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Remote work is a major theme as Coronavirus fears intensify
March 5, 2020
15+ min read
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As the global health crisis continues, companies around the world have been forced to adopt remote work policies in order to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Initially, the tech sector led this charge. On Monday March 2nd, Twitter became the first major tech company to strongly encourage all employees to work from home. Shortly thereafter, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Adobe announced that they would cancel, alter, or pull out of various upcoming conferences, encouraging employees and the public to stay home and avoid large gatherings. On March 4th, Amazon sent an email to its Seattle office requesting that all employees work from home until March 31st.
Since, due to government-mandated work from home orders, the rest of the market has joined them.
How much is remote work impacting performance? We compiled an overview of all companies discussing remote work in earnings call transcripts, press releases, or other company documents.
Here’s what we found:
- The first week of March, proactive discussion in earnings call and event transcripts was mostly limited to companies that offer a product that facilitates remote work. The second week of March, companies across sectors reported a variety of implications of Coronavirus-induced remote work.
- Video conferencing companies are seeing abnormally high growth: Zoom, for instance, added more users in January and February of 2020 that all of 2019 combined. Many video conferencing companies are also offering free or discounted services.
- Company commentary and broker research around remote work has outpaced to media coverage and initial speculation, according to AlphaSense data (see chart below).
Here are the highlights:
[Note: We are updating this post to reflect the most recent commentary. Last updated 4/3.]
Palo Alto Networks (3/31 – M&A Call)
From a technology perspective, we’re fully leveraging our remote secure working capabilities through Prisma Access for our employees to enable them to securely connect to the applications they need both in the cloud and in our data centers and offices. Additionally, we have transitioned our security operations center to a remote model in which all our analysts are working from home. Our partnership with Google allows us to scale our products in a linear fashion and ensure that we had no issues in meeting the high demand we’re seeing for remote secure access.
Let me talk about the business impacts of COVID-19. From a sales perspective, we have seen a few dynamics. One, the working from home phenomenon has prompted many organizations to purchase incremental firewalls to accommodate the new traffic from employees no longer working from their corporate offices. We are well positioned to help customers with GlobalProtect, our attached firewall subscription that allows organizations to secure remote workforces. We are also seeing an increase in coordinations regarding Prisma Access from customers who are contemplating a new paradigm in terms of remote working as organizations around the globe are mandating their workforce where possible to work from home.
Progress Software Corp (3/26 – Earnings Call)
Question – Mark William Schappel: Great. And then an additional question here. Could you just give us an idea of how your — how you see a professional services business holding up and how the company just plans to manage business offering professional services?
Answer – Yogesh Gupta: Absolutely. Yes, Mark. So it’s actually interesting. Even before the coronavirus impacted the way people do business, the vast majority of Progress professional services was being delivered remotely. We have rather limited set of people that used to go to on-prem anyway. Of course, since this, 100% of it is being delivered remotely. We are seeing no disruption in the project. And as far as we are seeing, we’re not seeing delays in ongoing projects either. So at least from — I know that some other companies have seen different things in their business, but from our perspective and from our professional services business, we are not seeing a project impact at least today.
Valvoline (3/24 – 8K)
Quick Lubes’ store team members already have minimal contact with customers through the Company’s existing drive-through, stay-in-your-car service experience. Valvoline has also taken additional actions to modify in-store procedures to further reduce direct contact between store teams and customers. The Company is monitoring the situation closely and is prepared to make additional changes as necessary.
Valvoline globally is taking broader actions designed to help further prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including limiting domestic and international travel and implementing work-from-home arrangements, among others. On a positive note, in China, after a temporary suspension, construction on the lubricants plant has resumed, work-from-home protocols substantially ended earlier this month and sales trends are improving.
Kingsoft Corp (3/24 – Earnings Call)
And for the cloud business, we experienced quite positive impact from the coronavirus situation due to the increased use of online working, online education, the work from home situation. The cloud business performed very well in 2019. The revenue growth was 70% and up, and we are confident that we will maintain similar growth rate in 2020.
