January 17, 2022 by Jatheon

Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: Why Choose One or the Other?

With such a huge volume of businesses migrating to the remote working mode, working collaboration platforms have made a surge. Two giants established themselves as the industry leaders: Microsoft Teams and Slack.

The rivalry between the two went dramatic when Slack accused Microsoft Teams of copying their ads, and more recently, of illegally tying their product to the Microsoft Office package that millions of businesses use.

The Slack vs. Teams saga doesn’t immediately affect end-users, and whichever platform you choose for your business, you will not go wrong. However, this article will show you the works of both to help you make an informed decision and pick the one more suitable for your needs.

What Is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration platform designed for enterprises. It comes with the Microsoft 365 suite, and it offers integrated tools for enhancing work productivity. It includes instant messaging, video conferencing, document sharing, and even larger networking events management via its webinar hosting option.

Microsoft Teams UI

Source: Microsoft Teams

Microsoft has had its hiccups investing in apps, but Teams has certainly been a winner– Microsoft officials have declared that the app has been the fastest rising app in its history. Its growth went from 2 million in late 2017 to over 250 million daily active users by mid-2021. This rapid growth can partly be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic and a global switch to remote work.

What Is Slack?

Slack is more playful, less formal, and designed with start-up-scale-up enterprises in mind. “Slack is where the future works,” as its slogan reads, and indeed, Slack has been among the first to reimagine the future of work – bringing the unmatched efficiency to remote communication.

As a collaboration platform, Slack is channel-based, enabling real-time communication structured around topics or hashtags instead of groups. Simply put, Slack is about what, not about who – and this very design feature has prompted it to stellar success among the remote workforce.

Slack UI

Source: Slack

The initial idea behind Slack was to replace email communication with an office environment that supported quick and efficient communication. Slack has evolved into a more encompassing collaboration tool, with more recent features including audio and video services and various integrations to other productivity tools.

Microsoft Teams vs Slack: Quick Comparison of Features and Pricing

Microsoft Teams Slack
Pricing The pricing plans range from $5 to $20/month per user. The pricing plans range from free to $15/month per user.
Core Features
  • Instant, channel-based messaging
  • Voice and video calling
  • Audio and video conferencing (with 3rd party calling not available in all the regions)
  • Screen sharing
  • File sharing
  • Integration with apps
  • Message search
  • External collaboration
  • Desktop and mobile
  • Workflow builder
  • Customized background
  • Meeting recordings
  • Instant, channel-based messaging
  • Voice and video calling
  • Audio calls available to phone numbers with 3rd party apps
  • Screen sharing
  • File sharing
  • Integration with apps
  • Message search
  • External collaboration
  • Desktop and mobile
  • Workflow builder
  • Customized background
  • Audio, video, and screen recordings – the clips
Integrations Microsoft Teams offers 700+ app integrations.  Slack offers 2,000+ integrations, including Office 365, and 10 apps can integrate with the free plan.
Storage Storage offers 1 TB of OneDrive storage per user on all the plans. Storage ranges from 5 GB per user (on the free plan) to 1 TB per member using Enterprise Grid Plan. 
User Experience Microsoft Teams is the most effective in the Microsoft-heavy environment. It lacks some flexibility and user-friendliness, demanding some navigation effort.
Teams supports 37 different languages for international users.
Slack’s well-designed user interface brings a user-friendly experience. It takes some work to understand all that Slack can do, but it’s generally set an industry standard of UI and UX for collaboration platforms.
Slack supports 11 different languages for international users.
Security GDPR, HIPAA, FedRAMP, SOC, and FERPA compliant.

Teams enforces two-factor authentication, single sign-on through Active Directory, and data encryption, both in transit and at rest.

It offers advanced threat protection in the Business Premium plan.

In general, it has a top-notch security standard, as the rest of the Microsoft suite.

Compliant with GDPR, HIPAA, FINRA, TISAX, IRAP, ISMAP, FedRAMP, SOC, and FERPA.

Slack has the identity and device management, including single sign-on, domain claiming, and support for enterprise mobility management. It encrypts data end-to-end at rest and in transit, using tools like Slack Enterprise Key Management, integrations with data loss prevention providers, and audit logs. 
Support
  • Around the clock support for all pricing plans.
  • A 99.9% uptime guarantee for all pricing plans.
  • Available self-service documentation via Microsoft Docs
  • Standard support for the free version.
  • 24/7 support available for Slack Pro and pricier plans, where Slack Business+ guarantees four-hours first response time, Slack Enterprise Grid offers the same with priority support.
  • Self-service documentation available at Help Center and Resource Library

Microsoft Teams vs Slack: In-depth Analysis

Pricing

Microsoft Teams for business currently offers five pricing plans, including a free plan for small teams, with limited product capabilities. Regular business plans range from $4 to $20 per user, and charged monthly but with an annual commitment. All of the business plans include chat, online meetings, and access to productivity apps. Depending on your organization needs for a broad set of features and advanced security, you can choose from the four paid Microsoft 365 plans.

  • Microsoft Teams Essentials (new) – $4 per user/month with an annual commitment
  • Microsoft 365 Business Basics (most popular) — $5 per user/month with an annual commitment. There is a one-month free trial.
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard — $12.50 per user/month with an annual commitment. There is a one-month free trial.
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium — $20 per user/month with an annual commitment

A side-by-side package comparison is available here.

Similarly, Slack offers four slightly less transparent pricing plans, from a free plan for small teams to a custom price available upon contacting sales.

