Slack has lifted the lid on a major new addition to its collaboration platform that it says could go some way to solving a number of common bottlenecks for customers.
Slack Canvas gives collaborators a new way to collect, organize and share data using persistent and highly customizable dashboards. These so-called “canvases” are attached by default to each channel and can be created manually for individual projects or events.
Not only can users embed contextual information, data, and multimedia content into canvases, but they can also perform daily tasks on the spot thanks to the third-party integrations already available in Slack.
In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Slack began talking publicly about a new strategy that involved zeroing in on the issues specific to this new era of remote and hybrid work. Overall, the ambition is for the platform to become a centralized hub for work, a so-called “digital HQ” for each customer.
Since then, Slack has gone live with a number of new features that push the platform in this direction. For example, the company announced a new impromptu meeting feature called Huddles, designed to minimize friction in quick calls. The firm also launched Slack Clips, a way for colleagues to record and send short video clips to each other, to support asynchronous ways of working.
Slack Canvas, meanwhile, can be seen as an extension of that same vision, bringing more of the functionality workers rely on to a single platform in a more unified way, so users don’t have to flip between several different applications to complete their occupation.
The feature will also fit nicely with other recent additions, including workflow automations developed inside the Slack Platform. The idea is that by making auomations easier to detect, employees will spend less time dealing with administration and more time on creative tasks.
Talking to TechRadar Pro ahead of Dreamforce 2022, Slack’s Chief Product Officer Tamar Yehoshua went into detail about the rationale behind the new tool and its role in the grand digital HQ strategy.
“Canvas will help people be more productive in their digital headquarters by giving them a surface that makes it easier to access the information they need to get their work done,” she told us. “It will be easier to automate, and it will be easier and faster to find information that is linked to the current task.”
“We hope that people will be able to onboard employees faster, to close deals faster, to resolve incidents faster, by having that information more readily available in a consistent location in this persistent layer.”
While Slack has always been about helping customers optimize efficiency, this is “a new day of work,” she added, and new approaches to collaboration are all the more important.
Slack Canvas is already in the hands of a small group of customers for testing and is expected to be made generally available in the coming months.