Pagoda Blog

Slack vs Teams: Choosing the Right Collaboration Tool for Your Business

June 15, 2023

Email is quickly becoming a tool of the past when it comes to internal communications within an organization. Thank goodness because we all know how easy it is to lose an important message in the black hole of your inbox


Chat-based collaboration software like Slack and Teams is a much better choice for communicating with your team. These tools have a more robust and customizable system for organizing, storing, and finding conversations and are more chat-based than email, allowing for team members to send quick messages back and forth without it turning into an unwieldy email thread. 


Let’s take a look at what Slack and Teams both have to offer so you can determine which tool is best for your business. 


Slack: Google Workspace Integration & Channel-Focused

Slack is a more playful, chat-focused software with superior integration with Google Workspace. Its channels also give users a way to organize messaging threads based on topic rather than team members. Let’s dive into Slack’s features. 



Slack features a user-friendly interface that uses channels to organize conversations. Channels are conversations focused on different work projects or themes. You can choose from a few default channels, such as #general, and also create your own around different projects,  campaigns, and departments. 


For example, you may choose to create an IT channel (#IT) where team members can submit help tickets or where IT can post important notifications around security. HR may create a channel (#HR) where they can post important reminders to the team about healthcare and wellness benefits, new hires, and promotions. 


User-interface & app support

Slack also has direct messages (DMs) and threads which are offshoots of a conversation within a channel. You can customize which of these types of conversations are highlighted in your sidebar, in addition to Mentions & Reactions, Drafts & Sent Messages, Unread Messages, and Files. It’s very easy to find what you’re looking for and if you ever get stuck, Slack’s in-app chatbot can usually provide a helpful response immediately.  


Video & audio chat

Slack offers video and audio chat functionality both natively and as an integration with third-party apps. Huddles is Slack’s native option and users like that it feels more casual than a Zoom meeting and doesn’t require any prior scheduling or sending calendar invites. (Although you can schedule a Huddle, if you prefer.) It also puts more emphasis on audio-only, always launching by default without video. For many workers, this is a welcome reprieve from the constant pressure to do back-to-back video calls, which can quickly lead to burnout


Huddles also allows you to record audio and video clips and then share them with other team members on a specific channel or as a DM. It also has screen-sharing and live caption capabilities.   



For most businesses, Slack’s security offers enough features to ensure adequate protection from a data breach. It has two-factor authentication, data encryption, and you can adjust permissions and access controls to meet your business’s needs. Unlike Teams, however, it doesn’t have end-to-end encryption. It meets quite a few industry regulations, such as HIPAA, but not as many as Teams. 


Integrations: Best for Google Workspace & Salesforce 

Slack is flexible when it comes to integrations. You can integrate Slack with both Microsoft and Google Workspace but the integration capabilities definitely go further with Google. You can integrate the app with Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, and Google Sheets making it the obvious choice for organizations that rely on these tools for most of their work. 


Slack also integrates seamlessly with Salesforce. (Salesforce bought Slack back in July 2021.) You can send Salesforce records to Slack, set up record alerts in Slack channels, and add Salesforce-related Slack messages to your Salesforce records. Check out even more integrations here


Teams: Microsoft Integration and ‘People’ Focused

Teams’ focus is right where you’d expect it to be: on teams within your organization or group chats. It also has robust integrations with Microsoft, not surprising, as it is a Microsoft application. Here’s what you need to know about Teams: 


Group chats 

One of the main differences between Slack and Teams is how your conversations are organized. In Teams you create different ‘teams’ or group chats rather than Slack’s use of channels. 


Similar to Slack’s channels, you can name each group chat for easier searchability. You can also pin important or frequently used group chats in your sidebar or hide lower priority chats or delete those group chats you no longer use. For more detail on organizing your group chats in Teams, check out this article


User-interface & app support

Teams user-interface is also highly intuitive but with a slightly more corporate feel than Slack. It also has more text formatting options, its messaging center feeling more akin to Microsoft Word. According to ComputerWorld, the in-app support is not as robust as Slack but there is a help section organized by topics, trainings, and new features. 

Video & audio chat

Teams really shines when it comes to their video capabilities. Within the app, you can easily launch a video call with a group chat and improve your remote meeting with a wide array of cool features. Some of our favorites include breakout rooms, virtual whiteboards, and presenter mode. Check out more of these great video features in this post



Like Slack, Teams is also compliant with HIPAA, GDPR, and a wide range of other industry regulations. It also offers end-to-end encryption of messages and calls and enforces two-factor authentication. You can even choose to automatically delete or archive data after an indicated length of time. Any files or notes shared within Teams are stored by native Microsoft Apps such as SharePoint and OneNote which are backed by Microsoft’s encryption. The seamless integration with all of Microsoft 365’s applications, allows you to manage the security of Teams and all associated applications with Microsoft Defender.   


Learn more about Teams’ cybersecurity policies here.  


Integrations: Best for Microsoft 365

Teams integrates seamlessly with all Microsoft applications which means you don’t have to rely on any third-party apps. This is better for security and for keeping your data and files organized and easy to find and access. Also, if you have a Microsoft 365 business plan, Teams is included for free.  


One final note … 

One other consideration before choosing Slack or Teams is pricing. If you’re already using Microsoft 365, then Teams is the clear winner as it is included in your plan. For organizations that use Google Workspace, Slack has a free plan for an unlimited number of users but with limited features. Once you go outside of that free plan, the cost per user is higher. See more details on pricing here.

Feature Photo by Mapbox on Unsplash

Related posts: 

6 Ways to Use Microsoft Power Automate to Improve Workflows

How to Remove an Employee from Google Workspace Without Losing Data

Google Hangouts Fully Migrates to Google Chat Nov 1, 2022: Here’s What You Need to Know


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