Working from home has called for businesses to hone into their creative side and find newfound, efficient ways to communicate. Subsequently, companies across the board have turned to utilizing popular workspaces such as slack and Microsoft teams – both of which are at the top of the workspace market. Inevitably, the necessity for communication platforms raised the common question amongst employers: Which platform is better suited for me? Depending on the features you need, you may already have a clear winner in mind. But if not, we strongly encourage you to read our guide to gain more clarity and ultimately figure out which one is best for you.
Slack VS. Microsoft Teams Comparison
Launched in August of 2013, Slack entered the market as an “alliance hub, which may replace email that will assist you and your team in working together with ease.” Using a simple, straightforward layout, Slack allows users to participate in numerous conversation threads, share documents with their team, and even initiate audio or video calls inside the platform.
In March of 2017, Microsoft decided to create a proprietary program that functioned similarly to Slack. Teams is an electronic communication and cooperation platform that allows “classes” to send instant messages, host meetings, and share/save documents. The Teams program features comparable functionalities as Slack and integrates seamlessly with the Microsoft Office 365 software package. We actively choose to operate Teams due to its full suite of office tools, which increases efficiency amongst our close-knit team. You can learn about the 10 best practices for Microsoft Teams here.
Both Slack and Teams offer a “freemium” model, which is particularly attractive for smaller businesses who want to save money.
Slack also offers unlimited public and private channels, file sharing, 5 GB of storage, and ten app integrations. The free plan also allows you to lock your viewable and searchable message history to 10,000 entries. Still, there’s no indication that Slack’s free plan limits the number of users accessing your workspace.
On the other hand, teams offers unlimited messages, guest access, over 250 integrated apps/services, screen sharing, and 2 GB of storage per person (10 GB shared).
Beyond the free plan, both programs offer premium packages. Slack’s Standard package costs $6.67 per person per month when billed annually. It includes unlimited apps, increases the storage to 10 GB per person, and enables screen sharing. You also gain access to your entire message history. Slack’s Plus plan costs $12.50, increases storage to 20 GB, amongst other various upgrades. There’s an Enterprise plan, too, offering 1 TB of storage per member.
Microsoft Teams offers three premium plans. The Business Basic plan is $5 per user per month, has a 300-user limit, ups the storage to 10 GB per license, and adds OneDrive integration, Exchange email hosting, meeting recordings, support from Microsoft, and more. The Business Standard plan maintains the 300-user maximum but adds desktop versions of productivity apps such as Word, Excel, and Publisher. You still get 10 GB per license, while the price increases to $12.50 per user. Lastly, Office 365 E3 costs $20 per user while providing a massive increase in the maximum number of users (500,000). This plan also offers to host online events for up to 10,000 unlimited file attachments in chat, as well as unlimited personal cloud storage.
Slack’s free plan limits app integrations to 10, whereas businesses can take full advantage of the paid plans’ 2,200 app integration possibilities. If you happen to use another productivity app at work, there’s a good chance that it’s compatible with Slack.
Microsoft Teams takes a different approach by offering unlimited integrations with other apps amongst all pricing tiers, but only supports around 250 apps. With that said, Teams does have the best integration options given it’s designated to work correctly with Microsoft’s suite.
Slack’s free plan offers 1-to-1 voice or video calls, while the paid plans support up to 15 simultaneous callers.
Meanwhile, in Teams, you can host online or video conferencing meetings with up to 300 people in the free version alone. But it’s worth noting that the free version only offers a 300-person maximum, as mentioned above. The 365 E3 tier provides a cap of 10,000 participants. Microsoft Teams also allows members to record meetings in premium programs and includes screen sharing. All of which are appealing features for larger or more team-oriented companies.
Both Slack and Microsoft Teams support bots. Slack offers a customizable chatbot to ask general questions to view more information about the program, called Slackbot.
In Teams, you’re only able to access an in-house WhoBot in the premium models. It features a Graphic AI that gathers information about your team or specific employees. WhoBot also answers general questions with tailored recommendations for members needing help.
Slack is currently available for use on these platforms:
- macOS (Desktop and Mac App Store)
- Windows (32-bit, 64-bit, and Microsoft Store)
- Linux (DEB 64-bit, RPM 64-bit, and Snap Store)
Whereas Microsoft Teams is available on these:
- Windows (32-bit and 64-bit)
- Linux (DEB and RPM)
You can also access Slack and Microsoft Teams as a web-based app via any modern browser.
Which Is Best?
Ultimately, both Slack and Microsoft Teams are viable chat applications, and the choice between the two depends on what you’re looking for. Thankfully, both workspaces offer free trials, allowing you to test the waters before making any commitments.
Still have questions? Our team is always happy to help both new and existing clients, and as Teams is part of our solution stack, we have plenty of insight to provide. Reach out for a free IT consultation and speak with one of our experienced and dedicated team members.