Recently I spoke with Slack – the workplace messaging platform – about new features and plans for the future and there’s a lot planned – full disclosure I am a regular Slack user with clients (although I do use Slack competitors too). Launching in 2014, Slack is doing well in a busy market (raised $540m from big VCs/8m daily users as of May/3m of which pay/invested in 11 companies) against some pretty big competitors (Facebook), partly down to first mover advantage but also because of the +1000 apps that make it flexible for users to customise the platform for its workers. Whether it is ordering lunch, flash polls, ordering an Uber or quizzing a new employee to make onboarding faster, Slack has an app for that.
The following are the ‘rising stars’ of Slack’s App Directory which have been seeing accelerated momentum over the past six weeks:
- Let Leo help your team stay happy
The challenge most businesses face is how to evaluate employee satisfaction without creating tedious new HR processes. This is where Leo comes in. Leo allows managers to ask a simple set of questions on employee satisfaction each week. Answers are then collected anonymously and are shared in a private channel – a separate conversation which can simply include the relevant team leaders – for management to review and action. It’s a simple and effective way to measure employee happiness, installations for Leo are up 60% in the UK in the past six weeks.
- Reach record response times with PagerDuty
Response times for customer enquiries can make or break a business, especially when things go wrong. In times of crisis, coordinating a response and resolving an issue quickly and effectively are key. To streamline this process, more and more businesses are relying on agile incident management platforms like PagerDuty, which has seen a 58% increase in downloads in the UK over the past six weeks. It brings together various sources – monitoring application performance, infrastructure health, and incident response – into one centralised view and then send out alerts when something doesn’t look right. This gives businesses a head start to fix issues before customers might even notice them.
- Decode your communications with Bitbucket Cloud
Coding is complex. Communicating about coding even more so. The newest version of the Bitbucket integration for Slack — which pulls alerts from code repositories into channels, complete with contextual information — allows coders to effectively and efficiently collaborate with their teammates. There was clearly high-demand for a smarter way to collaborate, as this newly-released version of the app has seen a 788% increase in downloads over the past six weeks. The ability to receive notifications on whether a pull request has been approved or if a build is finished is helping to drive efficiencies. And, if coders are still waiting on someone, the app allows you to drop the hold-up a nudge, tied directly to a pull request. Goodbye passive-aggressive emails, farewell not-so-subtle post-it notes, and hello to more productive coding!
- Meet your new virtual PA, Astrobot
While there are much smarter and more efficient ways to communicate with colleagues, suppliers and clients these days, emails are still very much part of the communication mix. The sheer volume of unnecessary emails can sometimes be overwhelming. And sifting through them to find the information you actually need to know about can be painful and time-consuming. But not anymore. Astrobot, an AI-powered personal assistant, allows you to manage your inbox directly from within Slack and it highlights the most important emails to make sure you’ve seen them. Tracking communications in a single hub means reducing the risk that key conversations are dropped or important messages go unresponded to. With a 40% increase in installations in the UK in six weeks, Astrobot is playing a vital part in getting rid of unnecessary email clutter.
- Create agile to-do lists with Workstreams
Everyone loves a good to-do list. But with employees nowadays working across multiple teams and projects, it can be hard to keep track of everything that’s going on. Workstreams is like a supercharged to-do list. You can create, assign and order tasks directly within Slack channels as you go along. This is especially handy as priorities can change on the fly, particularly at times of high activity. Employees around the world are embracing Workstreams as a simple, yet effective way to manage priorities for themselves and their teams. UK businesses are no different, with an increase of 25% in installations over six weeks. It’s time to ditch the pen and paper and start ticking off boxes on your virtual to-do list instead.