2020 will definitely be a pivotal year for collaboration tools. While imprisonment periods followed one another worldwide, the world of work had to adapt to the forced democratization of teleworking. To maintain team productivity, companies have had to adopt new online work tools, including collaborative platforms. Several players were well positioned in this collaborative market at the start of the year, and their number of users has exploded since the pandemic broke out. Microsoft Teams was founded in 2017 and is one of the winners of this new way of working.
Microsoft Teams, sustainable growth with the proliferation of teleworking
During a conversation with Microsoft investors on Tuesday, October 27th, CEO Satya Nadella presented his audience with 115 million users per day for Microsoft teams. This corresponds to an increase of 50% compared to 75 million 6 months ago.
In the same category
The democratization of the affiliated speakers continues
A growth curve that is not ready to weaken at the beginning of a second wave of European interventions that should dismiss many employees from teleworking.
Microsoft Teams realized the need to move to online collaboration tools for small, digitized businesses, and took advantage of this growth period to work on improving their product. In July last year, Microsoft Teams presented a new function, the “Together” mode, with which every participant in a video conference is represented by an avatar, cut off from the webcam by an artificial intelligence and placed in a neutral place such as a café or a café can become an amphitheater.
“Together mode was developed to take the strain off your brain. He is no longer disturbed by movements in the background, lights or other surroundings of your conversation partner, ”admits Jaron Lanier, computer scientist at Microsoft. “The meetings would be more efficient because they are less stressful. It seemed to us that this was the perfect context to encourage people to speak without stress. “
A visual rendering wanted to be more playful, which was used by the NBA in particular during the final, which was held in the Orlando Bubble with no spectators. For each of the 172 games played, two huge screens were positioned on the sides of the floor. A registration system made it possible for anyone to take part in the game “from the front row”, including Barack Obama. In late September, Microsoft announced new features at its Ignite 2020 conference, with a particular focus on improving Together mode. With the introduction of machine learning, video conference participants can be sure that they are centered in their seats. The AI brings a slightly more natural side to the various scenes.
Microsoft intends to continue building on the democratization of Microsoft teams, and by offering a consumer platform as powerful as the NBA’s, there is no doubt that the number of users should reach new limits. By focusing on wellbeing for adding new features, the platform has it all to seduce and convert.
As a reminder, Microsoft Teams celebrated its third anniversary on March 19th, ending a week in which the number of users increased by 12 million. For a total of 44 million users at the time. Microsoft’s vice president Jared Spatari even turned on his head and said that 93 of the top 100 most successful companies in the world are subscribed to Microsoft teams.
Slack and Zoom, the other American collaboration heavyweights
In the collaborative market, however, Microsoft also has to deal with tough competition. Two other American giants are also fighting for the number of users. First, there’s Zoom, whose revenue quadrupled year over year in Q2 2020 ($ 663.5 million versus $ 145.8 million in 2019). And the company has already given its forecast for the coming year. Zoom therefore expects sales of $ 2.39 billion in 2021.
Forecasts that are promoted by product developments one after the other. Recently, it was Perfect Recall, a note-taking tool for video conferencing, that saw the light of day.
The other American giant that has been amassing users for 6 months is Slack. In France, last May, the application had more than 7,000 new customers and 44% more messages per user. In June, when the financial results for the first quarter of 2020 were released, Slack was up 50% year over year. When it comes to product improvements, Slack isn’t left out as the hashtag company announced the release of new features in early October.
However, the hectic race led by these three collaborative heavyweights cannot hide the problems caused by these levels of growth. Data security is at the center of the problems. Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Slack – everyone has been in the spotlight to calm public opinion about their respective cybersecurity. Recently, Larkin Ryder, Slack’s Chief Security Officer, gave us an insight into Slack’s security policy, which was high on the company’s agenda.
For Zoom, after a period in the eye of the storm in terms of data security, the company is finally offering end-to-end data encryption for all users. After Zoom was accused of submitting his users’ data to Facebook, he was arrested for lack of personal data maintenance. The service then called in security experts, including the former security chief of Facebook.
And to complete the bigger picture, it should be noted that participants never miss an opportunity to shoot each other in the paws. In July, Slack attacked Microsoft for anti-competitive practices. Specifically, Microsoft is accused of having linked its Microsoft Teams tools with Office 365, which is an abuse of a dominant position for Slack.
In a winter season that is accompanied by widespread teleworking, we must expect collaboration tools to continue to spread the word. France is also defending itself very well in this area with Made-in-France applications that have already proven themselves. Above all, Jamespot and Klaxoon are two players who need to stay in their sights.