Zoom Video Communications During Covid-19 Pandemics Free Essay

Executive Summary

Zoom has emerged as one of the leading providers of video-conferencing services for various institutions around the world. The outbreak of the novel coronavirus provided this firm with a unique growth opportunity. Currently, it is considered the most preferred brand in the video-conferencing market, as shown in the case study. However, it is necessary to understand that the company is faced with various strategic issues and problems that the chief executive officer and his entire management team must address. The case shows that the company is struggling with capacity issues, which made it necessary for its employees to work extra hours to avoid disruptions in their services. The company is forced to suspend new product development plans to focus on efficient delivery of the current products. Competition in the market is also stiff and as other small firms continue to grow in this market, the situation may become even worse. It is recommended that this company should use its revenues to expand its capacity. It should hire more workers and ensure that it continues being innovative even as it struggles to enhance service delivery using the current products. Being innovative will also enable the company to overcome the problem of stiff competition in the market. Its unique products will continue to attract both local and international customers. The management should ensure that it protects its current culture of maintaining a team of happy and highly motivated employees despite the pressure that everyone currently goes through at the firm. Employees should feel that they are valued and respected despite the extra hours that they have to dedicate to their work during this period of rapid growth.

Introduction

When Eric Yuan founded Zoom Video Communications in 2011, one of his primary concerns was to create a company where both employees and customers were happy. He believed that it was essential to have a team of highly motivated and happy workers capable of meeting their targets without feeling pressured. The company created a unique organizational culture where every employee had a unique role to play and everyone was given the opportunity to express their views and concerns to the top management whenever it was necessary. When the novel COVID-19 pandemic struck, it created a perfect growth opportunity for the company. Education institutions, government entities, large business corporations, newsrooms, and many other opportunities started using products offered by the company to facilitate virtual meetings. The last six months have seen the company experienced exponential growth. However, the firm has been facing some challenges that the chief executive officer (CEO) must find a way of addressing.

Strategic Issues and Problems

When Zoom was founded, it experienced sluggish growth in its early years because the brand was relatively new and most of the targeted customers preferred using services of already established companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Amazon. However, the management made an effort to promote the brand and to offer unique products for the targeted customers. Its decision to use a freemium model of operation attracted small-scale business entities, which enabled the company to strengthen its position in the market. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic offered it the perfect growth opportunity. As shown in figure 1 below, the company started experiencing rapid growth from January 2020 to June of the same year.

Zoom stock performance
Figure 1. Zoom stock performance (Kominers et al. 19).

The rapid growth in share prices of the company was as a result of many factors, including a rapid growth in revenue. As shown in figure 2 below, for the last one year, the company has experienced consistent growth in its income through its operations in the market. The growth has been rapid within the last six months when many organisations relied on its services to conduct videoconferencing.

Zoom historical revenues
Figure 2. Zoom historical revenues (Kominers et al. 19).

The management must understand that despite the impressive growth that the company has registered, it also faces some challenges that may compromise its ability to achieve sustainable development. Understanding these issues and problems that the company faces can help the management to find a way of addressing them effectively. The challenges and issues can be categorised into two classes, internal and external problems. The case study shows that one of the major issues that the management has been concerned about is the capacity to meet the huge demand for its services. The company was not prepared for the sudden surge of demand for its products. As such, its employees have been forced to work for extra hours to ensure that the company has the capacity to meet its customers’ demand. The management is concerned that the new work schedule for employees may lead to exhaustion and happiness among its workers, which goes against its culture.

It is also evident that the company has limited resources as it seeks to achieve the desired growth. The case study shows that the management of company has suspended all plans to add new features to its current products and instead, the resources has been channelled to expanding the capacity of the company (Kominers et al. 19). It is a demonstration that the current financial position of the firm cannot allow it to engage in new product development while at the same time increasing access to its current products. In the technology industry, it is critical for a firm to ensure that it maintains an innovative environment. The decision to stop creating new features may leave the firm vulnerable, especially if rival firms are able to improve the quality of their products during this period of the coronavirus pandemic. Figure 3 below shows the current Zoom user interface.

Zoom user interface
Figure 3. Zoom user interface (Kominers et al. 16).

In the external environment, the company also faces some challenges that may jeopardise its growth. Competition is evidently the biggest challenge that the firm will have to overcome, as shown in the case study. Some of its main competitors in this market include Microsoft, Cisco Webex, GoToMeeting and Google. The industry also has some small-scale players. The case study shows that Microsoft has the largest market share, at 24.8%, followed by Cisco Webex at 14.8%, while Zoom has 9.4%. It means that this company has to overcome the market dominance of its rivals as it seeks to achieve growth. The rapidly changing technology and the dynamic customer demands are the other concerns that the firm has to address.

