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Slack announces Connect platform to link up to 20 businesses

Slack Technologies Inc. on Wednesday announced a new platform, called Slack Connect, that links up to 20 businesses.

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Slack Technologies Inc. on Wednesday announced a set of technologies, called Slack Connect, that enhances its real-time communications collaboration platform across up to 20 businesses.

A company spokesperson said the ultra-secure system, which has been in the works for four years, represents for Slack

, “The future of business connection.” The San Francisco-based company is locked in a fierce duel with Microsoft Corp.

and its Teams product for enterprise customers. Slack shares are down 5% in midday trading.

“Over time one of the biggest ramifications [of Connect] will be having a medium for enterprise software to run across organizational boundaries,” Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said during a virtual press briefing.

In a phone interview with MarketWatch after the briefing, Slack Chief Financial Officer Allen Shim said the new, proprietary technology relegates email to “the fringes of business communication.”

“Our goal since this company was started six and a half years ago has been, How do we replace email as a delivery system… not just within a company but across companies?” Shim said. “It’s a step-up in collaboration capabilities for companies, and a vector for future growth.”

Slack’s bid for more enterprise business comes against the backdrop of heated competition with Microsoft Teams, which has the advantage of leveraging Office 365 in acquiring customers.

On Monday, Microsoft juiced the Microsoft Teams mobile app with chat/video calling, secure document and location sharing, and info/password storage to make it more appealing to consumers outside of work.

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