Slack unveils Office 365 integrations – and makes Microsoft part of its world

Slack is Slack, and Microsoft is Microsoft, and never the twain shall meet? Perhaps not. Slack has announced the launch of integration capabilities with Office 365 in order to – theoretically at least – bring more seamless collaboration to user workflows.

“Your company relies on a unique mix of tools to get work done. Maybe it’s Zoom for calls, Box for file storage, and Outlook for email and calendaring. Or you could be using Webex and OneDrive, or Dropbox and G Suite,” the company wrote in a blog post. “No matter what your mix looks like, Slack takes all of these everyday work tools out of browser tabs and brings them into one central place. And now, that includes Office 365 tools too.

“By using apps to connect Outlook and OneDrive with Slack, repetitive tasks such as checking your calendar or sharing email attachments with a group can be done right from your workspace,” the company added. “Each little improvement to these workflows adds up to a whole lot more time for you and your team to do your best work.”

Among the potential new features are rich file previews of Office 365 files uploaded to Slack, syncing with Outlook’s calendar, as well as importing and searching files from OneDrive. On the to-do list, promised soon, is the ability to send emails to Slack from Outlook.

The move is an interesting one considering the previous relationship the two companies have shared. When Microsoft Teams was launched in late 2016, Slack went to the effort of taking out a full page advert in the New York Times with the following broadside: “We know that playing nice with others isn’t exactly your [modus operandi], but if you can’t offer people an open platform that brings everything together into one place and makes their lives dramatically simpler, it’s just not going to work.”

In Microsoft’s most recent 10-K report, published in August, the company listed Slack for the first time as a competitor to Office, alongside Apple, Cisco, Facebook, Google, and IBM.

You can read the full blog post here.

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