Analysing Approaches to Solving the Issues

Zoom Video Communications must addressed the identified challenges to ensure that it achieves sustainability in the market. The case has identified both internal and external challenges that the CEO and his team of managers must address. In each case, there are strategic options that it can consider to enhance its sustainability. To address the issue of capacity, the management should consider hiring additional engineers, customer service employees and other relevant experts needed to enhance its ability to deliver the current services. The increased capacity will also enable the firm to maintain its innovative culture despite the current pressure. The management must find a way of protecting its culture that emphasises the need to ensure that both employees and customers are happy. Despite the current pressure that the company has to handle, the management should ensure that its workers always feel valued and cared for at all times.

The company will also need to find effective ways of solving external challenges that it faces in its normal operations. Competition has been identified as one of the major market challenges that it has to address. In fact, Zoom is the third largest company in terms of market share in this industry. The company has to strengthen its brand image to attract more customers in the market. Events during the COVID-19 pandemic made Zoom Video Services the most preferred option in telecommunications services. The firm should use this strength in the brand to expand its market share both in the home and international market.

The management should target the North American, European and Asian markets because of the huge opportunities there. However, that does not mean that emerging markets in Africa, South America and other parts of the world should be ignored. It is also necessary for the company to maintain its innovative culture. The case shows that the CEO has suspended any new product development projects and other innovative initiatives. As a technology firm, the management must understand the fact that it cannot afford to avoid change. Instead, it should be the driver of the same as it seeks to entrench its position as a market leader in the industry. It should invest in innovative projects even as it struggles to ensure that its current products are delivered in the best way possible. The proposals can be implemented alongside the current plans of the company shown in figure 4 below

Zoom developer roadmap
Figure 4. Zoom developer roadmap (Kominers et al. 17).

Conclusion, Recommendations and Financial Implications

The COVID-19 pandemic has destroyed many business entities around the world. However, it offered a unique growth opportunity to Zoom and other companies offering video-conferencing services. These services have become relevant because of the need for people to avoid physical gatherings that is blamed for the rapid spread of the virus. The case study shows that the company has since become one of the most preferred brands in this industry because of its unique products. However, the case has also highlighted some challenges such as the need to meet increased demand, the decision to suspend new product development and stiff competition in the market. The following are some of the recommendations that the CEO should consider:

  • The management should increase the workforce so that the company can meet the increased demand for its products;
  • The firm should invest in innovation to ensure that its products meet customers’ needs in the best way possible;
  • The company should maintain a culture of innovation even as it struggles to meet the current demand for its products.

The recommendations above may have a major financial implications that the management should understand. Increasing the size of the workforce would mean spending more on recurrent expenditure. It will also mean that the CEO will have to find time to assess both new product development and the delivery of the current products. Despite these challenges, the firm’s revenues will increase if these recommendations are taken seriously.

Work Cited

Kominers, Scott, et al. “Zoom Video Communications: Eric Yuan’s: Leadership during COVID-19.” Harvard Business School, vol. 9, no. 1, 2020, pp. 1-21.

Minimum Wage And Its Effects On Economy: Article Analysis

Introduction and Summary

Introducing opportunities and creating a functional support system for those struggling to locate employment options is one of the central issues that the U.S. government must address. However, not all of the solutions that might seem effective on the surface will deliver the expected results. In his article “My Turn: $15 an Hour Minimum Wage Would Slow Economy,” Michael McMahan asserts that the increase in the levels of minimum wage to $15 per hour will only hurt those that experience poverty since it will lead to a drop in demand for labor, thus, minimizing employment opportunities for vulnerable groups (McMahan). Despite being rather one-sided and avoiding considering the arguments of the proponents of the wage increase, the article conveys an important idea about the nuances of relationships within the labor market, which makes the paper an important contribution to the discussion about the issue of wage raise.

Analysis

The article by McMahan contains several important points, yet the lack of focus on the specifics of the labor market and the theories behind its functioning weakens the assumptions that the author makes. Specifically, the main purpose of the article is to establish the urgency in reconsidering the regulation concerning the increase in the minimum wage rates. In other words, there is no specific key question that McMahan pursues in his paper; rather, he strives to convince the reader of the necessity to take immediate action to reconsider the proposed change to the current standards for minimum wage per hour (McMahan). However, one could claim that McMahan’s question is whether the government is capable of recognizing the problem that the suggested regulation will cause and whether the state leaders will amend the proposed law accordingly. Specifically, McMahan deploys what Elder and Paul referred to as the “slippery slope argument” (314). For instance, McMahan posits that higher wages will lead eliminate workers, which, in turn, will increase unemployment rates and, eventually, affect vulnerable groups.

When considering the factors that may have encouraged McMahan to write the article, one might bring up the gradual development in economic and political tension on a global scale. With the restrictions that the COVID-19 pandemic has created on the global trade and economic interactions between states, the need to consider the well-being of vulnerable groups has become particularly urgent (Warner and Zhang 177). Therefore, McMahan addressing the specified concerns in his paper should be regarded as a timely and sensible response to the alterations that may aggravate the current problem to the scale of a catastrophe.

