Teams Just Blew Past Slack, New Features Imminent

Marco Green
July 12, 2019

While ETR's study is just a slice of the overall business market, it does cover a fair bit of ground, as around 900 CIOs and other high-level enterprise IT decision makers have already provided their opinions (with more to come) - and that includes nearly every Fortune 100 company, and the best part of 40% of the Fortune 500.

Microsoft says its workplace collaboration app Teams is growing faster than Slack now valued at over $17 billion on the public markets and for the first time, it's revealing how many people use the app daily. These should enhance the AV capabilities of the Microsoft Teams software, which enables users to hold both video and audio conference calls with the touch of a button.

So, these are worrying statistics for Slack, with Microsoft apparently making good progress, despite the fact that many respondents to the survey didn't think Teams was actually as good as Slack. It also has over 19 million weekly active users.

"We're less anxious about the numbers that stand right at the moment, and we're more concerned about growth", Jared Spataro, corporate VP of modern workplace, said at a Microsoft press event. The free trial offer just applies to new Office 365 customers and existing ones that are using plans that don't include Teams, such as Exchange Online Only users, according to the announcement and a Microsoft partner document (PDF).

Microsoft didn't provide an update on how many businesses were using Teams, but as of March the number was more than 500,000 organizations, including 91 percent of Fortune 100 firms.

Microsoft officials said earlier this week that the decision to start requiring partners to pay for the Microsoft software and services they use stemmed from a need to cut costs.

Microsoft introduced Teams in 2017 as a competitor to Slack, which had attracted significant interest as an alternative to email for internal communications following its launch in 2014. This feature sends out an alert to the recipient every two minutes until there's a response. It has also added WhatsApp-like read receipts. The moderator feature launches this month as well.

Microsoft has released an "Announcement" capability in Teams that lets end users highlight things like new projects or new team members. This feature is now available. Moderators can also manage what is posted in channels and if posts can have replies.

A new Time Clock feature will allow employees to clock in and out of work shifts and break from their mobile app. Support for geo-fencing means that an employee may be required to be at a designated location before clocking in.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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