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Microsoft Teams is one of the most widely used collaborative tools on the market. The user-friendly tool is ideal for developers seeking high-quality video conferencing and chat capabilities, excellent security, and third-party app integrations. And, if you are a fan of other Microsoft products or are a .NET or C# programmer, that familiarity can certainly help too.
While Microsoft Teams can keep you and your colleagues on the same page, it is not the only collaborative tool of its kind. In this collaboration software guide, we will discuss the following Microsoft Teams alternatives and include details on their features, pros, cons, and pricing:
- Google Workspace: ideal for teams already familiar with Google offerings
- Zoom: ideal for collaboration with larger teams
- Mattermost: ideal for development teams seeking ultimate security out of an open-source collaboration and project management tool
If you are uncertain whether or not you are using Microsoft Teams to its fullest potential, check out our Microsoft Teams Review.
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is a Microsoft Teams alternative that can help software development teams of all sizes collaborate to boost productivity. It is particularly popular with small teams who enjoy the familiarity of Google tools.
Google Workspace Features
Google Workspace has a little bit of everything to help you collaborate. And, if you have used Google products in the past, it will take very little time or onboarding to get started with features like:
Google Chat offers direct messages and group conversations to share ideas and sync up. Google Meet offers online conferencing and video call capabilities.
If you need to share and store files, Workspace has Google Drive. And if you need to schedule and coordinate work, meetings, etc., there is Google Calendar.
Google Workspace Pros:
Google Workspace has the following pros:
- Google familiarity
- Multiple collaboration tools
- Everything in one spot
Picking Workspace is a no-brainer if you already use other Google products, as that familiarity is tough to beat. It gives developers tons of collaboration tools in one space to keep them organized, and since it is based in the cloud, Google Workspace eliminates the need to download software.
Google Workspace Cons
Despite its numerous pros, Google Workspace also has a few cons to be aware of:
- Needs Internet
- A bit basic
- Microsoft compatibility
Google Workspace’s cloud-based existence is good in some ways and bad in others. You will need Internet access to run most of its features, and being based on the cloud opens you up to potential security issues.
Compared to other collaboration software, Workspace may seem a bit basic. And, if you use Microsoft Office a lot, you could encounter compatibility issues when converting some elements.
Google Workspace Pricing
Google Workspace gives developers four pricing plans to choose from:
- Business Starter: $6 per user, per month
- Business Standard: $12 per user, per month
- Business Plus: $18 per user, per month
- Enterprise: Contact sales for pricing
The Business Starter plan costs $6 per user, per month. Go up in plans, and Google gives you more video meetings, storage per user, and support. The Business Standard plan, Workspace’s most popular offering, costs $12 per user, per month. Business Plus, meanwhile, costs $18 per user, per month, while Enterprise has custom pricing for its advanced security, support, and unlimited storage.
Zoom is an all-in-one communication and collaboration platform used by software developers seeking several fuss-free ways to connect.
Many probably associate Zoom with virtual meetings since the software became so popular during the pandemic. And, while the Microsoft Teams alternative excels at those, Zoom offers much more, including:
- Team chat
- Online whiteboard
- Email and calendar
- Virtual working spaces
Zoom’s virtual meetings let you connect with anyone, anywhere via face-to-face video. The online whiteboard promotes creativity and brainstorming, while the email and calendar let you schedule and stay organized.
Virtual workspaces work well for huddling and collaborating remotely with other developers, and Zoom also has added perks like file sharing, screen sharing, closed captioning, real-time transcriptions, and VoIP calls.
The Zoom collaboration tool has the following pros:
- All-in-one feature set
- Easy to use
- Superb quality
- Screen sharing
If you need a collaborative tool that has it all, Zoom has you covered. Best of all, it takes little work to get going, even for beginners. Zoom’s high-quality audio and video are essential for critical meetings, and its screen sharing is a must-have for remote developers.
While Zoom has many features and pros, it does have a few notable cons:
- High price
- Internet connectivity
- Comment control
“Zoombombing” is a security issue that has plagued the collaboration software, so keep that in mind if you are wary of unwanted participants joining in. To unlock some of its top features, programmers will have to pay a pretty penny.
