As the reported cases of the coronavirus increase here in the US, a few companies are taking pre-emptive measures and shutting down their offices to everyone except the most critical employees.
On Tuesday, Google announced that all of its North American employees, more than 100,000 in total, should work from home effective immediately and plan on working from home until April 10th at the earliest.
The company also banned visitors to its New York and San Francisco Bay Area offices.
It’s the latest major company to ask its employees to stay home in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. Apple, Amazon and Facebook have already asked employees to cut back on travel and work from home if possible.
The outbreak has also had a major effect on conferences and public events. Facebook’s Global Marketing Summit and Adobe Summit 2020 were cancelled, and Google and Microsoft plan on making their upcoming conferences digital only.
While these major companies have solutions in place to keep their employees connected and working at full capacity during the coronavirus outbreak, millions of small and mid-size businesses don’t have a go-to solution to keep employees connected if offices are shut down.
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Most will face a decision in the coming weeks: if we close our business and allow our employees to work from home, how will we maintain communication to keep the business running?
For many the solution will be video conferencing, and it presents an opportunity for investors who expect an uptick in business over the next few weeks and months for these platforms as more and more businesses take advantage of their capabilities.
Here are three publicly traded video conference companies to consider:
GoToMeeting (owned by LogMeIn, ticker: LOGM) – offers solutions for businesses of all sizes and is compatible with all operating systems and mobile devices. It can support up to 25 unique users in a meeting with a high-definition video feed (more can join with a standard definition feed) and all meetings are recorded and stored.
Xoom (ticker: ZM) – offers scheduled and ad-hoc meetings in personal meeting rooms, video webinars and conferencing rooms. All meetings are saved and stored on the cloud, and meetings can support up to 1,000 video participants and 10,000 viewers.
Skype (owned by Microsoft, ticker: MSFT) – the original and possibly the most popular video conferencing app. Skype users have the ability to call phones without the other party using Skype, an additional benefit that other platforms don’t offer. Also has high-definition video conferencing, live subtitles, screen sharing, webinars and the ability to send SMS text messages.
Of the three stocks above, Zoom has had the best return year-to-date, jumping an impressive 59.45%. Just last week the company reported Q4 2019 results and revenue increased 78% year-over-year to $188.3 million. Most importantly, the company reported that the number of customers with 10 or more employees increased 61% year-over-year.
This is the company that could grab the most business in the weeks and months ahead as more and more businesses shift to video conferencing to keep employees connected during the coronavirus outbreak.