Need to Migrate from Slack to Microsoft Teams? You don't have to!

Explore the complexities and considerations of migrating from Slack to Microsoft Teams, including file and app migration.
Dominic Kent
Dominic Kent is a content marketer specializing in unified communications and contact centers.
Migrate Slack to Microsoft Teams

If you’ve invested in Microsoft 365, are upgrading from Skype for Business, or simply adding Microsoft Teams into your collaboration strategy, you probably think you need to migrate from Slack to Microsoft Teams.

Most early adopters of collaboration tools started their strategy with Slack. It was the first app to introduce a new way of working through digital messaging in real-time. However, as the years have passed, many apps like Slack have surfaced.

If you're thinking about migrating from Slack to Microsoft Teams, here's what you need to know.

Upgrade Skype to Microsoft Teams

1 - Know what you're getting from Microsoft Teams

Adoption is essential. Employees must know the positive features that they can expect. For instance:

  • If your team is already using Office 365, they'll be familiar with the Microsoft brand and ecosystem
  • Teams has many of the features that Slack offers, including instant messaging and file sharing
  • Microsoft Azure information protection combined with Office 365 data loss protection keeps your files safe
  • Microsoft Teams gives you excellent insights into your employees' behavior through the Office 365 activity API
Microsoft Teams

2 - Map how you plan to migrate from Slack to Microsoft Teams

Once your employees understand the kind of experience they'll get from Microsoft Teams, it's time to prepare them for migration. One way to do this is to help them understand how their collaboration environment will change.

For instance, Slack channels are responsible for hosting most of the conversations between team members.

Slack channels can be mapped and uploaded to Microsoft Teams, giving you similar experiences from your discussions. The main difference is that these "channels" are known as teams instead.

Slack user interface in a channel
Image: Slack

Like Slack, Microsoft Teams has both public and private teams available depending on the kind of conversations your users want to have.

Slack also offers discussions on private channels. The same direct message functionality is available on Microsoft Teams. To migrate your conversations, you'll need to:

  • Convert all Slack message threads into HTML
  • Upload your files into the document library
  • Move your data into the SharePoint document library to access via Microsoft Teams

3 - Migrate files

Next, it's time to migrate any other files (aside from your chat logs) that you need to maintain on Microsoft Teams.

Depending on how extensive certain records are, it may be difficult to upload everything you need onto SharePoint. There's also a risk that some of your content will be lost during the migration.

Keep in mind that Microsoft Teams' API does not support threaded chat with delegated users. Instead, you'll need to upload Slack posts as HTML content and post them to Teams as Root content.

Additionally, the Teams API doesn't retain authorship information during migration. You will not be able to maintain the time stamps on original posts for compliance purposes, or track who created the channel.

4 - Migrate apps

APIs and applications are another factor to consider when migrating from Slack to Microsoft Teams.

Although both Slack and Teams support external plugins from third-party companies, they don't necessarily host all the same apps. With a little luck, you'll be able to use all of the same apps on your new Teams workplace.

If not, you may need to settle for the next best thing and spend some time teaching staff members how to use new tools.

Slack app directory home page
Slack app directory

In conclusion, migrating from Slack to Microsoft Teams involves careful planning and execution, especially for organizations deeply embedded in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem.

From understanding the rich feature set of Teams to methodically transferring data and app functionalities, the transition is comprehensive.

It's crucial to ensure that your team is well-informed and prepared for the new environment in Teams, which, while familiar in many respects to Slack, offers its own unique set of tools and integration capabilities.

Adequate training and a strategic migration plan will help minimize disruption and leverage Microsoft Teams’ robust offerings to enhance your organization's collaboration and productivity.

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