We’re kicking off 2017 with the launch a few powerful integrations. A few months ago, we released Single Sign On for Slack and Github and today I’m pleased to announce that we have a fully fledged in-app integration for both. For the purpose of this post, I’d like to highlight our Slack integration - why we chose Slack and a step-by-step guide on how to use it, which you can fast forward to by clicking here.
As a small software company, our engineering team is lean and naturally, we’re hyperfocused on fixing bugs and further developing our core product. We know, however, the importance of developing app integrations as it helps not only make our product more adaptable but also expands our footprint.
So why did we decide on Slack? It came down to 3 things:
Reason 1: Because our customers said so (they tell us what to do around here)
Listening to our customers is incredibly important to the team here at Assembla. We use tools like Intercom and Zendesk to collect feedback and even wrote a blog post about it that can you read here. We document customer’s feature requests, inclusive of integrations requests, and come together as a team to prioritize this requests.
When I spend time talking to customers, I make it a point to ask what other products and services they’re using. Whenever we get an email requesting a particular integration or feature, we log it in the Assembla Feature Request Community.
In addition to collecting feedback submissions, we also monitor what our users are searching for in our knowledge base. This not only tells us which articles we should spend time writing but also gives us further insights on what features we could add to our product roadmap.
Reason 2: Slack makes Assembla way cooler (if we’re all being honest here)
Once we’ve come to the conclusion that there is a demand for a certain feature or integration, we have to make decision on which ones make sense to pursue. We ask ourselves the most critical question as part of this process and that is, Would the new integration make Assembla much more valuable to potential and existing customers?
Off the bat, this eliminates 95% of the possible integrations we could consider. There are many products that our customers use that they’d never get value from connecting to Assembla.
On the other hand, there are product integrations that make both products much more valuable for our customers.
Slack is a great example.
Assembla Adds Value with Slack Communication In App
We’ve often heard from customers that they’d like desktop notifications for Assembla messages. The Slack integration — which pushes ticket activity to a user’s Slack room or has Slack talk to Assembla to manage tickets, makes that possible.
Slack Adds Value with Assembla Ticket Management In App
And on the Slack side, many users spend their entire day in Slack. They’ve built a habit of doing much of their communication in the app so being able to get ticket management in Slack — and not having to always be logged in to Assembla — is a big bonus for them. That’s the sort of symbiotic value-add we look for as we build our integration roadmap.
Reason 3: There’s a lot of Slackers out there (that does opposite of what a slacker is of course)
Slack is one of the most popular communication tools today and is used by many SaaS companies, including Assembla. When you think about the tools you use, you probably have a handful of apps that you have open everyday that gets you through your work day. Our goal at Assembla is to not bombard users with another application that needs to be opened but to complement other applications our users are already using.
Slack attracts companies that are working on innovative projects and that’s the type of user we attract at Assembla. We have game development agencies working on the latest video game, digital agencies launching massive campaigns, design firms building robotics and universities building science experiments. All of these projects are complex and managing your everyday workload should not add to the complexity but rather simplify.
So how easy is it to use Slack + Assembla? Pretty easy.
I've outlined below how to first enable Slack and then how to use Slack from Assembla and how to use Assembla from Slack. Enjoy.
When you log into your project’s space in Assembla, you’ll see a button on the top right of your project’s eyebrow. When you click on this, you will see integrations. Click on itegrations and click the button “enable” for Slack. Once you do this, you can proceed to Step 2 and Step 3 for using the integration.
Step 2. Update Slack from an Assembla Ticket
While logged into Assembla, open one of your tickets. On the left side panel of the ticket, you’ll see a button for “Slack.” When you click on this button, you have the option to remind yourself or someone about the ticket or message the ticket to someone or a channel.
For your teammates that don’t like logging into Assembla, you can now give them updates directly to Slack.
Step 3. Update an Assembla Ticket from Slack
While in Slack, using the Assembla Bot, you have dozens of options to make updates to Assembla directly from Slack. You can do things like create a ticket, comment on a ticket or assign a ticket.
Here's a list of the commands you can use:
Create a new ticket in the default space
/assembla create Finish marketing report
Create a new ticket in another space
/assembla create Finish marketing report in #another-space
Find a ticket in the default space
/assembla find #12345
Find a ticket in another space
/assembla find #1234 in #another-space
Comment last mentioned ticket in the channel or any ticket by number
/assembla comment Good job!
/assembla comment #12345 Good job!
Assign last mentioned ticket in the channel or any ticket by number
/assembla assign @john.smith
/assembla assign #12345 @john.smith
/assembla assign #12345 to @john.smith
Show available spaces
Check the default space
/assembla default space
Set the default space
/assembla default space #another-space
If you don’t like leaving Slack to continue your workflow, you no longer have to!
This is just the first of many integrations we’ll be publishing this year. Please give us your feedback on this one and let us know what other Assembla integrations you’d like to see in the comments.