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Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: Key Differences Explained

Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: Key Differences Explained

In a battle that rivals the great space race between the Soviet Union and the US, the ongoing rivalry between MS Teams and Slack leaves prospective users spoilt for choice.‍

In a battle that rivals the great space race between the Soviet Union and the US, the ongoing rivalry between MS Teams and Slack leaves prospective users spoilt for choice.

“The seamless integration of Office 365 with Teams has made the platform an easy choice for big businesses. For startups and smaller companies, Slack continues to pave the way for unrivaled UX and integrations ” - Tomas Jasovsky, CEO - AhoyTeam


Both platforms offer interactive bots, a sleek design, and more security, bells and whistles than a steamy bachelorette party.

Slack and Teams provide their users with great free plans and both are probably enough to get most small businesses off the ground and collaborating online. 

However, with a ‘basic plan’ price difference of just $1.67, can that really be enough to convince users that Teams is the better option? With Microsoft reporting a whopping 115 million active users, and Slack just 12 million, it would appear so.

But with global giants such as IBM still opting for Slack (adding a massive workforce of 350,000 to Slacks client list), can the game already be lost?

Perhaps these figures don’t tell the whole story…

Join us, as we dive into the major advantages, disadvantages, pitfalls and boons of these collaboration software nemeses.


Slack and Teams Both Offer Extensive Free Plans, but Which Is Better?


The free plan options of both Teams and Slack differ slightly, so it’s important to understand the differences so that you don’t feel prematurely limited.

Take a look at this quick breakdown of the free plans from Teams and Slack. We’ve highlighted any winners in BLUE for easy reference.

Comparing Free Plans: Microsoft Teams and Slack


From this table, it’s clear that Teams provides a more flexible free plan. Team’s offering is less restrictive on almost every level, only falling short on customisation and maximum users. Even here, the 500,000 user limit is easily enough for most small-medium sized businesses.

To Unlock the Full Potential of Both Platforms You’ll Need To Upgrade To a Paid-For Plan, but Which Is Best Value for Money?

At some point, growing businesses will need to rid themselves of the shackles associated with free plans. Let’s begin by analysing the costs of the different plans on offer by Slack and Teams. Again, We’ve highlighted the winner in blue

Slack vs. Teams: Paid-For Plans - Price Comparison


When we take a look at the paid-for plans, it feels as though Microsoft is starting to pull ahead of its rival.

In fact, for both the Basic and Standard plans offered by Microsoft, Teams actually comes as an add-on to Office 365. When you consider this, Teams certainly seems to give more ‘bang for your buck’. This is especially true for business already using the Office 365 package.

Of course, Slack does offer Office 365 and the entire G-suite as third-party integrations, but unfortunately, the additional cost for most businesses using Office 365 already makes Slack an unattractive option.

So what’s keeping Slack in the game?

Well, for businesses that rely heavily on outside collaboration such as agencies, Slack becomes more appealing. With Slack, users have access to unlimited collaborations on paid-for plans, whereas Teams users will be limited to just 5, regardless of which plan they use.

Putting Money Aside, How Do the Two Platforms Compare When It Comes To User Interface?

Slack launched its online collaboration software back in 2013, leading the industry for several years. 

Microsoft almost purchased slack for $8 billion back in 2016, but the meeting between Bill Gates and Slack Founder Satya Nadella has a surprising conclusion - Microsoft decided to launch their own online collaboration app. Thus, Microsoft Teams was launched in November 2018.

Teams did very little to adjust the sleek design first pioneered by Slack, after all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Ultimately Slack has led the way in terms of UX and probably has the edge here.

Here’s a quick UX breakdown of Slack and Teams…

Slack

  • Easy onboarding for new users
  • Huge list of useful keyboard shortcuts to boost productivity
  • Fully customisable themes
  • Bring chat messages to life with emojis, GIFs and memes
  • Enormous app directory
  • Fan favourite - Slackbot
  • Easily connect voice and video chats with third-party apps

Teams

  • Limited ‘walkthrough’ introduction for new users
  • A fun option to add and customise memes in chats
  • Choice of three themes: Light, dark, and high contrast
  • Smaller app directory than Slack, but Office 365 integration is a boon
  • Whobot - Microsoft’s answer to Slackbot
  • Skype conversations are embedded within the platform (no need for third-party integrations)

How Can You Optimise the Potential of Online Collaboration Softwares Like Slack and Teams?

Online collaboration software tools like Teams and Slack have enabled small and large businesses to collaborate effectively, sometimes over great distances.

Microsoft Teams has become a fantastic option for businesses already using Office 365, as this seamless integration means users never even need to navigate away from Teams.

Slacks capability for unlimited outside collaborations and enormous app integration catalogue has been enough to sway huge corporations such as IBM to take the plunge.

Whatever the size of your business, you can unlock more capabilities of both tools by creating custom workflows. Custom workflows optimise the productivity of your team by ensuring consistency and eliminating speed bumps in repeatable processes.

Optimise Any Business Process by Using the AhoyTeam Integration in Both Teams and Slack

AhoyTeam is a third-party workflow management software that you can integrate with your Teams or Slack account.

Easily create customisable and fully-automated workflows for repeatable process and watch productivity soar. You can automate business processes like employees onboarding, employee engagement processes and internal requests handling with AhoyTeam.


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