The 21st century Bay Area office worker has a pretty consistent routine across the board. Wake up at 6 a.m., shower, have a bagel and a cup of coffee before getting on your bike and heading to the BART station. Those with cars get up at 6:30 and brave rush hour traffic for 45 minutes to travel 10-15 miles. You arrive at the office, check for any paper memos at your desk, check your email, and yes, check Slack.
Slack is the cloud-based team communication platform that has become the norm in office settings. It has over 10 million active daily users, according to company data. Slack had 85,000 paid subscribers as of June 2019. Several big-name Bay Area companies use Slack on a daily basis, including LinkedIn, Google, Pandora and Uber. Email is considered a more formal means of communication in 2019. Slack is a collaborative tool that allows companies to create separate communication channels for teams that share a lot of files and messages throughout the day to complete projects.
Slack provides many useful features, particularly streamlined communications. But companies with 4-5 employees sitting within whispering distance of one another at open office workstations don’t need Slack. The most common complaint about Slack is its pricing. The middle-grade package costs $12.50 per month per active user. That means a company with 30 employees pays over $4,000 per year to use Slack. There is a free plan, but it limits disk space and integration capabilities.
The demand for team collaboration tools created opportunities for other software firms to bite into Slack's marketshare with their own unique selling points. Here are three Slack alternatives your company can consider.
The visual cues and simple user interface are often cited in positive reviews of ProofHub. The online project management app has many of the same features as Slack, including task management tools, time-tracking reports and live chat. The "discussions" section is great for collaboration. It allows ongoing conversations with time-stamps. Integrations with OneDrive, Outlook Dropbox and other apps are simple.
ProofHub offers a 30-day free trial to test out their paid plans. The Essential Plan costs a flat $50 per month regardless of user volume. The Ultimate Control Plan with more bells and whistles costs $150 per month or a little over $1,600 per year.
Companies with a lot of remote workers and that are mostly interested in streamlined communications like Cliq. The app features direct messaging and group chat, along with voice and video calling. Speed and reliability are commonly cited in positive reviews of the app. Cliq also has screen-sharing, and the PrimeTime feature allows anyone with the right permissions to broadcast company-wide livestreams.
Cliq is one of the most affordable team collaboration solutions on the market. The free version is adequate for many companies. Paid plans are as low as $0.90 per user per month. Premium plans come with custom domains and 100 GB of storage per user.
There's a lot to like about Chanty, particularly it's very simple user interface. The company believes team collaboration tools like Slack are becoming too cumbersome and have designed their app to address this issue. Integrations are done via Zapier. Chanty also has a voice messaging feature that is highly useful for companies with most of their workers telecommuting.
The free version of Chanty supports up to 10 users, 10 integrations and 10 GB of storage per team. The Business (premium) version is $3 per month per user. It offers 20 GB of storage space per user and unlimited integrations.