IBM chooses Slack as its global workplace communications tool

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Following an ongoing collaborative partnership (which began as early as 2014, according to some reports), IBM has officially announced that it has chosen Slack to power its company wide chat communications, helping the business to better connect all 35,000 employees internationally.

The news, which was first reported by Business Insider earlier this month, is a big win for Slack over its chief rival Microsoft Teams and cements IBM the messaging app’s largest client.

“Going wall to wall in IBM — it’s basically the maximum scale that there is, so we now know that Slack will work for literally the largest organisations in the world,” says Slack CEO, Stewart Butterfield. The team “has scaled its Slack deployment so it can offer it to every employee at IBM”, he added.

However, while the move is a significant step-up from the 165,000 IBM users that Slack last reported in 2019, after the launch of its Enterprise Grid service, it’s not clear whether IBM is using the paid version of Slack for all of its employees, or a mix of the free and paid options.

Either way, and whether or not the IBM deal means there are others in the offing, this is clearly good news for Slack. However, it’s unlikely to change anything at Teams or at Microsoft in the immediate future.

IBM’s decision comes just weeks after Microsoft has started a TV ad push for Teams. Microsoft has successfully chased and overtaken Slack during the past year, leading to Teams being used actively by 20 million people daily compared to Slack’s 12 million.