Office 365 could give Microsoft Teams an advantage over Slack

A new survey finds that Microsoft Teams is off to a strong start, but there’s a lot of confusion as well as competition in the business communications market — and team chat is only the latest trend.

Slack's full-page ad in the New York Times welcomed Microsoft Teams to the enterprise chat market in somewhat patronizing tones. Clearly, the messaging company thought that market was its to lose. But a new Spiceworks survey of IT pros at 450 companies across EMEA and North America shows a different reality.

That Spiceworks survey shows that the most popular business chat app isn’t Slack but Skype for Business, the veteran unified communications tool. And far from displacing it, Slack looks likely to lose out to both Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams, and maybe even Google Hangouts (although it's not clear what effect Google's plans to drop the APIs that let third-party tools work with Hangouts will have on enterprise adoption).

Email is still the main collaboration tool for the companies in the survey; only two percent don’t use it. But 42 percent use collaborative chat tools like Slack, Google Hangouts and Skype for Business, and that goes up to 53 percent if you look only at businesses with more than 500 employees. A full 50 percent of those businesses use Skype for Business, with Slack (at 14 percent) more popular than Google Hangouts (11 percent).

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