Team collaboration and communication is crucial to a company’s success. Thanks to “the mobile movement,” companies have adapted to chat-based programs that allow co-workers to better interact with each other, regardless of location or time zone.

As we are expanding at Seamgen, teamwork and communication have become exponentially more important. Our company has been “Slacking” off for quite some time now, but with the entrance of Microsoft Teams, it was time for us to do some research.

Let this post serve as a guide for comparing the two.

Overview
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Slack is a cloud-based collaboration app first released in August 2013. It has flourished, with over 2.7 million active users and an estimated market value of $3 billion. This mobile collaboration tool has changed the way companies interact, even gathering praise as the “email killer.”

On November 2nd, 2016, Microsoft announced their release of Microsoft Teams (Beta)—a comparable chat-based workspace as part of Office 365. As both applications have similar functions, a rivalry naturally formed between the two.

Slack and Microsoft Teams cover all the basics of team communication such as general chat rooms. However, it’s the additional features that truly stand out: personal team channels, team member profiles, search archives, support requests, and more.

Although both tools appear similar initially, there are distinct features that differentiate the two platforms.

Pricing

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Slack has 3 different editions: Free, Standard, and Plus.

Free edition

With the free edition, users have access to a variety of features, such as searchable archives, 10 apps or service integrations (such as Twitter, Gmail, Skype etc.), and multiple platform integration (IOS, Android, Mac, & Windows).

Standard edition

For $6.67 (per active user, each month, billed annually) the Standard edition offers everything included in the free version as well as custom user groups, group calls, and a mandatory two-authentication which improves security by requiring a password and additional user information.

Plus edition

The Plus edition costs $12.50 (per active user, each month, billed annually) and includes everything in the standard edition, along with 24/7 support, a real-time active directory, and SAML-based single sign-on that allows parties to exchange authentication and authorization information more easily by only requiring one sign-in to keep their credentials.

These are only some of the features included on all of the Slack editions. For more information, visit their website here.

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On the other hand, Microsoft Teams is available on certain editions of Office 365. Microsoft still lets you buy individual versions of Microsoft Office; however, the company has bundled Office 365 in order to make its overall price appealing to customers.

Individual

For instance, starting at $149.99, customers can get the individual versions of Home and Student for Office 2016. The Home and Business versions, however, stand at $229.99 and the Professional version weighs in at $399.99. With a subscription to Office 365, users have the option between paying $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year to gain access to all the Microsoft programs.

Business

Microsoft Teams is obtainable through Business Essentials and Business Premium edition of Office 365, so although the price tag is hefty, the individual price allotted for the app is difficult to define.

If you want more information regarding pricing and features available in the different bundles, you can click here.

User Experience Differences

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Slack takes pride in being the ultimate collaboration tool by allowing multiple application integration into its database to further team communication.

Furthermore, you get Slackbot, a feature within the app that acts as your personal assistant on various tasks such as: answering questions regarding the app, receiving forwarded emails, and access to GIPHY. This feature gives Slack a more personalized and friendly feel that ensures the collaborative environment is far from robotic.

Conversely, Microsoft Teams is an extension of the already popular Office 365. Unlike Slack, the additional features on Microsoft Teams are access to the other Microsoft applications available — Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.

Through the combination of their chat-based collaboration app and Office 365, Microsoft aims to make team communication and work as efficient as possible. Additionally, with Microsoft’s international reputation, Microsoft Teams was built with a database of roughly 20 different languages.

These were only a few of the many features available on Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Customer Reviews

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If you were looking for company reviews on either app, look no further.

With Slack having the veteran status in team collaboration, companies such as NASA and SurveyMonkey have voiced their positive opinions toward the team collaboration tool.

The journey to the top, however, has not been a smooth one for Slack.  The app encountered a widespread security breach to their database last year, where hackers were able to intercept private messages and credentials.

Slack received much criticism after the attack, but has vowed to have cleared up these security issues.  Now, many users are wondering how Microsoft Teams’ security will differ.  Here is an article that further compares the security features of both apps.

Microsoft Teams, however, is only in the beta stages of its production, as its full release is expected to be in early 2017. With access to many Microsoft products and a potential “security advantage,” Microsoft Teams has a chance to dethrone Slack in the future as the top team collaboration tool.

Thank you!

If you made it to the end of this post, thanks for tuning in! Make sure to check out our other blog posts highlighting tech trends and updates. Until next time!

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