Teams vs Slack
Updated: Mar 23
Both Teams and Slack are powerful flexible communication and collaboration tools, allowing you to talk and share files with your team. Both have instant messaging, threaded group chat, voice calling over the internet which includes screen-sharing and file storage. Also, they both have ‘freemium’ versions so you can try before you buy.
What is Teams?
In their own words Microsoft have called teams ‘The hub for teamwork in Office 365’.
Teams is a part of Office 365, it is the Microsoft answer to Slack. Before Teams Satya Nadella and Bill Gates wanted to buy Slack before they realised it had limitations and they could build something better with all their resources.
So, what is it? To put it simply Teams is software to help you to do your work. It allows you to easily communicate with your colleagues in individual and team chats that can be subdivided into named channels in order to dictate the theme or topic of the conversation, and documents contained within. An example of a Team we have here at ClerksWell is a client team and a channel per client project. This allows our delivery team to collaborate in a focused way and helps to centralise all communications and documents, so that things don’t get missed among the many emails, attachments and calls.
You can use these chats to share files and even link to your SharePoint documents. Teams brings together other parts and services of Office 365 under the heading tabs within a chat or channel, thus grouping everything together in one place. For example, Excel, OneNote, Planner, SharePoint and much more can be linked to Teams in the tabs.
What is slack?
In Slacks own words ‘Slack replaces email inside your company’. This is a blunter more honest description of what exactly the software can do . If you want to write a one-to-one message to a colleague use the Slack direct message which can also turn into a voice call or screenshare.
If you want to have a group discussion – set up a channel and chat with messaging, add emoticons, stickers and if you have a paid for version you can turn this into a voice call or screenshare and keep files easily in that location.
Of course, in Microsoft’s case they built outlook, so they won’t ask you to ditch email altogether, as the reason they created Teams is that email and Outlook are often considered no longer fit for internal business collaboration. Microsoft have known this for a long time and various different types of software has been offered to try to solve this – from Discussions and Feeds in SharePoint to Yammer and Skype. Teams is an evolution of these things, blending them together in a better more business focused way.
Integration: Slack wins on number of specific integrations
Slack is brilliant if you need to integrate with specific apps and software that you use in your day-to-day. It’s very likely that Slack will integrate with the software that you need as it has a whopping 800+ integrations. Teams has fewer with 180+ and growing. Both have integrations that work well with the major players (think Trello, Salesforce, G-Suite, O365, Dropbox, Zendesk…) but there will be details in each integration that might make you go ‘I wish it just did this…’ Slack’s real strength is the number of integrations with smaller, more niche software as compared to Teams.
Teams wins on depth of functionality, cost and if you’re in O365 already
If you’re already in the O365 ecosystem, the choice between Teams and Slack may not even come to mind– it might be Teams all the way. But rest assured you’re not missing out by not having Slack. Slack was previously thought to be easier and a bit cooler to use than Teams. However, Teams has improved a lot in the past few years – annoyances like no activity feed, difficulty of adding in external users, no offline mode in the desktop version, have been gradually smoothed away.
New updates include recording calls, bots who arrange meetings for you and another new function we love is if you set up a meeting within a channel, it stores the recording in the channel for you and messages the channel to say it’s ready for you! Showing Microsoft are committed to steadily improving the teams experience!
Being in the O365 ecosystem may also mean that fewer integrations aren’t a problem for you – you might either have all the integrations you need or you might find that a part of O365 does what you need (and integrates seamlessly) just as well as that niche software you needed the integration for in the first place.
Both Slack and Teams are similar in price and in what they deliver, yet when you buy Teams you get the whole office 365 suite alongside it! Looks like there is a clear winner here in value for money.
Similar to the choice for smart phones - Android vs Apple - it sometimes feels like the choice is between different worlds. For some there is no choice, they are Microsoft all the way whereas others will say Slack is their go to. It all depends on your company and what type, and the range of integrations you need. As Office 365 experts we lean towards Teams due to the seamless, and collaborative integration with Office 365 apps. Furthermore, the value for money of Teams greatly outweighs that of Slack.
Think Teams,Think ClerksWell
Check out our Office 365 tutorials page where we regularly upload helpful videos on the Office 365 apps – Tutorials page
If your interested in how we can help you install or make the most out of your Office 365 subscriptions please get in touch here
Finally check out our video ‘How to make the most of your team with Teams’