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Slack launches call integrations for Microsoft Teams and Zoom

Support for Cisco, RingCentral and more also announced by the communications platform

Slack now lets users make calls with Microsoft Teams inside a channel as part of a slew of new integrations added to the service. 

The Microsoft Teams Calls app is currently available in beta and comes just a few days after Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield revealed it was coming during an investor webcast with RBC analyst Alex Zukin. 

Calls on the service can be launched by typing '/teams-calls' directly into any channel on Slack and Teams can also be set as the default conferencing tool on the platform. 

The company also announced new integrations that enable calling phone numbers directly from Slack with Zoom Phone, Cisco Jabber, RingCentral and Dialpad.

"As part of our ongoing work to help our customers navigate this new world of remote work, we're adding Microsoft Teams calls as a video conferencing integration option alongside Zoom, Cisco Webex, Bluejeans and Slack native calls," said Brian Elliott, VP and GM of Slack Platform. 

"Whatever tools you use, wherever you are, and on whatever device, we want them to work seamlessly with Slack. Having all your software at your fingertips can help you stay connected and productive, and in the past month we've seen that our users have nearly tripled the rate at which they integrate their tools in Slack."

Teams has the edge currently, largely due to it coming bundled into Office 365, but Slack has become a popular choice for companies that use multiple cloud-based communication platforms. The two companies have recently reported spikes in daily active users during the current COVID-19 pandemic, with Teams reporting 12 million more since the start of March.

Slack has often been used in tandem with other services, particularly video calling software such as Google Hangouts and Zoom. Recently, Microsoft singled Zoom out as a potential business threat because of this. But the new integration suggests a less feisty competition from the two companies.

Since Teams was launched the two have traded blows over user numbers, features and even marketing strategies. In November, Slack accused Microsoft of copying its Adverts, referring to the company as a "boomer". A few months prior, Microsoft banned its employee from using Slack, suggesting it was "not secure".

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