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In early 2019, the tech industry and Wall Street were abuzz with they assured us was the unstoppable success of the Slack app for team collaboration. Breathless hyperbole of SLACK CHANGES HOW PEOPLE WILL WORK and THIS IS THE END OF BUSINESS EMAIL was rampant as the company’s stock went public. But as 2020 comes to a close, those predictions of Slack dominance were sunk by the skyrocketing popularity of Microsoft Teams.
The growth of Microsoft Teams is astounding: An over 200% increase in daily Teams users occurred between March and October 2020. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed that Microsoft Teams now has 115 million users during the company’s fiscal first quarter earnings call (the Microsoft fiscal year begins in July), noting that the company is “seeing increased usage intensity [in Microsoft Teams] as people communicate, collaborate, and co-author content across work, life, and learning.”
Logically, you would think that Slack would be poised to take advantage of the fact that during 2020 more companies would need collaboration apps for the required shift to remote work amid the pandemic. While Slack and other competitors to Microsoft Teams such as Zoom increased in popularity, there are three reasons why more businesses have chosen Microsoft Teams for collaboration:
- Integration with office productivity apps
Microsoft Teams has an advantage over Slack because it is offered as a component of the Microsoft 365 subscription plans. This means that Teams is included for free with the industry-standard office productivity apps such as Microsoft Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word. Because of these cloud-powered integrations with other Microsoft 365 apps, users can set up a whole digital workplace within Teams. The tight app integration makes Microsoft Teams a productivity hub for employees. Various tabs in Microsoft Teams lets you integrate all your Microsoft 365 apps, Dynamics 365 customer relationship management, and even third-party apps directly within Teams. Accessing them is reduced to one single platform now, giving Teams the edge over Slack by saving you time and effort navigating between multiple apps to get your job done.
- Collaboration beyond meetings
Meetings are important and due to the pandemic are often conducted via online video. Both Slack and Microsoft Teams can deliver video meetings for large numbers of people with ease, the fact is that the 30-60 minutes you spend in that meeting is transactional. It’s one of the things that annoys many employees about meetings because a meeting is more of a negotiation than a time to get work done. A meeting brings together people from disparate teams, assigns tasks and due dates, then everyone goes back to whatever work they were doing before the meeting. The integration of your company’s productivity apps with Microsoft Teams enables a seamless, uninterrupted workflow during a meeting. With Teams, an online meeting enables employees to co-author documents, whiteboard new ideas, and assign tasks in a way such that everything completely stitched together and in one centralized cloud-based productivity hub. And even as more employees are working remotely, Microsoft Teams is adapting by adding new features including breakout rooms, a “virtual commute” tool, and new “Together Mode” backdrops for online meetings.
- Teams can replace your business phone system
Unlike Slack, Microsoft Teams can integrate true business telephony capabilities enabling users to make phone calls over the public switched telephone network (PSTN). While Slack users can “call” other paid Slack users within an organization, the voice and video call capabilities are nothing more than an inter-office intercom system. There’s no way to input a standard phone number into Slack and make a PSTN voice call to a customer or co-worker. On the other hand, Microsoft Teams offers a Phone System add-on that not only empowers users to make PSTN calls from within the Teams app it can also replace your company’s private branch exchange (PBX) phone system. While most PBX systems require expensive on-premise hardware at your office location, the Microsoft Teams Phone System is a subscription service that is 100% cloud-based. With Microsoft Teams, you could replace your regular business phone system—often with a lower total cost of ownership.
If your company is currently on Slack and any of the features highlighted above sound interesting, contact the Amaxra technology team at email@example.com.