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Microsoft (MSFT) Teams Gains Steam on COVID-19-Induced Demand

Microsoft MSFT recently announced a slew of new capabilities enabling users to work from home seamlessly, to its workspace communication offering, Teams, in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

The tech giant is witnessing surge in Teams user base as employees are increasingly working remotely. Notably, the company offers Teams as part of Office 365 subscription.

On Mar 19, 2020, Microsoft noted that Teams had 44 million daily active users (DAU). The figure surged by 12 million in the past seven days. Moreover, out of Fortune 100 companies, 93 have implemented Microsoft Teams.

Robust adoption of the company’s offerings is instilling confidence in the stock. Notably, shares of the company have returned 16.7% in the past year, compared with the industry’s rally of 1.7%.

New Features to Aid Work from Home

Microsoft has updated Teams Meetings with new features, including enhanced audio experience, “raise hand” feature, and reduced background noise with “noise suppression” capabilities.

Moreover, new Bookings app enables users to schedule meetings and conduct interviews and appointments “with external participants” using Microsoft Teams.

The company unveiled new hardware including Collaboration bars, RealWear headsets, Teams Walkie Talkie on the Samsung XCover Pro, Bose headsets for Teams and Poly CCX Series of Teams phones, to boost collaborative capabilities and enhance video conferencing for users working remotely.

Integration of Yammer, Office, Outlook, tasks, and other Microsoft-focused solutions into Teams, and workflow consolidation changes, is enabling the company to make workspace communication more efficient, and boost user base.

Growing User Base to Thwart Competition

Teams’ 44 million DAU dwarfs Slack’s WORK 12 million count (as of oct 2019), per the last updates provided by both the companies. Notably, Slack is Teams closest competitor in the enterprise communication market.

Enterprises are increasingly adopting digital transformation techniques to automate and accelerate business processes, with primary focus on enhancing unified workspace communication to boost productivity at home, amid the crisis led by coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus crisis-induced work from home trend is boosting demand for unified communication solutions, which is why companies are leaving no stone unturned to enhance their enterprise communication offerings with marketing and third-party app integrations. The companies are even making the solutions free amid the crisis-led situation.

Notably, Facebook FB recently announced that its Workplace offering will aid emergency services workers and governments for free.

Moreover, Cisco’s CSCO video conferencing and workplace communication offering, Webex, has also been made free for a selected frame of time.

Also, Alphabet’s Google is also striving to enhance its enterprise G-Suite with advanced AI and ML-powered capabilities. Notably, Google Hangouts Meet’s video conferencing solutions can be availed for free till Jul 1, 2020.

Nevertheless, the new feature additions to Microsoft Teams is anticipated to aid the tech giant gain a competitive edge over its rivals in the enterprise communication infrastructure market, which is anticipated to see a CAGR of 17.53% between 2020 and 2025, per Mordor Intelligence data.

Zacks Rank

Microsoft currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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