Big Teams for Teams Fans
In a note to a UserVoice request to increase the maximum size of a team to facilitate company-wide communications, Microsoft said yesterday that “We are pleased to announce general availability of 5,000 member teams. Starting today, all new and existing teams can accommodate up to 5,000 members, double the previous limit. Larger groups can now collaborate effortlessly in a single team and leaders can connect with a broad audience within their organization.”
The increase boosts the previous limit for members in a team from 2,500. Microsoft has steadily increased the number since the product’s introduction to make Teams better able to cope with the need for large-scale communications inside big organizations. Given that Teams is now used by 420,000 organizations, including 89 of the Fortune 100, the need to support large teams is obvious. I’m sure that Accenture, the largest user of Teams, will welcome the change as they probably have large teams in their 170,000 user base.
Team, Groups, Yammer, and Limits
Originally, the limit of 1,000 members was based on the limit for Office 365 Groups, but the scalability characteristics of Teams and Groups are markedly different because Teams members do not need the same level of concurrent access to the group mailbox as Groups does. Teams uses an Azure data service for its messages while Groups stores its conversations in the Inbox folder of the group mailbox.
Although some might think that the higher limit puts pressure on Yammer, I don’t think this is the case. Yammer is still capable of dealing with far larger user populations than Teams can. If you need company-wide discussions for a 50,000-person organization, Yammer can do the job while Teams still cannot.
Of course, some companies don’t like the idea of deploying yet another collaboration application within their tenant and are willing to live with the limit imposed by Teams and wait for Microsoft to increase the membership maximum further in the future.
This kind of change is exactly the reason why an updated eBook scores over the traditional printing model. For more information on Teams, see Chapter 13 in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.