Affected by the new coronavirus epidemic, in the first working week after the Spring Festival, many companies have stipulated that employees can choose to work from home. Relevant data shows that in the past week, more than 200 million people worked online.
In this world's largest home office experiment, employee efficiency, assessment management, company information security, and how to balance offline job requirements are issues that every company choosing to work online needs to face.
Working from home has made remote office applications just needed, and this industry, which wasn't already popular, quickly gained attention. Various remote office application providers have laid out one after another, and while actively offering products for free, they are also actively developing product features for epidemic situations.
Although many manufacturers have long been prepared for the surge in remote office demand, they have not been able to withstand the pressure brought by the explosive growth of users. In the past week, many remote office applications have experienced problems such as stuttering or crashing, and many applications have had to temporarily limit and expand capacity.
Regarding the prospect of remote office applications, a number of people in the industry told "Deep Web" that in the special period, people's home office has greatly promoted the popularity of remote office applications. However, many products on the market still face technology, security and experience In addition, the market education and the cultivation of user habits after the epidemic have taken a long time.
Home office tech companies
Huawei: "High priority for information security"
Wang Wei is an employee of Huawei's terminal technology department. Years ago, Wang Wei accompanied his wife to Jiangxi's maiden's home for Chinese New Year. Wang Wei and his wife planned to leave early in the year and take their five-year-old son to play in Zhuhai, but the sudden outbreak broke the original plan. After returning to Shenzhen on January 26, the Wang Wei family of three did not go out.
Huawei requires all employees to return to work on February 3. Except for a few special positions that require a company, most employees are required to work from home. Wang Wei told Deep Web that at 10 am on the same day, the head of his department pulled a video conference on Huawei Cloud WeLink, asked everyone about their situation, and said the next work schedule.
Wang Wei learned from the supervisor that most of the projects that their team is responsible for should be promoted normally, but everyone's work will be temporarily transferred online.
Wang Wei said that their team usually communicates more in the WeChat group, but during the epidemic, they were asked to try to make WeLink communicate as much as possible. And just like everyday, you need to check in every day to and from work.
WeLink is a remote office application within Huawei. It was also opened to third-party companies at the end of last year.
Wang Wei told Deep Web that the biggest feature of WeLink is security. Data cannot be exported, screenshots cannot be taken, and content copied on WeLink cannot be pasted elsewhere. "Because Huawei and its industry are special, our priority in information security has always been very high."
Wang Wei's favorite is the conference system on WeLink. Wang Wei joked, "Because the meeting is so easy to use, the cost of the meeting is very low, and now there is always a meeting at night, and our team now calls itself a" night club. "
Because of frequent business trips, Wang Wei has become accustomed to telecommuting, but working from home for a whole week has caused him some problems.
Wang Wei's one-bedroom, one-story house in Shenzhen is less than 60 meters. Their family of three has not gone out for two weeks in their Shenzhen home.
Especially after starting remote work on February 3, the child was sometimes noisy. Wang Wei said that it was difficult for him to concentrate. On several occasions, he even had to hide in the bathroom to participate in a conference call.
Wang Wei feels that working from home must learn to balance work and life, and self-discipline needs to be adjusted.
Xiaomi: "The main job is to prepare the online launch of Xiaomi 10"
On February 3, the founder of Xiaomi Lei Jun came to the office of Xiaomi headquarters in Haidian, Beijing. Lei Jun sent a Weibo saying, "You need to wear a mask and take a temperature to enter the park. Pressing the elevator button, I initially felt that (Xiaomi) did a good job in epidemic prevention. "
Lei Jun revealed that the group's senior management meeting that morning mainly discussed the progress of the entire group's epidemic prevention work and the most urgent work arrangement at present.
Earlier on the evening of January 31, Lu Weibing, vice president of Xiaomi Group, once tweeted that the leaders had discussed about the work after the year. In the next 10 days, remote meetings may become the normal work of the company.
Soon after, Xiaomi internally notified that employees were required to work remotely from February 3 to 7, and resumed to work on February 10, except for the post necessary to return to work in the work area, please try to work remotely.
