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April 11, 2017

Slack chat gets streamlined with Message Menus

The collaboration space is being fought over via features and integrations.

By Ellie Burns

Slack is adding another string to its collaboration bow, introducing Message Menus to further streamline workflows.

The battle for supremacy in the collaboration space is a fight over features and integrations, with the crowded space already boasting big tech names like Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams. Companies are looking to lure enterprise custom with a plethora of features – Microsoft recently brought Teams to Office 365 business customers and Google recently split Hangouts into two messaging services.

Slack, with Message Menus, is delivering to two demographics – Slack users and developers. Targeting the former, Message Menus allows Slack’s 5million daily active users to use drop down menus, which can be tailored for each message. This functionality, the company claims, will further improve workflow and ‘change the way we work as a community.’

For the company’s 2.5 million developer community, the addition of Message Menus will add a new layer of functionality for those who are building on Slack. Proving that Message Menus works in practice, the company cited Survey Monkey as a case in point. The Survey Monkey app now allows users to manage, run, and collaborate on surveys from Slack. People can invite other users to collaborate on surveys, set up notifications, collect feedback, or share the results to a broader team.

The company claims that more than a dozen apps in the Slack directory have already introduced message menus, with the menus being used to perform a wide range of functions – from navigating sales leads and booking meeting rooms, to managing tickets from support systems.

READ MORE: Business collaboration software: Tech for the sake of tech or vital enterprise tool?

Message Menus is the latest weapon in Slack’s assault on workplace email, following on swiftly from the January launch of Enterprise Grid. Essentially the big brother version of the normal Slack tool, Enterprise Grid has already attracted big name customers like IBM and PayPal. Offering multiple, interconnected Slack workspaces that can be deployed across any large organisation, the offering includes features like grid-level identity and direct messaging across the entire organisation.

However, while Slack boasted about IBM, Microsoft had Deloitte and Expedia to name-drop in its announcement introducing Teams to Office 365. Microsoft’s March announcement saw Teams integrated with all the well known Office 365 suite of products, with additional capabilities like guest access and deeper integration with Outlook planned for a June roll-out.

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READ MORE: Microsoft Teams up against Slack, Google with Office 365

“Office 365 is the broadest platform and universal toolkit for creation, collaboration and communication. Today we are adding a new tool to Office 365 with Microsoft Teams, a chat-based workspace designed to empower the art of teams,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

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