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8 things to expect in collaboration as we near the Slack IPO date

Blog Industry News May 13, 2019
Slack IPO date
Dominic Kent


8 things to expect in collaboration as we near the Slack IPO date

Slack IPO date

The Slack IPO date is now confirmed as 20th June 2019. With other collaboration vendors like Zoom going public, businesses and users are wondering what is next for the collaboration pioneers?

We’ve got together at Mio to suggest what is potentially coming before the
IPO date, rounded up the features introduced this year, and suggested what can be expected once somebody invests in the collaboration leader.

We’ve also just released our Workplace Messaging Report for 2019. Find out what the future holds for Slack here.

What could happen before the Slack IPO?

1 – Enterprise Key Management

Previewed at Frontiers in 2018, EKM became generally available on 18th March 2019. It’s been hotly anticipated by IT admins in enterprises with a major focus on security. Rivals Cisco and Microsoft have often been portrayed as having the one up against Slack when it comes to security. This move certainly serves it up against the big boys ready for their public listing.

EKM augments existing security features by giving customers control over the encryption keys used to encrypt files and messages within their workspace.

2 – New features to improve performance and functionality

2019 has already seen Slack introduce some security features and additional functionality:

  • Dark mode for mobile
  • Mobile security updates for Enterprise Grid
  • Introduction of Block Kit
  • Tips launched for new users
  • Faster import speeds
  • Channel search

No doubt we will see one or two more minor additions as we approach the Slack IPO.

Announced at Slack Frontiers on 04/24/2019, Slack has introduced further functionality:

  • Shared Channels beta in Enterprise Grid
  • Workflow Builder for non-techies
  • Email + Calendars + Slack
  • Expanded search
Slack dark mode has already dropped ahead of the Slack IPO date
Slack dark mode

3 – LOTS of media buzz around the Slack IPO

Slack is hot property. SaaS and online platform are incredibly hot in the IPO and investment world right now. According to Forbes, Slack is seeking a $10 billion valuation for its IPO.

For example, Uber is set to launch its IPO in April and may be valued as high as $120bn. Uber’s main rival, Lyft, has revealed that it is yet to make a profit ahead of an IPO which could value the firm at between $20bn and $25bn.

So, why is Slack such hot property? Some stats from Expanded Ramblings help paint a good picture:

  • 43% of the Fortune 100 opts for paid licenses
  • 200,000 developers use Slack APIs each day
  • Users average 10 hours connected to Slack per day
  • Slack racks up 65 million hours of usage each week
  • S150 Enterprise Grid customers – that’s a lot of untapped potential
The Slack IPO date is nearing

What could happen after the Slack IPO?

4 – Video

You can already make point to point video calls via Slack. However, it is by no means a video meeting solution. Competing collaboration platforms have invested heavily in crystal clear multi-party video conferencing and currently hold the upper hand in this category.

Should Slack be picked up by someone with a track record in video innovation, this could be on their agenda.

Slack and Zoom have already teamed up for calling capabilities, so video would be the next logical step.

Slack video calling
Slack video calling

5 – Feature parity

Mio Director of Product Marketing, Meredith Schulz, suggested Slack could achieve feature parity with main rivals Cisco Webex Teams and Microsoft Teams post IPO.

“Given Slack’s bots and integration strength, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they used this to boost their whiteboard and video collaboration areas.

By introducing even more integrations, Slack could transform into a total collaboration platform.”

Slack app directory
Slack app directory

Since posting, Slack has announced integrations for Microsoft Office 365. Users can now start a Skype for Business call from Slack, sync their calendars with Outlook and preview entire files from PowerPoint, Word and Excel.

6 – Enhanced security

Mio CTO, James Cundle, suggested the IPO is going to increase Slack’s public accountability.

“Security is going to come under increasing scrutiny, and the latest product launch of EKM allows enterprises to take complete ownership of their own key management systems on third party platforms. We should see more security focussed controls being handed over to enterprises as the platform continues to mature.”

More security features expected post Slack IPO date
More security features expected post Slack direct listing

7- Multi-vendor environments

Mio Director of Customer Success, Frank Geck, says that Slack will enable more multi-vendor environments in the future.

“There seems to be two types of company… early adopters and late adopters. Late adopters are just getting to grips with instant messaging and apps like Cisco Jabber. Early Adopters have 2-4 platforms. These usually include Microsoft Teams, Slack and Cisco Webex Teams.

My prediction is that Slack will raise awareness and accelerate the adoption of all three platforms to the late adopters.”

Jacob Ross, VP of Product, echoed Frank’s sentiment.

“We have talked to countless companies over the last six months specifically about their collaboration environment and one thing is clear. Slack is here to stay even with the arrival of Microsoft Teams and Webex Teams.

It’s not a ‘winner takes all’ type of game. These companies want two or sometimes even all three.”

Multi-vendor environments often include Slack and Cisco Webex Teams
Multi-vendor environments often include Slack and Cisco Webex Teams

Recognizing the future is multi-vendor, Mio CEO, Tom Hadfield, recently commented in an interview with Rich Tehrani for TMCnet:

“The days of one single collaboration vendor are over. Now with modern APIs, you can fully federate all collaboration systems into one unified system.”

8 – Enterprise adoption and trust

Dispatch Writer, Rebekah Carter, suggested that Slack could lose its tag as a freemium alternative to Microsoft and Cisco following the Slack IPO.

“Slack has been growing consistently year-on-year by tens of millions in revenue. But, Microsoft and Cisco have the heritage of Microsoft Office and Cisco endpoints. People feel comfortable with them because they already have the Microsoft and Cisco names in their business.

However, Slack has its own heritage as the first company to pioneer the new wave of collaboration tools. “

Slack will continue grow enterprise adoption
Slack will continue grow enterprise adoption

Keep up with the Slack news as we near the Slack IPO

Slack regularly publish their updates and changes in their help centre. Keep this bookmarked and follow their Twitter account for the latest happenings at Slack HQ.

Slack also gives read access to their roadmap on Trello. Next up in the “near term” category is:

  • Custom install apps
  • Token rotation
  • New display types
  • New interactive elements
  • Workflow builder, phase 1

Of course, we are always on the lookout for anything new at Slack too. Make sure you’re following us on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date.

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