Predicting the Future Market for Team Collaboration Tools

Is Microsoft Teams poised to become the market leader of Team Collaboration?

Predicting the Future Market for Team Collaboration Tools

When you consider the modern methods that enterprises and businesses are using to get communication done, it’s worth noting that email still plays an important part. However, despite this, collaboration applications and group chat services are clearly becoming more popular. Today, the market is full of competitors, including Skype for Business, Slack, and Google Hangouts.

Another popular solution is the “Microsoft Teams” app, which was introduced in 2016, and is now poised to become a market leader in group collaboration, changing the way that users connect with each other both in and outside of the office according to a “SpiceWorks” survey. The recent survey received responses in December of 2016 from more than 448 IT professionals across the EMEA region. Overall, it found that 42% of the companies with fewer than 100 employees were using collaboration tools, with more hoping to adopt them in the future, and 38% of firms with between 100-499 employees were already using them. Additionally, 53% of companies with more than 500 workers were deploying the same tools.

The Evolving Group Collaboration Market

According to the survey, Skype for Business is currently the leader for the market, used by 36% of organisations. After that, Google Hangouts has 16% adoption, and Slack has 13%. Additionally, Workplace by Facebook and Microsoft Teams received a low adoption rate of around 1% and 3% respectively, but that doesn’t mean much considering their youth in the market.


Team Collaboration “in real life”

During their survey, Spiceworks also found that larger organisations are generally more likely to use Skype for Business than small organisations – perhaps because the user account management and group conferencing options provided by Skype for Business make more sense as companies grow. Alternatively, small and medium-sized companies were more likely to use Google Hangouts than Slack than their larger brethren, citing their benefits in usability and cost.

The chances are that Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business will see additional growth as we move forward thanks to Microsoft’s position in the market. Though about 3% use Microsoft Teams at this time, a further 17% are predicted to adopt it within 2 years, and Skype for Business is expected to receive a further 11% of the market in the same time. This means that Microsoft Teams may quickly emerge as the second most popular messaging platform in the workplace by 2018.

What does Microsoft Teams Offer?

Microsoft Teams is free to use for companies that utilise the Office 365 cloud productivity suite, which currently has more than 85 million active users per month. Teams provides team conversations visible to an entire team by default, and threaded chats. Microsoft teams also allows for video and voice meetings, as well as integration with office documents. Userscan organise their conversations by topic and create channels with “Tabs” which offers quick access to applications.

Teams supports the Microsoft Bot framework in an effort to offer first and third-party intelligent services to the team collaboration market.

Evaluating the Competition

If we take a closer look into the collaboration tools available it’s easy to see some clear differences between the options. When the people in the Spiceworks survey were asked to rank chat apps across various aspects of reliability, security, and innovation, IT professionals considered Skype for Business and Slack to be the best in most areas. Innovation saw Slack as a clear leader, with five times as many pros selecting Slack over other providers. Slack was also the most compatible and user-friendly too. Google Hangouts was seen as the most cost-effective, and also came second for user friendliness, while Skype for business came first in terms of security, reliability, and manageability.

Obviously the traits above are crucial to businesses, and this might be why Skype has the highest market share. Though Skype for Business received low ratings in terms of user-friendliness and innovation, those attributes may not be as important to IT pros.

Despite the value of chat apps, of course, it seems that none of them will replace email entirely any time soon. While IT pros believe that apps are less expensive and easier to use than email, only 25% believe that collaborative apps will replace email in the next 3 to 5 years.


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