The free plan is limited in storage, number of integrations with other tools and has no option of teaming up outside of the organization. For access to the full-featured set, you may wish to explore the following pricing plans:

  • Pro – $6.67 per user/month when paid annually, $8 per user/month when paid in monthly installments
  • Business+ – $12.50 per user/month for an annual payment, $15 per user/month with the monthly installments
  • Enterprise Grid – undisclosed on Slack’s site. You need to contact Slack’s sales team to obtain pricing information

Suppose pricing is the angle you’re most interested in when comparing Microsoft Teams vs Slack. In that case, it seems that Teams has slightly more value on the dollar – with both platforms providing integration to Microsoft 365 Suite in their paid plans.

Core Features

The core features of the two platforms run on similar tracks. Both provide channel-based messaging, audio and video calls, screen sharing, workflow, and app integrations.

A slight difference between the two is in video conferencing capabilities. Teams offers conference calls for up to 300 participants, and Slack provides the same service for only 15 participants at a time. As an upgrade to that, Teams also offers the webinar hosting option.

The difference between Microsoft Teams vs. Slack is in the pricing plans – more specifically, what you get per each price point. Here is what each platform offers:

  • Message search: Both Teams and Slack offer unlimited message history search, except Slack’s free plan, which limits the search to 10,000 past messages.
  • Chat functionality: Teams allows up to 500,000 users, while Slack allows an unlimited number of participants.
  • Screen sharing: Both Teams and Slack offer screen sharing, with Slack making the feature available with the paid plans only.
  • Storage limit: Teams offers 1 TB per individual user and Slack ranges from 5 GB on the free plan to 1 TB on the Enterprise Grid plan.
  • Video and voice calls: Teams offers this feature for up to 300 users on the free plan; Slack supports group video and audio calls for up to 15 participants.

A complete list of differences is available when comparing paid plans, and the list above has only pointed to variations between the free plans.

A good suggestion is to carefully compare the same price ranges of the two platforms and decide on what the essentials for your organization are – if it occurs that the deal-breaker is not the price but a non-existing functionality.

Integrations

Both Teams and Slack provide quite a wide array of app and tool integrations for improving productivity and effectiveness. From project management to HR tools and specialized collaboration tools, both will have you taken care of.

Slack’s app portfolio wins the diversity contest, with over 2,000 app ntegrations, while Teams has around 760. Despite the obvious Office 365 connection with Teams, Slack has made impeccable integrations to the entire suite, including the cloud storage OneDrive and Outlook.

Storage

Teams offers much more storage to its users, albeit none for free. Teams offers 1 TB per user on all plans; Slack offers 5GB per user on the free plan and up to 1TB for the users on the Enterprise Grid plan.

Both platforms’ paid plans include different numbers. All of the Teams’ plans – Microsoft 365 Business Basics, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, Microsoft 365 Business Premium, and Office 365 Apps offer 1 TB of data storage per user. Slack, on the other hand, offers 10 GB with Slack Pro, 20 GB with Slack Business+, and 1 TB per team member with Slack Enterprise Grid.

User Experience

User interface and overall experience with Microsoft Teams seems to grow over time. It is a bit overwhelming to start with, but it is rewarding once you learn your steps and start using all of its functionalities. A nice, unifying dashboard helps: Microsoft Teams offers a single environment for various productivity tools on top of communication and collaboration. Teams offers support documents and video tutorials for the newcomers, helping speed up the transition to a versed user.

microsoft teams calling

Source: The Verge

Slack has a bit more sophisticated UI, and due to its slick, vibrant design and continual improvement in user experience, it leads the industry when it comes to usability. The tweaks in design and navigation enhance user-friendliness. Over time, Slack has evolved so much from the “email replacement tool”. The added new features and capabilities did make the navigation more complex. That is why Slack, like Teams, offers interactive tutorials that help new users get accustomed to the platform step-by-step.

Slack UI

Source: ComputerWorld

Security

The robust and all-encompassing Microsoft security extends to Teams, making this feature its most prized one. Here is what Teams security includes:

  • End-to-end encryption, at rest and in-transit
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Secure Real-time Transport Protocol for audio and video data
  • Rights Management Services Support
  • Safe Links

Detailed insights into Microsoft Teams’ security and compliance are available to users, which can be essential in deciding on Microsoft Teams vs Slack – for the organizations demanding the highest security protocols and practices. Teams complies with HIPAA, GDPR, FedRAMP, SOC, and FERPA protocols and standards.

Slack has invested in robust security, too, especially after the 2015 data breach, which prompted it to strengthen its security to enterprise-grade protection. Like Teams, it is HIPAA, GDPR, FedRAMP, SOC, and FERPA-compliant.

Support

Both Microsoft Teams and Slack offer support, although with some differences. Microsoft Teams offers “around-the-clock” support to users of any business plan, and Slack offers “standard support” for its free users, although it is unclear what that entails. For the self-service, users can access support via knowledge base for Teams and Help Center and Resources for Slack.

Both Microsoft Teams and Slack offer timely support for paid plans, with Teams guaranteeing 99.9% up-time and 24/7 support.

Compared to Teams, Slack’s paid plans also offer round-the-clock support, with the addition of a 4-hour first response time. Slack Enterprise Grid offers priority response in addition to the 4-hour timeframe for the first response.

Secure Sensitive Data with Jatheon

In case you’re currently selecting the best communication platform for your organization, you may be looking for the best option for data archiving too. With so much business getting done in the virtual collaboration space, there comes a risk of losing the data or storing it in an unsafe way.

At Jatheon, we provide both on-premise and cloud archiving, with enterprise-grade hardware or AWS-based, GDPR-compliant, fourth-generation cloud archiving. Store email, social media, WhatsApp, or mobile data, and configure it per your needs.

Learn more about what Jatheon can provide. Check out our offer or get your personal demo, and let’s get you started with robust, reliable, and secure data archiving for your organization.

microsoft teams vs slack

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