Salesforce.com has approached workplace messaging app Slack Technologies with an acquisition offer as the cloud computing firm seeks to expand its offerings to clients. The bid has come at a time when Slack is struggling to fully capitalise on the switch to WFH during the worldwide pandemic in the face of fierce competition from Microsoft’s Teams and other workplace apps. The deal, however, is not certain.
Business Communication tool Slack will now provide usage metrics to group owners i.e. last active time, device typically used, and a number of messages an individual has posted. The new features are available for Standard, Plus, and Enterprise Grid plans. Organisations, owners will be given authority to disable these metrics for groups they manage. Microsoft Teams also offers similar features after it enhanced analytics and reporting capabilities.
Collaborative platforms like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom help the HR to bridge communication gap; especially, during remote working. Data analytics and people analytics tools help in making data-driven decisions in hiring, promotion etc. Digital upskilling programs coupled with interactive AI, AR, VR ensure better engagement and learning. AI, ML-based dynamic goal setting, regular performance checks, etc help in employee engagement and retention.
Microsoft has scaled Teams’ participant limit to 20K and will introduce updates in Microsoft 365 for paid subscribers this week. Administrator controls have been enhanced, including ‘view only’ for participants on larger calls. Interactive meetings are scaled up to 1k participants. Also, participants will now be able to transition between chat, calling and meeting on cloud-based Teams calling, eliminating the need for phone numbers to make calls.
Microsoft will increase Teams’ capabilities to support up to 1,000 participants at a time. And soon the platform will also support up to 20,000 participants. Teams will enable live filters and reactions, which allows the users to change the lighting in real-time on a call and adjust for a webcam’s shortcomings. Besides, its AI-powered Together Mode will create a live virtual avatar of participants and put them in a virtual meeting room setting.
Bharti Airtel, media reports said, is planning to launch its own video conferencing service, similar on the lines of Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts. The product will be offered to startups and enterprises in the first phase. In the second phase, it will be rolled out for regular customers. Last week, Airtel’s Telecom rival Jio has launched its VC services JioMeet, having striking similarity with Zoom.
Microsoft has launched ‘Teams for Education’ to prepare students and teachers for new remote learning formats. Its expanded 7X7 grid view can accommodate 49 participants. Custom backgrounds, class insights, virtual breakout rooms, student attendance reports give efficient supervision. Data analytics breakdown will report student engagement, assignment submission rate, activity metrics etc. And news options for student security and classroom control.
Slack is partnering with Amazon for the adoption of its services among the latter’s employees. As a part of the deal, Slack will shift its voice and video calls to Amazon Chime alongside continuing the use of AWS for storage etc. They will also work on bi-directional data transfer between AWS and Slack to ease the use of chat app for enterprise customers. Despite facing tough competition from rival Microsoft, Slack reported 28% growth in paid customer base.
Microsoft Teams demand hit “unprecedented level ” in March. Unlike previous events of natural disasters, demand was not limited to specific data centre regions, but across Asia and Europe. MS enacted a “temporary resource limits” especially for new Azure subscriptions and “optimised and load-balanced” Teams’ architecture for scaling improvements, “expedited” more server capacity having high demand, and moved through the customer quota requests backlog.