Liu Lu is an employee of Xiaomi China. During the Spring Festival this year, Liu Lu returned to his hometown in Jiangxi to celebrate the New Year. Due to the impact of the epidemic, Liu Lu had to return his ticket to Beijing and start working at home early.
Liu Lu said that everything was normal for her and her family, but the community was currently blocked, and only one person from each family could go out for shopping. After more than 20 days of self-isolation at home, she felt very bored.
Years ago, Liu Lu's team began to participate in the preparation of the launch event of Xiaomi 10. Xiaomi 10 is the flagship product of Xiaomi in the first half of 2020. The company attaches great importance to the launch event.
However, this epidemic changed all previous plans. During the Spring Festival, colleagues of the Liu Lu team began to discuss whether the launch of Xiaomi 10 would be cancelled, but it was not until a week ago that she received a notice in the work group. The conference was changed online.
Liu Lu said that including her team, the main work of Xiaomi is related to the online conference of Xiaomi 10.
Liu Lu feels that the most important thing for remote office is the efficiency of communication and collaboration. "I have been drawn into several WeChat groups related to the conference every day. The information is too much to read and very complicated. Offline meetings are actually easy to explain. "
Where to go: "A few years ago until now
Li Nan, an 8-year-old employee of Qunar.com, will never forget the day of January 19. As the epidemic progressed, the customer service department's phone number suddenly burst.
These telephones flocked from all over the country and even all over the world to the customer service center where Qunar has direct contact with users. Li Nan realized that things were a little different.
But he did not expect that this was just the beginning, followed by rising traffic numbers, rising 30%, 60%, 2.5 times, 6 times, 8 times ... No one knew where the end was.
The work instructions are transmitted from top to bottom, and the tense atmosphere permeates the various business units through the work group. In order to ensure the smooth completion of the customer's return and modification orders, OTA (online travel) platforms are waiting in the rear of this epidemic, and the rotation work has become the normal state of their 2020 Spring Festival.
In the early morning of January 20th, Li Nan and his team quickly met online with the product and development teams. They must cooperate with each other to deal with the flood of return orders in a short time.
After 4 days of overtime, Li Nan cooperated with the product and development team to complete the system reconstruction. They developed a series of system functions to quickly process user orders, and at the same time let the user enter but could not enter the manual, the system intelligently matched the user order progress broadcast, in order to reassure users and complete the iteration before the new policy took effect.
According to the information provided by Qunar.com.cn, as of now, Qunar.com's customer service ratio is more than 80% at home, with an attendance rate of 97%, and the telephone pick-up rate and resolution rate have basically reached the efficiency of collective office.
In order to ensure the safety of employees, all business lines of Qunar.com also basically perform home office work. Management, business lines, and support departments have set up emergency handling teams to solve various emerging situations and problems 7 * 24 hours.
Squirrel AI: "Stop teaching offline and transfer to online distance learning"
Four days before the Spring Festival, Li Haoyang, founder of Squirrel AI, a K12 education company, asked the company to enter the first-level state of readiness. Li Haoyang said that at the time, he sent a message in the work group asking the company staff to stand by 24 hours, even on New Year's Eve Many people are busy till midnight.
Li Haoyang said to Deep Web, "The company's work in these 4 days is mainly divided into three parts: First, to notify the principals across the country to unify their thinking, for the sake of the health of the child, actively stop offline teaching, and urge the principals to implement;
The second is to train teachers. Because we have more than 10,000 offline teachers in the country who have not experienced online teaching, we need to focus on training these teachers for how to teach online.
The third is to mobilize all employees to return to work. Some teachers have no sense of crisis at first, and some employees do not bring computers. We must focus on solving various problems encountered by employees working remotely. "
Li Haoyang said that with the company's mobilization, all employees have maintained a "ready state" for more than ten days. Some programmers work remotely in their hometown to solve technical problems at any time. Because the WeChat conference call has a limit of nine people, they use QQ to set up a video conference.
Li Haoyang estimates that in the next three or four months, 20% of students who can go online will continue to study online after the epidemic, and 80% may choose to continue to study offline. Li Haoyang believes that after the next three months, offline education and training institutions will also welcome a small spring, bringing explosive growth.
