Business communication platforms: review of Slack tool
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Business communication platforms, collaboration software, social networking software, team management software, community software or similar tools are all essential today for startups and companies of all sizes.
Business communication platforms are becoming more and more important for teams who need an easy and quick way to communicate, especially since many companies have recently approached smart working.
Why are these platforms so important for companies? Business communication platforms make the workflow more productive because an easier communication allows teams to meet company goals, complete projects on time and serve customers. In fact, the services usually offered by these tools are:
- Conferences by call or videocall
- Task management
- Team messaging
- Project management
- File sharing
- Customer communication
Along this article, we will focus on one of the best business communication platforms available on the market today: Slack. This tool is popular in the startup world, but it is also very useful for other organizations. We will explain what it is, its advantages and, above all, how to use it to make the communication within your team more efficient.
What is Slack: one of the best business communication platforms for startups
Slack is a business communication platform founded by Slack Technologies, an American software company, and owned by Salesforce from 2021.
The main purpose of Slack is to help people collaborate and give them the right information and resources to work in the best possible way. In fact, this tool can be used by any type of company, from the smallest ones to the biggest ones in the Fortune 100 rank.
Slack versus E-mails: why business communication platforms are the best choice for startups
If you are used to communicate with your team through emails, you probably already know the problems that they infer. In fact, with emails it becomes difficult to stay updated with what your co-workers are doing, the communication is slow, you can lose some messages, etc.
The solution to all these problems is relying on a business communication platform, such as Slack. If you use this tool, you can find all your messages and files in a single place called “channel”. Within a channel, it is simple to get a specific person’s attention with a notification when you need a fast answer.
In addition, Slack makes the communication with customers easier too, as it is more immediate and less time consuming.
Are you wondering why you should prefer this business communication platform to any other? Let’s see the advantages offered by this tool:
- Channels: you can have a channel for each client and share them with co-workers.
- Collaboration: this tool makes it easy to share and collaborate with the team, which is great if you need a fast communication.
- Download: you can download it both on your computer and on your mobile devices.
- Support: there is a help centre or you can ask for assistance through email or chat.
- Security: your data is always protected.
The last advantage is particularly important for companies. Let’s analyse it in detail.
Regardless the size of your company, protection of data is an essential aspect to evaluate before relying on a business communication platform. For this reason, Slack included the following features into its system:
- Identity and device management: it includes other features like single Sign-On, domain attestation and support for Enterprise Mobility Management.
- Data protection: inactive and in-motion data are encrypted for all customers.
- Information governance: it includes retention policies, conditions of use and support for eDiscovery.
Slack also owns many certifications and attestations of conformity, such as the Information Security Management System (ISMS), the Protection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), the Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP), and many others that you can find out at this link.
Looking for an alternative to Slack?
Slack is a business communication platform that is ideal for organizations of 2 to 1000+ employees, and for startups. In fact, it is an affordable tool whose pricing starts at $8.00 per user per year. Most people use it for brainstorming, calendar management, contact management and much more.
Before you buy it, it is always good to check out the alternatives on the market, so here you are some of the best tools like Slack:
Here you are a comparative table with the main features for each one:
How to use Slack: short tutorial of the best business communication platform
Are you ready to learn how to use this powerful business communication tool? Let’s start!
The first thing to do as soon as you enter the website is signing in. You can click on the button “Sign In” or on the button “Try for free” to get started and you can choose to log in with your Google account or your Apple ID.
Once you are in, you can start creating a workspace or join one if someone else invited you. By clicking on “Create a workspace”, you will be asked to enter:
- The name of your company or your team
- The type of project you are working on
- The emails of your co-workers to invite them (this is optional)
In this way, you will finally land on your dashboard, and you can really start using this business communication platform. On the left, you will find the browse slack, channels, and direct messages.
The Browse Slack allows you to look for:
- Unread messages
- Direct messages
- Mentions and reactions
- Saved items
- People and groups
Channels allow to split conversations into different topics, and you can add channels whenever you want.
In Direct Messages you will find private messages sent to you.
The rest of the dashboard of this business communication tool is dedicated to chats. In fact, you can choose a channel or send a private message to someone in the dedicated chat.
When typing a message, you can choose to:
- Change the style of the font
- Use shortcuts
- Create bullet points
- Mention someone
- Insert an emoji
- Attach a file
In addition, you can also interact with other people messages in the following ways:
- Add a reaction
- Share the message
- Save the message
- Turn off notifications
- Mark as unread
- Put a reminder
- Copy the message
- Pin to channel
In the corner up right, you can also change your status or the notifications settings by clicking on your picture.
Slack subscription plans
There is no problem if you choose to use Slack for free, as it won’t impose limitations to your business communication. However, we want to show you the subscription plans and their features to give you the opportunity to choose whatever suits you best.
There are three subscription plans:
- Business+, and
- Enterprise Grid.
The Pro plan costs €6.25 per person per month if you choose the annual billing, or €7.50 per person per month if you choose the monthly billing. The additional features included are:
- Unlimited message archive
- Unlimited apps
- Group videocalls with screen sharing
- Secure collaboration with other organizations
- Creation of videos and audio clips
- Agile voice conversations
The Business+ plan costs €11.75 per person per month if you choose the annual billing, or €14.10 per person per month if you choose the monthly billing. The additional features included are:
- Users provisioning and deprovisioning
- SAML-based Single Sign-On
- Data export for all messages
The Enterprise Grid plan doesn’t have a fixed price, as it needs to be requested. The additional features included are:
- Unlimited workspaces
- Compatibility with offline backup providers, data loss prevention and e-Discovery
- Teams designed for customer success
- HIPAA compliant file and message collaboration
Along this article, we gave you all the information that you need to know before starting using a business communication tool and we also explained why we think that Slack is one of the best tools of this kind.
However, if you have doubts and want to learn more on its functioning, you can visit this link where you will find tutorials, videos, and other tips.
If you are interested in business communication, please read also: Community Software: a list of about 20 tools with our shortlist
Be curious! Do not limit yourself and do not stop at our proposal of tools! Check out our article Software Discovery platforms: the top 9 for us to find the one that best suits your needs.