Microsoft Teams and Slack are two of the leading communication and collaboration platforms available for businesses. But while the two solutions may share similar features, such as chat, videoconferencing and file sharing, analyzing their key differences can help you determine which one would be a better fit for your organization.
Read on, as this article will compare Slack and Microsoft Teams in terms of their features and capabilities to help you decide which platform is right for your needs.
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What does Slack offer?
Slack provides easy-to-use collaboration tools for teams and organizations. Slack users can easily communicate with their work colleagues or teammates through instant messages that can connect users inside or outside of an organization. The system also allows users to collaborate within dedicated spaces called channels, which they can use to connect appropriate people and resources together. By centralizing work communication within the platform, users can reduce the time it takes to work together, access important information and organize their collaborative efforts.
What does Microsoft Teams offer?
Microsoft Teams is a service that allows users to streamline their communication and strengthen their professional relationships through their collaborative features. The solution provides capabilities for instant messaging, hosting online meetings, audio and video calling, web conferencing and other communicative pathways. Additionally, organizations can maintain their workflows by sharing tasks and files and even conducting polls with designated individuals. Microsoft Teams integrates with Microsoft 365 and other Microsoft and partner apps, which can provide additional functionality to this helpful product.
Slack vs. Microsoft Teams: Chat capabilities
Slack offers team chat features to facilitate and improve collaboration between organizational team members. Users can send direct messages to communicate with their colleagues across locales, which can be especially helpful for remote or hybrid teams.
Through Slack channels, users can group together other individuals to communicate and share resources within a centralized, organized space. These channels can be named and organized by projects or any other subject or identifier. And since Slack automatically saves all chats, users can search through and reference their private messages or open conversations easily.
Teams and users with paid Slack plans can also conduct communication with external individuals with Slack Connect. Slack Connect allows users to send invites and chat with anyone outside of the organization, like clients or outside partners.
However, initiating messages to external individuals with Slack Connect is only available for organizations using Slack on a paid plan, like Slack Pro, Business+, or Enterprise Grid.
Microsoft Teams provides all business users with unlimited one-on-one chat and group chat capabilities with their coworkers and customers.
Each of the Microsoft Teams business plans allow chat between work and personal accounts, but higher-priced plans provide more chat perks. For example, the free version only supports 100 users, but the paid plans allow for 300.
Additionally, the lower-priced plans (Free Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Teams Essentials) allow only 2 GB of file attachments through chat per user, while higher-tier plans (Microsoft 365 Business Basic and Microsoft 365 Business Standard) provide 1 TB of file attachments through chat per user.
All chat is secured through data encryption, so users can feel safe about sharing private communication through the platform.
Slack vs. Microsoft Teams: Call and video features
Slack users can collaborate through the platform with its call and video features, which allow more personalized communication. Members can use the Slack Huddles feature to start a live voice conversation.
Slack Huddles let users communicate through lightweight audio or video, allowing for quick and connected conversations. It comes with functional perks like multi-person screen sharing and drawing and cursor tools that can bring meetings and explanations to life.
Huddles also make it easy to gain feedback from meeting members through reactions, emojis, and stickers. And after the meeting concludes, members can still access all chats, links, and notes shared and automatically saved within the huddle.
Users can even record clips to share with other users as they please. The platform allows sharing of short audio, video, and screen recordings, which can be useful for communicating information, providing step-by-step walkthroughs or showcasing work. Slack even provides searchable transcriptions of shared recordings.
Microsoft Teams lets users connect in online meetings through voice or video calls. Users can schedule meetings ahead of time and meet with up to 100 participants with the free Microsoft Teams solution or up to 300 participants if they have a paid plan.
The solution comes with a noise suppression feature, which allows for easy communication and understanding through video and voice. All plans provide live video captions in English, while the Microsoft 365 Business Basic and Microsoft 365 Business Standard plans support live captions in over 30 languages. This can be especially helpful for conducting business internationally and breaking down language barriers.
Microsoft 365 Business Basic and Microsoft 365 Business Standard plans also provide meeting recordings and transcripts, so users can access them in the future. In addition, these plans offer the ability to use Breakout Rooms to gather meeting participants into smaller groups for conversations or brainstorming sessions.
Finally, the Microsoft 365 Business Standard plan enables webinar hosting, which includes attendee registrations, email confirmations, and reporting capabilities.
Slack vs. Microsoft Teams: Productivity
Slack’s solution helps users and teams improve their productivity through several helpful features.
Users can easily speed up the onboarding of new team members and quickly access information by searching through the saved Slack message and file history. This enables searching across people, files and channels.
Slack users can also organize their settings to their liking with the solution’s customizable sections that allow them to set up their conversations and channels within the sidebar as they please.
Furthermore, the Workflow Builder helps users automate routine processes into workflows with no coding required. The visual tool can even connect to other apps and build workflows inside and outside Slack, to streamline work processes through the power of automation.
