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Slack and Amazon Join Forces to Take On Microsoft Teams

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Luis Monzon
Luis Monzon
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Slack is partnering with Amazon in a multi-year agreement that means all Amazon employees will start to use video-conferencing and business communication platform Slack. This deal comes on the heels of Slack facing increasing competition from Microsoft’s Teams platform.

The deal will also see Slack migrate its voice and video calling features over to Amazon’s Chime platform, alongside a broader adoption of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

[Tweet “The deal will also see Slack migrate its voice and video calling features over to Amazon’s Chime platform, alongside a broader adoption of Amazon Web Services (AWS).”]

Amazon’s roll-out of Slack to its employees is a key part of the deal, thanks to an enterprise-wide agreement. It’s not immediately clear how many of Amazon’s 840,000 employees will be using Slack, though. Up until today, Slack’s biggest customer has been IBM, which is rolling out Slack to its 350,000 employees.

The Verge writes that Slack has long used AWS to power parts of its chat app, and it is now using Amazon’s cloud services as its prefered partner for storage, computation, database-use, security, analytics, machine learning and for future collaboration features. The deal means it’s unlikely we’ll see Slack turn to Microsoft’s Azure cloud services or Google Cloud to power parts of its service in the foreseeable future.

“We have not used Azure,” says Brad Armstrong, VP of business and corporate development at Slack, in an interview with The Verge.

“The vast majority of our service has always run on AWS.” He reiterates that it is highly unlikely that Slack will be using Azure in the future.

The adoption of Amazon Chime for Slack’s voice and video calls is is another key feature of the deal. Voice and video conferencing is a particularly weak point of Slack compared to Microsoft Teams, but this new integration should mean it will be vastly improved in the future. Slack has already started the migration, and it’s looking into new features.

“For now, we’re just focused on shoring up the back end,” says Armstrong. “As Chime has additional features, we’re looking at bringing the mobile experience to include video, which it doesn’t today. We’re also looking at transcription.”

Both Slack and Amazon are also promising better product integration and interoperability, especially for features like AWS chatbot – a service that pushes out Slack channel alerts for AWS instances.

In the coming months, Slack and AWS will improve its Amazon AppFlow integration to support the bi-directional transfer of data between AWS services and Slack channels.

“The future of enterprise software will be driven by the combination of cloud services and workstream collaboration tools,” says Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield in a statement yesterday.

“Strategically partnering with AWS allows both companies to scale to meet demand and deliver enterprise-grade offerings to our customers.”

Edited by Luis Monzon
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