If you want to get something positive out of the crisis caused by the corona virus, it is that ordinary working life is being turned upside down. Software providers in particular benefit.
The boom in the home office due to the corona crisis gives the providers of teamwork solutions a clear tailwind. Slack Germany boss Oliver Blüher says that digital work at home will receive a major boost in the long term. “People are now experiencing opportunities that they want to have later.”
Microsoft’s Germany boss Sabine Bendiek also speaks of a collective learning process that changes the professional world. “I expect these changes to continue. Flexible working from home is becoming as common as using a smartphone and laptop. ”
There is great demand
Many providers of web video conferences, messengers and other software for communication and teamwork are currently experiencing enormous demand – in the home office and as an alternative to business trips. In team platforms such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, users can chat in pairs and in groups, collaborate in themed channels, share files and make calls and conference via video. The German software provider Teamviewer with its remote control and video conference software should also benefit from an increased home office.
Slack boss and co-founder Stewart Butterfield has just announced that Slack has won 9,000 paying customers worldwide since the beginning of February, up from 5,000 in a whole quarter. In total, there are now around 120,000.
From mid to late March alone, the number of active users rose from 10.5 to 12.5 million, according to Butterfield. There is at least a comparable increase in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, said Blüher of the German Press Agency in Munich. “We are more than satisfied with the business development.”
Advantages of digital networking
In addition to the trend towards home office, Blüher is convinced that many companies are now discovering even more digital networking when working together. This is particularly true for medium-sized companies that are so important in Germany. The large corporations, in turn, are the nodes in this network. Slack often gets started with the free basic version, which is particularly popular with startups.
The toughest competitor, especially in larger companies, is Microsoft’s teams, which the giant pushes into the market in combination with the all-round Office 365 package. “The interest in teams is currently huge – both in companies and organizations as well as in educational institutions and in the private sphere,” reports Bendiek. “The speed at which people creatively use video calls, virtual meetings or screen sharing is impressive.”
The Canadian Butterfield had launched Slack in 2013 and listed on the stock exchange in 2019 – most recently the share was well below the issue price. Around 2,000 people work for Slack worldwide – all of them currently in their home office. The German-speaking market is based in Munich.
Slack sees one of his greatest strengths in the competition in the cooperation between employees internally and also across company boundaries via the channels (Slack channels). As everywhere in the digital world, competitors are often partners at the same time, emphasized Blüher. There are integrations with Slack in Microsoft’s office world or with specialists for video conferences such as Zoom or Goto Meeting. dpa
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