We mentioned that we couldn’t give detailed revenue growth guidance for the Beijing Office Software business. But this business also benefited from the current situation. The technology adopted for online working, online education, also speed up the performance of WPS.
J.B. Hunt (3/23 – Press Release)
J.B. Hunt has taken several precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Earlier this month the company issued a directive to work from home until at least April 3, 2020, for employees whose on-site presence is not required to perform their work.
Ford Motor Company (3/20 – Press Release)
Since the beginning of the outbreak, Ford has taken all possible measures to minimize the impact of coronavirus, including asking all employees to work remotely unless they are performing a business-critical job that requires being onsite, limiting visitors to the plants, and increasing the frequency of cleaning at the company’s facilities, among others.
Volkswagen (3/19 – Press Release)
All measures taken to date remain applicable until further notice, always with the aim of preventing personal contact wherever possible and thus containing the spread of the coronavirus. These include:
More flexible use of remote working
Particular protection of employees in Covid-19 risk groups.
Gartner HR (3/19 – Press Release)
A Gartner, Inc. survey of 800 global HR executives on March 17 found that 88% of organizations have encouraged or required employees to work from home, regardless of whether or not they showed coronavirus-related symptoms. Nearly all organizations (97%) have canceled work-related travel, more than an 80% increase since March 3.
A greater percentage of organizations plan to reduce work for external partners rather than employees — one-fifth of organizations plan to stop or limit consultant spend and/or reduce the number of contract workers. Only 10% of employers plan to reduce working hours, and just 6% report asking employees to take unpaid leave.
To manage remote talent during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gartner recommends HR leaders do the following:
- Provide direction, confidence and resilience. Employees are relying on leaders at all levels of the business to take action and set the tone. Communications from senior business leaders to managers should prioritize associate health and business sustainability. Communicate regularly with employees, maintaining an open dialog. Gartner’s survey found that 56% of organizations have communicated a plan of action to employees in the event the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Contextualize coronavirus for the organization. Leaders should be a trusted source for accurate and up-to-date information on coronavirus and how it is impacting the organization. Avoid sharing information from social media; leverage trusted resources such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Contextualize information and data as much as possible so that it specifically relates to the organization.
- Encourage intentional peer-to-peer interactions. With reduced or no face time in the office, employees should maintain regular professional and personal interactions with their peers. Gartner’s survey found that 40% of organizations have set up additional virtual check-ins for employees with managers and 32% of organizations have introduced new tools for virtual meetings. HR leaders should encourage employees to leverage communication platforms they already use, either at work or in their personal lives, to create new ways to work together.
- Establish team guidelines. Remote work looks different for each employee depending on their needs and those of their families. With unprecedented school closures, many employees must take on a double role as they support their children and families throughout the workday. Organizations can meet employees’ needs by empowering teams to adapt to their conflicting time demands. For instance, teams can set “core team times” when all team members are available to collaborate.
- Provide flexibility for employees’ remote work needs. When preparing for employees’ eventual return to the office, empower employees to make choices best suited for their needs and comfort levels. Where possible, allow employees to decide when to return to the office. Enable essential employees whose work requires them to return to the office to choose the hours that work best for them to return to avoid peak commute times
Yum! Brands (3/16 – Press Release)
Third, at our corporate offices and restaurant support centers, we’ve directed employees to postpone all nonessential business travel (and we’ve prohibited travel to highly-affected countries) while we continue to assess developments both abroad and in the U.S. Based on the dynamic nature of COVID-19, our global RSC offices also have plans in place so employees can work remotely as needed.
NASDAQ (3/15 – Press Release)
In consultation with industry stakeholders, and following guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concerning the elevated risks associated with COVID-19 coronavirus, Nasdaq’s North American staff have been operating across a combination of work-from-home, split teams, and rotating staff schedules since March 9; this remains in effect until further notice. These measures will ensure consistency of Nasdaq’s operations as we continue to serve our client’s unique needs.
