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In the collaboration tech news du jour, Slack, long the darling of collaboration platforms, has inked a new partnership with Oracle. This is interesting and also quite smart, because messaging is where it’s at.
Workers will be able to use Slack as the interface for Oracle’s HR, Sales, and business software and with the help of chatbots and the Slack integration, a lot of mundane tasks will get a whole lot easier. With some 30,000 Oracle employees using Slack, the partnership is a natural one and for the startup, it’s a big nod of credibility and trust as it relates to enterprise adoption of the platform.
The collaboration tech space is big, and going nowhere but up. Slack has made significant inroads since its launch in 2009. It is a beloved company, and an amazing success story. For more on Stewart Butterfield’s impressive company, read: From 0 to 1B: Slack’s Fonder Shares Their Epic Launch Strategy. Slack was awesome, and garnering a lot of mindshare—and then along came Cisco Spark, Microsoft Teams, Facebook’s Workplace, Google Chime (did that, like so many other Google products, prove to be but a flash in the pan?) and others.
Messaging is a competitive business and, with the enterprise collaboration business predicted to hit 49.5 billion by 2021, there’s every reason for companies like Oracle to want to plant a flag there. This partnership, and what’s likely ahead for the two companies in terms of joint enterprise offerings makes total sense.
Collaboration tech is fueled by the wide adoption of mobile devices, diverse and widespread teams, a global business landscape, and tech savvy users who want to see who they’re talking with. These users understand that connectivity and collaboration are the keys to productivity and efficiency—all of which lead to happier, more productive internal stakeholders and, ultimately, happier, more satisfied customers.
Our team has used, tested, experimented with, and gone all in on a number of these platforms, largely at the request of the various brands involved. And you know what? They were fine. Each interface had slightly different pros and cons, a slightly different UX, and a slightly different learning curve. Some remain in our rotation, and others have gone by the wayside, as a different collaboration tech solution ultimately better fit our needs.
One collaboration platform our team adopted early on has never gone out of favor: Slack. That’s because it’s easy to use, works how we want it to work, suits the needs of our 100% virtual team and, equally as important, we just really like it.
That’s how many users feel about it. Slack is cool. Slack was cool before the other collaboration tech platforms existed. It’s grown along with its user base and has morphed into what it is that users need it to be along the way. For many enterprise folks, Slack is familiar, even if not the “official” collaboration platform of the brand. So this news, this partnership of Slack with Oracle, bodes well—for both parties. Oracle has its thumb firmly on the enterprise business, and Slack wants to be known as much as the enterprise solution (alongside the Microsoft and Ciscos of the world), as it is the cool solution for businesses of all sizes.
Just like it’s brilliant that Microsoft and Adobe’s recently announced partnership around Adobe Sign and Microsoft Teams is a no-brainer, this partnership between Slack and Oracle makes equally as much sense.
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Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”