Slack - From Being Less Busy to Being More


Today’s brew is for Slack
Brew Date: 4th June 2015
Type: Served Hot – Redefine and Transform brew.

To understand the business model of Slack, check out the following links:

The Brew will analyze Slack on the following points:
a) Business Analysis
b) Improvisation to Business Strategy (Not required, the frameworks are all laid in the Business Analysis part)

a) Business Analysis:

Slack, is basically a tool for office collaboration and communication, it's meant to reduce or eliminate workplace email, and to compete with services like Yammer and Campfire.

Though Slack is offered as a new edge solution, which helps faster communication and collaboration across enterprises (its positioned across businesses & enterprises for productivity solutions), from its current functionality, its more suited for Inter – Team and Intra – Team collaboration ((cos of absence of org directory), along with startups, leaner teams, and flatter organizations added with a tinge of informal, and fluidic culture, which as well seems to be the philosophy of Slack, of being less structured (and not structure less).

A suitable analogy in terms of enterprise collaboration and efficiency enhancement space is Yammer being the Facebook, whereas Slack being the Twitter. Not only do both have different philosophies, but they cater and emote different behaviors and responses from the users.

The reason to have Slack listed at The Brew is the belief that with some pivoting and change in ideology, Slack can be one of the most revolutionary consumer solutions post the Explosion in ‘Stay Connected’ era, and moving from its existing evolutionary product idea to work better.

1)   Competence and Strategic Advantage:

The Value Propositions of Slack are basically: Collaboration, Communication, Search, and Platform model.

In its existing state of offering, Slack focuses more on the Collaboration and Communication side to position it as a productivity enhancement tool. By doing so, it ends up competing with similar solutions who have as well have positioned themselves on Collaboration and Communication along with designing their functionalities to re-instill the value prop.

To capture the relevant mindshare, Slack should ideally do 2 things: Identify its Competence, Positioning the Value prop aligned to the competence to create an advantage. Currently, its doing neither, i.e. its competing with the other Collaboration tools on the enterprise side and though it has its Strength identified, its value prop does not reinforce the core advantage along with required intensity. Diluting the focus from its strength and competing with existing products can have repercussions on internal as well external dimension as well.

Slack in the meanwhile should as well understand, that its not an Organizational Tool for Collaboration, rather it’s a Collaboration tool for Organisations (rather Grouped Users), and that is what it should constantly focus on.

Meanwhile, Slack’s strengths are its Search capabilities and the collaboration & communication philosophy and approach which enables smoother, faster, easier enablement of work / purpose, in addition to serving as a platform to integrate other productivity / user need enhancers. Slack should ideally focus on these value promises and strengthen their capabilities to leverage the advantage.

2) Moving to Consumer Solution of being a Platform:

One of the most underutilized features of Slack’s strength is that of being a platform. Slack, with its Tech competence, can be integrated with numerous 3rd party solutions, which can enable Users in being more productive, more satisfied and happy.

Slack should enable its feature of Platform model of working further, cos along with other functionalities; it transforms Slack from an enabler of Digital workplace to a Complete Virtual System that can integrated with other consumer solutions, all found, and run from a single window, enabling a Holistic experience for the User. Infact, bcos of its Strong Search feature, it makes sense to have a Desktop presence of Slack which can enable convergence of Content/information Classification and continuity across the realm of user’s usage. Slack, can essentially be an Internet of Virtual things of User’s interest.

Given that the Cloud is going to be a key driver for all virtual solutions, Slack should ideally leverage this strength and transform itself to a Virtual Platform of User solutions, which can be plugged and played at any point of time to suit better working, experience and living.

3) Pivoting the Offering – Communication + Search

With Communication, Platform and Search as its Strength, Slack has a potential to revolutionize and Unify the way we communicate in numerous channels (for example, Google Chat, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp Messenger, Gmail, etc) Converging them all in one place / window, with its platform enablement model and leveraged deeply by its Search Capabilities.

The resultant is User having a Single thread of thought and information to follow across numerous channels without referring to multiple systems with other users. It as well sets up Users to pick and organize their bits of virtual life spaced out to varied systems, all the while making a lot more sense of it. And the Slack Search just adds to presenting complete picture in various dimensions of the Information, Users, Context, Location etc.

An additional layer of intelligent machine learning can further revolutionize the above turning to be a complete disruptor.

4) Cognitive Overhead & Metrics

The theory of success for Slack resounds from the existing Cognitive Overhead way of working (Emails, Being Formal and too long, Rigid Structures etc.), and Slack has been smart enough to not only devise a solution to the undercurrent, but as well have similar philosophy in its functional as well technical solution married with great minimalism and clutter.

It should continue on the similar trajectory while tweaking its collaboration approach, for Users to have visibility on other folk’s activities real time (to intelligently make them understand when to approach and when not to), driving intuitive and intelligent system that understands the time spent in Actual Work v/s. Work Enablement activities etc., along with smarter classification of work, time and effort spend and fruition of the result / output.

5) Reusing the Model of (Communication + Search + Platform) for other Solutions:

Using the functionalities of Communication, Search and Platform enablement, Slack as well has varied markets to service its offerings, a couple of them being Offering a Crowdsourced Platform for Skills where a Consumer can search for specific skills, communicate and collaborate for their needs in being delivered with a decent Monetisation churned by fulfillment. 

It can as well be offered as an Integration layer for digital assets with the bundled package of consumer solutions of Comm + Search + Platform.

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1 comment:

  1. Their free version is enough for small offices. Its really awesome.