Front and Microsoft Teams: What’s the difference?

With more and more options to choose from, finding the best communication tools for your team is a growing challenge. One question we hear often is how Front and Microsoft Teams differ and how they work together. We’ll walk you through the key differences between Front and Teams, and how to evaluate what makes sense for your team.

What’s the difference between Front and Microsoft Teams? 

While both tools enable your team to chat and collaborate, Front and Teams are fundamentally different. Front brings internal collaboration directly into your inbox, instead of forcing your team to jump between multiple apps to coordinate on email.

Front is built for managing both internal and external communication from your inbox. 

✅ It turns your email inbox into a platform where you can easily organize communication, get context for decisions, and take action faster with your team.

✅ Teammates have internal chat discussions in their inbox, instead of switching to another tool and scattering information across multiple apps.

✅ Teammates comment directly on email and other message threads to coordinate quickly on customer communication and easily reference historical context.

✅ Automated rules allow you to build custom workflows to handle messages efficiently with custom analytics reports to measure performance.

Microsoft Teams is built for internal communication only in a standalone app.

✅ It’s an internal workspace for Office 365 teams to chat in group conversations, hold private conversations, or use video conferencing. 

✅ Users organize conversations by topic with channels, rather than separate threads for each discussion.

❌ Teams is entirely separate from your email inbox, so customer communication and internal coordination are not streamlined in one platform. 

❌ With internal and external communication in separate apps, only internal processes can be automated in Teams.

Using Front and Teams together

Some of our customers choose to maintain their internal chat systems, like Microsoft Teams, alongside Front. Your team can manage email and coordinate on customer communications in Front, while other internal communication (like where to go for lunch!) still happens in Teams. 

Here are some of the ways businesses use Teams to collaborate, even while using Front to collaborate on email:

  • Collaborating face-to-face with video conferencing
  • Sharing internal announcements or links to channels, such as, “Lunch has arrived!” or “We’ve received great press today!” 
  • Pushing information from other apps to give the team timely updates like daily revenue earnings or critical bugs to fix 

Front even integrates with Slack so that teams can receive alerts via chat, send Slack messages into Front, and more.

Why teams use Front for better email management

One of our customers’ favorite parts about Front is the ability to comment internally on message threads. How many times have you used an internal chat tool to explain, “So here’s what the email said…”? Or how many times have you thought, “Hm, I know my teammate and I discussed this…but where was that conversation? Was it in my internal chat tool? Or was it in my email?” 

Front’s internal discussions and comments features help combat these moments that slow down your work by bringing your internal collaboration into the very place where your work gets done: your inbox. 

While chat is great for unstructured conversations and internal brainstorming, it’s not built to help teams take action on time-sensitive communication. Conversations are scattered between Outlook and Teams, so discussion history is hard to find and reference later.

Front enables you to stay aligned with your team directly in your inbox, with internal context and external emails saved together so that you have the full historical context at your fingertips. 

In Front, internal conversation happens where your work happens: in your inbox. You can start a chat discussion in your inbox, or you can comment internally on email threads or other customer communications like SMS texts, live chats, and more. 

In Teams, you have to switch contexts from your email to Teams to chat — and the conversation lives separate and siloed from conversations in your email or other customer messaging apps. While Microsoft recently released an integration to share emails from Outlook into Teams, it only functions one-way. Valuable discussions about those emails are siloed in Teams, and you still need to switch back to Outlook to take action and reply.

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