Slack

Chat app

Updated March 9, 2018

7 updates


SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

25/25

Cost

20/25

Differentiation

25/25

Effectiveness

25/25

Pros

  • Makes team communication much easier
  • Many integrations with other productivity tools

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other apps
  • Some integrations may hinder productivity

More and more, organizations are relying on web-based solutions to bridge the gap between a growing digital world and doing their job. Even for political campaigns that span multiple districts, to entire states, and to the entire country, managers are looking for the best solution for real-time communication. This is where a platform like Slack comes in. Being, hands down, one of the most popular productivity tools and workplace chat applications on the market, Slack offers a lot for smaller, more intimate and focused teams.

What can Slack offer?

From a glance, Slack just looks like a glossed up AOL Instant Messenger reboot; what people who haven’t used Slack don’t realize is the breadth and depth of its features.  

You can make Slack into a well-oiled productivity machine with the many features and applications it offers. Communication between specific teams, mid-level management, and leadership can be divided up into particular conversation threads. Slack allows you to create particular threads, called “channels,” for campaign management, or the PR team, or for field ops. Regulating users to specific channels can be done, quickly, also. Direct messaging is available for more private conversations, as well.

The search bar with search-refinement options can help team members find what they are looking for from past conversations with relative ease. Plus, there are in-app voice and video call functions and a screen sharing service comparable to Join.Me, GoToMeeting, or Skype.

Larger organizations can utilize the app’s enterprise options to beef up security and encryption, in addition to what is offered in the basic Slack accounts.

API and apps

Slack offers up its API so that organizations can create apps specifically for their teams or for use among the millions of other users. And, of course, this means the Slack App Directory has hundreds of productivity apps that you can integrate into your workflow.

The Google Cloud allows users to transmit documents made with the cloud-based office suite directly in the application. Businesses that use CRM platforms like Salesforce can access client accounts and manipulate them through a series of commands a user types into Slack’s chat field. Financial managers can integrate services like PayPal or Stripe into their Slack channels too.

Regardless of what your organization uses to be productive, Slack is fully customizable with the wide array of applications that cover functions like file management, marketing and communication, media and news tracking, social media management, and so on.

Pricing

Offering a free option, the application can be great for small teams of ten or less. Plus, the folks who are on the prowl for a productivity app that will best fit the needs of their organization can count on Slack to be free for an unlimited amount of time.

Upgrading is a different story. The pricing structure for larger groups can come at a per user cost per month, charged annually. In the Slack Standard plan, teams would be paying $6.67 per user for a specific suite of services (memory space in the cloud, premium features, etc.). For Slack Plus customers, they are paying for the same suite of services with the added benefits of more memory in the cloud (etc.) at $12.95 per user. Enterprise pricing options are even available for larger groups.

Our Verdict

Slack is a powerful and useful tool. Groups, especially small ones, who want to consider the platform as a means to communicate in real time will be signing on to a device that can be customized to meet the team’s workplace needs–and then some.

Slack isn’t for everyone and could frustrate larger groups who extensively use the platform. Also, it should be noted that Slack isn’t a means to eliminate email from the workflow. It’s more or less a means to augment the way team members can collaborate.

Political campaigns and advocacy groups (of all sizes) in particular, could benefit from Slack for its ability to transmit information at the same speed as a text message. And, that saved time could mean a lot for an overworked campaign committee on election day.

If you have any feedback on this review or you would like to suggest an app for us to review, please drop us a note – telegraph@joinlincoln.org.


Screenshots

SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

25/25

Cost

20/25

Differentiation

25/25

Effectiveness

25/25

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