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Microsoft Teams Is On Fire

The coronavirus pandemic drove a 70 percent usage spike for Microsoft Teams in just one month, as the collaboration platform has become the centerpiece of many newly-remote employees' workdays.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave the numbers behind the Teams surge during a Wednesday call to discuss Microsoft's latest quarterly earnings, which saw the company grow by double digits even as business activity worldwide has plummeted.

"As work norms evolve, organizations are realizing they need a comprehensive solution that brings together communications, collaboration and business process -- built on a foundation of security and privacy," Nadella said.

Teams daily active users (DAU) jumped from 44 million in March to now 75 million, Nadella said. Teams has grown by 120 percent since November 2019, when DAU was at 20 million. As recently as last July, Teams DAU was lingering in the 13 million range.

The new metrics look even stronger for Microsoft and Teams on Thursday than they did on Wednesday evening relative to the competition. On April 22, Zoom had claimed a daily user count of 300 million, an eye-popping number. Eagle-eyed reporters at The Verge noted that the blog had been edited a few days later to change that metric to "300 million meeting participants." Zoom acknowledged the significant change in a statement to the news site Wednesday and Zoom shares fell sharply on Thursday.

When it comes to meeting participants, which can be the same person in multiple meetings over the course of a day, Microsoft is getting much closer to Zoom's scale with Teams. Nadella said Wednesday that Teams had more than 200 million meeting participants in a single day in April. He also said those same participants racked up more than 4.1 billion meeting minutes.

Microsoft is competing on multiple fronts with Teams. In addition to Zoom, other high-profile competitors include Slack and Google. Nadella positioned Teams' breadth as a strength.

"Microsoft Teams supports multiple communications modalities in a shared workspace. It is the only solution with meetings, calls, chat, collaboration with the power of Office, and business process workflows -- in a single, integrated user experience -- with the highest security, as well as compliance. Teams keeps all your work and communication -- conversations, documents, whiteboards, and meeting notes -- in context. It helps people collaborate inside and outside meetings, making them more efficient and effective while reducing fatigue," he said.

Nadella told investors that adding capabilities to Teams each week remains a strategic priority for the company.

On the enterprise side, Microsoft is also continuing to make progress with massive deployments of Teams in recent months. "Twenty organizations with more than 100,000 employees are now using Teams, including Continental AG, Ernst & Young, Pfizer and SAP. Just last week, Accenture became the first organization to surpass half a million users," Nadella said.

Posted by Scott Bekker on 04/30/2020 at 12:59 PM


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