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Coronavirus causes massive boom in telework tools

Telework for this young woman confined to her home in Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle) on March 20. MATHIEU CUGNOT

At World, For the first time in the history of the evening newspaper, daily editorial meetings are held by videoconference. Since France was confined due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the handful of executives who remained at headquarters, boulevard Auguste-Blanqui, in the 13e arrondissement of Paris, exchanges there with around thirty department heads and journalists installed at their home, thanks to Google’s Hangout Meet tool.

To keep in touch during this troubled period by the coronavirus, the “economics” service team created a channel on the collective discussion tool Slack, while with the proximity to the office, its journalists had no more here not perceived the utility.

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These examples of conversions to teleworking tools have been nothing short of exceptional since an unprecedented number of employees were sent home to prevent the spread of the Covid-19. Publishers of remote collaboration software are seeing more and more uses.

Among independent “pure players” specialists (who operate only online), Slack has gained 7,000 new paying customers since February, compared to only 5,000 in the entire previous quarter. In early March, Zoom, known for its video conferencing tool, released 78% more sales than expected. Klaxoon, the French start-up that has built its success on virtual meetings, notes “Five times more requests than normal”.

As for the big traditional players in professional IT, Microsoft has seen the use of its Teams suite (videoconferencing, messaging, collaborative office automation) grow by 37% in one week: it reached 44 million daily users – a record – against 20 million four months ago. In France, it was multiplied by seven, according to Microsoft, quoted by the American chain CNBC. Competitor Cisco, publisher of the Webex telework suite, has seen seven times more free registrations since February.

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Google, Facebook and Amazon, for their part, do not publish figures, but are ready to ride this unprecedented wave. Amazon, world leader in hosting data and online software in the “cloud” (dematerialized computing), highlights its video conferencing, document sharing, and secure access management “VPN” solutions for employees … Like many players, Google has extended the accessibility of its services in an exceptional way: until 1er July, the advanced Meet video conferencing option is free for the five million paying business customers of its online office suite (Gmail, Google Docs, Hangout, etc.).

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