When you have a small team handling complex business operations, you’re bound to have some of your staff serving multiple roles. This can be a project management headache, especially if you don’t have the right collaboration and communication on hand.
That’s one of the reasons why Slack became so popular. Slack is a collaboration platform that lets users communicate with each other through group threads. It lets you create project-based chat rooms where you can share files and start meetings.
Beyond that, it’s a one-stop shop for productivity tools. Loyal users enjoy features like voice and video calling, direct messaging, file sharing and storage, and more. It’s definitely a tool that helps you get more stuff done.
But to access most of these features, users need to subscribe to a premium plan. The free version is just a basic messaging tool for first-time users try out. Thankfully, Slack is not the only solution of its kind in the market. It may be one of the first collaboration platforms out there, but it’s far from the being the best and only choice. Other collaboration platforms have popped up, giving customers more options to choose from.
Let’s look at some of the alternatives to Slack you can try today.
This is perhaps one of the most well-known team messaging and collaboration platforms today. HipChat offers almost all of the same features and functions Slack does. Users can create project-specific chat rooms for better teamwork and coordination. Within the groups, users can:
- instant message teammates
- direct message specific people
- upload and share files
- check messaging history
- and even send GIFs and emojis
What sets it apart from Slack is its more polished screen sharing and video chat feature. HipChat was able to integrate these first, so they were able to refine them, making them easier to use.
Another edge for HipChat is that it’s now owned by Atlassian, acquired last 2012. This means integrations with Atlassian’s best productivity products (including JIRA, Bitbucket, and Confluence).
It’s also open to integrating other third-party applications. This way, users can dictate how they use HipChat for their business.
If you want Slack’s benefits but miss old-school instant messaging, Jabber’s a good choice. Its softphone includes real-time presence information. Profiles and availability statuses are displayed in a panel, like in instant messengers. This helps reduce communication delays, especially when you need immediate responses.
But Cisco’s Jabber is more than an ordinary messaging app. It comes packed with the company’s business-class IP voice and video telephony. It includes HD voice and video calls, making your meetings more impactful. With Cisco’s name on the line, you know Jabber delivers secure, reliable communications.
Not too shabby for a Slack alternative.
You also get desktop sharing and Microsoft Office integration on Jabber. With it, you can check on the status of your teammates while you’re working on a document or a spreadsheet. You can also start conversations seamlessly from your Office apps.
Jabber works best with a Cisco VoIP system, though. So if you’re not using that, you might want to consider other items on this list.
After RingCentral acquired Glip in 2015, this messaging platform expanded its scope. It turned its focus on becoming a complete team messaging and collaboration platform any business can use.
What makes it a great Slack alternative is its integration with all the tools you’d possibly need in an office.
Aside from creating project-based chat groups, you can have advanced collaboration tools like:
- team calendars
- task management
- unlimited file sharing
- video meetings with screen sharing
- …and more
You don’t need to go “out” of the workspace because you have all the tools you need in one software. Glip streamlines your workflow with a dedicated “Tasks” feature that tracks the progress of all your projects.
You can get Glip for free, with no limit on the number of people you connect with. You also get unlimited storage space and messages (both sent and received). You even get external integrations of essential apps like Zendesk, JIRA or Box, free of charge.
The only difference it has from a paid subscription is the limit to your video chat minutes. With a free account, your company only gets to use 500 total minutes. If you want or need more than that, you need to bite the bullet and subscribe to a paid account.
Make sure your team is well-equipped with the right communication and collaboration tools. With the right platform, you can empower your employees to get things done while staying within your budget.
Got anything to add to our discussion on communication and collaboration platforms? Got an idea for a cool feature that could probably help your team work more cohesively? Tell us more about it in the comments so we can help get you and your business closer to success.