Slack (3/13 – Q4 2020 Slack Technologies Earnings Call)
Additionally, we are taking into consideration our best guess of the potential impact from COVID-19. We have paused all nonessential travel and have encouraged employees to work from home, as have some of our customers and prospects.
TransUnion (3/12 – Bank of America Merrill Lynch Securities Information Services Conference)
First, I’d just like to say thank you to Bank of America, and thank you to Gary for being flexible and pivoting to this teleconference format so we still have this opportunity to get together. Obviously, there’s a lot going on in the world and lot for us to talk about, and I think effective communication is really important in times like this.
Yes. So we are — we’re thinking a lot and focused on the coronavirus issue initially, taking care of our employee population. We have been implementing various degrees of work from home, social distancing, travel diminishment policies. And I think you’ll see us continue down that path, where in the coming weeks, we will likely be working from home, except in nonessential type of situations. So certainly doing our part there.
Xunlei (3/11 – Earnings Call)
About the situation with coronavirus, we are headquartered in Shenzhen Guangdong province. So we do not have any offices in Wuhan or Hubei province. Our employees today are not personally affected by the coronavirus so far. Our employees started working from home online since February 10 and resumed the normal operation on-site about 2 weeks ago.
In the short term, we have not seen any significant negative impact of the coronavirus on our operations as our users are all over the country. We actually saw some positive impact as part of our business, particularly in cloud computing and the subscription business as people stayed at home more. But in the longer term, we are unable to predict any future impact as the coronavirus situation evolves. Ensuring the health and safety of our employees is always our top priority. We are strictly following the guidance issued by the local government authority and provided our employees with masks and other protective equipment and guidance during this period of time, while paying close attention to the development of the virus and will act accordingly to maintain normal operations of the company.
Emerson Electric Co (3/11 – JP Morgan Industrials Conference)
Like you said, I — we have more things going forward this cycle than we did last cycle from — ahead of the cost structure, we’re hunkered down. We have chances to accelerate things. We get the mentality of the people is that we weren’t looking at growth this year. And so we had a mentality of people, okay, where do we hunt down? And how do we save? And then how do we get our cost structure in better shape as quick as possible? And that’s where we are.
And the only counter thing would be the coronavirus where people are really nervous, and we’re working full out, 100%. We’re not doing remote stuff. We’re not doing like Bayer did in St. Louis, like some guy comes back from Germany, and they shut the whole campus down. We’re not doing that. We’re working and I need my people to work, but I am also taking care of my people that cannot come in because of coronavirus. And so right now, we’ve been, knock on wood and go — keep things going. And that’s the key issue for me. Can we keep our facilities going? And right now, we are.
Principia Biopharma (3/10 – 10K)
If the COVID-19 outbreak does not subside, we may experience significant disruptions that could materially impact our business. We may need to limit operations or implement limitations, including work from home policies, and may experience limitations in employee resources. In addition, the COVID-19 outbreak could result in reduced operations of third-party manufacturers upon whom we rely, disrupt our supply chain, or otherwise limit our ability to obtain sufficient materials to manufacture our drug candidates. Furthermore, our clinical trials may be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Site initiation, patient enrollment and trial data collection may be delayed or stalled due to prioritization of hospital resources toward the COVID-19 outbreak, patient or staff unwillingness to visit hospitals and participate in our trials, or quarantines that may impede patient or staff movement and study drug availability at trial sites, interrupt healthcare services or otherwise prevent patient compliance with clinical trial protocols. We may experience delays in receiving approval from local or regional IRBs or regulatory authorities to initiate or modify our planned clinical trials. The global outbreak of COVID-19 continues to rapidly evolve, is highly uncertain and subject to change. We do not yet know the full extent of potential delays or impacts on our business, our clinical trials, our third-party drug manufacturing capabilities, healthcare systems or the global economy as a whole. However, these effects could have a material impact on our operations.
