In John Doerr’s famous TED talk, he describes earlier days at Google and how they went about managing operations. John suggested to the company’s founders that they adopt the OKR method that he learned from Andy Grove, the legendary Intel CEO. It was Andy’s philosophy that it almost doesn’t matter what you want to accomplish, if you apply the Objective and Key Results (OKR) method, you’re likely to accomplish your goal. Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin agreed to use OKR and that, along with amazing leaders consistently at the helm over the years is what in large part propelled the company.
Microsoft, by comparison, is just as systematic, when the company launched Microsoft 365 in 2017, it set out to offer a holistic product enabling its users to more seamlessly work together through various different modes. Microsoft 365 bundled Windows 10 and Office 365 subscription based productivity apps as well as mobility and security tools. The objective was to better equip workers across the globe in collaborating. The results towards that objective would be the number of users on its platform at certain time intervals.
Today, over 13 million users use Microsoft Teams as compared to Slack’s 10 million daily users. Although Slack began offering its collaboration tools in 2013, a four year head start to Microsoft, it was not able to ward off the overpowering wave of Microsoft’s 365 roll out. With such an entrenched presence in corporate organizations all over the globe, it’s as if Microsoft can simply flip a switch and cross-sell new technology whereby existing users opt in with the click of a mouse.
“Teams, I think, is a canonical example of the flagship of the Microsoft 365 product, which is person-centered, customer-centered,” comments Rajesh Jha, Microsoft’s executive vice president for experiences and devices, and the executive leading Office.
With over 180 million monthly active users, Microsoft’s Office 365 has tremendous power in determining the new technology adoption of today’s workforce. And Teams is a product poised for continued rapid uptake. Interestingly those millions of existing users are just the beginning for Microsoft, the company is also eying acquiring potential users outside the traditional PC system, such as the 2 billion first line workers like supermarket employees who could benefit from collaboration tools as well. The main objective after all sets no limitation on who could be a Teams user.