Are you comparing Microsoft Teams vs Slack? To help make your decision about the suitability for your company, see our high-level overview comparing Microsoft Teams vs Slack collaboration solutions. Then read further to find out how Slack is different than Teams in a detailed Slack vs Teams comparison.
Both Microsoft Teams and Slack are collaboration platforms with free and paid versions and incorporate similar productivity features. This comparison focuses on the paid versions which are more suited for mid-sized and enterprise businesses.
Microsoft Teams vs Slack – Comparison Findings
- Microsoft Teams is the most logical choice for organizations whose employees are already using Microsoft solutions such as Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365 / O365) or one-off Microsoft services such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, or SharePoint / OneDrive.
- Microsoft users don’t need to pay more for a Teams subscription if they already have a Microsoft 365 SaaS subscription plan or use Microsoft Dynamics ERP.
- Slack charges for the SaaS subscription plans that are most comparable to Microsoft Teams.
- Teams is a better solution for larger enterprises as it enables more users than Slack.
- Slack is a solid solution for smaller businesses needing to incorporate many external guest participants for free or businesses or want more third-party app choices.
- Slack is a good choice for businesses that aren’t concerned with directly integrating Microsoft solutions
- Both Microsoft Teams and Slack provide excellent security, particularly in their enterprise versions.
Microsoft Teams Features and Benefits
Microsoft includes Teams in many of its subscription plans at no extra cost, including Microsoft 365 Business Essentials, Business Standard, and enterprise versions known as E1, E3, and E5. Microsoft Dynamics 365 can also be integrated with Teams through either the Basic or Enhanced Collaboration Experience. That means Microsoft Teams is easy to access at no additional cost except the upgrades that you need and want.
The Microsoft Teams collaboration platform natively includes:
- Video and audio meetings and live events, with screen sharing
- Chat messaging, including inline message translation
- Files, including file-sharing and attachments to messages
- Bots for messaging and productivity
- Workflow automation for productivity, project management, and exceptions notification without coding
- Integrated Microsoft software and a choice of 600+ available third-party apps,
- Help resources
The Evolve IP Microsoft Teams with Cisco voice platform is enhanced with major features like:
- Cisco enterprise voice and communications services for phone systems
- SMS business messaging / testing
- AI voice recording and speech analytics
- A Gartner Magic Quadrant noted omnichannel contact center
- Much more
Microsoft Teams – A Deeper Dive
Teams are the people who work on projects within the organization or as guests from outside the organization.
Channels have message threads for particular projects or functional areas. Chat organizes conversations like a chat with messages that can include file attachments to share with others and the history of conversations related to the channel topic over time.
All team members in the channel can receive the communications for collaboration and editing, given their permission level for a particular file or electronic document. Files are available from seamlessly integrated Microsoft 365 software like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
Microsoft just announced some major enhancements at Ignite 2020 that give it a major competitive edge for businesses including:
- Breakout rooms
- Presentation modes with custom layouts
- More together mode backgrounds
- Meeting recaps
- Teams Webinar registration links
In the current Microsoft Teams Together Mode gallery view in video meetings joins remote video frames to make it look like attendees are in the same room. Remote and in-house teams, including sales teams, appear as part of a unified company. Students in a distance learning setting seem to be seated in a classroom to interact.
The MS Teams solution organizes work activities and provides tools to accomplish work. Features include streamlining and automating workflows with pre-planned messaging, managing project or work status with periodic inquiries requesting answers, and providing notifications when certain events occur.
Slack Features and Benefits
Slack lists and compares the features included in each pricing plan. This analysis focuses on the Plus plan which is a closer comparison to Microsoft Teams.
Slack offers teams, workspaces, channels, and Slackbot. Slack encourages large organizations to use numerous channels that include team channels, project channels, team sub-channels, and topic channels, with naming conventions.
Screen-sharing is available in all Slack paid plans, including Plus (but not in the free version).
The Slack Connect feature enables unlimited invited guests from external organizations to collaborate securely with employees using Slack.
