Microsoft Teams

In just over 2 years Microsoft Teams has usurped collaboration tool Slack as the market leader. Microsoft Teams was launched in March 2017, only a year after Microsoft were rumoured to be considering an $8 billion bid for Slack. That bid was heavily favoured by Qi Lu, Microsoft EVP of Applications and Services. However, Bill Gates didn’t approve and wanted the company to double down on improving Skype for Business. Qi Lu, once listed as the 10th most creative person in business by Fast Company, ahead of such luminaries as Jay ‘Hard Knock Life’ Z, has since moved onto Y Combinator via Baidu. Meanwhile, Microsoft has rolled up their sleeves and busied themselves making Microsoft Teams.

It’s all in the DAU (Daily Average User)

So, what’s the big deal? Well, Microsoft’s most recent announcement reveals that Microsoft Teams is hitting 13 million daily average users. Factor in weekly users and that figure rises to 19 million. How about some context though? Well, Slack revealed a daily average user count of 10 million earlier this year. Moreover, Microsoft claims that Microsoft Teams is now used in 500,000 organisations, including 91 companies listed in the Fortune 100. Impressive figures. So, how have Microsoft managed to make such rapid progress against a company that has dominated the market for the past 9 years? Step forward Office 365.

Let’s get ready to bundle

Remember the browser wars? In 2003 Microsoft achieved a browser market share of 95% by bundling Internet Explorer with it’s Windows operating system. Guess what? Microsoft bundles Microsoft Teams with Office 365 business subscriptions, for free. You don’t even need to have an Office 365 subscription to use Microsoft Teams anymore. Microsoft introduced a free tier last year, ending one of the main advantages Slack enjoyed over it’s new competitor.

So, what do you get for free? Well, if you’re an organisation of up to 300 people you can enjoy free audio and group video calls. There’s messaging, message search, integrated apps, 10GB of team storage and 2GB of individual storage. That’s quite a compelling feature-set for zero pennies.

In April of this year Microsoft revealed that over 180 million users have signed up to Office 365. They also stated that sign-ups to Office 365 are growing at a rate of 4 million per month. So, it looks as though that DAU count for Microsoft Teams will increase steadily.

What’s left for Slack?

Slack have not had their troubles to seek recently. Not only have Microsoft breezed past them in terms of user count there’s also the small matter of a 2015 database breach which has come back to haunt them. Slack recently had to reset 10,000 user passwords, roughly 1% of it’s 10 million user base, after it came to light that stolen credentials were being sold online.

When Microsoft Teams launched in 2017, Slack took the unusual step of acknowledging their new competitor by placing a full back page ad in the New York Times. The advert with the heading “Dear Microsoft” welcomed Microsoft to the messaging market and proclaimed “If you want customers to switch to your product, you’re going to have to match our commitment to their success and take the same amount of delight in their happiness.” It looks as though Microsoft have been listening and it will be interesting to see how the industry landscape looks in another couple of years.

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PRINCE2: Which Course is Right For You?

When thinking about taking a PRINCE2 course this is quite often a question that gets asked. People are not sure if they need to attend the Foundation course or both the Foundation and Practitioner. So what is best for you?

PRINCE2 Foundation Course

The PRINCE2 Foundation course is a 3 day course with the Foundation exam at the end of day 3. By taking the Foundation course and passing the exam you will show you have a good understanding of the PRINCE2 method.

On the course you will cover in detail the 7 Principles, Processes and Themes of PRINCE2. This will give you a good understanding of the method so you could work effectively in a PRINCE2 environment.

The course ends on day 3 with the PRINCE2 Foundation exam. If you pass this you will achieve the Foundation certification showing you have a good understanding of PRINCE2.

The Foundation Exam

The PRINCE2 Foundation exam tests your knowledge and comprehension of PRINCE2. The Foundation exam is a 60 question multiple choice paper. To pass the paper you need to score 55%. The exam is closed book.

Who is it for?

Ideally this course is for people who will be part of a project management team but not managing the project. People who are going to perform a Team Manager or Project Support would benefit from the Foundation course as this would give them a good underdtanding of their role in the project.

The PRINCE2 Practitioner Course

The PRINCE2 Practitioner course is a 2 day course that is often taking together with the Foundation course making a 5 day course in total.

By taking the Practioner course and by passing the Practitioner exam you will show that not only do you have a good knowledge of PRINCE2 but also that you can apply the method in a project environment. The Practitioner exam is taken on the morning of the second day.

The Practitioner Exam

The Practitioner exam is a 2.5 hour multiple choice paper. In the exam there are 68 questions. Each question is worth 1 mark. The pass mark is 55%. The exam is open book as you are allowed your PRINCE2 manual.

The exam is based on a project scenario and you have to show you can analysis and apply PRINCE2 in that scenario.

Who is it for?

Ideally the Practitioner course is for people who are currently performing a Project Managers role or who would like to move into a Project Managers role. The Practitioner certification not only shows you have a knowledge of PRINCE2 but also that you can apply the method.

So hopefully if you have been asking the question – which PRINCE2 course is right for me – the information above might help you make up your mind.

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