The impact of COVID-19 and how the enterprise tech industry responded

Derek du Preez Profile picture for user ddpreez August 14, 2020
Enterprise tech vendors have not only seen an impact from COVID-19 on their bottom line, but have also worked quickly to release new products in response.

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(Image by Tumisu from Pixabay )

Earlier this week we did a round-up of some of the top case studies on diginomica, assessing how businesses have adapted to the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it's also worthwhile to note the response from enterprise technology vendors, as investment decisions are being made in a rapidly changing environment and they are now having to serve buyers with wildly different needs compared to a few months ago.

With that in mind, we have collated our ongoing analysis below of how the enterprise technology industry is responding to the ongoing pandemic.

Unit4 CEO Mike Ettling shares his take on the business impact of COVID-19

Unit4's Mike Ettling shared his thoughts on how he believes that COVID-19 will permanently change the way that people consume technology in business - much like the financial crisis of 2007/2008 led to a surge in cloud adoption. Ettling also provided insights into remote project go-lives and the prospect of increased spend in local government.

Reports from the Workday front line in a time of COVID-19

Cloud HCM and financials vendor Workday shared various stories of how its customers are adapting to their new circumstances, including using technology for emergency workforce planning, to track employee health status and to rapidly introduce additional pay or benefits.

"What we're seeing right now will not go away" - BT CEO Philip Jansen on how COVID-19 has changed customer expectations forever

BT is a company that plays a dominant role in the UK's national infrastructure and its response to the pandemic has focused on supporting the National Health Service's response to COVID-19, as well as ensuring its customers shift with ease to distributed workforces. BT has also taken a people-first approach during the health crisis, ensuring no-one loses their job and that everyone gets paid under all circumstances.

Microsoft's having 'a good war' so far as COVID-19 fuels "2 years worth of digital transformation in 2 months"

One of the key trends we've seen over the past few months is that certain investment decisions that were in the long-term pipeline have been brought forward as priorities for buyers. Microsoft is seeing the benefit of that, as CEO Satya Nadella notes how the tech giant is seeing "immediate surge demand and systemic structural changes" across all of its solution areas.

Okta for Good - non-profit goals don't change, but accelerate in response to COVID-19

Okta's corporate social impact initiative, Okta for Good, outlines how the organisation has had to pivot to home working, but also had to turn to digital fundraising. However, more importantly, the key message is one of how there is a nonprofit technology gap and the need to invest in these organisations has come to the fore.

A work in progress - Salesforce's plan for re-opening offices involves best practice, employee trust and localization

As lockdowns around the world began to ease, it quickly became clear that the post-COVID-19 workplace will be very different to ‘normal times'. In response, some vendors have been rapidly deploying solutions to help organisations get prepared. Salesforce released a new bundle with this in mind, which includes features such as contact tracing, emergency response management, shift management, and a focus on employee wellness.

ServiceNow reveals products to help companies plan for new COVID-19 workplaces

Similarly to Salesforce, ServiceNow has recognised the need from buyers that require help in getting their workforce back to the office and announced a Workplace Service Delivery product. Coming off the back of acquiring the 4Facility assets of App4Motion, the release includes features that allow employees to reserve desks and parking spots, as well as allowing leaders to communicate with employees and trigger workplace maintenance and cleaning workflows.

Infor CEO Kevin Samuelson believes COVID-19 will accelerate cloud adoption

Infor CEO Kevin Samuelson shared insights into how the vendor has pivoted to remote implementations and go-lives, as well how the company is seeing increased demand for its GT Nexus platform, given that buyers have a renewed focus on visibility and resilience in their supply chains. In addition to this, Infor is anticipating that COVID-19 - much like the financial crisis - will drive adoption in the cloud.

Zendesk data finds organizational agility is key as customer support operations adapt to COVID-19 demands

Zendesk's Benchmark Snapshot, which tracks support interaction data from 23,3000 companies around the globe since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, found that (perhaps unsurprisingly) there has been a global uptick across all industry sectors in support requests. One of the significant takeaways is that there has been a notable channel shift towards messaging, social media and text.

New Relic CEO Lew Cirne - the world needs the 'lifeblood' of software more than ever

New Relic CEO Lew Cirne notes how the "world needs software more than ever" and that whilst the pandemic is a dire situation, it could have been much worse if it wasn't occurring in a tech-enabled age. New Relic's role in this, Cirne adds, is to instrument the internet and help companies of all sizes around the world deliver better software.

ServiceNow expands employee safety and well-being services to help the C-Suite manage return to workplaces

Expanding on its workplace offering, ServiceNow again responded swiftly to the demands of its customers by announcing a suite of products that support employee readiness, employee health screening, workplace safety management, and workplace PPE inventory management.

Box freshens up for a 'systemic' change in how we work

With the notable shift to distributed workforces and digital collaboration as a result of national lockdowns, it's unsurprising that firms such as Box have seen a huge surge in usage. However, Box didn't stay still during this period of increased demand and decided to introduce a new UX for its products. Chief Product Officer Jeetu Patel explains why this matters.

Pega CEO - ‘Customers are shifting from short-term COVID-19 survival, to long-term strategic change'

Pega specialises in customer engagement and business process automation, which CEO Alan Trefler believes will play a critical role as the nature of work and business changes. He said that given the negative impact that was felt by many companies around the globe, in terms of ensuring operations continued during the pandemic, there is going to be a renewed focus on process and digital resiliency going forward.

COVID-19 - an unwelcome validation of the rise of the Subscription Economy as Zuora customers outperform in the crisis

Zuora's ‘subscription economy' mantra has been given a boost by the COVID-19 outbreak, according to founder and CEO Tien Tzuo. He said that whilst the pandemic is a public health crisis, it has also validated the resiliency of subscription business models - pointing to stats gathered from Zuora customers' performance over the past few months.

Customer momentum continues for MongoDB despite COVID-19 - and sometimes because of it

Whilst MongoDB has been cautious about its performance in the wake of COVID-19, CEO Dev Ittycheria has found that customers are more committed than ever to their digital transformation initiatives. He explains that this is being driven by the need for speed and agility, and that the current conditions will only accelerate a shift to cloud delivery.

Coupa turns in strong Q1 numbers as product offerings align with COVID-19 procurement and spend needs

Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn outlines how the procurement vendor saw an increase in demand during the first quarter of the year for applications that offered the fastest return, driven by the COVID-19 crisis. Bernshteyn outlines how a number of its customers - including the Bank of Montreal - are using its products to guide them through these uncertain times.

Why corporate values count - Salesforce's Marc Benioff and Workday's Aneel Bhusri on the crisis challenges of COVID-19, racial equality and leadership

The leaders of Salesforce and Workday discuss how the pandemic, an economic crisis, as well as the social and racial crisis, has shone a light on a huge global leadership crisis. Benioff and Bhusri discuss the meaningful and urge companies to assess their core values and step up.

Powering up your business prospects post-pandemic - the AWS angle from Werner Vogels

Cloud giant AWS attempts to offer some insights for technology leaders and their teams about how to successfully come out of the pandemic and get their businesses motoring again. The key message being that you shouldn't just focus on getting back to the status quo, but instead look to where new opportunities lie post COVID-19.

Disclosure - Salesforce, ServiceNow, Zendesk, Coupa, Workday and Infor are diginomica partners at time of writing.

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