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Ask a question. Give advice. Share resources. Looking for software or hardware recommendations? Want to know how others are using text messaging in their work? Trying to find examples of IT policies? The NTEN Discuss forum is a great resource for all of the above and more! It's the general discussion list for the NTEN community, and folks all over the US (and the world) are sharing their questions, answers, and news about nonprofit technology.

Slack vs Teams

  • 1.  Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 04, 2019 07:51

    We will be integrating a messaging platform in the New Year. Some of our team members are familiar with Slack and are pushing for that platform. However, some are on Teams and really enjoy it. We have the Office365 suite. It seems more ppl are moving to Teams because of the integration. The Slackers are definitely more vocal!
    What do you recommend and why?

    Thanks in advance!



    ------------------------------
    Kendall Charlton
    Virtual Learning Director
    HealthMPowers
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 2.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 04, 2019 10:43
    I've never used Teams and can't speak to its advantages/disadvantages. But with regard to Slack, we started using it a couple of years ago for internal communications. The unplanned bonus, however, was that some of our vendors use it to communicate with customers . As a result, I'm able to use Slack to communicate with people I work closely with, both inside and outside the organization.

    No vendor has ever invited me or anybody on staff to connect with them using Teams, but several have asked us to connect using Slack. Anecdotal, I know... I'd be curious to know the experiences of others.

    Good luck!

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    Chris O'Connor
    Director of Information Technology
    Atlanta, GA
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 3.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 04, 2019 10:49

    CAHF/QCHF is using Teams for collaboration with outside vendors.  So far, so good!  It's nice to have all the information gathered about a side project in one place.

    Some of the staff here love teams; some don't open it (yet).

     

    It has been working well for us so far, and ... you know ..... FREE.

     

     

    Beth Camero

    Technology Manager

    Quality Care Health Foundation

    California Association of Health Facilities

    916-432-5183

     

    2020SavetheDate_EmailSignature-01

     

     

     




    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 4.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 06, 2019 09:43
    Hi Beth,
    Our Communities director would like to use Teams with the Administrators at all the Nursing Homes we support.  The goal is a simple, secure, file exchange.  The Admins are not (for now) interested in the chat functionality.

    May I ask how you handle the collaboration with external vendors in terms of permissions on the SharePoint repository and how you ensure the boundary between those Teams and the ones exclusively for your internal group use?  Do you add the vendors as Guest accounts on Azure?

    Thanks!

    ------------------------------
    Julia Sheehy
    Avila Institute of Gerontology, Inc.
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 5.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 04, 2019 10:55
    Anecdotal, but...

    Our IT department keeps trying to make Teams happen.  I'm currently a part of three internal Teams -- all of which are dead.

    Meanwhile, I'm on 10+ Slack workspaces with external agencies, communities, and related organizations -- all of which are incredibly active, useful places of collaboration and discussion.

    Jess

    ------------------------------
    Jess Snyder
    Senior Manager, Web Systems, Digital Media | Digital Media
    jsnyder@weta.org | 703-998-2002 | @jesseves

    WETA Public Television and Classical WETA
    3939 Campbell Avenue | Arlington, VA 22206
    www.weta.org | facebook.com/wetatvfm | @wetatvfm
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 6.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 05, 2019 08:33
    We currently work with both platforms - Teams because of the Office 365 integration and Slack because of its external capabilities working with outside consultants/vendors.  Slack is a clear winner for that reason alone.  But there is also the reality of using a tool that actually makes the moment to moment work flow easier,  more manageable and more satisfying.  Communication is critical to our work and anything that speeds and simplifies that communication adds enormous value.  Slack is an intuitive tool that simply makes the day better.  Why would one choose a tool that doesn't enhance our work (and our job satisfaction)?  Yes, "free" is appealing.  But as with all things digital, free has a cost.  And then there is the ethical issue of accepting the power of a monopoly...... Slack works. It is that simple.

