Collaboration platform Slack has unveiled a new feature set designed to drastically reduce businesses’ reliance on email, which the firm sees as a barrier to both productivity and sound cybersecurity.
With the launch of Slack Connect, channels can now be shared between as many as 20 distinct businesses, where previously only two companies could share a space.
The new feature improves the ability to communicate with clients, suppliers and vendors alike – and to do so simultaneously if the situation demands.
The company imagines that Slack Connect will become the new location where contracts are signed, invoiced delivered, purchase orders accepted, service tickets entered and more – driving email towards the periphery of business communication.
Slack Connect is available with all paid plans and existing customers will be able to make use of the new features effective immediately.
The guiding principles behind the introduction of Slack Connect are the need to improve cross-business collaboration and do so in a secure fashion.
According to Larkin Ryder, Chief Security Officer at Slack, shifting away from email as the primary means of business communication will go a long way to achieving both of these goals.
“Email is an open front door to security threats to an organization – $12 billion in losses are caused by business email scams, and 90% of data breaches are from phishing,” she said.
“If you want a more secure collaboration solution for your organization, the first thing you can do is take your employees out of email.”
Slack Connect users will enjoy all of the same cybersecurity facilities historically on offer with Slack, including independent control over security and compliance measures, such as message retention policies, data loss prevention and eDiscovery.
The comparatively closed nature of Slack channels means that the risk of phishing is also much reduced, with employees only able to receive communications and files from verified channel members.
Slack has also partnered with AWS to provide businesses with closer control over the data each user has access to via its Enterprise Key Management service, although this facility will not arrive for Slack Connect until later this summer.
“The introduction of Slack Connect marks a major leap forward in our mission to transform business communication and make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive,” said Stewart Butterfield, Slack CEO.
“When you pull communication out of the inbox and put it into channels, you make it much easier for people to get their work done. That creates a foundation for communication. With Slack Connect, we’re bringing those same advantages to the work that happens across organizations,” he added.
While email has been declared dead many times before, Slack believes it might just have applied the final nail in the coffin.