To stay competitive among the growing number of workplace chat apps, Slack has announced the launch of new automation features designed to make workflows more shareable and discoverable. An expansion of the workflow builder tool Slack launched in 2019, the new capabilities allow users to send workflows to other Slack users and “if” statements to create more sophisticated workflows.
Slack’s increased investment in automation will grow in popularity with no-code development tools that allow users to build applications and pipelines without having to learn programming. Nearly 60% of all custom applications — including automation — are now built outside of the IT department, according to a study by 451 Research and FileMaker. Of these, 30% were built by workers with no or limited technical development skills, the study found.
“The software-as-a-service model has completely changed the way people work, and now companies are building so many tools and services that leave the average employee to understand everything, which means it’s not their day-to-day life. It’s not going to slow down or become less noisy,” said Slack SVP of Product “We believe low-code and no-code automation is the key to changing that…that’s why we’ve completely built and rebuilt it over the last year so that everyone has the tools they need to make our jobs easier. And more effective — their technical experience or code,” CEO Steve Wood told us in an email interview. Regardless of their skill set, in fact, 80% of those who use Workflow Builder are non-technical, so it’s exciting to see that we’re creating workflow across all Slack users.
In the coming months, Slack users will be able to send workflows as links in channels and direct messages by copying and pasting corresponding links and sharing them across Slack. Each workflow link expands with a rich preview, allowing users to run the workflow with a single click.
In more important news, early next year, Workflow Builder will gain support for conditional logic, or statements that send users in different ways based on how they respond to a workflow. For example, in a workflow designed for expense reporting, a Slack user can build in conditional logic to allow an administrator to click “Approve” or “Reject” buttons that trigger a report submission message. Previously, this type of action required creating multiple workflows.
Also, early next year, Slack will expand workflow builder steps like automating channel creation and notifying users once they’ve started a workflow, and for integrations with more third-party apps and tools. More will be revealed at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference in late September, Wood said.
“Our goal is to make Slack work for you and maximize your productivity, and our platform is part of the transformation to make that happen. Workflow Builder is at the center of it all, and these features are the next natural part of how we accelerate automation, so users can use Slack even more.” “They can have an impact,” Wood said. “Broadly speaking, workers today are under more pressure than ever to get work done and businesses are under pressure to control costs, so we have an exciting opportunity to implement automation in a way that makes work more fun and enjoyable, improves efficiency and productivity. It’s beneficial for everyone.” it is.
More than a year into the acquisition, I took the opportunity to chat with Wood about the overall state of Slack. Revenue is strong, he says — Slack brought in $381 million in Q2 2022 as the number of customers spending more than $100,000 grew more than 40%. And Salesforce says it’s committed to closely aligning the platform with its broader portfolio.
“We’re working to bring Slack closer to every Salesforce cloud product. Workflow Builder Slack is one of the key functions in Salesforce’s Customer 360 that powers integrations. For example, anyone using Salesforce can create and customize workflows using workflows to generate referrals and leads or generate proposals or contracts,” Wood said. “These features bring the automation power of Slack to the Salesforce ecosystem to create even more value for customers to thrive in today’s work environment.”
Certainly, it’s not hard to imagine how Workflow Builder will expand on Salesforce’s cloud offerings in the future. With the recent launch of the Salesforce Platform for Slack, a low-code software development tool for Salesforce developers to build custom Slack apps, Salesforce seems to be making big moves to properly marry Slack with its broad and pervasive product family.
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