Top 3 Takeaways from Zoomtopia 2019
It’s been a busy year for Zoom, between going public, a rapidly growing user base, the launch of Zoom Phone, and now the conclusion of its third-annual user conference, Zoomtopia.
This year was particularly exciting for Unify Square, as it gave us a chance to highlight how PowerSuite can now help support organizations using Zoom. As more and more enterprises look to fold Zoom into their UC strategy, voice remained an important piece of that equation.
Here are the top three takeaways from Zoomtopia 2019:
AI for Meetings
Unlike market leaders Microsoft and Cisco, Zoom is taking a technology, partner-provided approach for AI. Rather than develop its own AI capabilities, Zoom is strengthening core partnerships to add features that transcribe meetings, help capture action items, enhance virtual background capabilities, and produce high-level meeting highlights.
A partner approach may be a safer bet for Zoom, as the industry is still figuring out how AI will enhance the meeting experience. Companies like Microsoft and Cisco are making big bets by investing in their internal AI strategies that may still be in a nascent stage. In the interim, Zoom’s partner strategy allows it to more quickly bring AI for meetings to market, while working with technology providers who are paving the way for the advantages of AI to improve the meeting room experience.
Room systems have made their way to center-stage of many conversations as enterprises struggle to select the right meeting room tech to support their communication needs. Research by Nemertes shows that room system architecture that includes computing power within the actual device (such as a camera/speaker/mic) has lower installation costs and lower total cost of ownership as opposed to kit-based approaches more common with HP and Logitech.
At Zoomtopia 2019, Poly announced its Studio X series, which maps to the findings by Nemertes, and shortly after came the announcement by Neat (partially funded by Zoom) that they will offer their own Zoom Room appliance. On top of finding cost-efficient tech, it’s also important to consider how that tech will map to the different platform needs an enterprise may have. If you’re all in on Zoom, Neat’s 100% focus on Zoom may be an easy decision. But in most enterprise cases, the ability to support multiple platforms is mandatory.
Selecting the actual meeting room tech is only part of the equation. It’s important to consider multi-platform management, existing legacy systems, room system security, room usage, and software and hardware symbiosis. Learn more about meeting room management here.
In 2018, Zoom launched Zoom Phone, which is its version of cloud PBX voice. Zoom Phone is a rapidly maturing cloud phone system that offers intelligent call routing and management, auto-attendant / IVR, interoperability with standards-based endpoints (Poly and Yealink), voicemails, caller ID, and more. While the original intent wasn’t to challenge UCaaS providers (at least from the get-go), Zoom Phone now has a growing number of customers, including rapidly increasing interest from large organizations who are looking to adopt it with the goal of replacing their on-premises or other cloud platform providers. While Zoom released over 200 new features or functions to augment or enhance its core video conferencing platform in 2018, Zoom used Zoomtopia 2019 to release a nearly equal number of new enhancements to Zoom Phone, underscoring its focus on Zoom Phone. Because Zoom Phone natively integrates with the existing Zoom Meetings client, organizations find the need for a separate phone system to be increasingly an exception versus the norm.
How Unify Square Supports Your Zoom Needs
If you’re like the 85% of end-users in our recent study who reported using multiple app platforms for UC and collaboration, then cross-platform support will be critical to your IT team’s success. According to Nemertes Research, companies average 3.8 different providers for their collaboration and communication needs.
Unify Square’s history and expertise with enterprise UC platforms now extends to Zoom. Whether you need help with Zoom-specific deployments, troubleshooting, or meeting room management, our PowerSuite software and cloud managed services are ready to support your communication and collaboration initiatives. And, if you’re juggling multiple platforms, we can help you with that too.