Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas! 🎅 You must have been good this year! ✔️
Today we'll be running through a list of current apps that integrate Salesforce and Slack that are available on the Slack App Directory. Get your egg nog (whiskey?) and Christmas cookies ready... because you're in for a treat.
The list is in as close to chronological order as possible and the information is to the best of my knowledge based on usage and research. If something is incorrect please feel free to let me know. I did purposefully leave out Quip for Slack and Commerce Cloud for Slack (coming soon), focusing on what currently available on the main Salesforce Slack Integrations page here.
*Real quick, before we get into it... one more thing. Over the course of December, we'll be releasing a series of how-to guides for the first four apps on this list as part of our Slackmas Series. And we'll look to cover additional apps as we get into 2023. Alright, enough - let's go!
🎶 On the first day of Slackmas, Salesforce gave to me... the first integration of Salesforce and Slack!
The original app created for connecting Slack and Salesforce waaaay back in 2016 was available for only Sales Cloud, but now also supports Service Cloud
“Our integration with Slack allows us to offer our customers a better experience by partnering with best of breed technology. We’ll continue to evolve and improve the ways Salesforce and Slack work together.” said Ryan Aytay, EVP of Strategic Product Alliances, Salesforce (2016)
At it's core, it is a very simple app which allows for searching for records in Slack on standard and custom objects, getting alerts standard and custom objects, and sending Salesforce records to Slack. See more about it from Slack below.
Note, it requires the Salesforce for Slack companion app which appears to have been originally released 2019 (according to the Salesforce AppExchange). Not sure what (if any) Managed Package or companion app was required for the integration between 2016 and 2019. Also note, this package has not been updated since 8/13/2021 as of publication of this article, meaning it's gone over a year without an update. I'd assume this means the team is focusing it's time on other apps.
🎁 Link to standalone guide: Slackmas Series 1/4: How to set up the Salesforce app for Slack
🎶 On the second day of Slackmas, Salesforce gave to me.... a different app than the original just "Salesforce" app, right? ...Yeah!
This is the next attempt from the duo, described in the app store as containing "base platform features like notifications, approvals and screen flows in Slack". It has only one slash command which connects to an org. Note that Salesforce labels this app "Platform for Slack" (bundles it with Flow in Slack and Apex SDK for Slack) -- so that may be a better way to think about it (i.e. "Salesforce Platform for Slack").
To that point, on the Salesforce side, it gives access to Slack Flow Core Actions.
The Salesforce for Slack app is the low-code foundation for the ecosystem of Salesforce for Slack integrations. The Salesforce for Slack app provides core services that enable base platform features like notifications, approvals and screen flows in Slack - no custom Slack Apps needed.
This app is more Salesforce heavy than apps we'll look at down this list which have more Slack components/functionality. It contains one slash command to connect to an org so it's less meant Slack commands and more for leveraging Salesforce Platform features to integrate with Slack.
So this begs the question, between these first two, which app should you use long term (1) Salesforce or (2) Salesforce for Slack? Since they are not 1:1, it's not that simple though the original Salesforce app is widely considered legacy though still available. A better question probably is -- Instead of the legacy Salesforce app, should I use Sales Cloud for Slack app or Service Cloud for Slack app?
🎁 Link to standalone guide: Slackmas Series 2/4: How to set up the Salesforce (ahem... Platform) for Slack app for Slack
🎶 On the third day of Slackmas, Salesforce gave to me... the first (named) Cloud-specific app!
This app (and all the rest on this list) were created post the Salesforce acquisition of Slack. Sales Cloud for Slack was included with Service, Marketing Cloud (Digital Command Center) and Tableau apps which all emerged fall 2021. As you can see on this list, this initial cloud-based app strategy for these four clouds/products has spawned more cloud-specific apps.
This app follows a new strategy which does NOT require a companion app be installed. Instead, within Salesforce orgs themselves natively, there are ways to integrate Slack and Salesforce and do the required configuration plus the Slack installation authenticates your Salesforce org.
