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8 Reliable Team Communication Tools in 2018 (with Pros, Cons & Prices)

Team Communication Tools

When you are a team of two at work, your roles and responsibilities are pretty clear. Team communication is pretty effective too. All you need is to poke your teammate with an elbow:

“What’s up pal?”

Syncing up with a team gets far more complicated as the company grows. Communication gets messy and hard to control – you chat on Facebook, Skype and sometimes on WhatsApp.

Important docs get lost taking away your precious time on finding them. You don’t feel like work gets done anymore.

Sounds familiar?

It’s time for a tool that would organize team communication and bring it to one place.

Our team at Chanty is passionately building a team communication app that we can be proud of. Naturally, we’ve come across a number of competitors and made an in-depth analysis of different apps. As a result, we’ve made a list of the most reliable tools available on the net today along with their pros and cons so it’s easier for you to make a decision. Now it’s time to take a look at the top team communication tools:

1. Slack

Slack interfaceImage source

Slack is a popular app for team communication and collaboration featuring instant messaging, file sharing, audio/video calls, powerful search and the largest number of integrations among competitors.

Pricing:

  • Freemium is limited with 10K messages history limit, allows only two participants in a video conference, 10 integrations, 5GB total file storage for a team
  • Standard plan is $6,67 per user per month billed annually. $8 per user per month billed monthly, with up to 15 participants in a video conference and 10 GB per member file storage limit
  • Plus plan is $12,50 per user per month billed annually. $15 per user per month billed monthly with up to 15 participants in a video conference and 20 GB per member file storage limit
  • Slack Enterprise Grid

Slack enterprise grid

Slack pros and cons

Slack pros and cons
ProsCons
  • Hip design and copywriting
  • Large number of integrations
  • Wide set of powerful features
  • Search within uploaded documents
  • Profound notification management
  • Highly customizable workspace
  • 10K message history limit
  • Overcomplicated
  • Expensive ($6,67 to $15 per user per month)

2. Chanty

Slack alternative 2017Image Source

Chanty is an AI-powered business messenger and a single notification center that we are building. It’s designed to organize your workflows and bring all of your communication, collaboration and notifications into one place.

Pricing:

Chanty is free to use during its early access stage with a freemium pricing model applied in the future.

Chanty pros and cons

Chanty pros and cons
ProsCons
  • Simple and clean interface
  • Easy to use
  • Fast
  • Free
  • Doesn’t limit message history
  • A single notification center for all the apps you use at work
  • Some of the features are not present yet (coming soon)

Feel free to join our amazing community of early adopters and give Chanty a try;)

3. Flock

Flock interfaceImage source

Flock is a team communication app from India featuring instant messages, multiple integrations, built-in to-dos and polls. Audio and video calls are available through integration with Appear.in

Pricing:

  • Freemium is limited with 10K message history
  • Pro Plan is $3 per user per month

Flock pros and cons

Flock pros and cons
ProsCons
  • Affordable
  • Deep integration with Google Drive
  • Built in to-dos and polls
  • Complicated interface
  • 10K messages limit

4. Stride

Stride interfaceImage source

Stride is a new team communication app from Atlassian. HipChat, their previous Slack alternative is no longer available. Being currently in beta, Stride lets you communicate with your team in private and public rooms, organize company workflows, make audio and video calls.

Pricing:

  • Free plan is limited with 5GB storage, 10 integrations and 25K messages limit
  • Standard plan is $3 per user per month

Stride pros and cons

Stride pros and cons
ProsCons
  • Simplicity
  • ‘Actions’ and ‘decisions’ to organize workflow
  • Csv, docx files preview
  • Some of the features are coming soon
  • Images are too small in a preview
  • No preview for links

5. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft teams interfaceImage source

Microsoft Teams, as a part of Office 365 package, is a team communication tool designed for enterprises. With its powerful, yet not very intuitive functionality, MS Teams offers you an instant chat, audio/video calls through Skype for Business and useful integrations with Microsoft Office 365 tools.

Pricing:

  • Microsoft Office 365 package for $5 user/month that (includes Microsoft Teams + 5 other apps)
  • Full Office 365 package $12,5 user/month (including Microsoft Teams)

Microsoft Teams pros and cons

Microsoft Team pros and cons
ProsCons
  • Full integration across Office 365 apps
  • 1TB cloud storage per user
  • Getting other Microsoft Office tools in a package
  • Difficult to start
  • Complicated interface
  • Customer support has a room for improvement

6. Skype for Business

Image source

It was 2014 when Lync, the Microsoft chat for business was rebranded into Skype for Business. Today, Skype for consumers with its latest radical redesign is becoming more of a ‘hang out with your pals’ tool for millennials. This motivates companies that used Skype for work communication to switch to its paid product. Although it looks like Skype for Business will be replaced with Microsoft Teams soon, it’s alive and kicking for now.

Pricing:

Skype is now included into the following Microsoft Office 365 packages:

  • $69,99/year or $6,99/month (1 user)
  • $99,99/year or $9,99/month (5 users)
Skype for Business pros and cons
ProsCons
  • Powerful video/audio call functionality
  • Real time collaboration for up to 250 people
  • Integrations with Microsoft Office 365 apps
  • 1TB storage
  • Difficult to start
  • Limited integrations (mostly integrates with other Microsoft products)

7. Ryver

Ryver interfaceImage source

Uniting team communication with task management, Ryver introduces the free team communication tool with unlimited messages and data storage. The integration with Zapier lets you connect Ryver to more than 500 apps. It’s free till your team members start using tasks. The first 14 days you’ll receive premium service for free.

