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Connect Slack and Microsoft Teams – 4 ways you may not know about

Insights February 27, 2019
Connect Slack and Microsoft Teams
Dominic Kent

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Connect Slack and Microsoft Teams – 4 ways you may not know about

Connect Slack and Microsoft Teams

As enterprises find more instances where fragmentation occurs within diverse teams, federation and interoperability is not enough. Chat needs to 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 3 ways to connect Slack and Microsoft Teams then gone out and found a better one.

Best of Enterprise Connect

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.

Most apps require additional user interfaces introduced into your workplace
Most apps that connect Slack & Microsoft teams require additional chat clients introduced into your workplace

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.

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 scaleable. 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? 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

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. The connector 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.

4- The better solution?
Full synchronization between Slack and Microsoft Teams

You’ve already chosen your collaboration tool or tools of choice. So, introducing another chat client is out of the question. When searching for a way to connect Slack and Microsoft Teams, the tool needs to be “behind the scenes” syncing everything together. This means your users continue to their preferred app and interoperability can do its thing in the background.

Best Innovation for Collaboration

Mio’s “full synchronization” feature works completely in the background of existing messaging platforms to create seamless chat interoperability across channels and DMs, with only a one-time setup required by the admin. So, rather than sourcing a replacement app or constant configuration, you have a solution that allows you to continue with your preferred app and collaborate across platform.

Connect Slack and Microsoft Teams without changing employee habits

Other attempts at this kind of technology require users to change behavior by using a special tool and yet another workflow for users to remember.

Mio’s user experience doesn’t change a single thing for the user. It requires no change of habit or training for employees. For example, if a Slack user sends a message in a channel to a Microsoft Teams user, they can do this as they have always done in Slack prior to Mio. Other attempts at this kind of technology require users to change behavior by using a special tool, or by requiring admins to manually connect and configure individual channels and/or people. Mio is a “set and forget” solution.

Mio provides comprehensive interoperability and syncs all the features your teams depend on everyday. These include:

Mio feature matrix for Slack, Cisco Webex Teams and Microsoft Teams
Mio feature matrix

To see how Mio keeps your teams in sync, and provides seamless messaging interoperability, check out this video or get started by hitting the button below.

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  1. […] For teams that use Slack with Microsoft Teams, rather than Cisco Webex Teams, I’ve sourced 4 ways to connect the platforms. […]