There are many excellent collaboration tools available today, two of the most popular being Microsoft Teams and Slack. When investing in a new tool for your organisation, you want to be sure of exactly what you are purchasing. Teams and Slack essentially accomplish the same goal; fostering collaboration and engagement in the modern workplace. Therefore, it can be difficult to decide between the two, and which one will be a better fit for your organisation. Below we discuss the main differences between the two platforms to help you better decide.
Integration with Apps
There are many third-party apps and services for both Teams and Slack to integrate with, making them even more powerful as collaboration tools. Currently, Slack can integrate with over 800, while Teams can only integrate with just over 180. However, despite Teams being able to integrate with fewer apps, it does have one very major advantage – it has the ability to integrate with Office 365 apps, whilst Slack does not. The way Teams is structured (tab-based), also makes it easier to access the integrated apps and services compared with Slack.
Both Slack and Teams have mobile and desktop versions of their application, making them easy to use both in the office and on the go. Teams also has a bonus cloud-based feature located in the Microsoft security stack called Intune. Intune allows you to manage your organisation’s mobile devices and applications from one central location.
It’s pretty easy to decide between Teams and Slack when it comes to content sharing – Slack integrates primarily with Google Drive, while Teams uses Microsoft 365. It is also much easier to view and collaborate on files within Teams than within Slack, as you can do so without having to leave the platform at all. In Slack, you need to download the file, and then edit it externally.
Data Protection and Security
Both tools have security measures that encrypt messages, data and files. They also both offer two-factor authentication for extra security when signing in. However, Teams outdoes Slack when it comes to its security measures. Not only does it provide data loss prevention to stop leaks (whilst Slack does not), but it has integration with the Microsoft Admin Centre. This is where you manage your business in the cloud. You can complete such tasks as adding and removing users, changing licenses, and resetting passwords. Admin Centre gives you greater control over the users in your tool, providing more security.
Slack is easier and faster to deploy within an organisation, and it is simpler to invite users than on Teams. Teams has many more steps as it is built for a larger enterprise. Therefore, your organisation’s size may be a factor when you are trying to decide between the two tools.
While it might appear that the most expensive plan for both tools is roughly the same price ($12.50 per user, per month), Teams provides a better option as this $12.50 also covers the cost of all the other Office 365 apps and services, not just Teams. This is a key strength for Teams, as existing Office 365 users (of which there are 155 million) don’t need to pay extra money for a collaboration tool since they are already paying for one which is already installed on each user’s device. Both Teams and Slack also offer free version of their application; however the free version of Teams offers more features than Slack. Here are the key features of the free versions of Teams and Slack set against each other in the table below:
|Teams Free Version||Slack Free Version|
|Unlimited chat message and search||Search the last 10,000 messages|
|300 maximum users||Around 8500 maximum users|
|10 GB of file storage||5 GB of file storage|
|140+ app integrations||10 app integrations|
There are numerous factors to consider when deciding between Teams and Slack. If you require specific applications to be integrated into your collaboration tool, Slack may have more options. Both have desktop and mobile versions providing good user experience. If security is a priority and you need more than just encryption and two-factor authentication, then Teams is your choice. If your organisation primarily uses Google Drive, you’ll probably want to go with Slack. However, if you work within the Microsoft Office suite, then you are much better off with rolling out Teams within the organisation. And there’s the added bonus that if you are already using Microsoft Office, you’ll already have Teams installed for every user at no extra cost. Overall Microsoft Teams comes out on top of Slack in most areas, however every organisation is different and has different requirements. So when deciding on how your organisation will collaborate, make sure you take each of the above factors into account to help you make the choice.
With 17+ years of Australian and international experience, Aaron is a seasoned digital executive, leader, and strategist. Known for his positive attitude, generosity, and sense of humour.