1. Solution Value
Microsoft Teams is about to undergo its most significant upgrade yet. Unlike previous updates primarily targeting new features and functionality, the new Microsoft Teams focuses primarily on performance. In our benchmark testing, new Teams showed performance improvements in nearly every area of the experience.
When we tested the new Teams for the Windows desktop operating system, the Mac OS and VDI versions had not yet been released. New Teams for Windows and Mac are now available, and the VDI version is in public preview.
2. Urgency and Risk
Like any other Microsoft 365 update, the new Teams comes at no cost. We recommend prioritizing this upgrade to ensure your organization can take advantage of the product’s benefits as soon as possible, as new features and enhancements will be exclusively available in new Teams. With regular updates to new Teams expected over time, we want to stress this point: the longer you wait to upgrade, the more outdated your Teams user base will become.
Prompt adoption confers a significant advantage across the business, reducing client system overhead and helping IT organizations extend the useful lifespan of endpoints deploying Teams. In addition, Microsoft has made resource enhancements to the application itself, lowering disk requirements and memory utilization at both idle and in meetings to potentially extend the life of your end-user devices, providing greater flexibility to time your refresh cycles knowing that the perceived performance of the machine will remain acceptable longer than under classic Teams.
The risks posed by the Teams upgrade are minor and in line with what you would expect from any end-user application upgrade. The current version code was released and tested in public preview six months ago and proved stable in our benchmark testing. Classic Teams uninstalled cleanly, and the new version installed without issue. Upgrades performed via the Microsoft 365 suite are, likewise, consistent.
Microsoft has partnered with customers to test the integration of over 500 third-party applications into new Teams, and found that custom integrations using the Teams SDK have worked as expected. We recommend testing custom applications as soon as possible if you leverage line of business (LoB) or other application integration in your Teams environment.
Finally, classic Teams will not receive all the features and enhancements coming to new Teams going forward. Failure to update exposes your organization to risks from an outdated experience, and leaves staff unable to leverage the advantages delivered by new Teams.
The new Teams update can save a significant amount of time. We estimate savings for a small organization (250 people) at $20,000 annually, and a large enterprise can save $7.2 million per year. While the individual savings per person are not overwhelming, they scale with the organization’s size.
When we benchmarked new Teams for the Windows client across a range of testbeds, we found that the preview version of new Teams was up to two times faster than classic Teams, while using 50% less memory. Our findings:
- Installation behavior: Up to 3x faster time to install
- Application responsiveness: up to 2x faster launching Teams, 2.5x faster joining meetings, and 1.7x faster loading chats and channels
- Resource utilization: Overall 50% reduction in our tests of disk and memory resource consumption
New Teams outperformed classic teams in all tests. Our timed tests showed new Teams across all three testbeds to be, on average, 2x faster than classic Teams when starting up, joining meetings, and switching between chats/channels. Join time performance more than tripled for our high-end system, while general-purpose and low-end systems saw 2-2.5x improvements, respectively. We saw similar 2-3x improvements in application launch times for our two higher-end platforms and a nearly 70% reduction in disk space consumption.
The Mac and VDI versions of new Teams were not available for testing when we performed our benchmark. To read more about how we calculated the time and cost savings shown in the tables below, please review the benchmark we performed earlier this year: New Microsoft Teams Performance Benchmark.
|SMB||Midsize Enterprise||Large Enterprise|
|Organization Size (Employees)||250||2,000||55,000|
|Time Savings per Line Employee per Year||2:25:05||2:25:05||2:25:05|
|Time Savings per Leadership Employee per Year||4:32:06||4:32:06||4:32:06|
|Time Savings (days) for all Line Employees per Year||107.6||686.7||13,830.65|
|Time Savings (days) for all Leaders per Year||24.94||526.06||23,944.69|
|Total Days Saved per Year||133||1,213||37,776|
|Source: GigaOm 2023|
|SMB||Midsize Enterprise||Large Enterprise|
|Cost Savings Entire Organization per Year||$20K||$208K||$7186K|
|Cost Savings per Employee per Year||$78||$104||$131|
|Source: GigaOm 2023|
Microsoft has added advanced security features to new Teams to lower the risk of cyberattacks—these include security measures such as Trusted Types and a stricter Content Security Policy. These steps offer enhanced protection against XSS attacks for users of the new Teams app. The MSIX packaging format guarantees that Teams is safeguarded by Windows security features, and you will always have the most up-to-date app version with security updates and bug fixes.
4. Best Practices
Microsoft will roll out new Teams based on customer type. We recommend testing the latest version of Teams in accordance with your organization’s policies as soon as possible, as the net effect can be significant.
We also recommend that you activate the “Try the new Teams” toggle in the Teams admin console of Microsoft 365 to enable your users to test the new version right away. You can enable this feature for the global organization, specific groups, and individual user accounts. We recommend starting with a “test” group immediately and rolling out in stages if you have concerns.
5. Organizational Impact
While the organizational impact of the upgrade is minimal and, therefore, very positive, we recommend testing custom integrations before large-scale deployment. Microsoft has tested with customers in the Public Preview for the last six months and found no areas of concern. The level of action here will depend on the specifics of each organization’s policies and the testing requirements around the integrations.
Notably, no major interface changes were made, and no significant new features were added to the upgrade, eliminating the need to train additional staff. This is a performance and resource utilization upgrade, which positively impacts the lifespan and response times of endpoint devices, saving your organization money.
There is no impact on training or a change to staffing or maintenance; therefore, the resulting impact on people and budget amounts to zero dollars.
The investment outlook for this version of Teams is zero. It does not have a licensing cost associated with the update. There is a time concern, as with any software update or major version change; however, this section is specific to budget line costs, which new Teams doesn’t present for organizations already utilizing the product.
6. Solution Timeline
We expect the timeline to be as speedy as any other Microsoft 365 office update, with no special timeline or planning recommendations for this update.
Plan, Test, Deploy
The risk is low, and we recommend adhering to your standard planning practices, governance requirements, and regular security testing as with any other Microsoft 365 office upgrade. However, in our testing, we found no areas of concern.
Many organizations have line-of-business applications or other integrations in their existing Teams environment. We recommend your organization prioritizes testing those integrations immediately to ensure they function properly.
Microsoft wants to make it easier to distribute the Teams desktop app on Windows devices. Admins can use Microsoft Intune to easily install and update the app. With Intune’s support for MSIX applications, the app can be installed and uninstalled silently. This makes it more reliable, reduces network usage and disk space, and uses less memory when idle. This is a major update over the prior version of Teams and should provide lasting value for organizations in managing Teams now and in the future.
New Teams is an application we expect to evolve quickly, with a version already in public beta featuring Copilot integration and the first wave of AI capabilities planned for the platform. As a vital tool for the organization, we recommend staying current with the newest version to streamline the upgrade approval and rollout process for new Teams and the entire Microsoft 365 suite.
7. Analyst’s Take
It is encouraging to see Microsoft invest in a pure performance and resource optimization upgrade of Teams. Too often, vendors prioritize feature upgrades at the expense of client resources. This latest release is a welcome change. We recommend you prioritize this update to take advantage of the reduced system resources and the performance improvements, as well as to stay up to date with the current version of core applications.
8. About GigaOm
GigaOm provides technical, operational, and business advice for IT’s strategic digital enterprise and business initiatives. Enterprise business leaders, CIOs, and technology organizations partner with GigaOm for practical, actionable, strategic, and visionary advice for modernizing and transforming their business. GigaOm’s advice empowers enterprises to successfully compete in an increasingly complicated business atmosphere that requires a solid understanding of constantly changing customer demands.
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