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    Ted Davis
    Web Director
    Stamford, CT
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 7.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 06, 2019 10:30
    Edited by Ellery July Dec 06, 2019 15:01
    Ted

    I am completely confused by your response. I use both Slack and Teams.  I have several external integrations and users with Teams (Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Jira, and even Slack). What integrations do you want to do that you can not?  Slack is a great product, and I use it because I work with several consultants. It is a great communication tool (one of the best) but is not good for project management. Slack is suitable for the person who likes a todo list (which is all most people need), but Teams is better for group Project Management.  Slack is good for telling people what needs to be done; Teams is better for figuring out what needs to be done. For instance, in Teams, you can assign/reject/accept tasks I have yet to figure that out without a paid third-party in Slack.  It is sometimes hard to figure out who is best to do a job and have found Teams get us to that point faster, and in Slack, people just get assigned by the powers that be.

    Both Teams and Slack have free versions, neither free version I would recommend unless you are new to them, so am also confused about your free comment, are you referring to Slack or Teams?

    Being a Philosophy undergrad major - ethics is in the eye of the beholder. For instance, do you know that MBS and Andreessen Horowitz are significant investors in Slack, should their involvement be an ethical consideration? If yes, how much?

    Bottom line, whatever you choose to go all in. For 90% of organizations either will work, do not worry wht you choose, for the next 5 years - it will not be an issue.
    I have only seen a couple of organizations use more than 30% of either capability. Being in both is little crazy-making. If you want to be more crazy-making check out Basecamp which is better than both Slack and Teams.

    BaseCamp has been around longer and can do just about everything Slack and Teams does but because of limited PR they get no love or usage.  Plus the price is decent for the growing NPO or NGO. The love only goes to the two biggest players - both of which are trying to be monopolies in this digital area. Neither IMO is the best but I do use them.

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    Ellery July
    Saint Paul, MN
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 8.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 09, 2019 09:39

    Thank you for the reply, your responses helped me understand your viewpoint. It is clear that our views are different not just about how to best use Slack or Teams – but other worldly things.

    Just to be clear I do not see your viewpoint has bad - just different.

    Again. I want to that for your reply.



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    Ellery July
    Saint Paul, MN
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 9.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 05, 2019 09:02
    That is a tricky situation. Choosing a single messaging platform (or any common platform) for your organization when there are entrenched interests already in place will require some change management.

    Rather than recommending one solution or the other, I'd suggest creating some sort of messaging task force (made up of staff representatives from both the Slack and Teams camps) to develop your list of prioritized requirements, run trials of both platforms, make a final decision, and communicate the decision to the rest of the staff.

    Hopefully, everyone can agree that the worst outcome for the organization would be to use two different products for the exact same purpose. Using that point of agreement as a starting point, and acknowledging that both Slack and Teams are robust platforms with wide adoption, an inclusive and transparent process may help you come to an outcome that has legitimacy throughout the office.

    Good luck!

    ------------------------------
    Tom Jelen
    Strategic Consultant, Technology Management
    DelCor Technology Solutions
    Silver Spring, MD
    He/him/his
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 10.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 05, 2019 11:38

    Hi Kendall,

     

    We use Teams.  I am on an endless quest to streamline it.  The social-media flavor to the conversation pane was a real turn-off to my older colleagues.  Adapting to the conversation thread for project discussion instead of 500 emails is split right down generational lines.  My 60+ year old coworkers simply will not budge and are vocal about how "ugly" Teams is.  Whether I were to implement Slack or not,  I don't sense it would matter.  Resistance to user adoption can kill even the best "killer app".

     

    That being said I am marching steadily well past 50 while the nature of my work requires endless adaptation.  Before I get pounced on for being ageist please let me point out that we have other people older than myself on Collaboris and other forums using Teams.   It is a mindset,  not a physical age.    I can't really change how people feel about the tools they use to get work done.  I present it as best as possible and let go of the outcome.

