Slack suspends access for Russia-based customers

Slack suspends access for Russia-based customers

Parent company Salesforce has pledged to stop selling to customers in Russia because of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Slack has suspended access to accounts for customers based in Russia, citing compliance with policies set out by its parent company, Salesforce.

Several Russia-based customers have been locked out of their Slack accounts, Axios has reported, preventing them from downloading data from the popular collaboration app. The data in suspended accounts is not deleted, and access will be restored if and when sanctions are lifted and Slack’s corporate policy changes.

“Slack is required to take action to comply with sanctions regulations in the US and other countries where we operate, including in some circumstances suspending accounts without prior notice, as mandated by law,” Slack said in a statement to Computerworld.

“We are in contact with affected customers regarding the impact of these actions on their account status, where permitted by law. Slack has a very small number of additional Russia-based customers, and like Salesforce, we are exiting those relationships.”

Slack declined to say how many customers have been affected by the decision. Slack is used by millions of individuals worldwide, and said it had 169,000 paying customers as of 2021. The company was acquired by US business software vendor Salesforce in a deal that closed last year for $27.7 billion.

Salesforce is one of several tech companies that have announced they would stop sales to Russia-based customers after the invasion of Ukraine last month.

“We do not have a material business in Russia,” Salesforce said in a statement March 7. “Through resellers and other channels, we have a very small number of Russia-based customers, and we began exiting those relationships last week.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on several large software vendors to end support for Russia-based customers in a message on Twitter Sunday.

Technology spending in Russian and Ukraine is likely to see a marked drop due to sanctions and disruption caused by the ongoing conflict, according to research firm IDC. 

“The conflict has halted business operations in Ukraine while the Russian economy is feeling the early impact of Western sanctions,” according to a March 7 report. “This will strongly affect tech spending in both countries with double-digit contraction of local market demand expected in 2022."

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