Every business needs an intelligent communications platform that captures all communications effectively, streamlines working together remotely, integrates well with your current tech environment, and – above all – makes for a more workable solution than email and phone.
There are plenty of solutions on the market, however, today we’ll be taking a look at two of the main competitors in the space: Slack and Teams. Let’s dive in.
What is Slack?
Slack is an independent software communication product. Built originally as an add-on for a game, the platform has evolved to become one of the leading communications products not only for business, but for personal and hobby groups, too. Slack is known for its wide range of add-ons and the ability to easily build custom apps for the platform, which made it a popular choice for software development teams as early adopters.
What is Teams?
Teams is a Microsoft product which comes standard as a part of Office 365. Because of this, it comes with deep integrations with all your team’s favourite Microsoft products, and comes with the added benefit of their inbuilt data governance, security, and compliance capabilities. It also integrates with Azure Active Directory, making identity management a snap.
Common to both platforms
Considering they are rival platforms, there is plenty of overlap between both Teams and Slack when it comes to functionality. These include:
- Instant chat function
- Team communications
- One on one communications
- Voice calling (single or group)
- Video calling
- Ability to add participants outside the organisation
- Effective apps across web, desktop and mobile
- Variety of apps to connect with
- Screen sharing functionality
- Powerful search function
What’s better about Teams
- It’s included if you have a business Office 365 account
- Web conference functionality
- Collaborate easily with MS products within the app in real time, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and SharePoint
- Covered by the security features of the business Office 365 and Azure Active Directory
- Automatic usage reporting for tracking effectiveness
What’s better about Slack
- 1500+ apps (around 10 times the amount of Teams apps)
- Easier to create your own apps and bots
- A more ‘open’ platform as compared to Teams
- Often described as more user friendly
- Alternative to Microsoft ecosystem buy-in
So, which should I choose? Teams or slack?
For most offices running Office 365, it’s a no brainer to choose Teams, as it comes as a part of your package: there’s nothing extra to pay and you can work on MS products within the platform in real time.
Many Office 365 subscribers don’t realise that they have Teams already available as part of their business package alongside apps such as Word and Excel – but it’s definitely there, and worth investigating to get rid of the hassle of email and phone communications.
The only reason you might choose Slack in these circumstances is if your users are really interested in using it instead, or you’re running a tech first company (who will actively create apps and bots to help fuel the platform). Some business units may want to use Slack, and, if you’re really clever, you can integrate the two platforms together for when they need to do comms with other business units – although this isn’t exactly an ideal situation.
If you aren’t an Office 365 subscriber, then you should probably investigate Slack as your communications solution. At higher subscription levels Slack offers compliance and security controls in line with what you find built into Teams.
Both platforms are solid choices that have no obsoletion in sight – so if this is a concern, don’t be worried! Microsoft is concentrating on Teams as they deprecate their older communications platforms, and Slack is pushing towards their solution as a viable option for enterprises rather than a niche ‘start-up’ style product with their expanded security, governance, and uptime promises.
Need help rolling out a new communications platform across your organisation?
While it’s all well and good to put Teams or Slack on your network and say, “Hey, this is what we’re using from now on,” without the right subscription choice, setup, and training, it’s unlikely that people will actually switch over from their current communications methods – they’ll fall back onto what they already know.
That’s where we come in. A1 Technologies can help plan and design your work channels, identity management, setup, custom app development or connections, and provide training to your team on best practices for workflows and how to supercharge their communications through these platforms.
Contact us if you would like some assistance with choosing and setting up your Teams or Slack implementation across your organisation. We’d be happy to help show you the ropes!
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