Microsoft Teams offers free and paid plans to help remote workers stay connected. However, teams working outside of the Microsoft 365 platform may be better off with another option for communication. Therefore, we looked at various team chat and collaboration tools that provide similar user-friendly features, comparable per user prices, and clear video calling to determine the best Microsoft Teams alternatives.
However, while many of the following options offer audio conferencing capabilities, businesses that rely on a high volume of person-to-person phone calls instead of team calls may be better off signing up for service with a robust business phone system like RingCentral. This is because these systems offer things like 800 numbers, unlimited domestic calling, and support multiple extensions while still offering things like video conferencing and group text messaging.
Microsoft Teams Alternative
(Best Overall) A complete solution to task management for virtual workforces
Free tools: Robust capabilities for up to 100 participants at no cost
Accessibility: Offers transcription, captions, and high-quality video capabilities, including whiteboards
Enterprise-grade features: Track more than 70 performance metrics
G Suite and Google Workspace users: Easily switch from in-document collaboration to video chat
Creative collaboration: Create a fully interactive workspace
How We Evaluated Microsoft Teams Alternatives
Microsoft Teams has become tremendously popular since it replaced Skype for Business in 2019. To make our top list of Microsoft Teams alternatives, we looked for unified communications software that makes it easier to organize conversations, allows guest users, and supports a full range of interactive functions like supporting voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phone calls, chat, or screen share. The best substitute applications also had to offer things like clear and reliable audio or video meeting quality, seamless file sharing, integration with other common software programs, and require minimal training to use.
The criteria we used to develop our list of business communication platforms include:
- Ease of use
- Customer support
For effective team collaboration, consider getting your team onboard with Slack. Its workflow builder and integrations make it ideal for real-time communication with internal and external teams, which is why we designate Slack as our best overall Microsoft Teams alternative.
Slack: Best Overall Microsoft Teams Alternative
Slack is a well-known, versatile Microsoft Teams substitute that provides audio and video conferencing along with a robust platform for well-organized discussions. Its free plan is perfect for startups, while the $6.67 per user monthly cost for the standard program is affordable for small businesses. Slack grows with you by offering Plus and Enterprise plans as well.
The Slack interface shares similarities with other industry leaders like Zoom and Microsoft Teams and works great for business instant messaging. However, Slack is built for small teams so you can access integrations and advanced capabilities without technical support. This software is a fantastic choice for companies that want a platform where users can connect on multiple levels.
Easily invite guest users
You must add an integration to live stream or use whiteboard features
Organize conversations by channel
Some users find it hard to adapt to the interface
Seamless integrations with 2,200 apps
- Free: No cost for one-to-one audio and video calls, 10 third-party app integrations, and 5GB per workspace
- Standard: $6.67 per person, per month when paid yearly for hosting meetings with up to 15 participants, unlimited integrations, and 10GB per member of file storage*
- Plus: $12.50 per person, per month with an annual payment for 20GB per member of file storage, 24/7 support, and 99.99% guaranteed uptime service level agreement (SLA)*
- Enterprise Grid: Get a custom quote for advanced security measures and dedicated customer support teams
*Monthly payment options available. Standard: $8 per person, per month and Plus: $15 per person, per month.
- Slack Connect: Invite external collaborators, from freelancers to clients, to join one or more channels with Slack’s paid versions. Choose from several permissions options to customize access, depending on your needs.
- Workflow builder: Automate routines or recurring activities using custom workflows or choose from 16 examples. From onboarding to travel request approvals, the workflow builder streamlines processes.
- Apps and integrations: With more than 2,200 integrations available with paid plans, you can use apps in your channels to boost productivity, track sales, and integrate vital workflows. Plus, you’ll find dozens of bots to get information while keeping teams engaged.
Zoom: Best Free Alternative to Microsoft Teams
Zoom is well-known for being among the best video conferencing software, and it provides a unified communications platform that’s simple to set up and use. Its free plan is comprehensive, so your business may not need a paid version. If your company is growing, you can upgrade to Pro, Business, and Enterprise plans, starting at $149.90 per license, per year.
With up to 100 participants per meeting and ticket-based service support, Zoom offers features similar to Microsoft Teams and Slack. However, you can invite anyone to Zoom meetings using a link, making it a great option for organizations that rely heavily on video interaction versus other forms of communication.
