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Slack vs Microsoft Teams

Updated: Mar 20

What application will enhance, streamline, and drive communication in your organization?


The Microsoft 365 platform seems to have a tool to fill every productivity need. Teams is Microsoft’s versatile communication platform that competes with Slack, the best-known point solution in the “Work Messenger” market. Explore the differences between the two, their strengths, and determine the solution that enhances collaboration in your organization.

Slack

Teams

Winner

Integrations

over 2,400 integrations

over 1,800 integrations

Slack

Video Conferencing

Does not offer video conferencing with free plans. (only 1:1 calls)

Free Teams will support video for up to 100 people.

Teams

Security, Regulatory and Compliance

Almost anyone can start a workspace, which can lead to trouble (users not following guidelines).

Integrated with Microsoft security products that ensure compliance needs.

Teams

User Experience

Simple interface with a focus on UX.

More detailed features, which leads to a steeper learning curve.

Slack

The Rise of Slack

In February of 2014, Slack was released to the public and had 8,000 customers sign up in the next 24 hours. 18 months later, the company reported they were signing up 10,000 new customers a week. Two years after that, Slack reached 1,000,000 daily active users. As of April of 2023, Slack reported over 20,000,000 daily active users. Slack is now owned by Salesforce and was purchased in 2021.


The Rise of Teams

Microsoft had messaging plans of its own. They announced Teams in November of 2016 and launched it to the public in March of 2017. Teams is part of the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 platforms, emphasizing the connectivity across its apps. In the first year, Teams had 2,000,000 daily active users which has grown to 280,000,000 daily active users in 2023.


How Much Does Teams Cost?

Teams has free and paid versions available. The free version of Teams is included with the purchase of Microsoft 365.

For Business

Microsoft Teams Essentials

Microsoft 365 Business Basic

Microsoft 365 Business Standard

Cost per user per month

$4

$6

$12.50

Storage

10 GB

1TB

1 TB plus premium features and webinar hosting capabilities


For Home/Individual User

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Personal

Microsoft Family

Cost per user per month

Free

$6.99 or $69.99 a year

$9.99 or $99.99 a year

Storage

5 GB

1 TB

6 TB


How Much Does Slack Cost?

Slack is a “freemium” product meaning you can start for free. The free plan keeps messages for 90 days, but has limited integrations.

Slack

Free

Pro

Busines +

Enterprise Grid

Cost per user per month

Free

$7.25

$12.50

Varies depending on organization and # of users

Access to past messaging

90 days

Unlimited- full chat history

Unlimited- full chat history, plus 24/7

Unlimited-Full chat history, enterprise security and compliance features

Video Calling

1:1

Up to 50 people

Up to 50, but 100,00 users can be on a chat channel

Up to 50, but 100,00 users can be on a chat channel

The Many Integrations of Teams

Teams offers over 1,800 integrations including Salesforce, Box, Trello and Adobe. You can write your own integrations with Teams using a traditional development platform (Java, .Net, React, etc.), or one of the Microsoft No-Code solutions such as Power Automate or Power Apps.


Slack Integrations and Endless Possibilities

Slack offers more than 2,400 integrations including Salesforce, Google Workspace, Box and Microsoft. You can write your own integrations with the same development platforms or the Slack Workflow Builder for a No-Code solution.


Video Conferencing within Teams

The free version of Teams will support video calls for up to 100 people. The paid version will support up to 1,000 users. Meetings support recordings, closed captions, and translation. Support for up to 10,000 attendees is possible but only the first 1,000 will be able to share video and audio.


microsoft teams call

Video Conferencing within Slack

Slack does not offer video calling with free plans. With a paid plan you can include up to 50 users on a video call.


Teams When it Comes to Security, Regulatory, and Compliance

While organizations can choose to allow the self-service creation of new teams within Microsoft Teams, all teams are managed from the same control panel so IT can ensure they meet compliance and regulatory needs. This makes it easy to add/remove users/permission to the right groups across the organization. Single Sign-On is also included by default of Azure Directory, and available for most other vendors. Because Teams is in the Microsoft 365 Platform, it inherits all its capabilities including robust eDiscovery, Security and Regulatory controls. It is also tightly integrated with the Microsoft suite of security products such as Microsoft Defender, Data Loss Prevention and Advanced Information Protection.


Slack When it Comes to Security, Regulatory, and Compliance

Unless you are on the Enterprise Grid version, Slack allows anyone to almost instantly start their own Slack “Workspace” that might not be visible to the Regulatory and Compliance teams. That means that while you can scan for compliance and try to ensure regulations are met, you can’t always know about them all. In one recent case, failure to turn Slack messages over cost one company $10,000,000. Slack does support Single Sign-On in many of their paid tiers and Slack itself is secure. Be cautious and enforce your own guidelines to avoid your organization getting into trouble. And because Slack is a third-party application, removing/managing users is not automatically managed like Teams is.


The User Experience with Teams

The Teams interface is not as simple as Slack, but it offers a much more robust information architecture with information partitions at the Team, Channel, and Thread level. Each Team can be set to Public, Private, or Secret allowing fine grained control over user access to that content. In addition, each Team can be set to allow or disallow guest users from outside the organization, with a 3-dimensional view of security. Teams has rich integration into the rest of the Microsoft 365 platform allowing seamless collaboration with content in applications like OneNote, OneDrive, Project, Word, and SharePoint.



slack dashboard


The User Experience with Slack

Slack users love its interface and speed. The learning curve is easy, and people become productive in a hurry. Slack has a 2-dimensional view of chats that allows you to partition by channel and then optionally as threads within the channel. The “Reply in a thread” action is not the default leading to potential confusion for users at first.


Which Communication Platform is Right for You?

Both solutions will allow you and your organization to optimize communication and collaboration. If you are a start-up that’s not already using Microsoft Technologies, Slack is a good choice. This is also the case if you’re a Google Workplace customer who doesn’t use Google Chat. If you’re a Microsoft 365 customer or often use Microsoft Office products, Teams is the clear choice. If you’re somewhere in the middle, however, the lower cost of Teams and its ability to handle both your chat and video conference might be something to consider.


Ready to get Started?

If you have more questions, or are ready to get started with Microsoft Teams, contact a solutions specialist today.

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