Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft this week reported its slowest revenue growth since 2020 at 12% year over year in the quarter, which ended on June 30. Would that all slowdowns came with 12% revenue growth. The earnings report comes at a time when many are concerned about an economic downturn on the back of global inflation trends.
Clearly Microsoft has no cause for alarm here. Financial analysts stated they were disappointed with the results even though Microsoft's growth figures outstripped most of its competitors. The earnings pointed to continued growth particularly in the areas that the company has bet heavily on such as cloud computing, productivity, collaboration and communications.
For those working in Microsoft environments, Teams is clearly the platform of choice. But Teams is just one part of Microsoft’s cloud portfolio which experienced growth that even in the current circumstances is exceptional.
In fact, the cloud is near-unavoidable at this point and Microsoft is in an enviable position to exploit that need. Some of the recent highlights include:
- Office commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 9%, driven by Office 365 Commercial revenue growth
- Office consumer products and cloud services revenue also increased 9%, in part driven by an increase in Microsoft 365 consumer subscribers to 59.7 million
- LinkedIn revenue increased 26%
- Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $20.9 billion and increased 20%
The list of gains continues. However, one set of figures was missing from the overall figures was any specific data related to Teams usage.
Microsoft rarely publishes an official list of use figures for its productivity tools and platforms, but has left it to the financial results to fill out the details of usage. This earnings report was no different.
In January 2022, Microsoft reported that Teams had surpassed 270 million active users, up from 250 million in July 2021. While Microsoft did not update the figures in the earnings report, it did mention some notable milestones that give an idea of the platform's progress. In the earnings call, CEO Satya Nadella said the company has added 450 capabilities to empower frontline and knowledge workers to collaborate synchronously and asynchronously as well as remote and in-person. Other notable milestones include:
- More than 100,000 companies have deployed custom line of business applications in Teams.
- Teams Phone which offers cloud calling across VoIP and PSTN has over 12 million PSTN users, nearly double the number a year ago.
- More than 60% of the Fortune 500 are using Teams Rooms to connect employees across the hybrid workplace.
Microsoft said that overall, the Microsoft Cloud generated $25 billion in revenues for the fourth quarter, which is more than half of the total $51.9 billion for the quarter. Azure use is up 40%, but the company didn't specify the baseline figure the 40% built on.
Google Meet Moves Onto YouTube
Imagine holding your next all hands meeting on ... YouTube? As of this week, you no longer have to imagine as Google announced it was rolling out the ability to livestream Google Meet meetings on YouTube.
Once it has rolled out, Google Workplace admins can start the approval process with YouTube to opt in to public streaming for the YouTube business accounts they manage, a process the company warns can take up to 24 hours. The company plans to do a gradual rollout to Google Workspace Enterprise Starter, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, Teaching and Learning Upgrade customers starting July 25, while rapid domains customers have had access since July 21.
The feature comes with administrative powers to limit who has access to the feature at the domain, organizational unit or team level and the ability to designate hosts and/or co-hosts or leave it open for others within the organization to start a meet. Where hosts are designated, all of the Workspace Host Management safety features are available, namely chat lock, present lock, audio lock, mute and more. Moderation tools are also available on YouTube, including the option to limit the livestream only to subscribers to your business account who have been subscribed for a specific period of time. Once a meeting has concluded, the admin has the option to leave the recording up for later viewing or to delete the event.
This is just the latest in a long list of updates Google has made to its video call apps in responses to the growing demand for video calling and video conferencing in the enterprise. YouTube has a huge reach in the enterprise and Google is clearly looking to do a lot more with it.
ABBYY Ups Its Investment in Automation
Elsewhere this week, Charlotte, NC-based ABBYY announced the opening of a new development center in Belgrade, Serbia and is expanding its workforce in the US, Cyprus and Hungary.
According to the company, the extension to its workforce is part of its previously stated commitment to increasing research and development of intelligent, automation solutions for global enterprises. The new Serbian development center will focus on low code/no code development for its global customer base with a view to enabling faster and cheaper digital transformations.
The announcement follows the company's launch of Vantage 2 last year, a low-code/no-code platform that delivers cognitive skills for RPA robots, automation systems, chatbots, and mobile solutions, enabling organizations to gain insights from documents and content.
The Vantage 2 platform is built on microservices and packaged into containers orchestrated by Kubernetes to fit the needs of agile IT operations. Its interface enables organizations to pull developing technologies like AI and machine learning into their tech stack.
Since its release, ABBYY claims the Vantage 2 platform has gained considerable traction in the enterprise and has picked up a couple of 'Leaders' mentions in analysts repots.
InfoSum Releases Data Collaboration Platform
UK-based data collaboration platform provider InfoSum has announced the release of Platform Sigma, which the company describes as the next evolution of first-party data collaboration and privacy protection.
“Platform Sigma represents the next stage in data collaboration, eliminating all barriers to entry for enterprise organizations to extract the full value from their first-party data — safely and securely — with no risk and no limits,” the company claimed in statement.
The platform sits on top of existing technology stacks with an aim to allow users to work with and collaborate on data without the need to move it from its location. Platform Sigma includes a cloud ‘vault’ for transferring data, an integrated development framework that allows third parties to build web applications, and full application programming interface (API) access.
Wrike Launches Custom Item Types
Work management platform provider Wrike this week released the first in a series of Custom Item Types, geared to meet the work management needs of specific teams and departments. The San Jose, Calif.-based company announced in a statement that the addition is meant to "mirror team business processes and daily scenarios in the virtual workspace with their own terminology, behavior and work manners."
What this looks like in practice is individual teams can customize work item types to reflect common processes, terminology and workflows. Because these items feed into Wrike's centralized work graph, cross-collaborative work continues without any hiccups. The release offered the example of a marketing team, using Custom Item Types to set up campaigns, asset and creative briefs. The new functionality allows admins and power users to build team-specific fields, relations, layouts and automations.
This specific release provides templates to support three common use cases:
- Service Management — Templates for both the business user side and the IT side, allowing the creation of service tickets, incident reports and a knowledge base for FAQ.
- Strategic Planning — A template to track goals based on objectives and key results.
- Team Agile — A primer for getting started with agile work, including common definitions, pre-built automations, reports and more.
These templates are available as of this week for Business, Enterprise and Pinnnacle customers, with the company promising more to come in August.