Comparing Slack and Microsoft Teams
Slack and Microsoft Teams have been among the top competitors in the collaboration tool space for some time now. The two companies have been battling for the top spot among simple, convenient, and flexible tools for chat and conferencing ever since Microsoft announced Teams.
Slack stands as one of the earliest companies to introduce us to a new age of innovative meetings and communication. The solution, based largely around chat and file sharing, makes it quick and easy for teams to stay connected. Integrations with leading tools and the purchase of Slack by Salesforce makes this product a force to be reckoned with.
Microsoft Teams is a powerful all-in-one tool for UCaaS. Offering everything from video conferencing and chat to business telephony, Microsoft Teams ensures companies can built a cloud-based environment ready for the age of hybrid work.
Let’s take a closer look at the two products.
Many of the features of Microsoft Teams and Slack are the same. You can share files and screens on both services, access video and voice calling, and set up group or private chats. Microsoft Teams and Slack also integrate with a wide range of crucial apps, to help companies create a single pane of glass for work.
Microsoft Teams is more of an all-in-one UCaaS experience, with access to the full Microsoft Office productivity suite, as well as phone support. Slack, on the other hand, doesn’t have direct phone support, but it can allow for external communication between companies through Shared Channels. Slack also now exists within the Salesforce ecosystem, making it ideal for sales teams.
|Messaging and chat||Unlimited messaging in all plans. File sharing, emojis and gifs also supported.||Up to 10,000 messages in the free plan or unlimited in paid plans. File sharing, emojis and gifs also supported.|
|Voice calling||Audio conferencing, Microsoft phone plans, and direct routing or operator connect.||Audio conferencing available|
|Integrations||More than 700 integrations with leading apps||More than 800 integrations with leading apps, including Salesforce|
|File storage||Up to 1TB per organisation||Up to 10GB on a standard plan, or 20GB on Plus|
|Security||SAML, AD, and SSO account controls, with two-factor authentication, data encryption, and protection of data at rest. Microsoft Teams is compliant with HIPAA, SOC I and SOC 2, EU privacy clauses, and ISO 27001.||Encryption for all files, messages, and data. 2-factor authentication.|
|Content sharing||Document management, SharePoint for storage, to-do lists, and file sharing. (Up to 100GB limit per file)||Range of integrations with file-sharing apps.|
|Pricing plans||Both free and paid options are available.||Both free and paid options available.|
Slack is among the most popular chat-focused collaboration apps on the market today, making it quick and simple for people to connect in any environment. You can even use Slack shared channels to work with external partners on a project. Teams, on the other hand, benefits from being a comprehensive tool for UCaaS, with a range of business calling options.
Both Microsoft Teams and Slack are built for exceptional ease of use – making them top picks for companies making the transition into the new hybrid age of work. The Microsoft Teams application is organised into tabs, where you can find things like Activity, Chat, Teams, Files, and Messages. There’s also access to unique engagement features like Microsoft Viva for training, and even improving workforce satisfaction.
Microsoft Teams works seamlessly with the right of the Microsoft productivity ecosystem. You can arrange meetings through your Outlook calendar and remind people over email when it’s time to join a discussion.
Slack is notoriously one of the simplest tools for collaboration on the modern market. You can easily set up the UX with your own skin or change the theme to suit your needs. There’s an intelligent search function for easily finding the files you need and easy starting a new channel or conversation. Adding integrations to Slack is quick and simple too, making it a top choice for extensibility.
Both Slack and Microsoft Teams have free options, so you can test the app’s quality and some of its features before you sign up for a paid package. The Slack free model offers unlimited public and private channels, 5GB of storage, file sharing, and 10 app integrations. The Microsoft free package comes with a maximum meeting duration of 1 hour, support for 300 participants, and collaboration for up to 500 people.
Slack and Microsoft also have various premium packages to choose from. The standard package from Slack costs $6.67 per month when you pay annually, and it allows you to access unlimited integration, while increasing storage to around 10GB per member. There’s also a “Plus” plan for up to 20GB of storage per member, and a host of extra features. Enterprise Grid provides companies with much more access to a wide range of tools, and 1TB of storage for each user.
Microsoft’s paid pricing options start at $5 per month for all the basic features of Microsoft Teams, and access to a small selection of Microsoft Office applications, like OneDrive. You can access 10GB of storage per license with this plan, but you’ll need the Standard Microsoft Business plan for a wider range of features, like access to Word and Excel integrations.
Both Slack and Microsoft Teams allow companies to host one-to-one video calls or group conversations via video. However, the Slack experience is generally far more simplistic than the one you’ll get from Microsoft Teams.
While Slack can connect you to your colleagues through video, there are limitations in what you can do with things like grid views, and presentations. The best way to upgrade your video conferencing experience with Slack is to integrate an app like Zoom, so you can access things like virtual backgrounds and new video layouts.
Microsoft Teams, on the other hand, is excellent for all kinds of video conferencing, with a 1080p resolution at 30fps as standard to ensure your meetings look great. You can access things like virtual backgrounds and multiple grid modes within the app, as well as a “Together mode” which presents users in a shared virtual space. You can also record your video meetings with Microsoft Teams, whereas Slack recording would require integrations.
Both Slack and Microsoft Teams also offer ways to collaborate outside of the video environment too. You can share messages with Gifs and emojis in a group or one-on-one chat with colleagues. There’s also support for file sharing, and access to a host of integrations for productivity too.
Unfortunately, Slack’s options for voice are somewhat limited. While you can host a video call through an integration or a quick voice call in seconds – you can’t connect business telephony. Slack’s voice solution is easy to use but basic.
Alternatively, Microsoft Teams offers a wide variety of voice communication options. You can host voice-based meetings within the app, or access Business Phone plans from Microsoft, to make external calls to people around the world. If you want to use Microsoft Teams at the heart of your UCaaS stack, and you already have your own voice provider, there’s direct routing.
Operator Connect, one of the more recent additions to the Microsoft voice environment, also allows companies to access more convenient, managed services when working with voice vendors.
Slack and Microsoft Teams have no shortage of ways to expand your collaboration ecosystem and protect your employees. Both options come with a variety of different “bots” you can use to manage your teams and improve collaboration.
There are over 600 integrations to choose from in the Microsoft app store, with various connections to leading tools like Trello, Clickup, and Asana. You’ll also have the added benefit of in-depth integrations with the Microsoft Office productivity tools and access to Microsoft APIs.
Slack has well over 800 integrations available, with many leading services like Zoom and even Microsoft tools like Teams Calls and Outlook Calendar. Slack was recently purchased by Salesforce, so there’s likely to be an even stronger connection between these two apps in the future.
From a security perspective, both tools are excellent at delivering peace of mind and compliance. Slack is ISO 27001 compliant, just like Microsoft Teams. You also get end-to-end encryption on both platforms and multiple options for controlling who has access to what information. Microsoft is slightly more advanced with security, thanks to HIPAA compliance, Microsoft SharePoint encryption, and Cloud Security Alliance certifications.
Both Microsoft Teams and Slack will help companies collaborate and connect in the age of remote and hybrid work. While Slack seems more like a tool dedicated to quick and convenient message-based chat, Microsoft Teams is a more comprehensive UCaaS solution, equipped with various IP calling options and unique tools.
Slack is excellent for beginners in the collaboration space, and it’s likely to be a top choice for salespeople, thanks to Salesforce’s recent purchase. However, Microsoft Teams may offer a slightly more advanced environment for communications.