     

    If I had to implement Teams over again I would restrict the ability to make a new Team and I would explain how each Channel matches a Project.  I would spend a LOT more time explaining Planner (easily embedded into a tab in a Team and just one of many PM tools you could use) and walk each person through viewing their aggregate Tasks and I would spend more time on training Project Managers how to assign Tasks. The Planner application doesn't require a description.  I wish it did.

     

    Almost all of my former colleagues elsewhere are using or have used Slack.  It is reported to be a really great tool. 

     

    The shift to Teams is largely (my opinion) due to the power of the Microsoft marketing juggernaut and interoperability with the rest of the Office 365 – particularly SharePoint.   Perceived ease of use and cost wins over the decision makers whether the trench mice agree or not.  If you have a 365 enterprise subscription it is very likely you already have the option to use Teams... so if you were the CEO and not terribly interested in the nuts and bolts of the tech tools you might think: why go outside the MS ecosystem?

     

    Best of luck no matter what you choose.   I got this just yesterday from Jessica Vesper of guivisions.com :  https://fleep.io/blog/best-slack-alternatives/    

     

     

     

     

     

     

     




    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 11.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 05, 2019 12:21
    My organization uses Microsoft Teams, and the short story is that if you are already in a Microsoft environment (as we are) it's cheap and easy to deploy. However, Team's UX, integrations, and video conferencing experience are not as strong as Slack - although Teams is narrowing the gap.

    Here's the longer story. We "upgraded" from Microsoft's Skype for Business product (not to be confused with Skype) to Microsoft Teams in February 2019 for chat, video calls, and conventional direct-dial telephone calls. Compared to SfB, Teams was a huge improvement. Microsoft is ending support for SfB anyhow. Although my users enjoy Teams for chat, nearly everyone considers the video call experience poor compared to Zoom and similar conferencing services. We conducted a user trial of various video/chat/phone platforms, and the chief complaint was that Teams displays video streams for no more than four participants at once. We also find that Teams taxes laptops' resources and is a battery hog on mobile (not scientifically proven).

    Given that video calls are extremely important to our work, I negotiated favorable Zoom pricing and have now provided Zoom accounts to my entire staff. Previously, Zoom accounts were a scarce resource. We are also have set up Zoom Rooms for all physical conference rooms and will soon be using Zoom Phone for our conventional telephone calls as well.

    Zoom does have a native chat function, but it falls short of both Teams and Slack, in our experience. However, Zoom's CIO has told me that it's their top roadmap item.

    If you qualify, Slack's nonprofit discount is 85%, which brings down their Standard Plan from $6.67/user/month to $1/user/month. The Slack-to Zoom integration is quite robust. Therefore, because we recently qualified or the discounted pricing, we are considering moving from Teams to Slack in early 2020.
      
    Andrew

    Andrew J. Cohen
    Vice President for Technology Strategy and Operations
    (o)  703-449-6566

    Hillel International
    Charles and Lynn Schusterman
    International Center
    800 Eighth Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20001

    www.hillel.org






    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 12.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 08, 2019 12:55
    Honestly from an administration standpoint if you are on office 365 it is much easier to mange access with teams. It's not another system someone needs to keep track of and update. If you plan on doing more than just messaging like file sharing, calendars, projects e.t.c then teams integrates with the rest of office 365, giving you three security and auditing. If you just want messaging then go with slack. But I would still ensure you have a good system for reporting changes in partners and employees so that access is updated properly.

    One more note. If you plan or do you use teams internally then definitely use it getting your staff to go back and forth with systems will be problematic. Pick one and use it for everything.

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    Anthony Caufield
    Organizer
    North Las Vegas, NV
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 13.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 09, 2019 13:30
    I agree with Anthony. If you're an Office365 shop, then Teams is super easy to start using. It's easy to host calls -- you can even invite external participants -- and collaborate on notes. You can share files and even allow for multiple people to edit them at roughly the same time. Things are a lot easier to find in Teams, than in Slack, and is overall a lot less "messy," in my opinion.