Akamai Technologies (3/9 – Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference)
But I’m pleased to say, within the last 1.5 years, we’ve kicked in some initiatives that would allow us to find some new logos around the globe, and that continues to add in some booking strength in terms of growth. So I would say, in the near term, you’re going to continue to see the security solutions that we offer is kind of the main driver of growth. You have some new products, like page integrity that come out later this year, that should be, hopefully, very, very successful and probably pretty easy to roll into the quota-bearing reps sort of bag.
And then you have some longer-term sort of opportunities around identity cloud or customer identity as well as what the coronavirus is, working from home, our enterprise solutions would be a very logical selection for companies as they continue to reach a remote audience with cloud-based applications. And so we have like a much more dynamic, improved, secure gateway product that rolls out later this year. And so I’m pretty excited about some of the opportunities in the enterprise security space, which my belief is that the addressable markets in that sort of dwarf the security space that we’re in today.
Ciena (3/5 – Earnings Call)
With regards to the second part of the question, Jim, do you want to talk about the work from home and the…
Answer – James E. Moylan: Sure. I think it’s a very interesting question, Tal. And I will say that just like many other companies, we’ve taken a lot of steps to protect our employees with respect to the coronavirus. We are encouraging, in some cases, in some countries, people to work from home. We’ve talked about travel bans into some countries. So we’ve done a lot of things that will accelerate what has already been, in many cases, a movement toward working from home. And we certainly, we at Ciena, are looking at expanding our collaboration tool set. I think other companies are doing the same thing. It would not surprise me if this combination of new technologies around collaboration and this situation that has occurred here is that you will see more people work from home. And over time, yes, that’s going to mean more bandwidth needed in a lot of different places. It’s not a near-term effect. But yes, I think the direction is good for us.
Teledoc (3/5 – Earnings Call)
If they go into the emergency department, we have some technologies we use in the emergency department that are particularly relevant in coronavirus. We’ve been doing this for years. If you come into the emergency department, you are seen remotely. There is one provider off-site; can be at home. Most of the time, it’s in a Jefferson facility, and that one provider covers 2 emergency departments. We don’t have a triage nurse in most of those situations. So they come in, they see the doctor. The doctor does an exam via telemedicine, write orders on the patient and writes a note in the chart. Again, in this situation where I don’t want people coughing and sneezing on me or even to walk in the room and shake their hands, this is perfect. It prevents that from happening, okay?
Then they go into the acute care setting. If they’re really sick and it’s a neuro stroke program like for InTouch or any of the other use cases InTouch has, and you see they have tons of them, they can be seen by a remote physician with more expertise, if that’s needed. At our shop in coronavirus territory now, we actually hand the patient an iPad, and they go in the room and there’s paired iPads and nobody else needs to go in the room unless the patient’s sick enough that somebody else needs to go into the room to do something. So we separate people out. We have used the JeffConnect app to do screening for coronavirus on our premises in the emergency department, and we have done it from home. Fortunately, in Pennsylvania, we don’t yet have a positive, but we’ve done this screening in both of those situations.
Zoom (3/4 – Earnings Call)
Before tuning the revenue over to Kelly, I’d also like to address the global impact we’re seeing from the coronavirus. While this tragic situation is very fluid, Zoom is focused on using our resources to help alleviate some of the disruption and the communication challenges as an alternative to enforce the meetings for our employees, customers and community.
I’m happy to report that all of our employees in the affected areas are healthy. Given the recent emergence and a growing number of coronavirus cases in the United States, we have directed our high-quality employees to work from home, unless there’s a business critical need for them to be in the office. We are taking this step out of abundance of caution.
Zoom is doing everything we can, especially for global educational institutions, to provide resources and support to our customers and as those navigated the coronavirus outbreak, including we are proactively moderating capacity globally to ensure maximum reliability made usage increases.
In China, we have removed the 40 minutes limit on free meetings, and we are providing informational sessions and on-demand resources. So anyone who learned how to use the Zoom platform with ease.
