7 best MS Teams alternatives after unbundling MS Office 365 in 2024

Sara Ana Cemazar
October 12, 2023
·
min read

Today, collaboration apps are integral to the operations of modern enterprises. Among them, Microsoft Teams stands tall, having played a pivotal role in shaping how businesses communicate. But, we see more and more businesses looking for MS Teams alternatives. Why?

The major event that propelled the search for suitable alternatives to Microsoft's flagship communication app is MS Teams' unbundling from the rest of the MS Office package in Europe. In other words, Teams are now sold (and paid for) separately from Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

Moreover, MS Teams has in the past often grappled with concerns around flexibility and, more critically for our senior IT and COOs, data security.

You can mitigate these risks by exploring an MS Teams alternative that aligns more closely with your organization's priorities and security standards. For instance, digital workplaces can amplify productivity by 30% and slash administrative tasks by half through connected workspaces. 

In this blog post, let’s explore some of the best MS Teams alternatives after unbundling from the rest of the MS Office package in late 2023.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a standout product of the MS365 suite, crafted explicitly for the expansive dynamics of larger enterprises. A traditional team chat at its core, it provides a unified communication platform where employees can seamlessly collaborate in real time.

Through MS Teams, organizations can host meetings, share documents, and integrate a vast array of apps — all under one digital roof. Given its powerful family of MS Office apps that have an enormous user base, it's no wonder that MS Teams has become the synonym for a collaboration app for many. After all, 86% of leadership believes that the lack of collaboration is a primary workplace setback.

Why are organizations looking for alternatives to MS Teams?

Microsoft's decision to unbundle Teams from the MS 365 package in the EU has cracked open a realm of alternative possibilities for enterprises. This unbundling isn't just a mere restructuring; it's a declaration that organizations aren't confined to using Teams simply because they've bought into the MS 365 ecosystem. 

With this newfound freedom, many industry leaders are recalibrating their team collaboration strategies.

What drives the shift away from MS Teams?

  1. Security Concerns: Organizations in certain industries, especially those handling sensitive data, find that Teams doesn't always meet their stringent security criteria. For a CIO in a healthcare or financial enterprise, data breaches aren't just a concern but potential catastrophes.
  2. Privacy Concerns: After MS 365 was banned from schools in Germany due to non-compliance with GDPR, organizations across the EU realized that the long-standing question of compliance is going against Microsoft. Organizations in the EU are looking for team communication apps that can guarantee them a non-questionable adherence to GDPR.
  3. User Management Challenges: For vast organizations, managing a sprawling user base on Teams can sometimes resemble a Herculean task, making streamlined user management a sought-after feature.
  4. User Experience: Teams, for all its merits, have occasionally been critiqued for not being the most user-friendly. A COO, focused on seamless operations, might find this a significant pain point.
  5. Inflexibility: The restriction on the number of channels, for instance, can stifle expansive projects. Imagine an IT head needing separate channels for various sub-teams, only to hit a limit!
Organizations in the EU are looking for team chat solutions that can guarantee them a non-questionable adherence to GDPR.

Top MS Teams Alternatives for 2024

1. Rocket.Chat

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Yes, this is us. We're proudly saying that we've been considered one of the top alternatives to MS Teams in the EU. Why exactly?

Rocket.Chat stands out as a secure collaboration platform tailor-made for organizations in highly regulated industries that handle sensitive business or customer data. With a user base spanning 12M+ across 150 countries, it offers unparalleled control, customization, and compliance.

Rocket.Chat has also built MS Teams Bridge, an app that acts as a link between Rocket.Chat and MS Teams. It allows cross-platform messaging between Rocket.Chat and MS Teams. This also means that you can keep communicating with your colleagues or partners without having them switch the solution on their end.

Key features

  • Team Collaboration: Centralizes messages, projects, and tasks, enhancing productivity.
  • Omnichannel Customer Service: Ensures consistent, contextual interactions with customers.
  • Chat Engine: Enables custom messaging experiences through white-labeling and integration.
  • Marketplace: Integrates with custom apps, APIs, plugins, and webhooks for a seamless workspace experience.
  • Top-tier Privacy: E2E encryption, ISO 27001 certified, and compliant with GDPR, CCPA, LGPD, and HIPAA.

Rocket.Chat customer ratings 

  • G2: 4.2/5
  • Capterra: 4.3/5

Why is Rocket.Chat a good MS Teams alternative?