Pricing:

  • $19 – 5 team task users
  • $49 – 15 team task users
  • $99 – unlimited users
Ryver pros and cons
ProsCons
  • Unlimited message history
  • Unlimited data storage
  • Built-in tasks management
  • Flat-rate pricing
  • Interface has a room for improvement
  • No built-in video/audio calls

8. Fleep

Fleep interfaceImage source

Fleep lets you communicate with other Fleep users or even send an email to anyone via Fleep. A team in Fleep is equivalent to a private channel in Slack. Audio and video calls are available via Appear.in integration that allows up to 8 people in a call.

Pricing:

  • For €5 per user, you receive full control over your accounts, teams and conversations. You have access to all Fleep features for 30 days after signup.
Fleep pros and cons
ProsCons
  • Unlimited message history, unlimited integrations
  • Ability to send an email through the app
  • Clean interface
  • About 20 integrations available

With a rich variety of team communication tools, the question arises:

How to choose a team communication app?

Picking the right tool for your company could become an issue. Although, every team is unique and requirements are individual, you can use the following criteria to guide you in the dark:

1. Make sure it’s a closed team space

The difference between a team communication app and, say, regular Skype, is you don’t get disturbed by friends and relatives like it usually happens in Skype. Occasionally, you can invite a customer or a freelancer to join your team chat, but it’s mostly you and your team communicating around tasks and projects.

2. Powerful chat

Although you may be a great fan of video and audio calls, text communication within a team is inevitable. Therefore, I’m often surprised to see Google Hangouts and FaceTime in the lists of ‘team communication apps’. You should be able to share files, search your message history, edit, delete, forward messages, pin important conversations and so on. Don’t go for text or video only when you can have both.

3. Check out privacy and security

Sensitive information you and your team share should be available to your company only. Pay attention to how your data is protected while it is transferred from one end to another. Some of the tools make it possible for admins to access private conversations. It’s OK for some companies while completely unacceptable for others. We recommend to read privacy policy and ask the app rep all the questions before signing up.

4. Opt for Speed

Sometimes a deluge of complicated app features results in its slow performance. You don’t want to wait forever for that message to arrive. After all, the ‘instant’ chat should match its purpose and deliver messages in a blink of an eye. However, check your internet connection first before blaming your chat for being slow.

5. Test video and audio calls

If your team is remote, video conferences are likely to be part of your day at work. While looking for a team communication tool consider high quality audio and video calls option. This feature could be either built-in or come in a form of integration with video conference service (Skype, Hangouts, Appear.in).

6. Choose cloud based

Unless you need the software to be installed on your company’s computers or server. Cloud storage lets you sync team communication across different devices and access your files and messages from everywhere. Cloud solutions are also easier to start and easier to use.

7. Go for ease of use

Unlike many SaaS tools, you’ll be using team communication app a lot. Mostly because team communication is something that happens every day. As we spend half of our lives at work, why not spend it with pleasure and joy? This is exactly the feel you should aim for when using a team communication app. There’s no place for irritation in your everyday life. It’s almost like choosing a partner for life – if you can’t tolerate his bad habits, think twice.

8. Integrations

Integrations is what usually makes team communication apps different from the software designed for personal communication. They let you turn your team chat into a single notification center. This means receiving software notifications from the apps you use (could be anything from MailChimp to Zendesk to Xero) into one place. Define the apps you are using the most at work and check if the team communication tool has integrations you need

9. Сross-platform

It’s great when you can be on the same page with your team even on the go. This is when mobile apps come in handy making team communication easier and more effective. Maybe it’s FOMO (fear of missing out) I’m suffering from, but I tend to check our team chat in the evenings after work as well as during weekends. Using team communication software should be convenient in every way. Some of us prefer web version of the team chat we use, while others enjoy an app for their macOS/Windows. Make sure the app you choose support all the platforms you’ll be using.

10. Ask about features you need (and check the customer support as well)

Every team has its unique requirements when it comes to the app features. Don’t hesitate to speak to an app representative or customer care manager to find out more about features you need. The more initial research you make prior to committing to a certain app, the more efficient and productive your team communication will become.

Our team have swept the net analyzing each and every competitor of Chanty. Naturally, all team communication tools have their strengths and weaknesses. We’ve carefully considered every feedback to make an app that’s definitely worth your attention. Take a look at Chanty, the 2018 team communication newcomer made with love and passion.

The mic is all yours now. What are the tools you are considering for your team and why? What are the biggest communication challenges in your company? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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Olga Mykhoparkina

Olga Mykhoparkina is a Chief Marketing Officer at Chanty – a simple AI powered business messenger and a single notification center. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work.

Having a 9-year experience in digital marketing field, Olga is responsible for Chanty’s online presence strategy, managing an amazing team of marketing experts and getting things done to change the way teams communicate and collaborate. Follow Olga on Twitter @olmykh or feel free to connect on LinkedIn.

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