Slack Makes Big Enterprise Push

Cloud collaboration provider Slack on Tuesday introduced a new version of its popular team communications service, with tools tailored for the big enterprise.

Slack Enterprise Grid looks the same to end-users as the company's regular cloud service, but it provides added centralized management features. It provides controls for data security, with a single point of control for administrators, and integrates with other enterprise collaboration applications, according to a post announcing the service on the Slack company blog.

Users can set up unlimited workspaces for departments, teams, locations and groups. "For individual users, these workspaces offer much of the same day-to-day Slack experience that millions have come to know and love, including conversation channels, threaded messaging, voice and video calling, and support for platform integrations," the company says. Administrators can control permissions and configure integrations on a per-workspace basis. Teams can collaborate between workspaces when needed.

And the new service provides integration with tools for e-discovery, data loss prevention and offsite backup, along with US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINFRA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) certifications, Slack says.

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The service integrates with products from companies including Salesforce, IBM, Box, Adobe, Google G Suite and SAP.

Slack has a cult following among workers who see it as a replacement for email and clumsy enterprise instant-messaging systems. It's taken off among tech organizations in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, and then spread into the enterprise. Until now, it's been designed to be installed and managed by non-technical users; Enterprise Grid is a bid to woo IT managers and get them on board.

Slack faces competition from Microsoft, which launched a Slack-killer collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams, in November, as part of its Office 365 suite. (See Microsoft Attacks Slack, Slack Whacks Back .)

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— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud

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