The plot deepens

Choosing sides: Slack partners with Google to add native Google Drive support

Gabriela Motroc
Google Drive

Robots handshaking image via Shutterstock

It’s been a month since Slack took out a full-page ad in the New York Times to welcome Microsoft to the revolution. Now the team collaboration tool has found its first A-team member: Google. The two have formed a partnership with the aim to bring native Google Drive support to Slack.

Shortly after it was announced that Facebook Workplace will allow third-party tools apps to be integrated into it, Slack revealed that it has joined forces with with Google to bring their “shared customers a suite of deep integrations.” The team collaboration tool wrote in a blog post that the Google Drive integration comes with Slack’s Drive Bot.

Turns out many of you love using Slack and Google together — so much so that millions of Google Drive files are shared in Slack each month.

Notifications for Google Docs, Sheets will arrive inside Slack’s Drive Bot; “the bot will use message buttons to enable you to approve, reject and settle comments from Slack, or you can open up Google Docs to resolve them there.” Another perk of the partnership is that Slack will “take some of the peskier permission-checking off your plate, and ensure that files shared in Slack are accessible to the right people. This means that when a file is shared in a channel, Slack will check that it is accessible to the group you’ve shared it with. If not, you will be prompted to update your sharing settings.” 

Furthermore, admins will be able to connect Team Drives with Slack channels. This is how it should work: “new files uploaded to the connected Slack channel will be automatically backed up to a Team Drive, and Team Drive updates will be shared in Slack.” Plus, users will be able to see Doc previews into Slack. As far as businesses are concerned, they will be able to provision Slack for their entire company from the G Suite admin console. 

Slack’s Google Drive integrations will arrive in the first half of 2017. The Slack team suggested that more integrations could come in the future.

“Slack is here to stay”

It seems that Slack is doing everything possible to prove that Microsoft Teams cannot outshine it. Slack explained in the open letter following the announcement of Microsoft Teams that “it’s not the features that matter.”

How far you go in helping companies truly transform to take advantage of this shift in working is even more important than the individual software features you are duplicating.

They also emphasized the importance of an open platform and revealed that “there are 750 apps in the Slack App Directory for everything from marketing automation, customer support, and analytics, to project management, CRM, and developer tools.” Therefore, if Microsoft is unable to offer an open platform and make people’s lives easier, “it’s just not going to work,”they said. 

Slack also offered Microsoft a lesson with regard to passion and love:

We love our work, and when we say our mission is to make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant, and more productive, we’re not simply mouthing the words. If you want customers to switch to your product, you’re going to have to match our commitment to their success and take the same amount of delight in their happiness.

The conclusion was that “Slack is here to stay” — a soft threat that Microsoft Teams cannot take it down especially since they have gained the trust of countless companies and “you can see Slack at work in nearly every newsroom and every technology company across the country.” This idea is also emphasized by The New York Times, which suggested that people use Spack because they want to, not because they have to (remember that Microsoft Teams is an addition to the Office package).

The moral of the story is if you’re a large incumbent with many lines of business, it is incredibly difficult to take on a smaller, focused start-up that has traction in the market,” Stewart Butterfield, the founder and CEO of Slack told The New York Times last month. 

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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