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Some not-to-miss highlights from the last week in unified communications
From rumoured acquisitions to the banning of Office 365 and Google Workspace in schools, here are some extracts from popular news stories this week.
An Investing.com source has told the financial platform and news website that RingCentral approached 8×8 about a possible take-over.
RingCentral is allegedly working with an investment bank to review the implications of a potential transaction.
No reports have surfaced yet as to 8×8’s position and whether they are open to a sale.
At the time of writing, 8×8’s stock price is trading at around $3.92, down from $21.3 this time last year. The past month has seen the company’s share price creep up 80 cents from $3.12.
If the rumours are true, 8×8 could be reluctant to sell as their share price puts them in a weak bargaining position on paper, which they may not feel accurately reflects the company’s true value.
On the other hand, if 8×8 are not feeling optimistic about the future, this could be seen as the perfect get-out-of-jail-free card.
The French Minister of National Education has confirmed that the use of Office 365 and Google Workspace in schools is prohibited.
Pap Ndiaye, Minister of National Education, recently confirmed that free versions of Office and Google Workspace should not be used in schools due to concerns about privacy rules, competition, and data sovereignty.
Paid versions of these cloud services could have been an option, but they have already been banned due to data safety concerns.
In a reply to Philippe Latombe, Member of the National Assembly of France, Ndiaye said: “The publisher Microsoft has a global policy for education consisting of offering the basic version of its online collaborative suite free of charge.
“Article L. 2 of the Public Procurement Code provides that public procurement contracts are contracts entered into for consideration to meet the needs of the public entity in terms of works, supplies or services.
“Free service offers are therefore, in principle, excluded from the scope of public procurement.”
Office 365 and Google Workspace are prominent examples of free offerings that will not be allowed for use in French schools.
Zoom has lowered its 2023 annual revenue expectations by $15 million as online business is forecast to drop 8% over the same period.
Revenue for 2023 is now expected to be between $4.37 billion and $4.38 billion, representing around 7% year-over-year growth. In monetary terms, this translates to $15 million dollars lower than its previous full-year guidance.
Zoom attributes $14 million of this forecast loss to the “continued FX (foreign exchange) pressure in Q3 and Q4”.
Eric Yuan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Zoom, said: “Zoom is purpose-built to make all kinds of connections possible, effective, and meaningful.
“We have developed and launched more than 1,500 features and enhancements on the Zoom platform this year, advancing how people connect with each other, their organization, and their customers, ultimately, opening the doors wide for creativity and collaboration.
“Of course, even as we celebrate our innovations and customers, we still face the backdrop of a challenging macroeconomic environment.
“We continue to see FX pressure and heightened deal scrutiny for new business but remain focused on delivering happiness to our customers by innovating our platform and expanding our go-to-market capabilities.”
Zoom’s total Q3 2022 revenue, however, was $1.102 billion, which is an increase of 5% year over year and $2 million above the high end of its quarterly guidance.
It has been widely reported that Alphabet is laying off ten thousand Google employees based on results from performance ranking algorithms.
Google follows in the wake of a number of major technology companies laying off staff, including Microsoft, Meta, Twitter, RingCentral, Salesforce, and more.
There appear to be various influences behind the decision to downsize, namely the economic downturn, which has particularly affected the technology sector recently, the trend for reducing ‘bloated’ workforces, and a letter from a billionaire investor urging Google to make cuts.
Christopher Hohn, Managing Director of TCI Fund Management Limited, said in a letter to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet:
“We are writing to express our view that the cost base of Alphabet is too high and that management needs to take aggressive action.
“The company has too many employees, and the cost per employee is too high.
“Management should publicly disclose an EBIT margin target, substantially reduce losses in Other Bets and increase share buybacks.
“During a period of high growth between 2017 and 2021, revenues increased at an annual rate of 23%, cost discipline was not a priority. However, cost discipline is now required as revenue growth is slowing.
“Cost growth above revenue growth is a sign of poor financial discipline.”
The letter went on to point out that many other notable technology companies were making staff cutbacks. Furthermore, former Alphabet executives have said that the company could perform better with fewer employees.
Cisco has revealed that its Webex Go solution is now available on iOS and Android mobile devices in the UK.
The mobile-first app is designed to support hybrid workforces that are on the move while ensuring that calls are secure, compliant, and private.
The platform, released in 2021 for users in the United States of America, lets users make and receive business calls using a smartphone’s native dialer rather than a softphone application.
Sonu Arora, Director of Product Management for Webex Calling, commented: “Webex Go is a seamless way to deliver Webex Calling to the device that your employees use the most: their personal mobile phone.
“Webex Go is essential for businesses that need to support a hybrid workforce while ensuring that calls are secure, compliant, and private.
“We continue to receive tremendous feedback from our United States launch, and we’re excited to announce that Webex Go is now available in the United Kingdom on Apple iOS and Android mobile platforms.”
According to Cisco, mobile phones are essential devices to deliver the agility and productivity needed to be successful in a hybrid working environment.
Webex Go ensures that workers can always be accessible whether they are on the move, working from home, or away from their desks.
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