Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield told FOX Business Network's "The Claman Countdown" on Thursday that he has no interest in competing with Microsoft Teams.
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"We don’t view them as competitive," Butterfield said. "We just don’t offer that, and while I think it’s a really interesting feature, the announcement we made yesterday is an entirely different direction”
Slack on Wednesday announced it had acquired Rimeto, a company directory startup.
"Rimeto bills itself as the enterprise directory reimagined and part of that is having much more comprehensive profiles available for your colleagues," Butterfield said. "That might be their professional background or their areas of expertise which are obviously useful, but also a lot more information about the teams that they belong to and the groups that they work with, which is something that’s really missing."
While Butterfield acknowledged there's an incentive for Microsoft to create confusion by giving customers the impression that Slack and Microsoft Teams are the same product, he said the two platforms are "fundamentally different" and most of the company's customers use both alongside each other.
"It’s not better or worse," Butterfield said. "We use video calling all the time, but we don’t feel the need to build that into Slack because people make their choices in all different categories and, to the extent that you create this interoperability between different software products, I think that’s really important."
Butterfield noted "the lack of feeling connected leads to a lack of trust" and that the biggest concern he's found from other CEOs is the impact that lack of connection is having on businesses as the coronavirus pandemic has shifted employees to a remote work environment.
He believes Rimeto will be "invaluable for finding good contacts" and "for understanding the customer’s needs more."
As of October 2019, Slack said it had exceeded 12 million daily active users.
Slack has continued to see growth in its customer base around the world during the pandemic, gaining 12,000 net new paid customers in the first quarter, more than twice as many as previous quarters, according to Butterfield.
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The company reported that over 750,000 organizations are on either a free or paid subscription plan, compared to over 660,000 organizations at the end of last quarter.