Benchmarking experts SWOOP in on Microsoft Teams


Microsoft Teams is arguably the one of the fastest growing business products of all time. With more than 20 million daily active users, this juggernaut of an app is being plugged as the hub for all business collaboration activities.

Since Jan 31st, Microsoft have seen a 500 percent increase in Microsoft Teams meetings, calling, and conferences and a 200 percent increase in Microsoft Teams usage on mobile devices. But, other than the fact that it comes free as part of the O365 suite, there’s little market intelligence to date around exactly how organisations are using it, and what best practice looks like.

World’s first benchmarking report on Teams

SWOOP Analytics is launching the world’s first Microsoft Teams benchmarking report later this month. They already do this for Yammer and it’s hugely useful. The report gives a real-life look into how organisations are actually using Teams, based on the data from more than a million interactions of 47,000+ people in 5,300+ Microsoft Teams teams across 15 organisations worldwide. As well as sharing examples of best practices from customer case studies, the research also highlights some of the pitfalls with advice on how to avoid them. Dr Laurence Lock Lee of SWOOP Analytics told us, “While our Teams benchmarking partners are currently small in number, we felt that given the huge level of uptake of Teams, it is important to set some early measurement guidelines for those embarking on a Teams adoption journey.”

Current situation

Unsurprisingly, the research finds that most of the Teams sites are still at the experimental stage as organisations get to grips with the sheer breadth of the product. It also is clear that many users are just transferring their old habits to the new app, as Dr Laurence Lock Lee explains. “The best way to describe what we are seeing is that Teams is like a digital “Ellis Island” where immigrants are being attracted from Skype for Business, Outlook, Yammer and SharePoint to the promised land of opportunity which is Teams. While gathering on the island, new immigrants are still sustaining the habits from their “old countries” – Skype immigrants calling and chatting; Outlook immigrants chatting and meeting; Yammer immigrants discussing and sharing, and SharePoint immigrants ensuring their hard won treasured repositories are not dismantled.”

Early findings

Not all Teams sites are being used for teams. Early analysis finds that a significant number are being used as forums and communities with hundreds, if not thousands of members. In the world of Teams, the immigrants are all offered places to hang out and to continue what they were doing, albeit in more modern surroundings. Dr Laurence Lock Lee continues, “The largest gathering is in the ‘Land of Chat and Calls’, which on average has 13 times the number of messages that the ‘Land of Teaming’, where more permanent structures are being established as Teams sites and Channels. ‘The Land of Meetings’ may be a relic from the old world of hierarchies and bureaucracies, but still a necessary part of the New world.”

Questions the report addresses

In developing the report, SWOOP have asked their benchmarking partners what the burning issues are that new adopters of Teams want answers to. Here is a flavour of what you can discover…

  1. How much is Teams being used for really useful stuff and getting things done?

There is certainly evidence of smaller teams working collaboratively on Teams to get core business done. There is also a good proportion of Teams that are still only exploring and experimenting. The report shines a light on where Teams is useful.

  1. How are different Teams sites using the various communication modes?

The early research shows that the chat feature is heavily used, but it is interesting to see just how much chat there is compared to channel messages. Discover how distinct group types favour different uses.

  1. To what extent is Teams being used as a “hub” for all other office applications?

The report details the extent to which other applications are being accessed via Teams and how often other applications, i.e. tabs, are being added to a Teams site. A picture of Teams as a hub is certainly beginning to emerge. Spoiler alert: one app really stands out!

  1. Is there a risk of becoming overloaded with messages in Teams?

Potentially, Yes. Using SWOOP Personas, we help organisations understand more about who the key contributors are and where there is a risk of overload that may become draining.

  1. Do we still need Yammer as well?

There has been a lot of discussion about whether Yammer is needed alongside Teams. This research works hard to detect how Teams and Yammer are actually being used as opposed to how Microsoft positions them to be used. Would people be using Teams to connect their company across organisational boundaries, or would Teams mostly be used as a replacement for – and a significant upgrade from – network drives and email, but still be applied primarily within the existing functional and departmental teams? The report finds strong evidence for both.

Jonathan Philips, Head of Consultancy at simply concludes, “Microsoft Teams will be a huge opportunity for transforming the way many organisations work. It’s a learning curve but we predict in the longer term the effort will be richly rewarded.”

The full report is free and you can register for download here.