Microsoft Teams Vs. Slack: Choosing The Best Collaboration Platform
COVID-19 has forced businesses to work remotely, increasing the need for collaboration and chat tools within organizations. Businesses are constantly looking to implement collaboration software to keep communication seamless and productivity high in such unprecedented times.
The two most competitive collaboration software platforms utilized by organizations are Slack and Microsoft Teams. While both are market-leading communication services with plenty of features and functionality, there are some important differences.
A few years ago, Slack was in a clear lead in the collaboration software space, with Microsoft Teams growing among enterprise customers. But in just three years after the launch, Microsoft surpassed the daily active users, hitting 13 million in July 2019, while it took slack six years to reach 10 million.
In 2019, the collaboration software market reached $9.5 billion globally. With more people are still working from home, Microsoft Teams’ user base has escalated to 75 million user base, in the first half of 2020.
It has massive reach with users across large enterprises, educational institutions, government entities, and its existing office 365 customer base. As of the end of 2019, Microsoft had taken lead over slack with 65% of the surveyed respondents using the technology.
Slack is still growing but not at the same pace. It’s has a great hold over the startup sectors, among developers and other young tech-savvy workers with Microsoft making smaller progress in this market segment. Microsoft might have more users from big companies, but the startups still favor Slack.
Slack vs Microsoft Teams: Features and Capabilities
Both Microsoft Teams and Slack offer a broad range of features to help organizations collaborate and work closely.
Currently, there are 530+ Microsoft Teams related apps and integrations available in the AppSource store so it it may seem like Microsoft Teams has the edge here. As a Microsoft Partner, iLink can help you integrate Teams into your organization quickly and seamlessly. (Learn more)
Slack has integrated apps for all the prime office 365 applications, including Outlook, Calendar, OneDrive, and SharePoint. And not just that, it lets you integrate over 2000 industry-leading software and custom apps, including G Suite.
- User interface
While Slack and Microsoft Teams utilize different design elements and color schemes, they have similar interfaces.
To get started, Slack offers a step by step tutorial to its users. You can add and manage new users through the ‘People tab’. Slack sends an invitation email to these potential users in your organization and if you already have a slack account, your existing account is automatically added without any need of creating or remembering a new password.
Slack offers a ‘Channel’ feature to create a specific group or a team. You can easily send messages, target a message to a specific person by using their name so as to notify the person of the message you send.
Teams also offers guidance to its users after signing up in the form of docs and tutorial videos. Trusted partners like iLink can also help take out the guess work of setup. The ‘Channel’ menu in slack is replaced by ‘Teams’ in Microsoft offering the same features as slack. Creating a team in Microsoft integrates with other applications available in Office 365 such as SharePoint Site, OneNote, Planner, wiki page, group calendar, and Distribution email address.
The biggest difference between the two is that Slack does not offer the ability to add private channels within a team. This is a huge advantage to administrators to have separate communication within sub-channels for the same team.
- Bots and Workflow
Both platforms offer helper bots such as ‘Slackbot’ for Slack and ‘Who’ bot for Teams to help users with queries and simply make their experience easier.
Slackbot streamlines and automates tasks, including accessing and setting personal reminders, answering questions even about how to use slack. It also has a host of different integrations to help you automate essential workflows like automatic reminders and workflows.
Teams offer Who Bot, powered by Microsoft graph, that helps users find organizational information based on names or topics.
Though both Slack and Microsoft Teams include audio and video calling, access depends on the subscription level selected. Slack includes one to one calling in its a free plan and can include up to 15 participants when upgraded to a paid plan along with screen sharing capability.
On the other hand, Microsoft Teams can host meetings up to 250 participants including the screen sharing feature in the free plan itself. And when upgraded to the paid version, users can use Teams live events to host the large meeting, webinars, and company-wide events with up to 10,000 attendees inside or outside your organization.
Microsoft Teams also provides features like record meetings, schedule meetings, background blur, panel control, and screen sharing.
Slack Vs Microsoft Teams: The Pricing
Free Plan Offerings
Slack provides unlimited users and messages with all plans, where else Microsoft Teams offers up to 500,000 users which is basically unlimited for most companies alongside unlimited messaging.
The only difference is Slack lets you search up to 10,000 archived messages while Microsoft Teams has not established a limit, allowing users to freely search through the entire message history.
Paid Plan Offerings
Slack offers a ‘Standard’ plan at $6.67 per user per month. This plan offers unlimited searching throughout messages, apps and integrations, and video calling (as explained above in Meetings). This plan also provides 10GB of file storage per user, instead of 5GB in total. You can even add guests and external collaborators using the paid plan.
Slack allows you to set custom retention policies for messages and files to make sure it is compliant with any industry or local regulations. You can message entire teams or departments using ‘User Groups’ beyond channels. This ‘Standard’ plan is designed for small and medium-sized businesses.
The ‘Plus’ plan costs $12.50 per user. It includes advanced compliance and security options, priority 4 hour response time support, and 20GB storage for every user. This plan is best for companies having additional administration needs.
Now let’s take a look at Microsoft teams. Microsoft offers no paid plans exclusively for Teams but instead Microsoft 365 plans that include a premium version of Teams and other apps.
The ‘Microsoft 365 Business Basic’ starts at $5.00 per user per month including collaboration tools such as Teams and SharePoint. It does not include the desktop version of the Office 365 suite like Word and PowerPoint though.
It offers meeting scheduling and recording 1TB of OneDrive storage per user along with security features such as single sign-on and multi-factor authentication. Even the cheapest tier includes managing tools for users and compliance.
‘Microsoft 365 Business Standard’ costs $12.50 and gives its users full access to the desktop version of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Slack vs Microsoft Teams: Security and Compliance
Both collaboration apps offer data encryption, a compliance certificate, and essential security features like two-factor authentication for all their plans.
Slack is compliant with the most basic ISO certifications. Users can also request specifically configured workspaces that are HIPAA- compliant though this option is only available for enterprise plans.
However, Microsoft teams offer slightly better access control, information management, and security through its native integration. It’s advanced administrative options for IT managers make it compliant for most companies’ internal policies and regulations.
Which tool is the right choice- Slack or Microsoft Teams?
When it comes to choosing the collaboration app for your organization, it depends upon your enterprise needs.
Microsoft Teams is the best choice if your company is already an Office 365 Business user. It offers a lot of the same features as Slack and the pro plan won’t cost you anything extra as you are already paying for the Office.
If you are not already a Microsoft customer, the biggest downside of Slack is it doesn’t integrate with any capabilities outside of the file storage and chat. Companies have to pay extra for other tools if they want to edit or organize collaboration content or have email services.
As for now, Slack and Teams are both leading chat collaboration platforms in the market giving tough competitions to each other with Microsoft Teams offering a competitive edge for enterprise companies who want to see the benefits of the entire O365 suite.
Want to learn more about how iLink can help your organization implement Teams or integrate O365?