Several tech companies are aggressively seeking the virtual meeting/business market expected to be worth more than $50 billion by 2026. Slack (WORK) has made some fast acquisitions; Zoom (ZM) has entered the hardware business; Microsoft Teams (MSFT) has spiced up its team platform. The coronavirus has forced companies to migrate to virtual meetings. This underscores the aggressive stance they are willing to take in this hot technology market.
Slack recently bought Rimeto, a manufacturer of business directory software, to provide a searchable directory that integrates information from across the company and provides access to a wide range of business information such as email addresses, phone numbers, and passwords. Rimeto will be a stand along with the app on Slack. The company is currently looking at additional takes-overs because it is flush with $1.4 billion in cash.
Just a few hours later, Microsoft, which has gained millions of new customers through an unrelenting digital land grab, unveiled new features to its team, including the “Together” mode, which brings all participants together in a single virtual environment. The mode was shown in various locations, from a coffee bar with a few people to an auditorium for a large meeting.
The Together mode makes meetings more engaging by focusing on other people’s faces and body language, making it easier to pick up the nonverbal cues that are so important to human interaction, “Microsoft said in a statement.
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Together, it has been tested by several customers, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Management and Budget, and Microsoft, a Microsoft spokesman told MarketWatch. Microsoft shares rose 2% after the announcement, but Zoom, whose wild popularity during the coronavirus pandemic turned his name into a verb, has sent its shares soaring 291% this year. Zoom said on Tuesday that it was working to streamline its video communications services.
Virtual Meeting Investor Bottomline
Smart investors should be cautious about investing in any tech company offering virtual meetings and systems. If we have learned anything from past tech “booms,” most companies will fail, a few will stand out. Investors looking to buy now have three big companies to choose from, and each has positives and negatives.
Slack Technologies Inc. stock (WORK) is currently bouncing between $30 and $40. It is a great stock pick because they have CASH and know where they need to grow. The price is nearly the same as last year, so there is HUGE potential for growth.
Zoom Videos Communications (ZM) stock continues to climb. Many traders were worried that it had lost “steam” at $240 but is now eyeing $280. Its subscriber base continues to grow as well and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Just today, ZM stock is up to $2.7%! The most significant risk for ZM stock is its super-fast growth.
Microsoft Corp (MSFT) stock my not be the “sexiest stock” for the virtual meetings, but my be one of the more safe ones because of it’s distribution network and capital. It also provides diversification in your tech portfolio of not being one product. Microsoft will continue to be around for years to come.