Unified Communications Nation

Dec 26 2018   10:38AM GMT

Breaking down chat apps adoption by business size

mlevine Profile: mlevine

Tags:
Collaboration
Google Hangouts
Microsoft Teams
Slack
Team Collaboration
Unified Communications

When planning a team collaboration strategy, chat apps are a necessary part of the conversation.  Team chat apps adoption has ramped up in the last two years, across organizations of all sizes, according to a study from technology marketplace company Spiceworks.

While businesses are hopping on the chat app train, the vendor offerings they deploy appear to be linked to company size. Several factors influence which apps organizations deploy, such as security, reliability, integration with existing platforms, cost and user interface, according to Nemertes Research analyst Irwin Lazar.

The Spiceworks study, which surveyed 900 IT professionals, focused on the adoption of Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google Hangouts and Workplace by Facebook. As the study focused on vendor offerings that are considered primarily chat-focused, Cisco’s offering was not included, said Spiceworks analyst and report author, Peter Tsai.

Large businesses with more than 500 employees favored Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts, according to the study. More than half of large businesses have adopted Skype for Business. While Hangouts saw lower overall adoption, large business adoption grew from 11% in 2016 to 18% in 2018 as the app added more enterprise functionality, such as video conferencing.

Larger businesses tend to put more emphasis on reliability, security, manageability and compatibility when evaluating team chat apps. Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams ranked highly, making them popular choices for large businesses, according to the study.

The study also showed mid-size businesses, between 100 and 499 employees, follow in the footsteps of larger businesses but at a slightly lower rate of adoption, with just under half adopting Skype for Business.

Slack saw the most adoption in small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, likely due to the perception that Slack is the most innovative in the chat apps market, according to survey respondents. Slack has a robust developer ecosystem with more than 1,500 third-party integrations. The study also found many IT professionals view Slack to be user friendly, which can reduce the amount of user training needed for deployment.

Adoption of Workplace by Facebook is lagging with businesses of all sizes. Lazar said organizations seem to be buying into Workplace as an enterprise portal or social platform rather than a team collaboration app.

“They are competing more with the likes of Yammer and Jive,” he said. ” As they continue to add capabilities like voice and video, meetings and integrations, they should continue to compete more effectively with other teams.”

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