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3 Enterprise Communications Stocks in Focus as Hybrid Work Revs Up

By Zacks Investment ResearchStock MarketsJun 13, 2021 10:58PM ET
3 Enterprise Communications Stocks in Focus as Hybrid Work Revs Up
By Zacks Investment Research   |  Jun 13, 2021 10:58PM ET
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The coronavirus crisis has radically altered the workspace environment. In a dramatic shift, most of the global workforce was compelled to transition to remote work set up amid the pandemic-triggered shelter-in-place guidelines imposed worldwide last year.

The work-from-home set up caused a huge spurt in demand for cloud-based video conferencing, web conferencing, teleconferencing as well as workspace communication and collaboration solutions. The enterprise communications’ boom significantly benefitted the likes of Zoom Video ZM, Microsoft’s MSFT, Teams App, Slack Technologies (NYSE:WORK) WORK Cisco’s CSCO Webex, among others.

A year later, the situation hasn’t changed much with several countries reeling under a far more deadly second wave. Moreover, the global vaccination campaign is turning out to be a tedious affair. As a result, the work-from-home and telehealth trends are unlikely to dissipate soon, thereby driving demand for enterprise communication solutions.

Notably, the demand is not expected to subside even in a post pandemic world, courtesy of the rapid adoption of hybrid/flexible work culture.

Hybrid Work to Drive Demand for Workspace Collaboration Tools

Worldwide, business enterprises are embracing hybrid/flexible work policies as employees increasingly encourage such set up.

Per a recent research report from Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS) CTXS, more than 90% of the professionals (millennials and Generation Z) surveyed preferred flexible work model. Meanwhile, 82% of the employers surveyed were working on adapting to hybrid work culture to accommodate needs of their employees.

Per the report, the trends also indicate that office will be meant primarily for team collaborations as well as connection and innovation in the future. The work-from-home set up will be mostly adopted for carrying out endeavours that do not require any collaboration from teammates.

Per another survey conducted by Zoom Video in association with SurveyMonkey, about 65% of the people polled (who have been working from home since last year) touted hybrid work environment as their ideal work environment. In stark contrast, only 20% of the professionals surveyed wanted to work from offices fully. Moreover, a mere 15% were in favor of full remote work set up.

These surveys have clearly pointed out that the workspace is in the middle of a paradigm shift and hybrid work model will be the disrupting factor.

According to a report from Mordor Intelligence, worldwide unified communication and collaboration market is expected to witness a CAGR of 27.8% between 2021 and 2026.

The global video conferencing market is alone expected to reach nearly $9.95 billion in 2028, at a CAGR of 11.4% between 2021 and 2028, per a Grand View Research report.

Let us look at the recent efforts in enterprise communication and workspace collaboration space as the hybrid work trend gains momentum.

Zoom Launches Zoom Phone Appliances

Zoom Video has been undoubtedly the biggest gainer of the work-from-home trend. The company is benefitting from an increasing number of subscribers and expanding enterprise client base.

In the last reported quarter, Zoom Video had nearly 497,100 customers (with more than 10 employees), suggesting an increase of 87% year over year. Further, the company had 1,999 customers with more than $100,000 in trailing 12-month revenues, indicating an increase of 160% year over year.

Recently, Zoom introduced new hardware called Zoom Phone Appliances that blends Zoom technology with hardware from Poly and Yealink. The company further stated that the Zoom Phone Appliances will extend audio and video functionalities with touch display in an “all-in-one desk phone solution” for phone calls as well as conducting high-definition (HD) video meetings along with interactive whiteboarding.

The latest hardware solution is aimed at improving hybrid work experience and fostering better collaboration between distributed work force.

In May 2021, Zoom Video debuted Zoom Events that will help event organizers to conduct live/ ticketed events for audience of varying sizes. Zoom Events platform brings together the functionalities as well as scalability of Zoom Meetings, Video Webinars and Chat features to boost virtual experiences.

The addition of new features and capabilities augur well for Zoom Video, which sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Microsoft Teams App Growth Robust

Microsoft’s Teams app subscriber base has been witnessing robust traction and is strengthening the company’s position in the enterprise communication market. Microsoft continues to add a slew of new features to the Teams app to make workspace communication more efficient and boost subscriber base.

Recently, the company extended the capability of adding as well as transferring calls and meetings to its Teams Phones to allow users to remain connected without a glitch across wide variety of devices.

Last month, Microsoft added “Dynamic View” to its Meetings and Webinars feature. The new functionality helps to dynamically re-arrange the layout every time an individual participant begins to provide his input at the meeting.

Microsoft’s several inhouse offerings including the likes of PowerPoint presentations, SharePoint, Dynamics 365 are also integrated with the Teams app. This makes Teams an attractive platform for users as it renders collaboration engaging and driving business outcomes simultaneously.

Microsoft, which carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), stated that Teams has daily active user base of 145 million in its third-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings conference.

Cisco Revamps Webex’s Logo And Adds New Features

Cisco recently unveiled several new features like My Voice Only and People Focus to its video conferencing application — Webex. The company also revamped the logo and identity of Webex to fortify its competitive stance in the thriving enterprise communications market as hybrid work culture gains steam.

Cisco has added more than 800 new features and devices to Webex since September 2020. Keeping in mind, the escalating cybersecurity threats, Cisco bolstered its encryption settings by enhancing its encryption capabilities with verified identity.

Cisco also noted that Real-time data loss prevention for Webex feature is designed to spontaneously block and delete any classified data by barring customers to post any such data in the first place.

Cisco is integrating the offerings of its latest acquisition namely Slido, which is an audience interaction platform, to Webex. The application will also boast a comprehensive event management technology platform upon completion of takeover of Socio Labs by Cisco.

By providing innovative features that deal with pressing issues of remote/flexible work like background clatter, and security, Cisco is aiming to grab a larger share of this lucrative market.

Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything

Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) did to Blockbuster and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities.

Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly.

See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>

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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report

Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): Free Stock Analysis Report

Citrix Systems, Inc. (CTXS): Free Stock Analysis Report

Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM): Free Stock Analysis Report

Slack Technologies, Inc. (WORK): Free Stock Analysis Report

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3 Enterprise Communications Stocks in Focus as Hybrid Work Revs Up

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3 Enterprise Communications Stocks in Focus as Hybrid Work Revs Up

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