As a business owner, it is common to experience decision fatigue, and picking an internal communications platform is just one example of choices entrepreneurs make daily as entrepreneurs. With the rise of remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic, internal communication is more important now than ever to stay connected with one’s coworkers.
Employees can no longer turn to someone sitting next to them when a question arises, or even have a chat over a cup of coffee. Having lost these small but necessary points of communication, businesses are challenged with the task of recreating this environment online. Yet with so many options for remote internal communication, it can be difficult knowing which platform to choose.
Two major contenders have risen of the past few years: Slack and Teams. Slack was first to market in 2013, while Microsoft Teams launched in 2017. While Teams has worked to close the gap between the two platforms, there are still a few key differences that may be useful when looking to communicate with your team.
Video and Phone Calls
A few of the biggest differences between the platforms lies within the calling options for consumers. Teams allows for external phone calls and up to 250 participants in a video chat. Whereas Slack allows for up to 15 participants in a video chat and currently does not offer external calling through their platform. Screen sharing is also available in both platforms, which can be performed during private and group calls.
Channels and Groups
Both Slack and Teams offer similar layouts with the use of channels and groups, including private chats and visible communication threads with all of the users included in the platform. Slack channels have the ability to be integrated with external apps such as Hubspot, Dropbox, and Trello. Teams also offers external app integration, as well as syncs to all other Office 365 applications.
File Storage and Message Archive
With regards to file storage and message archives, both platforms offer options for users to securely upload information to the respective workplaces. In Slack, users with the free plan have access to message archives up until 10,000 messages and can retrieve all past communication with a paid plan. In Teams’ basic plan, there is an unlimited archive of messages that each user can access.
For file storage, Slack offers 5 GB for free users as well as options of 10 and 20 GB capabilities with paid plans. Teams users on the Basic plan have 1 TB of storage for the organisation, as well as an additional 10 GB per license purchased.
Security and Compliance
Slack and Teams are GDPR compliant and uphold the security of their users. All messages are encrypted and both platforms have two-factor authentication, single-sign on, and other additional add-on security features.
Slack and Teams offer different tiers for their users by operating with the Freemium model. Slack’s free plan includes basic features such as access to the most recent 10K messages, 10 external app integrations, and 1:1 voice and video calls. Standard and Plus paid subscriptions range from £5.25-9.75 per user per month.
While Teams can be purchased without an existing Microsoft Office License, the Basic, Standard, and E3 plan automatically include a Teams premium subscription at no additional cost. Microsoft Office licenses range from £3.80-17.60 per user per month.
Slack offers unlimited users and does not charge per external account for those who have upgraded to a paid plan. Teams does not offer unlimited users on their platform, although they do offer users up to 500K per organisation. The basic plan also covers up to 5 external members and charge per user after that.
A brief overview of Slack and Teams features
|Schedule Meetings and Video Calls||✓ Up to 15 participants* (in premium plan)||✓ Up to 250 participants|
|Channels and groups||✓ External app integration||✓ Syncs to all other Office 365 apps & external app integration|
|Secure and compliant||✓||✓ Highest grade (Tier D) compliance|
|Access to message archive||Free up to 10,000 messages Archive available with paid plan||Unlimited archive of messages included in basic plan|
|Screen sharing||Available with paid plan||Available in basic plan|
|Unlimited users||✓||X Offers up to 500K|
|External Person Access||✓ Doesn’t charge per external account (with paid plan)||✓ Includes up to 5 external members, charged per person after that|
Although we didn’t list every single benefit these platforms offer, the categories stated above should give some clarity when deciding which internal communication software is best for your business.
And for those of you who are looking to upgrade your current Microsoft Office License or migrate your communication from another platform to Teams, reach out to our friends at Lucidica who can help you get started.