Comparing Features and Benefits of Microsoft Teams vs Slack (The shortlist)
|Creating teams||Yes||Yes. Set up a workspace for teams in Slack.|
|Chat messaging with threads||Yes||Yes|
|Direct Routing PSTN Calls||Yes||Unknown|
|File-sharing, including message attachments||Yes. Seamlessly integrated with Microsoft 365||Yes. 3rd party required to integrate with Microsoft applications (See below)|
|Limits||Microsoft Teams limits: Per-user number of teams to create 250
Per-user membership on teams 1,000
Number of members per team 25,000
Number of teams a Microsoft 365 or Office 365 organization can have 500,000
Number of members in an org-wide team 5,000
Number of channels per team
200 (including deleted)
Number of Private channels per team 30
Number of members in a Private channel 250
Meeting & chat participants
300 (effective June 2020)
Chat messages and search – unlimited
|Slack limits in Plus:
Number of channels- unlimited
Voice and video calls – up to 15 participants
External collaboration – unlimited
Workspaces – 1
Integrations with other apps – unlimited
Message history – unlimited
File storage – 20GB per team member
|Bots for expert search, productivity, automated messaging and reminders, and project management
|Multiple bots with different functions are available from Microsoft and 3rd parties through the Apps tab in Teams. The Microsoft Flow app in Teams is used as a chatbot for messaging, for approvals, and to automate and streamline workflows. The Microsoft Who app (a bot) is used to search for expertise within your organization. (Upgrades to Microsoft Power Virtual Agents and Microsoft Power Automate can also be used to create bots and use robotic process automation (RPA) with Teams.)||SlackBot is available for all members and guests on all Slack plans, including free, in direct messages and channels, or to use yourself. Choose other third-party bots in Slack. Slack users can access templates for Microsoft Flow.|
|Collaboration with trusted external organizations||Microsoft Teams doesn’t have a limit on outside guests, but more than 5 guests per user will cost more. The number of Microsoft Teams guests from outside organizations is up to 5 guests per licensed user included in Azure Directory (AD) license provided by certain Microsoft 365 and Office 365 software products, with upgrades for additional guest users through the purchase of a higher level Azure AD B2B collaboration license.||Yes, with Slack Connect, using public or private shared channels. The current limit is 19 outside organizations.|
|Zoom third-party app integration||Yes||Yes|
|Office 365 (Microsoft 365) software and apps||Integrated into Teams for use without leaving the collaboration platform.||Microsoft products for Slack include: the Microsoft Teams Calls app, Outlook e-mail add-in, Outlook calendar app for Slack, OneDrive app (for sharing cloud-based OneDrive and SharePoint files in Slack), Azure Active Directory, Azure Boards, Azure Pipelines, and Azure Repos, and Slack templates for Microsoft Flow (templates can connect Slack to Office 365, email, SharePoint, etc.). The Microsoft Teams Calls app lets users start Microsoft Teams calls from within a Slack workspace. With the Microsoft Teams app, Slack users can “choose to set Microsoft Teams Calls as a default calling app so members can initiate Teams Calls from the phone icon in a channel or direct message (DM).”|
|Industry versions or features||Healthcare, Firstline workers (retail, healthcare workers, etc.), and Education||Financial Services and Healthcare and supports Distance learning for Education|
|Custom backgrounds and blurring images||Both||No. Offers light and dark modes.|
|Whiteboard||Yes, Microsoft Whiteboard is integrated with Teams. A toggle on/off setting applies to all Whiteboard applications (not just Teams)||No, but the choice of several third-party app integrations, including SketchTogether|
|Security||High, including enterprise-level security and compliance
|High, including enterprise-level security and compliance requirements.|
Conclusion – Best User Fit and Suitability
Is Teams better than Slack? Or is Slack better than Teams?
The overriding questions to ask your IT team in the Teams vs Slack analysis are:
- Do your employees currently use Microsoft productivity services and would you like to integrate them into your employees collaboration?
- Do you have a large number of users?
- Do you want to integrate your communications system or contact center agents?
- Does your organization need breakout rooms or Webinar registrations?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above then Microsoft Teams is clear winner. If the answer is ‘no’ than both Slack and Teams will likely work for your business