What can you trust?
Team Collaboration apps are now the heart of any teamwork strategy. Persistent chat, file sharing, and screen sharing applications are rapidly replacing the cluttered corporate inbox. People are relying more heavily on video and audio conferencing to share ideas within environments where they can also message their team members.
In an age where remote and mobile working have made this fast-paced and synchronous conversation essential, collaboration apps are appearing everywhere. Virtually every leading UC company seems to be trying to dip their toes into some aspect of team collaboration. However, not every provider has successfully built a full-fat collaboration offering yet.
So, how do you decide which collab solution is right for you?
You could start with an assessment of popularity. Daily Active User (DAU) claims seem to provide an insight into how many people are enjoying a certain app.
But can we trust those numbers?
In an ideal world we’d be able to conduct an apples-to-apples comparison of every collaboration company. Accurate DAU numbers would make it easier to assess popularity. Everyone would know for certain which services are leading the way, and which are trailing behind.
However, that’s not the case. The truth is that most companies are providing numbers that are more vanity-based than factual. Some companies confuse meeting participants and paying users. This leads to widely variable results that are difficult to trust.
Today’s business leaders need to consider the possible inaccuracies that might arise when calculating active user numbers for the top-performing brands. How are these companies measuring their user count? What do they include in their definition of “collaboration users?”
We created a graph of some of the leading collab vendors in the marketplace today, based on their scope and popularity. These vendors have all released active user numbers, and all have their own dedicated collaboration solution. Here’s what we discovered.
As you can see from this graph, the biggest players in collaboration might not be as “big” as we think. To conduct this assessment, I considered three main factors:
Applicability: How many of the users in the DUA estimation are actually using a product classified as team collaboration (including team chat, search, and project rooms e.g team spaces).
User intention: How many of these users specifically log into their tool to use a team collaboration platform. For instance, Slack users may use a lot of chat, but Webex are more likely to use the app for video.
% of Paid: Of the figures claimed, what percentage applies to actual paying customers?
What I’m looking at here are honesty indicators. In other words, this graph aims to determine how accurate the claims that companies make are with their DAU count.
There are a lot of discrepancies to consider when evaluating collaboration providers based on DAU. For instance:
Based on our own research, I’m not sure that DAU can be a reasonable way to compare who’s leading the collaboration space right now. Every vendor has its own strengths and weaknesses. However, it’s difficult to know for certain how accurate the numbers available might be.
Some vendors have a clear advantage over others when you look at their numbers. However, others seem to be fudging the figures that they provide to the public.
For now, we’d recommend ignoring DAU as a factor when you’re choosing your collaboration tool. Stick to picking the service that delivers the right results for your requirements.