Slack vs Teams – Choosing the right collaboration app

Slack vs Teams – Choosing the right collaboration app

In this article, we are comparing two leading communication apps: Slack vs Teams. Which one is better for your work? Keep reading to get the answer you need.

In the last years as freelancing and remote work became more and more popular, new team collaboration tools are thriving on the market and your business may already use it. Productivity, sharing ideas and team communication are 3 major factors that businesses have to put their focus on and think about it. As COVID -19 brought many changes within (business) life, collaboration and chat tools became more important to use. Many collaboration apps got even popular in 2020: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Trello, Asana, etc. Nobody wants to spend more time with a long business email, they want to read a quick chat message which includes all the necessary pieces of information. Picking the right tool for our team, keep the productivity high, in these uncertain times is understandable.

In this review, we will take a look at these two products (Slack vs Teams) and we will see key differences between them. Have you ever used one of these tools? Not yet? Used one of them, but curious about other tools? Let’s read, and find out which is the best team collaboration app you and your team can use for chat, and options they can give you as a tool! Microsoft Teams, Slack? Which is the best app? Let’s think about it!

Slack vs Microsoft Teams – Game on!

1 min read

In 2016 Microsoft had the intention to make an 8 million bid USD to buy Slack, used to be the dominant new team chat app. But instead of buying the company, people at Microsoft HQ follow another path and decided to build their own chat software, which now known as Microsoft Teams and many companies like to use it for work. Microsoft teams were launched in November 2016, and now it has more than 13 million daily users. As COVID – 19 situations encouraged to stay – at – homework, this number reached to 75 million, in the first half of 2020. This number is probably scary for HQ at Slack because Microsoft was adding larger companies (schools, government and all those who are already using Office 365). However, within the startup era, small organizations and IT-related small companies, Slack is still very much ahead of the game. Microsoft is recruiting most of the big companies, but small startups and the young generation still choose to use Slack as the best collaboration tool.

It is for us to decide whether we prefer Microsoft Teams versus Slack or the other way around. Both Slack and Microsoft Teams are considered to be the best apps available on the market, but it’s very much a personal decision of the user which platform fits for their need. In some features, Slack has a big advantage (integrations, bots), while in other Microsoft Teams (audio-video calls, online meetings, office 365 integrations). As we can see Slack vs Microsoft Teams war is on!

Microsoft Teams – Getting on board, set up

2 min read

Both of the apps will offer you a wide range of special features that will help you as a user and your team to boost your productivity and get more done. Those features are video conferencing, file storage, searchable message history, app integrations, private chat, private and public channels, and so on. Even if you are not in the same place (remote work, freelancers) this can help you get started, and keep in touch with one another. There was a quite big difference between the two apps, and that was the free plan Slack offered, and teams don’t during that time. In July 2018 Teams leveled up their game and started to offer a free plan too. Teams app is openly designed for large enterprise (you can video conference up to 250 users) meanwhile Slack is different, the product is more focused on small startups.

Another key difference is the collaboration factor with other users. You can only collaborate with 5 different users even if you are on a paid plan, while Slack allows unlimited external collaboration. Teams integrate fully and well with Office 356 applications, as an advantage. The setup is a bit fussier, though it may require some mental strength and patience too. If you don’t have Office 365, it might be even more exhausting work. First, you need to start from the Microsoft tools page and sign up. When you did that, you have to download the app. Whether you decide to go on an unpaid plan or a paid plan you need to share a lot of information about yourself, and you won’t be able to use a personal e-mail address. Good news, that you only need to go through this once. When you tick the box, you will have access to the deployment advisor panel where you can see all the tools. Finally, you will have access to the actual Microsoft teams platform, where you can start creating channels or rooms for yourself and your team.

Getting started with Slack, set up

1 min read

Compared to Microsoft Teams Slack is a lot easier to set upon. They won’t require all the information, such as credit card numbers (only if you want to buy a paid plan), for you to sign up, it will take around 10 minutes. After you download the app you can create your Slack profile, with your name and your department. You can include some interesting hobbies and interests, and a clear profile photo. At the end of the registration process, you can invite other people to your workspace, with one simple click. If you wish you can add them later on, with the invite people tab on the right-hand side.

Pricing and plans – Microsoft Teams vs Slack

3 min read

Now we can reach key differences between the two platforms. If you are a small business, and you are looking for a messaging platform, Slack and Teams offer a generous free plan to try. Both of them have strengths in different areas. However, if you are a growing company you will feel the limitations very quickly. Slack and Microsoft Teams include free versions, however, there are major differences in terms of integrations, messages, and calls.

