Slack has lifted the lid on a major new addition to its collaboration platform, which it says could be a way to address some common customer bottlenecks.
Slack Canvas offers employees a new way to collect, organize and share data, using permanent and highly customizable information panels. These so-called “canvases” are associated with each channel by default and can be manually created for one-off projects or events.
Not only can users embed contextual information, data, and multimedia content in canvases, but they can also perform everyday tasks in situ, thanks to the third-party integrations already available in Slack.
In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Slack began speaking publicly about a new strategy, addressing the issues specific to this new era of remote and hybrid work. Broadly speaking, the ambition is for the platform to become a centralized hub for work, a so-called “digital headquarters” for every customer.
Since then, Slack has gone live with some new features that push the platform in this direction. For example, the company announced a new makeshift conferencing feature called Huddles, designed to minimize the friction associated with starting quick conversations. The company also launched Slack Clips, a way for colleagues to record and send short video clips to each other to support asynchronous ways of working.
Slack Canvas, meanwhile, can be seen as an extension of the same vision, bringing more of the functionality employees rely on on a single platform, in a more unified way, so that users don’t have to scroll between countless different applications to complete their work.
The feature will also align well with other recent additions, including workflow automations developed within Slack Platform. The idea is that by making automations easier to discover, employees will spend less time on administration and more time on creative tasks.
Speak with GadgetMasti Pro ahead of Dreamforce 2022, Slack’s Chief Product Officer Tamar Yehoshua expanded on the rationale behind the new tool and its role in the major digital HQ strategy.
“Canvas will help people be more productive in their digital headquarters by giving them a surface that makes it easier to access the information they need to do their jobs,” she told us. “It will be easier to automate and it will be easier and faster to find information related to the task at hand.”
“We hope that people will be able to onboard employees faster, close deals faster and resolve incidents faster by having that information more easily available in a consistent location in this persistent layer.”
While Slack has always been committed to helping customers optimize efficiency, this is “a new day to work,” she added, and new approaches to collaboration are all the more important.
Slack Canvas is already in the hands of a small group of customers for testing and is expected to be made generally available in the coming months.