    I think the only downside to Teams is that things can sometimes slow down when sharing screens or video chatting.

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    Meredith Begin
    Lead Customer Success Manager
    Detroit, MI
    mbegin@uplandsoftware.com
    M: 202.449.0401
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 14.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 09, 2019 13:41

    Speaking of Teams video meetings – on December 6 Microsoft rolled out their Live closed captioning.

    It was AMAZING.  It was perfect the whole time I listened/watched for an hour. 

     

     

    Beth Camero

    Technology Manager

    Quality Care Health Foundation

    California Association of Health Facilities

    916-432-5183

     

    2020SavetheDate_EmailSignature-01

     




    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 15.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 09, 2019 14:28

    In my experience this is less a question of one tool vs another tool but choices about which to use in which instance.

     

    We are a consulting organization and for SURE we have a primary chat tool for team collaboration. However, we also work with clients and vendors and as such we are frequently using the tools they are using, which are often different than ours. So depending on the situation we choose a different tool.

     

    You may find that you need to interact using Slack because that is who your vendor or partners or board uses, even if internally you are using Teams. Or Google's version of these tools.

     

    We use RingCentral for all our phones, meetings and yes chat. (cheaper than slack, allows us to connect with guests into our internal chat rooms as well as to set up dedicated rooms with external folks.) yet we also use Slack because some of our clients only use slack.

     

    ��

     

    Jeff

     

    ---------------------

    Jeffrey D. Herron, Partner / EVP Client Relations
    Beaconfire RED

    a division of Allegiance Fundraising Group
    direct: 571.814.2202 | cell: 202.841.5931

    Jeff.herron@beaconfire-red.com | @jdherron

     




    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 16.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 09, 2019 08:44
    My team spent a month testing out Slack and then the plan was to switch over and test out Teams for a month to see how they compare (before rolling it out to the whole company). We didn't even last a month testing Teams. It was pretty clear from the start that it wasn't a fit especially after we enjoyed Slack for that test month. I feel like so many people use Slack now in general. The adoption was also nice when we rolled it out internally.

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    Contessa Siegner
    Sr. Director of IT & Operations
    Matthews, NC
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 17.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 09, 2019 13:14
    I read this interesting article about Basecamp's chat compared to Slack/Teams and the many considerations one takes when choosing tools for collaboration. It feels like a good contribution to this discussion.

    Like @Tom Jelen mentions, more than a little proactive change management is probably more important than which tool you select.

    Finally, this is total conjecture, but my gut says that people already using Slack are often (though certainly not always) early-ish adopters and probably a little more flexible about tool usage in general. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I wonder if it's harder to get people to go from Teams Slack than it is to go from Slack to Teams.


    ------------------------------
    Mark Root-Wiley

    MRW Web Design / MRWweb.com / @MRWweb
    Thoughtful WordPress Website for Nonprofits & Mission-Driven Organizations
    Seattle, WA
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 18.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 10, 2019 08:33
    We used Slack for awhile and transitioned from Teams. (Definitely a huge leap forward from Teams.) It was really nice in many ways, but then in our search for project management workflow tools, we found Hive. It seemed to bring together the best of Slack, Asana, and others. We are 100% in love with Hive as a communication and collaboration tool - amazing customer support during onboarding as well. We can invite external users to our projects for free and collaborate with clients. Highly recommend!

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    Chantal Sheehan
    Primary Contact
    Melbourne, FL
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 19.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 16, 2019 12:02
    We tried to roll out Slack a couple years ago, but it didn't catch on. We've recently upgraded to Office 365 and started using Teams, and some of us really love it. The same folks who didn't really embrace Slack have not fully embraced Teams. They just see it as one more annoying tech tool they have to learn. I would say that more people are using Teams than ever used Slack. For me, Teams seems more intuitive than Slack. I never quite understood what Slack did other than to use it for chat. But Teams is easy to use and integrates well with both Microsoft products and Google Drive.

