Businesses today are keen to boost efficiencies around communication and content sharing but find it difficult to choose the right collaboration software for their organisation. Here’s a comparison of the two most popular enterprise messaging platforms – Microsoft Teams and Slack.
By now, you may have heard or read a lot about Slack – the team messaging app that allows you to share files, send messages and communicate across multiple devices. Even if you haven’t used it before, you’re probably aware that it is one of the most effective collaboration tools for businesses in the market right now!
Slack has, for a long time, remained unchallenged by any direct rivals and has dominated the collaborative communication space since it first launched in 2013. That is until Microsoft released Microsoft Teams in 2017 (the free version was released in July 2018), a new cloud-based team collaboration software that is integrated with Microsoft’s Office 365 suite.
Microsoft Teams isn’t just another trending tool in the cloud collaboration space; it’s a real game-changer that is beginning to steal the limelight of other classic corporate communication channels like Slack. The Verge recently reported that Microsoft Teams has successfully overtaken Slack with 13 million daily users, which is 3 million more than Slack’s daily active users. In addition to that, a recent Spiceworks study also claims that Microsoft Teams is set to see the most growth by the end of 2020, surpassing both Slack and Google Hangout.
Though it is difficult to predict if those figures will increase or fall in the future, it’s clear to see that both Microsoft Teams and Slack are two of the most prominent messaging apps used in businesses today. The times when email used to be the most effective way to communicate is over, and now online collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack have taken its place.
With the recent launch of Microsoft Teams, the question that’s now on everyone’s lips is “which of the two platforms is the better option?” To find out which is the best collaboration platform to use, we decided to review the main differences between the two tools.
Round 1: Speed and deployment
In terms of deployment and installation, Slack beats Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) hands down. Not only is the file size much smaller, but it’s also much easier to set-up. MS Teams is a little more complex and can take a little bit more time to set-up. Since MS Teams is primarily built for larger organisations, its deployment process takes more effort and time. When deploying MS Teams, it is more effective to have an administrator take control of this process. Both platforms clearly offer companies greater productivity and collaboration, but out of the two platforms, Slack’s loading time is quicker, the overall fluidity of navigation is a lot better, and you can move around faster.
Round 2: Content sharing
The benefits of both platforms are that they give users the ability to quickly share content with their peers. This was a notable feature of Slack when it was first released, but now MS Teams rivals Slack when it comes to this particular feature. If you use Slack, you can effortlessly create or share Google drive documents. It’s can be a great way of collaborating with others but sometimes it’s easy to miss when a new file or document is added to a shared folder.
Just like Slack, it is easy to share files on MS Teams, but most of these files are stored within the Office 365 platform. MS Team has one major advantage when it comes to content sharing. Unlike Slack, MS Teams users can view and edit files within MS Team. If one of your co-workers decides to send you a Word document, you can edit it in MS Teams without having to leave the platform. With Slack, you have to download the file and make edits externally.
Winner: MS Teams
Round 3: Organisation
In Slack, teamwork, and organisation happen in channels, which is where people can communicate and share files with one another. The interface built within Slack is easy to use; it’s very intuitive, and it enhances communication within an organisation. In comparison to Slack, MS Teams dashboard is a bit more cluttered, but it has a very useful customisable tab system that gives users a lot more flexibility when it comes to organising their content. Both MS Teams and Slack have a very clean and easy to use interface, which makes that much more difficult to judge. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference, so we’ll call this one a tie.
Winner: The result of this round is a draw!
Round 4: App integration
MS Teams has the upper hand when it comes to integrating with its own Office 365 apps. It can seamlessly add services like SharePoint, OneNote, Power BI, and Planner. MS Teams also provides integration with other third-party bots and apps like Outlook, YouTube, Dropbox, Sharefile, and Skype. As things stand now, MS Teams has over 190+ apps on its Appsource site.
Slack, on the other hand, features over 1,000 third-party integrations on its app directory. Dropbox, Github, Google Drive, are just three of the many apps that are available on Slack. It also provides integration with SalesForce, which is something that MS Teams doesn’t have. Although MS Teams continues to add new apps every year, it will take a long time before it catches up with Slack.
Round 5: Meetings, audio, and video calls
Despite the sheer number of third-party integration apps on Slack, MS Teams has the upper hand when it comes to its video and audio call functionalities. Regardless of which plan you’re on (free or paid), MS Teams allows users to schedule 1:1 video and audio calls with up to 80 people in a meeting. The number of people you can add to a call is a lot smaller on Slack. Those that use Slack can only conduct 1:1 calls with a total of 15 people.
In addition to that, MS Teams also has an edge over Slack when it comes to its video features. The Enhanced Meeting feature, for example, allows you to record videos and pull up transcripts that are powered by Stream. Whether it’s for – training purposes, announcements, or recording interviews – it’s an important feature to have for any business using a collaboration tool to communicate with others.
Winner: MS Teams
Final verdict: Slack or MS Teams?
As with everything, it depends. While both tools clearly have many features for messaging and content sharing, they’re both evenly matched in terms of popularity. Choosing one from the other can be difficult, but sometimes it depends on the set up of your organisation. For instance, if your organisation needs more integration options, or your employees prefer using Google drive, then Slack is probably the best option for your business. If your looking to add more people into meetings, or your looking for built-in tools that allow you to share and edit files, then your probably better off with using MS Teams.
Each product clearly has its own unique features and functionalities, making it difficult to choose a winner. Microsoft will obviously continue to work hard, like it has done with other services, to make sure that it stays ahead of its competition. Slack will also continue to improve its own product to keep up with the growth of MS Teams. So, for now, we’ll call this one a tie, and say they are both unique in their own way.
Call to action
Here at UpSkill Digital, we understand how important it is to use online tools like MS Teams and Slack to communicate more efficiently at work. But, knowing which tool to use can be a difficult decision to make. At the end of the day, both tools are great; they provide new ways to share content, communicate with your teammates, and organise your work.
Whichever tool you deem best for your organisation, you need to make sure that your employees know how to use them. Implementing any kind of new tech is always going to be difficult, but teaching your employees how to use it will always be the most challenging part. Ultimately, good teaching is needed to help your staff learn new digital skills or help them get to grips with collaboration tools like MS Teams or Slack.
That’s why we provide MS Teams training to help members of your team learn how to use it so that they can enjoy a simpler and more productive work life. If you need any advice or help to implement tools like MS Teams across your business, then please get in touch.
Written by Islam Soliman