Team collaboration is as important as ever, and there are many players in the game. Today we’ll take a look at two options you can choose from: Microsoft Teams, and Slack, and take a look at the differences between the two.
Microsoft Teams is Office 365’s hub for team collaboration. It integrates your organization’s people, content, and tools needed to be more engaged and effective.
Slack stands for Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge, and is also a hub for team collaboration tools and services. Founded by Stewart Butterfield, Slack started out as an internal tool for Butterfield’s company, Tiny Speck, for the development of Glitch, a now-defunct online game.
As they’re both collaboration tools, Microsoft Teams and Slack both offer basically the same things. Limitations aside, both tools let you host audio, video, and web conversations with anyone inside or outside your organization. Both offer searchable conversations, file sharing, file storage, and conversation threads.
Slack, on the other hand, boasts integration with over 1,000 apps. Dropbox, GitHub, Google Drive, SalesForce, are just four of the many apps you can use along with Slack. Since Slack also provides its API, anything not available in the app page can be integrated later and shared with the community. You only have 10 integrations in the free plan, but both paid plans offer all of them.
Both apps offer free versions, with subscriptions to paid plans available. With Microsoft Teams, the cheapest paid plan is in the Office 365 Business Essentials, and it starts at $5/user/month (billed annually). There’s also a Premium Version available at $12.50/user/month (also billed annually).
Messaging, Audio, and Video
Microsoft Teams has no message history limit in any of its plans—yes, even in the free one. Slack loses on this aspect, as its free plan only stores up to 10,000 messages. For unlimited message history, you’ll have to go with one of the paid plans.
Video and Audio calls are another aspect where Microsoft Teams has the upper hand. Regardless of plan, you can always have up to 80 people in a meeting. Slack will let you do 1:1 video calls on its Free Plan, and in both paid plans, the conference calls have a limit of 15 participants.
In terms of Screen Sharing, Teams has it available on all plans as well. With Slack, it’s only for paid plans.
File Storage and Limits
Microsoft Teams will give you 2GB/user and 10GB of shared storage with its free plan, and 1TB per organization with paid plans.
In its free plan, Slack gives 5GB file storage for the whole team. The Standard Plan, on the other hand, has 10GB per user, whereas the Plus plan has 20GB per user.
In terms of size limit for file uploads, Slack is capped at 1GB. Microsoft Teams, however, will let you upload files as large as 15 GB. Teams will also let you see the file within its workspace, thus bypassing the need to download it—a feature Slack doesn’t offer.
If you like to customize your tools, Slack is the clear winner at this point as it comes with custom sidebar themes (and you can create your own, too). Microsoft Teams only has three available themes: light, dark, and high contrast.
Ease of Use
In terms of deployment and installation, Slack is a smaller download, and a much faster deployment. Plus, they don’t ask for a lot of personal data unless you want a paid version. Microsoft Teams is much more complicated. Even if you’re going for the free plan, you’ll need to enter a credit card, your phone number, and your business e-mail—so downloading Teams for personal use is not possible.
Invitations are also much easier on Slack. All you have to do is create your workspace, and Slack will prompt you to invite others. Inviting more people later is as easy as clicking on the “Invite People” tab. In Microsoft Teams, you have to add users to Office 365 first, which will then give the users an “on.microsoft.com” domain e-mail. After that, new users need to log in with that e-mail and change the given password—only then can you add them to your Teams chat. It’s a lot, but if you have someone dedicated to IT, they could technically do it for you. If you’re managing the team yourself, however, Slack is much easier to use.
Which is Better, Then?
As with everything, it depends. If you’re in need of more integration possibilities, or like customizing your workspace, Slack is the clear winner. But in terms of Free Plans, Microsoft will offer more storage, unlimited history, screen sharing, and more people in meetings, but its installation is a hassle compared to Slack’s. Slack will let people use it for personal purposes, whereas you need an
organization for Teams.