Technology, engine of the “new normal” in the context of the Covid-19 crisis – Economy – Businesses

Amid the crisis of the Covid-19 epidemic, lockdown measures and social distancing, technology is playing a vital role in making life, communication, working from home and obtaining services and support easier. products.

Indeed, technology is quickly becoming the engine of a “new normal” that the pandemic should print in the post-Covid-19 phase.

According to a recent report published by Forbes Middle East, on economic technological transformations in the post-Covid-19 era, the pandemic has clearly shown that the world can no longer maintain itself on the basis of old models around health , education, business, food supply and savings.

In April, Microsoft’s Remote Work Trends Report found it had set a new record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in one day, a 200% increase from 900 million in March. . And as students and educators turn to Microsoft Teams for distance learning, 183,000 users in 175 countries are using the tool for online education.

“Over the past few weeks, we’ve been inspired by the way our customers connect during meetings in Microsoft Teams. We’ve seen bosses show up at meetings as virtual potato heads and team stand-ups get deliciously silly. Whether it’s teams of workers sharing shift updates, students and teachers logging into virtual classrooms, and CEOs leading questions and answers in town hall with thousands of ‘Employees, we all find new ways to come together when we need to work and learn separately, ”according to the report. .

ZOOM, a video conferencing service provider, makes it clear how technology is the backbone of a “new normal”. In its fiscal 2020 fourth quarter financial results report, ZOOM’s total revenue jumped to $ 188.3 million, up 78% (year-over-year) with total revenue for all of fiscal year of $ 622.7 million, up 88% (year-over-year).

ZOOM’s operating income for the quarter was $ 10.6 million, compared to $ 5.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, while net income attributable to common shareholders for the quarter was 15 , $ 3 million, or $ 0.05 per share, compared with $ 1.2 million, or $ 0.01 per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, according to the report.

In addition, free cash flow from operating activities doubled to $ 36.6 million for the quarter from $ 16 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 with free cash flow of 26.6 million. , $ 6 million for the quarter, compared to $ 5.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019.

On April 22, ZOOM revealed that it saw a 50% increase in the number of daily users, with 300 million daily meeting participants, up from 200 million recorded earlier in April. Based on its financial outlook for the first quarter of fiscal 2021, ZOOM’s total revenue for the full year is expected to be between $ 905.0 million and $ 915.0 million.

“We strive to empower our customers to accomplish more with our video-centric Unified Communications platform. Evidenced by our strong performance in the fourth quarter of 2020. Our execution also resulted in 61% growth in the number of clients with an 86% growth in the number of clients contributing over $ 100,000 in TTM revenue, ”said the founder and CEO of Zoom Eric Yuan.

The Forbes report highlighted the impact of the pandemic on everyday communication, claiming that Covid-19 has transformed the conferencing and events industry, which has now all but disappeared. According to the report, the electronic communications industry is poised to witness immense competition and growth with the aim of attracting more customers by providing additional features and services.

The gaming sector is also booming, benefiting from the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a report released May 15 by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the global video game industry is flourishing, despite widespread economic disruption caused by the pandemic, turning to more social distancing measures that minimize consumer and business activities. .

The game provides an engaging distraction for people at home looking for social interactions, and initial data shows huge growth in game time and sales since the lockdowns began, according to the report. As a result, the WEF expects the global video game market to be worth $ 159 billion in 2020, roughly four times the box office revenue, which recorded $ 43 billion in 2019, and nearly three times the size of the music industry’s revenue, which recorded $ 57 billion in 2019.

For e-commerce and online retailing, the Forbes report found a threefold increase in revenue and customer numbers during Covid-19, as people turn to online apps and platforms to obtain products and services. The report expects sales in this sector to exceed $ 4.2 trillion in 2020, with notable growth from Amazon.

Amid the pandemic, Amazon announced on April 30 that total revenue for the three months ending March 31 was exceptionally strong, registering $ 33 million in sales and $ 75.5 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2020. .

According to Comparisun in a recent report, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is expected to be the world’s first trillionaire by 2026, thanks to the significant growth of his business. He also expected Google to join tech giants Apple and Microsoft in reaching the $ 1,000 billion mark by 2021.

“The numbers suggest they will soon be followed by the last of the Big Four tech companies, Facebook, whose market capitalization currently stands at around $ 665 billion, but has seen average growth of 24% over the past five years. , which, if they continue, they could join the trillion dollar club in 2022, ”the report added.

Speaking to Ahram Online, Egyptian Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) CEO Hala El-Gohary said the coronavirus outbreak has forced most companies to change their standards and urge people to stay at home. As a result, technologies related to remote work and remote healthcare have experienced unprecedented growth.

Digital and web technologies such as video conferencing, virtual meetings and events, in addition to online games, have carved out the lion’s share of the growth in usage, El-Gohary said. “The current situation has underlined the urgency to stay connected and the imperative of digital readiness has shifted from important to absolutely critical,” said El-Gohary.

She added that companies with digital and technological tools were much more resilient than regular businesses, because in times of pandemic, consumers would prefer online shopping and digital and remote interactions to close and physical interactions, so that technology has given an advantage to both consumer and business.

Regarding ITIDA’s efforts to anchor the use of technology in Egypt, El-Gohary said the organization has focused on creating a niche for Egypt to be a regional hub for technology and innovation. “We encourage innovation and talent development as a priority to help equip Egypt’s young population with the skills and competences they need to participate in the development of the industry,” El-Gohary said.

El-Gohary added that ITIDA details its efforts with the tech community to support attempts to tackle the global coronavirus outbreak. This, while building the capacity of local businesses, attracting multinational ICT companies and maintaining the attractiveness of Egypt’s value proposition for investors, and developing the entire IT ecosystem in Egypt. .

ITIDA has mobilized resources to accelerate research and innovation collaboration that could help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic, supporting local tech initiatives, startups and hackathons to help spur innovations related to the pandemic. coronavirus. “Internally, we were the first government entity to implement the work from home policy, using our capabilities and tools so that business continuity is not hampered. And we have moved most of our physically delivered services to online services, ”El-Gohary added.

Referring to ITIDA’s future plans, El-Gohary told Ahram Online that the organization will continue to encourage its employees to work remotely. She added that there will be more initiatives focusing on online training, remote work skills development and other efforts that help accelerate the digitization of services.

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