New alliance brings together a top collaboration solution vendor with dominant public cloud player
The already crowded cloud-based communications space now has even more competition after Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Slack announced a multi-year partnership that includes the collaboration technology vendor running its offerings on the world’s No. 1 public cloud.
The Lowdown: Slack also will increase its use of AWS services and infrastructure while Amazon employees will be able to use Slack for its communications needs as part of the recent partnership that is aimed at challenging Microsoft and its Teams collaboration solution.
The Details: In addition, the two companies said they will integrate products and solutions and increase interoperability to enable developers to more easily manage their AWS in Slack channels and AWS Chime chat rooms. The integrations include:
> Chime infrastructure and Slack Calls: The Chime software development kit (SDK) will drive audio, video, and screen-sharing capabilities in native Slack Calls. Slack will use AWS infrastructure rather than relying on its own unified communications infrastructure.
> AWS Key Management Service and Slack EKM: Slack will use AWS’ security services, such as Key Management Service, to distribute and control cryptographic keys as part of its Enterprise Key Management offering. More than 90 companies are using Slack EKM.
> AWS Chatbot and Slack: The Chatbot service, which helps development teams collaborate and respond to alerts, will incorporate more than 175 AWS services to enable developers to collaborate and manage their cloud-based services without leaving Slack.
> Amazon AppFlow and Slack: Through this integration, Slack users can securely transfer data between Slack and such AWS services as Simple Storage Service (S3) and Redshift database warehouse. In the coming months, the capability will be enhanced to allow customers to transfer data bi-directionally between Slack channels and AWS services in a single flow.
The Impact: The new partnership comes at a time when videoconferencing and other collaboration tools are in high demand because of the lockdowns and social distancing requirements brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has meant a significant jump in business for Microsoft Teams. AWS now has a major partner in the collaboration space in Slack while Slack is now aligned more tightly with the dominant public cloud service provider, which should help both better compete with Microsoft in the space.
Background: Most other vendors in the cloud communications market, from Zoom to Cisco to RingCentral, have seen a surge in business over the past two months, while other companies – Verizon being a high-profile example with its planned acquisition of BlueJeans Network – are looking to expand their capabilities through either internal development or outside acquisitions.
The Buzz: “The future of enterprise software will be driven by the combination of cloud services and workstream collaboration tools,” said Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and CEO of Slack. “Strategically partnering with AWS allows both companies to scale to meet demand and deliver enterprise-grade offerings to our customers. By integrating AWS services with Slack’s channel-based messaging platform, we’re helping teams easily and seamlessly manage their cloud infrastructure projects and launch cloud-based services without ever leaving Slack.”
“Together, AWS and Slack are giving developer teams the ability to collaborate and innovate faster on the front end with applications, while giving them the ability to efficiently manage their back-end cloud infrastructure,” AWS CEO Andy Jassy said. “AWS customers gain a powerful new means of managing their AWS resources that will help teams collaborate and build more applications using the broadest and deepest set of cloud services. We look forward to working with Slack to expand the ways we can help our customers innovate in the cloud.”