How to Integrate Existing Tech Stack with Slack

Powering tomorrow’s tech stack today. You’ve invested in great tools for your company, but are your people making the most them? Don’t worry, we can help.

How to Integrate Existing Tech Stack with Slack

This article explains how Slack can help reduce context-switching by bringing together your people, data, and applications into one secure platform. We also share five actionable ways integrating your tools and software with Slack can significantly improve problem-solving and decision-making throughout the business.

Content Summary

How do you know your tech stack is actually being used?
The problem: work fragmentation
The solution: an adaptive collaboration hub that integrates work
Use cases
1. DevOps
2. Productivity
3. HR and internal comms
4. Sales and marketing
5. IT and customer support
The benefits
How 21st Century Fox uses Slack to run a real-time coverage engine
The Slack ecosystem and open API approach
Conclusion: multiply the value of your app estate

How do you know your tech stack is actually being used?

If you’re an IT leader, you’ve probably spent some uncomfortable hours wondering if the tools you’ve invested in are the right ones for your teams. It’s a stressful situation to find yourself in, but it could be worse.

What if you’ve invested in the right tools but your people just aren’t using them?

Here’s the thing. Whatever goal you’re trying to achieve with the help of technology (greater productivity or faster time-to-market, say), you’ll only succeed if your people can get the most out of the tools you give them as they collaborate to achieve these business goals.

Today, collaboration combines many elements. It’s about bringing your people together so they can communicate and share files easily. It’s about creating a central knowledge repository so teams can find what they need fast, instead of trawling through email inboxes.

And it’s about another really big thing: the collaboration hub as an integration layer where all your people’s most important work tools and software come together in one place, where work gets done.

That’s what this guide is all about: the power of a new layer in the technology stack that brings together people, data and applications.

The problem: work fragmentation

The challenge is clear enough. Enterprises use more apps than they can handle. The statistics vary, with some stating the average enterprise uses as many as 1,935 cloud services. You’ve probably seen the effects of this app proliferation yourself.

Your teams work across many apps every day—often dozens—but very few of those apps talk to each other. So instead of accessing information in one central place, your people are always context-switching (read: time-wasting). They’re jumping from one tab to another, logging in to a specific app to grab one piece of information, then logging out and switching back to another app to use or share that information. Over and over and over again.

Because your enterprise knowledge is fragmented and siloed, friction builds up in every process in every department—and this friction is compounded when work crosses departments and apps.

The result? Fragmentation grows, collaboration breaks down and tool usage drops. Software becomes expensive shelfware, even as your teams struggle to perform the tasks the tools were bought for. Sound familiar? The good news is there’s a better way.

The solution: an adaptive collaboration hub that integrates work

To solve their fragmented work woes, enterprises are fundamentally rethinking collaboration, and recognizing the critical role of integrations.

They’re establishing a single place where all their work apps come together, in a conversation interface that’s easy to use, searchable and optimized for mobile.

Why? Because that way, you’re using all your software investments—CRM, marketing automation, CI/CD, HR tools, and more—in the context of the work itself. You’re not just integrating apps—you’re improving them, and making it easier for your people to unlock their full value.

Apps let you bring in the software your people use most—including off-theshelf integrations with popular software, and custom apps your people build that integrate with third-party or in-house developed software.

That’s how Slack works. It’s designed to bring together your people, data and apps in a single place.

Now let’s look at it in action.

Use cases

There are Slack apps available to improve just about every kind of work that happens within an enterprise. Here are five areas where integrating work tools in Slack can make the biggest impact.

Slack apps
Slack apps

1. DevOps

Many teams start with Slack apps in a DevOps context, but that’s usually just the beginning. Here are a few example use cases:

  • Deploy more code: Automate and monitor pull request management directly from your Slack project channel for faster, more reliable deployments. Integrating with your chosen Git makes it happen.
  • Keep projects moving forward: Preview or open JIRA tickets right in your channel, without having to find and share the URL. That way, your people can skip the busy work and focus on tasks that drive projects forward.
  • Triage and escalate incidents: Automate and monitor incident processing without leaving Slack, so the right people can resolve issues swiftly.
Slack Sample integrations for DevOps
Slack Sample integrations for DevOps

Sample integrations for DevOps:

  • GitHub
  • BitBucket
  • SubVersion
  • Visual Studio
  • JIRA
  • Jenkins
  • Trello
  • Pivotal Tracker
  • Asana
  • PagerDuty

2. Productivity

Slack connects your people to the productivity tools that make working hard feel a little less like hard work.

