Slack may have infiltrated the enterprise via its easily accessed cloud-based collaborative workspace, but there’s a difference between being present in the enterprise and being an enterprise-quality service. Whether Slack offers enterprise admins the same types of large-scale administrative tools they rely on to manage large amounts of users has been a bit of an open question.
As the pandemic continues to shape the modern workplace in 2020 and more offices rely on collaborative workspace apps to continue their work, the companies offering these enterprise collaboration services have beefed up their privacy, security and workflow features. The latest Slack admin tools are meant to make life easier for the people who are responsible for deploying and administering Slack across an enterprise.
Below is a breakdown of the three Slack admin tools the collaboration software company recently announced.
Measuring Engagement via Message Activity
What it is: A new set of admin metrics that allow the enterprise greater insight into how its employees are using Slack.
In any channel with 50 or more users, a Slack admin can easily discern:
- How many users engaged with a message
- The device breakdown of where users typically first view the post – this is useful to determine who's viewing on a mobile app versus on a desktop app.
- Top replies by the number of reactions
- Viewers by department, if available via the System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM). (Note that the SCIM API is only available to Slack workspaces on the Plus plan and Slack Enterprise Grid)
As part of its rollout of new Slack admin tools, the company is also releasing a new set of APIs that will allow admins to automate engagement reporting tasks and track engagement with different app integrations across channels. This will give admins more insight into what work people are doing within Slack – and who's working within Slack, period.
Which customers get it: Slack customers who have the Plus and Grid plans.
Centralized Channel Management
What it is: This Slack admin tool enables a single pane of glass view for managing channels across an organization. Admins can now use a single dashboard to do administrative tasks like renaming channels, archiving channels or editing user permissions.
The big game-changer here for enterprises is in onboarding employees. Slack now allows admins to link workspace and channel membership to Identity Provider groups (IDP), so admins can automatically add employees to relevant workspaces and channels when they join the organization.
(Slack offers a SCIM API for customers whose IDPs don't support syncing groups between the IDP and Slack – but keep in mind that any changes to IDP groups can only be made through the enterprise's IDP and not Slack. In other words, if an employee is in a marketing group and then shifts over to shared services, their manager will have to ensure that the change is made with the IDP before the employee's auto-added to the relevant channels.)
Which customers get it: Slack customers who have the Grid plans.
Automatically Authenticating Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar Apps for Users
What it is: Slack admins can automatically authorize calendar apps across the company in a few steps, thus standardizing the process across the workforce instead of relying on individual employees to do so.
Enterprises might want to go all in on this admin tool because Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar apps for Slack bring a user’s meeting invites and schedule into Slack so end users get a reminder when meetings are about to start and/or give the option to join conference calls with one mouse-clicks.
Which customers get it: All of them.