Slack reverses ‘we don’t need channel’ stance

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Slack reverses ‘we don’t need channel’ stance

When CRN met collaboration upstart Slack in October 2018, the company had a simple message to the channel: we don’t think we’ll need you, and if we do we’ll probably only need global system integrators.

One year and two weeks later, the company has announced a channel program that it said formalises its current arrangements with the handful of services partners it has signed.

But there's no formal plan to bring the program to Australia.

A Slack spokesperson told us "Australia is an important market for Slack and we would never rule out any move that would help us to partner with more local businesses."

But for now the program is only for the US, Japan and the UK, "however, that is not to say we won’t consider Australia in the future."

Feel free to stop reading at this point, but in case you want more Slack's canned statement featured head of global channel and alliances Richard Hasslacher saying "we are seeing unprecedented growth in the demand for services that enable customers to leverage Slack to drive organization-wide transformation.”

Which is a pretty weak statement given that any level of demand for Slack-centric services would be unprecedented at this state of the company’s growth.

Hasslacher continued: “We are expanding our focus to partner with a new wave of companies that extend and supplement our services capabilities across all industries. There has never been a more exciting time to partner with Slack, and we are deeply committed to creating programs that create value for both our partners and customers.”

Slack has not outlined any meaningful detail about the program, saying only it offers “technical training, sales enablement and go-to-market support” and will help partners to meet “the opportunity to roll out new processes” that erupts when an organisation adopts the company’s eponymous software. “Our initial set of participating partners offer a broad range of services, including solution design, business process optimization, change management and end-user adoption,” Slack said.

The company’s current partner list names just seven “services partners”, none of which operate in Australia although Slack gamely told us that two operate in “APAC”.

Which CRN mentions to point out the contradiction of not working with Australian partners but still wanting the cred of being seen to be in the region.

Slack seems to be in partner recruitment mode, as it has created a “become a partner” form that poses a number of screening questions.But of course there's no point applying from Australia.

And maybe not much point in waiting until Slack changes its mind, given the momentum behind Microsoft Teams.

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