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Microsoft Teams Is Far from Slacking – 7 Reasons Why We Think Teams Beat Slack

Recently, news broke that Microsoft Teams, a unified communications platform, currently has over 13 million daily active users. Slack, Microsoft Teams biggest competitor, is falling behind with 10 million users. While this data is rather impressive, we wanted to do more research as to why this competition is moving in the direction that it is headed. Practicality, impressive features, and proven success are just a few reasons we believe that Teams will continue to be the fastest growing business app ever.

1. Practicality

Most Fortune 500 companies use Office 365. That being said, it is no surprise that Microsoft Teams is included in the Office 365 subscription. Users can access data from other Microsoft products, including but not limited to, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote without having to move between the different apps. A SharePoint directory can be integrated when starting with Microsoft Teams. This makes content easier to find compared to Slack. Another key highlight is the fact that Microsoft Teams offers calendar management through Outlook 

2. Freemium Version 

Both Microsoft and Slack offer a “freemium” version of their app to users. The features are similar, but Microsoft Teams allows for 300 members, 10GB of file storage, 2GB of personal storage, and unlimited app integrations. In addition, users can collaborate with anyone outside of their organization and can utilize both audio and video calling. Slack’s free version only allows for 5GB of storage and 10 app integrations. If users want to upgrade,  the Standard version for Slack is $6.67 per user per month, compared to Microsoft Teams $5 per user per month charge. The difference in cost can be make or break for companies trying to decide between the two. 

3. Integration Options  

When it comes to third-party add-on optionsmany argue that Slack currently takes the lead. However, Microsoft Teams allows for unlimited built-in features to be integrated into the platform. Specific Office 365 apps that can be added into the platform include OneDrive for Business and Yammer. Microsoft Teams can now integrate with a wider variety of apps and services, including TrelloEvernote, and SurveyMonkey. All apps can be added via the Teams store. 

4. Messaging 

When it comes to third-party add-on optionsmany argue that Slack currently takes the lead. However, Microsoft Teams allows for unlimited built-in features to be integrated into the platform. Specific Office 365 apps that can be added into the platform include OneDrive for Business and Yammer. Microsoft Teams can now integrate with a wider variety of apps and services, including TrelloEvernote, and SurveyMonkey. All apps can be added via the Teams store. 

5. IT Admin Controls 

While Slack and Teams both encrypt data and enforce two-factor authorization, Teams offers more admin controls when paired with Microsoft Office 365 Admin Center. Some of the features that IT Admins can utilize are: 

  • Select how users’ profiles are setup and how they appear
  • Disable video and screen sharing abilities in calls and meetings
  • Decide whether animated images, memes, and stickers are allowed
  • Choose if bots can assist users or integrate with other apps
  • Share images securely with data storage policies set by IT
  • Set priority notifications 

6. New Features

Message Prioritization

Regardless of Slack’s features, Microsoft Teams is always coming out with improvements, which is a promising sign. One recent addition is the ability to set the priority of messages. When sending a message to a teammate, the message can be flagged as important or urgent. Important messages will place a red exclamation point in the user’s activity feed. Urgent messages will alert the recipient every two minutes for twenty minutes, or until they open the message.  

Read Receipts 

In a chat, an icon will display if a message has been read by the recipient. While this may sound invasive to some, it holds team members accountable. Whoever sent the message can also ensure that their chat properly went through.  

Announcements

Team members can share important company highlights in a channel for everyone to see. Project news, employee updates, and campaign results can be posted in a way that catches the entire team’s attention. 

Group Chat 

The amount of people allowed in a group chat has increased from 50 to 100. Group video and calls are still limited but creating a massive office chat is now available. This can help with planning events, discussing department changes, or asking fellow colleagues for advice on a specific topic or issue.  

Testing Abilities 

Users can now test video and audio settings to make sure they are all set prior to conducting a conference call. Test calls can be conducted by typing “testcall” in the command box within Microsoft Teams. There will be verbal instructions provided, and then users can record and listen to the playback. This feature is only available in English but will be rolled out for multiple languages in the near future 

Invite Link 

Team members can invite their colleagues to join the platform for free. Clicking on the link will direct them to a webpage where the can request to join the specific organization.  

Whiteboard Activity

A few months ago, Microsoft announced that they would be solving an issue for remote meetings. Any webcam can now detect the use of a physical whiteboard and import it into Microsoft Teams.  

Schedule Management for Firstline Workers 

In the Teams Shifts module, workers can access the time clock, which allows them to click in and out right from their Teams app. Supervisors can geo-fence an office to check if employees are at work when using time clock. Another feature is that team members can now send a message to multiple users in one job title by mentioning a role. For example, a doctor can send an urgent update to “@nurses” in a specified department.  

7. Customer Success

Air France, a leading airline giant, has been using Microsoft Teams to assist with communication. Instead of having to rely on radio signal, employees can use the platform to collaborate and check-in for shiftsAnother well-known company, General Electric, rolled out Teams to assist with high-velocity collaboration. Several large corporations have also found success with this platform, including SAP, Cerner, Telstra, and Schneider Electric.

If a business already uses Office365 applications, Microsoft Teams is a no brainer. We are excited to see what Teams will bring to the table for the remainder of the yearOn Microsoft’s website, you can find several resources ranging from the Teams blog, collaboration tips, and free e-books, here.

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