Slack Rallies After Unveiling Connect DMs, Plans for Instagram Stories-Like Videos

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Slack’s  (WORK) – Get Report stock rose 3.5% in Wednesday trading — leaving it back around where it was prior to a post-earnings tumble in September — after the company unveiled a host of new and planned features for its collaboration platform.

On Wednesday morning, as Slack kicked off its Frontiers conference for customers and developers, the company announced that its Connect platform, which currently lets workers from different organizations communicate with each other via shared channels, will support direct messaging between individuals starting in early 2021.

How Slack Connect Is Evolving

Provided that the companies in question have approved such activity, an employee at Company A will only need to click on a link shared by an employee at Company B to request a DM connection. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield notes that (in addition to sharing links via Slack) users could do things such as put links within their Twitter profiles or place QR codes on their business cards that trigger Slack Connect DM requests when scanned by a phone’s camera.

In addition to DMs, Slack plans to bring a service called managed connections — it lets IT admins pre-approve requests to share channels with trusted organizations — to Connect in early 2021. Also planned: A verification service for organizations, with verified orgs getting a Twitter-like checkmark next to their names.

How direct message invite links can be shared within the Slack app. Source: Slack.

How direct message invite links can be shared within the Slack app. Source: Slack.

While discussing the new features with TheStreet, Ilan Frank, Slack’s VP of Product, noted that users from different companies who are messaging via Connect DMs will be able to jointly use Slack integrations for third-party apps such as Google Calendar and Zoom  (ZM) – Get Report, as well as use Slack’s voice and video calling tools (now powered by

Cole Haan and Slack Collaborate on Sneakers in Slack Colors

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Designer and retailer Cole Haan has partnered with Slack  (WORK) – Get Report to create a limited edition range of sneakers in the colors of the business-collaboration platform’s logo.

The footwear collection is designed based on Slack’s color palette — blue, red, lemon, and green — on Cole Haan’s bright white sneakers.

“Cole Haan, with a little help from Slack, is able to completely rewrite the rules for modern-day footwear,” said Julie Liegl, chief marketing officer at Slack, in a statement.

“Collaboration is key to bringing any product to life, and it’s especially rewarding when it’s a product we can physically see.”

The Slack-styled footwear is part of Cole Haan’s Generation Zerogrand brand, known for its modern and casual silhouette. 

The sneakers, priced at $120, are available on Cole Haan’s website and at select international stores starting Wednesday.

The Zerogrand collection is unisex. Cole Haan plans to produce the sneakers in men’s U.S. sizes 4 to 14, comparable to women’s sizes 6 to 16.

“Slack’s innovative capabilities have proven to be a valuable tool and asset for our company,” said David Maddocks, brand president of Cole Haan, which is a Greenland, N.H., portfolio company of the London private-equity firm Apax Partners.

“We are both fortunate to be avid Slack users as well as a Slack friend and partner,” Maddocks added.

Last month Slack hired Nadia Rawlinson, Live Nation’s chief of human resources, to lead HR at the business-communications platform.

For the quarter ended July 31 Slack reported a net loss of 13 cents a share against a loss of 98 cents in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose 49% to $215.9 million from $145 million.

The messaging tool has seen use of its messaging and other functions surge during the pandemic.

Shares of Slack at last check were up

Slack tests video sharing and audio-only channels to connect remote workers

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Slack is working on a set of experimental features, like the ability to share short videos and make audio-only channels team members can drop into for casual conversations. Asynchronous video updates may appear at the top of channels and resemble the short videos or Stories made popular by Snapchat and copied by Facebook apps. LinkedIn introduced short videos like Stories for its workplace social network in the U.S. last month.

“Everybody has to work together. There’s a lot of information you have to get over the wire really quickly, and sometimes writing all of that out can take a lot more time than just taking a quick video, putting it in a channel. And then your colleagues can just watch those videos maybe with their morning coffee or doing the dishes or some other time when they don’t have the exact intensity of attention that you would need for reading a large text update,” Slack director of product Jaime DeLanghe told VentureBeat in a phone interview.

