Will Microsoft Teams Overtake Slack?
The enterprise chat market is seeing a flurry of action, with every big IT company vying to make a dent in the market. Communications between these communication and collaboration platforms is also making headline news, literally. Recently, Slack gave out a full page advertisement in the New York Times, welcoming Microsoft Teams and stating that they were excited to compete! However, the onslaught of Microsoft Teams, may not prove insignificant for Slack, if a survey by Spiceworks were to be believed. The survey puts “Skype for Business” as the currently most popular business chat application, and proposes that it is not long before Slack loses out to Microsoft Teams, and maybe even Google Hangouts.
The survey was conducted with 450 companies across EMEA and North America. It indicated the growing popularity of the collaboration chat app, with 42% of respondents stating that they used collaborative chat tools like Slack, Google Hangouts and Skype for Business. In fact when segregated by company size i.e. employees more than 500, a significant 53% indicated using an enterprise chat application. The usage by tool was Skype for Business (50%), Slack (14%) and then Google Hangouts (11%). Teams, which has only recently launched, finds favour with 7% of the surveyed companies. Interestingly, affinity to Teams seems to abound with another 9% mentioning that they planned to use it within a year and another 11% plan to use is in the next one to two years. Some of the other offerings on the market which are more niche, are Slack and Hipchat. Mid-sized companies i.e. companies with employee count between 100 to 499, were seen using HipChat (4%) over Microsoft Teams (1%). Interestingly, even in this segment, Teams seems to be popular, 13% plan to adopt Teams in the next year. For Hipchat, this number stood at a mere 1%. When it comes to small companies with less than 100 employees, Teams seems to already have made its mark. 4% are already using Teams, 10% plan to use it in the year and 5% more plan to use it within the next two years. Slack adoption rates stood at a small 2% for these small companies.
If we add up these numbers, while only 3% of organizations use Microsoft Teams currently, 17% plan to adopt it within the next two years. This points towards one reality- the future of Microsoft teams is bright. If this trend continues, Microsoft Teams will rise to become the second most commonly used messaging platform in the workplace by the end of 2018. It will only then need to compete with Skype, having overtaken Slack and Google Hangouts.
The single biggest factor for this is Team’s foundation being base on the Office 365 productivity suite, which has been around since ages and is inadvertently trusted by enterprises like no other. Microsoft Teams will be easily integrated with already user-familiar applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, and Skype for Business, Power BI and others. Moreover, the company itself has the reach and reputation, thanks Office 365 and IT presence across domains. This is the perfect add-on to the Office Suite- a fast-paced chat element for the collaborative work environment of today. Cost is another deciding factor- Teams is free for enterprise subscribers of Office 365, a definite cost advantage over opting for an entirely new chat application. Of course, Slack is more momentum-friendly, and it’s open-platform approach along with its ability to tie-in to third-party tools is an attractive value proposition. But these features may appeal to those who are not already on Office 365, a narrow chunk of enterprise users.
According to a blog post by Microsoft, 30,000 organizations across 145 different markets using 19 different languages have used Teams in the past month. Of course, it will be a game of wait and watch as we decode the enterprise chat market over the next few months.
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