VMWare (3/4 – Morgan Stanley TMT Conference)
Yes, and as we describe it now, we say, we’re uniquely positioned to help customers build, run, manage, connect and protect, right? And they’re in any app, any cloud, any device environment. So obviously, build with the Heptio and the Pivotal acquisitions, and we’ll be shortly launching the Tanzu portfolio. We got this ability to capture this Kubernetes transition and make it part of what they already do with VMware. Right.
Run, this is the huge steps we’ve taken with the cloud guys. Obviously, Amazon, but now the partnerships with Azure, the Oracle announcement, the Google partnership, Alibaba, the continued momentum with IBM. We sort of got them all, right, at this point, as well as the ability to do data center modernization, hybrid cloud. Nobody else able to do that. So our 1 portfolio in a multi-cloud sense is unrivaled. Right, manage all the devices. And while you’re always looking for silver linings, hey, coronavirus. People want to do more work from home, “Hey, I got a product called Workspace ONE.” Right? We’re enabling people to do that, some of our biggest Q3 deal. Our Q4 deals were around Workspace ONE.
Fastly (3/4 – 10K)
In light of the uncertain and rapidly evolving situation relating to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have taken temporary precautionary measures intended to help minimize the risk of the virus to our employees, our customers, and the communities in which we participate, which could negatively impact our business. As a company with employees, customers, partners and investors across the globe, we believe in upholding our company value of being good people by doing our part to help slow the spread of the virus. To this end, we are temporarily requiring all employees to work remotely, have suspended all non-essential travel worldwide for our employees, are canceling or postponing Fastly-sponsored events, and are discouraging employee attendance at industry events and in-person work-related meetings. While we have a distributed workforce and our employees are accustomed to working remotely or working with other remote employees, our workforce is not fully remote. Our employees travel frequently to establish and maintain relationships with one another and with our customers, partners, and investors, and some of our business processes assume that employees can review and sign documents in person. Although we continue to monitor the situation and may adjust our current policies as more information and guidance become available, temporarily suspending travel and doing business in-person could negatively impact our marketing efforts, challenge our ability to enter into customer contracts in a timely manner, slow down our recruiting efforts, or create operational or other challenges as we adjust to a fully-remote workforce, any of which could harm our business. The extent to which the coronavirus (COVID-19) and our precautionary measures may impact our business will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted at this time.
Veritone Inc (3/4 Earnings Call)
Question – Patrick D. Walravens: Okay. Last one for me. And I know there’s a lot of uncertainty, but you mentioned the coronavirus having some impact on the ad business. How do you think it’s likely to play out more? People working from home, less travel, some supply chain disruptions. What are you keeping an eye on in your business as we move through this epidemic?
Answer – Chad Steelberg: Yes. I mean, I think you touched on all the high points. Essentially, in our advertising business, we’ve seen some push out of ad campaigns already by clients who have already suffered some supply chain disruptions due to the outbreak. And we could experience more pushouts from additional customers in the Veritone business.
On the SaaS side, however, we have far less direct exposure to the coronavirus. But we could see some sales cycles extend as customers, particularly in the public safety, gets distracted with, obviously, much higher priorities as the epidemic hits the U.S., and we fully support their efforts. On the work from home component, definitely, we’re seeing companies testing with that. We have a great organization here that operates already in 3 or 4 different offices. And most of our sales and customer engagements is happening over the phone and video conferencing already. So from an ongoing operations standpoint, in terms of our employees and how we engage with our customers, I see very little impact and towards the business.
Spotify (3/4 – Morgan Stanley TMT Conference)
Answer – Benjamin Daniel Swinburne: Great. Yes. Got one up in the middle, maybe while the microphone’s headed up. One thing we didn’t talk about, doesn’t seem like a huge factor for Spotify is anything around the virus and macro that impacts the company or how you guys work or anything else?
