When you work on a remote team, you need an efficient method of communication. Even internal teams can benefit from popular workspaces like Slack or Microsoft Teams. With both of them at the forefront of the job market, you should consider which one is right for you.
Depending on the features you need, you may already have a clear winner. If not, you can read our guide to find out which one is best for you.
Both Slack and Microsoft teams offer pretty similar conversational threads for messages, including plain text and tagging. Both of them also support GIFs, although teams simply offer a more robust way to get your messages across in full. For example, to include a GIF in your Slack message, you would need to type a command like "/ giphy image name".
In Teams, you'll find a toolbar at the bottom that gives you access to a library of GIFs and stickers. Also, click the Sticker button to create a custom meme. While Slack offers integration with Bitmoji and similar services, it is not native and, like Teams, is easily accessible.
For customizing the messaging interface, Slack offers better choices. You can switch between light and dark themes to change the overall look and feel. For a more customized feel, you can switch sidebar colors between 21 options like Dagobah and Nocturne that complement your overall theme.
In the meantime, the Microsoft client only switches between three general themes: light, dark and high contrast. Despite the client's Windows-based roots, there are no specific color options.
Both apps offer freemium models, which is particularly attractive for smaller companies looking to save money.
Slack offers unlimited public and private channels, file sharing, 5GB of storage, and 10 app integrations. The free plan also locks your viewable and searchable message history to 10,000 entries. However, there's nothing to suggest that Slack's free plan limits the number of users who can access your workspace.
The Teams platform now offers unlimited messages, guest access, screen sharing, over 250 integrated apps and services, and 2 GB of storage space per person (10 GB shared).
Of course, both services offer premium packages. Slack's standard package is $ 6.67 per person per month when billed annually. It adds unlimited apps, increases the storage space to 10GB per member, and allows screen sharing. You also have access to all of your message history.
Do you want more? The Slack & # 39; s Plus plan is $ 12.50 per person per month when billed annually. Among other things, it increases the storage space to 20 GB per member. There's also an Enterprise plan that offers 1TB of storage for each member. However, pricing requires a call to Slack's sales department.
Microsoft Teams offers three premium plans. For $ 5 per user per month billed annually, Microsoft 365 Business Basic keeps the 300 user limit, but increases the storage to 10 GB per license. This plan also includes OneDrive integration, Exchange email hosting, meeting recordings, Microsoft support, and much more.
The Microsoft 365 Business Standard plan keeps the maximum of 300 users, but adds desktop versions of productivity apps like Word, Excel, and Publisher. You still get 10 GB per license. This plan costs $ 12.50 per user per month when billed annually.
Finally, Office 365 E3 costs $ 20 per user per month when billed annually, and you get a massive increase in maximum users (500,000!). Oddly enough, the free plan also offers a maximum of 500,000 users. Office 365 E3 also offers hosting for online events for up to 10,000, unlimited file attachments in chat and unlimited personal cloud storage.
As mentioned earlier, Slack's free model includes 5GB of file storage for a single team. Paid plans increase the size to 10 GB per user and 20 GB per user. There's also a message history limit of 10,000 for the free version that goes away for the paid versions.
The Microsoft Teams free model offers 2 GB of storage per user and a total of 10 GB of shared storage for a team. Switching to the Business Basic and Standard plans increases the storage space for the entire company to 1 TB, while the Office 365 E3 plan offers unlimited storage space. There are no message flow restrictions in Teams.
Slack's free mode limits app integration to 10. This hurdle disappears in the paid plans, and here companies can take full advantage of the more than 800 possibilities of Slack's app integration. If you use a different productivity app at work, there is a very good chance it is compatible with Slack.
Microsoft's Teams platform takes a different approach. It offers unlimited integrations with other apps for all price levels, but only supports around 250 apps. However, Teams offers the best integration options for Microsoft 365 as it works perfectly with the Microsoft suite. This is possibly the most important consideration for companies using Microsoft 365.
Slack's free plan offers unlimited 1-to-1 voice or video calls. However, if you need additional callers in a single conference, you need a paid plan that supports up to 15 simultaneous callers.
The teams have far superior web conferencing capabilities. At all levels, including the free version, you can confer with up to 250 people by voice or video. Teams also offer the ability to record meetings (which Slack doesn't) and provide screen sharing (which Slack only has at higher levels). This is a boon for team oriented or larger companies where this type of conference is common.
Both platforms support bots. In Slack, Slackbot is a private chat window for saving links, experimenting with new integrations, and general questions to see more information. For example, you can send messages privately with Slackbot and ask, "How do I change the colors?" It then searches the help and displays links to three related articles.
The free version of Microsoft Teams doesn't have built-in bots. Instead, you will find Microsoft's internal WhoBot in the premium models. It has graph AI that is used to gather more information about specific teams or employees – e.g. B. to their specialties, managers, departments and more. WhoBot also answers common questions with recommendations from employees for those who need help or are putting teams together.
However, both services include built-in "storage" to discover and install additional bots that support Trello, Zoom, Cisco Webex, GitHub, Adobe Creative Cloud, and many more.
Slack is currently available on the following platforms:
You can download Microsoft Teams for these platforms. It is interesting here that Microsoft does not even offer a native Windows app, but only a conventional desktop client:
You can also use Slack and Microsoft Teams as a web-based app in any modern browser.
Which collaboration app wins?
Both Slack and Microsoft teams are great chat apps for organizations and businesses. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on what you're looking for in a collaboration app. If you need a specific type of app integration, check with Slack and Teams to see if they support your app (s).
Overall, Slack is a little more familiar, a little more "comfortable", as it has spearheaded the Collaboration Pack for so many years. It's also an independent application that may work better for a group that is more platform independent. Because of this, it's the ideal choice for the majority of businesses and teams looking for a reliable collaboration tool.
Microsoft Teams certainly has its place, however. It's better for larger, more complex companies. If a company has already subscribed to Office or Microsoft 365, connecting to Teams is a great solution in terms of features and prices. In particular, the teams' more robust video conferencing should be a major draw for companies with remote workers that are scattered around the world.