What weakens McMahan’s argument slightly is the fact that h pulls most of his arguments from his experience rather than the objective analysis of the combined experiences of people in the labor force market. The latter approach would require conducting research in the target economic setting or, at the very least, consulting some of the existing research or reports, which McMahan fails to address. Overall, although the strategy that McMahan chose to approach the issue lacks substantiated evidence and provides s rather subjective viewpoint, his assessment of the situation appears to be quite legitimate. Therefore, the concerns that he raises are worth addressing.

Evaluation

Applying the framework of the elements of reasoning to the article my McMahan will show that it meets the key criteria, while slightly deviating from the established pattern. For instance, the paper has a clear purpose of discussing the problem with the increase in the minimum wage per hour (McMahan). Likewise, the issue, namely, the idea that the proposed change will do more harm than good, is established firmly. The key information is represented, although McMahan could have been more accurate in the statistical data that he provided, citing some of the recent trends in the labor market, specifically, the demand changes. Indeed, the lack of objective assessment and the constant reference to personal experience increases the subjectivity of McMahan’s judgment, which does not help to make the article more compelling. Similarly, the point of view is presented clearly, as McMahan argues that the suggested increase in the wage minimum will not have the desired effect. However, the article lacks inference, namely, the presence of alternative solutions that could help to amend the issue. Likewise, McMahan’s appeal to his own authority, as Elder and Paul define it, also makes his argument slightly weaker (314). Furthermore, McMahan does not detail which theories he applies to the analysis. As a result, some of the assumptions that McMahan makes could be seen as the result of taking the issue of wage increase for granted.

To understand the article better, readers might want to familiarize themselves with some of the key concepts related to the issue. For instance, the bargaining theory of wages might help explain the observed dilemma better. The specified theoretical framework introduces the reader to a large variety of factors that create the necessity to change the minimum wage rate (Baiju and Shamna 37). Therefore, the theory will shed light on the nuances of relationships within the labor market.

Conclusion

Although McMahan’s statement concerning the negative effects of raising the minimum salary considers only one aspect of the described change, specifically, the alterations in demand for the labor force in accordance with the exiting principles of demand and supply correlation, McMahan provides a very sensible commentary (McMahan). Therefore, despite the omissions of the essential discussions surrounding the nuances of economic interactions within the labor market, the article sends a reasonable warning that must be taken into consideration when introducing new regulations into the labor market setting. Although McMahan does use some of the manipulation tools, such as the appeal to authority when he credits himself for having a vast experience in business and economy, he still conveys an important point (Elder and Paul 314). Consequently, the author should be credited for rather thoughtful and deep criticism of the proposed change to the current regulations within the labor market.

References

Baiju, K. C., and Shamna, T. C. “Determinants of Wage Differences between the Inmigrant and Local Labourers in the Construction Sector of Kerala.” Econ Polit Wkly, vol. 54, no. 31, 2019, pp. 35-43.

Elder, Linda, and Richard Paul. Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2020.

McMahan, Michael. “My Turn: $15 an Hour Minimum Wage Would Slow Economy.” Gaston Gazette, n.d. Web.

Warner, Mildred E., and Xue Zhang. “Social safety nets and COVID-19 stay home orders across US states: A comparative policy analysis.” Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, vol. 23, no. 2, 2021, pp. 176-190.

Contribution Of Prisons To US Racial Disparities

Summary

The American prison system has a high incarceration rate, with most of the individuals in reformatory facilities. However, it is impaired by discrimination and disproportionation, with Blacks and Latinos being the most affected groups. The statistics described in the article “The Contribution of Prisons and Jails to US Racial Disparities During COVID-19” show that one in three Blacks and one in six Latinos demonstrate the possibility of going to jail in their lifetime. Following the analysis, one of the leading perpetrators of racial disparities in the United States is mass imprisonment. The statistics indicate that as of October 2020, more than 10% of the inmates were infected by a coronavirus, and a substantial number died from the same. There are equally more racial disparities in the testing and treatment of the virus, and the movement of convicts in and out of jails further increases the risk of infections.

Reflection

The USA showcases persistent racial disparities, especially in the healthcare system. The discriminatory regime has lasted from systemic inequality within essential systems, such as health, housing, economic opportunities, and incentives. A similar trend is evident in the reaction toward the novel coronavirus pandemic. A significant number of Blacks and Latinos have been remarkably affected by the ongoing pandemic. They have been infected with COVID-19, and there are several cases of fatalities, which raises concerns. The conviction and jailing system is biased against the Blacks, and similar practices are followed in prison. The testing and treatment procedures are filled with inequalities where whites are given priority.

References

Nowotny, Kathryn M., Zinzi Bailey, and Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein. “The Contribution of Prisons and Jails to US Racial Disparities During COVID-19.” (2021): 197-199.

Bowen, Andrew G., Robert A. Tessler, Deirdre Bowen, Miriam J. Haviland, Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, and Frederick P. Rivara. “The American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) from the American Public Health Association (APHA) Publications.” American Public Health Association (APHA) Publications. n.d. Web.

error: Content is protected !!