March 18, according tomedia reports, in the face of the epidemic, a large number of enterprises and schools to telecommuting, so telecommuting software is facing a test. Companies such as Microsoft, Google and Zoom offer such products free of charge, and are also trying to take steps to address growing user demand to keep them running.
With the new coronavirus infection and the death toll soaring, governments, schools and companies around the world are taking drastic measures to control the spread of the virus. These moves have prompted companies to accelerate their efforts to get from home. This trend was mentioned by companies last month, but is now a direct reflection of the growth in office software usage.
Segregation, cancellations of conference events and home-based policies have greatly contributed to the demand for video and chat software. These softwares can help people keep some businesses running. Office software companies such as Zoom, Microsoft and Google are offering their products free of charge, while also trying to ensure they can meet the growing demand sought by users.
SO FAR THIS YEAR, ZOOM’S SHARE PRICE HAS JUMPED 63%, A STRONG ONE RELATIVE TO THE U.S. STOCK MARKET AS A WHOLE.
Offices are empty and businesses are turning to telecommuting, driving up the need for remote conferencing and chat software.
In China, Microsoft Teams’ use of chat, audio and video calls and conferencing features has increased by 500 percent since the end of January, according to a Microsoft spokesman. Usage has also risen in the U.S., at least among Microsoft employees, many of whom are required to work from home. In early March, they increased their chats in Microsoft Teams by 50 percent, and video and audio calls increased by 37 percent from a week ago.
Zoom would not specify how the use of its products has grown, but its chief financial officer, Kelly Starkberg, has told Yahoo Finance that the increase in usage since the end of January has been significant.
Third-party data reports support the surge in the use of these products. Productiv, a company that helps companies track employees’ use of software, found that the use of Zoom by employers who restrict employee travel has increased by more than 30 percent since early February (and the use of Zoom by employers who don’t restrict employee travel has increased). Microsoft Teams’ usage among Productiv customers also rose 20 percent in the first week of March compared to the first week of February.
The outbreak has clearly boosted demand for these apps, and Zoom, Microsoft, Google and Slack are all offering many of the features of their products for free. For the free version, Zoom has removed time limits for video calls for schools in China and in Japan, Italy and the United States.
“We really want to do the right thing, and we think that getting more people into Zoom will benefit us in the future,” said Strickerberg of Zoom. “
Over the past month, fears of a recession have intensified, and U.S. stocks have plunged overall. So far this year, ZOOM’s share price has jumped 63%.
Microsoft will offer everyone a free premium version of Teams for six months, while removing the original usage restrictions for the free version. Previously, Teams Premium had been offered free of charge to Office suite buyers, and Teams was offered free of charge to many schools.
Similarly, Google announced in early March that it would offer its corporate video conferencing capabilities to G Suite’s educational customers free of charge ( such as large-scale meeting sconferencing and conference recording capabilities for up to 250 people) until July 1, 2020.
Slack has also been offering free versions. More recently, it has been offering free webinars, instant questions and phone consultations, and information on best practices working from home in order to get new users to work quickly.
“Both Microsoft and Google allow free use of premium versions of their conference and collaboration apps, namely Microsoft Teams and Google’s Hangouts Meet. They can be a good tool for businesses that don’t normally buy these services. Lexi Sydow, senior market insight manager at App Annie, an app research firm, told Recode.
From the download data, the popularity of these applications is significantly increased. Earlier this month, Zoom became the most downloaded business app in the U.S. iOS App Store for the first time, and also topped the list in 11 other regions.
How to ensure that your software is working properly
If the software doesn’t work, those demand growths will be meaningless. Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack all said they had not encountered any major problems and were continuing to prepare for growth in demand. Downdetector recently reported outages in Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack, but these outages are not serious enough to indicate that home-office software is being affected by an increase in users.
“What we’re doing is making sure that we can support all of these free customers and our paying customers at the same time. “Make sure that our data centers have the capacity to meet global needs, while ensuring that our customer service and support teams have the bandwidth to support all of these needs.” “
In a blog post, Microsoft detailed its efforts to keep Teams running smoothly, including running “multiple instances of a service” in “data centers everywhere.”
Slack also writes that its “highly distributed” architecture, redundancy mechanisms, and frequent testing keep Slack up and running. In addition, “when employees leave their jobs and move to work from home, the infrastructure requirements don’t change; “
The new corona virus has turned working from home from a growing trend into the focus of businesses that rely on computers to operate. The sustainability of this situation depends to a large extent on the duration and severity of the outbreak and the ability of the software that supports home-based work to withstand the growth in demand. (Le Bang)