Free plans

Slack’s free model has unlimited messages and users with all the plans, and Microsoft Teams offer 500.000 messages. As in archives and search, Slack lets you search in the last 10.000 messages, and data on the other hand Microsoft Teams allows an unlimited search. Teams offers in their free plan screen sharing, team video calls, small-sized video conferencing, meanwhile with Slack you need to upgrade for paid plans to do that. With Slack you have limited to 1 : 1 audio and video calls if you are on a free plan. Many companies for video calls use different applications, like Zoom or Skype. All in all, Teams offer a more unique plan which includes more special features, when it comes to the free plans.

Paid plans

Slack and Microsoft Teams have similar pricing plans giving more options for businesses and removes the limits they had with free plans. Let’s take a look at first what Slack offers when it comes to paid plans. Slack’s basic plan, called “Standard” starts at $6.67 per user per month, and this is billed annually. There is no limit on searchable messages, apps, and video calls, like in the free version. The plan also includes a 10GB per user, instead of 5 GB storage per team or workspace. With this plan, you can add guest access and external collaborators to your workspace, and security capabilities a huge number of integrations increasing day by day. Another premium plan is called “Plus plan” which costs $12 per user, and it adds a lot more support for users. This provides 20 GB storage, unlimited message channels, and 24/7 support with a 4 hour response time. With Slack, there is also available a special enterprise plan, but you need to message for the company to ask a quote.

Microsoft Teams as we know offers a free plan too for small companies. This offers unlimited chat and group calls, video calls and 10GB of the team shared storage and 2GB personal file storage. This free version also offers integration with office 365 apps, like Word, Excel, OneNote, or PowerPoint. Bear in mind, that for Teams especially you won’t have paid plans, instead, you will get more like a full-service Microssoft365 and Microsoft Teams is part of the package.

The cheapest office 365 plan is formerly called ” Office 365 Business Essentials” now its Microsoft Office 356 Business Basic. Office 365 Business is $5 per user per month, which includes collaboration tools such as SharePoint or Teams. However this plan doesn’t include integrations like the desktop version of Word or PowerPoint, you only get access for the web versions of the office apps. You can host online meetings and video conferencing up to 250 users. The next plan is Microsoft 365 Business Standard. Microsoft 365 gives you special features like the desktop versions of the Office apps: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote too. You have a 1 TB file storage, per user. You and your team can get an anytime support from Microsoft too. This costs $12.50, per user per month, also an annual commitment. Then you can upgrade Office 365 E3 which is a cloud-based suite, a group of productivity apps and services, with information protection and compliance capabilities included.

Special best features – Slack vs Microsoft Teams

Slack best features

Let see first what makes Slack unique, in terms of special features. First of all, there is a simplicity in Slack Microsoft Teams doesn’t really shine on that. Once you get started as a new user with Slack, you will be surprised how easy it is. It requires very little training, and you can start private messaging or group conversations with ease. As a fun part, slack allows you to have more color options, and customize the design of UX for your taste. If you are on a paid plan you have hundreds of different integrations, (in the free version this is limited to 10) including Google Drive, Asana, Giphy, Trello, and so on. You can have even on the free plan 1:1 video calling, and as a paid customer you can include up to 15 customers in a joint call. They also offer screen sharing, which is very convenient for teams during a call.

Slack is also good when it comes to file sharing, you don’t have to leave the app, to share files like pdf, spreadsheets, etc In the free version, there is a limit up to 1GB per each and 5 Gb per user, but in the paid versions it goes up to 10 GB. Also, there is the bot factor, which every Slack user is a huge fan of. This is a private chat window, where you can draft messages, save links, or files, or set personal reminders.

Microsoft Teams features

Microsoft Teams has its own set of unique features too. One of the biggest advantages of Teams is its own integration with office 365 since the whole package is owned by Microsoft. If you want to work on Word, PowerPoint or an Excel spreadsheet you don’t have to leave the app, to do that. That said, one of the strengths of Microsoft Teams is video calls. Teams include video and audio calls up to 250 users, and you can record it too. Microsoft Teams is good in Bots, it thas two bots: WhoBot and T-Bot. T-Bot is very similar to Slackbot, you can ask questions and the AI is using data from Teams message history, in order to answer it.