An AI security giant: "Offline sales have basically stagnated and production capacity has served epidemic areas"
Ding Wen is a salesperson of a large AI security company. Last year, his industry grew rapidly, and he and the company's performance were very good. Ding Wen originally bought a ticket to return to his hometown in the south of the New Year, but the sudden outbreak forced him to cancel his trip, and he stayed in Beijing for the Spring Festival alone.
On February 3, Ding Wen started working from home in accordance with company regulations, punching in and out of work every day. However, selling jobs that belong to strong offline attributes often requires customers to explain products, maintain relationships, and so on. Remote office is not suitable for Ding Wen.
Ding Wen said that he "mainly can only maintain the previous project, and most of the next two months can only get a basic salary."
Although the current normal projects and offline sales have basically stagnated, Ding Wen told Deep Web that in the field of AI security, thermal imaging equipment related to epidemics has become a hot topic, and this is also the major AI Security manufacturers are catching up with the tuyeres.
"All regions need temperature measurement equipment, like masks and food. Now the security temperature measurement market has a lot of demand, and a large number of orders are in this regard. Now most of our company's production capacity is given to epidemic areas, and Hubei is given priority support." Ding Wen said.
Remote office applications have been laid out
The above-mentioned technology companies are just a microcosm of the current home-based office work of all people. In a special period, home-based office work made remote office applications just needed, and various remote office application providers have begun to deploy.
At present, remote office applications on the market can be generally divided into comprehensive communication and collaboration tools, conference collaboration tools, document collaboration tools, and task management tools.
Among them, comprehensive communication and collaboration tools include enterprise WeChat, Dingding, Feishu, Huawei Cloud Welink, etc .; conference collaboration tools include Zoom, Tencent Conference, Xiaoyu Yilian, etc .; document collaboration tools include Tencent documents, Jinshan documents, graphite documents, etc .; Task management tools include Teambition and Trello.
During the epidemic, various remote office application providers successively announced that the products were free of charge and developed specific product features for the epidemic. Comprehensive communication and collaboration tools:
During the outbreak of Tencent's WeChat announcement, the maximum number of conference participants was upgraded to 300, which supports the launch of audio and video conferences anytime, anywhere.
The host can manage the participants; can present on-screen presentation documents or screens, and support real-time annotation of presentation content. The latest release of corporate WeChat 3.0.4 updates group live broadcasts, health reports, collection forms, online meetings, online consultations, emergency notifications, and epidemic areas.
Alibaba has released a full set of free solutions that support "working from home", including remote video conferencing, DING function to ensure accurate access to information during the outbreak of corporate organizations, schedule sharing, task collaboration, online document collaboration, remote card punching, etc.
At the same time, Dingguo also released employee health functions, employees can check in health "report to safety."
ByteDance Flying Book announced that before May 1, 2020, users can use functions such as unlimited long-term audio and video conferences, unlimited online documents and forms, and approval management.
At the same time, the "health management" service is launched and is free of charge to schools, enterprises and other organizations. In addition, the “Online Office” feature is introduced to help companies improve the efficiency of remote collaboration.
Huawei Welink announced that from 2020.1.25 to 2020.6.1, the Huawei Cloud WeLink Smart Work Platform provides 1,000 free accounts and 100-party unlimited video conferences.
Meeting collaboration tools and document collaboration tools:
The Tencent Conference announced the opening of 100 people for free for all users for an unlimited time. The Tencent meeting stated that “with the rapid growth of remote collaboration needs of front-line users, the Tencent meeting team has urgently expanded its capacity and upgraded the 300-person meeting collaboration capability for free to users across the country until the end of the epidemic.”
Graphite Documents announces the open remote office version, unlimited seats; for government organizations / volunteer organizations that are needed for the epidemic, the enterprise version does not charge any fees during this time; some basic templates are designed for first-time enterprises: such as meeting records, Project schedule, financial management, etc.
Kingsoft Documents, a subsidiary of Kingsoft Office, has launched a variety of epidemic statistics templates. WPS + provides free remote office services for corporate users.
