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Zoom vs Slack – Which is Best for Your Business in 2020?

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Zoom vs Slack
Dominic Kent

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Zoom vs Slack – Which is Best for Your Business in 2020?

Zoom vs Slack

Which is the better choice? Let’s put Slack vs Zoom to the test.

We’ve compiled this comparison of Slack vs Zoom to make your choice of which platform to use (or which platform to use when) easier.

Let’s get straight into what each platform does.

What is Zoom?

Zoom Video Communications launched in 2011. The service offered the world a more convenient way to chat over video. 

As people reject time-consuming downloads and installations, Zoom provides something new. With a couple of clicks, you can be online and collaborating in seconds. 

Today, Zoom combines cloud video collaboration, simple meetings, group messaging, and file sharing.

The platform is easy-to-use and convenient, with everything from screen sharing to HD audio. Plus, Zoom is available on all devices too, from your Mac to your Samsung Galaxy. 

And fragmenting the messaging app market even further, Zoom has now launched Zoom Chat.

Zoom Chat

What is Slack?

Slack is a messaging and collaboration tool for teams and businesses. Launched in 2013, it’s one of the original team collaboration services

While Zoom was still pursuing video domination, Slack was already introducing us to a new way of work. Today’s teams primarily use Slack for flexible and convenient messaging. 

Slack interface

Slack sets itself apart from the crowd by being one of the most flexible software solutions. There are hundreds of Slack integrations available. You can even integrate Slack with Zoom!

Zoom features

Zoom is an ideal alternative to glitchy and complex video software. The service offers plenty of features for high-quality meetings. You can set up video conferences with virtual backgrounds, host webinars, and create breakout rooms. 

Zoom virtual backgrounds could be a key differentiator in your decision of Slack vs Zoom

Zoom’s audio transcript feature turns audio into text for easier discoverability. Zoom also offers Zoom Chat for messaging, and Zoom Phone for telephony. With plenty of flexible integrations, you can also combine your favorite tools with Zoom. 

The major features of Zoom include:

  • Zoom Phone for full VoIP access
  • Zoom Meetings for web-based conferencing
  • Video webinars and town-hall meetings
  • Business messaging with Zoom Chat
  • Integrations with many leading tools (like Slack)
  • Conference rooms (with no downloads)
  • Support for up to 1,000 participants and 10,000 viewers

Slack features 

So, what happens when you compare Zoom vs Slack?

Designed as an in-house communications tool, Slack is as close to a collaboration staple as it gets.

If Zoom is a video tool at its core, then Slack’s heart is in messaging. 

If you’re looking for a place to consistently communicate with the rest of your team, Slack can give you that. It offers everything from group messaging with message threading to one-on-one conversations. 

Slack thread

Core Slack features above and beyond messaging include:

  • Custom notifications and do not disturb
  • Secure encryption end-to-end
  • Integrations with hundreds of leading tools
  • Guest access and shared channels (for external chat)
  • Audio and video conferencing
  • Screen and file sharing
  • One-on-one or group conversations

This team collaboration tool brings all the moving parts of your business together in one place. 

What’s more, Slack integrates with dozens of other tools too, from Box, to Google Drive. 

With Slack you can:

  • Share files and documents
  • Speak in a group via messaging, or one-on-one
  • Enjoy dozens of integrations, or make your own with the API
  • Access encryptions for securely transferred data
  • Use two-way audio and video calling
  • Use comprehensive search for your conversations
  • Create full user profiles

Zoom vs Slack benefits

Zoom benefits

There were 200 million users active on Zoom in April 2020. 

People love Zoom because it’s easy to set up and use. One click is all it takes to start or join any meeting. Zoom also offers plenty of participant and collaboration controls. You don’t need any help from an IT team. 

Other Zoom benefits include:

  • Waiting rooms for your videos: Waiting rooms make it easy to control your meetings. Hosts and co-hosts can add and remove participants and adjust their level of control.
  • Phone systems: Zoom Phone ensures you can connect your collaboration apps to your PBX. Small businesses can run their entire communication stack through Zoom.
  • Marketplace: Zoom integrates with dozens of third-party apps, including Slack and PayPal. Open APIs also make it easier to create your own integrations.
  • Zoom hardware: Build your own Zoom Rooms with high-level hardware. Hardware as a service keeps costs low too. You just pay for the meeting tools you need.
  • Flexibility: Join Zoom from a Mac, PC, Linux, iOS, or Android device. Using Zoom is the same from any device thanks to a commitment to consistency.
  • Affordable straightforward pricing: You can get started for free. Scaling Zoom is easy too, with predictable and custom pricing packages.
  • Growing security strategy: Zoom is currently investing in better security for everyone. Zoom encrypts all audio, video, and screen sharing data as standard. 
  • Breakout rooms: Create up to 50 breakout rooms and split users into different environments for conversations. Breakout rooms make it easy to control team conversations. 

