During 2020, Microsoft Teams has become one of the most important of Microsoft’s user-facing services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, usage numbers for communication tools went through the stratosphere. While Microsoft Team was along for the ride with massive growth, rival Zoom grew even more.
Microsoft is now reportedly offering employees bonuses if they can specifically help Microsoft Teams “win against Zoom and WebEx for meetings.”
A report by Business Insider centered on leaked internal documents details Microsoft’s bonus plans. This also shows the company is clearly serious about overturning Zoom in the ongoing communication app wars.
At the start of this year, any thoughts about Teams and Zoom being major competitors were fleeting. Microsoft was driving Teams against Slack for the last few years and Zoom was an also ran with a few million users.
When COVID-19 hit, Zoom’s usage surged from 10 million to over 300 million in a matter of weeks. Suddenly it was the big meetings app and Microsoft wanted some of the action. Increasingly, the company has been steering Teams towards Zoom in terms of features.
Yes, Teams still competes with Slack, but it also targeting more video/chat communication. Microsoft believes with Office 365 behind it, Teams can provide a service that combines the best of its main rivals into a single service.
Let’s be clear, Zoom is thriving, but it is not like Teams is struggling. During Microsoft’s fiscal Q1 earnings call last month the company confirmed Teams usage is now at 115 million daily active users. In fact, during the era of the communication app wars, many apps are doing well. Slack, Google Meet, and others.
Still, Microsoft believes it can do more and is enticing employees to help in its fight against Zoom. Bonuses will be given to employees who deliver on “core priorities.” While these priorities are different for each role, they incentify employees to achieve “critical indicators of success.”
For the cloud role, Microsoft says the core priority is to “create customer value by accelerating cloud consumption/usage, supportability, and influence upsell – drive monthly active usage [MAU] of meetings on Teams, and platform and apps on Teams.”
It is worth noting Microsoft has not confirmed whether these bonuses are real or not.