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Is Slack facing new competition, or old?

February 15, 2017 No Comments

In an exclusive with MSPowerUser recently, Microsoft unveiled the company’s latest project: Skype Teams. According to the article:

Skype Teams is going to be Microsoft’s take on messaging apps for teams. Skype Teams will include a lot of similar features, which you’ll find on Slack. For example, Skype Teams will allow you to chat in different groups within a team, also known as “channels”. Additionally, users will be able to talk to each other via Direct Messages on Skype Teams.

Though not even six months since unveiling long-awaited SharePoint mobile apps, it’s unsurprising that Microsoft is investing in other areas of their suite of productivity tools. Like SharePoint, Skype has been an essential, if not outdated, enterprise tool for years. After all, Microsoft was the first to innovate in the productivity space. But, as it always seems to do, the pace of innovation in this space has accelerated in the last several years, leaving Microsoft working to catch up.

But don’t count them out just yet. Despite a rumored failed attempt to acquire Slack earlier this year, Microsoft has the resources to compete in the rapidly changing market landscape.

In addition to a string of strategic acquisitions, including LinkedIn earlier this summer, the company’s given its tried-and-true platforms an infusion of new life that have allowed the company to compete in the cloud while maintaining its stronghold on the desktop market. In fact, while 93% of enterprise employees are still using Microsoft Office on premise, Office 365 continues to pick up traction with 87% of enterprises now using the cloud platform.

While Microsoft may seem like Goliath to Slack’s David, the company is proving that it’s still agile.

Take LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner’s comment on why LinkedIn sold to Microsoft:

Long before Satya and I first sat down to talk about how we could work together, I had publicly shared my thoughts on how impressive his efforts were to rapidly transition Microsoft’s strategy and culture. After all, it’s extremely rare to see a company of that scope and scale move so quickly to make fundamental changes. The Microsoft that has evolved under Satya’s leadership is a more agile, innovative, open and purpose-driven company.

The bottom line is that productivity tools are gaining traction in the enterprise. In today’s workplace employees are driving purchasing decisions. This is why we’ve seen an influx of new productivity tools hitting the market in the last several years. It’s also why we’re now seeing the incumbents like Microsoft make strategic investments in these technologies. One thing is clear: we’ll all benefit from this new (and old) competition.

Tim Deluca Smith 2 2 150x150 Is Slack facing new competition, or old?

Currently Vice President of Marketing for Huddle, Tim has nearly 20 years of marketing experience spanning startups to Fortune 500 companies. Prior to Huddle Tim served as vice president & head of marketing for WDS, A Xerox Company. With specialist expertise in technology and telecommunications across Europe, North America, South Africa and APAC, Tim has a proven record of leading marketing strategy and operations for B2B and B2C brands.


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