COVID-19's impact on enterprise software firms has been quite mixed so far: Many firms reporting that deal bookings have slowed, but many have also reported seeing stronger uptake for offerings that in one way or another can help companies support remote workers.
Here's a recap of some notable things shared by software firms during recent earnings calls and investment conferences about how they've seen demand trend lately. An article looking at disclosures from Internet companies can be found here, and one looking at disclosures from chip companies can be found here.
1. Microsoft Has Seen Remote Work Drive Higher Usage for Several Apps and Services
While it's well-known that the Microsoft Teams collaboration platform has seen very strong active user growth since March, Microsoft (MSFT) exec Corey Sanders was eager to stress during a May 18 JPMorgan conference talk that his company has also seen strong growth for several other offerings.
Microsoft's Windows Virtual Desktop service for Azure, which provides workers with cloud-based access to a Windows PC environment, was said to be a "fast and exciting growth area." Demand for security offerings that can authenticate remote workers and provide conditional access to resources, such as Azure's Active Directory service, were also said to be seeing strong demand.
And within Microsoft's Dynamics 365 cloud business app suite, interest in using a solution known as Customer Insights, which intelligently surfaces customer information that could be of use to salespeople (including ones selling remotely), was said to have risen. There's also growing interest in Microsoft's Remote Assist solution for helping technicians in different locations collaborate on fixing a problem.
2. Anaplan Is Seeing Extended Decision-Making Timetables
"In this uncertain environment, especially with large digital transformation deals, it can be challenging to get all the stakeholders to make decisions quickly, which means that a deal can take longer to get these through the cycle," said Anaplan (PLAN) CEO Frank Calderoni on his firm's Tuesday earnings call.
Calderoni added that while Anaplan saw deal activity in nearly every vertical impacted by COVID-19, travel and hospitality were impacted the most, and that deals involving brand-new customers (i.e., new logos) were hurt more than others.
Anaplan, a top provider of cloud-based business planning software, fell 7.7% post-earnings on Tuesday. While the company beat April quarter sales and EPS estimates, it missed billings estimates and issued below-consensus July quarter sales guidance, while also withdrawing full-year guidance.
3. Palo Alto Networks Has Seen Orders and Trials Jump for Remote Security Software
During Palo Alto Networks' (PANW) May 21 earnings call, CEO Nikesh Arora said that more than 1,500 customers signed up over the prior six weeks for free trial subscriptions for his company's GlobalProtect software, which secures remote workers with the help of Palo Alto's firewalls.
Arora also mentioned that Palo Alto added more than 1,000 GlobalProtect customers during its April quarter, and that the quarter was a record one for Palo Alto's cloud-based Prisma Access software for securing remote workers, branch offices and retail locations.
At the same time, Arora cautioned that Palo Alto expects COVID-19's business impact to last for 12 to 18 months, and that it thinks "the enterprise and cybersecurity industry will have a bumpy ride over the next three to nine months as strategies for reopening the economy start to emerge, some likely to be more successful than the others."
4. Dropbox Has Seen 'Record Demand' for Business Plans
With millions of people working from home for the first time, Dropbox (DBX) CEO Drew Houston says his company has seen a 40% increase in free trials for its Dropbox Business plans, which unlike its individual plans are meant to provide cloud storage and collaboration software for teams of workers.
Houston also noted that the "vast majority" people using Dropbox for work are currently relying on either free or individual plans, and that migrating such users to business plans is "a big focus" for his company. Likewise, he said Dropbox envisions building "a broader portfolio of products," including some at lower price points, to help convert more free users into paid users.
This article has been corrected to state that Anaplan's earnings call and post-earnings selloff occurred on Tuesday, rather than Monday.