Slack & Happeo: Synergy and Differences

The amount of visible information flowing through companies is huge. But, much like water, directed information is easier to digest when it’s channelled properly. To categorise the flow of communications, we start at its speed. Slow, medium and fast – or Static, Dynamic and Rapid. Later in this article, we’ll compare the products in important use cases, showing its differences, but also highlighting the synergy.

Creating synergy between the three

Static communication

Static communication is information employees need but doesn’t require an update every week-or-two (your mileage may vary). A list of preferred suppliers, office information, onboarding material, an org chart or even your brand guidelines – all simple examples. This information is best left in intranet pages that are easy to discover through search functionality.

Dynamic communication

Dynamic communication’s easiest example is a post on your Enterprise Social Network (ESN) or an email. Emails have their place, don’t get us wrong, but there is a significant downside to its lack of transparency, boring format and bad searchability. It’s still an important business tool and a preferred method of communication for one-way, critical information.

However, with a good social intranet, email becomes a channel to send and link information present on that platform, rather than hold the information itself. Another distinct advantage is that it already incorporates static and dynamic communication in one place. Static and dynamic communication tools are methods for asynchronous communication – that is to say, communication that doesn’t require an immediate response. 

Rapid communication

A quick message from Slack or Google Chat is often all you need to get something done, fast. Likewise, group discussions in chat can jump-start a project or inform a small selection of key stakeholders. Communicating at the same time is something applications like Slack excel at. We’ll refer to this as synchronous communication.

But, there is a danger to this. Too much communication in chat causes an information overload. Important details get missed and topics can get derailed quickly. That’s why it’s important to bridge these quick conversations into something easier to find and less “noisy”. Easy way to overcome that: link to chat conversations and post a quick summary on your Enterprise Social Network or social intranet. Spotted a good discussion? Turn it into an Article!

The more ways you can meaningfully transpose information from one channel into the other, without having to jump to three different platforms, the more synergy you create.

What to use when you create:

Important announcements

Use case:

Happeo is the main choice here. Since Slack is Rapid-only communication, the lack of stickiness (and fleeting nature) of messages means important announcements are easily missed.

Features relevant for use:

Happeo - Create a post on any channel as you normally would. Select “Post as announcement” and it will appear on top of the Channel for a set period of time. After this time, the announcement will become a normal post. Users have to select “Yes, I have read this” to mark it as read. This is an easy way to keep track of who actually read the post. 

Slack - Use @here to create a notification for the entire channel. There is no “stickiness” or an option to say “Yes, I have read this”. After people have scrolled to the message, the notification disappears.

Automating onboarding and other procedures

Use case:

Happeo is the main choice here. Slack has no ability to create Static communication. It is therefore nearly impossible to automate information provisioning for cases such as onboarding. 

Features relevant for use:

Happeo - Create a Page with all necessary information and documentation – directly from your Drive. It’s one big, easy overview of everything you need to know before you start at the company. Create an onboarding Channel so all onboardees (and maybe their buddies?) can talk.

Slack - Create a channel where all onboardees can talk. 

One-to-many communication

Use case:

Much like the important announcement section, Happeo excels at stickier forms of one-to-many communication. Its asynchronous nature means people aren’t required to be online at the same time to get the same quality of information provision. In Slack’s case, if you aren’t online at the time an important announcement is made, the chance you miss it is much higher as scrolling through an @here mention makes it disappear.

Features relevant for use:

Happeo - Create Announcements that stick at the top (see “important announcements”), create channels designated around topics, write long-form articles, create a Page dedicated to one specific topic or a combination of multiple topics (e.g. “Human Resources”).

Slack - @here mention in the General (or topic-specific) channel.

One-to-group communication

Use case:

Both platforms are equally capable of this. In large groups, the stickiness of messaging in Happeo will prove an advantage over Slack.  

Features relevant for use:

Happeo - Post Announcements, normal posts or articles in a group-specific Channel. Mention specific people with @name.

Slack - Post in a group-specific channel. Mention specific people with @name.

One-to-one communication

Use case:

As a rapid-only communication tool, Slack excels at one-to-one communication and is the best tool for this job. 

Features relevant for use:

Happeo - Mention specific people with @name – note that these messages will be visible to everyone in the channel.