While Zoom offers solid audio and video quality, it requires a strong Internet connection to do so. And controlling inappropriate comments is tough on the platform, although that may not be a huge issue with developers’ calls.
Zoom has five pricing plans that range from complimentary to quite costly if you opt for its Zoom One offerings:
- Basic: Free up to 100 attendees with time limits
- Pro: $149.90 per user, per year
- Business: $199.90 per user, per year
- Business Plus: $250 per user, per year
- Enterprise: Contact sales for pricing
The Basic plan is free for up to 100 attendees per meeting, but there is a catch: Each meeting can be 40 minutes max. The Pro plan offers longer meetings and cloud storage for $149.90 per user, per year, while the Business plan allows for up to 300 attendees per meeting for $199.90 per user, per year. Business Plus and its phone, translated captions, etc., costs $250 per user, per year, and Enterprise has custom pricing for its unlimited cloud storage, full-featured PBX phone, and more.
Mattermost was explicitly designed to help technical teams and developers collaborate securely. The open-source Microsoft Teams alternative gives developers added customization, flexibility, security, and reliability that may catch their eye over other collaboration software options in this guide.
Mattermost claims it can help teams reduce resolution time and the severity of outages and system failures, increase time to response by 90 percent, and enjoy four times more information availability. Here are some of the features that help the collaboration software achieve those goals:
- Real-time collaboration
- Project management
- Technical tool integrations
- Workflow automation
Developers can collaborate via Mattermost through audio and screen sharing, channels, one-on-one messaging, team messaging, calls, syntax highlighting, and code snippet and file sharing.
Mattermost has Kanban boards to keep development teams on the same page and manage projects, and it also integrates with widely-used technical tools like GitLab and GitHub. Choose Mattermost, and you will also have time-saving workflow automation for recurring processes at your fingertips.
Here are a few of the most important pros of Mattermost collaboration tool:
- Open source
- Collaboration plus project management
The fact that Mattermost is open-source software can lead to better reliability, flexibility, and security. Its integration with GitHub, Jira, Jenkins, and other developer tools is a plus, as is the ability to self-host versus relying on the cloud. And while other tools on this list primarily focus on collaboration, Mattermost also throws in project management features as a bonus.
Here are a few of the cons of Mattermost worth considering:
- Learning curve
- No video chat
- Lack of a calendar
If you have non-technical members on your team, they may have a tough time adjusting to Mattermost. It is quite technical and not entirely user-friendly, but since it is aimed at developers, this may not be an issue on some teams.
The lack of video chat puts Mattermost behind other collaboration tools, as does the lack of a calendar, as both features are essential to keeping everyone on the same page.
Mattermost has three pricing plans to choose from. All offer self-hosted or cloud deployment options:
- Free: Limited features
- Professional: $10 per user, per month
- Enterprise: Contact sales for pricing
The Free plan offers secure collaboration for smaller teams. The Professional plan, with its user management and advanced access controls, costs $10 per user, per month, while the custom-priced Enterprise plan offers advanced compliance and high-scale deployment features.
How To Choose Collaboration Software
Picking the right collaboration software is a huge decision, as it can mean the difference between staying on task and in touch or miscommunicating and missing deadlines. What does the ideal collaboration software have? Consider the following when choose a collaboration tool for your software development team:
- A combination of multiple ways to collaborate (chat, video, file sharing, etc.)
- Security features to protect sensitive data
- Accessibility regardless of device or location
- Scalability to adapt to your team as it grows
Final Thoughts On Microsoft Teams Alternatives
Microsoft Teams has plenty of pluses in its favor, such as high-quality video conferencing, chat, file sharing, etc. Does that mean it is the right collaboration tool for you as a developer? Not necessarily, which is why you should also check out the Microsoft Teams alternatives listed above, as they all offer similar functionality and may be a better fit.
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Other Collaboration Tools for Programmers
Looking for other collaboration tools not featured in this list? We have several guides that can help you find collaboration software that will let your teams collaborate and communicate more effectively: