Like remote working, the adoption of online collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack, have surged since the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Verizon, since the pandemic began, there's been a 2000% increase in online collaboration tool usage. At the forefront of the growth are Microsoft Teams and Slack.
According to a 2019 Mio report, 65% of business enterprises use Slack, while 59% use Microsoft Teams. And a further 66% use both Slack and Microsoft Teams. As the statistics prove, both collaboration software apps are comfortably two of the most coveted cloud collaboration platforms. However, what sets both tools apart from other collaboration tools?
Microsoft Teams and Slack are instant communication tools. Read on for a comprehensive overview of the features of both collaboration software apps.
The Key Features of Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a chat-based team collaboration suite. Launched in 2017, Microsoft Teams is—as a Microsoft spokesperson described it— “a digital translation of an open office space.” As you'd expect, it incorporates Microsoft Office 365 tools which allow seamless document sharing and group editing. Because of its user-friendly design, it has 145 million daily active users (DAU). The key benefits of using Microsoft Teams include:
1. A Chatbox and More
Primarily a chatbox system, but you can do more than chatting with Microsoft Teams. It has video conferencing options which enables virtual meetings. To reduce video conferencing boredom, Microsoft Teams features a “together mode”. The Together mode uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to split the screen into a virtual space—e.g., a meeting room or coffee bar— rather than the conventional grid boxes to improve the social feel of video conferencing.
Other video-conferencing–related add-ons include on-screen sharing, which you can use to share content directly from your screen. And virtual breakout rooms, which facilitate easy brainstorming sessions through group splitting.
2. Good Value for Money
The freemium plan of Microsoft Teams is quite limited. Subscribing to the Business Basic plan ($5 per month), Business Standard plan ($12.50 per month), or an Enterprise plan ($20 per month) is better if you own a small and medium business. For the basic and standard paid plans, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
- Unlimited message history.
- 300 user capacity for your online meetings.
- 24 hours maximum meeting duration.
- 1 terabyte (TB) file storage.
- Improved security.
- Screen sharing.
- 750+ external integration tools.
- Easy connection with Microsoft 365 apps (the desktop version is excluded in the basic plan).
The enterprise plan is suitable for large enterprises. It provides the full version of Microsoft Teams and it permits a maximum of 500,000 users. Other perks include personalized cloud storage and data loss prevention (DLP) for emails and files.
3. Enhanced Productivity
Apart from internal Microsoft products, Microsoft Teams provides external integration tools that enhance productivity. External integration tools such as Trello, Astana, and Smartsheet are project management tools that help users manage workflows, projects, and ideas. The "Channel" feature also enhances team collaboration through chat arrangement. With channeling, you can arrange your chats into "teams". Creating a team improves in-house communication, work distribution, and document sharing.
4. Enhanced Security
Security is a core capability of Microsoft Teams. It offers end-to-end encryption, multi-factor authentication, and data at rest and in-transit encryption. Microsoft Teams is also compliant with cybersecurity regulatory frameworks, such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The Slack Collaboration Tool
Like Microsoft Teams, Slack offers instant messaging, audio and video conferencing, and task management tools. Slack makes workplace project management easy through numerous third-party integration apps, including Microsoft 365 and G-suite. Through its integration tools, Slack also facilitates easy document sharing and tracking.
Slack’s easy-to-navigate interface design plus its advanced AI technology makes it a popular choice amongst business enterprises. That’s why it’s unsurprising that 65 out of the Fortune 100 use Slack. Other main benefits of using Slack include:
1. Easy Configuration
Slack is easy to set up. Its user interface is people-friendly with lightning-quick navigation systems, customizable sidebars, and an in-built step-by-step tutorial guide to onboard new users. Slack requires little or no expert input for configuration because of its easy-to-use navigation system.
2. Access to Multiple Integration Tools
With Slack, you have access to 2,000+ integration apps. The integration tools grant users access to numerous task management tools, communication apps, and document sharing apps that enhance project execution, team bonding, and file sharing. You can also integrate other everyday apps such as Google Drive, Dropbox, MailChimp, and Twitter to improve communication and project execution with Slack.
3. Bot Benefits
Slack provides numerous high intelligence bots that help users incorporate other project-related functionalities. For instance, you can use Slackbot to set reminders for individual messages and team meetings. Spacetime bot can help you translate time zones should you have meetings in different time zones. The Monkey Test It Bot can help you detect broken links and images or other common mistakes in websites.
Comparison Between Microsoft Teams and Slack
A casual analogy to describe Microsoft Teams is, “it’s a slack-app with Office 365”. The analogy reveals the intricate similarities between Microsoft Teams and Slack. Both Slack and Microsoft Teams include channel-based messaging, comprehensive message search, screen-sharing, and workflow tools.
But there are a few notable differences between the two collaboration software apps. First, at $5/month, Microsoft Team’s basic user plan is slightly cheaper than Slack’s basic plan ($6.67) while offering similar functionalities. The freemium plans of both tools slightly vary; the differences are explained below:
- Message search limit: You can search up to 10,000 archived messages in Slack's freemium plan. With Microsoft Teams, you have an unlimited search limit.
- Screen-sharing: Unlike Slack, you can use screen-sharing in Microsoft Team's freemium plan.
- File Storage: Slack offers users 5 gigabytes (GB) storage compared to Microsoft Team’s 10GB.
- Audio and Video Call: Slack allows unlimited one-on-one voice and video calls. On the other hand, Microsoft Team’s voice/video call has a 300-user limit.
- Chat and Collaboration: Slack allows an unlimited number of users, while Microsoft Teams allows up to 500,000 users.
Secondly, the storage limit also differs. Microsoft Teams offer 1TB across its paid plans. In comparison, Slack offers 10GB (Slack Pro), 20GB (Slack Business+), and 1TB (Slack Enterprise Grid ) per team member in its paid plans.
Collaboration software apps are fast becoming indispensable tools for small and medium businesses. Microsoft Teams and Slack are software apps that provide file storage, instant messaging, and project management tools that improve workplace efficiency and planning. You need to ensure security compliance irrespective of the productivity software your business enterprise uses. And this is where NW Technologies comes in.
At NW Technologies, we provide comprehensive information technology services. We have trained experts that’ll help you manage your software and hardware system. Our professionals will also help you ensure strict compliance with the appropriate regulatory bodies where your business operates.
Also, we provide thorough and tailored-to-fit auditing services to keep your business enterprise from the prying eyes of malicious actors. You’re just one booking session away from enjoying these amazing benefits and more. Reach us now!