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May 20, 2021
CEO and co-founder
MS Teams and Slack are the two most well-known. Zoom is also a popular app
The world works differently today. Distributed workforces are becoming more and more prevalent. With this comes the demand for modernized communication and collaboration solutions.
Of these solutions, slack vs teams feature comparison.
MS Teams and Slack are the two most well-known. Zoom is also a popular app, but since it does not offer more in-depth collaboration features, it is not a true Microsoft Slack competitor. We will not be comparing Microsoft Teams vs Slack vs Zoom. We also will not be comparing Microsoft Teams, Slack and Skype for Business, as Skype is ending support in 2021.
When comparing Microsoft Teams vs Slack growth, Slack has been around longer and this is reflected in how many people use Slack. Then Teams emerged as a Microsoft alternative to Slack and started quickly taking over market share. Slack has recently acquired quite a few high profile clients with high user counts and is still growing rapidly, but Microsoft still retains the majority of market share.
Our guide will cover the key differences between the two solutions to help you determine the best collaboration solution for your business. Your Managed IT Services provider can also help answer any questions about which is the best fit for your goals.
When deciding on a solution for your business, your first consideration should be IT security. Any application or solution could be a potential entry point for malicious activity. Therefore, no matter how tempting the other features may be, you should never use a solution that cuts corners when it comes to cybersecurity. In this section we’ll give an overview of Microsoft Teams vs Slack security.
Microsoft Teams and Slack both offer data encryption for their free and paid versions. Both also offer single sign-on and multi-factor authentication. Further, both adhere to strict ISO/IEC and SOC compliance standards. So far, Microsoft Teams and Slack stack up fairly evenly across the board in these areas.
Microsoft Teams edges out over Slack in the area of data access control, information management, and available native data loss prevention (DLP) controls. Slack’s access control is not as flexible, and DLP is only available through integration with other providers. Further, Slack’s admin tools are only available in their paid versions, while Microsoft Teams provides this functionality for all versions including their free version.
Both solutions come with a robust feature set. They match up somewhat evenly, with the exception of virtual events. Here is a Slack vs Teams feature comparison at a glance. We’ll go over them in more detail in the chapters below.
Channels are the best way to organize people around a common topic. For example, you could create a channel for a specific project or department. This will help reduce email clutter and keep conversations focused around the common goal. This is one of the key advantages of Slack over email.
Microsoft Teams and Slack both offer the capability to organize work into public and private channels. Public channels are those which anyone in the company can find and join.
Private channels are created for more confidential conversations, where only invited participants have access. Channels are a key feature in collaboration software and both Microsoft Teams and Slack fill this category equally well.
Audio and video conferencing allow remote teams to collaborate face-to-face in real time. This encourages teamwork and helps users share information more efficiently.
In Microsoft Teams, online conferences can accommodate up to 100 participants in the free version, or up to 300 participants in paid versions. Microsoft Teams supports screen sharing, meeting chats and digital whiteboarding during meetings to maximize collaboration. Microsoft Teams also allows users to record meetings, so they can be shared or referenced later.
Slack conferencing is quite limited in comparison to Microsoft Teams. The paid versions of Slack can only accommodate up to 15 participants in a voice or video conference. The free version only provides one-on-one voice/video calls. This is one of the more glaring Slack free limitations. While Microsoft offers native whiteboarding and meeting recording, in Slack these features are only available through third-party app integration (which may come with separate fees).
When it comes to Microsoft Teams vs Slack users, Slack for small teams may suffice if your meetings will have 15 or fewer participants. If you have a larger team or require features such as meeting recording and whiteboarding, Microsoft Teams is a much better option than Slack.
Microsoft Teams provides users with the capability to host large virtual events such as webinars. This is a wonderful tool for driving engagement with your brand. For events with interactive participation such as polls and surveys, Microsoft Teams can accommodate up to 1,000 attendees. For view-only broadcasts, Microsoft Teams can accommodate even more, up to 10,000 viewers. Event registration is included natively. Following a virtual event, Microsoft Teams can provide reporting to understand and analyze attendee statistics and participation.
Slack does not offer any support for virtual events out of the box. While the event planning and organization can be done within Slack, you would need to use a third-party app to handle event registration (e.g., Circa), another third-party app to handle polls and surveys (e.g., Polly or Kyber), and yet another third-party app to hold the actual event (e.g., Zoom or, ahem, Microsoft Teams).
In the category of virtual events, there is no contest. Microsoft Teams is the clear winner.
Many businesses require a collaboration solution that includes not only people within the organization, but external users as well. Both Microsoft Teams and Slack allow communication, file sharing and meeting with external users such as partners, vendors and clients.
Guest access is included with all tiers of Microsoft Teams, and there is no limit to the number of guests allowed. In Slack, guest access is available through a feature called Slack Connect. In order to use Slack Connect, both you and your guest must be on a paid Slack plan. Because of this limitation, Microsoft Teams is the better option, unless you are certain that all external organizations you will collaborate with are also on paid versions of Slack.
This is an easy one. Both Microsoft Teams and Slack can be accessed any time, anywhere, via their web, desktop and mobile applications. When it comes to mobility, you can go wrong with either one.
Another key requirement for any collaboration solution is file sharing. This allows users to share files and documents within a conversation to provide context.
Microsoft Teams’ free plan includes 2 GB of data storage per user, plus 10 GB of shared storage. The paid plans include 1 TB per organization plus 10 GB per license. The upload limit for a file is 15 GB. Microsoft Teams goes a step further and allows multiple users to edit and work on the same Word, Excel or PowerPoint document simultaneously. All of these Office 365 apps are seamlessly integrated with Teams and documents can be edited within the Teams workspace.
Slack’s free plan includes 5 GB of data storage for a team. The paid plans include 10-20 GB per user. The upload limit for a file is 1 GB. Unfortunately, Slack does not have the capability to edit documents within the workspace; they would need to be download from Slack and opened in the appropriate app to edit them.
The integration of Office apps and ability to edit and collaborate on documents in real time make Microsoft Teams the winner in this category.
Both Microsoft Teams and Slack allow integration with a vast number of apps, including productivity apps, project management apps, and industry-specific apps. Microsoft Teams offers integration with over 700 apps. Slack boasts a directory of over 2,400 apps. Integrations are clearly one of the biggest advantages of Slack.
It should be noted that while there is some Slack Sharepoint integration, it is not quite as seamless as what Teams offers.
Both Microsoft Teams and Slack offer free plans which are quite generous. When looking at Microsoft Teams free vs paid plans, the free version is quite a bit more robust than Slack’s free plan.
Microsoft Teams’ paid plans start at $5.00 per user per month. Slack’s paid plans start at $6.67 per user per month. Also, in the paid versions of Teams, it is a part of a larger suite of Office 365 products, so the real comparison here is Slack vs Office 365. Since Microsoft Teams comes in at a less expensive price which also includes web and mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Teams is the better value.
Microsoft Teams and Slack are both excellent (and secure!) solutions. But which one is the best for your business? According to the deep dive we took, Microsoft Teams wins or ties in almost all categories. Microsoft Teams is especially a no brainer for companies that are already working in Office 365. The only win for Slack is the plethora of available app integrations. If you absolutely need integration with an app that is available in Slack but not Teams, Slack will have the advantage. Otherwise, our recommendation is to go with Microsoft Teams.