These days, we rely on our screens for a huge part of our communication, and work is no different – even if your whole team works in the same office. Whether it’s shooting a quick question to your manager who is working from home that day or chasing up a coworker on something when they’re sitting across from you but clearly focusing on something with their headphones on, shooting a quick message is the easiest option.
But which application is best for your organisation? While there are seemingly endless options for internal communication apps on the market, Slack and Microsoft Teams are the two most popular ones. With this in mind, we thought that today we’d take a comparative look between the two, weighing in on things like pricing, setup and the actual messaging aspect of the two apps. Let’s dive right in.
The setup process is where Slack comes out on top – while Microsoft Teams commonly takes about an hour to set up, Slack can be up and running within minutes. Inviting your teammates to join Teams is also a longer process than with Slack, as they’ll have to set up their accounts. Here’s the kicker, though: the longer setup time involved with Teams enables you to take full advantage of its long list of features that don’t exist in Slack – more on this in a bit.
The good news is that if at the end of this article you’re sold on Teams, you don’t have to go through the setup process alone. An IT management company like Onestop IT can make the onboarding process simple and painless so you can get straight to work.
Both Slack and Teams offer freemium versions. The paid plans start at £3.80 for Teams and £5.25 for Slack at the time of writing (both prices based on an annual subscription). Considering as Teams comes with access to Office 365’s wide range of applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, it’s definitely the better deal.
Slack has some 2,200 apps in its directory, while Teams has 600. As Slack is so popular, apps of all kinds are rushing to offer integrations with it. But Teams having fewer integrations isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It integrates with all the usual suspects, such as Salesforce, Zapier and Hubspot, but needs fewer third-party integrations overall because of its place within the Office 365 suite and access to the other apps within it.
With Teams, you also have access to some of Microsoft’s own add-ons, such as Microsoft 365 Business Voice. This add-on allows you to run your entire telephony through Teams. This way, paired with Outlook for your emails, you can rely on Teams and your Microsoft 365 subscription for all your organisation’s communications needs, both internal and external.
At first glance, messaging within the two apps is pretty similar. You can chat one-on-one and create channels around certain topics or for specific teams. Both apps offer notifications when your name is mentioned using the “@” sign and you can easily add emojis and gifs to your messages.
But there are differences, too. One of our favourite messaging features within Teams is the ability to email any channel – each has its own email address you can use to forward things from your email or message with your coworkers on the go. Teams also offers rich text formatting options: you can add bolding, bullet points and other elements that can be used to break up your text and highlight the most important things.
One thing Slack has that Teams is yet to add to its repertoire is your own private chat channel. Here, you can send links and attachments to yourself, try out different integrations and ask questions..
Another thing Slack does better than Teams is threads. While you can create separate discussions underneath individual messages and follow these discussions with notifications using both apps, you can only create threads on channels and not in private conversations when using Teams.
That being said, while Slack caps off uploads at 1GB, you can message people files of up to 15GB using Teams. And while sending videos on Slack means the recipient(s) has to download the video to view it, Teams will play it instantly.
Microsoft Teams is on its way to replace Skype for Business, so it makes sense that video calling is its strongest feature. Even with the freemium plan, you can have up to 100 participants on calls lasting up to an hour, while the most affordable paid plan grants you calls with up to 300 users that can last as long as 24 hours. With Teams, you can also record meetings and automatically transcribe them for later use.
In contrast, Slack offers only one-to-one calls on the free version, and the most affordable paid version of Slack gives you access to calls for up to just 15 people.
So Teams comes out as the clear winner on this one. Of course, if you chose Slack for your internal messaging, you could use something like Zoom together with it, but this does mean setting up and managing more profiles and app integrations. You should also keep in mind that with Zoom’s freemium version, your group calls can only last up to 40 minutes.
The bottom line
Both Slack and Microsoft Teams are popular messaging apps for a reason, and either one of them would make for a good addition to your team’s virtual toolkit. However, when it comes to the Slack vs. Teams debate, we do at the end of the day lean towards Microsoft Teams because of its superior functionalities.
Even if getting to grips with this powerful software takes a little longer than Slack, it’s worth the wait, and once your organisation has gotten to grips with Teams, it can empower everyone to work smarter and more collaboratively wherever they are located. Need help getting to grips with Microsoft Teams or need a backup solution for Office 365? Get in touch with us today.