Answer – Paul Aaron Vogel: Yes. I mean, it’s still early. Right now, we don’t think so. I mean, look, obviously, it affects everybody. It affects employees. As a company, we’re trying to figure out how much people should travel and those types of things. But we obviously don’t manufacture product. We have no supply chain issues. We have no people issues. Everyone’s able to work. There’s no change in the product, I think, of that sort. And honestly, I think a service like ours is probably, and we don’t know this because we haven’t really experienced yet, somewhat countercyclical or at least we would survive well in that type of environment. Because if you’re at home more or if you’re not going out more, you’re probably not going to cut off your streaming services, whether it’s audio or video or things that actually you get enjoyment from, that you don’t need to actually go out and be with people. So we’ll see, but right now, we don’t see an impact on the business.
Veeva Systems Inc (3/4 – Morgan Stanley TMT Conference)
For the industry we serve, it’s a busy time and it’s a time of change. There’s — they do a lot of collaboration around the world. Some of them are fine-tuned already to do that in a virtual way, such as Veeva. Some are less so. And with the — some of them are decreasing travel, and so they’re having to get better about doing virtual communications. We’re helping many of our customers by providing Engage Meeting, one of our products for the pharmaceutical companies to engage remotely with health care providers. We’re providing that free of charge until September, and that’s helping some of our customers.
We have certainly some customers that are working on treatments and vaccines for the COVID-19 virus. So they’re certainly very busy. And I felt — I read that this morning, Moderna, one of our customers, actually introduced the first candidate for a vaccine. So they’re very busy.
For us, for Veeva, we’ve operated in a virtual way quite well for many years here. We just embrace the virtual technology. We haven’t seen projects canceled. We’ve seen some delays in some projects, but nothing that would materially affect our financials. So we’re continuing to focus and to be productive and to run virtually in the places where we need to where there’s a serious outbreak.
When we started Veeva CRM, there was no concept of doing a remote meeting with a doctor. Now we are ready there. Some of our customers, they hadn’t purchased Engage Meeting, but man, they want it in a hurry right now because of this COVID-19 virus.
Five9 (3/4 – Morgan Stanley TMT Conference)
Answer – Meta A. Marshall: I’m going to start this session with kind of the topic du jour of any potential corona impact that you’ve seen or just any changes in behavior that you’ve seen just kind of in the couple of weeks that we’ve been working through this.
Answer – Rowan M. Trollope: Sure. So at a high level, I’ll just point out, the vast majority, 92% of our business, is U.S., domestic business. So certainly, we’re somewhat more insulated than others from international exposure whatever there would be, on that front. Our business is a cloud SaaS business. And I think from a business continuity perspective, there’s definitely a perspective amongst the customers that cloud-based software has the flexibility of letting people work from home. I think you’ve seen that recently with Zoom and some of the UC vendors, UCaaS companies. The same is true of the contact center. So these contact center environments are environments that frankly are like big rooms like this, probably like giant airplanes, in a sense, where you wouldn’t necessarily want to have your agents all consolidated in the environment of — in the event of an outbreak or a pandemic. So some of our — one of the benefits of Five9 is the ability to have your agents actually work from home. You just bring your laptop home, and you can actually take calls and do your messaging and do everything that you can do in the office at home. So that’s a sort of fundamental power of the cloud. We certainly haven’t seen anything on the downside or upside candidly with this — with the more recent news around coronavirus. So it’s kind of business as usual for us.
8×8 Inc (3/4 – Morgan Stanley TMT Conference)
So if you think about it, what do we do? We do virtual office, which enables workers to work from home seamlessly and look like they’re in the office. We do virtual contact center that enables contact center agents to work from their home and answer customer problems seamlessly. And so every once in a while you may hear a dog barking in the background, which tells you that the contact center agent is actually safe and at home. Video conferencing, which we just launched 1.5 months ago. Just in between January and February, free meetings increased threefold and new user sign-ups. And then the part that was even more gratifying is virtual office where we made free meetings available integrated with our virtual offering, Virtual Office X Series, we saw adoption double between January and February.
We’ve also seen an impact on our CPaaS business, of all things, with food delivery in Asia Pacific, where we’re seeing increased text messaging and voice calling for food deliveries.
