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5 Ways to Connect Slack and Microsoft Teams in 2020

Blog March 29, 2020
Connect Slack and Microsoft Teams
Dominic Kent

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5 Ways to Connect Slack and Microsoft Teams in 2020

Connect Slack and Microsoft Teams

As enterprises find more instances where fragmentation occurs within diverse teams, federation and interoperability are not enough.

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 4 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

Federation

Pros:

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 need to turn on the federation facility within their Office 365 admin portal.

Cons:

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

Guest access

Pros:

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.

Microsoft Teams guest access
Microsoft Teams guest access is the number one concern in the Microsoft Tech Community Forum

Cons:

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.

All in one solutions often mean yet another user interfaces for your teams so get used to
All in one chat solutions often mean introducing another chat client your team needs to download and learn how to use.

You may like: These 9 Slack Workflow Automations Will Make a Huge Difference to your Team

2 – Configure webhooks for Slack & Microsoft Teams

Pros:

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.

Typical example of a webhook
Typical example of a webhook

Cons:

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.

Setting up a webhook for Slack
Setting up a webhook for Slack

You may like: Microsoft Teams vs Skype for Business — get to know Teams

3 – Use APIs & bots to connect Slack & Microsoft Teams

Pros:

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.

Slack Microsoft connector
Slack Microsoft connector

Cons:

Most users, especially in the enterprise space, are still in the experimental phase in terms of users being comfortable using them.

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.

Channel Surf can act as a workaround for connecting Slack and Microsoft Teams but is limited by Microsoft's API
Channel Surf can act as a workaround for connecting Slack and Microsoft Teams but is limited by Microsoft’s API.

You may like: Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams Auto-Upgrades: FAQ

4 – Create your own app using an app builder

Pros:

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.

Typical apps available with app builders include Slack and Microsoft Teams
Typical apps available with app builders include Slack and Microsoft Teams

Cons:

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.

You may like: 9 stories from a year talking to Slack, Webex, & Microsoft Teams customers

5 – 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 is creating external federation for Microsoft Teams with Slack.

You’ll be able to 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, sign up to our waitlist here:

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4 Comments
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