As you will see in the standalone guide (below), this app has a pretty well structured wizard to walk admin users through setting up Sales Cloud for Slack and getting functionality rocking and rolling quickly -- though it does caution against changes to the templatized flows. It clearly contains more functionality in Slack and Salesforce than previous attempts, and for the first time has Setup for the integration directly in Salesforce (and not in a Managed Package).
🎁 Link to standalone guide: Slackmas Series 3/4: How to set up the Sales Cloud for Slack app
🎶 On the fourth day of Slackmas, Salesforce gave to me... the second (named) Cloud-specific app!
Another one of the four first post-acqusition apps focused on Service Cloud. Although similarly named to Sales Cloud for Slack, this app has an almost completely different set up process, functionality and objects. 🎉
As you will see in the guide (below), the "wizard" is way less built out and more disjointed than the Sales Cloud version -- so be prepared to struggle a bit in set up. You have to enable a Salesforce Feature, Swarming, and do moderate config to get it set up properly on the Salesforce side.
The cool part? When configured correctly, swarms can be automatically spun up, invite the correct people, and within the swarm you can "send messages posted in Slack directly to connected records in Salesforce" providing your team traceability and context for issues between systems.
Overall though the app is less built than the Sales app, has fewer Slack commands available and does not come with the same type of templatized flows that Sales Cloud does. Point being, each of these apps will be different than the other, have different initial set up, configuration, permissions, objects, etc.. so be prepared for that.
🎁 Link to standalone guide: Slackmas Series 4/4: How to set up Service Cloud for Slack app
🎶 On the fifth day of Slackmas, Salesforce gave to me... an app to get notifications for Tableau!
The third of four post-acquisition apps, this was rolled out in fall of 2021 and available for Tableau Server and Cloud.
Tableau Server and Tableau Cloud support integration with Slack, making Tableau notifications available to licensed Tableau users in their Slack workspace
Currently, pretty basic as it allows for you to send notifications via the Tableau App Message tab in Slack. You can do things like set up data-driven alerts in Tableau to send to Slack and get notifications for shared content or tags.
It appears as if there is pretty recent active development here as Tableau Blog states "Reach out to your Salesforce account executive to join the Tableau CRM for Slack app pilot, part of the Salesforce winter 2022 release."
🎶 On the sixth day of Slackmas, Salesforce gave to me... an app to monitor Marketing Cloud!
The fourth of the four original post-acquisition apps, this app another one that is mainly based around "pre-configured rules, alerts, and calls to action".
Digital Command Center for Slack is a Slack application and service that is primarily focused on proactively monitoring large-scale automated processes such as Journey Builder journeys, Automation Studio contact syncs and data ingestion and on quickly identifying any problem and immediately acting upon it with the help of customizable alerts and action buttons.
Salesforce probably does a better job explaining it than I do so take a look!
Note, there is also a Marketing Cloud integration to Slack which can be configured via Salesforce for Datorama (Intelligence Insights for Slack). I did not add this to the list as its own app because it is not a Slack app (cannot be installed directly from Slack App Directory).
🎶 On the seventh day of Slackmas, Salesforce gave to me... an app to set up notifications from Pardot!
Unclear looking back if this was released as part of the core four initial apps piloted late in 2021 or slightly after, but it integrated Slack and Pardot again mostly for notification purposes.
Both Marketing Cloud Journeys for Slack and Pardot Automation for Slack will launch with the Spring 2022 release, Salesforce said.
With Account Engagement in your Slack workspace, you can send real-time notifications when prospects interact with your marketing assets. Plus, customize the messaging for your notifications, and deliver them to the right teams automatically. After all, the faster prospects are followed up with, the more likely leads are to convert.
🎶 On the eighth day of Slackmas, Salesforce gave to me... an app to utilize reports and dashboards in Tableau CRM!
