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Team collaboration tools spreading enterprise-wide

Microsoft's move to replace Skype for Business Online with Microsoft Teams reflects a larger unified communications trend of vendors and users focused on team-based, cloud-based, messaging-centric collaboration applications. This shift is significant for unified communications users, as it highlights a different way of working and ushers in new user interfaces.

To some degree, these team collaboration tools could displace traditional email clients, intranets and instant messaging services. Unified communications vendors are making team collaboration tools the core of their UC offering, said Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Nemertes Research, a tech advisory firm based in Mokena, Ill. The rollout of Microsoft Teams furthers this collaboration movement.

"This is the way people are communicating and collaborating increasingly," Lazar said. Other team collaboration tools include Slack, Cisco Spark, Unify Circuit and RingCentral Glip.

In recent years, these apps were largely relegated to lines of business. Individual employees or business units within an enterprise, for example, would freely download the apps and use them without IT's approval. New research, though, indicates team collaboration tools are now deployed enterprise-wide.

About one-third of organizations have adopted team chat applications. And more than 40% of companies are adopting the products on an enterprise-wide basis, according to Nemertes data published earlier this year.

In the video above, Lazar discusses the impending change to Microsoft Teams and how team collaboration tools use artificial intelligence to improve meeting workflows. He also examines recent Microsoft-LinkedIn integrations and security issues around guest access features.

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