Slack is working with Amazon with a multi-year partnership meaning that all Amazon staff will begin using Slack. The deal comes only as Slack faces intensified pressure from Microsoft Teams, and it will also see Slack move its voice and video calling functionality to Amazon’s Chime platform along with broader Amazon Web Services (AWS) adoption.
Amazon’s roll-out of Slack to all the staff is a big part of the bargain, thanks to a company-wide arrangement. However, it’s not immediately clear how many of the 840,000 employees at Amazon will be using Slack. Slack’s biggest customer until today has been IBM, which rolls slack out to its 350,000 employees.
While Slack has been using AWS for a long time to power parts of its chat app, it is now committed to using Amazon’s cloud services as its preferred partner for storage, computing, database, security, analytics, machine learning, and future collaboration functionality. The deal means it’s unlikely we’ll see Slack turn to Microsoft’s Azure cloud services or Google Cloud in the foreseeable future to power parts of its service.
“We didn’t use Azure,” says Brad Armstrong, Slack’s business and corporate development vice president, in an interview with The Verge. “The vast majority of our service has always been running on AWS.” Armstrong says it’s “not likely” that Slack will look for future use of Azure.
The move to Amazon Chime for voice and video calls from Slack is an important part of the deal as well. Compared to Microsoft Teams, voice and video conferencing is a particularly weak point for Slack, but this new integration should mean it will be greatly improved in the future. Slack has already begun the migration and looks into new features. Slack and AWS will improve their integration of Amazon AppFlow in the coming months to support bidirectional data transfer between AWS services and Slack channels.
All of these integration points and Amazon’s embrace of Slack are designed to make the chat app much more attractive to corporate customers. Despite Microsoft’s recent big push with teams, Slack has been steadily growing its enterprise business. It’s an argument that, in recent interviews, CEO Stewart Butterfield has been keen to make, even though he feels Microsoft is “unhealthily obsessed with destroying” Slack. “The convergence of cloud infrastructure and workstream communication platforms will shape the future of enterprise computing,” says Butterfield in a statement today.
It is a deal that both Amazon and Slack will benefit from. Amazon is a significant partner for AWS and its Chime network, and Slack gets AWS’s efficiency and security with a stronger voice and video calling service that underpins its service.