Enterprise Messaging News + Insights by Mio

Did you know? There are now over 230 alternatives to Slack!!

Insights October 5, 2018
There are now 230 alternatives to Slack


Did you know? There are now over 230 alternatives to Slack!!

Alternatives to Slack

Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and Cisco Webex Teams. The industry that Slack began is growing more crowded each day. Now, full of loads of great alternatives to Slack. 

Email might not be completely dead yet, but it’s no longer the only way for people to communicate at work. Today, real-time enterprise messaging applications are growing increasingly popular. Nemertes research shows that 80% of companies are using or planning on using collaboration and chat apps in 2018.

So what does the rise of new applications mean to your business, and most importantly, how can you stop the growing threat of fragmentation?

Let’s first take a look at just how much the market has fragmented in the last few years.

The big alternatives to Slack

From 2016-2017, we saw many new entrants in enterprise messaging. In 2018, we’ve now also seen significant consolidation (ex: Slack and Atlassian).

Here are 4 of the top contenders from the past year or so:

  1. Microsoft Teams
    Not too long ago, the two most significant competitors in the enterprise messaging space were Slack and Skype. Since then, Microsoft has upgraded its enterprise chat strategy with Microsoft Teams, a tool more focused on cloud-based collaboration and real-time messaging. Microsoft even introduced a free version of their Teams app, to help drive adoption from non-Office 365 users. Microsoft Teams offers:
    • Scheduling and calendaring
    • Direct and team messaging
    • Voice and video calling
    • File sharing

Microsoft Teams released a free version of their application this year for up to 300 users, ideal for those who want to “try” the Teams system before they buy it. 

Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams

2.  Cisco Webex Teams

Although Cisco’s “Spark” application

for workplace messaging has been around for a little longer than the last year, 2018 is when Cisco decided to rebrand their service as Webex Teams. With the rebrand not only changing the icon and name, but it also paved the way for plenty of new updates to the app too, including everything from Giphy integrations, to whiteboards for sketching and sharing ideas. Other features include:

  •         Team and Direct Messaging
  •         Voice and Video Calling
  •         Scheduling and Calendaring
  •         File Sharing
  •         End-to-end encryption.

When Cisco purchased BroadSoft this year, it also upgraded it’s chat solution with the enterprise-ready solutions of a telecoms giant. Combining the Spark collaboration features with the

BroadSoft calling and core voice components gives Cisco a unique position in the market.

Cisco Webex Teams
Cisco Webex Teams

3.     Zoho Cliq

Zoho Cliq is the updated version of Zoho chat. Initially created for business communication, Zoho Cliq enables employees to collaborate and view multiple conversations at once in a column-style screen. The Cliq application is part of the comprehensive Zoho office software package. Additional features include:

  •         Video and audio chat
  •         Access multiple conversations at once
  •         Unlimited storage for business knowledge
  •         Integration with third-party apps and Zoho tools
  •         Automation bots

Zoho Cliq stands out because it’s one of the only team messaging apps available with a column-style interface. This means that you can host multiple private chats within the same window, ideal for when you need to stay in touch with more than one person, but not in a group format.


4.     Google Hangouts Chat

Google Hangouts Chat is one of the most exciting Enterprise chat tools to appear in the last year. Hangouts Chat emerged in February 2018, offering a platform for messaging, SMS, video chat and VoIP. Part of the Google G-Suite for office productivity, features include:

  •         Group chat
  •         Video and voice calling
  •         Screen sharing
  •         Gmail integration
  •         Connects to Google Voice for SMS texting, phone calls, and voicemail

Google Hangouts Chat is particularly effective for voice chat and instant messaging. Combined with the other G-Suite services, it can provide a rich selection of communication and collaboration tools for the modern business.

Google Hangouts Chat
Google Hangouts Chat

Unified Comms players

Outside of the typical collaboration industry, we see more and more Unified Comms players entering the collaboration market.

Vendors like Unify and RingCentral now include messaging and collaboration offerings in their solutions. Glip and Circuit act as potential threats to the larger players in the messaging wars – particularly if the focus (mainly in Europe) is still on telephony. Could this be a way into the war or will the big three trump these solutions on sheer brand power?

The other 230 alternatives to Slack

Research shows that from 2016 to 2017, the “other” category of Enterprise messaging has grown from 8.3% to 23%… and even more in


Let’s look at just some of the biggest names to appear over the last few years for instance:

    • Workplace by Facebook – 2016
    • Amazon Chime – 2017
    • IBM Watson Workplace 2016
    • Twist – 2017
    • Rocket.Chat – 2017
  • Pingpad – 2016

In fact, there are 137 alternatives to Slack listed on “Alternativeto.net”, and 224 listed on Capterra.com!

Interoperability: the cure for fragmentation?

The apps above are just a handful of the alternatives to Slack introduced into the market in the last 12 months. As employees continue to receive a wider range of choices for their enterprise messaging needs, it’s important to make sure that choice doesn’t lead to fragmentation.

Enterprise chat apps certainly deliver a productivity boost. However, many will prefer to work with the productivity tools they feel comfortable with. In fact, approximately half use 11 or more collaboration apps every day.

Rather than attempting to choose the right app in an environment where options are constantly changing, businesses are better off prizing interoperability with a tool like Mio instead. With Mio, you don’t have to worry about finding the chat tool that’s right for everyone. Instead, you can unify every tool into one simple, streamlined method of communication.

Mio is simple to set up:

    • Sync all the chat apps your teams use by creating your Mio Hub (and read more
    • about channel syncing here)
    • Add all teams, spaces & channels
    • Team members in your Mio Hub can immediately chat in DMs or groups with members on other platforms
    • File sharing, threaded messages, reactions and the ability to edit and delete messages are all supported
  • New channels or spaces an employee is invited to will be synced in the primary chat platform they prefer to use

To find out more about Mio, check out this demo video of cross platform messaging.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to leave a comment, and follow us on LinkedIn & Twitter to join in the messaging conversation.

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