There are now over 230 alternatives to Slack!?!
Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and Cisco Webex Teams. The industry that Slack began is growing more crowded each day. Now, full of loads of great alternatives to Slack.
Email might not be completely dead yet, but it’s no longer the only way for people to communicate at work. Today, real-time enterprise messaging applications are growing increasingly popular. Nemertes research shows that 80% of companies are using or planning on using collaboration and chat apps in 2018.
So what does the rise of new applications mean to your business, and most importantly, how can you stop the growing threat of fragmentation?
Let’s first take a look at just how much the market has fragmented in the last few years.
The major contenders
From 2016-2017, we saw many new entrants in enterprise messaging. In 2018, we’ve now also seen significant consolidation (ex: Slack and Atlassian).
Here are 4 of the top contenders from the past year or so:
- Microsoft Teams
Not too long ago, the two most significant competitors in the enterprise messaging space were Slack and Skype. Since then, Microsoft has upgraded its enterprise chat strategy with Microsoft Teams, a tool more focused on cloud-based collaboration and real-time messaging. Microsoft even introduced a free version of their Teams app, to help drive adoption from non-Office 365 users. Microsoft Teams offers:
- File sharing
- Scheduling and calendaring
- Direct and team messaging
- Voice and video calling
Microsoft Teams released a free version of their application this year for up to 300 users, ideal for those who want to “try” the Teams system before they buy it.
2. Cisco WebEx Teams
Although Cisco’s “Spark” application for workplace messaging has been around for a little longer than the last year, 2018 is when Cisco decided to rebrand their service as “Webex Teams“. With the rebrand not only changing the icon and name, it also paved the way for plenty of new updates to the app too, including everything from Giphy integrations, to whiteboards for sketching and sharing ideas. Other features include:
- Team and Direct Messaging
- Voice and Video Calling
- Scheduling and Calendaring
- File Sharing
- End-to-end encryption.
When Cisco purchased BroadSoft this year, it also upgraded it’s chat solution with the enterprise-ready solutions of a telecoms giant. Combining the Spark collaboration features with the BroadSoft calling and core voice components gives Cisco a unique position in the market.
3. Zoho Cliq
Zoho Cliq is the updated version of Zoho chat. Initially created for business communication, Zoho Cliq enables employees to collaborate and view multiple conversations at once in a column-style screen. The Cliq application is part of the comprehensive Zoho office software package. Additional features include:
- Video and audio chat
- Access multiple conversations at once
- Unlimited storage for business knowledge
- Integration with third-party apps and Zoho tools
- Automation bots
Zoho Cliq stands out because it’s one of the only team messaging apps available with a column style interface. This means that you can host multiple private chats within the same window, ideal for when you need to stay in touch with more than one person, but not in a group format.
4. Google Hangouts Chat
Google Hangouts Chat is one of the most exciting Enterprise chat tools to appear in the last year. Hangouts Chat emerged in February 2018, offering a platform for messaging, SMS, video chat and VoIP. Part of the Google G-Suite for office productivity, features include:
- Group chat
- Video and voice calling
- Screen sharing
- Gmail integration
- Connects to Google Voice for SMS texting, phone calls, and voicemail
Google Hangouts Chat is particularly effective for voice chat and instant messaging. Combined with the other G-Suite services, it can provide a rich selection of communication and collaboration tools for the modern business.
The Other 230 Alternatives to Slack
Research shows that from 2016 to 2017, the “other” category of Enterprise messaging has grown from 8.3% to 23%… and even more in 2018.
Let’s look at just some of the biggest names to appear over the last few years for instance:
- Workplace by Facebook – 2016
- Amazon Chime – 2017
- IBM Watson Workplace 2016
- Twist – 2017
- Rocket.Chat – 2017
- Pingpad – 2016
Interoperability: The Cure for Fragmentation?
The apps above are just a handful out of dozens of applications to be upgraded and introduced into the market in the last 12 months. As employees continue to receive a wider range of choices for their enterprise messaging needs, it’s important to make sure that choice doesn’t lead to fragmentation.
Enterprise chat apps certainly deliver a productivity boost. However, many will prefer to work with the productivity tools they feel comfortable with. In fact, approximately half use 11 or more collaboration apps every day.
Rather than attempting to choose the right app in an environment where options are constantly changing, businesses are better off prizing interoperability with a tool like M.io instead. With M.io, you don’t have to worry about finding the chat tool that’s right for everyone. Instead, you can unify every tool into one simple, streamlined method of communication.
M.io is simple to set up:
- Sync all the chat apps your teams use by creating your M.io Hub (and read more
- about channel syncing here)
- Add all teams, spaces & channels
- Team members in your M.io Hub can immediately chat in DMs or groups with members on other platforms
- File sharing, threaded messages, reactions and the ability to edit and delete messages are all supported
- New channels or spaces an employee is invited to will be synced in the primary chat platform they prefer to use