During the epidemic, the entire people worked from home and various manufacturers supported the outbreak of goodwill, which caused an explosion in the number of users of various remote office software.
On the first working day (February 3) at the end of the Spring Festival, Ding Ding said that tens of millions of enterprises and nearly 200 million people work from home.
At 9:00 in the morning, the video conference function of Dingding ushered in a historical peak in traffic; Enterprise WeChat said that millions of enterprises across the country use corporate WeChat to work online. In the morning, the number of corporate WeChat conference function visits surged.
Xue Hao, Vice President of Huawei Cloud and President of Connectivity and Collaboration Business, said in an interview with Deep Web, "When the Spring Festival holiday was fast closed, Huawei Cloud Welink users began to explode. Registered users were basically on the previous day. On the basis of growth of 50%, tens of thousands of companies are registering every day. After corporate registration, conference applications have also started to grow exponentially. "Xue Hao told" Deep Web "that the growth of Huawei Cloud Welink is still In the acceleration, the number of enterprises has reached hundreds of thousands, and the number of daily active users has reached one million.
Wang Dawei, senior development director of Kingsoft Office, told Deep Web, "The business of Kingsoft document collaboration has grown four to five times, and meetings and forms products have grown between fifteen and twenty times."
According to a person familiar with the inside of the graphite document, the number of visitors to the graphite document has increased by five to six times.
Challenges after user skyrocketing
For remote office application providers, users also face many problems after the explosive growth in the short term. The improvement of product technology, experience and security, the education of the market and the cultivation of user habits are not easy.
On the morning of February 3rd, netizens generally reported that the remote office applications such as Dingding and Enterprise WeChat were stuck, unresponsive, or crashed. However, at noon, the two companies announced that they had ended the current limit and returned to normal.
Some people in the industry told "Deep Web" that problems such as stuttering in remote collaboration scenarios such as video conferencing may be network bandwidth problems of the access network, or terminal performance and adaptation problems.
For the technical difficulties behind video conferencing, Xue Hao explained to Deep Web that video conferencing technology has high requirements for real-time performance, and the traditional Internet live broadcast technology can also achieve tens of millions of concurrent, but essentially two different skills requirement.
First of all, video conferencing technology places higher requirements on codec, network quality control, and QS.
Secondly, video conferences will face many challenges after being put on the public network, especially in the case of poor network conditions, especially the jitter and packet loss that occur when accessing through mobile networks.
The other is surge. Even if you expand the capacity the day before, there may be a large amount of surge in the usage capacity the next day, because the participation behavior of the conference is difficult to predict.
Xue Hao also said that although Huawei Cloud WeLink has made a lot of preparations, from the current situation, it is also expanding and optimizing its structure every day to meet the greater service requirements.
And this also reflects a reality from the side: remote office applications seem not difficult, but to really do a good job of enterprise-level applications, the challenges in terms of product technology alone are not small.
In terms of product experience, the key capability of telecommuting lies in the lack of collaboration between functions.
A remote office application developer told Deep Web that the key point of remote office is collaboration. There are more problems with remote office than teams sitting in the same office, such as non-overlapping working hours, opaque information, and teams. Issues such as convergence and incentives, collaboration, information transfer, project management, and business goal alignment all need to be addressed, while improving the signal-to-noise ratio in the collaboration process. At present, there are many excellent cloud collaboration products in China, but most of them are characterized by single product capabilities, and the comprehensive collaborative experience needs to be improved.
Taking the meeting scenario as an example, Xue Hao told Deep Web, "The meeting is very simple, and there are many tools that can be used to meet, but the key is whether this tool works with the entire company's office system, such as employees checking in. The system collaborates; employees send emails and need to collaborate with the corporate mailbox system; employee approvals need to coordinate with the OA system.
In the development process of each enterprise, there will be many existing systems. If these existing systems cannot be coordinated and have breakpoints, employees will definitely not use them. Therefore, the key is not that users do not accept this product, but that many products are not good enough now. "
In addition, changes in employee office scenarios also make corporate information security issues particularly important. In the home office scenario, on the one hand, you need to consider how to access the company's intranet applications and documents. Without a secure access method, many tasks may not be able to be performed; on the other hand, you also need to consider how to ensure that confidential documents are not leaked.
