Slack CEO has been “paranoid” about Microsoft and others entering the market

Kareem Anderson

Microsoft appears set to compete in the evolving enterprise messaging space which has some championing their presence while others may be quietly nervous about the company’s new offering.

Understandably, Slack may be one of those company’s cautiously alarmed by Microsoft’s announcements of its competing messaging software, Teams.

I’ve been paranoid about this for a long time,” Slack Chief Executive Stewart Butterfield said in an interview after the Microsoft Teams announcement.

According to a report from Nasdaq writer Rachael King, Slack Technologies is bracing itself for a potentially intense competitive arena with Microsoft despite the company’s relative lead in the landscape.

Some analysts say the market is Slack’s to lose. “Microsoft Teams put out a road map and they’re going to build out a lot of business partnerships, but right now this doesn’t take anything away from Slack,” said Mike Gotta, research vice president of Gartner Inc.”

To avoid becoming an also-ran company, Slack has apparently been lining up some heavy hitting partnerships to make its offering more viable in light of increased competition, not only from Microsoft but Google, Facebook, Atlassian, and Symphony Communication.

Slack has been bracing for the assault. It signed a partnership last month with International Business Machines Corp., to use its Watson artificial-intelligence services.”
For the past couple of years, Slack has reigned relatively unencumbered within the tech community as a bastion of hope from a business world run entirely on email, but Microsoft’s new Teams app not only offers similar functionality as Slack but caters to a larger audience still using email.
Team members can can engage with bots via queries and quick actions.
Team members can can engage with bots via queries and quick actions.
Slack may not be in competitive danger just yet as it reports increases in usage, up to four million daily users in October while Microsoft has yet to fully market its Team app to businesses.
However, down the line, Microsoft’s Teams and Office 365 may begin to cutoff Slack’s potential growth by its bundled nature, making Teams a relatively inexpensive solution in comparison.
It’ll be interesting to see how each company competing in this sector handles one another as well as its current install base as customer demand for features and integration appear set to increase.