Slack vs Teams: 6 Features Unique to Microsoft’s Collaboration Platform
With nearly a five-year head start in the team-chat/collaborations arena, Slack rapidly gained a dominant position in the marketplace, boasting 4 million daily active users. However, the landscape changed when Microsoft launched its Teams collaboration platform in 2017, offering a competitive alternative to Slack that takes advantage of integration with the Office 365 productivity suite.
While both products are similar on the surface, Microsoft has been able to leverage its industry position and incorporate features into Teams that Slack has yet to offer. And the list of features grew even further after Microsoft’s January 29, 2018 update, as well as subsequent updates since then.
Microsoft hopes that its addition to the Office 365 suite will turn it into the go-to collaborative work space hub, rather than merely a chatting and video communications tool.
Let’s take a look at six features available in Microsoft Teams that Slack doesn’t offer.
Native Office 365 Integration
As the world’s most widely-used enterprise cloud service, Office 365 provides a suite of tools allowing users to do virtually any task. Microsoft Teams takes full advantage of this by delivering unmatched native integration with Office 365’s applications, dramatically speeding up workflows and productivity by letting users do more within the app.
By contrast, Slack relies on third-party integration with applications for extended functionality.For example, Slack users would typically have to exit the app to open an email client. With Teams, users can send emails, collaborate on documents through word and SharePoint, and import information directly into conversations without having to post screenshots.
The Team’s user interface is highly intuitive, taking advantage of built-in tabs to access Office 365 apps and external websites quickly for higher efficiency. And since Microsoft built the application on top of the Skype for Business communications platform, users can take advantage of the full spectrum of calling functions while simultaneously using productivity apps.
Improved Data Security
When it comes to data security, Teams takes advantage of the significant amount of resources that Microsoft has invested in data security, and is a clear upgrade over Slack. Unfortunately, Slack has a spotty history of safeguarding user data. Whether it’s a case of programming bugs facilitating hacker access or pervasive data leakage incidents, their data security track record – while improving – is still no match for Microsoft’s.
Teams, on the other hand, leverages industry best practices to prevent compromised accounts, prevents outside users from gaining access to the environment, adheres to all major regulatory cloud data compliance, noting:
Microsoft Teams will support key compliance standards including EU Model Clauses, ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA and more. And, as customers would expect, Microsoft Teams is served out of our hyper-scale global network of data centers, automatically provisioned within Office 365 and managed centrally, just as any other Office 365 service.
While Slack offers the ability to search within channels and find relevant information, Teams takes the concept to a new level with the introduction of their new search bar that allows you to command apps and take actions right from the search field. Change your status or contact a team member with a fast slash command. Also, you can incorporate the search results directly into your conversation.
Future search box enhancements call for the ability to create and assign project management tasks and initiate Visual Studio Team Services builds. And since it works across all Office 365 business apps, it places a significantly greater amount of information at your fingertips than Slack makes available.
Organization and Access Efficiency
With so much cross-app functionality comes a need to improve access and organization. To that end, Teams introduces a new “Personal Space” feature designed to make it easier for users to find and access apps, tasks, multimedia, and stored documents.
A new app, Who, works with Microsoft Graph and makes it easy to search for and locate people by name or conversation topic across your organization.
Slack provides English-language support only. A lack of multi-language support can be an issue when dealing with team members from different countries.
Teams supports 18 languages while their T-bot responds to queries in English, French, German, and Spanish.
Mobile Device Management
Slack has always enjoyed mobile support, and one of its strengths has been its ability to provide robust functionality on a range of devices.
Teams vastly improves upon this, integrating with Intune for Office 365 to add a range of mobile device management tools to the mix. In addition to gaining full Teams functionality on mobile, you can control your workforce’s mobile app usage, set security protocols for data access, and make sure that all devices are in full compliance with corporate mobile policies.
Microsoft Teams: Improving on Slack Functionality
There’s no question that Microsoft’s Teams collaboration suite is gaining traction among users. And with a current office 365 subscriber base of 120 million – and with each one gaining automatic access to the tool – only time will tell if Teams becomes the default communications product for business.
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