In recent months, most businesses have had to find new and innovative ways to communicate with their staff and customers. The need for video conference calls and instant messaging platforms has never been so high, and many business owners have had to choose between the range of options out there, including Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, and Slack. We take a closer look at the features of each, including why Microsoft has moved over from Skype for Business, to replace it with Teams.
|Microsoft Teams||Skype for Business||Slack|
|Online meetings for up to 10,000 users||✔||✘||✘|
Since the coronavirus outbreak, with more people working from home, Microsoft Teams has exploded in popularity.
Microsoft Teams is essentially a comprehensive collaboration platform that has a wide array of functionalities. As with Slack, it can be used for instant messaging, video calls, and file sharing, however, it has a number of other capabilities which are ideal for business settings. These include document storage, and also the synchronisation with other Microsoft applications like OneDrive, SharePoint, and Planner. These allow you to coordinate work with other colleagues, and also make live edits to documents within the application.
The main advantages of using Microsoft Teams are:
Find out more about how to use Microsoft Teams effectively, to thoroughly understand what this platform has to offer businesses.
While Teams has a number of fantastic features, there are a few disadvantages to be aware of:
Microsoft Teams is a part of Microsoft’s 365 software bundle, which varies in price from around £3.80 to £15.10 per user per month (for Microsoft 365 Business plans). Read our Office 365 comparison page to learn more about the different packages and what they include.
Microsoft created Skype back in 2003. When it first arrived, Skype provided a revolutionary way to communicate with people all over the world via video call. Then, in 2015, Microsoft developed a second Skype platform – Skype for Business, which was introduced as part of the Microsoft Office suite.
Skype for Business has similar capabilities to Teams, in that it can be used to host video and phone calls, and as an instant messenger platform. It also facilitates file sharing, including multimedia files. Because of its similarities to Teams, Microsoft has decided to retire Skype for Business as of July 2021. From September 2019, new customers no longer had access to Skype for Business and instead were directed to Teams. Existing customers will be guided through the transfer to Teams in 2021.
The main reason why Microsoft has opted to close down Skype for Business is that it offers very similar functionalities to Teams. While both share a range of useful features, it’s Microsoft Teams that ultimately has more to offer. The main features of each are:
|Microsoft Teams||Skype for Business|
|✔ Online meetings for up to 10,000 users||✔ Online meetings for up to 250 users|
|✔ Instant messenger||✔ Instant messenger|
|✔ Integration with Office 365 apps||✔ Integration with Office apps|
|✔ Enterprise-grade security||✔ Enterprise-grade security|
|✔ File sharing|
Free and easy to use, Slack is one of the most popular communication apps in offices all over the world.
Slack is a communication and collaboration platform designed to facilitate digital conversation between colleagues. It can be used not only to chat but to share files such as documents and images among one or more users too. As well as instant messages, Slack can also be used for phone calls and video calls, and screen sharing during such calls.
Some of the well-loved features of Slack that continue to make it such a popular app are:
Many companies find that the basic package is plenty, however for extra benefits such as more memory, or multi-user video calls, the price increases to either £5.25 or £9.75 per month*. (Prices are correct at the time of writing, according to slack.com.)
However, despite its popularity, there are a few drawbacks to opting for Slack as your company’s main communication application. These include:
Those willing to pay the monthly fees can enjoy more services, however, the functionalities within Slack are somewhat limited compared to Teams and other applications.
Since more people are now working from home, the need to communicate and collaborate in creative ways has led to a significant growth of businesses signing up to use platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams. Each has their merits, but ultimately, Microsoft Teams offers more in the way of functionality and versatility.
As part of the Office 365 package, our experts here at ramsac will be able to talk you through everything you need to know about Teams, as well as about using the wider suite of software. We can help you migrate seamlessly, find out more about our Microsoft Office 365 service.