She said the new features are designed to help team members who are working remotely combat loneliness and isolation. DeLanghe added that long text messages don’t meet the current need to build community in the workplace. The experimental features being tested will be introduced today at the annual Slack Frontiers developer conference.

Today’s announcements follow a series of Slack outages Monday.

Slack launched Workflow Builder last year to give users quick ways to customize apps, so you can for example add a line to a Google Sheet document if a specific action is initiated. DeLanghe said 25 million workflow builder tasks have been created since launch last year, primarily by nontechnical workers. Updates out today give teams and businesses more ways to automate workflows and integrate apps like Google Sheets, Jira, and PagerDuty.

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Cole Haan teams up with Slack on limited-edition shoe collection

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  • Cole Haan partnered with Slack to create a limited-edition sneaker collection inspired by the popular business communication platform. 
  • The shoes — which retail for $120 and will officially be available on October 7 — come in Slack’s four signature colors and prominently display the tech company’s logo. 
  • According to Cole Haan, the sneakers were inspired by “the pandemic-related rise of remote working” that has led many businesses to lean heavily on programs like Slack. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In a sneaker collaboration fit for these uncertain times, Cole Haan is pairing with Slack to launch a new limited-edition shoe collection. 

The “Generation Zerøgrand” shoe — which retails for $120 and will officially be available online and in select Cole Haan stores beginning October 7 — includes four styles that prominently display the Slack logo. The collection was created in partnership with Slack and designed entirely through communication conducted on its popular business messaging platform, Cole Haan said in a press release. 

The apparel brand first teased the Slack sneakers on its official Twitter page, telling its followers to “keep your notifications on” for the official launch. According to Cole Haan, the sneakers were inspired by “the pandemic-related rise of remote working” that has caused many businesses to lean heavily on programs like Zoom and Slack to facilitate virtual communication and manage workflows without being together in the office. 

 

“The partnership felt like a natural fit for the two innovation brands, particularly given that each stage of Cole Haan’s product development — including the creation of this particular collaboration — happens on Slack,” Cole Haan said.

Cole Haan first debuted its Zerøgrand shoe in June 2019 followed by a performance version in June 2020, a sneaker the company said was “engineered to

Top U.S. Retailer H-E-B Rolled out Slack to 100k Employees in 72 Hours; Provides a Place for Employees to Connect Across Its 400 Stores

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Slack Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: WORK) today announced that H-E-B, one of the largest privately owned retailers in the U.S., provisioned more than 100,000 Partners (employees), from manufacturing plants and warehouses to stores and order selectors, with Slack.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201006005465/en/

H-E-B is connecting its dispersed workforce across 400 stores via Slack. One of the company’s largest channels, #heb-tribute, has approximately 119,000 members actively posting everything from kudos on a retirement and thank-yous to truck drivers to beautiful store merchandising images and community service events. Note: The H-E-B employee names represented in the photos have been anonymized for privacy reasons. (Graphic: Business Wire)

“Slack helps us solve an issue that many retailers face: how to securely reach and connect to dispersed employees who don’t have access to traditional workplace communication tools,” said Gavin Gallagher, CIO of H-E-B. “With Slack, we can quickly communicate with Partners across our 400 stores, plus provide a place where Partners can meaningfully connect with each other regardless of their physical location.”

How H-E-B rolled out Slack in 72 hours

For H-E-B, people always come first, so with the Slack rollout, the company wanted to ensure that there were no interruptions to the normal course of business. Working around the clock over a weekend, Slack and H-E-B pre-provisioned more than 100,000 employees in over 116 locations on Slack so that when Partners opened their mobile application on that first day, they would have a custom experience—each person was pre-populated into channels relevant to them, such as their specific store channel, a help channel, a people channel and an announcement channel.

On day one, when Partners opened Slack, they were welcomed with a message from H-E-B leadership introducing them to their tailored Slack workspace. This was where they would receive