Slack partners and organizations must educate to avoid security and compliance shortcomings.

Moshe Beauford, Contributing Editor

August 17, 2023

3 Min Read
Slack Partners Have Shared Obligation to Educate Users
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With Dreamforce 2023, the Salesforce/Slack annual developer conference, fast approaching, we set out to unearth more about the landscape for Slack partners. Not big on sharing channel-related numbers, what we know about the program stems mainly from the firm’s partner website.

Slack has three tiers of partners. Software partners such as AWS, Google Workspace, Zoom, ServiceNow, and Zendesk comprise one body. Consulting partners, which include Deloitte Digital and the aforementioned IBM, are another tier.

Furthermore, there are security and compliance partners that extend support for data loss prevention, identity management and more. That includes the likes of Microsoft Defender, McAfee, and Theta Lake.

Slack’s Go-to-Market Struggle No More?

In March 2022, Slack reported it would expand its “global consulting partner” program with Salesforce. So says David Smith, founder and principal of InFlow Analysis.

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InFlow Analysis’ David Smith

“Slack is now more visible in Salesforce enterprise sale scenarios, both direct and via channel partners because it is ‘baked’ into the Salesforce platform, thus acting as the collaboration hub that connects and runs through it,” Smith told Channel Futures.

Go-to-market has always been a struggle for Slack, Smith said, but it now inherits the Salesforce ecosystem to “bolster” the firm since its acquisition by Salesforce in 2021.

“We’re seeing the fruit of that now as the ecosystem has widened, with the likes of IBM consulting now on board,” Smith said.

Reproducing Regulated Content On Demand

We also sat down with the security and compliance experts at Theta Lake, a Slack partner.

Anthony Cresci, the firm’s SVP of finance, business development and operations, gave us his take on the complications Slack partners encounter when deploying, implementing, and overseeing the collaboration tool in regulated settings such as governments, financial institutions and nonprofits — and how they might overcome them.

If your business is in a regulated industry, you already likely know about needing to replicate communications if asked to do so. There are various regulatory requirements, depending on the industry you dabble in.

There’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program), CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ), to name a few.

Cresci says reproducing communications has to be easy and intuitive, not something that most legacy vendors do. We’re talking about packing all the rich media – for example, images, GIFs, text, videos – into an email.

Cresci further notes that to pacify regulators, institutions must be able to analyze and easily search content to detect if employees are doing or saying the wrong things that could put a company at risk.

This means things such as phishing attacks, which Slack has experienced before.

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Theta Lake’s Anthony Cresci

“Even though Slack is a business-approved technology, some people often view it more casually and they share information that could get leaked,” he said.

Slack Partners: Education Remains Chief to Evading Intrusion

Considering that employees within organizations have the power to open the floodgates for intrusion, it’s critical for Slack partners to remain sharp by familiarizing customers with the probable dangers of sharing sensitive data within the platform.

And that means, according to Cresci, you can “leverage security/complaint platforms to identify when an employee exhibits high-risk behavior and extend additional training, tailoring content to them to ensure they are not the weakest link within an organization.”

Always be proactive rather than reactive, Cresci recapitulates, noting that this translates to additional sales for channel partners given they can layer on training and compliance tools. This creates what he says is a more significant prospect for bigger revenue.

Ultimately, education is a shared obligation of the partner and the institution.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Moshe Beauford or connect with him on LinkedIn.

 

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About the Author(s)

Moshe Beauford

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Moshe has nearly a decade of expertise reporting on enterprise technology. Within that world, he covers breaking news, artificial intelligence, contact center, unified communications, collaboration, cloud adoption (digital transformation), user/customer experience, hardware/software, etc.

As a contributing editor at Channel Futures, Moshe covers unified communications/collaboration from a channel angle. He formerly served as senior editor at GetVoIP News and as a tech reporter at UC/CX Today.

Moshe also has contributed to Unleash, Workspace-Connect, Paste Magazine, Claims Magazine, Property Casualty 360, the Independent, Gizmodo UK, and ‘CBD Intel.’ In addition to reporting, he spends time DJing electronic music and playing the violin. He resides in Mexico.

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