Slack launched in 2009, though its history in Vancouver stretches further back to 2002.
Toward the end of 2020, San Francisco’s Salesforce announced a commitment to enterprise social by acquiring Slack in a $28 billion mega-deal.
“This is a match made in heaven,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff gushed at the time. “Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world.”
Last year at Dreamforce, Benioff unveiled a slew of updates to the Salesforce product, including Huddles and Canvas. Canvas transforms how teams curate, organize, and share critical resources, while Huddles offers teams lightweight video, screen-sharing, and live co-working sessions.
This year’s Dreamforce, with a heavy emphasis on generative artificial intelligence, revealed new AI-based Slack updates.
So what does Slack AI look like?
Channel recaps instantly deliver highlights on any channel, so users can cut straight to what’s most important, according to a statement from Salesforce; thread summaries enable users to get up to speed in one click; and search answers help customers get the most out of their conversational data by returning results with relevant messages, files, and channels, as well as share a generated summary.
These are just a handful of the automations AI is empowering through Slack, says Noah Desai Weiss, who serves as chief product officer for the Vancouver-born enterprise.
“At Slack, we’re taking a collaboration-first approach to delivering an intelligent productivity platform in the age of AI and automation,” said Weiss. “We are focused on providing customers with a simpler, more delightful, and more efficient set of tools so every person can do the best work of their lives.”
With over 200,000 paying customers across 150 countries—including 77% of the Fortune 100—the BC-made platform today delivers 300,000 messages per second.
To empower these quarter-million customers, Slack integrates Salesforce technology such as Einstein, which leverages AI tech to maximize automation and flows.
Slack first introduced Gen AI to its platform earlier this year, after the company’s own “State of Work” research found that, while people who use AI are 90% more likely to report higher levels of productivity, only 27% of companies are currently using AI tools.
“The real power of this technology will be realized when companies’ AI tools can also analyze and act on the valuable knowledge they’ve curated internally about their own customers, people and projects,” CEO Lidiane Jones stated in May. “Slack . . . enables AI to act on valuable data from a company’s most trusted resource: its own internal knowledge.”
Slack AI builds on this vision, deploying a versatile conversational assistant that optimizes workflows throughout the platform, according to Salesforce. It’s also deeply integrated with the rest of the Salesforce tech stack.
At the start of the year, Salesforce laid roughly 10% of its sizeable workforce. Since then, Salesforce has rebounded; the company’s stock is up over 60% year-to-date, and Slack is actively hiring for its Vancouver office and elsewhere.
While some workflow and automation features are immediately available, the fully featured Slack AI is slated for pilot this year, and is due to launch in 2024.