Slack Acquires Astro Technology to Streamline Chat and Email
Slack is acquiring Astro Technology Inc., a three-year-old email management startup based in San Francisco, to unify chat and email features.
Astro launched out of stealth mode in 2017 with an email client that featured a built-in virtual assistant, and later ported the underlying automation technology to Slack as a standalone chatbot offering.
The acquisition will enable users to search emails via the native interface. Slack will also invest in expanding the capabilities of its platform’s built-in search tool.
Astrobot, as the product is called, enables users to manage emails directly in the chat interface. It packs a set of advanced features that lend themselves to much more than just viewing and replying to messages.
A worker can have Astrobot remind them to answer an email at a later date, archive old items after a certain time period to keep their inbox organized and set alerts for important messages.
Astrobot makes it possible to centrally sift through emails and chat messages centrally in the Slack window, which can be immensely helpful given that most workers use team chat services alongside rather than instead of platforms such as Gmail.
Astro will discontinue its applications for Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Alexa and Slack on Oct. 10.
Slack previously bought Atlassian Corp. PLC’s rival HipChat and Strike team chat services for an undisclosed sum in a deal aimed at migrating the users who relied on those products to its platform. A few days before that, the company acquired another application called Missions that lets workers create workflows for automating tasks such as collecting customer feedback.
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