Blog: All Things Nortec

Business Collaboration Tool Bake-off: Microsoft Teams vs. Slack

Business collaboration bake-off Microsoft Teams or Slack.In a traditional bake-off, judges decide which version of a sweet treat is the best. Since no one brought a box of D.C. Doughnuts and another from Federal Doughnuts for us to compare, we’ll stick with a business collaboration tool bake-off and look at Microsoft Teams vs. Slack.

At first glance, the unified communications platforms look very similar. But, like two versions of a glazed doughnut, there are only so many differences you can discern visually. You need to taste them. Below, we’ve highlighted the similarities and differences between Teams and Slack to help you decide which is right for your business.

Teams is an Enterprise-Grade Communication Tool

If you only consider basic communication app features – text messages, emojis, in-app calling – there are few differences between Teams and Slack. The divergence occurs when enterprise-grade features are considered.

Teams Gives You Greater Control Over Information in Chats

In Slack and Teams your employees are able to send messages, upload files and invite other organizations to chat with you. Channels can be set up for group messaging or you can send private messages to coworkers and business partners.

You can invite external partners to both Slack and Teams, but you’ll have greater control with Teams. Guest access in Teams allows those users to see chat history and files. Permissions can then be set for what guests can do. Or, you can open a federated chat which limits access and does not allow the outside partner to view resources.

Tip: If you plan on using Teams to collaborate with other businesses, consult an IT expert to establish the right security permissions for all users.

Make External Calls and Hold Video Conferences in Teams

Both applications can be used to call people within your organization, but only Teams can be used as a business phone. You can set up phone numbers for employees, add domestic and/or international plans and have calls forwarded to desk phones or mobile devices.

Ad hoc meetings can be scheduled in both Slack and Teams. You can choose to automatically invite every member of a specific channel to a call. But, Office 365 users will benefit from Teams because they can check availability when scheduling meetings.

Teams is a Highly Secure Collaboration Platform

Microsoft is Committed to Security

Teams adheres to Microsoft’s high standards for security, like the ability to require multi-factor authentication to log into the platform.

On Slack, you only need a user name and password, so It’s easy for cybercriminals to access credentials. You want a higher level of protection for business communications.

Scan File Uploads for Viruses

Documents uploaded in Teams are scanned for malware using Advanced Threat Protection. Malicious files are automatically blocked, keeping your organization secure.

To access this level of security in Slack you need to use an external app integration.

Manage Permissions

Slack and Teams allow admins to set certain permissions, like who in your organization can invite or delete members.

But Teams goes deeper, giving administrators the ability to set policies around meetings, messaging and phone calls. Specific domains can be blocked and federated chats keep your confidential data secure while you collaborate with key partners.

Bet on Microsoft Teams When Planning for the Future

Microsoft has a strong track record of entering a market and then emerging as the dominant force. It happened with Virtualization and Game Platforms, and it’s playing out again as Teams emerges as an enterprise-grade collaboration tool.

Slack had a head start, which is why it currently has more app integrations than Teams. But, Microsoft has significantly enhanced Teams in the past few years. As the collaboration tool continues to grow, we know we can expect more apps and features. Our team devotes considerable time to learning about Teams and working with clients on which features are best for them and then implementing them.

How to Start Using Teams

Microsoft Teams is our choice for business collaboration and productivity tools because of the future growth potential and built-in security. Here are 3 steps you need to get started:

  1. Explore the advantage of Teams being included in Office 365
  2. Conduct a proof of concept to test if Teams is viable for your organization
  3. Define the policies that govern how your organization will use Teams

Topics security and governance policies should include:

  • Who can create and kill channels
  • Whether external entities can be invited to your team
  • Which security measures and restrictions – like scanning for viruses or specific permissions for users – are deployed

How Nortec Helps

At Nortec, we’ve managed thousands of deployments for Microsoft communication tools, and one of our 8 Gold Competencies is in Communications. We adopted Teams for our organization and draw on our depth of knowledge about Microsoft products to develop, test and implement Teams for clients.

Contact Nortec online or call us at 866-531-1990 today for a proof of concept or with questions related to Teams and Microsoft communication tools.

Nortec Communications - Washington D.C