For those not in the know, "Salesforce CRM Analytics started out life as Einstein Analytics, which was renamed Tableau CRM in late 2020".
This app was rolled out after the initial four post-acquisition apps (Sales, Service, Marketing, Tableau) coming to the app directory in summer of 2022. It's functionality is very similar to Tableau for Slack, but for CRM Analytics not Tableau.
Now you can seamlessly find, share, and collaborate on Salesforce reports and dashboards and CRM Analytics items within Slack and stay up to date on all of your data.
Essentially basic functionality available in Slack which allows for browsing, searching and sharing of reports/dashboards and get notifications based on alerts.
Note that you cannot create reports/dashboards from Slack, that must be done in Salesforce UI directly.
🎶 On the ninth day of Slackmas, Salesforce gave to me... an app to search Trailhead with Slack!
Coming into view late 2021, this was another simple app that allows you to log in to your Trailhead, search for different learning content and share it. It also has a pretty snazzy App Home that allows you to see what you have in progress, your favorites, and recommendations.
Note that you cannot complete Trailhead courses from Slack. That must be done in Trailhead UI directly.
🎶 On the tenth day of Slackmas, Salesforce gave to me... the first app to work with a specific industry - Financial Services Cloud!
In a shift here, some time mid-to-late 2022, Salesforce released its first two Industry-specific apps (second below), shifting from their cloud-based app strategy a bit.
Like the cloud-based apps (say Sales Cloud), this app has similar functionality which allows users to:
View accounts, financial deals, interactions, or interaction summaries or create new interactions or interaction summaries on the connected Salesforce org.
It's described functionally very similarly to a cloud-based app like Sales Cloud, but with specific integration (and slash commands) for FSC objects. Easy breezy.
🎶 On the eleventh day of Slackmas, Salesforce gave to me... an app to create Student Success Alerts (and notifications)!
The second of two initial industry-specific apps, this time focused on Education Cloud. The listing does not yet currently contain screenshots or visuals of how the app works -- though it is described as a very simple notification-based integration.
The SSA Slack app is integrated with Student Success Hub (SSH). Support staff receive the alert in SSH so they can quickly intervene to help students get back on track.
There is a good walk through of this app available from Salesforce here. As you can see, it's fairly basic and straightforward in its application and usage.
🎶 On the twelth day of Slackmas, Salesforce gave to me... APIs so third-parties could build their own apps! 😆
With APIs available from both Slack and Salesforce, and a $100M Slack Fund to help companies build apps for Slack, there are dozens of apps on the Slack Directory that connect to both including Centro, Troops, Zapier, Workbot... the list goes on and on.
They tend to have similar features as Salesforce built apps -- either specific to a cloud/industry (i.e. Sales, Service, etc) or processes (i.e. Customer Support, Approvals, Business Processes). They have competitive pricing and in some cases, are much easier to use and implement than the (still somewhat beta) apps from Salesforce. Plus, in many cases, the third-party apps allow for users to skirt the required Slack AND Salesforce licenses that all Salesforce for Slack apps require today.
Clearly there are a lot of apps and a lot going on while the Salesforce and Slack integration/app strategy continues to evolve over the years. It appears to be that Salesforce is attempting to reproduce its cloud or industry-based sales strategies in its technical apps/integrations. Third-party apps are following closely and supporting both single clouds/industries as well as cross cloud/industries within a single app/integration. Salesforce or third-party, there are a ton of valuable functional apps out there that can help you increase productivity and streamline operations between Slack and Salesforce.
So... what's right for you? Where should you start for your business? Do I need Sales Cloud for Slack if I have Salesforce for Slack? Do I need Salesforce for Slack if I have Service Cloud for Slack? Should we get a third-party app? What are the differences between Service Cloud for Slack and this third-party app? 😵💫
👉 That's where we come in! Here at 21b we can help you work through all the questions around this and implement it! If you're interested in discussing with us, please contact us or Slack Connect us (firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com)!