6 Ways to Connect Slack and Microsoft Teams in 2020
As businesses find more instances where fragmentation occurs within diverse teams, federation and interoperability
Chat must be native, seamless and simple to administer. Ultimately, enterprises using both apps need to connect Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Most notably, we hear from customers that were thinking about moving from Slack to Microsoft Teams or blocking Slack in favor of Microsoft Teams, and vice versa.
Rather than continue working in silos, we’ve highlighted 6 ways to connect Slack and Microsoft Teams then gone out and found a better one for internal use and a better one for external use.
1 – Connect Slack and Microsoft Teams without
introducing a new chat client
There are services in the marketplace that allow you to federate with other enterprises via their own chat client, but this doesn’t resolve the issue of multiple chat platforms in a single organization.
It does, however, bring them together in a slightly improved chat client.
Natively, apps like Skype for Business also provide this functionality. Skype for Business users just
Some UC providers have started to introduce cross-platform messaging into their collaboration offerings.
Whilst this does remedy the issue of switching between multiple apps, the solution here is to totally replace the solution you are already invested in.
You can message any number of other businesses using most chat apps. But, this comes with the disadvantage of giving up the native app that everybody uses.
You may also like: Ultimate Guide to External Federation between Slack and Teams
Take the typical example where your engineering team loves Slack and your IT and Sales teams prefer Teams.
Guest access on both platforms allows external parties to join in the conversation, but access is limited.
Removing either (or both) of Slack and Microsoft Teams, in favor of a catch-all UC solution, almost always results in using Slack and Teams for some services.
Obviously, this is the ideal scenario for the UC provider. However, they may not always be the best fit for the business.
Moving your messaging stack to a new product could still leave you heavily invested in Microsoft Office 365 – a waste of a powerful app already paid for in your Office 365 strategy.
2 – Configure webhooks for Slack & Microsoft Teams
By using webhooks, you have a low-cost solution to a complex enterprise issue.
Webhooks also take little time to configure per scenario. If the issue exists in a single channel, webhooks are a good solution to a large scale problem.
The downside to using webhooks revolves around the amount of manual configuration required.
When you are dealing with multiple channels in an enterprise scenario, webhooks are simply not scalable.
They also don’t tend to display in a native way, and instead, from a bot.
End users have to re-train behavior in order to message cross-platform, and who has time for that? You? Didn’t think so.
In an organization of a few hundred or more, remembering who uses what platform becomes impossible to mentally track.
News also broke in April 2020 when it was discovered some Slack webhooks has been exposed as potential phishing hooks.
Researchers said there are nearly 131,000 Slack webhook URLs available on the Internet.
3 – Use APIs & bots to connect Slack & Microsoft Teams
Bots for Slack and Microsoft Teams are on the rise. Bots can be leveraged to create a more native experience.
Microsoft publishes a Slack connector in its connector inventory that enables some Slack and Microsoft Teams crossover.
You will benefit from functionality like joining a Slack channel and can even set triggers for certain events.
However, limited functionality stops experiments pretty quickly. For example, direct messaging goes totally unmentioned.
One Github community working on a tool to connect Slack and Microsoft Teams expressed concerns that various API and migration tools are limited to basic functionality.
Most of these solutions are still configuration based.
This means you will spend incredible time and resource making each channel work for you – and maintain this configuration as you add and modify channels.
4 – Create your own app using an app builder
Generally, app builders are simple to use.
With a no-code approach, you don’t need to hire a specialist engineer to connect Slack and Microsoft Teams
You can get a free trial to play around with your requirements.
Most app builders support a wide range of apps to integrate like Slack, Google Sheets, and Trello.
Functionality is limited by the supported features available on a particular app builder.
One user got in touch with Mio for a replacement solution to using an app builder stating:
“I tried an app builder but it was too limited. Threads didn’t work, and users name matching was absent. “
The functionality will also be limited by your own building skills and requirements gathering.
While support is available with most app builders, it is considered a DIY approach to connecting Slack and Microsoft Teams.
5 – Slack and Microsoft Teams calling integration
The integration between Slack and Microsoft Teams VoIP functionality arrived as part of a comprehensive update at Enterprise Connect, April 2020.
The update allows for Microsoft Teams calls to start through Slack. You can access the integration through the shortcuts button on Slack. This lightning-bolt shaped icon near your message input field allows you to start a Teams call instantly.
If you prefer the Slash command option on Slack, then you can opt for the /Teams-Calls to launch your Teams call from Slack instead.
Unfortunately, the Slack and Teams calling integration is limited. It only connects one aspect of Slack and Microsoft Teams.
You can start a call through Microsoft Teams in Slack this way, but you can’t send instant messages or send files from someone on Slack to someone on Teams.
Tom Arbuthnot, Principal Solutions Architect at Modality Systems and Microsoft MVP, agrees the Slack and Teams calling integration is not a complete solution for connecting Slack and Microsoft Teams.
“The Slack “integration” to Microsoft Teams, while clever, is really just Microsoft Teams meeting join link in Slack that fires up Microsoft Teams to join the Teams meeting.”
Users often ask for further integration like being able to directly call or chat from one platform to another.
Team collaboration tools should allow access to a wide range of communication options. That makes the latest integration restrictive. After all, there’s a lot more to Slack and Microsoft Teams than just calling.
In an interview for UC Today, our CEO Tom Hadfield commented on news of the integration:
“The future of intercompany collaboration relies on full interoperability between Slack and Microsoft Teams. Cross-platform calling is a good start, but our customers tell us what they really need is cross-platform shared channels and direct messaging.”
6 – Federation to connect to external guests across Slack and Teams
Do you communicate with people outside your organization as well?
According to research, they’ll likely be using Slack or Microsoft Teams, but not necessarily the same as you.
It’s hard to chat with freelancers, contractors, and suppliers when you’re not on the same platform.
When this is the case, it becomes extremely unproductive moving out of your app to accommodate your guest.
Or even worse, end up resorting to email like it’s the 90s. (Okay, email has a purpose but you get the point).
That’s why Mio has created universal channels for Microsoft Teams with Slack.
You can stay in Teams and send messages to your contractors, suppliers, or clients that use Slack.
They stay in their platform too and Mio translates the messages across platform.
And it’s not just messages that are supported! GIFs, emojis, channels, DMs, and message edits/deletes are all supported.
If this sounds like something you need, try your first universal channel for free here.