Ever since its launch and runaway success, Slack has been dominating the team collaborative applications market with more than 13 million daily active users. But good things don’t last forever.
Of late, Slack has been at the receiving end. It is steadily conceding its market share to other behemoths like Microsoft and Facebook. Slack, that lost its numero uno position to Microsoft Teams, is also facing competition from the ever-growing list of new entrants like Zangi, Ryver, Stackfield, Kipwise, Clariti… .
Though these new players may pose challenges for Slack, small and medium enterprises across the world can look forward to more choices and features at a competitive price.
Like everybody else, if you have been using Slack for collaboration, it’s time to rethink.
Yes, messages in Slack channels are very important for teams to collaborate. But they can be very distracting too. With constant notifications, you will be inclined to check messages and respond to them in real time to impress your colleagues. In Slack, even if you click the “Do not disturb” option, the sender has the option to bypass your preference and still send the message by flagging it as important. According to a Microsoft study, it takes about 25 minutes to get back to the task you were working on, after being interrupted. Another study says on average employees get 45 Slack messages in an eight-hour workday. You can do the math.
With a deluge of messages and notifications, you will end up losing some important information that can have serious implications on your work. In spite of having separate channels, it may be quite time-consuming to go back and refer to your conversations without context. A study points out that on average, each employee sends more than 200 Slack messages per week and there are power users who send 1,000 messages per day. Experience has shown that the very system that is meant to keep you organized, creates chaos.
Slack, no doubt, may reduce the number of emails in your inbox, but it can flood you with tons of messages. Blame it on ease of use. People find Slack extremely convenient to use, so they end up sending frivolous messages, putting pressure on fellow teammates to sit and read all of them due to the fear of losing important information. Due to these distractions you take more time to finish your routine job, eating into your private time, affecting your work-life balance.
Slack content is hard to search. Finding things is tough, as it lacks context. Yes, it has channels, but what it lacks is the topic-based discussions within the channels.
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Slack’s free version is very restrictive, especially on the chat history, audio/video calls, integrations, file storage and screen sharing. Though the basic version is free, you will soon find it inadequate. You must be prepared to upgrade to premium plans if you want to use all the features and you may require advanced configuration knowledge (in-house Slack specialist) to get most out of the software.
Slack supports over 800 integrations. If you want to make use of all the features, you will need the help of a dedicated resource to configure the integrations. If you can’t afford additional resources and if you are not tech savvy, you will limit your use of Slack to only as a messaging tool. Hardly worth the effort.
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Slack is one of the most expensive SaaS software to own. Pricing plans start from $8 per user per month. For large teams this can add up to real dollars, real fast. In addition, you will have to pay for all the integrations. Say for example, if you are using Zoom for video calling, you have to add the Zoom subscription fee to your monthly cost.
Everybody in the team is not tech savvy. You will need dedicated resources to help you with all the integrations. Your employees will also have to go through training to make use of all the features. Organizations that cannot afford these costs will find it overwhelming, making it suitable only for large companies.
In an industry that is growing at 70% and with at least 10 new entrants every year, it makes sense to look for alternatives that may have better approaches than Slack.
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