Microsoft’s using Office 365 to push Teams as a Slack killer, survey claims

Microsoft Teams
Image credit: Microsoft (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Teams is on the up-and-up with some impressive growth, primarily driven by being bundled with Office 365, and that comes at the expense of rival chat and collaboration service Slack, according to a new survey.

This comes from ETR, a market research firm that shared findings from its ‘2H19 Technology Spending Intentions Survey’, which as the name suggests attempts to find out what companies will be investing in tech-wise in the second half of 2019.

Going by net spending intentions for 2H19, the results so far gathered (not everyone has responded yet) show major gains for Microsoft Teams, while interest in Slack is dwindling considerably.

To be precise, Teams is holding fast at a rating of 67% for net spending intentions, the same as three months ago, although it’s an improvement of 8% compared to the second half of 2018. Slack, on the other hand, has a net score of 28%, which represents a drop of 26% on three months ago, and a worrying decline of 45% compared to the second half of last year.

This trend is even more pronounced amongst big companies (public and private alike).

ETR observes: “When examining what has changed in respondents’ Slack spending intentions versus one year ago and three months ago, it becomes apparent that ‘Decrease’ and ‘Replacing’ indications have risen versus simply just an increase in those indicating a ‘Flat’ spend, which is common of companies that have become pervasive quickly and/or subscription-based companies.

“Simultaneously, Adoption rates are slowing into 2H19. This is true among all respondents and Giant Public and Private organization [GPP] respondents.”

Nearly one in every five Slack respondents said they were decreasing spend or abandoning the service for an alternative in the second half of 2019, an amount which has almost tripled since a year ago.

In contrast, when it comes to Microsoft Teams, one in five of GPP respondents said that the service would be a brand-new adoption for them in 2H19.

Fortune favors the Teams

While ETR’s study is just a slice of the overall business market, it does cover a fair bit of ground, as around 900 CIOs and other high-level enterprise IT decision makers have already provided their opinions (with more to come) – and that includes almost every Fortune 100 company, and the best part of 40% of the Fortune 500.

The most common reason cited for why companies are either abandoning Slack, or adopting Teams, is simply: “Compatibility with our organization’s existing IT skills.”

Indeed, as Microsoft itself noted: “Customers see Teams as a great deal because it’s part of Office 365, with deep integration into the other Office apps and services.”

So, these are worrying statistics for Slack, with Microsoft apparently making good progress, despite the fact that many respondents to the survey didn’t think Teams was actually as good as Slack.

But cost issues – many firms use Office 365 anyway, so Teams is already there – and the convenience of the aforementioned Office integration play a big part, and Microsoft Teams has seemingly come on enough and improved to a point where it is now considered perfectly viable, if not better than Slack.

Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Microsoft has just declared that Teams has over 13 million daily users, which beats out Slack’s 10 million figure.

Via Recode

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).