Slack takes aim at the corporate sector with Enterprise Grid, adds bots from SAP

Slack, the business app that lets teams of users communicate, share files from other services, and work on them with each other, has taken off like wildfire since launching three years ago, with 5 million daily users, 1.5 million of them paying today. Now, Slack is embarking on the next step in its ambition to be the go-to platform for all workplace collaboration, no matter how big the company may be.

(Or up to 500,000 employees, to be more specific.)

Today, the eponymous company behind the app is today launching Enterprise Grid — a new product aimed at corporates and other very large enterprises.

Enterprise Grid has been in the works for over a year, and it is potentially Slack’s most ambitious move yet. It will include not just an enterprise-grade version of Slack, with an unlimited number of workspaces, but some new features that will take Slack, for the first time, into a whole new area in terms of where it sits in a business.

A new set of search, business intelligence and analytics tools — which are not launching today but plan to be rolled out later in the year — will give users the ability to look for files across the whole of their system, and and also suggest content and contacts to users, positioning Slack as a platform to interact across the whole knowledge base of your company.

The new version goes live today, and to kick it off, Slack is announcing some initial customers: financial services giant Capital One, Paypal and IBM.

IBM is a particularly interesting name to see here, given that it sells its own collaboration product for large enterprises, IBM Connections, and it is also working on what appears to be its own AI business intelligence product, Watson Workspace. Other would be competitors include Workplace from Facebook, Microsoft’s Teams, Jive and Spark from Cisco.

Enterprise Grid, as you would expect, comes with a range of features that are essentially table stakes in the enterprise software market.

IT administrators are now be able to manage and provision multiple large teams; and, in addition to the encryption that Slack already offers, add in new layers of security and identity management (integrating with Okta, OneLogin, Ping Identity/Federate, MSFT Azure, Bitium, LastPass, Centrify, Clearlogin and Auth0); set new security and compliance controls; and new HIPAA & FINRA compliance and data loss prevention integration (working withPaloAlto Networks, Bloomberg Vault, Skyhigh, Netskope, Relativity by KCura and Smarsh, among others). More

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