In the last five years, various applications and alternatives have emerged, aimed at companies that need business chat software designed and adjusted according to their needs.
Today, Slack is the leading app in this market niche, but Microsoft Teams has managed to gain a lot of ground, despite the fact that it was only in 2018 that it became freemium. At first glance, both apps may look very similar, but they have big differences under the hood.
Without a doubt, the fact that Microsoft Teams is included in the Office 365 corporate suite has helped it a lot. But we can’t underestimate Teams’ power and ability based solely on that. Both Teams and Slack have great things to offer us. With this post we hope to help you decide which software will be used by your company: Slack or Microsoft Teams.
Both Slack and Microsoft Team offer us quite similar conversation threads for their chats, which include plain text and tagging. Both support GIFs, although Teams includes access to an entire library of GIFs and stickers, while in Slack you must enter a command to be able to insert a GIF. MS Teams also allows you to create your own custom memes. Although Slack offers integration with Bitmoji and similar apps, it´s not comparable to the native implementation of Teams.
For its part, Slack can counterattack with greater ease of customization of the message interface. You can choose between light and dark themes by default, and you can even customize the colors of the sidebar among 10 available options. Unfortunately here Microsoft Teams only offers us three general themes: light, dark and high contrast.
Both platforms allow the use of bots. In Slack, Slackbot is a private chat window for saving links, experimenting with new integrations, and even asking general questions about program information, offering answers directly linked to the Help Center.
If you are looking for bots integrated in Microsoft Teams, you will have to use the Premium versions, where we will find Microsoft’s internal WhoBot, quite useful to collect more information about specific teams or employees, using an artificial intelligence graphic.
Of course, both services allow you to search and install additional bots compatible with Trello, Zoom, Cisco Webex, GitHub and Adobe Creative Cloud, among others.
You can use both Slack and Microsoft Teams on the following platforms:
- 32 and 64 bit Windows (although Teams only offers a traditional desktop client, not a native app).
- Mac OS.
There are 32 and 64-bit available Slack versions for Linux, that you can install it through Snap Store, while Microsoft only offers a MS Teams 64-bit executable installer. Of course, both applications have web versions for browsers.
Both alternatives offer freemium models, which is very useful and beneficial for small businesses.
In its free version, Slack offers us unlimited public and private channels, 5 GB of storage and 10 integrable applications, in addition to a maximum of 10,000 entries in your visible message history. Unlike Teams, Slack has no limits on the number of users who can access your team.
For its part, Teams offers us 2 GB of storage per person (10 GB shared), unlimited messages, guest access, screen sharing and more than 140 integrable apps, but as we already mentioned, limit the access of your team 300 users, a block that you can only avoid paying for a premium version.
Regarding premium versions, Slack offers us 3 packages:
- a) Standard Package ($6.67 per person to month): allows you to add apps unlimited, increases storage to 10 GB per member, and allows screen sharing and guest access.
- b) Slack Plus ($12.5 per person to month): increase storage to 20 GB per person.
- c) Enterprise Grid: this luxury plan offers us 1 TB of storage for each user, although to find out the prices you will have to go directly to Slack.
For its part, Microsoft Teams only offers us two Premium plans, integrated into Office 365:
- a) Office 365 Business Essentials: Increase storage to 10 GB per license (1 TB for the entire company); add OneDrive integration, meeting recordings, Microsoft support and other advantages, although it maintains the limit of 300 users. It costs only $ 5 per user to month.
- b) Office 365 Business Premium: we can finally get rid of user and storage limits. In addition, we can enjoy even more options, such as forced authentication and multiple factors. It costs $20 per user monthly.
In any case, Teams only supports around 180 applications to integrate at all price levels, but it has the great advantage of being perfectly integrated with Office 365 due to having been designed as part of that Microsoft suite.
Here, MS Teams is far superior than Slack. While Slack forces us to use a paid plan to be able to add more than one call in a single conference (up to a maximum of 15 simultaneous calls), Teams allows us to make voice or video conferences with up to 250 people. In addition, the meetings are recordable (something that Slack does not allow) and provides shared screen in its free version.
In summary, both Slack and Microsoft Teams are excellent chat applications for companies and organizations. As always, the final choice will depend on what your specific needs are. For example, if you are looking for specific application integration, it´s a good idea to make sure that it´s compatible with Slack and Teams, being surer that it can be integrated with the first one.
If you are looking for familiarity, comfort and an easy learning curve for your employees, Slack is the most obvious choice due to all the years it has led the market. In addition, being independent software, it´s preferable for groups that prefer to become independent from large platforms. If you are a small or medium company, Slack is the safest alternative.
However, Microsoft Teams has managed to gain a respectable place in the market, by better adjusting to the needs of large companies. If your company is already subscribed to Office 365, incorporating Teams is an excellent solution for anyone. Above all, its great advantage over Slack by offering a more robust videoconferencing makes it attractive to multinationals with remote workers around the world.