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Slack Frontiers event showcases ASU’s innovative collaboration

BY TETTLEMA – OCTOBER 14, 2020

The digital world...the final frontier!

That was the feeling at this week’s Slack Frontiers event, a global, virtual gathering dedicated to digital transformation. And ASU was glad to take part. CIO Lev Gonick joined a panel of experts for Day 2’s morning keynote, showing how ASU has been engaged, resilient and ready. Then, UTO Executive Director of Creative + Communications Samantha Becker and Executive Director of Strategic Implementation Office Warick Pond jointly shared the spotlight, giving lessons from launching Slack to thousands of users.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re learning online, on the campus in the classroom or ASU Sync enabled by Slack,” Gonick said, in reference to staying connected at the university. “While our industry is in decline in terms of enrollment, at ASU we’re up 23 percent year-over-year with students online, and on campus we’re up seven percent.” In their follow-up session, Becker and Pond described the process of ASU’s Slack rollout, focused on stakeholder inclusion and building a unique value proposition that generates pull. And they did so through a game show format!

ASU’s intent to foster an organic integration and meaningful use of Slack led to the creation of the five key answers to the question, “Why Slack?

Modernization. Moving from email to a collaborative tool such as Slack is a prime example of ASU preparing its learners to participate in and shape the workforce of the future. On any given day, tens of thousands of Slack messages across the university represent a more agile approach to communication; for example, the about 24,000 Slack messages sent today were certainly more effective than 24,000 emails!

Real-time collaboration. ASU is a vast distributed campus, and Slack connects stakeholders everywhere to instantly work together to develop projects and solve problems. Thousands of users, 8,000 of whom were active today, are able to quickly find each other and get in touch.

 Reduction. Slack is an all-encompassing application -- from the integration of Outlook Calendars and Zoom to the deployment of polls to get colleague input, it consists of hundreds of productivity tools to make the Slack experience even richer.

Shared affinity.  Slack fosters deeper communities of practice and leadership, enabling stakeholders to organize discussions and activities by team or subject matter, discovering and connecting to peers with shared academic focuses, projects, passions, and expertise. Over 4,000 active workspaces attest to the power of community.

Cross-functional expertise. Slack breaks down silos, making it easier to organize project and course discussions/activities with stakeholders representing a diversity of units and teams at ASU to deepen learning and productivity. Moving between those 4,000 workspaces is made possible by cross-workspace channels and membership invitations.

UTO provides an ever-growing list of Slack communities for its family members to join, such as #culture-weavers, #give-back-2-community and #asu-it-community. Check out the full list now, and also learn about all of the new features announced at Slack Frontiers.

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