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The Battle Between Teams and Slack
At the end of January 2019, Microsoft said that the adoption of Teams had accelerated to reach 420,000 organizations. Just around the same time, Slack announced that their daily active user count had reached 10 million and that 85,000 organizations pay for Slack. This number represents a growth of over 50% in customers who pay, which is obviously good news for Slack as they head for either an IPO or direct offering of shares to the public.
Slack didn’t say how many users pay to use the platform. The last figure on the statista.com site (May 2018) put the number at around three million. At the time, Slack’s user count was around eight million, so given the growth in two million users overall, the number of paid users might be around four million.
The Question of Payment
Microsoft’s data didn’t specify how many of the organizations using Teams pay for the privilege. The free version of Teams seems to be popular, but given that Microsoft bundles Teams in Office 365 Business Premium, Enterprise, Education, and Government plans, it’s probable that most use comes from companies who pay through their Office 365 subscriptions.
The close integration between Teams and other parts of Office 365, especially SharePoint Online, and the transition of workload from Skype for Business Online to Teams are other factors that drive user growth.
Last October, we calculated the number of people using Teams might be as high as 33 million. Given the growth since, that number might now be in the 40 million range. Only Microsoft knows and they’re not saying. However, given that Office 365 continues to grow at approximately 3 million users per month, Teams has a lot of potential growth ahead of it.
One thing Microsoft did say in January is that 89 of the Fortune 100 use Teams. Slack claims that 65 of the same companies use their product, so a considerable overlap exists between Teams and Slack. However, we do not know how many of these companies have elected to use both (for different user communities) or how many are in the process of migrating from Slack to Teams or vice versa.
Workplace Competing Against Teams or Yammer?
Another point of comparison comes from Workplace by Facebook. Although sometimes considered a competitor for Teams, Workplace is more often compared to Yammer. In February 2019, Facebook said that they had 2 million paid users of the platform, with 150 companies having 10,000 users or more (representing a remarkably high percentage of the overall user number).
This compares to Microsoft’s assertion (at the Ignite conference in September) that they had 60 customers with more than 10,000 people using Teams. Given the growth in Teams since, that number is likely higher. The largest Teams customer reported to date is Accenture, with over 170,000 users.
Workplace has had some success going up against Yammer recently, as in the case of GSK. The recently-added support of larger teams of up to 5,000 members might make Teams a more competitive offering when Microsoft goes to bat against Facebook, especially as Teams boasts better integration with the rest of Office 365 and hooks for developers to exploit than Yammer does.
It’s all getting very interesting in the chat-spaced collaboration space, and we haven’t even mentioned WebEx Teams…
For more information about Teams, read Chapter 13 of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. We cover much more than business stuff there…