Background

Teams
Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based communication software developed by Microsoft. First made available in March 2017, Microsoft Teams was officially released in July of 2018. Teams is included in a variety of Office 365 packages, but also has a free version available with limited functionality. The emergence of Teams signals the end of Skype for Business as Teams offers far more functionality and is provided with all the Office 365 plans in which Skype currently is. At the Microsoft Ignite conference in September 2018, it was announced that 87 of the Fortune 100 companies and 329,000 organizations worldwide actively use Teams.

Slack
Slack is a cloud-based collaboration and chat tool created by Slack Technologies that launched in 2014. There are, according to the Slack website, 8 million daily active users and 500,000 organizations that use Slack. Both free and paid plan types are available, but most users are of the free variety. Slack has 8 offices located around the world.


Pricing

Teams

Licensing: Teams is available for free as a standalone program and comes included in nearly every Office 365 subscription plan, the cheapest of which is Office 365 Business Essentials for $5/user/month. The next step up is Office 365 Business Premium for $12.50/user/month. The free version of Teams includes the same functionality of the paid plans with a few noticeable disadvantages. These include file storage limits (10 GB vs 1 terabyte), auditing and reporting capabilities, and several more.

Billing Frequency: Monthly

Slack

Licensing: Slack, like Teams, has both free and paid options with some significant disparities between them. Slack Standard is available for $8/user/month or $6.67/user/month if paid annually. Slack Plus costs $15/user/month or $12.50/user/month with a year-long commitment. The paid versions offer significant benefits over Slack for free in terms of integrations, storage capacities, and more.

Billing Frequency: Monthly or annual. Slight decrease in price when paid annually.

*Enterprise-level versions of both Teams & Slack are available and come with capabilities for organizations with thousands of employees. More information on Enterprise plans of Teams & Slack can be found here and here.


Customer Reviews

Slack

Overall rating: 4.5/5 (10,529 reviews)

Common Pros: Ease to use, reduces emails, plenty of integration options, ability to invite external members into channels and chats, fun and simple interface

Common Cons: Disappearing conversations in Free version, lacks in team-wide video and audio calling, no ability to paste copied images into conversations

Teams

Overall rating: 4.5/5 (4070 reviews)

Common Pros: Simple and easy to use interface, can add extra functions to a channel, 1 TB of file storage per user, SharePoint and other integrations, desktop and browser accessibility

Common Cons: Notifications are confusing to configure, mobile app can be unstable, 100-channel limit per user, slow to load old conversations


Release Schedule

Teams

Microsoft typically releases several updates for Teams every month that contain a mix of new features and bug fixes. There is not much consistency with the releases as they are sometimes only a few days apart. Users can visit https://support.office.com/en-us/teams for summaries of new releases, training videos, and additional info on Teams.

Slack

Slack updates and changes follow a similar pattern to Teams in that there isno real pattern. There are sometimes several features and improvements made in a month, but also stretches of time when nothing is released for 5+ weeks. Helpful tips, detailed information on updates, and more can be found here.


Integrations

Teams

Teams offers hundreds of app, bot, website, and other 3rd party integrations that can be used individually and team-wide to make environments more functional. Nearly every one of these integrations can be placed on a tab in a team to make it immediately accessible. App categories include things like Developer & IT, Productivity, Sales & Support, and several more. Teams also allows users to build and import custom apps to serve any purpose not covered by what’s available.

Slack

In the Slack App Directory, users will find a library of 3rd-party apps and bots that are available for integration into a Slack environment. Apps range categories from ‘Social & Fun’ to ‘HR & Team Culture’ with most other business areas also represented. There are just over 25 bots currently listed on the App Directory including SurveyMonkey, Trello, and others covering various business functions. In addition to the apps and bots in the Directory, users can build custom apps & bots for their teams.


Customize & Personalize

Slack

Slack, like Teams, allows for a high amount of customization to workspaces but only for certain user and plan types. Any user can personalize their interface with options like changing theme colors, creating custom loading messages, and adding emojis. All users except for guests can create and edit public and private Slack channels where most conversations take place. Additionally, all user types on all plans can add apps to their workspace, although Slack Free users are limited to 10 integrations. The options to customize start decreasing from there, as only admins and workspace owners on a paid plan type have the privileges to make custom user groups.

Teams

Teams offers many personalization and customization options for all user types including simple options like choosing the default, dark, or high contrast theme and embedding websites, apps, bots, and more into department-specific created teams. Sub-teams can be built within a larger team to organize team communication further. Add tabs in a team or chat conversation area for quick, direct access to apps and business systems such as Excel, SharePoint, Hootsuite, and Adobe Creative Cloud without having to leave the Teams interface.


Teams Free

Unlimited messages and search

Guest access

300 users allowed

Word, Excel, PowerPoint in Teams

140+ integrated apps and services

1:1 and group audio/video calls

2 GB file storage/user, 10 GB shared

Channel meetings

Screen sharing

Teams Enterprise

Unlimited messages and search

Guest access

Unlimited number of users

Word, Excel, PowerPoint in Teams

140+ integrated apps and services

SharePoint, OneDrive, Office 365 services

1:1 and group audio/video calls

1 TB file storage/user

Channel meetings

Screen sharing

Scheduled meetings

Plan schedules & daily tasks in Teams

Record meetings

Phone calls & audio conferencing

Admin tools

Advanced editing & reporting

Teams Live Events for 10,000+ people

Configurable settings & policies

Teams with Office 365

Unlimited messages and search

Guest access

300 users allowed

Word, Excel, PowerPoint in Teams

140+ integrated apps and services

SharePoint, OneDrive, Office 365 services

1:1 and group audio/video calls

1 TB file storage/user

Channel meetings

Screen sharing

Scheduled meetings

Record meetings

Phone calls & audio conferencing available as add-ons

Admin tools

Advanced editing & reporting

Configurable settings & policies


Slack Free

Search 10,000 of most recent messages

10 app integrations

5 GB file storage total

One-on-one voice & video calls

Two-factor authentication

Standard Support

Slack Standard/Plus

Unlimited searchable messages

Unlimited app integrations

Shared channels

Guest Access

10 & 20 GB file storage/team member

Voice & video calls with up to 15 participants

Screen sharing

Search for people, channels, files

Message highlights

Two-factor authentication

Priority Support

Custom user groups

Custom message/file retention policies

Slack Enterprise

Unlimited searchable messages

Unlimited app integrations

Shared channels

Guest Access

1 TB file storage/team member

Voice & video calls with up to 15 participants

Screen sharing

Search for people, channels, files

Message highlights

Two-factor authentication

24/7 Support, 4-hour response time

Dedicated customer success team

Custom user groups

Integrations for Data Loss Prevention

Enterprise mobile security features

Unlimited workspaces

Custom message/file retention policies


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