The launch of Slack Enterprise Grid and the future of work

Thought Piece
02.06.2017

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Original Post

This week, I had the pleasure of joining Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, IBM CIO Jeff Smith, Pamela Hinds, director of the Center for Work, Technology and Organization @ Stanford Engineering, and hundreds of others to explore the future of work and launch Slack’s new enterprise collaboration workspace, Slack Enterprise Grid.

Discussion at the dynamic event in San Francisco highlighted the technological and cultural forces that are converging and impacting how work is organized, how people coordinate, and how information is shared.

As VP of Workforce Technologies for Capital One, I’m focused on providing 40,000+ associates located across multiple geographies with the modern technology tools and workplace experiences that will best unleash collaboration, productivity and rapid innovation – so that we can ultimately deliver the best possible experiences for our customers.

From our engineering teams to our front-line workers, our workforce has incredibly diverse needs that are rapidly changing, but one theme is consistent: we all have increasing expectations that the technologies we use at work will provide the same experiences that we have in our consumer lives.

We were an early adopter of Slack Enterprise Grid, because it married the humanity and connectivity our teams experience as consumers and want at work along with the administrative capabilities we need as a larger enterprise. It brings people together in a fluid, connected way – so they can share information more naturally and less formally than we’re used to in email, leverage the power of our networks, and more rapidly share and exchange new ideas. While Slack adoption started among our developer and digital designers, it has grown and blossomed beyond technology teams.

Slack Enterprise Grid is a great example of a workforce technology tool that reflects the changing nature of work. As we look ahead to what else the future of work holds, I’m particularly excited about how advances in predictive analytics will unlock even more ways to harness data that enables technology to anticipate our needs, how API’s will allow us to thread together the technology the workforce uses to create a more seamless experience, and how bots will allow us to automate the routine aspects of our daily lives so we can focus on what is most important.

We’re already seeing early examples where technology is enriching the lives of our workforce.

For example, today, when I arrive at the office, there are technologies that tell me which parking garages are full – which is incredibly helpful in saving time driving around looking for an open spot. In the future, I can imagine technology would go several steps further and notify me before I even leave the house saying ‘Hey, Jen, I see you’re running late, traffic is congested, and the parking deck is full. I have added your online meeting information to your meetings so you can join virtually.”

Based on preferences that I have shared, my workplace technology could be empowered to suggest events and meetings I may want to attend based on topics I am interested in, connect me with others based on shared expertise, suggest conference rooms based on attendees’ locations, anticipate what collaboration technologies I will want when I arrive, and notify people meeting with me if I’m running late. It might even notice a gap in my calendar and suggest I take a gym break. (Which I would probably ignore ... but that’s another story.)

The possibilities are endless – and exciting. We’ll be able to better anticipate the needs of our workforce, our customers, and free our minds, creativity and energy to focus on what matters most – whether we’re at home or work.

For Capital One, that means getting to the future of work for our employees, and the future of banking for our customers.

Jennifer Manry Vice President Enterprise End User Computing and Access Management at Capital One.

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