  • Easily share files: And even edit user permissions from within the Slack interface. A Slack app that integrates with Box is a perfect example.
  • Manage your calendar: Schedule meetings and keep your team in the loop with calendar integrations.
  • Jump on a call: Slack makes it easier not just to organize and access calls, but to manage key information, recordings and follow-up tasks. An integration with Webex makes the experience seamless.
Slack Sample integrations for productivity
Slack Sample integrations for productivity

Sample integrations for productivity:

  • Google Drive
  • OneDrive
  • Box
  • Dropbox
  • Asana
  • Google Calendar
  • Standuply
  • Meekan Scheduling
  • Zoom
  • Trello
  • Webex
  • Google+ Hangouts

3. HR and internal comms

There are plenty of organization wide use cases where Slack apps improve collaboration around core HR processes—like hiring, recruiting, benefits administration, internal comms and more.

  • Track candidates: Manage the whole candidate journey so you can deliver a seamless candidate experience and get offers to the best talent faster. Integrations with HR apps like Workday mean the hiring team can do it all from within Slack.
  • Request and approve vacation: It’s much more efficient when you can enable self-service wherever possible, especially on HR and benefits-related tasks. (Note the action buttons for instant responses, again, within Slack).
  • Poll your teams: Get instant feedback and actionable insights on everything from employee engagement to catering. Slack integrates with all kinds of polling tools.
Slack Sample integrations for HR and internal comms
Slack Sample integrations for HR and internal comms

Sample integrations for HR and internal comms:

  • Workday (coming soon)
  • ADP
  • Ultimate Software
  • Lever
  • Greenhouse
  • Zenefits
  • Donut
  • Bonusly
  • Google Drive
  • Google Calendar
  • TINYpulse
  • Zoom
  • Simple Poll

4. Sales and marketing

Sales and marketing teams need to be able to grab insights and opportunities wherever they find them. Slack apps let your salespeople and marketers stay within Slack while they:

  • Monitor campaigns: Keep an eye on campaign performance and automate reporting from within the Slack interface.
  • Track deal stages: Keep tabs on the status of deals and update pipeline dashboards.
Slack Sample integrations for sales and marketing
Slack Sample integrations for sales and marketing

Sample integrations for sales and marketing:

  • Marketo
  • HubSpot
  • Salesforce
  • Troops
  • Optimizely
  • Asana
  • Statsbot
  • Mailchimp
  • Mailjet
  • Hootsuite
  • Intercom

5. IT and customer support

IT teams can also integrate Slack with the various tools in their tech stack, to manage and secure Slack at scale.

  • Manage access: Use Okta for identity management and secure single sign-on via desktop, web and mobile.
  • Protect your data: Defend against loss or malicious attack by alerting your teams in the channel before harm is done.
  • Backup and archive: Make sure your content is backed up and archived for compliance, audits and easy e-discovery.
Slack Sample integrations for IT and customer support
Slack Sample integrations for IT and customer support

Sample integrations for IT and customer support:

  • Okta
  • ADFS
  • Ping
  • Skyhigh
  • Netskope
  • Smarsh
  • Global Relay
  • Papertrail
  • Backupery
  • Zendesk
  • ServiceNow
  • Guru
  • Symantec

From simple to rich integrations A Slack app can automatically post an alert from third-party software into a given Slack channel—and post a message back to the software.

But Slack apps can go much deeper than that, triggering interactive workflows that combine several different software tools into one process. That’s why we call it “adaptive collaboration”: it adapts to the ways your people work.

In this example, Zendesk, Salesforce and Knowledge Base are leveraged to create a concise service case that an agent can claim in Slack.

