Skype for Business Online will be officially retired on July 31, 2021, and companies are running out of time to find a Skype alternative.
As a video conferencing pioneer, Skype had its run by being the one communication platform everyone had. Some enterprises weathered the pandemic by communicating via Skype. However, this legacy platform doesn’t fit into the world of hybrid workspaces and collaboration between dispersed teams and tools.
Microsoft is now defaulting all Skype users to its Teams platform. But there’s a better, smarter option for Skype users: Slack.
Read on as we explore the benefits of choosing Slack over Microsoft Teams.
Everything you love from Skype gets even better with Slack
The reality of losing Skype is something that worries many companies. The good news is that moving to Slack doesn’t mean you will substitute or lose some of Skype’s favorite features—you’ll augment them, improve collaboration, and cut productivity costs.
Companywide communication goes next-level
In many enterprises, Skype is the bridge between different departments that typically use other communication tools. Most people have a Skype account for instant messaging.
Slack takes Skype’s communication to the level of collaboration by bringing together teams, tools and workflows in a single, easy-to-use platform. Plus, Slack offers thousands of cross-channel integrations for the rest of your apps.
The ability to unify collaboration across the company and its network provides immense value gains that Skype can’t offer. Departments can finally build work instead of dealing with their tools and workflows, businesses can seamlessly collaborate with other companies, and automation drastically reduces costs.
For example, a Fortune 500 retail company moved from Skype to Slack and optimized its communication with its entire supply chain via Slack Connect.
A little less conversation, a lot more action
How you connect dispersed departments matters. For large enterprises with geographically dispersed teams, the thought of adding more tools to an already bloated tech stack is cause for concern, potentially driving IT costs through the roof.
People need to have control over asynchronous communication. Otherwise, the alternative is more meetings, increased productivity costs and delayed project delivery dates. Forty-nine percent of remote workers already feel that they spend too much time in unnecessary meetings. And with the rise of hybrid workspaces, dissatisfaction with meetings will only grow, driving away top talent.
By switching to Slack, your company can use both asynchronous and synchronous communication in Slack, ensuring that you spend more time moving business forward and less time catching up.
4 ways Slack improves company collaboration and communication
Over the past year, we’ve seen many customers leave behind legacy software and make the leap to Slack. As they transitioned to Slack, they left behind the frustrations of disconnected tools, siloed communication and knowledge gaps.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of choosing Slack:
Speed up work processes and improve project completion rates
In North America, teams lose seven hours per week because of poor communication and collaboration, which amounts to around nine workweeks a year of lost productivity.
Since Slack is a single platform for cross-department collaboration, you organically break down organizational silos. By sharing a central, unified view of the organization, Slack brings the entire workforce together, which streamlines workflows and reduces project timelines.
You can also use Slack workflows to automate manual tasks, like onboarding new team members or requesting help tickets. Automation like this saves time and reduces human error, freeing up your employees to focus on high-level strategic and creative tasks instead.
Accelerated decision-making by reducing meeting times
The beauty of owning your collaboration spectrum in Slack is that it makes it possible to run projects via specific channels, one-to-one conversations and even async video if needed. You can also use Huddles, an open meeting that employees can join, for synchronous communication at any point to answer ad-hoc questions.
Slack offers the flexibility and transparency that companies need to focus on productive collaboration, rather than wasting time in meetings full of fruitless communication. In short: Your company isn’t just efficient—it’s effective, delivering projects faster and decreasing the cost of new initiatives.
Eliminate wasted productivity with a central knowledge repository
Keeping track of all communication on projects isn’t easy, especially in larger companies. With thousands of employees actively sharing information, things go missing.
Faster than you think, productivity slumps, as teams crawl through old email chains and download folders to retrieve valuable files. With Slack, you don’t have to worry about this issue.
The platform’s intelligent search function allows you to recall any shared knowledge, even if it’s years later. Whether it’s an important attachment or a specific conversation, you can quickly find it again.
Maximize the value of your tools
If you’re currently using Office 365, you’ll be familiar with the hassle of switching back and forth between Outlook for email, Teams for voice and video calling, and OneDrive or SharePoint for file sharing. With Slack, there’s no context switching and searching for the right document.
Slack provides access to a vast range of over 2,200 integrations that function across channels. This deep, growing library dwarfs the limited number of integrations available from Microsoft Teams, enabling companies to get more value out of their tech stack, including the myriad Office 365 tools.
Finally, you can have the entire organization’s stack together in one place, simplifying the working day for everyone in every department.
Why Microsoft Teams isn’t a good fit
So you’re not convinced that Slack is the best Skype alternative? Let’s see what you can expect if you go with Microsoft Teams.
Lots of meeting time
Get ready for more meetings. Longer ones, too.
Here are the facts from Microsoft itself, as its recent “Work Trend Index” report revealed some hard truths over the past year:
- The average time spent in Microsoft Teams meetings increased by over 250%
- The average meeting now lasts about 45 minutes
- 62% of calls or meetings happen on the fly, with little advance notice or planning
When your company commits to a fractured tech stack, you keep the walls up between your departments, and communication and collaboration suffer on a day-to-day basis. As a result, the only way to get everyone back on the same page is to schedule regular meetings.
Slack users, on the other hand, have 40% fewer meetings than before and spend less time on email—keeping them free to focus on work instead of spending time on administrative tasks.
Lack of integration and alignment
Despite many industries embracing the age of integration, the naturally segmented ecosystem of Microsoft Teams means your company will still have to work on multiple tools (Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive and Yammer, to name a few).
Dispersed tools and disconnected systems add to employee dissatisfaction, as 41% of employees are planning to leave their employers this year.
When a person leaves the company, their mindshare leaves with them, creating a knowledge drain. Since you don’t have the central knowledge repository that Slack offers, it will be harder to keep track of all conversations, files and critical information. With limited integration capabilities, you’ll have to put up with flipping from one tool to another and digging back through old communications for information.
Siloed communication and collaboration
Microsoft Teams wasn’t built to tear down communication silos. Instead of keeping everyone in the same workspace, it breaks them up into Teams. Communicating between Teams is virtually impossible without adding new members; so is document sharing and searching for conversations.
This siloed structure is the root problem that leads to future communication issues, stifled collaboration, and those inevitable and tedious meetings.
Bring together teams, tools and workflows to build strategic work
Slack offers a unified platform that fosters a culture of simple communication and strong collaboration. You can manage your collaboration flow, running asynchronous and synchronous communications across channels to keep productivity on track, without the need for endless meetings.
And then you have the integrations, workflows and, of course, the incredible knowledge repository that no other tool can offer—not Skype or Teams. We simplify communication so that you can maximize collaboration and innovation.
Want a closer look at Skype alternatives? Sign up for our free webinar to learn how to improve collaboration and communication in a hybrid workplace.