Slack’s Acquisition Spotlights HR Role of Communications Apps

Salesforce + Slack

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Slack, perhaps the most visible of organization-wide communications platforms, will be acquired by Salesforce for approximately $27.7 billion. The company positioned the merger as creating an “operating system for the new way to work.”

The news is sure to heat up discussions about how work technology and HR solutions intersect, interact and overlap. Especially since the Covid-19 pandemic began early this year, providers of everything from collaboration platforms to timeclocks have highlighted their impact on the employee experience. Seamless communication between employees, as well as employees and HR, is often seen as an important component of efforts to build an effective culture.

.@Salesforce's acquisition of Slack is sure to heat up discussions about how work technology and HR solutions intersect, interact and overlap. @SlackHQ #HR #HRTech Click To Tweet

Slack has several integrations in place that allow access to HR technology systems, such as UKG and Workday, through its interface. The company has also worked with Amazon’s AWS to strengthen its videoconferencing capabilities.

Because it does a neat job of enabling both internal and external communications, Slack’s often described as an important contributor to, or at least supporter of, culture and experience during a time when many employees must work across town from one another, instead of across the room.

Slack Intergrations

Slack also gets high marks for its ability to integrate with other enterprise applications. In a statement, CEO Stewart Butterfield said his company and Salesforce “share a vision of reduced complexity, increased power and flexibility, and ultimately a greater degree of alignment and organizational agility.” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said the combined companies “will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, the combination reflects a belief that many of the pandemic-sparked changes to work will continue even after Covid-19 is brought under control. “We really see the world as fundamentally having shifted,” it quoted Salesforce COO Bret Taylor as saying. “Slack is really the system of engagement for every employee, every partner and for every customer interaction.”

When the transaction closes, Slack will become an operating unit of Salesforce, led by Butterfield. The company said the combination will form the world’s largest open ecosystem for business apps. Benioff has made no secret of his goal of extending Salesforce’s reach into almost every area of business operations. He calls Slack “the interface to everything.”

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Image: Salesforce