Slack and Google are now officially working together to connect Slack’s popular corporate messaging product more closely with Google Drive cloud storage services, with more product tie-ins to come, executives from both companies said.
There was already some linkage between the two products but it was handled informally. Now, for the first time, development, engineering, and sales teams from both companies are collaborating to solve problems of shared customers, said Brad Armstrong, head of business development for San Francisco-based Slack.
The new collaboration means that joint Slack and Google (GOOGL) Drive customers can automatically receive updates from Google Drive bots within their Slack message streams. Essentially, it will bring changes to the attention of corporate teams more quickly.
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“You’ll get notifications of status changes and changes to documents in Google Drive and approve them from Slack itself. And the upcoming Google Team Drive product will let users sync their Team Drive with their Slack channels,” Armstrong said. Google Team Drive is a shared workspace for files.
So far Google and Slack’s joint development work has revolved around Google Drive and an earlier Slack integration with the Google Hangouts group video and chat application. But Armstrong and Nan Boden, head of global alliances for Google, said there will be more joint work to come.
For more on Microsoft Teams watch:
The subtext here is that both Slack and Google share a big rival in Microsoft (MSFT). The Google G Suite contends with Microsoft Office. Google Drive competes with Microsoft OneDrive. And Slack’s flagship service is squaring off against Microsoft Teams, the company’s long-rumored “Slack Killer” that was finally announced last month.
The IBM deal means that the next iteration of the Slack chatbot—which prompts users about potential actions and provides other information—will get smarter by incorporating Watson Conversation technology. The latter deal will enable users of Salesforce software applications to create Slack conversation channels associated with specific items. It will also tie Slack into Salesforce IQ and Quip; the latter service, ironically, competes with both Google Docs and Microsoft Office.
Slack, which now claims four million daily active users, has spread like wildfire in corporate accounts where it acts as a Twitter-like news feed shared by workgroups. Its success, in Microsoft Office shops and beyond, clearly caught Microsoft’s attention. Google’s G Suite, formerly known as Google Apps for Work, also competes heavily with Microsoft Office as Google Drive does with Microsoft OneDrive.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend, I guess, or at least my new contractual code collaborator.