Slack or Teams? Which side of the workspace line do you fall? We have taken a moment to outline the differences in the two leading workspace environments to help you understand them better and figure out which would work best for your company.
Slack and Microsoft Teams have their similarities and differences. The search bar, quick commands, and conversation threads features are almost identical for the two tools. Despite these similarities, there are a lot more differences between Slack and Teams, including app integration, content sharing, and deployment. Overall, as both are communication tools, the differences with these features are minor details.
Which one is best? That depends on what collaboration platform your company uses. Today we are diving into the two leading collaboration apps - Slack and Microsoft Teams. It may be hard for a company or team to decide what’s best for them. Let’s dive into the overview of the apps, features, integrations, direct comparison, pros/cons, and then our final thoughts!
Slack was released in 2013 and has continued to be a leader in innovation and collaboration. Slack has more than 10 million daily active users with more than 600,000 different organizations in 150 different countries using the collaboration app. Slack was the result of the founder Stewart Butterfield’s video game Glitch that didn’t gain traction, and soon transitioned into the app we now know today. The app is available on iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. In April 2019, Slack had filed their IPO to go public.
Microsoft Teams is a newer product when compared to Slack. Before Microsoft Teams was created, Microsoft was deciding if they wanted to make an $8 billion bid on Slack, but they decided otherwise and went in the direction of producing their own app. Microsoft Teams launched in 2017 and is available on iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. The app has over 1.5 million daily active users with more than 500,000 organizations using the app. Teams comes with an Office365 subscription, which is where most of their users come from.
Top Workspace Features
Workspace Basics - Slack allows communities, groups, or teams to join through a specific URL or invitation sent by a team admin or owner. Although Slack was meant for organizational communication, it has been slowly turning into a community platform, a function for which users had previously used message boards or social media such as Facebook or LinkedIn groups. Check out this article on organizing Slack channels
Messaging - Public channels allow team members to communicate without the use of email or group SMS. They are open to everyone in the chat but must be invited to join the client. Private channels allow for private conversation between smaller sects of the overall group. Also has direct messages. This is great if you have certain conversations you want everyone to participate in or some conversations you want to keep private.
API - Slack provides API to users to create applications and automate processes, such as sending automatic notifications based on human input, sending alerts on specified conditions, and automatically creating internal support tickets. The Slack API has been noted for its compatibility with many types of applications, frameworks, and services. API is great and creates a customizable aspect to the app.
Video and Voice calls - Ability to communicate with team members that may be remote or out of office, a great way to collaborate other than messaging. Slack has a partnership with Zoom, which makes it easy to hold meetings/conferences. Meetings and email will soon be embedded in Slack.
Document Sharing - You have the ability to share files with channels, whether that file is from google docs, Microsoft word, screenshots, photos, etc. You can give people access to edit or just the ability to view the document. This is a great way for work to continue to be efficient and collaborative.
For future features you may not know about in Slack, check out this article.
Workspace Basics - Teams comes standard with dedicated channels for the department you join. You can also be added to channels or create your own. Inside channels, you can hold on-the-spot meetings, have conversations, and share files. All channels are public, there is not yet the ability to have private channels.
Meetings - See everything you’ve got lined up for the day or week within the workspace. Or, schedule a meeting. Your Outlook calendar sync to your Teams workspace.
Video and Voice calls - In some cases, if your organization has it set up, you can call anyone from the Teams workspace, even if they’re not using Teams. For video calling, you can even save meetings to the cloud to go back and watch later. (Skype for business integration). This is a very appealing aspect to businesses who already use Skype for business, as it is almost identical.
Office 365 - Having access and comment on word, powerpoint, excel, etc. all in the Teams app. This aspect makes Teams extremely collaborative, like Slack’s document sharing, it allows everyone to work together.
Sharepoint - In the Teams workspace you can collaboration, and manage documents which helps bring everything together in one space. Another part of Microsoft that makes collaboration easy and accessible.
Having integrations in collaboration apps is increasingly important due to advances in automation and technology. Integrations streamline processes, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. Without certain integrations, many of the abilities you currently have right now in Slack or Teams would not be achievable. Here are some of the many valuable integrations on Teams and Slack:
Zendesk - IT helpdesk for solving customer tickets.
Zoho Desk - IT helpdesk for solving customer tickets.
So which do you choose and why?
There are pros and cons to both apps, many companies will have their own reasoning for choosing their app. Users of Microsoft Teams tend to be companies that have over 10,000 employees as it is easier, smoother and apart of the office365 subscription, which most companies will have. Microsoft Teams also has unlimited message history, while Slack is limited to 10,000 stored messages. The video calling and communication aspect of Teams tends to be smoother than Slack’s video calling, as there are not as many bugs. But, Microsoft Teams does have a number of bugs when it comes to messaging and the interface, which tends to be slower and off-putting to users. Check out our integrations with both Slack and Microsoft Teams.