Slack - Mention specific people with @name – note that these messages will be visible to everyone in the channel. Private Message (PM) someone. This message is only visible to that person.

Enabling leadership communication with different post types

Use case:

Leadership communicating is an increasingly important task for Internal Communications. As Slack has no ability for someone to ask for a review before posting, nor can you post on behalf of someone else, Happeo is the tool of choice.

Features relevant for use:

Happeo - Standard posts, @mentions, hashtags, GIFs, ghostwriting (post on behalf of someone else), post-review request. On the roadmap for the near future: polls.

Slack - Standard posts, @mentions, polls, GIFS, advanced emoji-reactions. 

Project collaboration

Use case:

For quick, synchronous communication around projects, Slack is fine. If your teams are situated across multiple time zones, or if the working hours vary drastically among team members, Happeo is the tool of choice in terms of pure communication around projects. When it comes to actual collaboration, the ability to work on a company’s most-used file types (Sheets, Docs, Slides etc.) natively within the platform, without the threat of creating duplicate versions, makes Happeo the stronger platform.

Features relevant for use:

Happeo - Communicate about projects, plan directly in Calendar, start a call through Meets, work on G Suite application files (e.g. Docs, Sheets etc.) directly in the platform and embed files directly from Drive.  

Slack - Communicate about projects. Start a call through Slack. Link to files in Drive. 

File sharing

Use case:

For quick file sharing, Slack is fine. However, since files are stored in the platform itself when you upload something, there is a high risk of duplicate versions. Happeo doesn’t store anything in the platform itself, but rather handles everything through Drive. This minimises the risk of duplicate versions. 

Features relevant for use:

Happeo - All files shared are not stored in the platform but in Drive itself. This prevents duplicate versions and makes it easier to search them. Files can be shared directly in Posts

Slack - Files can be shared directly in posts, or linked to from Drive. Files shared are stored in Slack, increasing the risk of duplicate versions.

Search

Use case:

Though Slack has a search function that was recently expanded with better filtering options, Happeo’s all-encompassing search is much stronger and easier to navigate. It doesn’t just search content in Channels, like Slack, but searches across everything in the platform – including Pages and files. It can even search further into more G Suite applications, such as your mail. 

Features relevant for use:

Happeo - Advanced elastic search that rivals the functionality of Google itself. Ability to search through all content within the Happeo platform as well as all of G Suite / Drive and even email. Search results can be filtered by files, Pages, People, Channels, email and calendar items.

Slack - Search content within Slack posts, filter search results by messages, files, people and channels.

Knowledge archive

Use case:

It’s impossible to create a knowledge archive out of rapid-only communication. If you want to find information on certain topics within Slack, you have to dig through a lot of conversation to get to the meat of it. This is much easier to find in Happeo due to its long-form communication possibilities, in the form of Pages and Articles. 

Features relevant for use:

Happeo - Take conversations from Channels or Post and transform them into Static content by creating Pages or Articles based on them. The advanced search feature makes everything easy to find.

Slack - Search function makes it possible to find content in the platform.

Analytics

Use case:

Both platforms have sophisticated analytics, but Happeo’s is richer. In Slack, you can only tell which Channels are the most popular. Happeo goes deeper than this and shows you which posts are the most engaging, which topics are most frequently communicated around and who the main influencers are on a per-channel or global basis. 

Features relevant for use:

Happeo - View top contributors, influencers, detailed channel analytics, post engagement, detailed breakdown of most popular Channels and Pages, most used devices (mobile/desktop) and use a custom Google Analytics tracking ID.

Slack - View the number of messages sent, files uploaded, global usage of public or private channels, global channel activity and member activity.

Synergy

Use case:

Posts created in a Happeo Channel can be directly posted into a connected Slack channel through our integration. This means that rapid-communication can quickly take place around dynamic content. The ability to link to conversations in Slack channels creates further synergy. See a topic that’s frequently being discussed? Create a long-form Article around it in Happeo and link to the conversation in Slack for further reading. This makes Slack’s rapid communication a lot stickier and asynchronous. Happeo’s Static + Dynamic communication features, coupled with Slack’s rapid-only communication features, create an all-encompassing digital communication suite. There is no denying that rapid communication is important for any organisation, especially in the current situation, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. 

Features relevant for use:

Happeo - Slack integration, Articles, Channel posts.

Slack - Posts, link-to-post.