Rocket.Chat offers superior customization and control that MS Teams can't match. With Rocket.Chat, organizations benefit from full ownership of their conversations, whether opting for self-hosting, air-gapped, or secure cloud deployment. 

Additionally, its open source API ensures unparalleled integration capabilities, making it an ideal choice for enterprises seeking a more adaptable and security-centric collaboration platform.

2. Google Workspace

MS Teams alternative

Google Workspace, previously known as G Suite, is an integrated suite of collaboration and productivity apps from Google. It includes multiple tools that help enhance workplace communication and document management. The suite empowers businesses of all sizes to seamlessly collaborate in real-time, making remote and in-office work equally efficient.

Key features

  • Gmail: A robust email platform with built-in security features.
  • Drive: Secure cloud storage for documents, photos, and videos.
  • Docs, Sheets, and Slides: Real-time collaborative editing for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
  • Meet Video conferencing tool: Capable of hosting large meetings securely.
  • Integrated App Ecosystem: Seamlessly integrates with other tools and platforms, boasting 595+ integrations.

Google Workspace customer ratings 

  • G2: 4.6/5
  • Capterra: 4.7/5

Why is Google Workspace a good MS Teams alternative?

It provides a comprehensive suite of tools in one package and eliminates the need for multiple standalone apps. Moreover, with a more expansive array of integrations compared to MS Teams, Google Workspace offers businesses greater flexibility in choosing third-party tools that best suit their needs.

3. Slack

MS Teams alternative

Slack is a dynamic communication platform and an MS Teams alternative designed for teams, offering a sleek user interface that has become the industry benchmark for collaborative tools. Designed with a tech-savvy audience in mind, it provides an intuitive platform for both startups and established businesses to streamline their communication, integrate with a myriad of other tools, and boost overall productivity.

Key features

  • Easy-to-use interface: Sleek and intuitive user interface with a natural onboarding process.
  • Comprehensive messaging: Search with up to 10,000 messages accessible in the free plan.
  • Advanced shortcuts and productivity tools: You get over 50+ shortcuts available for desktop and web apps.
  • Extensive integrations: It has more than 2,000 apps available for selection.

Slack customer ratings 

  • G2: 4.5/5
  • Capterra: 4.7/5

Why is Slack a good MS Teams alternative?

While Microsoft Teams might be gaining traction with large enterprises and government sectors, Slack continues to be the preferred choice amongst startups, developers, and young tech enthusiasts. One of Slack's undeniable strengths lies in its unlimited external collaboration capabilities on paid plans, a feature where MS Teams has restrictions.

4. Brosix

MS Teams alternative

Brosix is a comprehensive instant messaging platform designed explicitly for businesses. Emphasizing secure and encrypted communication, it offers real-time interactions across multiple applications. Brosix ensures not just efficient communication but also a safe environment, making it a top choice for organizations prioritizing data security and secure communication.

Key features

  • Encrypted Communications: Audio/video calls, file sharing, and screen-sharing are all encrypted, ensuring a secure communication environment.
  • Detailed User Activity Logs: Monthly user activity log archives are readily accessible from the Control Panel, providing a transparent insight into team communications.
  • Multiple Administrators: Brosix allows for multiple admin roles, ensuring efficient network management.
  • Vast Integration Potential: Over 3,000 integrations are available, complemented by desktop, mobile, and web apps.

Brosix customer ratings 

  • G2: 4.5/5
  • Capterra: 4.6/5

Why is Brosix a good MS Teams alternative?

Brosix stands out in the crowded collaborative tools market, primarily because of its heavy emphasis on security. Unlike many other platforms, it operates on a fully encrypted team network, allowing businesses to have full control over their communication channels.

This is particularly beneficial for organizations that prioritize secure communication. The platform's ability to provide detailed user activity logs, its vast integration potential, and the emphasis on chat's customizability with features like uniquely branded private networks and access controls further position Brosix as a formidable alternative.

5. Mattermost

MS Teams alternative

Mattermost also stands out as a unique, open-source team collaboration platform that offers businesses the autonomy of a self-hosted chat solution. Tailored for customization, it enables organizations to shape the communication ecosystem that aligns perfectly with their operational needs.

Beyond mere messaging, Mattermost embeds secure communication channels, bespoke workflows, and a plethora of integrations to make teamwork both seamless and efficient, all while retaining complete control over data.

