Microsoft Teams has become a potent and dangerous rival to Slack, especially through its second anniversary features. Teams taps directly into Microsoft's Office 365 to give users access to all productivity apps in the suite. In a case of if you can't beat them join them, Slack has today brought Office 365 integration to its service.
Slack has integrated Microsoft OneDrive and Azure Active Directory for some time. Now the company is going all-in with Office 365 support. It's a good move for Slack, which can now present a more even productivity level as Microsoft (although not all Office 365 integrations are available).
As for Microsoft, it moves into an ever-increasing win-win situation. The company's Microsoft Teams is thriving and now its productivity tools are available on a major competitor.
For a start, the new Outlook calendar app allows Slack users to see meetings and invites directly in the app. When a new invite arrives, Slack will send a notification for single-click responses. The Outlook calendar will also remember Zoom, Webex, and Skype meetings and send reminders.
Of course, Outlook is a mail service first and foremost and that ability is also landing in Slack. Emails can now be forwarded directly into channels or individual messages alongside a note and even attachments. If you are familiar with how Slack handles Gmail, then you will know how this works.
While direct integrations of core Office apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel are not available, Slack is now tapping more directly into Office files. Users can see previews of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files without opening them. The company says this ability is extended to OneDrive files too.
Speaking of OneDrive, the existing integration is getting some improvements. Specifically, Microsoft's cloud storage solution now supports faster import files in Slack. Users can simply click the + icon to see files in OneDrive and import them into a channel or message.