Is Everyone In Your Business Collaborating?

December 4, 2019 / Don Mennig

If you had to take a guess, how many collaboration services is your business running, 1, 2, 5? Depending on your organization’s size it’s likely 2-3 solutions and that represents some serious potential issues for your business.

Our survey of 247 information technology, executive and operations professionals revealed that on average businesses are running 2.4 collaboration tools. To make matters trickier, 25% of those solutions were put in place by shadow IT; aka. tech-savvy employees looking to solve for a departmental need.

Uh Oh #1 – When we asked these organizations if they preferred having a single solution 56% said ‘yes’ and just 14% noted they preferred having multiple collaboration solutions. How will these businesses unify their systems and enforce adoption?

Uh Oh #2 – About ½ of businesses (47.5%) told us that their preferred collaboration system must integrate with their communications solution and 30% have yet to decide. What will those businesses do with the thousands of files, convos, and meetings that simply cannot be ported to the new unified solution?

Uh Oh #3 (stay with me here …) – The fight for supremacy in this space is over. Microsoft just announced that they have 20 million active daily users and we’ve known for a while that Teams is the fastest adopted service in Microsoft’s history. Sorry everyone else, it’s fighting for scraps time. With that said, according to our survey:

  • 41.5% of organizations are using Microsoft Teams today and 36.5% plan to deploy Microsoft Teams in the next couple of years.
  • Assuming half of the undecided businesses in ‘Uh Oh #2’ decide they want a unified collaboration and communications solution that’s now 62% … the overwhelming majority of which will be using Microsoft Teams.
  • Here’s the rub. Microsoft Teams doesn’t support all of the enterprise voice features required by mid-market and enterprise businesses!

Here are some other interesting findings from the survey:

It’s the wild west for communications providers and there’s going to be lots of turmoil. Organizations are looking at this as an opportunity to re-evaluate not only their current solutions, but their providers as well.

  • 36.5% definitely plan to re-evaluate their provider when they deploy a collaboration solution and 33.5% haven’t decided.
  • Meanwhile, only 17% are sure they will use their current communications provider to deploy their collaboration suite!

The top 5 collaboration services being used are:

  • Skype – by 43.5%
  • Microsoft Teams – 41.5%
  • Cisco WebEx – 34.5%
  • Zoom – 28%
  • Slack – 26.5%

The top three reasons for investing in new collaboration/communications tools are:

  • Operational efficiencies
  • Greater employee productivity
  • Improving customer experience

The top three features businesses are looking for in their collaboration tools are:

  • Group sharing of files
  • Instant messaging and presence
  • On-demand video meetings/video conferencing

A bit about the survey The online, unbranded survey was conducted by Evolve IP in the fall of 2019. 84% of respondents were from North America while 16% responded from the EU / UK. 80% of survey respondents worked in IT while 11% were non IT C-Suite executives and 9% worked in finance or ops. The majority of businesses responding (57.5%) were mid-sized business with employee sizes from 100 – 4,999. 31% were smaller businesses with 1 – 99 associates, while 11.5% had over 5,000 employees.