Easier to set up and use
Free plan only offers 40-minute meetings
Offers whiteboarding on free plan
Cloud recording on paid plans
Includes a waiting room on all plans
Ticket-only technical support on free plan
- Basic: Free for meetings with up to 100 participants, unlimited one-to-one meetings, whiteboarding, and screen sharing features
- Pro: $149.90 per license, per year for streaming meetings on social media, recording up to 1GB, up to 24-hour group meetings, and organization-wide reports
- Business: $199.99 per license, per year for hosting meetings up to 300 participants, getting meeting transcripts, and receiving support via ticket, live chat, and phone*
- Enterprise: $199.90 for businesses with 100 or more licenses for hosting up to 500 participants, unlimited cloud storage, and a dedicated customer support manager
*The Business plan starts at 10 licenses for $1,999 per year.
- Recording: The free version records your interactions locally in video, chat, and audio formats. With a paid plan, you’ll also get cloud recording capabilities. The fact that Zoom’s software is HIPAA-compliant makes it all the more useful.
- Waiting room: Send all participants or only your external guests to a virtual waiting room until your meeting starts.
- Whiteboard: Give presentations at your meeting by enabling the screen-sharing whiteboarding feature to spotlight text, use shapes, and save your screen.
Cisco Webex Teams: Best Alternative for Accessibility Features
Since 1995, Cisco Webex has delivered a variety of technology solutions to organizations of all sizes. The company provides a flexible solution that includes high-quality video conferencing with customizable options that make every team member feel like they’re in the same room. Cisco Webex Teams offers a free version and a starter program for $13.50 that’s great for small businesses.
If you’re already using Microsoft Teams or Slack, it’s easy to switch to the Cisco Webex Teams interface. You’ll appreciate features like real-time transcriptions, on-screen captions, and excellent interactive whiteboarding tools, which make it also a great option for those who want to offer participants with more call accessibility.
Cisco Webex Teams Strengths
Cisco Webex Teams Weaknesses
Design custom workflows
Pricier than other options
High definition (HD) video conferencing
Takes a bit more finesse to set up
Teams and Meetings software can be buggy
Cisco Webex Teams Pricing
- Free: No monthly fee for one host, up to 50 minutes per meeting, 100 participants, and the capability to save recordings to your device
- Starter: $13.50 per host, per month for one to nine hosts, 24-hour meeting time limits, 5GB cloud recording storage, and call-in support
- Plus: $17.95 per host, per month with features available on the Business plan, but more affordable for companies with up to 50 hosts
- Business: $26.95 per host, per month for five to 100 hosts, up to 200 participants, 10GB of recording call storage, and interactive whiteboarding
- Enterprise: Get a custom price for unlimited hosts and cloud recording storage along with a toll-free dial-in number and a dedicated support representative
Cisco Webex Features
- Interactive whiteboarding: Not only can you share or brainstorm ideas on a whiteboard during meetings, but you can also save it in team spaces where staff can edit for continued collaboration.
- Video conferencing: With superior HD-quality video and personalizable video layouts, you can optimize meetings for clear conversations and host face-to-face meetings from anywhere.
- Workflows for bots: Create custom workflows using bots that enhance productivity and keep teams informed. Integrate your processes with ZenDesk, Mailchimp, or Google Drive, among dozens of others.
BlueJeans: Best Alternative for Enterprise-grade Features
BlueJeans is a tool that gives small businesses enterprise-level capabilities. Advanced reporting options, Dolby® Voice audio in video conferences, and an intelligent meeting recap feature help small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) compete with large corporations. With a starting price of $9.99 per host, per month, BlueJeans is an affordable alternative to Microsoft Teams.
Like other video collaboration software, BlueJeans provides robust features with an easy-to-use interface that takes one click to join. However, BlueJeans also offers bundled packages, allowing users to equip spaces designed for top productivity without worrying about maintenance or figuring out the best configuration on your own.
Unlimited group and one-on-one meetings
No free plan
Advanced analytics command center available
No extra collaboration tools
AI capabilities boost productivity
- Standard: $9.99 per host, per month for up to 50 participants with unlimited group and one-on-one meetings and up to five hours of meeting recording time*
- Pro: $13.99 per host, per month for up to 75 participants, 25 hours of meeting recording, workstream collaboration integrations, and command center analytics*
- Enterprise: Contact BlueJeans for the feature-rich Enterprise plan that gives you access to onboarding, customer success, and technical account managers along with tons of customization options*
*Pricing is based on annual payments for a savings of 20%, but month-to-month pricing is also available.
