Last year I went into a local Irish software company, a major mover in Dublin’s very active technology scene. They make software for everyday people not big enterprises, and they have a very consumer friendly culture. I went to reception, announced myself, and said the name of the person I was there to meet. “One second, I’ll just DM them”.
In my head a light bulb went off. They are using Slack as their internal communications system right across the business. It had escaped from the tech team, into the marketing teams, and into all aspects of customer service. They didn’t have any complicated enterprise phone system. Slack was the organisations operating system. It was the thing that all the other systems would have to send updates to, get notifications from, and hang from. Slack just went public at $20bn and more.
So, what kinds of things will connect to this organisational Slack? Well, lots it would seem. In 2018/ 2019 we are seeing the launch and proliferation of enterprise application stores. You might be using a CRM system and need to add a data service, maybe it offers to clean your CRM Data or make your sales more predictable. Perhaps you click to add a “turnkey appointments service”. Everywhere you look you can now connect “some service to some other service” of yours through a vendor pre-integration. Frankly, I think it’s amazing.
In this increasingly competitive environment, the demand for instant and accurate customer service is going to be prerequisite capability. Can you imagine phoning a company up and having them ask you “who are you, and why are you calling us”? it will be preposterous. You will click on a chatbot or intelligent assistant and it will tell you everything you need to know about your relationship with that entity right there. What did you buy last? How much money is outstanding on your account? What is your delivery time? The software will be capable of getting this data, what it isn’t capable of is threading all this data together into meaningful, contextually sensitive conversations.
In this world of infinitely connectable application and application stores, you will need a way to have connected conversations. If you look around you, and pay attention, the clues are all around us. One of those clues is Slack.