IBM Adopts Slack for All 350,000 of Its Employees

Posted on February 10, 2020 by Mehedi Hassan in Cloud with 23 Comments

When Microsoft announced it had more than 20 million daily active users for Microsoft Teams back in November of last year, Slack’s stock fell as much as 11%. The competition between Slack and Microsoft Teams has heated up quite a lot in recent times and looks like it’s about to get more heated.

Business Insider reports that IBM just became Slack’s biggest customer, and will be moving all its 350,000 customers to the service.

The news has helped Slack’s stock surge as much as 21% today. A big company like IBM committing to Slack is obviously a very good look for the company, which has lately been facing a lot of pressure from Microsoft Teams.

IBM has apparently actually been using Slack since 2014, but it is now officially adopting Slack as the main communication tool internally as part of a larger effort to modernize the company itself. IBM’s Konrad Lagarde, who is in charge of the transition and is the director of productivity and developer tooling, said that IBM is adopting Slack mainly because its employees liked using the service. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said that working with IBM helped the company refine its product for the large customer.

This is obviously a very good boost for Slack, but it still will not be enough to compete with Microsoft Teams. Slack will need to continue getting more large customers like IBM in order to keep this up, so it will be interesting to see how well the company does on that front.

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Comments (23)

23 responses to “IBM Adopts Slack for All 350,000 of Its Employees”

  1. bluvg

    "mainly because its employees liked using the service"

    Well, when your alternative was Lotus Notes....

  2. Mike Brady

    Lotus Notes, Java, and perhaps now Slack. IBM sure knows how to pick winners.

  3. wright_is

    IBM's 350,000 customers? I thought it was employees?

  4. suominena

    This couldn't have been a big surprise, really :-) Good for Slack and good for IBM and good for competition.

    I have to use both in my work, but love Teams more. It's more organized, in Slack there is too much clutter.

  5. Stooks

    Maybe IBM is going to buy them...and take them down the drain with the rest of the company.

  6. greenloco

    Will IBM even be a thing in a year ?

  7. webdev511

    Nice stock bump from that news too. The reality is IBM probably got a sweet deal on Enterprise Grid, but even so it can't hurt to have another 350k ENTERPRISE users providing feedback on the product.

    • webdev511

      In reply to webdev511:

      I stand corrected. Apparently this has been happening for over a year and it was just a note in the 8K. So the follow up statement was that this isn't going to impact financials because IBM has been a paying customer for a while. Opps, for a lot of people no less.

  8. bob_shutts

    I remember when IBM and Microsoft were hand in glove. How things have changed! IBM says that most of their employees are on Macs. Now they are going 100% Slack (did they use Teams before?). If IBM is still nursing a grudge because MS sold licenses to PC clone manufacturers, that would be a long time to nurse a grudge! LOL.

    • max daru

      In reply to Bob_Shutts:

      Kind of like when Bill Gates was invited to the New York Times offices and then arrogantly put down traditional media during the visit. The Times folks never forgot that and their coverage of Microsoft has been negative ever since. These grudges can last decades even with a complete turnover in the parties involved.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to Bob_Shutts:

      In the article it says they have been using it for a while. They are just making it official policy now.

  9. anoldamigauser

    So, I am probably not the demographic that these tools are aimed at, and I can see use cases for them, I just wish that Slack and/or Teams could put together an ad campaign that actually looked like the folks involved were accomplishing something other than deciding where to go for lunch or drinks.

  10. skolvikings

    For what it does, Slack is really good and I really like it. Teams is better overall however.

    • Vladimir Carli

      In reply to Skolvikings:

      teams is not better. We can’t even try it until Microsoft decides to support multiple business/home accounts. It’s more than a year that they discussed this feature. Why is it so difficult to implement?

      • lvthunder

        In reply to Vladimir:

        Whatever is better is just a personal opinion. That said I don't even understand what you are asking for.

        • Vladimir Carli

          In reply to lvthunder:

          doesn't seem that difficult. If you have multiple microsoft accounts, there is no way to be logged in with all of them at the same time. You have to logout and re-login each time you want to switch

        • IanYates82

          In reply to lvthunder:

          I think it's that the Teams app runs using a single account - one email / password for login.

          You can use that same single identity in multiple tenants / companies - I myself am in 4 different tenants with my one identity.

          However if you have multiple identities then your only option is to run Teams in a browser. It works surprisingly well there at least.

          • Vladimir Carli

            In reply to IanYates82:

            that is very interesting and useful. Can you explain a bit what is the difference between identity, tenant and company?

            I happen to work for three different organisations and each one provides me with an Office365 account that includes access to one drive, teams, email on org domain etc.

            Is there a way I can unite the three accounts under the same identity? The main problem I have with teams is that the only way to switch accounts is to logout and login. Even if that is easily feasible using a password manager, the major issue is that I get notifications only for the account I am logged in with and not for the others. That basically defies the concept of push notifications and it's the reason we use other messaging apps and don't switch to teams

  11. RonV42

    When your #1 collaboration tool is Lotus Notes you have to do something different.

  12. Andrea Barbera

    Being a cloud competitor to Microsoft, I doubt that IBM would be invested into the Office 365 cloud ecosystem that really needs to be in place to effectively use Teams. So it's not like that had any other choice than using Slack at that point.

  13. harmjr

    This is smart because of Microsoft starting to look into things like virtual agents in its PowerPlatform so one day it may be Azure+PowerPlatform Vs IBM Watson services.

  14. mrlinux11

    "moving all its 350,000 customers" Should that be employees and not customers ?