Connected teams are getting quality work done faster in Slack
Connected teams are getting quality work done faster in Slack

The benefits

When you reduce work fragmentation and get more from your tech stack, you see benefits across the whole enterprise, at the individual, team and organization levels:

  • Individual: Boosting autonomy, personal productivity and employee experience
  • Team: Increasing responsiveness, effectiveness and efficiency
  • Organization: Enhancing alignment, transparency and agility

And these in turn impact real business outcomes:

  • Greater agility and responsiveness: For faster, better decisions
  • Speed to market: For new ideas, product, code and innovations
  • Less friction: Across all processes and departments

Of course, as the ones leading the adoption of this new form of collaboration, it’s only fair that IT reaps the benefits too. When better integration unlocks more value from the tech stack, the IT teams get:

  • One central place: Reducing admin overhead (for IT and for all teams)
  • Simple OTS and custom apps: Grabbing ready-made or building on-demand
  • Consistent UX across devices: Both desktop and mobile devices

There is a “circular relationship” between collaboration and autonomy: Collaboration with colleagues leads to more autonomous work being created, and autonomous initiatives often lead to meaningful work with colleagues.

How 21st Century Fox uses Slack to run a real-time coverage engine

In 2018, FOX Sports division was given a golden opportunity—covering the FIFA World Cup.

This sprawling live event demanded real-time collaboration between everyone involved, from producers to designers to on-air talent.

With Slack at the heart of its collaboration ecosystem, the company was able to connect 847 apps so its 12,800+ users could do all their work without having to waste time switching between apps. For example, by starting a call in Zoom, accepting a request from ServiceNow, or creating an action in Trello by typing simple slash commands.

Here are a few of the team channels 21st century Fox used to manage its mammoth operation:

  • The #worldcup-digital Slack channel enabled continuous communication between on-site location scouts and the studio
  • The #production-triage channel gave users a platform to ask and answer urgent questions instantly
  • The #wc-worldcup-performance channel was used to track as many as 130 pieces of content a day
  • Thanks to a CrowdTangle integration, they could track how content was performing without leaving Slack
  • A Zoom integration allowed users to hold team standups within Slack

Slack also simplified and accelerated the process of onboarding the 200 freelancers required to produce World Cup coverage.

  • A ServiceNow integration: Meaning that management could receive and approve requests from new team members
  • Slack’s archive of past messages: Helping new team members get up to speed on ongoing projects

The results:

  • Successful collaboration across 4 production teams in Russia, Los Angeles, NYC and Charlotte
  • 3k tweets posted
  • 558M video views
  • 204% achievement against engagement goals

Slack can transform a live sporting event into a shared global moment across the business. – John Herbert, CIO, 21st Century Fox

The Slack ecosystem and open API approach

We like playing to our strengths at Slack. We knew we couldn’t build everything an enterprise needs, so we decided to focus on collaboration: making best-of-breed solutions perform even better by bringing them together.

That focus has paid off. Today we have a massive ecosystem with three key features:

  • Enterprise-grade partnerships: With software giants like Salesforce, Google, Workday, Oracle, IBM, ServiceNow, Microsoft…
  • App Directory: 1,500+ specialist and productivity apps, so you can take advantage of what’s already been created, and only build what you have to.
  • Thriving developer community: With many corporate developers using Slack APIs to build integrations with internal apps like ERP, HRIS and other enterprise systems.

Conclusion: multiply the value of your app estate

For collaboration, the myth of the big software suite that does everything is over: a central platform that integrates with the software your people use most is the way forward.

That’s what we’re dedicated to delivering for enterprises. By choosing Slack, IT leaders can unify the fragmented enterprise work stack, bringing apps together where people actually collaborate.

Users love it – they get the apps they love, with less time wasted switching between interfaces. The business wins – with greater productivity and faster, better decision making. And IT people love it too – it’s one secure platform for all teams that’s easy to manage and grow.

This is the way work is going. It’s a new kind of collaboration power that brings together the entire enterprise’s people, data and applications.

Source: Slack