We live in the age of virtual encounter. The COVID-19 crisis of 2020 ensured that video conferencing and virtual messaging would remain a hot product well into the future, as remote working has become the norm in many companies.
But there are many different solutions for team collaboration available nowadays. This article compares Microsoft Teams and Slack to determine the best team collaboration software of the two. Then we look at Slack vs. Skype vs. No. Teams to find the best features shared by some or all of these platforms, in a team collaboration software comparison. Which platform is best for your business?
Microsoft Teams vs. Slack
In 2017, software giant Microsoft introduced an integrated suite of apps, platforms and services called Microsoft Teams. Their plan was for Teams to become the best team collaboration software in the world by becoming a fully integrated hub not only for chatting and collaborating, but also for video conferencing, calling, file sharing, and more. It was an ambitious plan that only a global software giant could realize. How did they do it?
Today, Microsoft Teams has more than 13 million daily users and another 19 million who use the platform weekly. That’s pretty impressive in just two years. But how does Teams compare to instant messaging (IM) giant Slack, which is estimated to be about $20 billion and recently bought by Salesforce for nearly $10 billion more than its valuation?
In a head-to-head review of Microsoft Teams vs. Slack you can see that Slack has a lot to offer. For example, it was reported that Microsoft considered buying Slack only four years ago. When that didn’t work out, Microsoft put more effort into developing the chat features that can be found in Teams these days.
But in a team collaboration software comparison, Slack takes on Microsoft in just one key area, and that’s IM. Slack launched in 2014, beating Microsoft in their IM game by three years. According to its history, Slack was immediately successful, receiving 8,000 users on the first day and another 15,000 in the second week it launched. That first year, the app grew by 5 to 10% per week. Slack expanded its product over time by integrating with Google Drive, Asana, GitHub, Zapier and Salesforce. These platform integrations enabled better management of customer and content relationships, document management and collaboration, and even code version management.
Interestingly, it was the world of software engineering that fell in love with Slack. When comparing Microsoft Teams vs Slack from a business perspective, Teams has become a go-to for the average business, while Slack has always been hip for developers.
But again, these products are something else. Microsoft Teams wants to be your business hub by integrating email, document management, video, instant messaging, and project management under one umbrella. Slack, on the other hand, is primarily an IM tool, although there are now more than 2,000 integrated apps and 750 bots in the Slack App Directory. But that didn’t stop the war between Microsoft Teams and Slack over the title of best team collaboration software.
But what about competitor Skype, the self-titled “Godfather” of video conferencing? If we look at Slack vs. Skype vs. No. Teams, how are these three solutions paramount?
Slack vs. Skype vs. Teams
Skype has been around since 2003 and was one of the first video conferencing solutions on the market.
Skype has undergone many changes over the years that have nothing to do with the rollout of features. Note, for example, that Skype for Business is retiring this summer and will only be replaced by the Microsoft Teams product. But if we look at Microsoft Teams versus Skype for Business vs Slack today, there are some advantages to the Skype product that, despite some of the brand’s ups and downs, make it a desirable option for video conferencing.
First, Skype (not Skype for Business) is still free for up to 50 meeting participants. With this service you can call Voice over IP (VoIP) for fixed and mobile numbers for a fee. Skype lacks some of the modern features found in today’s video conferencing solutions, but it has developed some interesting features, such as:
· Meet now, which allows you to click to start a chat or video conferencing session without logging out of an account.
· IM chat as part of its video conferencing solution, so in this area it competes with Teams and Slack.
· There is live subtitles on Skype for 11 languages, from Chinese and German to Japanese and Russian. If you have a global workforce, this is a great tool.
· Like the Teams video conferencing solution, Skype has a whiteboard feature with a laser pointer and drawing tools.
So, is Skype for Business vs Slack a better option? It depends on what you need. Skype is a good option for small business video conferencing, as it is free. Slack, however, is a better option if your goal is to set up an easy-to-use IM platform to let your teams communicate.
Still, these two solutions can’t be compared to Microsoft Teams, which has a huge, versatile platform that serves as a hub for everything your business needs. There is one problem: it is expensive and probably best suited for medium to large organizations.
Who has the best team collaboration software?
The real question we asked at the beginning of this article was, in a direct comparison of the best team collaboration software, which was better, Slack versus Skype, versus Teams? The answer is always in the context of your budget and business case.