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Business News

COVID-19: Teams, Slack make more money as firms adopt remote working

As the coronavirus outbreak worsens, rival instant messaging platforms, Microsoft Teams and Slack, are recording huge gains, in terms of user patronage.

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The past few weeks have no doubt been challenging for corporate persons and business establishments, as Coronavirus bites harder on a global scale. Many are being forced to engage in work-from-home situations, as business centres and companies have shut their doors to customers in the bid to help authorities curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

As the coronavirus outbreak worsens, rival instant messaging platforms, Microsoft Teams and Slack, are recording huge gains, in terms of user patronage.

The surge

As at Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Microsoft Teams’ number of daily active users increased to 44 million, compared to the 20 million active users it had in November last year (2019).

Similarly, Slack added 7,000 customers between Sunday, February 1, and March 18, 2020, compared to 5,000 new customers it added in its 2019 Q1.

Company management teams and their employees across the world, are now settling for Microsoft Teams and Slack, as social distancing becomes needful to control the spread of the infectious disease.

In terms of data usage, telecom operators are also making a killing, as people consume more data when working remotely than when working with wifi in the office.

Coronavirus: Instant messaging platforms, Telcos raking in funds from the work-from-home policy

The work-from-home arrangement, which is particularly for employees whose work can be done remotely, has contributed to the stiff competition between Microsoft Teams and Slack. This is as both digital platforms jostle to gain admirable market share while amassing more users from workplaces across all industries.

Coronavirus and remote working

Despite the widely-accepted belief that physical presence in a work station is paramount to the survival of a business, companies and business owners have been left with no choice but to allow their staff members operate remotely.

[READ MORE: Coronavirus: MTN Nigeria sensitises customers with network bar)

As businesses are moving their offices online, it may not be erroneous to assert that the work-from-home policy is one of the upshots of COVID-19 on the society at large.

While uncertainty surrounds the lifespan of the disease spread, in Nigeria, for example, some companies that are yet to ask their employees to work remotely, have been called out on social media. One of these companies is the media company, Opera.

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A Twitter user, @Zeekahthegreat, on Saturday, March 21, called out Opera Nigeria, accusing the management of the company of failing to allow their staff members operate remotely, in spite of the severity of coronavirus.

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Her tweets read partly, “They have over 400 customer care staff including foreign Chinese nationals all choked up together working in a hall all at a time. The FG has placed a ban on large gatherings, so why is the government not looking into companies like this and their work conditions. 

“I am concerned especially for my younger sister who works here. My mom suffered to raise 3 kids on her own without help from anyone, she is not about to lose a child. They are not being checked at the entry point every morning, the entire staff share just 5 female restrooms, and 3 for the males.

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“I need for us to tag the necessary authorities to have the OPay team let their staff work from home till this whole Coronavirus thing blows away. Money will never be more important than life.” 

Opera refutes Hindenburg Research’s allegation that it violated Google’s policy 

This social media user’s plight is the case of other Nigerians, who have expressed concerns directly and indirectly, on the need for companies and employers to embark on remote operations. Thus, for companies where remote work is possible, communications, social events, conferences, and meetings, will now be via either Microsoft Teams or Slack.

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[READ ALSO: COVID-19: Hotels.ng partners others to provide self-isolation centres for Nigerians)

Telcos 

Telecom providers such as MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9mobile are likely to increase the costs of their data, as many companies and self-employed individuals have proceeded to observe the sit-at-home policy.

It is common knowledge that the internet is basic for this policy to thrive amid the COVID-19 spread, which is gradually crippling the Nigerian economy. Without the internet, workflow is expected to be disruptive, which will pose serious threats to business entities in any given context.

MTN Nigeria shares, Airtel Afrrica shares, Glo subscribers, 9mobile subscribers, Internet speed, Data war heightens, as 311,183 subscribers dump Glo, 9mobile 

MTN Nigeria, Airtel Globacom and 9mobile

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Just like Economics asserts, when demand is high, surge is imminent. This assertion has become imperative for acknowledgement, as data usage among telecommunication consumers keeps increasing.

Meanwhile, telcos under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) had earlier disclosed that they had held meetings with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the federal and state governments.

The meeting, according to ALTON, was to discuss how best to ensure hitch-free telecoms services for internet users, at least, till the infectious disease spread becomes a thing of the past.

Chidinma holds a degree in Mass communication from Caleb University Lagos and a Masters in view in Public Relations. She strongly believes in self development which has made her volunteer with an NGO on girl child development. She loves writing, reading and travelling. You may contact her via - [email protected]

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Stock Market

Bamboo’s current rate for buying U.S Stocks weakens to N492/$1

Bamboo is currently offering its users a premium of more than 20% compared to the official exchange rate.

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The fast-rising Nigerian stock broking application, Bamboo, is currently offering an exchange rate of N492 to the dollar.

About two weeks ago,  the Nigerian stock trading app offered an exchange rate of about N484 to $1.

The green-coloured trading app known for allowing local-based Nigerians invest in stocks listed on the world’s biggest stock market (New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ) is currently offering its users a premium of more than 20% compared to the official exchange rate set by the Nigerian apex bank.

That being said, other leading fintech platforms reviewed by Nairametrics also presently offer exuberant rates as high as about N519 to a dollar, thereby adding more transaction costs on a significant number of Nigerians hoping to trade such financial assets.

A growing number of Nigerians are currently increasing their exposure to the U.S stock market taking to the current bearish trend that is being witnessed in the Nigerian Equity market and growing urge in hedging against the weakening local currency.

Bamboo: It is an investment platform that gives Africans real-time access to invest in or trade over 3,500 stocks listed on the American and Nigerian exchanges right from their smartphones or personal computer.

In partnership with US-based Drive Wealth LLC, Bamboo provides seamless, secure access to US and Nigerian securities.

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Obituaries

Just-in: Supreme Court Judge, Sylvester Ngwuta reported dead

Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, has been reported dead.

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A Supreme Court Judge, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, has been reported dead.

He was said to have died in the early morning of Sunday, March 7, 2021, in his sleep at his official residence in Abuja at almost 70 years.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Justice Ngwuta who is from Amofia-Ukawu, Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, was said to be getting set for his retirement from the Supreme Court on March 30, 2021, upon attainment of the mandatory retirement age.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that Justice Ngwuta was arraigned before the Federal High Court in Abuja in 2017 over money laundering and passport charges after large sums of money were discovered in his residence following a raid by security officials
  • He started his private legal practice at Abakaliki in July 1978 to October 1995, from where he was appointed a judge of the High Court Abia in October 1995 and then promoted to the Court of Appeal on May 22, 2003, was finally sworn-in as Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in May 2011.
  • He was the chairman of a judicial panel of inquiry into the Obegu Enyibichirikwo Disturbance 1997-1998 and has been a member of several Election Petition Tribunal, Governship and legislative House Election Petition Tribunal; Nasarawa State held at Lafia in February 1999, National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal Plateau State held at Jos in April 1999, among others.

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