remarkable time for their first conference.

Between Atlassian’s Summit and recent announcement of Stride, another bot conference, and the widely-anticipated Apple launch, this week is quickly becoming another milestone in the short history of enterprise messaging and conversational apps.


Turning Work Upside Down

The theme for this year’s first-ever Slack conference (known as Slack Frontiers) is “the future of productivity” — fitting because many of their topics have direct inroads to the major tenets of knowledge workers, including collaboration, communication, and productivity.

Attendees to the conference, held at Pier 27 along San Francisco’s Embarcadero, were treated to a scene of upside down furniture, purposefully evoking images that were meant to reshape our focus on what it means to be a worker in a world full of distractions and productivity loss. Nice one, Slack!

Going Global w/ Localization Support

How teams work together and stay productive is one of the biggest challenges that a company must content with, no matter what journey they’re on — whether they’re fit in the same room, or are spread across the world.

Slack announced some new stats to show just how global a product they’ve become:

  • Of Slack’s 6 million daily active users, 55% are located outside the U.S.
  • Slack’s 6 million DAUs represent more than 100 countries
  • This summer, Slack reached 50,000 paid teams
  • Slack has 2 million paid users
Credit: Slack

This global reach led to one of the major announcements today- localization support. To help handle international growth, Slack will offer language support for Spanish, German, French, and Japanese. They’re also offering a translated Help Center, local support, and international billing.

Turning the Channel

All of the talk at Slack Frontiers showcased just how much work was being accomplished in Slack.

Credit: Slack

While it is inevitable that messaging and our constant digital connectivity is changing the way everyone communicates, from inside the company to outside of it, Slack believes this will happen outside of email inboxes and inside channels. Whether you want to connect with a colleague from another organization or even a vendor or contractor, the new Shared Channels feature they released represents a way for companies to open up their teams to all of Slack’s communication features and platform integrations.

If you want to try out this feature, your Slack Admin will first need to opt your team into the beta by clicking the Team Menu > Shared channels (beta).

Credit: Slack

Mission, Accomplished

You don’t have to look far to see developers and startups who are building into Slack. Developers find themselves in a unique situation — both as Slack users as well as developers who are building into an increasingly attractive space.

Slack shared that team collaborative applications market grew 13.6% from 2015 to 2016 and is expected to be worth more than $22 billion by 2021, according to IDC, the marketing consulting firm.

Mike Brevoort of Robots & Pencils is one of those who has traveled to San Francisco to attend the Frontiers conference as a way to support his newly-launched Slack integration, Missions.

We think he’s doing some cool things, and had a moment to find out more from him.

Missions is a new messaging-based workflow system for Slack that helps coordinate activities between people.

Mike told us how his team has seen big productivity gains by building custom Slack integrations tailored to how they work. But, doing this still required a decent amount of dev time to build. “We created Missions so that anyone could get the best out of Slack for their team, no coding required,” Mike said.

“We launched with a G Suite integration that allows you to basically use Sheets as a database for your Missions and allows you to schedule Calendar events. We have some users like Nonsuch Brewing who are managing a lot of their business through Mission, everything from managing the brewing process to order and delivery and even expense management. It’s like Trello but the cards move for you and the interaction is all messaging based.” — Mike Brevoort

Missions also integrates with a growing number of Slack integrations like Salesforce, Github, Stripe, Box, and Pipedrive.

While at Slack Frontiers, the team is most excited to meet other Slack users. They’ll have a booth at Frontiers on Wednesday 9/13 if you’re interested in learning more.

And that’s a wrap on the highlights for day one!

We’ll be following the developments at Slack Frontiers again Wednesday, so be sure to follow our Dispatch Publication on Medium for more industry news, and on Twitter for all the big updates.

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