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In many areas, it can be very helpful for SMEs to follow the example of larger successful organisations in order to experience some of the same results. With the growing importance of enterprise software and the digital workplace, the most prolific of the larger companies can attribute much of their more recent success to their adoption of the right solutions for worker collaboration, and a recent survey by market research firm ETR has strongly indicated that Microsoft Teams is the way to go, as opposed to its top competitor Slack.
The survey covers the spending intentions of a large selection of the biggest companies - including almost the entire Fortune 100 - through the second half of 2019 (2H19). The Net score for Slack, in terms of spending through the rest of 2019, was found to be 28%, which is a 45% drop from the same time a year earlier. This statistic is very different with regards to Microsoft Teams, whose Net score stands at 67%, an 8% improvement over the same time period of 2018. The indication here is that spending intentions for Slack are significantly losing momentum, whilst Teams is gaining momentum and Microsoft's dominance of the enterprise sector is becoming more apparent.
Microsoft has been quick to attribute the obvious success of Teams to its bundling and integration with Office 365, which is a hugely popular software package for businesses of all sizes since cloud computing came into existence. Customers see the adoption of Teams as a cost-effective move since it comes as part of Office 365, and is deeply integrated with the other Office apps. Conversely, Slack's pricing currently means its cost actually exceeds its value as dictated by share prices, and this is not an attractive feature among buyers, reflected in the survey's finding that nearly 1 in 5 Slack respondents said they will be decreasing spending on the software by 6% or more, or that they intend to replace it in 2H19.
Another issue worth mentioning is that of shadow IT, meaning IT software or hardware found within an enterprise that isn't supported by the organisation's central IT department, potentially leading to security weaknesses. With Office 365 so prominent in the systems of large organisations, a choice to use Slack in place of Teams would potentially invite the issue of Shadow IT into the systems. This is because any extensions or add-ons associated with Slack may not be compatible with Office 365, and they also may not be sanctioned by the central IT department. This is somewhat supported by the survey's finding that the most common reason why companies were adopting Teams or replacing Slack is due to issues relating to "compatibility".
SMEs looking to branch out into enterprise software would do well to follow the example of larger companies. Large-scale organisations have been focusing on collaboration software for many years now, and tend to be further along in terms of finding what works and what doesn't. Microsoft Teams, with its bundling and deep integration with Office 365, is the clear favourite for the digital workplace and continues to grow and develop as the optimal solution for forward-thinking companies.
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