New Slack, Salesforce Integrations Announced At Dreamforce 2021

The announcements at Dreamforce 2021 come as many Salesforce partners continue to figure out how Slack fits into their offerings and adds value for customers.

New video message capabilities in Slack, a more advanced version of government-certified Slack and Slack integrations across a wide swath of the Salesforce’s cloud products — from Commerce Cloud to Experience Cloud — are among the major announcements this week from Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference.

With plenty of uncertainty remaining over COVID-19 and its delta variant, Salesforce opted to hold the conference this year both in person in San Francisco and online for those who couldn’t attend, using a recently unveiled Salesforce+ streaming service.

The announcements come as many Salesforce partners continue to figure out how Slack fits into their offerings and adds value for customers. David Becker, senior alliances manager at Chicago-based Salesforce partner Avionos, told CRN in an interview that he wants to see more integrations from Salesforce bringing the different cloud tools together and communicating how to deploy them most effectively at the product and organizational level.

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He sees Slack as a potential internal and external communication tool that also aids with information sharing, something to compete against other collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams.

“‘How can we stay connected, not only internally, but with our clients and prospects as well — so leveraging Slack, is that going to be a communication tool going forward where they can say, ‘Hey, we‘re working on this opportunity with you, we’re getting insights from Einstein and Tableau and all this kind of stuff’”? Becker said. “But then also getting that data out to the sales reps to get ahead of any challenges that they’re able to see that could prevent them from getting that sale.”

During Salesforce’s most recent quarterly earnings in August, CEO Marc Benioff said the company is “the fastest-growing enterprise software company ever” with success from organic growth plus the recently closed acquisition of collaboration application Slack for about $28 billion.

Amy Kodl, Salesforce’s senior vice president of partner alliance management, told CRN in an interview that Salesforce continues to add new features and functionality to its product suite. She encourages partners to continue to explore how the vendor’s newest offerings and growing portfolio of subsidiaries, from MuleSoft to Tableau, add new value to partners’ offerings.

“The opportunity is in that Slack-first Customer 360 platform, the full wheel — there is untapped opportunity across all of our clouds,” Kodl said. “There‘s a huge opportunity for our existing partners to double down in building capacity and capability in the newer clouds,”

Here’s what you need to know.

Slack Clips Made Available For Video Messages

Slack has made generally available its Slack Clips tool to create and share audio, video and screen recordings within any Slack channel or direct message. Users — internal and external — can record and share clips to a channel for colleagues to watch at a later time. Viewers can speed up or slow down the message, use live captions and open a transcript to find particular parts of the message.

Users can respond to Slack Clips in a different medium, such as responding to a video message with audio or text, according to the company.

Over the summer, Slack introduced Huddles for audio drop-ins for members of a channel to take part in, recreating the experience of dropping by someone’s desk to chat.

Slack has received criticism in the past for its lack of video capabilities, including a dig from Microsoft last year over the absence of video conferencing.

Slack Connect Sponsored Connections Coming

A sponsored connections feature for Slack Connect, the tool that allows for external communications through Slack, will allow users to communicate with people outside the company without asking them to pay for their own Slack plan, according to the company. The feature will roll out to enterprise grid customers “later this fall.”

Slack Connect has grown more than 200 percent year over year, according to a Slack statement. More than 91,000 organizations work with partners in Slack.

On Salesforce’s latest quarterly earnings call in August, Chief Operating Officer Bret Taylor told listeners to look forward to more deals involving multiple Salesforce clouds that include Slack plus integrations with Slack and Salesforce’s product suite, which includes data analytics tool Tableau and integration tool MuleSoft.

“Slack comes up in every single one of my customer conversations, and I could not be more thrilled with the momentum in the business,” Taylor said.

GovSlack Releases Next Year

Slack plans to launch a version of Slack that runs in a government-certified cloud environment with FedRAMP High, DoD IL4 and other security and operational requirements of the federal government, according to a statement. The version will launch in 2022.

Called “GovSlack,” this version is meant to serve a broader section of the public-sector market than Slack Enterprise Grid, according to Slack.

The new version comes as Salesforce increases its presence in the public sector market. Salesforce’s “largest ever deal, based on new annual recurring revenue” in the U.S. was with a client in the public sector, Salesforce Chief Revenue Officer Gavin Patterson told listeners on the company’s August quarterly earnings call.

In March, Salesforce announced new abilities to store and process federal taxpayer information in its Government Cloud Plus offering.

Slack Integrations Across Salesforce Products

Salesforce will launch Slack integrations across the majority of its products and industry clouds throughout the year and into 2022, the companies announced.

Among the integrations is the ability to embed Quip documents into Slack and the ability for Corporate and Investment Banking cloud tool users to collaborate and share account details in a Slack channel. Commerce Cloud users gain the capability to alert colleagues to order issues and business trends, and Experience Cloud users can utilize alerts for when content is published that can go to internal and external users.

In August, Salesforce announced new integrations with Slack under the platform name of “Slack-First Customer 360,” according to a company statement. Among the integrations were digital deal roms allowing sales representatives to update Salesforce records and meeting information from Slack; automated daily briefings in Slack; the ability to create Slack channels for service teams to collaborate on complex cases; direct sharing into Slack of insights from Marketing Cloud and Datorama and Slack notifications connected to Tableau data that need actions.