Top takeaways from the Slack keynote and actions you can take

Dreamforce 21: Welcome to Your Digital HQ


By Brett Stineman, Principal Slalom


#1: Slack’s vision is to transform organizational agility 


Organizations that view or use Slack as only a messaging app are missing out. It has the power to make companies more agile by removing barriers to collaboration and making communications more transparent with a variety of features: 

  • Topic-focused group communications via channels create a new and effective way to align people across functions and improve information sharing. 
  • With over 2,400 apps available, Slack is highly customizable for integrating with other enterprise applications and centralizing work in one place. 
  • Workflow Builder lets anyone create task and messaging automations that save time and streamline processes. 
  • Slack’s development platform allows technical users to address an organization’s sophisticated processes and information flows. 


Actions you can take: 

Slack has the ability to integrate with multiple systems of record. Both existing and potential Slack customers should examine the number of applications required for their critical business processes. Then they should use this analysis to explore how Slack apps and workflows could help centralize interactions and reduce the need for switching between applications to get work done. 

If you’re an existing Slack customer, you should also assess the maturity of how you leverage channels within your workspace(s). What percentage of messages are happening in channels versus direct messaging? What business functions could be improved by leveraging channel-based communication instead of ad hoc interactions across various communication channels? 



#2: Slack improves communications both internally and externally 


Most organizations leverage Slack as an internal tool, but it can also dramatically improve communication and collaboration with external stakeholders like customers, partners, and suppliers. This is possible because of Slack Connect, which allows for shared Slack channels between organizations. In fact, up to 20 different organizations can communicate and share information on a single Slack Connect channel.  


Actions you can take: 


Slack announced at Dreamforce 21 that organizations with Slack Enterprise Grid can leverage Slack Connect whether or not the organization they’re collaborating with has a paid Slack workspace. If you work with external stakeholders who do not have paid Slack workspaces, consider Slack’s Enterprise Grid offering so you can leverage Slack Connect to improve collaboration, decrease time-to-value, and optimize workflows. 


#3: Slack upgrades remote work experiences 


With a dramatic shift toward distributed, hybrid, and remote workforces, investing in digital collaboration tools has never been a higher priority. The ability to share information and maintain team synergy regardless of physical location can create a significant competitive advantage. Reducing friction in workflows across an organization drives the efficiency that’s necessary for smart, scalable growth.  


Actions you can take: 


If you’re looking for opportunities to improve collaboration for your remote or hybrid workers, encourage your people to take advantage of these two new Slack capabilities: 

  • With Huddles you can instantly create a 1:1 or group audio chat to collaborate on issues or discussions that are more effectively handled through conversation versus writing.  
  • With Clips you can insert audio or video recordings into channels or direct messages to provide more detail and context than is possible with text and images. This capability is especially useful when your teams aren’t able to meet, allowing them to stay connected on their own schedule. 


#4: Embrace a Digital HQ strategy 


If you’re actively developing a future of work strategy for your organization, try thinking in terms of a digital headquarters. One of Salesforce’s most memorable speakers this year was President and COO Bret Taylor, who said that our mindset about work is shifting from a place that we go to something that we do. Every company needs a digital HQ to connect its employees, customers, and partners and thrive in a work-from-anywhere world. He argued that a digital HQ is critical to “work better and grow faster.” 


Actions you can take: 

If you’re already using Salesforce products for customer relationship management in your sales, service, marketing, and community business functions, Slack could become your universal system of engagement. 


Salesforce announced more than 20 current and future integrations that will move information seamlessly between Slack and various Salesforce Clouds to address common use cases and business processes. Salesforce partners like Slalom can assist you by enhancing and customizing the interoperability between Salesforce and Slack so they can fit your organization’s unique needs. 


A tool for the future of work 


Slack is designed to streamline communications and remove obstacles to collaboration. With more distributed workers than ever, and highly interconnected customer and partner touchpoints, it gives leaders an opportunity to make working together simpler, more pleasant, and more productive for their employees. As Stewart Butterfield, CEO and founder of Slack said at the keynote, organizations “have the opportunity, today, to reimagine how work gets done.”  



Explore our other takeaways from Dreamforce 2021 here


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Slalom is here to help.  If you have additional questions or want to brainstorm ways Slack can help your business, feel free to reach out.