- Command center: With more than 70 performance metrics, you get an overview of your historical and real-time data on the Pro and Enterprise plans. Small business owners can develop insights and take a proactive approach to virtual workforce management.
- Smart meetings: Get more from every session using artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. The platform creates video highlights reels for interactive consumption on demand. It allows you to assign tasks during the meeting and automate the follow-up process.
- Rooms-as-a-service: Deliver an enterprise-level experience with this bundled package with software, hardware, maintenance, and support. Easily capture everyone’s voice during the meeting and automatically adjust screen images using high dynamic range video mapping.
Google Meet: Best for G Suite & Google Workspace Users
If your teams already use G Suite or the more recently re-branded Google Workspace for collaboration, then Google Meet is a natural fit. It integrates with all Google services to participate in a video meeting while sending text or files to others. Google Meet software is free to use. However, it also comes with your G Suite subscription, or you can purchase an individual Google Workspace Essentials plan for $8 per active user, per month.
Google Meet is similar to Microsoft Teams in that it provides video and voice calling. However, you don’t need a Microsoft 365 subscription to use it. Google Meet allows seamless video calling and use of the entire Google Workspace Suite for collaboration and file sharing.
Google Meet Strengths
Google Meet Weaknesses
Live caption accessibility feature
Limited integrations with Microsoft products
Free for up to 100 participants
No virtual background option
Free plan requires participants to login with a Google account
Google Meet Pricing
- Free: Google Meet is free to use for up to 100 participants, one-hour meetings, adjustable screen layouts, and screen sharing*
- G Workspace Essentials: $8 per active user, per month for up to 150 meeting participants and 300 hours per meeting, plus U.S. or international dial-in phone numbers**
- G Workspace Enterprise: Get a quote to livestream in-domain for up to 100,000 viewers, intelligent noise cancellation, and up to 250 meeting participants
*Google Meet also comes with all Google Workspace plans, including Basic, Business, and Enterprise.
**Active user is defined as someone added to your customer account who opens a file in Drive, hosts, or joins a video meeting.
Google Meet Features
- Google Workspace integration: Invite participants via email or calendar, or quickly jump on a video call while collaborating in Google Docs or Chat.
- Live captioning: Make it easier for teams to follow along by enabling live captions using Google’s speech recognition technology.
- Messaging: Interact in meetings with live messaging. Users can share links or files while chatting during a video meeting.
Miro: Best for Creative Collaboration
Replace the community desk with a digital interactive work environment. Miro delivers exceptional features designed for boosting collaboration and creativity remotely. Easy-to-use templates, integrations, and video chat features help teams follow through on projects from brainstorming to launch. Start with the $8 per member, per month Team version to access a comprehensive remote meeting toolkit.
Like Microsoft Teams, you’ll get features such as commenting and tagging capabilities. The platform also offers advanced mind mapping, feedback, and whiteboard features perfect for creative teams.
Consultant plan for working with clients
Less robust video conferencing features
Easy to invite guest users
Must add widgets to get some features
Built-in team feedback feature
Must use apps to add documents or files
- Free: Use Miro free with unlimited team members, three editable boards, real-time collaborations, and access to premade templates
- Team: $8 per member, per month billed annually or $10 if billed monthly for unlimited boards, video chat, a remote meeting toolkit, and advanced attention management features
- Business: $16 per member, per month billed annually for teams with 20-plus users for extra features like day passes for occasional collaborators and remote editing access
- Consultant: $12 per member, per month when billed annually or $15 when billed monthly for all Team features plus an unlimited number of private workspaces for clients and advanced administration controls
- Enterprise: Get a custom solution and price for advanced features like a dedicated customer success manager, personalized onboarding program, and security options
- Premade templates: Find templates for nearly every creative activity, including workshopping, user story maps, fishbone diagrams, mind maps, and remote design sprints.
- Whiteboard: Go beyond the basics with this interactive feature that gives you an infinite canvas to play with. Use sticky notes, shapes, and digital markers to collaborate in real time.
- Video chat: Connect with up to 25 users via video or voice chat while brainstorming via whiteboard or screen-sharing workshops.