Slack benefits

For quick chat and constant conversations between colleagues, Slack is excellent. It also has tons of integrations for extra functionality. You can set your team up with Slack in minutes. Benefits of Slack include:

  • Shared Channels: Shared channels make it easy to work with external contacts. You can connect your Slack channels with the channels of contractors and other teams.
  • Integrations: Slack has hundreds of integrations. You can link your chat app to workflow tools, CRM systems and other must-have features.
  • Communication options: Slack offers calls via voice and video. You can also share screens to add context to your conversations.
  • Simplicity: Slack is easy to use. The interface is intuitive and simple. Plus, you can search for messages and conversations in seconds.
  • Flexibility: You can use Slack on your Mac, PC, Android, or iOS device. Slack offers a convenient experience no matter where you log on.
  • Developer tools: Building custom tools is simple with Slack. You can build a bot to automate tasks and use the Slack API.
  • Affordable: Slack comes with a free version for small companies. If you need a premium option, prices are low enough to suit any team.

How to make breakout rooms in Zoom

Zoom breakout rooms allow users to split meetings into up to 50 sessions. Meeting hosts can split participants into these sessions manually or automatically.

To enable breakout rooms as a feature for Zoom, sign into the web portal as an admin. Click on Account Management then Account Settings. Toggle the Breakout Room setting to On.

Click the checkbox to allow meeting hosts to pre-assign participants to rooms.

Only meeting hosts can assign participants to breakout rooms. Co-hosts can leave and join any breakout room after joining a room assigned by the host.

  • To create a breakout room:
  • Start a scheduled or instant meeting and click Breakout Rooms
  • Select the number of rooms you want to create
  • Choose to automatically or manually assign participants to room. The automatic option allows Zoom to split participants evenly into each room. You can also let participants select their preferred room.
  • Click Create Breakout Rooms
Zoom breakout rooms may be a key differentiator in Slack vs Zoom

After creating a breakout room, click Options to view your settings. Options include allowing participants to return to the main session at any time.

You can also add a countdown timer for after you close a breakout room. Admins can set breakout rooms to close automatically after so many minutes.

To broadcast a message to all your breakout rooms, click Breakout Rooms. Next, Broadcast Message to All, type your message and click Broadcast. 

Slack benefits

Slack vs Zoom pricing

Zoom pricing 

Zoom pricing comes in four different variants. The one that’s likely to be best for you will depend on the size of your company and your unique needs. 

  • Basic: The Basic plan, with support for up to 100 participants is free. However, while you get unlimited 1-to-1 meetings, you only have a 40 minute limit on group meetings. 
  • Pro: $14.99 per month per host. This supports up to 100 participants with a meeting duration limit of 24 hours. 
  • Business: $19.99 per month per host (10 host minimum). This offers all the features of Pro, with support for up to 300 participants. 
  • Enterprise: $19.99 per month per host (50 host minimum). This supports up to 500 participants and comes with all the features of Business. 

Supplementing the four subscription plans, Zoom also has unique conference room options. The Zoom video webinar package comes with extra functionality available for any plan. 

Zoom’s flexible pricing makes it ideal for any business. For the occasional video conference, or regular boardroom discussions, Zoom is ideal. 

Slack pricing

Slack also offers users a range of pricing packages to choose from. 

  • Free: The first option for Slack is the free version. This is popular and has no time constraints on meetings. It’s perfect for a small company with limited needs. 
  • Standard: $6.67 per person, per month. This plan adds unlimited message archive functionality. You also get unlimited access to apps, group calls, and guest accounts.
  • Plus: $12.50 per month per user: This plan adds 99.99% uptime guarantees to your Standard package. There’s also user provisioning, SAML-based single sign-on, and corporate exports for messages.
  • Enterprise Grid: Quote based pricing. This plan adds unlimited workspaces to the mix. There’s also support for data loss prevention, e-discovery, and more. You also get your own designated customer success team. 

Just like Zoom, Slack ensures that there’s something for everyone in their pricing strategy. Options exist for one-person startups and large companies alike. 

Slack vs Zoom security

Slack security

Let’s look at Slack’s promise for enterprise-grade data protection. Identity and device management features like single sign-on are available. You can also claim your domain with Slack and use enterprise mobility management. Slack encrypts all data at rest and in transit. The company also protects information with Slack Enterprise Key Management.

