• Zoom has matured beyond its video-centric roots into a holistic UC&C player.
• Enhancements revealed at the annual ‘Zoomtopia’ event demonstrate just how far Zoom has come – and portend how far it may go.
In a short span of time, Zoom has jettisoned its video-centric roots and blossomed into a holistic UC&C player. But Zoom has not been content with resting on its laurels. Enhancements just announced at its annual ‘Zoomtopia’ conference represent a big leap forward. Zoom has arrived and then some.
During the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom became synonymous with video conferencing. Zoom got in front of competitors by announcing in no uncertain terms that users need not pay a penny to use its platform. Zoom combined its unbeatable price with one-click meeting access and in seemingly no time, usage soared.
But with Zoom’s popularity came challenges. After numerous incidents occurred of malicious users invading private meetings – acts which became referred to as “Zoom Bombing” – the platform faced security concerns. Two major outages inflicted additional damage to Zoom’s reputation. In little time, Zoom become labeled as merely a video provider; to compete in the UC&C space, the company needed to erase its video-centric image.
Zoom addressed these issues head-on. Security and performance were enhanced to counter Zoom bombing and outages. And in a move bound to alter its video-only standing, inroads were made beyond video conferencing with the addition of messaging, calling, and collaboration capabilities. The company even expanded beyond software to provide conference room hardware and a hardware-as-a-service program. On top of these corrective measures, Zoom announced plans to expand its addressable market by adding local sales support or strategic partners and resellers over time in international markets (APAC and EMEA). As a result of these various maneuvers, Zoom emerged as a full-fledged UC&C vendor.
Zoom’s transformation has taken yet another leap forward by virtue of the recent announcements made at Zoomtopia. More than a dozen enhancements were unveiled. The changes are wide-ranging and possess real gravity, adding substantial functionality to the platform. Some examples bear this out. Multi-track and multi-day events, which were de rigueur before the pandemic and are now beginning to make an appearance on UC&C platforms, will be possible on Zoom; Zoom Whiteboard will facilitate real-time and asynchronous collaboration, closely mimicking the in-person experience of yesteryear; and in a sign of the times, with hybrid work generating greater inclusiveness, Zoom will offer real-time, automated translation and expansion of its existing live transcription, with multiple language support coming late next year.
The family of announcements are strong testimony to Zoom’s ambitions. And, if they are any indication of what’s ahead, then to paraphrase the old saying “we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”