In the past few years, if you ever needed a communication platform, you’ve probably heard of Slack. Launched in 2013 it has now grown to be a multi-billion dollar company. However, it’s now got a formidable competitor in Microsoft Teams.
Teams was created during a time that Microsoft was seeking to buy Slack for $8 billion, however Microsoft decided to focus on Skype for Business and it was revamped as Teams. It was officially announced on November 2nd, 2016. Since then it has grown, and has now overtaken Slack for daily users. With the growth of Teams, which communication platform should your organization consider?
Teams and Slack both offer free-mium versions, which is fantastic for small businesses. They both offer free storage, almost unlimited messaging and file sharing. However, these freemium versions can restrict you, therefore most organizations that can afford it, tend to do the premium versions.
If you’re a medium to large organization, the premium versions are the way to go because it provides more integrations, additional storage, and more security. The cost for Slack is slightly cheaper, but that’s only because Teams comes in the Office 365 bundle, therefore a lot of value.
Table 1 Features Comparison
|Version||Cost per User||Storage||Messaging||Video Chat Participants||Security Features|
|Teams Free||$0||10gb||Unlimited||300||Data encryption|
Teams (O365 Premium)
|$12.50||1tb/user||Unlimited||300||MFA, single-sign on, advanced audit, etc.|
Teams (0365 Enterprise)
|$20.00||1tb/user||Unlimited||300||MFA, single-sign on, advanced audit, etc|
|$6.67||10gb/user||Unlimited||15||2-Factor + OAuth Google|
|Slack Enterprise||$12.50||20gb/user||Unlimited||15||Single sign-on, 2-Factor, OAuth|
The most important feature for both is to have messaging and video conferencing, because that’s how employees can stay connected across the hall and across the world. Both platforms offer video conferencing abilities; however, Teams can support calls with many more participants. Slack supports up to 15 participants, and Teams supports up to 300 participants. Also Teams has a live events broadcast feature which can support the attendance of 10,000, so there is possibility to do webinars and other webcasts on the platform.
Integrations are one of Slack’s main selling points. It’s how some organizations connect to various workplace applications. It has over a lot of integrations, plenty of flexibility. While Teams has integrations, it might have the most important integration of them all, Office 365.
There is definitely a case to be made that Office 365 is an important productivity software with 80% of Fortune 500 companies using it. With smooth integrations across all Office 365 apps, you can send and receive documents effortlessly. You can upload from your OneDrive straight into the chat. You can edit and work on documents within Teams, as well.
This integration of Office 365 is smoother than Slack’s because it’s been built natively. If your workplace leverage O365 as opposed to G-Suite, then Teams makes more sense for your organization.
There’s one last major difference between the two that all IT professionals should understand—security. Slack has fantastic security measures; however, Microsoft Teams is unrivaled in creating a secure enterprise solution. Since Microsoft handles workloads for governments and large enterprises, they instill world class security measures and threat detection. This all comes with Microsoft 365 and the Enterprise Mobility and Security suite. Not to mention, Microsoft machine learning sifts through billions of signals each day to identify security threats, keeping your organization safe. Teams feels more secure than Slack does, despite the latter’s efforts to secure the platform.
Many small and independent businesses tend to use Slack for its flexibility, but the same can be found within Teams for organizations of any size and across all verticals. By using the Office 365 suite, organizations can unlock productivity, but also closer collaboration with Teams in their organizations.