Slack VS Teams: which one to choose?

August 10, 2020

In recent years, the use of e-mail has come under increasing criticism. Time-consuming, not sufficiently facilitating collaboration between teams, it tends to be replaced, at least internally, by instant messaging tools. Today, two heavyweights stand out among them: Slack and Teams.
Every day, we meet companies that choose one or the other. In this article, we will untangle the true from the false, and try to give you all the keys to determine which of these collaboration tools best suits your needs.  

First of all, let's recall that Teams was launched in 2017 by Microsoft, in order to compete with Slack, and is integrated into the Office 365 pack. In 2019, in terms of number of users, Microsoft Teams came first with 13 million daily users against 10 million at Slack. The growth of the two tools is dazzling, and the catch-up of Teams, notably enabled by the sales forces of Microsoft and its partners, is impressive.


1. Usage and functionality

Slack has an interactive, rather attractive and customizable interface. The tool is often complimented for its optimized user experience. Its use is intuitive, making it easy to become familiar with the tool.

In comparison, Teams is generally perceived as a little more complex to handle, due to its more crowed interface with many tabs (vertical but also horizontal).

Slack Interface

Both software programs offer message sending, voice and video calling. On Slack, these calls are limited to 15 people on the free version and 80 on Teams.

Microsoft Teams Interface

2. Integrations

The integrations bring an important added value: they allow you to link your other tools to Slack or Teams in order to centralize your notifications.

Slack offers a total of over 800 integrations, but in order to use them fully, you will need to upgrade to the paid version. The free version, however, will allow 10 integrations. For Microsoft Teams, count 180 integrations, but most importantly it is perfectly integrated with Office 365, which makes it a real advantage if you use the Office suite. This makes it a real advantage if you use the Office suite. You can thus couple it as a collaboration tool with your existing Office software (OneDrive, Sharepoint, etc.).

Slack's integrations are one of the reasons why it is particularly popular with startups and mid-sized companies that want to generate automated interactions and receive them directly into Slack.

However, Teams tends to catch up quickly with its large user base, because historically present on Microsoft tools. Faced with this important market, more and more third-party editors are offering native integrations within Teams itself to interface more easily(disclaimer : Outmind will be part of it very soon, don't hesitate to contact us to know the release date of this new integration).


3. Slack VS Teams : pricing

Both software packages have a limited and free offer. Both tools offer a free basic version, making them attractive to small businesses, and become available for a fee when you want access to the full functionality.

For Slack, the price is 6.25€ (SME) and 11.75€ (large company) per user per month.

Concerning Teams, its price is included if you have an Office 365 Business Essentials (4.20€ / month) or Business Premium (10.50€ / month) account.

So Slack's annual bill can look pretty expensive since it only includes access to collaborative messaging, unlike the entire Office 365 suite that goes with Teams. Finally, please note that these rates are indicative: for large volumes, it is often best to contact a sales representative directly for better prices.


4. Installation

Allow 7 minutes to set up on your Slack workspace. Registration is done via a very clean design and in a few steps (seven). To invite collaborators, you can simply enter their email address or send them an invitation link. As long as you don't have a paid version, you won't have to fill in a credit card.

Count 1 hour to set up Teams. You will have to fill in your credit card even if you take the free version. Inviting users is more difficult there: you need to add them to the Office 365 Admin Panel, then they need to log in and change their password, and finally they can be added to Microsoft Teams.


Comparison Slack and Teams: Conclusion

In the end, it's hard to have a categorical opinion without being an afficionado of Slack or Teams. Both are excellent tools for real-time internal communication. They can be integrated with some of your tools like Google Drive or Sharepoint when you want to share files, even if these tools do not strictly speaking allow you to do document management. If you need specific integrations, remember to check if they are available from one or the other.

Slack may be best suited for smaller organizations, looking for a tool that is independent of giants such as Microsoft, Google or Facebook.

Teams, on the other hand, may be better suited to larger structures, and its integration into Office 365 is a real advantage if the company is already a customer. Finally, Teams is more efficient in terms of video-conferencing, a real strong point for companies offering teleworking to their employees. Just for the record, during the spring 2020 lockdown, both tools suffered very strong slowdowns and the various support services all found themselves overloaded, but this episode seems to be behind us.

Finally, regarding security and privacy policy issues, the two players are highly comparable, although most large companies will prefer Microsoft, which often offers better guarantees.


Whatever you choose, Outmind is agnostic: we offer both Teams and Slack integration, which is sometimes useful within the same company, when it faces a certain "IT shadow": some teams can create Slack spaces while the rest of the company recommends Teams, for example.

To test Outmind for free, you can start now by informing your tool ecosystem.