Teams 250M: Microsoft CEO Nadella reported some impressive Q4 results. The company increased revenue 21% YoY to $46.2B, and Operating Income was up 42% to $19.1B. He also revealed Microsoft Teams is at “nearly 250M monthly active users [MAU] as people use Teams each day to communicate, collaborate, and co-author content.” That’s up from the last revelation of 145M DAU last May.
The pandemic was very good for Microsoft Teams. I was not alone in thinking that Teams was in for a slow uptake due to its complexity, but there’s nothing like a global pandemic to encourage reimagining work. It seems likely that Teams has already moved from the Early Adopters to the Early Majority phase. It’s impressive growth, and there’s more to come.
Microsoft hasn’t been exactly transparent about how it defines MAU. Assuming it’s consistent, the measure is mostly valuable for noting growth. Teams active users cannot be easily compared to other applications. Slack, for example, offers messaging but not calling or meetings. Presumably, any Teams activity (calling, chatting, meeting, etc.) counts toward MAU. However, even using these figures for growth is tricky because Microsoft changed from DAU to MAU.
Nadella also claimed that “we have nearly 80M monthly active Teams Phones users, with total calls surpassing 1B in a single month this quarter.” I’m suspicious of that claim, and wonder exactly what they counted to get to 80M. I’m guessing just about anything a phone can do: Unanswered call? Peer-to-peer calls (without PSTN)? An external voicemail message recording? Call Me services? Anyone who dials into an audio or video conference?
Let’s try working it the other way. In terms of E5 users, we know they are only about 5%
of the paid licenses (so somewhere around 15M users/mo). Then we can double that to include standalone users, giving us something like 15M-30M paid Teams phone users
. So, if 100% of the phone users made at least one call a month (not likely), we can get close to 30M MAU. Perhaps Nadella is counting digits-dialed instead of calls? I suspect we will hear more about this 80M; it’s a specific workload that lends itself to comparison. [Microsoft clarified in August that it did include in its count non PSTN calls].