The goal here is, as I said, we’ve made meetings available for free for everybody, whether they’re a customer or not. We’ve done outreach programs to all of our various customers. Several customers have asked us, a very large customer, which is in the financial services industry, has asked for increasing the pace of our deployments because they want to enable every one of their workers to work from home. We have a very large university that has asked us to see if they can deliver classrooms for students seamlessly, whether they’re in the dorm or whether they are global because about 20% of their student population are international students.
So it’s a scary time but business must continue on, and I think we can help as a company to enable this to be as seamless as possible.
Guidewire Software (3/4 – Earnings Call)
Finally, I want to proactively address COVID-19 and its potential impacts to Guidewire and the actions we’re taking here to be prepared. We’re monitoring the fast-moving events very closely and have a regular team meeting to update our response. We have some formal restrictions on travel in place in line with government and CDC recommendations. We are also supporting and accommodating employees who do not feel comfortable traveling for work-related activities. Additionally, we have seen evidence our customers and prospects are enacting their own preventative policies and believe that more will follow. Our employees regularly use a variety of tools to work and engage remotely, and we are ramping up our approach to supporting and, in some cases, encouraging remote work.
While widespread restrictions on travel and in-person meetings could affect service delivery and sales activity, we do not currently anticipate a material financial impact this year.
Endava PLC (3/4 – Morgan Stanley TMT Conference)
Sure. So I mean, obviously, the big question is, are we seeing any impact in the business from the coronavirus. The — we’re not seeing any impact in terms of revenue flows and clients, discussions with clients about business opportunities. And — so no impact coming through from the top line at all. And obviously, we’ve been putting a lot of work into testing and making sure all our business continuity plans in this place — in this area are working well. And for us, that is mainly around the ability of our staff to work from home.
And so the one area where we have seen some activity is where some members of staff, who traveled, have decided that they want to self-quarantine. So we’ve seen some members of staff, not that many, but some members of staff moving to the self-quarantine, working from home environment. Now that actually has 0 impact on us from a revenue or profitability point of view because they then essentially continue doing the work that they were doing anyway, but they do it in a home context for a couple of weeks.
Ping Identity (3/4 – Earnings Call)
Question – Matthew George Hedberg: That’s great. And then maybe as a follow-up to the coronavirus. Obviously, thoughts go out to everybody impacted on that. But I’m curious — and one of the byproducts could be more employees working remotely or from home. I’m curious, outside of this event, how does remote workers or that trend benefits you guys when you think about application access?
Answer – Andre Wong Durand: Well, one of the benefits of identity-based security is that the entire notion of being on the network or, said another way, being in the building or being on the VPN becomes somewhat irrelevant to the security model. So when you hear about Zero Trust in its association with leveraging identity to allow anytime, anywhere access to any resources by people that are essentially anywhere, what you’re really hearing is that identity — a strong identity foundation, strong identity security and single sign-on to all application resources does allow a workforce to work from anywhere. So while I don’t think the drivers are maybe as direct as everyone’s going to go on video conferencing, companies that have good foundations in their identity and access management solutions, especially ones that have adopted strong authentication and single sign-on and are kind of adhering to the road map of Zero Trust, are in a really good position to allow their workforce to work from home.
Progressive Corp (3/4 – Earnings Call)
Question – Michael David Zaremski: My first question is on any potential impact from the current situation with the coronavirus. The New York Times has come out and said that they’re seeing just recently ad spend fall fairly materially across the brand with (inaudible) to 25%. And I’m curious if you think Progressive should in the near term — or is part of that? And also, are you seeing any impact maybe from your [call medics] drivers on the work frequencies if people are maybe working from home?
Answer – Susan Patricia Griffith: Mike, that’s a great question. So I’ll start with the ad spend. Right now, we’re going to continue to spend. This is a prime time of the year when people are buying insurance, we’re getting into that season. We’ll continue to spend. That we have some flexibility in. But again, whether you drive a little bit or a lot, you still are required to have auto insurance. And so our intentions will be to spend as long as we feel sufficient. So again, we’ll have to be nimble because all of this, as you know, is ever-changing.