If you are getting started ( you never used it before) with Microsoft Teams for the time, T- Bot can help you. WhoBot, is a bit like MI5, or CIA of any collaboration tool. Well, don’t take that seriously, WhoBot is designed to help you find the person you are searching for, in your organization. WhoBot search for personal information, you can even find for who the actual person reports to, in the company. Imagine, you receive an email from a person you don’t know, and you want to find that person quickly. To use Who, click on new chat, then type who in the To field! Well, Comes very hand sometimes, right?

One of the key differences, that Slack has advantages of is an outside collaboration with other teams is very limited in Microsoft Teams. As you may notice many of the unique features in Teams, will only be useful for large enterprises.

Slack vs Microsoft Teams: Key differences, channels, and meetings

One of the main areas where we can find differences is data, security, and compliance. Microsoft Teams has a true advantage in those departments. Teams and Slack offer a two-factor authentication for all their plans, and Slack also improved a lot in the last few years. Slack is compliant in the most basic ISO certifications, and for their enterprise plan, the HIPPA compliance is available too. But because of its integrations, Microsoft Teams are naturally better in information management and security. Microsoft Teams has an admin control that is more extensive than in any other platform.

When it comes to channels, you can create in both apps private and public channels (in Microsoft Teams its called Teams) where you can get on board with team collaboration. You can easily access to it, on the left sidebar. In Microsoft teams once you created a Team, for a department or a project a dedicated Office 356 group is created and this integrates the Team with the other applications available in Office 365. You can also add a private channel, which allows more security.

In Slack, the channels are also good for group chat messaging. There is no limit in the number of channels you can create, but as it’s mentioned before, you only have access to the last 10.000 messages if you are on an unpaid plan. On the left sidebar at the tabs, you will notice channels, if you click on the plus sign and you have to select “create a channel”, and et voilá, create your own channel. Type in a name for your channel, and add a description if you want to. You have the option to create a private channel, which means others can only notice your channel if you send them an invitation. Once you make the channels private, you cannot make it public again. As in calls, Slack’s unpaid tier has unlimited 1:1 video or audio calls, however, if you want to include more workers in the call, you have to get a paid plan.

Compared to that Microsoft really shines in these areas, and offer more services. All of the tiers, (including the paid version) users can have online meetings up to 250 people. Teams offers screen recording ( without third-party app integration) and screen sharing (also without third-party integrations) and obviously, this is a bonus for larger and team-oriented companies. As its own product, the integration within Microsoft teams and Office 356 is smooth and seamless. Both Microsoft Teams and Slack encrypt messages, files, and data too.

Slack vs Microsoft teams: The fun factor

1 min read

One of the biggest advantages in the Microsoft Teams vs Slack debate that people love using slack. Both Slack and Microsoft Teams is focusing on being fun and easy to use, but Slack is probably better for small companies and independent users. Slack is more innovative, but Microsoft teams have clearly overtaken as in the number of daily users in the Microsoft teams and Slack “war”. But the fun fact is still owned by Slack, not Microsoft teams.

First and foremost, in the app integrations slack has Giphy. Slack makes it easy to send a quick gif for users within the chat which is one of the best options that young users appreciate. As you may notice, in integrations slack really thrives in. Microsoft Teams added an option that you can preview the gif you want to send, rather than typing in, but now users can do the same with Slack. Slack allows you not only to like someone’s message, but you can leave a good number of emojis too.

Slack vs Microsoft Teams Debate: The Summary

In the last couple of years, Microsoft Teams has clearly overtaken Slack, in the age-old Microsoft Teams vs Slack debate. Obviously, this is not the end of the Slack vs Microsoft Teams war, but in the end, it all comes down to personal preferences. If you use Office 365, it is clear that you want to stick with Microsoft Teams. In this heated debate where the two collaboration platform is debated for smaller and bigger enterprises, the true winners are the users who are using these platforms. All you need to do is consider and think about it, which one is right for you and give it a try!

Both of the tools are a good choice and worth trying, but on the other hand, they are for different needs. Microsoft Teams works better if the company is already an Office 365 subscriber, and connecting with Microsoft Teams is a rational decision in terms of costs, integrations, and other features.

Slack as software can give you a list of great features to try, (workspace, services within the app) but is a friendlier option for individuals (freelancers, entrepreneurs) and small companies. Slack works easily with other great and popular software like Trello and Asana. Haystack makes the communication smooth among these apps by its quick and smart search features. In the end, is up to you, what you are looking for in product as a collaboration tool, if you have certain needs it is better to well consider before you decide. If you had enough from neverending email debates, both of the apps will save you time.

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