In terms of information security, Xue Hao said that through the ability of software SSL VPN, enterprises can securely allow remote users at home to access intranet applications and documents.
Secondly, through the proprietary chip-level encryption, the encryption capabilities of the terminal, the network, and the cloud provide the ability to secretly talk, chat, and post. In addition, key local documents and information are not leaked through the local sandbox.
According to data from the Prospective Industry Research Institute, in 2018, the investment structure of Chinese enterprises' intelligent mobile office was 46% of mobile application construction and development investment, 20% of mobile office related services, 14% of mobile security investment, and 20% of other investment. Safety investment is still relatively low.
In addition to the technology, experience, and security of the product itself, market education and the cultivation of user habits are also issues that remote office application providers need to consider.
Wang Dawei believes that this time is actually an opportunity for the remote office industry to let users understand remote office and collaborative office. However, it will take a while before the user habits develop.
Because from years of experience in the B-side business, the cost of decision-making and transformation of enterprises is very high.
And from the perspective of the team, there is no way to have to work remotely. Once there is a way, it will take time to test whether it will return to the normal work.
This relatively calm view is not difficult to understand. The concept of SOHO (Small Office, Home Office) started in Silicon Valley. In the 1980s, IBM began to allow employees to work from home. The core advantage of this concept is that while employees are free, it also saves costs for the company.
Subsequently, SOHO became quite popular in technology companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Facebook.
However, until now, SOHO is still in a relatively small initial stage in the domestic market, and the acceptance of enterprises and employees is still relatively low.
Working from home is obviously not suitable for all industries. From the perspective of corporate acceptance, on the whole, Internet companies have a higher degree of acceptance, while traditional companies have a lower degree of acceptance.
Therefore, if the epidemic situation returns to normal working conditions in the past, it remains to be seen whether companies will continue to choose to use these remote office applications.
Of course, despite the challenges of large-scale popularization of remote office, industry insiders are generally optimistic about the development of the industry.
The above-mentioned remote office application developers stated to Deep Web that the need for corporate remote collaborative office has always existed, but in the current special environment, reducing the number of meetings and avoiding the spread of immunity, adopting remote collaborative office is currently an effective solution to the operation of enterprises the way.
With the development of globalization, many companies have teams in many places, and remote online office may become an essential form of team collaboration.
What is the future pattern of the industry?
The remote office collaborative application for B-side may not develop into a winner-take-all market like Internet applications for e-commerce and social networking for C-side.
At present, giants such as Tencent, Ali, Byte Beat, and Huawei have basically occupied most of the market for integrated communication and collaboration tools. The integrated communication and collaboration tools have multiple functions such as instant messaging IM, document collaboration, and video conferencing, and have the broadest application prospects Remote office applications.
In the short term, it may be difficult for new players to compete with the comprehensive resource advantages owned by the giants, but in some vertical segments, opportunities still exist.
Xue Hao believes that office collaboration and enterprise digitalization have not yet matured, and the industry is still in a gradual development process. Previously, it was an independent system. It will slowly integrate with the development of enterprises. This market space is large enough.
In addition, different companies have different starting points for office collaboration. Some start from super apps and personal portals, and some start from small and medium-sized enterprises, free applications, and back-end traffic operations.
Different outlets correspond to different companies, and different categories of functions will be subdivided into different race tracks. In the future, there will be typical suppliers on different race tracks; moreover, office collaboration is a long-term benefit that will bring The whole ecology should not be exclusive.
Wang Dawei told Deep Web that overseas platform services will have one or two very mature products in each field. These two excellent products will be integrated with different industries and different fields to provide users with more suitable products. The product.
However, the related products on the domestic market may be a big plate, but in this big plate, each item may not be so prominent.
There will be more business decision cycles and influencing factors on the B side, which will always lead to the existence of one or two similar competitors in the market, and the factors that need to be considered in the enterprise will be more complicated, including security, credibility, and follow-up service and many more.