Of course, these unlimited features are provided only for paid Slack plans. Free Slack plan users gain only 90 days of access to their messages and file history. Unfortunately, the customizable sections and Workflow Builder tools are only accessible on paid Slack plans.
As a Microsoft 365 product, Teams enables users to enhance their productivity through access to web versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
All users also gain personal file storage and sharing through OneDrive. Additionally, users with Microsoft 365 Business Basic and Microsoft 365 Business Standard plans can access additional Microsoft 365 services, including Stream, SharePoint Online, Yammer, and Planner.
The higher-priced Microsoft Team plans provide more productivity features for users. The Microsoft 365 Business Basic and Microsoft 365 Business Standard plans let users exchange email hosting with custom email domain addresses, adding a professional touch to their business collaboration. They can also use Microsoft Bookings to easily schedule and manage appointments.
The Microsoft 365 Business Standard plan even offers users access to desktop versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Publisher.
Microsoft Teams also provides helpful internal productivity features, such as Planner, To Do, and Tasks. These can streamline work planning, as users can assign tasks and access lists or activities to complete—keeping them on track.
Slack vs. Microsoft Teams: External integration options
Integrations with other useful apps enable users to access more resources and gain helpful notifications in Slack.
Users can customize their Slack workspaces with internal integrations using APIs. By connecting Slack with an organization’s other tools, data sources, and workflows, users can even gain up-to-date data reports within the platform.
Slack offers connections to over 2,000 productivity apps, departmental tools, and other beneficial workflow solutions. Popular third-party integrations supported by Slack include Zoom, Outlook Calendar, Google Drive, GitHub, and Jira.
Free Slack plan users do get to experience limited integrations with 10 other apps, while paid plan users can use unlimited integrations with their favorite supported tools.
While Microsoft Teams provides many options for users to access and integrate with other Microsoft 365 tools, users can also connect to other third-party solutions.
Users can connect with over 600 Microsoft Teams apps available in its App Store. This means support for popular external tools like Wrike, Zoom, and even Slack.
On the other hand, by using an online automation tool like Zapier, users can connect their Microsoft Teams to even more of the apps, services, and platforms that they use within their business practices.
Additionally, users can create applications and connections that run outside Microsoft Teams using the Teams API.
Slack vs. Microsoft Teams: Security and compliance
Slack provides users with enterprise-grade data protection to keep sensitive data secure. The solution encrypts data at rest and data in transit. Additionally, it protects data with security tools and features like audit logs, Slack Enterprise Key Management, and integrations with data loss prevention providers.
Security features for identity and device management allow users peace of mind regarding who can access their organization’s sensitive information. This includes features like domain claiming and single sign-on.
The solution’s governance and risk-management capabilities include custom terms of service, global retention policies, and support for eDiscovery. Slack also has many compliance certifications and attestations to meet users’ compliance requirements.
Finally, users can also feel secure regarding their specific privacy standards, as Slack supports a wide range of industry regulations, international security, and data privacy standards.
Microsoft Teams also takes the security and safety of user data seriously. Features like single sign-on through Active Directory and enforced team-wide and organization-wide two-factor authentication keep privacy secure. Microsoft Teams also encrypts data in transit and at rest.
Stored files are secured where they are saved by SharePoint encryption or OneNote encryption. In addition, Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is available for Microsoft Teams, along with integrated SharePoint and OneDrive applications. Defender for Office 365 helps users determine the safety of the content in these applications and blocks malicious content from user access.
Microsoft Teams users can also ensure security using the safe attachments feature, which checks for and detects malicious attachments. The Microsoft Secure Score feature is a measurement of the organization’s security posture and provides Secure Score recommendations that can protect an organization from threats.
Team users can also safely use Exchange Online, SharePoint, and Skype for Business Online with protection through conditional access policies. As for compliance, Teams offers information on communication compliance, data loss prevention, eDiscovery, audit log search, and other subjects to help users with their compliance needs. Microsoft Teams uses ISO 27018, ISO 27001, SSAE18 SOC 1 and SOC 2, EU Model Clauses (EUMC), and HIPAA compliance standards.
Slack vs. Microsoft Teams: How to choose
If you are stuck deciding between Slack and Microsoft Teams for your business, there are several factors you can consider to help you make the right choice.
It is important to think about the existing needs of your team and other tools and systems they currently rely upon. This can enable you to determine the features and helpful integrations that an ideal collaboration solution would offer. For instance, if your team is already heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem and uses other Microsoft products such as Office 365, then Microsoft Teams may be the better choice as it offers various integrations with these tools. However, if your team is used to using multiple third-party tools and is looking for a more streamlined communication platform, Slack may be a better fit for your organization.
Additionally, it is also helpful to consider the specific features and capabilities of each product and whether they align with the needs of your business. For example, Slack offers a greater range of third-party integrations and customization options, while Microsoft Teams has a more robust set of collaboration and file management features. Ultimately, the best choice for your team will depend on the specific needs and priorities of your business.
If neither of these quite sound like what you need, then take a look at other popular collaboration software for a more fitting solution.
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