Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: What’s the Difference?Reading Time: 5 minutes
The Microsoft Teams vs. Slack debate is as prevalent as ever. And there seems to be no consensus in sight.
Corporations tend to lean on Microsoft and their Office Suite, or Office 365 for Business. Hence, Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Office Suite, might to be a straightforward choice for these companies. Yet, for start ups, Slack seems to be the more popular choice, due to its origin story and to its general popularity in the start up sphere.
Today, we will look into the differences between these two collaboration tools. Which software fares better in what situation? What type of teams use them and how? We will attempt to answer those questions, as we delve into the popular topic of Microsoft Teams vs. Slack.
The Two Main Contenders in the Running
In the world of collaboration software, there is a lot of competition. Slack and Microsoft Teams have definitely established themselves as the recognized frontrunners. Both of these team communication services offer a wide range of features and add-ons. Since the main features of the apps are essentially the same, it takes a deeper analysis to figure out the best tool for you team.
First of all, both of these chat apps are suited to smaller businesses, but they can also scale well and be useful for bigger teams. They both provide teams with the option of starting a conversation thread to keep track of messages. Plain text and tags are supported by both applications. Both software works on Windows, Mac or Linux.
Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: Features
Both of these programs have been designed as collaboration tools for teams working on collaborative projects. Microsoft Teams and Slack have conversation threads for messages, where plain text and tagging are supported. Tagging is supported through @mentions. To tag a user in Slack or in Teams, simply type “@” followed by their name.
Both conversation threads also support stickers and GIFs. However, Teams has a larger sticker store, as well as an automatic integration with GIPHY. It even offers its own meme generator. Your team could still get some of these as additional Slack integrations. Although these factors are not important to your work-load, they may improve your team’s work life.
In terms of customizing the message interface, Teams only offers three colour options. On the other hand, Slack has many theme and colour options for your team to play with.
Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: Pricing
Both Microsoft Teams and Slack pricing plans offer a freemium model. The free versions of both of these collaborative tools come with all the basic services. In Slack, your team can create unlimited public or private channels. Your organization can keep a 10,000-message log. Teams can file share right in Slack, with up of 5GB of total storage.
On the other hand, Teams offers only 2GB of storage with its free version, or 10GB of total shared storage for a team. However, Microsoft Teams also offers unlimited message and screen sharing, which doesn’t come with the freemium version of Slack.
Both Microsoft Teams and Slack have paid packages with additional features. In Slack, for US$6.67 per user, per month, you can have screen sharing, guest access and unlimited app integrations, along with 10GB of storage per user. The Slack Plus plan costs US$12.50 per user, and grants your organization additional support and options for internal integrations with business software already in use. It also increases team storage to 20GB per user. The paid versions also don’t have a cap on message history logging.
Microsoft Teams’ paid version offers a lot more storage when it’s purchased as part of the Office 365 Business Essentials plan, for US$8.00 per user, per month. With Office 365, online storage is increased to 1TB for the entire business. There is also no limit to message history storage. The package also includes access to the other Office 365 programs. Teams is also included with Office 365 Business and Business Premium Packages.
Of course, freemium models are popular with start ups, who are always trying to cut costs. However, as mentioned above, Microsoft Teams comes with certain integrations already included. With Slack, you might need to download and buy additional integrations.
Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: Voice Calls
Even in their freemium plans, Slack and Teams offer unlimited one-on-one voice and video calling. To perform group calls with your team, of up to 15 individuals, you would need to get the paid version of Slack.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Teams offers web conferencing services that are well-integrated into the software. Even in the free version, your organization can conference in groups as large as 250 users. On Microsoft Teams, meetings can be recorded. Slack doesn’t offer call recording, and only provides screen sharing in the higher tiers of the service.
Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: Integrations
One of the negative sides of Slack’s free version is that it only allows for 10 integrations. Yet, the integrations are what make Slack such an interesting and useful tool for teams. Therefore, highly effective teams will want to get a paid plan for their business. This way, they will be able to take advantage of the over 800 app integrations available for Slack.
If your team already uses any type of productivity, project management or human resources apps, chances are that Slack already has an integration for it.
On the other hand, Teams offers unlimited integrations at all pricing tiers and plans, however Teams only supports about 200 apps at the moment. It does however pair perfectly with Office 365. This is what makes a move to Teams a seamless transition for companies already using Office 365.
Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: Ease of Use
If your team is already familiar with another chat tool, such as Skype for instance, then neither Teams nor Slack will be difficult to implement. These collaboration tools were designed to be really user-friendly.
Nevertheless, both Microsoft Teams and Slack have integrated bots to guide new users through the set up process. These bots makes it easy for user to locate information about the program and to use the software of a daily basis.
The Slackbot, Slack’s helpful bot can be used in a private chat window where users can experiment with new integrations, features, ask questions, save links, and more. Slack also permits interactivity with various integrations through the use of convenient slash commands.
In comparison, Microsoft Teams can be perceived as a little more difficult to use. Its main bot is called T-Bot and it delivers basic information, FAQs and training videos to users. Yet, the software also comes with WhoBot, a bot that’s more advanced can is powered by Graph AI. It can help the user find information about teams or employees in the organization. WhoBot can help bridge communication gaps between employees. It’s a bot that’s meant to help teams increase remote collaboration and communication.
Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: Which is Best?
So, what is the overall verdict?
You may find our answer rather unsatisfactory: it really depends!
Before you make a move, you should browse the apps that your team might want. Select the tool that will allow your team members to use all of their favourite integrations or apps.
As already mentioned, both services allow the integration of additional bots and features. Many are also very user-friendly and cost-effective. You can browse lists of useful Slack integrations. As with about 800 integrations out there, it may be difficult to pick and choose just a few.
In a nutshell, both chat tools are great choices for any type of organization, big or small. Slack tends to be a favourite for smaller teams, or teams spread out geographically, that potentially run different operating systems.