The great question on the UBI. So with the recent deaths in Washington, we asked the UBI team, just to take a look at UBI vehicle miles driven or traveled by week in January and February this year compared to the prior 2 years. And we are not quite seeing a difference. And again, that’s very little data, but that tells us we haven’t seen it yet. Again, now that we’ll look at it weekly, we can start to see that. We’ll look at it across the country where we can. So we’ll be able to understand pretty quickly. If you go back to something like the financial crisis, I was running claims at the time and we saw frequency drop really quickly. And so we’ll have some good insight. We get our frequency data on a daily basis. So we’ll understand very quickly where we’re at.
From an internal perspective, we already have over 25% of our people working from home. We have had many team meetings were having a tabletop pandemic exercise tomorrow, I believe. And then our Chief HR leader, Lori Niederst, had a meeting yesterday with our Chief Medical Officer, talking about the same things that most companies are talking about in terms of nonessential travel and what to do if you’re coming from a country that’s been affected.
So right now, we aren’t seeing any effect. But again, this is such a moving target that we have a lot of data points that we’re going to be looking at literally on a daily basis to understand how it will affect possibly our frequency.
Logitech International SA (3/3 – Investor Transcript)
But if I ground myself back in our business and I’ll go back to the reality of what we do for a living, here’s what I think. First, I think if we end up being quarantined in our homes, and we need to spend more time at home and people are encouraged not to accumulate to work together, you’re probably going to want to have your own workspace at home. So you’ll continue to have your workspace at work, but you’ll also have your workspace at home. Here, we workspace at home, you’re going to, want to have something at home that’s good. And that’s great for Delphine’s business. If you’re a home more, it is probably not going to stop this from happening. People are going to continue to want to game, so they’ll keep gaming. And that probably speaks well for Ujesh’s business. And the reality is, if we’re doing more and more remote work, we’re going to do more and more video connecting. If you’re doing more and more video connecting, an amazing, affordable solution is the way to go. So if I look across all 3 of our businesses, and I put myself in that dark place that I don’t think will happen tomorrow or 6 months from now, it could. I actually think, gosh, I’d rather be here than anywhere. So I think we’re a great investment for growth, and we’re a great investment for risk management.
XEROX (2/28 – 10K)
Xerox has no sales operations in China or South Korea, but sources a significant amount of product and/or components there. At this time, the coronavirus outbreak in China and South Korea has not impacted the company’s operations. Xerox is actively assessing possible implications to its supply chain and planned customer delivery on a daily basis to minimize any potential disruption and impact. Our suppliers in the affected regions are slowly resuming their operations. We continue to regularly communicate with suppliers and transportation partners and are currently activating business continuity plans and mitigation strategies as appropriate, including but not limited to premium airfreight, alternate sourcing, asset recovery and reverse logistics covering equipment, supplies and parts. If the coronavirus becomes more prevalent in the western hemisphere and businesses require their office employees to work from home for an extended period of time, sales and use of Xerox products and services could decline.
CBRE (2/27 – Earnings Call)
Question – Anthony Paolone: Just to follow-up on the virus impact. So can you just give us a little bit more detail? Like are employees working from home? Are you seeing lease signings just get pushed out or sales closings pushed out? Like what is the day-to-day effect in the places where you’ve seen the most impact?
Answer – Leah C. Stearns: Sure, Anthony. With respect to the day-to-day impact, it really is more of a supply issue. I would say demand continues to be there. We have people who are very active. They’re working remotely. It’s really about being able to get out and perform, for example, diligence on properties if we have sales in the transaction pipeline, things like that. It’s not that we’re seeing that demand go away. It’s just — there’s a bit of pause with respect to people actually being able to do physical activities on the ground. But we continue to see a very strong overall environment in terms of asset allocations continuing to flow into real estate, particularly given their strong position on a relative basis to broader equities and other asset classes. So we still feel very good about the overall real estate market and the demand drivers there.
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