How to improve Microsoft Teams

You, product management

I got an opportunity to experience first-hand migrating from Slack to Microsoft Teams recently. I want to put myself into a Microsoft’s product manager’s shoes and push myself to answer one simple question: “How would I improve Microsoft Teams?”

What is Microsoft Teams?

I would describe Microsoft Teams as “Zoom + Slack”. It is a business communication platform that offers workspace chat, call and videoconferencing services.

Who are the users?

There are 3 main segments of users (focusing on individual users rather than enterprise customers) for Microsoft Teams.

Already a Fan

This is the founder of a recent startup. He compares the Slack + Zoom combo with Teams. He is already familiar with other Microsoft’s product - outlook, excel, word - and leans more towards free plan for Microsoft Teams than Slack. After all, he is more likely join the Microsoft’s ecosystem than Google.

A Follower

This is the employee of the company that is already using Teams. For personal projects, he still prefers zoom/slack with its frictionless onboarding and mostly stays in Google Ecosystem - Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Doc.

A Migrant

This is the project manager of a newly acquired project for an enterprise that already has Microsoft 365 Business plan - he is looking to integrate into already existing Teams. He has some data he needs to migrate from third party data such as Slack or Google Calendar for his existing zoom meetings.

It’s important to keep all these users happy - Already a Fan users should stay as advocates and it’s the product’s job to convert Followers and Migrants to Already a Fan users in order to attract their future projects and teams to Teams.

I will be focusing on the third segment, the users who are migrating from competitors.

What is the Business Objective?

The business objective here is to increase engagement of Teams.

For this specific case study, I want to create a custom metric around engagement specific to the user segment that we are focusing: people who are migrating from other third party softwares. The metric is based on the following theory:

In the first week of activation, the number of both the scheduled and ad hoc meetings and chat frequency should spike up. The frequency, then, should steadily increase and eventually plateau in the next following two weeks.

Slow increase of meeting/chat frequencies means that there is a friction in the process of activation/engagement. Any sudden, significant drop means that the users are leaving Teams and utilizing other alternative products.

This would be calculated as following for meetings:

(# of meetings on day[i]) - (# of meetings on day[i-1]) = Usage Difference

Acceptable: Usage difference > 0
Unacceptable: Usage Difference < 0 

Pain Points

Gaining from the personal experience, there was a list of factors that was preventing my team to migrate to Teams right away:


There are multiple campaigns that can help reduce the friction from the migration.

Identifying and educating the data migration champion

Within the two weeks of activation, the Teams should be able to identify if the user is a migrant. This can be achieved by a simple question ("Are you migrating from Slack/Zoom?") during an admin user's initial login to the Teams. Rather than waiting for users to look up the how-to articles, they should be actively recommended to the users. 1

Create Articles around Popular Integrations

The first search result that comes up for "slack and bitbucket integration" is the article from Slack itself, guiding users to Atlassian's article.

Microsoft Teams needs an article of its own for listing popular and common apps that users integrate with such as Salesforce, Bitbucket and Jira.

Success Metrics

Success metric here is mostly around click rate of the articles around migration. Also, keeping the Usage Difference above 0 after 1 week of activation will be a positive sign that users are continuously utilizing Teams.

  1. The click rate can also be used to calculate how many users are migrating from competitors to Teams.
© Hannah Kim.