Slack’s security strategy includes information governance plans. Users can access global retention policies and custom terms of service.

Zoom security

When it comes to Zoom security, it has a number of ways your logins can be done. You can create your own username and password within Zoom, or you utilise Single Sign On (SSO) and use your own identity for logging in. This will then bring enterprise security to your Zoom logins. 

It supports Google, Facebook, and your own SSO based on SAML or OAuth authentication methods. These include Okta as well as other enterprise identity management platforms like Centrify, Microsoft Active Directory, Gluu, Okta, OneLogin, PingOne, Shibboleth, and many others.

Zoom utilises a conference ID for every meeting. Previously all meetings were set to have this ID and without a PIN code, meaning anyone could join a meeting with just guessing a 9-12 digit meeting ID.

Is Slack or Zoom more secure?

Slack offers enterprise-grade data protection. Single sign-on domain claiming are available with Slack. Users can access enterprise mobility management. Slack also encrypts all data in transit and at rest. You can also protect information with Enterprise Key Management.

Check Slack’s information governance plans and retention policies for insights into privacy.

Zoom also has a much stronger security architecture today. Zoom will not hold any identifiable information on users. The company also encrypts all audio, video, and screen data.

Zoom waiting rooms now prevent unwanted people from attending meetings. You can disable private chat or control recording and screen sharing permissions. Hosts and co-hosts can lock meetings and remove users. 

Who wins Slack vs Zoom?

Both Slack and Zoom have plenty to offer. They provide ideal solutions for bringing teams together. Whether you’re looking for video conferencing, messaging, or both, each solution has its pros and cons. 

Zoom is a competitively priced video-conferencing software for companies with a video-first culture. Connecting with people inside or outside of your team is simple with Zoom. You can even build custom Zoom Rooms for in-office conferencing then take your conversations “offline” with Zoom Chat.

Slack is a versatile collaboration tool that’s fantastic for a wide range of businesses. If you’re looking for a messaging software that puts chat first, this is the collaboration tool for you. 

Slack puts text-based messaging at the heart of the team communication strategy while offering calling and meeting options. If you can’t find the native functionality in Slack, there’s usually an integration for that.

In all likelihood, your company probably already has instances of both Zoom and Slack. So, your issue is how you choose between which one as your primary collaboration platform.

Here’s how you can have both and get around Slack vs Zoom

Can’t decide?

We don’t blame you. Both tools are excellent for improving company culture and communication. 

To make the choice even tougher, some of your employees are probably already using one tool or the other (or both).

So, what if you don’t want to choose?

Well, you have two options there.

1 – Integrate Zoom and Slack for calling and meetings

The first is to simply integrate the Zoom app for Slack into your Slack workspaces. With the Zoom integration for Slack, you can launch a Zoom meeting in seconds. Just type /Zoom into your content bar. 

You’ll also get information on the details of the meeting and who’s in the call. 

Slack admins can even change the default setting for your audio service to Zoom. Every time someone clicks on the Zoom phone in Slack, they’ll launch their conversation in Zoom.

Slack has an app for Zoom available in its integrations marketplace.

Zoom Slack integration

When you install the Zoom app, you can start meetings and calls through Zoom, from your Slack channels. Zoom users can start video conversations, share screens, and direct messages from any Slack channel, dm, or private group.

Users can access the Zoom app on Slack with the /Zoom command. Features include the ability to:

  • Start a meeting
  • Join a meeting
  • Access a meeting recording link
  • Launch a Zoom phone call
  • Start a meeting with a topic

The only problem?

This allows you to connect the people in your team through calls. The integration doesn’t go any further than that. 

You can’t send a message to someone in Zoom from inside of your Slack workspace, or share files. 

At least, you can’t do that with the Slack <>Zoom integration. 

2 – Combine Slack and Zoom with Mio

With Mio, you can sync multiple platforms in your workspace, including Slack and Zoom. 

We’re not just talking about clicking on the phone in your Slack chat and launching a Zoom call. Mio  allows employees using Zoom Chat to message someone on Slack, and vice versa. There’s no need to switch between apps. 

Connect Zoom and Slack

Mio does its work in the background so team members can continue to use the tools that they love. Whether it’s Zoom or Slack, there’s no need to switch between apps to chat with your colleagues.

Messages sent from Slack to Zoom users appear within the Zoom chat inbox, and vice versa. 

You can even send a file from Zoom Chat to someone in Slack, without having to create your own Slack account. 

Why force your business onto one app that only half your teams use when you can let them choose their preferred app and chat cross-platform?

If you’re interested in Zoom and Slack interoperability, join our waitlist.

Read Next: How to Connect Zoom Chat and Slack

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