In a familiar yet a very new world we have adjusted to within the past year, most of us have had to use collaboration and video conferencing programs such as Microsoft Teams or Slack within our places of work, education, or even for social gatherings. With those said programs becoming such a key part of our modern-day communication one begs the question, which one is better? Is there a reason to choose one over the other?
With the rise of Slack since its release in 2013, Microsoft noticed that due to the increasing workplace flexibility there was also a high demand for advanced remote collaboration tools. In 2016 Microsoft considered acquiring Slack for over $8 billion, however, Bill Gates was against the purchase and decided to rather focus on building out Skype for Business into the desired all in one collaboration tool.
On November 2nd, 2016 Microsoft announced the release of Teams as a direct competitor to Slack.
Microsoft Teams is an all-encompassing, robust tool for collaboration and sharing that allows working together from multiple locations as one seamless, functional unit. Stability, security, and easy access are the hallmarks of Microsoft Teams.
Since the start of the pandemic the use of Teams has skyrocketed and in November of 2020 Microsoft announced that Teams had reached over 115 Million daily active users and Microsoft 365 users had generated over 30 billion collaboration minutes in one day.
One of the most powerful advantages of Microsoft Teams is its ability to integrate with other Microsoft products such as Outlook, OneDrive, SharePoint and OneNote and even external platforms such as Google Workspace.
Some of the key benefits of Teams are:
- Teams and channels
- Conversations within channels and teams.
(All team members can view and add to different conversations in the General channel and can use an @ function to invite other members to different conversations, not unlike Slack.)
- Chat function
- Document storage in SharePoint
- Online video calling and screen sharing.
- Online meetings
- Who Chat Bot
- Audio conferencing
- Full telephony
- Included in Office 365 Subscription
Slack began as an internal tool for Stewart Butterfield’s company Tiny Speck during the development of the online game Glitch. It was launched in August 2013 and quickly became wildly adapted. On January 1st, 2021 it was announced that Salesforce will acquire Slack for an estimated value of over $27.7 billion.
Slack is a channel-based messaging platform. With Slack, people can work together more effectively, connect all their software tools and services, and find the information they need to do their work —all within a secure, enterprise-grade environment.
Some of the key benefits of using Slack are:
- Multi-channels for different team members.
- Screen sharing, video meetings and conferences.
- Base free package for small teams.
- Encryption is similar to Teams.
- SlackBot easily assists in automation of tasks and ease of platform use.
- Video and Audio conferencing
- Screen Share
- Slack Connect
(Enables you to collaborate with teams at other companies the same way you do with teams at your own)
- Workflow Builder
Teams vs Slack
Let’s get into the details. Below you can see a direct comparison between the most important features Teams and Slack have to offer.
|Chat messaging with threads||Yes||Yes|
|Direct Routing PSTN Calls||Yes||Unknown|
|File-sharing, including message attachments||Yes. Seamlessly integrated with Microsoft 365||Yes. 3rd party required to integrate with Microsoft applications (See below)|
|Limits||Microsoft Teams limits:
Per-user number of teams to create 250
Number of teams a Microsoft 365 or Office 365 organization can have 500,000
Number of members in an org-wide team 5,000
Number of channels per team
200 (including deleted)
Meeting & chat participants
300 / view only allows for up to 10.000
Chat messages and search – unlimited
Independent to the subscription Microsoft offers 1TB per organisation using SharePoint with 10gb per license purchased
In addition you get up to 25 TB of Teams files storage per Site or Group
|Slack limits in Plus:
Number of channels- unlimited
Voice and video calls – up to 15 participants
External collaboration – unlimited
Workspaces – 1
Integrations with other apps – unlimited
Message history – unlimited
Free Plan – 5GB for entire workspace
Standard – 10GB per team member
Plus Plan - 20GB per team member
Enterprise – 1 TB per Team member
|Bots for expert search, productivity, automated messaging and reminders, and project management
|Multiple bots with different functions are available from Microsoft and 3rd parties through the Apps tab in Teams. The Microsoft Flow app in Teams is used as a chatbot for messaging, for approvals, and to automate and streamline workflows. The Microsoft Who app (a bot) is used to search for expertise within your organization.||SlackBot is available for all members and guests on all Slack plans, including free, in direct messages and channels, or to use yourself. Choose other third-party bots in Slack. Slack users can access templates for Microsoft Flow.|
|Collaboration with trusted external organizations||Microsoft Teams doesn’t have a limit on outside guests, but more than 5 guests per user will cost more.||Yes, with Slack Connect, using public or private shared channels. The current limit is 19 outside organizations.|
|Zoom third-party app integration||Yes||Yes|
|Office 365 (Microsoft 365) software and apps||Integrated into Teams for use without leaving the collaboration platform.||Microsoft products for Slack include: the Microsoft Teams Calls app, Outlook e-mail add-in, Outlook calendar app for Slack, OneDrive app (for sharing cloud-based OneDrive and SharePoint files in Slack), Azure Active Directory, Azure Boards, Azure Pipelines, and Azure Repos, and Slack templates for Microsoft Flow (templates can connect Slack to Office 365, email, SharePoint, etc.). The Microsoft Teams Calls app lets users start Microsoft Teams calls from within a Slack workspace. With the Microsoft Teams app, Slack users can “choose to set Microsoft Teams Calls as a default calling app so members can initiate Teams Calls from the phone icon in a channel or direct message (DM).”|
|Industry versions or features||Healthcare, Firstline workers (retail, healthcare workers, etc.), and Education||Financial Services and Healthcare and supports Distance learning for Education|
|Custom backgrounds and blurring images||Both||No. Offers light and dark modes.|
|Whiteboard||Yes, Microsoft Whiteboard is integrated with Teams. A toggle on/off setting applies to all Whiteboard applications (not just Teams)||No, but the choice of several third-party app integrations, including SketchTogether|
|Security||High, including enterprise-level security and compliance
|High, including enterprise-level security and compliance requirements.|
In terms of the features, both solutions are quite evenly matched. Slack has the advantage in some areas, while Microsoft Teams has an advantage in others. However, one important factor in todays remote work environment is, that Microsoft Teams offers more robust video conferencing. It can support video conferences of up to 250 users or live events with up to 10,000 people (using a combination of Teams, Microsoft Stream, and Yammer). Teams truly takes the lead in the cost as it comes with Office 365 and in having the ability to easily integrate with the entire Office suite.
If you are already work in a Microsoft environment like most businesses, then we would highly recommend to go with Teams.
Should you mainly work with apple products, G Suite or generally work platform independent and seek mostly a productivity tool, then Slack might be just the right choice for you.
Either way one of our IT Experts at Nortech can help you implement the right solution for your business.
Give us a call today at 250- 785 -0383!
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