In 2016 when Slack Technologies (NYSE: WORK) was just a few years old, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) seriously considered acquiring the workplace collaboration tool at a hefty price of $8 billion. Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates, alongside current CEO Satya Nadella, killed the idea and instead decided Microsoft could build its own platform. That platform was Microsoft Teams.
Slack and Teams have a lot of similarities especially when it comes to instant messaging, voice calling and web conferencing, so what are the differentiators and why is Teams – a more recent player – even seen as a competitor next to the well-established Slack?
Deployment and user experience
Slack is by far a much easier tool to deploy than Microsoft Teams because Teams is better designed for enterprise companies. However once deployed, Teams is an easier tool to use because it works within the familiar Office 365 environment.
Slack is slightly more expensive than Teams on standard plans, but once you get to the higher end plans on both platforms, the pricing is much the same. Microsoft Teams however is included in the Office 365 Business Essentials and Business Premium plans, whereas Slack is a standalone tool. If you already have the Office 365 Business Essentials and Business Premium plans, Teams is free.
Integration and Interoperability
Slack integrates with over 1500 apps, making it easy to use with almost every popular app, including Office 365 and Outlook. Microsoft Teams on the other hand does not integrate with as many apps, but all Microsoft tools and apps are interoperable with Microsoft Teams. Interoperability is similar to integration, but it cuts out the middle man making it more advanced and user friendly than integration.
Another downside to integration versus interoperability is that you need to pay for the apps and services you add on. Whereas with the interoperability of Teams, most of the tools used are already included in the Office 365 package.
This is where Teams becomes a better tool for those already using Microsoft Apps like Outlook Word, Excel, Sharepoint, etc.
Both Slack and Teams are amazing collaboration tools and are keeping each other on their toes. The software you choose however will depend on the systems your organisation relies on.
Teams is available on both the Business Essentials and Business Premium License. Enhancements to the product like adding Cloud PBX and video conferencing to rooms is available through Vox. Contact Gareth or Doug from Vox on Gareth.Edwards@voxtelecom.co.za or email@example.com to find out more.