Since the companies adopted work from home policy and the closure of schools prompted by national lockdown across the globe, the use of video calling for office meetings and educational purposes has been sharply increased.
On Thursday, April 9, 2020, Microsoft Corp. or Microsoft said it witnessed a surge in its video calling and chat software, Microsoft Teams in recent weeks as employees worked from home as well as cancelation in-person classes of the schools for the rest of the academic year. Several other video-calling service providers reported the sharp increase of the users of their app.
Surge in Microsoft Teams Users
Microsoft said that its video call service provider, Teams, had witnessed a 1000% surge in the use of the app in the month of March due to employees were working from home. The company added that the rate of office meetings through video calls received more than doubled to 43% from 21% over the month of March.
Jared Spataro, the Vice President for Microsoft 365 at the company, explained the use of video calls continued throughout the workday. He said, “We will see spurts in a team of videoconferencing, but then we see people go offline and do a bunch of work in chat and documents, and then they’re back again.”
The national lockdown, which forced to shut down schools, has caused a rapid growth of the video call facility as learning tools and used these facilities to teach lessons online by sitting inside their home.
Microsoft said that 183,000 education organizations, each of which can include multiple schools, in 175 countries were now using its Teams extensively for educational purposes. Microsoft stated, “Overall minutes spent in meetings by all Teams users hit 2.7 billion on March 31, triple the 900 million minutes on March 19.”
Other Video Call Service Providers
Apart from Microsoft, several other video call service providers including software companies such as Wickr, Slack Technologies Inc. (Slack), and Zoom Video Communications Inc. (Zoom) reported similar trends that the rate of using their video calling app was increasing significantly over the weeks.
The Chief Executive of Wickr, Joel Wallenstrom claimed that the company, which ensured end-to-end encryption video calls services with as many as 50 participants, has seen that their business sales were more than doubled each week for a month. Wallenstrom added, “We had a customer that had 150 core users… But when there wasn’t a lot they could do out of the office, so they went to 80,000 in two weeks.”
Last month, Slack’s users increased to 12.5 million on March 25 from 10 million on March 10 while Zoom’s daily meeting participants boosted more than 200 million in March from a previous maximum total of 10 million. However, Zoom has been recently facing sharp criticisms alleging that the company has poor facilities for the protection of the users’ privacy and security concerns. A few countries including Germany had announced to ban the use of Zoom due to the same reasons.
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