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Slack CEO: Microsoft Teams is not a competitor to Slack

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Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield thinks Microsoft Groups isn’t a competitor to Slack. Questioned on the continuing battle between Slack and Microsoft Groups for the enterprise area, Butterfield as soon as once more challenged Microsoft’s method to bundling Groups with Workplace.

“What we’ve seen over the previous couple of months is that Groups isn’t a competitor to Slack,” stated Butterfield in an interview with CNBC this week. “Once they [Microsoft] discuss in regards to the product, they by no means point out the basics that Slack does, and it’s been 3+ years at this level that they’ve been bundling it, giving it away totally free, and speaking about us.”

Butterfield stated final yr that Slack wasn’t fearful about Microsoft’s aggressive Groups push, regardless of taking out a full-page advert in The New York Occasions “welcoming” Microsoft Groups greater than three years in the past. Slack’s foremost argument about its Groups competitors is that Microsoft isn’t as targeted on customers and their interactions with the app. Butterfield is clearly annoyed with the continuing comparisons, regardless of Slack rising its enterprise enterprise amid Microsoft’s Groups push.

Slack New York Times ad

Slack’s full-page newspaper advert from 2016.
Stewart Butterfield, Slack

“I believe there’s this perpetual query, which at this level is just a little puzzling for us, that in some unspecified time in the future Microsoft goes to kill us,” says Butterfield within the CNBC interview. “In one other sense, they’ve obtained to be just a little annoyed at this level. They’ve 250 million-ish Workplace 365 customers, they only introduced this huge progress in Groups to just a little underneath 30 p.c. So after three years of bundling it, preinstalling it on folks’s machines, insisting that directors flip it on, forcing customers from Skype for Enterprise to change to Groups, they nonetheless solely have 29 p.c which suggests 71 p.c of their customers have stated no thanks.”

Butterfield is referring to Microsoft’s newest 75 million every day lively Groups customers. Microsoft additionally has 258 million paid seats for Workplace 365, which incorporates entry to Microsoft Groups, that means lower than 30 p.c of Microsoft’s Workplace business clients are utilizing Groups. It could possibly be even much less, as there’s additionally a free model of Microsoft Groups.

Slack isn’t alone in making an attempt to shift the dialog round its competitors with Groups. Microsoft has additionally downplayed among the comparisons between Slack and Groups prior to now, but additionally claimed Slack doesn’t have the “breadth and depth” to reinvent work. Microsoft has been rising its Groups customers steadily over the previous yr, overtaking Slack within the course of. Each day customers have jumped considerably through the COVID-19 pandemic, up 134 p.c from 32 million every day customers in early March to 75 million every day customers in late April.

It’s clear there’s no single winner right here, although. Slack has additionally seen new consumer data for concurrently related customers, after demand for distant working surged in March. The battle between the 2 additionally consists of some basically totally different approaches for various units of companies. Microsoft is utilizing Groups as a hub for Workplace and every little thing it may possibly provide, and Slack is specializing in app integrations to convey the fragmented world of other productiveness apps collectively.

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