Slack vs Yammer vs the up and coming nooQ
Part 1 of 4
At nooQ we have created a product to revolutionize team communication for the workplace.
Yammer started with their Facebook style, news-feed approach.
Slack has perfected the conversational chat interface but we think they are both flawed for the workplace.
What you really want in the workplace is to get as much work done in the minimum amount of time.
Spend less time communicating with everyone and get proper work done.
Some people spend their whole day communicating, on email, in meetings, just keeping people up to date.
Unless your job is a professional meeting attendee or you are the office gossip, your boss really just wants you to spend as much time as possible getting on with your job, without needless chit-chat or attending pointless meetings repeating the same thing over and over. Communicating in teams and keeping everyone up to speed is a challenge that gets exponentially bigger as your team and company expands.
We’ve had a lot of demand for new features and new products so we created a survey on our existing team communication product, plus we wanted some research on what to build next by examining current usage of email, enterprise social networks, social networks and file sharing. We needed to quantify the demand, in order to focus on the right things. After the survey results, this blog forms 1 part of a 4 part series, to review team communication products in the workplace, the current state and where we are going.
The results were somewhat surprising.
We had 102 completed surveys from participants.
We had very carefully selected participants and were delighted with the responses and comments although we were surprised that two people had never used any of these tools, so we will need to choose better in future #joking
Team Communication Products in the Workplace
a.k.a Enterprise Social Networks (ESN)
What do you use an Enterprise Social Network for?
SharePoint, Yammer both scored lowest points on User Experience and amount of usage. The surprising thing was that Yammer was only marginally above SharePoint. The standard deviation or spread of answers for Yammer and SharePoint was fairly tight, with fairly consistent scores around 5 points out of 10. Chatter, Jive and Hipchat had a wider spread scores from happy to very unhappy. Slack did well here too with its lowest score being a 5 and also quite a few nine or ten out of ten scores.
Usage Frequency of Enterprise Social Network Apps
What was clearly apparent is that the usage of Slack is on a completely different level to the other tools. More than half of Slack users are using it hourly and daily, whereas most other tools were on a different scale of usage, using it more sporadically between weekly and monthly.
The most popular answer for most Chatter, Jive, HipChat, SharePoint and Yammer was less than monthly.
The most popular answer for Slack was Daily use, very closely followed by hourly usage.
Our expectation, aside from Slack was that most ESNs were being used daily/weekly but in fact most common answer was less than monthly. Clearly not a lot of value from Chatter, Jive, SharePoint, Yammer and for a chat application HipChat not being used at all. Slack is clearly the benchmark, no surprise there but what was surprising was how little others were used.
Is this because of the user experience?
Is it the liberal use of animated GIFs, emoji’s and meme’s in Slack?
Or is it that mainly chat based (IRC) and designed to be used in conversational messages as opposed to newsfeed based (Yammer, Chatter and Jive)?
SharePoint is mainly document based but throughout the survey had very, very close scores to Yammer.
Again this was a surprise, as Chatter, Jive, Slack and HipChat have good user experience, SharePoint cannot be used without training, has suffered for many years of terrible adoption due to the very frustrating user-experience.
SharePoint users still don’t universally get the concept of editing the same document, can’t use version control and four clicks to download a document.
The encouraging fact for us at nooQ was that there is a clear market for a great product. Despite being in a different league to the others on the market, we receive plenty of comments from dissatisfied Slack users wondering what all the fuss is about.
We think the Slack chat based design is fundamentally flawed.
Their integration and user experience is great in small teams, but does not scale, and can get very, very noisy and difficult to follow a thread when you add more users and bots.
Additionally, there is a colossal market of companies using SharePoint, a huge amount that have not tried or started social technologies and disgruntled Yammer, Chatter and Jive users that have the need but the product is lacking in adoption.
In the last year we have reset our expectations, as we had thought the market was further along the road, but from these survey results, speaking to customers, industry analysts and conferences, we think this is very early stages and we have a long way to go.
By very rough estimates around 1/3 of all companies we speak to have tried Yammer, Slack (early adopters and innovators), of the (early majority) around 1/3 have SharePoint, a collection of tools or have active plans to switch tools and with a pilot project underway but the remaining 1/3 more cautiously waiting to see how everyone else gets on.
What’s your view?
Is it just PR?
Reading the press you would think every company is not failing fast, using big data, innovating like crazy and has already mastered going digital.
Do you have a failed SharePoint deployment?
Do you have an overloaded IBM Connections, Yammer or Slack where you can’t instantly find relevant content?
Please get in touch; we can fix that for you.
If you want to be part of helping grow a company to compete with Slack and Yammer, please get in touch. We have a better product and really need you to help us make it happen.
In three subsequent blog posts, I will share our research into email, social media and nooQ future direction.