With the majority of jobs shifting to remote positions, and a major shift from single management structures to team-based cooperation, the need for collaborative tools is on the rise. Roughly 70% of jobs will become remote by 2025, and with that face to face meetings will become a rare occurrence. So how are employers preparing for such a massive shift in the dynamics of a workplace? Through modern collaboration tools, such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and 100’s of other apps popping up almost daily. This presents its own challenges; how do you know which one works best for your team? Well fortunately enough; the field has been narrowed to two all-encompassing options. The start up company that helped kick start the game, Slack, and the heavy weight corporate hitter who secured it, Microsoft Teams

Slack, launching in August of 2013, is an American cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services. Slack is available to web browser clients and desktop clients utilizing macOS, Windows, and Linux beta, and in addition is offered as an app on iOS and Android powered devices. With a freemium pricing model, it is geared towards smaller start-up workspaces, as the entire services is run on slacks own servers. This unfortunately creates a bottle neck for larger companies to access things like archived conversations.

Microsoft Teams, launching in March of 2017, is a unified communications platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. Microsoft Teams was launched after Bill Gates passed on an opportunity to bid for Slack to instead focus on improving their Skype for Business application, which now is being integrated into Microsoft Teams. Teams is available as an app on iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as being available as a web based and desktop program for macOS and Windows.
While both programs offer similar tools for users, there are several ways that Teams outshines Slack for the modern corporate partner. Below is a side by side comparison of some of the features offered by both services

Slack Microsoft Teams
Message history limit 10K messages in Free plan, unlimited in Standard and Plus plans Unlimited in all plans
Audio/video calls Unlimited 1:1 voice and video calls in Free plan.
Conference calls for up to 15 participants in Paid plans.
Voice/video calls with up to 80 people in a meeting.
Integrations 10 integrations limit in Free plan, 800+ integrations in paid plans 180+ apps and services (as of July 2018)
File storage limit Free plan: 5GB file storage for a team
Standard plan: 10GB per user
Plus plan: 20GB per user
Free plan: 2 GB/user and 10GB of shared storage
Paid plans: 1 TB per organization
Screen sharing Unavailable in Free version, available in Standard and Plus versions Available in all plans

Here are 5 things that Microsoft can do that Slack cannot:

  1. Mobile device management: not only is Teams available on all the same platforms as Slack, but it also gives you the power to gain control over mobile devices with mobile device management using Intune in Office 365. This service lets you keep your corporate data while providing several capabilities:
    1. Managing the mobile devices your workforce uses to access company data.
    2. Managing the mobile apps your workforce uses.
    3. Protecting your company data by helping control the way your workforce accesses and shares it.
    4. Ensuring that devices and apps are compliant with company security requirements.
  2. Office 365 Integration: Teams is Microsoft’s complete collaboration tool, so of course it has seamless integration with the entire Office 365 suite. You can edit documents in real time with people across the span of the internet, creating living documents that can be shared in chat conversations, without having to fork a document by saving and resaving email attachments.
  3. 3rd Party Integration: With over 150 third-party integrations, you would be hard pressed to not find the tools you need to help make your workplace flow. Just like the Office 365 integration, it flows seamlessly between users, making sharing and collaboration 2nd nature. These apps can be separated into tabs making organization simple and reducing clutter.
  4. Video Conferencing & Live Events: Microsoft Teams supports voice and video conferencing with up to 80 people and will soon roll out live events where up to 10,000 attendees. Live events present a unique experience where even people who are not Microsoft subscribers can attend.
  5. Security: Teams provides data loss prevention to help reduce sensitive data leaks. Slack does not offer anything comparable. Microsoft has put tons of resources into developing its compliance and security audits, so Teams can dive you what you need if you are in an industry where you cloud provider must follow regulations.

It’s important to weigh the specific pros and cons of each offering as they pertain to your business, and this is by no means an exhaustive comparison. Find out what your team needs, what are the pain points, how is the current system broken, and after you do the research, then you can start to answer those questions. Every team works differently, so organizations tool boxes vary as well. With the transition and integration of Slack for Business into Microsoft Teams, a complete and adequate tool for office communication is right around the corner.