Slack Expands its Enterprise Business With 'Grid'

By Tom Brant Features PCmag

Slack, a popular email killer at companies both large and small, is rolling out a streamlined interface for its largest clients, like PayPal, Capital One, and IBM.

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Called Grid, the new interface aims to make it easier for multiple teams across different departments of large corporations to use Slack by streamlining administrative tools and offering new shared channels.

At the heart of the Grid are new unlimited workspaces, which won't seem much different to the average Slack user, but come with better controls, allowing administrators to give each user access to the teams they need, and restrict their access to those that aren't relevant.

If employees need to work on a project with a different department, administrators can create new shared channels, which serve as a bridge between two or more separate Slack workspaces. Likewise, a user can search for coworkers, workspaces, or information across the entire company by taking advantage of a new single layer that sits on top of all the different workspaces. That layer includes search, one-to-one and group direct messaging, and discoverable workspaces.

Although large companies have quickly adopted Slack, they often already have their own in-house collaboration tools, so Slack is also making Grid compatible with the more than 900 third-party integrations in its app directory. Perhaps most notable is SAP, whose Hana Cloud Platform, SuccessFactors, and Concur enterprise chatbot platforms can now be integrated with Slack.

Ultimately, Grid is designed to harness Slack's roots as an email alternative, according to Product Vice President April Underwood. People are used to using Slack with their direct co-workers, but fall back to email to communicate with people they don't interact with as often.

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"We wanted to give Slack the flexibility to work as teams, but they were still falling back to email when they worked with each other," she said at an unveiling event, according to TechCrunch. If Grid can change that behavior at large organizations, it will be one more nail in the coffin for email at work.

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.