Companies today are up against a challenge, but also an opportunity, to find an optimal operational model in the world of hybrid work. In the end, what matters from the business perspective is the results we achieve and reaching the goals we set, not from what location and on which devices employees work, or how many emails they send. As part of a partnership with Slack, Sii specialists help companies implement the Digital HQ approach by providing the clients’ teams with all the necessary tools in one place, automating repetitive and time-consuming processes, and increasing overall work effectiveness.
The traditional model based on either email exchanges or face-to-face meetings is now associated with something that doesn’t provide adequate efficiency. At the same time, we are flooded with a lot of information that may not require us to respond directly but reaches us anyway. We work in the office in a hybrid model or completely remotely, often carrying out our duties while traveling. It’s also common for one company’s departments to be distributed across different cities and countries. Our contractors, subcontractors, or partners face the same problems, and it is becoming increasingly challenging to exchange current information and collaborate effectively, often in real time.
Digital HQ – what is it and why should it be important to you?
The idea of Digital HQ means being able to remain productive regardless of the location, time zone, and team in which a person works. The need to digitize and improve business efficiency is directly addressed by Slack, whose main uses involve:
- Effective collaboration
In Slack, joint communication is organized in the form of internal and external channels, involving people interested in a particular area or project. As a result, we don’t need emails or meetings to effectively complete tasks on an ongoing basis. Channels also promote transparency and access to up-to-date information, allowing those joining a topic to quickly implement and take appropriate action.
- Efficient communication
The solution provides the ability to contact not only via messaging and meetings, as with other collaboration tools, but also the ability to record short video clips that make it easy to ask questions and get relevant information, making communication natural. Instead of describing the problem in an email and attaching screenshots, we record a short video with a description of the situation and talk about it in our own words, which greatly improves the efficiency of information exchange.
- Ad hoc arrangements within the team
With Slack, we can also communicate on an ad hoc basis using so-called huddles, which are the equivalent of an informal conversation – the kind that takes place in the office when we need to discuss something immediately. During such a conversation, we can share screens and interactively draw across them with the cursor. Thanks to huddles, we don’t need to call an official online meeting, which would take a lot of time to organize, but rather efficiently discuss and resolve the current topic.
- Automating activities
Within Slack, you also have the means to create automation that can be prepared by administrators, without involving developers. They increase the efficiency of repetitive actions such as onboarding new employees, collecting current statuses from a team working in a hybrid model, or transferring information to external systems.
- Integration and centralization of tools
Taking into account more than 2,400 ready-made integrations with the most popular applications, Slack becomes a central workspace where we can bring together most of our daily tasks. This makes better use of the other tools and software available in the organization. In addition, connecting the applications used in the company with Slack makes investments in IT solutions more successful, as it is easier to use these tools in Slack’s integrated view. Particularly important is close integration with Salesforce, which gives administrators the ability to extend the scope of data transfer to and from the Salesforce ecosystem.
It is worth noting that Slack works just as well on regular computers as it does on smartphones, making Digital HQ fully digitized and accessible from anywhere that we can access the Internet.
What possibilities does Slack offer?
Often when asked, “What do you associate Slack with?” we hear similar answers: “messenger,” “message and file exchange,” “collaboration tool,” or “instant messenger for work”. However, it is much more important to point out the full benefits of its use:
- increased productivity by working through shared channels,
- fewer meetings to exchange information,
- reducing the number of emails, and thus the information we absorb, which is likely not necessary,
- intuitively creating channels to collaborate with clients and external companies using Slack Connect, a modern tool that enables communication with people outside your organization.
Collaborate via channels, not emails
With precise channel creation, the right users have visibility into the relevant resources, improving collaboration and access to up-to-date information. Each Slack user has access to content in all public channels, so they can easily find the information they need. In addition, by adding new people to a private channel (also externally shared), we enable them to see the history of previous arrangements. If necessary, information from external applications or Slack automation can also appear in the channels. Also, we can redirect email messages straight to the channel and include people invited to Slack in the conversation before they start using the application. In that case, the content of the message from Slack goes to the recipient by email, and the replies are attached to the corresponding thread in Slack.
Working with channels is well demonstrated in the video below.
We’ve already covered the basic use of Slack – perhaps this is your experience with the tool. All of this is true, but it’s just the beginning of the possibilities the platform offers.
Advanced features to maximize the use of Slack
Another equally important feature is the ability to connect external applications and data sources so that users can perform daily tasks requiring various tools directly from Slack.
Examples of automation that improve work efficiency include:
- Automated information about customer complaints registered in applications such as Salesforce, Jira, or Zendesk, so we can discuss the request on Slack with people who do not work directly with these tools and work out the right solution.
- When using a CRM such as Salesforce, notifications to the sales department about orders, contracts won, or customer activity. Access to information from external systems (the message content that appears on Slack) doesn’t require direct licenses for these applications.
- For marketing departments, it may be particularly important to be able to connect information from social media, or a favorite project management tool such as Asana or Trello.
When should you consider implementing Slack?
First, if any of the scenarios described above are interesting to you or solve your organization’s problems, it’s a good time to review the potential that using Slack can bring.
Secondly, Second, if you use Slack in the free version or to a basic extent, solely as a messenger, and want to take advantage of the other capabilities of this platform.
Thirdly, if you’re facing similar problems regardless of your industry: whether it’s managing IT teams, a university, conducting research in the healthcare industry, or communicating with bank and partner branch employees – Slack offers solutions that significantly affect the efficiency of your business in various situations.
Sii Poland is an official partner of both Slack and Salesforce, which ensures access to qualified administrators and developers, along with good practices and knowledge about the use of the tool’s capabilities. The range of our services includes Slack implementations, audits of current usage, and recommendations for process optimization, as well as change management in the organization, which is an essential part of any successful Slack implementation.