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December 7, 2016

Google Cloud & Slack double down on collaboration

Google Drive has built a bot to make life a bit easier for users of the collaboration tool.

By James Nunns

Slack and Google Cloud are formalising their partnership in order to provide a more integrated experience for customers.

Google Docs and Drive already have integrations with the collaboration tool, something which has proved popular among customers with Drive files imported into the tool approximately 60,000 times every weekday, equating to a file shared every 1.4 seconds.

Now a deeper integration is set to go ahead that will see Google Drive permission process being brought into the collaboration tool along with add in-channel preview displays and the ability to connect the Google Team Drives to channels, and the ability to create new bots that can manage notifications and comments.

As part of the partnership Google Drive is building a bot for teams that use Slack and Drive together. This means that notifications, in the form of comments and requests for access, will be delivered to Slack rather than email.

“The bot will use message buttons to enable you to approve, reject and settle comments from Slack, or you can open up Google Docs to resolve them there,” said Slack.

There is also the move to remove some of the permission-checking requirements that users have to go through. So when a file is shared in a channel, slack will check that it is accessible to the group it’s been shared with, if not then the user will be prompted to update sharing settings.

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The two companies have also added features such as bringing Doc previews into Slack and admins will be able to provision the collaboration tool for their entire company from the G Suite admin console.

This features will work for both new and existing Slack teams.

The final fruit of the partnership is aimed at helping to keep content and conversations in sync. Admins will be able to connect Team Drives with Slack channels so that new filed uploaded to the connected Slack channel will automatically back up to a team drive and vice versa.

For those users that want more advanced cloud storage controls there will be an option to use a Team Drive as the main data store for any files uploaded to the tool.

The integrations are expected to become available in the first half of 2017 and Slack hints at more to come.

“These integrations will be available for your team to use in the first half of 2017, but they’re just the start. As users of Google Cloud ourselves, we’re thrilled about this partnership and how it will simplify our working lives. So, a thank you to the team at Google for helping us bring this first phase to our many customers who rely on both of our products to power their teams.”

The collaboration tool company has seen plenty of success in 2016 with four million daily active users and 1.25 million paid users.

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