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Microsoft Teams vs Slack: What’s the Difference?

ClickUp, Podio, Slack, and Microsoft Teams. Collaboration platforms that fuel creativity, efficiency, and success. But, which platform gets you the best bang for your buck? Undoubtedly, you’ll find supporters and detractors of all four. But, when it comes to Microsoft Teams vs Slack, what’s the difference? Which tool best suits the needs of your business?

Certainly, COVID-19 has upended supply chains and transformed business operations across the globe. Today, many people work from home. But, remote work was trending even before the virus emerged.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 9.5% of employees worked from home in 2010. However, the number of people working from home on a weekly basis has grown by an astounding 400% in the last decade. But, remote work comes with challenges; workers need effective ways to collaborate. Unquestionably, the most significant barrier to remote work is communication. In light of this, two tools have emerged to dominate the virtual team communication space — Slack and Microsoft Teams.

So, which one should you pick? Below, we look at some of the biggest differences between Teams and Slack.

Microsoft Teams vs Slack: Let’s Talk Features and Capabilities

Both Teams and Slack are feature-packed platforms. So, we’re not comparing apples-to-oranges here. To be sure, they both have more in common than not. Teams and Slack both have virtual meetings, calendars, channels, productivity tools, plus “must-have” team communication capabilities. So, let’s discuss those.

We’ll focus on four core competencies across these two hyper-popular communication apps:

  1. Integrations
  2. Security
  3. Compliance
  4. Video conferencing

You may notice that we won’t be covering channels or workspaces. That’s mostly due to Slack and Teams having nearly identical features in this department. However, there’s one difference. Slack is a little more challenging to navigate in terms of GIFs. To send GIFs, you’ll have to add the GIPHY app to your workspace and type /giphy into the message bar, along with a descriptive phrase. Different GIFs will appear until you choose one that you like. Meanwhile, Teams has a built-in toolbar for GIFs.

1) Integrations

Slack has far more third-party integrations than Teams. This is mostly due to Slack existing as a smaller brand. So, it has some 1,500 integrations available. But, there’s a caveat. Free versions of Slack limit you to 10 integrations only. If you pay for a subscription, you can get as many as you like.

In contrast, Teams doesn’t have as many third-party integrations. However, it exists in the Office 365 ecosystem. So, you can use all of your existing Office 365 data and apps (SharePoint, Excel, bots, Power Automate, the newly-announced Lists, etc.).

Overall, both have valuable integrations. If you use Office 365, Teams makes more sense from an integration standpoint. You can immediately leverage your rich 365 data and use your 365 apps directly inside the Teams interface.

2) Security

Slack and Teams both offer enterprise-grade security, but Teams has a more solidified security architecture. It’s built around the Office 365 ecosystem, so it taps into a plethora of best-in-class security features, including:

Both solutions offer data encryption at-rest and in-transit, server hardening (Slack on AWS and Microsoft on Azure), system monitoring, alerts, and all of the other baseline security features you would expect in a solution that uses the phrase “enterprise-grade security.”

3) Compliance

Both Teams and Slack offer compliance capabilities. On a broad level, both solutions offer:

  • FedRAMP compliance
  • FINRA compliance
  • HIPAA compliance
  • ISO/IEC 27001
  • SOC 2 (Type II)
  • SOC 3
  • GDPR
  • CCPA
  • and a swarm of other ISO/IEC compliance certifications

However, Teams has a few compliance features that Slack lacks. For example, Teams offers mobile application management with Microsoft Intune and Office 365 Discover. In essence, it provides a hyper-scale, enterprise-grade security solution for businesses. In addition, Teams data is stored and encrypted in SharePoint, and notes are stored in OneNote. This results in more efficient policy management across the platform, without disruptions to productivity or collaborations.

4) Video Conferencing

Slack isn’t a native video conferencing platform. With the paid version, you can schedule a maximum of 15 participants for a video conference. In contrast, although Teams is a messaging app like Slack, it’s also a fully-fleshed video conferencing solution.

You can hold live 10,000-attendee events over Teams or small two-person conferences. It can do virtually anything, where video conferences are concerned. Recently, Teams logged 2.7 billion meeting minutes in a single day. Teams also offers options like background blur, scheduling, and other video conferencing features.

Microsoft Teams vs Slack: Pros and Cons

Let’s briefly conclude with a list of pros and cons for each platform.

Slack Pros

  • A dynamic and colorful messaging app that has all the features you need to create collaborative channels and fun-filled threads
  • Offers some great compliance features
  • Offers some level of enterprise-grade security
  • Has TONS of third-party integrations (+1,500)

Slack Cons

  • The free tier offers few features
  • Lacks some compliance features like mobile app management
  • Security isn’t as transparent as Teams
  • Less robust security architecture compared to Office 365
  • Poor video conferencing capabilities

Teams Pros

  • Secure, scalable, dynamic, and engaging messaging and conferencing app built for the Office 365 ecosystem
  • Best-in-class hyper-scale security features
  • Compliance across regulatory agencies and needs
  • Immediate, rich, and deep integrations with other Office 365 apps
  • Amazing video conferencing capabilities

Teams Cons

  • Not as many third-party integrations as Slack
  • Not as accessible for non-business clients

In the Battle Between Microsoft Teams vs Slack, Which One Wins?

It depends. Teams offers immediate Office 365 integration, sophisticated video conferencing capabilities, state-of-the-art security, and compliance features. Meanwhile, Slack offers an easy-to-use free tier and plenty of third-party integrations. Typically, the decision comes down to whether your business has an Office 365 subscription. For businesses that use Office 365, the benefits of having data contained in the same ecosystem prevents operational siloes. However, for businesses looking for a rapid solution outside Office 365 with basic video conferencing capabilities, Slack may be the perfect choice.

Are you looking to migrate to Office 365 or implement Teams at your organization? if so, we can help. Contact us to learn more about leveraging the power of Teams to achieve business success.

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