Microsoft Teams vs. Slack
With the capacity to connect thousands of users and over 800 third-party applications, Slack has been the leading communication tool for users and their file sources.
Microsoft decided to join that market when it released a new communications platform called Microsoft Teams, which has become the big contender for this type of enterprise solution. MS Teams and Teams are used interchangeably for identifying Microsoft Teams.
While the maximum connected users and applications count is a lot lower in an Office 365 environment, Microsoft Teams manages to edge out Slack.
When comparing the two, their features should be the main perspective to consider. Both provide free versions as well as paid versions. They can connect to multiple applications and can share documents back and forth. They can also invite users to collaborate, and instant messaging is available.
But what about the key differences?
Features of Slack and Microsoft Teams
1. Freemium Standard $6.67 user/month (billed annually)
2. Plus $12.50 user/month (billed annually)
MS Teams (Office 365):
2. Freemium Office 365 Business Essentials $5 per user/month (billed annually)
4. Office 365 Business Premium $12.50 per user/month (billed annually)
Note: You can test drive both paid plans for free for 30 days.
• There is a limit of 10K messages in the Free plan and an unlimited amount of messages in the Standard and Plus plans.
• Audio/video calls Unlimited 1:1 voice and video calls in free plan
• Conference calls for up to 15 participants in Paid plans Voice/video calls with up to 80 people in a meeting.
• Integrations 10 integrations limit in Free plan
• 800+ integrations in paid plans 180+ apps and services (as of July 2018)
File storage limit
• Free plan: 5GB file storage for a team
• Standard plan: 10GB per user
• Plus plan: 20GB per user
• Free plan: 2 GB/user and 10GB of shared storage
• Paid plans: 1 TB per organization
• Screen sharing is unavailable in the Free version but it is available in the Standard and Plus versions
Available in all plans
• Interface color options
• Custom sidebar themes.
• 3 themes (light, dark, high contrast)
• Conversation threads: Yes on both plans
A Best Practices Environment
When considering an Office 365 environment, MS Teams connects to all Office 365 products (which is great considering most of us are already using Microsoft products) and there are 180 available third party apps for use inside of MS Teams.
There is also no need to bounce around between Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or SharePoint because Teams can connect to all of these platforms seamlessly.
In a non-Office 365 environment, Slack begins to pull ahead of Teams. As we mentioned earlier, Slack can connect to over 800 third party applications (with a paid plan) which makes collaboration between those apps very easy. However, Slack lacks the integration capabilities of the Office 365-based Teams.
Documents in both Teams and Slack can be managed through numerous applications such as Google Drive, DropBox, and SharePoint. These items can be shared and edited through Teams itself, while Slack requires you to download the items first, as it doesn’t have a built-in tool for editing directly.
This gives you the ability to upload files up to 15GB, with storage up to 1TB. MS Teams has larger file storage and sharing capabilities than Slack which only allows up to 1GB for uploading, 5GB for free storage, and 20GB for paid storage.
For messaging and video calls, Teams can create meetings (which integrate with Outlook), record meetings, connect multiple users at once, and provide the ability to switch between video, audio, and chat easily during a meeting.
Slack only allows you to connect two individuals on a free plan and 15 users for a paid plan versus Teams that can connect up to 80 users.
Message storage and search is similar in both, giving you the ability to search through conversations and files at the same time to find what you need and where you’ve stored it.
Teams allows you to search individual channels as well as gives you the opportunity for unlimited chat message and search. Slack only allows you to search the last 10,000 messages.
Conclusion on MS Teams vs. Slack
Which one is better than the other? A big part of this questions is going to be how your environment is configured. Office 365 environments would work more effectively with Microsoft Teams as that environment utilizes Office 365 tools and applications on a daily basis.
If the environment isn’t configured for Office 365, Slack might be a better choice as you would more than likely not be a Microsoft platform-based organization. It also allows you to connect to a multitude of applications designed help you collaborate.
If you factor in the overall available functionality and the related licensing cost for an organization, MS Teams wins out every time over Slack.