Lark vs DingTalk: The Cross-Border Collaboration Tool for Global Expansion

Lark vs DingTalk: The Cross-Border Collaboration Tool for Global Expansion

Portrait of Alan Chan's Author
Portrait of Alan Chan's Author

Alan Chan

November 29, 2023


Nov 29, 2023


10 min read

multiple people using computers on a desk
multiple people using computers on a desk
multiple people using computers on a desk
multiple people using computers on a desk

As hybrid work has become a trend and global expansion is more prevalent, more companies are hiring internationally. Yet, keeping those dispersed global workers productive and on the same page can prove difficult. In particular, choosing the right collaboration tools that work effectively across different geographies is a major challenge.

For distributed team leaders, they want to help teams bridge distances, overcome language barriers, and boost productivity regardless of location or device. Adopting a productivity tool that can effectively unify cross-team collaboration, and facilitate synchronous and asynchronous cross-time zone communication is therefore the cornerstone for international growth.

While tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams are typical choices, they often fall short at bridging teams across Asia and the rest of the world, given the vast differences in work culture and Internet ecosystems. Let's take a look at why Lark and Dingtalk are often considered by distributed teams for the use cases of global expansion.

1. The importance of cross-border collaboration

There is a growing demand for companies to hire internationally. According to a recent Gusto survey, two-thirds (67%) of SMBs with international employees had a remote employee within the U.S. before hiring their first employee. Of these companies, 72% reported their prior experience managing remote U.S. workers positively influenced their decision to hire internationally. 51% of SMBs said they seek international employees to help serve new markets, which is easier with on-the-ground workers with local expertise.

Companies with employees worldwide use productivity tools to facilitate teamwork, communication and productivity across time zones and cultures. Tools like Lark and DingTalk that built with an awareness of global work trends, cultures and best practices can make the biggest impact in terms of facilitating open communication and empowering the next generation of global distributed workforce.

2. Pain points of global expansion

As a globally distributed team, you likely rely on multiple tools for messaging, video calls, document collaboration, and more. However, too many apps can slow you down by creating information silos and hindering true collaboration.

Frequently switching between tasks and applications can significantly reduce productivity. According to a digital distraction study conducted by University of California, Irvine, it takes an average of about 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption. This wasted time and effort adds up quickly.

Experts recommend consolidating tools and processes as much as possible to minimize task switching as shifting between tools and tasks requires cognitive resources. A Harvard Business Review research shows that an average user toggled between different apps and websites nearly 1,200 times each day, which is equivalent to five working week a year, or 9% of their annual time at work.

Distributed teams also face challenges from cultural differences that hinder communication and work processes. Different communication styles, varying expectations for work-life balance and diverse approaches to decision making can pose challenges for distributed teams.

And especially for companies that are rapidly expanding from Asia to the West, or vice versa, they struggle with tool overload, incompatible communication software, language barriers and cultural misunderstandings. New tools like Lark and DingTalk that are built with empathy, openness and a willingness to understand different perspectives can navigate these differences successfully and unleash the potential of diverse talent. Rather than juggling multiple messaging, calling, and collaboration apps, unified solutions like Lark offer an all-in-one platform that allows you to chat, video call, edit documents and spreadsheets, manage projects, and track OKRs - all from a single interface. This integrated experience can notably improve productivity for globally distributed teams by reducing task switching.

3. What is DingTalk

DingTalk is a communication and collaboration platform with messaging, group chats, video conferencing, and task management tools. Dingtalk's has numerous features such as Teambition for organizing data-driven information, Wolai for organized document management capabilities, and Rooms for remote-friendly meetings, allowing businesses to collaborate in multiple operations across the company.

Lark vs DingTalk

4. What is Lark

Lark is an all-in-one collaboration platform that offers project management tools, collaborative features, and communication channels that are friendly for all types of workers—whether you're working behind a desk or on the frontlines. Lark also has widespread features such as video meetings, chat, email, project management. It is purposefully built with global collaboration in mind, so anyone can connect with their teammates freely by being able to translate from over 100+ languages in just one platform.

Lark vs DingTalk

5. Case in point: How does Lark work for global teams?

Some key benefits of Lark for global teams:

• Built-in translation: Lark auto-translates messages and documents between 18 languages including English and Chinese, allowing team members to communicate effectively regardless of language skills.

• Cultural awareness: Lark was created with an understanding of work cultures in both Asia and the West. Its interface and features resonate well across regions.

Data security: Lark meets the highest standards for data privacy and security. Lark has robust security and compliance standards, including ISO 27001, 27018, 27017, APEC CBPR, APEC PRP, Data Protection Trustmark (DPTM), as well as SOC 2 (Type II) & SOC 3. Lark offers SAML-based SSO, 2FA authentication, watermarks protection, and advanced user permissions that safeguard your company's security.

• Mobile-first: Lark's mobile app provides the same full experience as the PC app. Team members can stay connected and productive anytime, anywhere.

Integrations: Lark connects to the other tools you use like Salesforce, Docusign, TikTok, Shopify, Square, and more. You get the benefits of consolidation without losing functionality.

If app sprawl and inefficient collaboration are holding your global team back, Lark can help. Its combination of cultural awareness, translation, security, and productivity tools in one place makes it an ideal solution for international teams looking to work faster and smarter together, wherever they may be.