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    Jill Connaway
    Executive Assistant
    San Francisco, CA
    jill.connaway@learningforaction.com
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 20.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 19, 2019 11:18
    Hi All,
    Thank you so much for your feedback! I took this thread back to the cross functional committee created to determine which platform would work best for our organization and it was very helpful!
    I am happy to report we have decided as a committee to move forward with TEAMS. It seems to offer very similar features (maybe not as hip but...) and it is the right price for our growing organization (FREE with our 365 subscription). The integration with the Microsoft Suite was the main selling point.

    With this being said, I'd like to open up a new topic! How has your organization rolled this out? Any words of wisdom? PPT's? Tutorials?

    Thanks,
    Kendall

    ------------------------------
    Kendall Charlton
    Virtual Learning Director
    HealthMPowers
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 21.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 20, 2019 09:15

    Hi Kendall –

    To effectively roll out Teams at your organization, you'll probably want to develop some governance standards up-front. Ideally, the same committee that selected Teams could come up with competencies and standards to guide staff, as well as your training plan during the roll out.


    Digital workplace competencies

    Define the basic competencies all staff needs to have to work effectively using Teams (this could be broadened to other tools you use in your office).

    For example, every staff person should know how to:

    • Chat with another staff person using Microsoft Teams.
    • Use rich formatting to better format messages.
    • Use Delivery Options to prioritize messages.
    • @Mention another staff person.
    • Schedule and host a meeting using Teams.

    After defining the competencies, you can make sure that all staff receives training in these competencies and that your onboarding process ensures each new staff person gets the same training. You may want to accommodate different learning styles by offering some in-person brown bag training, links to online training resources, and written tip sheets.

    Microsoft offers free, live, online training classes and they also have on-demand courses available via YouTube. Additional resources are available in the End user training for MS Teams website.

    Internal communication standards

    Clarify the communication channels (e.g., email, Teams, phone) available to staff, as well as guidelines for using the channels. Here are some sample standards for Teams:

    Channel 

    When to Use 

    Guidelines 

    Teams Chat 

     

    For less-structured, primarily synchronous discussion between internal staff (one-on-one or groups). 

    • Include a headshot for your profile photo. 
    • Check the recipient's status to make sure that person is available if you expect a quick response. 
    • Keep messages brief. 
    • Aim to reply quickly and change your status if you do not want to be disturbed for a period of time. 

    Teams Channel Discussion 

    For structured discussion about topics and projects, all staff announcements, and general questions. 

    • Contact the Internal Collaboration committee before creating a new Team or Channel.
    • Use rich formatting to better format your message. 
    • Use Delivery Options to prioritize messages.
    • @mention a particular staff person if you want to draw someone's attention. 

    Teams Video Call

    For internal video calls with small groups of staff. 

    • Turn on video whenever possible.  
    • Mute yourself when not speaking if you are in a noisy setting. 
    • Ask for permission before recording or auto-transcribing the call. 

     

    Hope that helps!



    ------------------------------
    Tom Jelen
    Strategic Consultant, Technology Management
    DelCor Technology Solutions
    Silver Spring, MD
    He/him/his
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 22.  RE: Slack vs Teams

    Posted Dec 20, 2019 13:23
    I love this communications standards table! In terms of that "When to Use" column, I thought this recent article from Basecamp about the pros and cons of group chat was really thorough and even handed. They highlight a lot of potential pitfalls that are good to know about as you head into rolling this out.

    ------------------------------
    Mark Root-Wiley

    MRW Web Design / MRWweb.com / @MRWweb
    Thoughtful WordPress Website for Nonprofits & Mission-Driven Organizations
    Seattle, WA
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline