ClickUp Connects Work Management More Tightly to Applications with Slapdash Acquisition
Most digital teamwork platforms start from a messaging, content, or workflow perspective. This is great for workers who spend most of their time at work in either mode. But what about those who spend most of their time in a specific business application, such as Salesforce or Workday? Connecting this last dimension of digital teamwork to the enterprise collaborative canvas often seems like an afterthought, leading to disjointed workflows and gaps in communication.
One vendor taking a new approach to this issue is the promising work management platform ClickUp, which last week announced its acquisition of Slapdash, a tool designed to connect to various popular SaaS applications. The Slapdash integration will add search and command capability to ClickUp, allowing users to search across all of their connected apps and act on the results. Slapdash currently connects to over 40 SaaS apps, including Slack, Google Drive, and Salesforce, with more on the way. Contextual search results are returned almost instantly, and users can then perform actions such as editing, sharing, and commenting. This ability to act on search results is particularly distinctive, says Ivan Kanevski, co-founder and CEO of Slapdash:
We give you this overview on applications. But I think the only interesting thing that we also do is not only search and read, we can also write in these applications.
Interestingly, the inspiration for Slapdash was Kanevski’s experience as a Facebook employee of the tools the company built for its internal use. But few companies have the IT resources to build their own in-house productivity tools like Facebook, Google, and Amazon. So after leaving Facebook, he and his colleagues set out to create a packaged tool that would put the same capabilities in the hands of any business. He keeps on:
We’ve built what I like to describe colloquially as “the file system for your cloud apps”. Then we discovered new ways of working with this cloud, with this file system, allowing people to do things like open any document much faster than they otherwise would, or figure out what a nobody works…
What people got out of Slapdash [is]they could do things much faster, they saved people time.
Integrating this capability into ClickUp, which is a work management app similar to Asana, Monday.com, and Wrike, enables tight integration into the ecosystem of apps businesses use today. The number of applications in the average enterprise has increased dramatically in recent years, reaching an average of 80 last year as measured by SaaS management platform BetterCloud, and more than double in organizations with more than 2,000 employees. , according to Okta. Being able to connect to this ecosystem is critical, as Shailesh Kumar, SVP of Engineering at ClickUp explains:
The wider ecosystem is highly fragmented. Slapdash is an amazing technology to create a layer on top of the larger ecosystem and allow you to operate on that ecosystem more broadly. This aligns very well with ClickUp technology – ClickUp’s vision of how we save people’s time, how we make them more productive – because ClickUp will be the primary registry for your task and your work, but it recognizes and recognizes the ecosystem you are playing in.
You can create and access other apps and have two-way interactions, read and write interactions with other apps, very smoothly from ClickUp. This gives us the superpower of the breadth of actions you can take – the breadth of things you can do inside ClickUp to other systems is huge. This is the unlock we’ve seen with the Slapdash technology and the product itself.
The acquisition is much more than just a technology game, with the Slapdash team expected to make an ongoing contribution to ClickUp’s evolution. Kumar says:
It’s incredible technology, and the people that Ivan has built together – the team that we’re acquiring – each person is exceptional. Each person has a proven track record and is truly a powerhouse on their own.
We often hear about work management tools connecting to content platforms or messaging platforms, but most people’s work in an organization revolves around basic applications on which their work is focused: sales automation, service management, procurement, design, etc., depending on their role. . It is less common for work management tools to directly access these applications.
Even so, with ClickUp’s current advertising slogan being “One app to replace them all”, it’s good to see from this acquisition that the company recognizes the inevitability of coexistence with this vast ecosystem of other apps. Forcing everyone to use the same tools is unrealistic. Different work requires different applications. Therefore, the tools an organization uses to coordinate work must connect to all of these other applications.
This new acquisition brings proven technology to achieve this, but also a strong team that will likely bring much more to the ClickUp platform. There is a graphical data structure underlying Slapdash that maps a lot of useful information about the relationships that connect people, data objects, and workflows. One of the insights I had when I started mapping how companies coordinate digital teamwork is that technologies that provide search, synchronization and connections between people are all ingredients essential alongside the collaboration tools themselves. It will be interesting to see how ClickUp evolves its functionality now that it has this new team on board.