Key features

  • Custom Workflows: Designed to be adaptable, Mattermost can mold itself around your company's unique communication patterns and needs.
  • Secure Communication: Whether it's one-to-one chats or group discussions, the platform ensures encrypted and secure transmission.
  • Extensive Integrations: With hundreds of integrations available, Mattermost can easily blend with your existing tech stack.
  • Searchable Message History: Dive into past conversations effortlessly with a comprehensive search function.

Mattermost customer ratings 

  • G2: 4.3/5
  • Capterra: 4.5/5

Why is Mattermost a good MS Teams alternative?

Mattermost shines as an MS Teams alternative primarily due to its open-source and self-hosted nature, allowing organizations to tweak and customize as per their needs. Its commitment to security and the emphasis on giving companies complete control over their data is invaluable in today's data-sensitive business environment. 

Furthermore, its support for multiple languages makes it globally adaptable, while the threaded conversations feature facilitates structured communication.

6. Chanty

MS Teams alternative

Chanty is your go-to platform for team collaboration. It's built to boost productivity for teams, big and small, across different industries. With Chanty, not only can your team communicate with ease, but you can also manage tasks seamlessly, ensuring everyone stays on top of their projects.

Key features

  • Audio Messages: Offers audio messaging capabilities bolstered by sharing and privacy features.
  • Searchable Chat: Provides an efficient search function, allowing for quick retrieval of information, complemented by unlimited message history.
  • Task Management: Incorporates a Kanban board to manage tasks efficiently, focusing on assigning and completing them.
  • Customized Notifications: Allows for tailored notifications, ensuring team members are alerted only to relevant information.

Chanty customer ratings 

  • G2: 4.5/5
  • Capterra: 4.9/5

Why is Chanty a good MS Teams alternative?

Chanty distinguishes itself from MS Teams' sharp focus on task management and efficient search functions. Designed for teams of all sizes, its seamless interface emphasizes productivity, ensuring tasks are assigned, tracked, and completed efficiently.

Furthermore, its affordability, with a generous free plan and competitively priced subscription, makes it an attractive choice for organizations seeking a comprehensive yet budget-friendly collaboration tool.

7. Pumble

MS Teams alternative

Pumble is a dynamic team collaboration platform designed for a wide range of teams, from startups to Fortune 500 companies. It prioritizes seamless communication and task management across various devices. Let’s look at some primary features of Pumble:

Key features

  • Easy Adaptation: Pumble is known for its ease of use, allowing teams to onboard and utilize quickly from the first day.
  • Cost-effective Collaboration: It offers a forever free plan with some limitations of feature use. This makes it accessible for diverse teams, especially small teams and startups.
  • Rich Feature Set: It provides tools for a well-rounded collaboration — chat platform, messaging, document management, and more
  • Desktop and Mobile Integration: It is available across platforms, including Desktop (Mac, Windows, Linux) and Mobile (Android, iPhone, iPad).

Pumble customer ratings 

  • G2: 4.4/5
  • Capterra: 4.6/5

Why is Pumble a good MS Teams alternative?

Pumble is an enticing alternative to MS Teams due to its inclusive nature, catering to teams of all sizes. It's not just its user-friendly interface that wins applause but also its commitment to affordability.

With a forever-free plan and a feature-rich offering, Pumble ensures even small businesses can access top-tier collaboration tools without breaking the bank. Moreover, its cross-platform availability guarantees that teams stay connected, regardless of their device preferences.

How to choose the best MS Teams alternative for your organization

Selecting the ideal tool for your business messaging is essential to cater to your unique requirements. When considering an MS Teams alternative, it's all about aligning with your needs. Let's dive into a tailored guide to ensure you make the best choice:

  1. Consider Your Needs:  Start with understanding what's crucial for you. Is top-notch security a priority? If you're in healthcare, staying HIPAA compliant might be non-negotiable.
  2. Size of Your Organization: Every organization is unique. While large IT corporations demand robust systems, a boutique agency might thrive with a more flexible tool.
  3. Pricing: It's essential to be budget-conscious but always weigh the cost against value. Think about the return on investment, not just the price tag.
  4. Region You Operate In: Your operational region can influence your tool choices, especially when considering data regulations. For businesses in Europe, adhering to GDPR isn't optional—it's mandatory.
  5. Features & User-friendliness: A feature-rich tool is excellent, but it should also be user-friendly. Usability can often tip the scales.

If you want to check out one of the best MS Teams alternatives in the EU with self-hosting capabilities and build that supports the exchange of highly sensitive data, reach out to our experts in Rocket.Chat for a quick intro call.

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Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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Team collaboration: 5 reasons to improve it and 6 ways to master it
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