6. Case in point: Lark's unique features for global teams

Lark has a lightweight and minimalistic interface, focusing on enhancing productivity and work-life balance. It cultivates a flexible work culture where remote work and asynchronous communication are embraced. Lark is ideal for companies with a young, tech-savvy workforce distributed across regions.

Some of Lark’s standout features include:

  • Smart calendars that automatically schedule meetings based on attendees’ availability and suggest optimal meeting times.

  • AI-powered meeting summaries that generate post-meeting notes, action items, and to-do lists.

  • Advanced document collaboration with features like real-time co-editing, version control, and templates.

  • An ecosystem of third-party integrations like Slack, Dropbox, and Google Drive.

For companies looking to enable flexible work and boost productivity, Lark is an innovative option worth considering. Its focus on employee engagement and well-being can help build a sustainable work culture in today's fast-paced business environment. Lark’s minimal and intuitive interface is also appealing to the new generation of digital natives in the workforce.

7. Lark vs DingTalk: Key differences

When it comes to choosing between Lark and DingTalk for your global team’s cross-border collaboration, there are a few key differences and unique selling points to consider.

Built for global collaboration

Lark is a powerful tool for global companies who require robust language translation capabilities and interface language friendliness, or brick-and-mortar businesses who require frontline and office workers to be connected. With Lark, users can translate from over 100+ languages into over 18 in real-time, whether it's through real-time video meetings, meeting transcription recordings, chat messages, or documents. If you have a global team, Lark can seamlessly connect your team across time zones, locations, and cultures. Lark supports 15 languages for its app interface, and 18 languages for chat translation and meeting transcription.

Learn more about Lark's global collaboration use case here.

Comprehensive customer success

Lark offers local customer success and support across Asia Pacific, North America, and Japan to help businesses get the most out of the product, such as:

  • Change management: to help employees adopt a new, better way of working through Lark

  • Migration: to provide guidance and support that help customers go through migration from other tools to Lark

  • Onboarding and training: to make sure employees, whether at a desk or in the field, can use Lark easily and thoroughly to make their workday more productive.

  • Use cases: to provide best practices, templates, and more in order to help customers gain additional value from a partnership with Lark.

Depth and breadth of features

While DingTalk is known for features like attendance tracking and task assignments, Lark was designed from the ground up to enhance teamwork and boost productivity with an enterprise focus. Lark offers an all-in-one workspace with messaging, video conferencing, collaborative documents, spreadsheets, databases, OKRs, approval workflows, and more. This wide range of sophisticated yet easy-to-use features makes Lark ideal for both knowledge and frontline workers, and fast-growing companies that are expanding globally.

interview survey using Lark Minutes

Good value for money

For organizations with fewer than 50 users, Lark is completely free as indicated on the pricing plans, providing substantial annual savings. By using Lark, you also save costs from using redundant software. You can actually calculate the potential cost savings from here.

Favoured by the next-gen workforce

The choice of work tools reflect a company's perspectives on productivity. Lark is simple for employees to pick up and use at scale. Lark’s clean, intuitive interface was created with productivity and work-life balance in mind. This focus on user experience has earned Lark a reputation as the “next-generation work style” among tech-savvy professionals and forward-thinking businesses. For companies looking to enable flexible work and boost productivity, Lark's focus on work-life balance and employee well-being could help build a sustainable work culture. Lark may be suitable if you want to attract and retain young talent.

8. Get Right Tool that Fits Your Team's Needs

When it comes to choosing the right collaboration tool like Lark vs DingTalk for your global team, there are a few key factors to consider:

Functionality: What features do you need? Video calls? Documents? Tasks? Some tools have strengths in advanced features for global teams.

Ease of use: How intuitive is it? Non-tech and language barriers matter. Simple interfaces require little training.

Culture fit: A tool's values impact collaboration. Lark focuses on autonomy, innovation and work-life harmony for global teams.

Security: Consider data privacy, intellectual property protection and security protocols. Certifications and audits show a tool's commitment to security.

Key needs, values and priorities should guide your choice. While DingTalk is a tool used by many, Lark checks all the boxes as an ideal future of work solution for global collaboration.

9. Lark: The Superapp for Cross-Border Collaboration & Expansion

Lark is a superapp designed for cross-border teams looking to streamline collaboration and boost productivity. If your team struggles with a mix of tools for chat, video conferencing, task management and document sharing, Lark provides an all-in-one solution.

With Lark, your global team can communicate seamlessly across borders. Its built-in translator supports over 100 languages, allowing teammates to chat, share files and join video calls with anyone around the world. Lark’s calendar feature also makes it easy to schedule meetings with international colleagues while automatically adjusting for time zones.

For task management, Lark offers tools like OKRs, task lists, reminders and time tracking to keep everyone aligned. Managers can assign tasks, set deadlines and monitor progress right within Lark. Team members get an overview of all responsibilities at a glance and stay on schedule.

When it comes to document sharing and storage, Lark provides unlimited space for files, notes, spreadsheets and slides. Edit documents together in real time and sync changes instantly across devices. Never lose an important file again or struggle to find the latest version.

10. Conclusion

While DingTalk has its own unique advantages as a messenger tool and has a decent pool of customers, Lark stands out in various aspects as it takes the hassle out of using multiple apps and tools, integrating essential functionality for global teams into one place. With Lark as your chat-centric superapp for work, you can focus less on technical challenges and more on what really matters: collaborating and achieving your goals together. Lark provides the capabilities, experience and support global teams need to get work done efficiently across borders.

Sign up for a free trial of Lark here and experience hassle-free worldwide collaboration.

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