June 7, 2022Team Collaboration Apps Take Teamwork to New Heights

New collaboration apps are helping remote colleagues and partners stay connected when working apart.

The idea of a collaboration app is not a new concept. For example, email and SMS have been around for a long time. But during the pandemic, as we were socially and professionally distanced, many of us quickly became familiar with new ways of connecting. Zoom boasted 300 million daily meeting participants at one point, introduced many people to video conferencing and virtual meetings. Slack reinvigorated chat, which is essentially a 30+ year old technology. New products are addressing other collaborative work needs, like coordinating tasks and working jointly on documents. Taking a high level view, we can see that team collaboration today encompasses the following activities:

  • Asynchronous communications (chat, video chat, email)
  • Remote meetings (virtual meetings, team rooms, whiteboarding, meeting notes, rich media)
  • Task Management
  • Document Management (co-authoring, records, versioning)

What’s Really New?

While collaboration apps have been around for a while, ‘team collaboration’ apps are new. Today, the two leading products in this space are Microsoft Teams and Google Workspace (previously GSuite). While accurate usage numbers are hard to pin down, it is estimated that Microsoft Teams has 115 daily active users (DAUs), while Google Workspace has 12M DAUs. The market potential is much larger.

During the pandemic, companies scrambled to address their most pressing collaboration needs. This urgency enabled many software vendors to enter the market with highly differentiated point products that addressed one of the four teamwork collaboration needs. Companies like Zoom and Slack clearly benefited, but so did many startups in the task management space, like Monday.com, Asana, Trello, as well as document collaboration products like Notion and Coda that stepped into the shared document space. The large number of companies vying for corporate team collaboration dollars speaks much about the market opportunity.

With the pandemic winding down, companies are taking a more strategic look at team collaboration. With a better understanding of remote workplace dynamics, organizations are building for a hybrid work future that embraces team collaboration across all four areas. While some companies will certainly choose a ‘best of breed’ approach, many more will opt for a unified ‘team collaboration app.’ In response, vendors are scrambling to broaden their offerings to appeal to expanding expectations. For example, Slack has added video to its chat product, to broaden its appeal. Companies will continue to demand a more integrated experience, so even full-featured products like Microsoft Teams and Workspace will continue to evolve as well, mostly by integrating third party apps into their expanding platforms. At the end of the day, the goal of these apps is to become the enterprise 'super app' where workers spend the bulk of their worktime.

The 'super app' is a vision and it will take years to get there. For the foreseeable future, workers will continue to struggle trying to reconcile the capabilities of their existing apps, including the myriad productivity apps provided in Microsoft 365.

harmon.ie helps today's workers be productive using Microsoft 365 by 'making the right thing the easy thing.' We invite you to try harmon.ie to see how easy it is to use Microsoft 365 apps like SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive directly from Outlook. harmon.ie enables you to find, access, edit, and share emails and documents no matter where it is stored in Microsoft 365.

This is just the first step. More exciting developments are underway. Subscribe to our blog to receive timely updates about upcoming announcements.

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