Slack AI now available to all paid users for $10 more a month


Slack’s generative AI (genAI) features are now available to all customers on paid accounts, at a cost of $10 per user each month. 

The collaboration software vendor, owned by Salesforce, brought the genAI features to enterprise customers in February (pricing wasn’t publicly announced). On Thursday, Slack extended access to a wider range of business users on Slack Pro and Business+ plans.

It means all paid customers will get access to the genAI features announced by Slack last year:

  • AI-powered search. This provides personalized answers to questions based on an organization’s knowledge base. Slack AI helps users locate subject matter experts, or find information on anything from work projects to understanding unfamiliar acronyms.
  • Channel recaps. This highlights key discussion points for a Slack user after a period away from the app, or for those who have recently joined a channel.
  • Thread summaries. This feature recaps faster-moving discussions, provides thread summaries, and offers an overview of long conversations, with links to sources in each summary that enable users to check information where necessary.

In addition, Slack has added a “daily digest” that provides users with a recap of what’s been going on in channels they might only visit occasionally.

Slack AI queries are processed using the firm’s large language models (LLMs), which are hosted in its own virtual private cloud running on Amazon Web Service servers, the company said in a blog post Thursday. The company said customer data is not used to train the Slack AI LLM. 

Slack is one of many collaboration and productivity software vendors to introduce genAI features in the past year. Some, like Google and Microsoft charge an additional fee for access to these capabilities; others such as Zoom include them for free in paid subscriptions. IDC expects that premiums charged for AI features will contribute to growth in business spending on collaboration apps, which is forecast to reach $71.6 billion in 2027, according to a report by the analyst firm

Irwin Lazar, president and principal analyst at Metrigy, believes Slack customers will find value in using Slack AI to summarize conversations and improve the ability to search and surface information within chats. 

“Our research shows that about 86% of companies are willing to purchase generative AI assistants/copilots for at least some users, though most have not yet determined measurable benefit,” he said.

For companies that use Slack intensively, the $10 a month per user license fee is “a bit easier to swallow”than more expensive genAI products, such as the $30 a month fee for Microsoft 365 Copilot, he said.

Cheaper options for genAI assistants are starting to appear, too. This includes the $20 Copilot Pro from Microsoft, and a recently introduced Google Workplace “add-on” that provides access to genAI features for its Meet video conferencing and Chat messaging apps. This, like Slack AI, costs $10 per user a month, and forgoes access to genAI features in the wider Workspace productivity suite in favor of features targeted specifically at collaboration. (Google also offers $20 and $30 per user/month subscriptions to its Gemini AI assistant.)

The appearance of lower-priced genAI options likely reflects “the need to monetize a service that can be onerous for vendors to provide,” said Raúl Castañón, senior research analyst at 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. 

This can be good news for customers, he said. A growing range of payment options means business can opt to provide a full set of genAI features to those employees more likely to use them extensively in their day-to-day work, while providing a cheaper option for a wider user base to accelerate adoption, he said, and avoiding the risk of leaving behind a substantial number of workers.

The proliferation of AI assistants throws up other challenges for customers. In many cases, organizations will use some combination of Microsoft Teams, Google Meet/Chat, and Slack products for productivity and collaboration. This potentially means paying for two or more disconnected AI assistants, should customers wish to access genAI features in multiple products.

“[T]he challenge for organizations in mixed vendor environments, [is that] they must consider paying for multiple generative AI tools, each only having insight into one vendor’s data,” said Lazar. “We’re continuing to look at whether or not vendors will share data, or whether or not generative AI copilots will drive vendor consolidation.”

Slack has other AI features in the works. The company plans to extend its AI search and summarization capabilities to access a wider range of data sources, including Slack apps, canvases, clips, and files uploaded to the collaboration app. This will enable more detailed, contextual responses to queries. Slack’s AI will also be used to create summaries of conversations held in its “huddle” audio and video call tool. 

An integration with Salesforce’s Einstein Copilot is also on the way; it will enable Slack users to query the CRM chatbot about sales data from within the Slack app. 

Collaboration Software, Generative AI, Productivity Software, Slack

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