Slack to integrate Microsoft Teams calling feature

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Image: Slack

Collaboration software maker has seen a spike in use as remote working becomes more common

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30 March 2020 | 0

Slack plans to integrate Microsoft Teams calling features into its own popular collaboration app, further enhancing available connections between the rival platforms. 

“We’re working on Teams integrations for calling features,” Slack co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield said during a call with a financial analysts.

Details about the integration, including an expected timeframe for availability, were not immediately available. 

Slack, which announced a major redesign last week, already integrates with Teams in a variety of ways. The company announced last year that it would connect with a range of Office 365 apps in several ways. That includes the ability to export emails from Outlook to Slack, as well as preview Word, Powerpoint and Excel files without switching between the tools.

Although the two companies are considered to be competitors in the workstream collaboration market, integrations between the two rival platforms are to be expected. Slack prides itself on having a wide array of integrations available to users, with more than 2,000 third-party tools in its app store. 

Both apps have seen a huge increase in use in recent weeks as the Covid-19 outbreak has forced more people to work from home. Teams, which launched in 2017 and has replaced Skype for Business as Microsoft’s core video meetings tool, now has 44 million daily active users – and added 12 million in one week as remote working surged. 

“This is a symbiotic relationship: Slack does not want the video conferencing market, and Microsoft recognizes the significance of the Slack and its growing corporate customer base,” said Wayne Kurtzman, a research director at IDC.  

“In my view, Slack and Microsoft work better together, and that underscores what a Slack partnership can offer Microsoft,” he said. “It would not surprise me to see more companies selecting Slack and Microsoft Teams integrations that are very beneficial to customers with fast-evolving needs.”

Butterfield announced in a series of tweets this week that use has increased rapidly as demand for team collaboration tools surges. 

The number of simultaneously concurrent users rose from 10 million on 10 March to 12.5 million on 25 March, particularly in areas most affected by the outbreak; the creation rate of new Slack workspaces increased by “hundreds of percent” between  12 and 25 March, the company said.

IDG News Service

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