Google and Slack deepen partnership to improve team collaboration

The rivalry between Microsoft and Google is a friendly competition Damson Cloud has been profiting from for years. The two Silicon Valley giants have been trying to one-up each other for as long as we can remember. Every time they do, our service offerings, which include solutions from both companies, get a nice boost. This time around, it’s Google’s turn to pull a new item from its bag of tricks, and this time they’ve brought a popular third party with them.

At only three years old, Slack is an incredibly young company to be competing with the likes of Microsoft. But therein lies the beauty of innovation in the technology sector. Slack, the team communication and collaboration company, is getting a host of direct integrations with G Suite’s long list of platforms and applications.

Rights management

Google has spent years perfecting their permissions system, but those innovations have been reserved for the G Suite ecosystem thus far. On the company blog, Google’s Head of Global Technology Partners announced that Slack will get direct access to G Suite rights management APIs.

With this integration, permissions for Drive documents will automatically update based on who shares links with whom in Slack’s messaging platform. Whereas previously it was a multi-step process (open G Suite Share dialogue, modify privileges, send to colleague), in the future the simple act of providing the link will grant recipients access.

Previews

When G Suite links are shared in Slack, upgraded permission isn’t the only thing colleagues will receive. When these integrations go into effect, documents shared in a Slack chat will display previews of the posted file.

This is especially helpful for documents that just need a quick glance from everyone on the team. As soon as users have finished content creation and shared the link, Slack will automatically render a preview. Team members can give it a thumbs up without ever leaving the the window, or open the document in a new window and post suggestions.

Notifications

If a shared file does receive comments, edits, or suggestions, a newly revealed Drive Bot will notify users of those changes in a private chat. This will significantly reduce the number of automated emails cluttering up inboxes, and minimize the number of mediums feeding information to users.

Slack software engineers have also promised users will be able to interact with comments, edits, and suggestion via the new integrations. Did someone miss an apostrophe? If a co-worker caught it, the edit can be approved by responding to Drive Bot without opening up the document and accepting the suggestion manually.

Tying Slack channels to Team Drives

We covered G Suite’s new Team Drive back in November, but it isn’t set for wide release until some time in 2017. However, with the Slack integration announcement from Google, it looks likely that the inaugural release of Team Drive will come with features that keep the two services tightly intertwined. By pairing Team Drives to specific Slack channels:

  • Anything uploaded to a channel will be automatically synced with the paired Team Drive;
  • Drive Bot will post updates and notifications from Team Drive documents to paired channels; and
  • Adding or removing users syncs across both mediums so everyone is always working with the same team, without duplicating user management tasks in both platforms.

Onboard Slack accounts from G Suite

Adding or removing users to a team isn’t the only time administrators can get déjà vu, though. As we’ve discussed on this blog before, onboarding new employees is notoriously tedious when organizations subscribe to a multitude of account-based services. But when these new features roll out next year, administrators will have one less service to worry about, because new Slack accounts can be created and provisioned from within G Suite itself.

Slack and G Suite are both success stories with wildly different beginnings, but although they’ve always played nicely together, in 2017 those two stories will take a step toward becoming one. And that’s good news for everyone, even our other preferred technology partner — Microsoft. As qualified cloud technicians and specialists, we’ve got solutions to all your organisational headaches. All you need to do is call today.