September 18, 2018

7 Things That Microsoft Teams Does Better than Slack


In today's always connected era, customers and employees are expecting to converse based on their convenience. The rise of digital connectivity is transforming the way employees connect, communicate & collaborate. These advancements of social and technological trends are driving changes into every aspect of our work culture.

To fulfill this need, modern organizations are always on the lookout for new methods including various platforms to increase the efficiency of their operations, boost collaboration, transform productivity.

Most of the organizations are looking this as a business priority now. These collaboration tools have gone from a “nice to have” concept in the workforce, to something that the average enterprise can’t live without.

Productive communication is the backbone of any successful workplace, and various tools/platforms are available to boost the ability to meet all of your team's communication needs. It is vital to choose the right collaboration platform which can truly build an efficient modern digital workplace.

There are many collaboration tools available, however, Slack has emerged as a major player in the intra-office communication space. But Microsoft Teams has become a popular communication platform for businesses who already have Office 365 Business subscription plan, Teams comes with superior features and the latest updates in Teams puts it on par with Slack.

Here's why Microsoft Teams has edge over Slack and what you need to know to evaluate it against its rivals:

7 Things Microsoft Teams Does Better Than Slack

1. Integration

To support its digital transformation journey every organization picks up specific IT stacks depending on their existing stack, support system, business need and vision. It’s critical that all tools/ platforms can communicate with each other and provides complementing features so that end users get a seamless, consolidated experience. It’s also critical to understand that corporate messaging to a large extent takes place in the context of one or more content items. These messages should always be presented to end users along with the associated content item.

Slack, in spite of being a standalone messaging platform does provide a good level of integration with other collaborative platforms like Google Drive and other third-party apps and tools including Office 365 through Zapier. Slack does provide conversation over documents uploaded to Google Drive or any of the repositories it does provide a connector for. While within Slack interface you do see accompanying conversations but same is not true the reverse way, that is when you open these documents in their native application you don’t see these conversations.

Teams being at the core of Office 365 collaboration, comes with advantages of great integrations with other Office 365 components out of the box. Beyond that Teams comes packed with over 150 third-party integrations, such as Zendesk, Hootsuite and works seamlessly with other Office 365 products.  This leads to the main advantage of Teams when compared to Slack: seamless integration.

Microsoft is currently working to add more functionality, such as allowing external contacts that are not using Office 365 to join the platform. So, lots to come when you go along with Teams.

2. Security and Compliance

At a time when businesses are rapidly adopting the tools like Slack and Teams for collaboration within the organization and beyond, the threat of compromising information and data pilferage is a serious issue. Teams are covered under Office 365 Security & Compliance scope and therefore Teams users enjoy the privileges like Threat Management and Data Loss Prevention (DLP). Content shared within Teams are automatically classified and labeled for sensitivity and appropriate actions are taken using DLP. Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection feature safeguard Teams from malicious content being uploaded and stored.

Slack on the other hand does provide strong security features including DLP, eDiscovery etc, however many of these features comes as 3rd party solutions and do not have the same level of tight integration at every process step as Teams enjoys through the Azure Information Protection feature.

3. Mobile Versatility through Mobile Device Management

We can access Slack & Teams from any mobile device. Microsoft Teams supports Mobile adoptability & provide seamless user experience across mobile operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows Phone). The advantage of Microsoft Teams is that you can gain all the control you need over mobile devices with Mobile Device Management using Intune in Office 365. This service lets you keep your corporate data protected while providing capabilities such as device management used by employees, mobile apps used by your workforce, data access management, compliance & organization data privacy & security requirements.

4. Multi-Lingual support

For any company who has a presence in multiple countries and If their team spans across, you will have benefit from Microsoft Teams supporting over 18 languages. Slack as of date supports five languages English, German, French, Spanish and Japanese.

Teams provides global reach and comes with the localization features which helps a lot if companies have a presence across the globe.

5. UX Design and Navigation

Microsoft Teams have so much focus from the Microsoft team to develop this tool even more robust and user-friendly. Recently Teams have released a new feature called Tabs, which allows your users to receive rich interactive content inside the platform. This allows your users to separate the different types of content shared to reduce the unwanted information in a conversation. Which provides the compelling user experience to its users.

7 Things That Microsoft Teams Does Better than Slack

Teams have a custom meme and sticker editor while Slack has meme bot integration.

6. Communication Instruments

Being able to communicate effectively is the most important of all collaboration skills. People appreciate the tool, which provides ability to reply/comments on conversation threads and features such as in-line reply, direct replies, feedback etc.

Both tools have many instruments for messaging, including threads. Microsoft Teams provide more built-in options for formatting, while Slack allows setting a reminder for a particular message. But Microsoft teams have few additional features which greatly improves topic conversations by helping users reply directly to comments or questions. One cool feature is the inline message translation for Team members using a foreign language in their app. Also with the latest updates Teams, users no longer have to take screenshots of content and upload them into Teams to start a discussion. Instead, you can quickly attach content using a process similar to adding an emoji or GIF to a discussion. You can add apps via the Teams store.

Teams also includes an improved search bar at the top of the interface, which allows for chat-wide searching and information integration. You can search using the bar and then insert a result into a chat. You can also take quick actions using slash commands in the search bar, like changing your status or adding a user to a team.

Another marquee feature of Teams is the ability to create conversation threads within a chatroom. Instead of getting lost in a flurry of messages seemingly all about different things, you can directly respond to a message or topic in a thread under the original thought. This can help workers avoid wasting time catching up on who is responding to what message. Teams has a built-in tool to conduct the polls & surveys, while Slack requires a plug-in.

Microsoft Teams is clearly the winner in terms of communication flow features.

7. File sharing and collaboration

In Microsoft Teams, you can share Office files and collaborate on them while right in the workspace. On the other hand, Slack doesn’t have built-in tools for that, so to edit a Doc. file, for example, you’ve got to download it and switch to another tab for editing. And Slack heavily relay on the 3rd party apps/tools.

Bottom line

For many companies, the right platform will depend on which strategy & technology stack they are following to manage their apps and content. However, based on this analysis it looks Microsoft teams clearly have an edge over Slack from features and user experience standpoint.

Teams is closing in rapidly and if you have Office 365, Teams is already ready to use and is free. Over 120 million Office 365 users already have this advantage to leverage the Teams as the collaboration platform. Also, Teams carry the other benefits such as compelling user experience, seamless integration and peace of mind from compliance, data privacy & security standpoint. Microsoft Teams is growing and will continue to get additional features in the months to come.

What’s the biggest concern regarding your collaboration tool and or questions regarding your plans, that we can help you with?

Connect with Netwoven’s collaboration platform experts for the consultation and find out all the answers regarding collaboration tools & migration.

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