Zoom Meetings Review: The Ultimate Video Solution?


UPDATED: Video Conferencing that breaks down boundaries

Zoom
Zoom Meetings Review: The Ultimate Video Solution?

Countless companies across the globe today are embracing a video-first culture. By 2024, the market for video conferencing is set to reach at least $20 billion, and that number keeps growing.

In a world defined by remote working and globalisation, video provides businesses with a way to maintain face-to-face interactions between disparate members of staff. Video can bring more context and meaning to a meeting while improving daily interactions.

It’s no wonder, then, that one of the most popular and valuable companies in the communications industry today is a brand that started its ascent to fame with video conferencing.

Zoom is best-known for being the go-to choice for businesses that need access to quick and convenient video for internal and external conferencing. The company made the headlines with its public debut, breaking records for a soaring business value.

Today, Zoom is continuing to build out its collaborative offering, implementing new tools, new security measures, and various other updates to serve the changing marketplace.

An Intro to Zoom Meetings

Zoom’s story dates back to 2011, a time when the market for video conferencing software was crowded, as businesses searched for a more convenient way to communicate face-to-face. Delivering an alternative solution to the complicated and often expensive video strategies of the day, Zoom was a breath of fresh are to many companies.

Zoom proved that modern companies could communicate through video just as naturally as through audio and chat – and they could do it without the glitches of previous solutions. Zoom Meetings became the core product of the portfolio, delivering an incredible combination of HD video and audio, as well as things like transcripts of calls and intelligent features too.

To make the Zoom solution even more impressive, the company even implemented it’s own free tier, so that team members can start connecting without paying anything at all. Today, you can access Zoom for everything from online webinars and training sessions, to state-of-the-art calls and even instant chat. Let’s take a closer look.

Zoom Meetings Review: Features

At all price levels, Zoom delivers everything you need for sensational video conferencing. The video quality that you get is excellent, and audio comes through clearly too. You can share multiple screens and use whiteboard functions to annotate projects. Additionally, Zoom gives you the freedom to connect on any device that suits you – including your smartphone.

Some of the most exciting features of Zoom Meetings include:

  • Easy adoption with WebRTC technology
  • Join from anywhere on any device
  • Access robust security solutions throughout
  • Built-in tools for screen sharing
  • HD video and audio calls
  • Support for up to 1,000 video participants and 49 videos
  • Meet securely with role-based user permissions
  • Streamlined calendaring services with Outlook and Google
  • Built-in recording and transcripts
  • Team chat both for groups and one-on-one messaging
  • Access to extra features like webinars, chat, and phone

Zoom Meetings Review: Benefits

Perhaps the biggest benefit of Zoom is how accessible the technology is. Setting up a Zoom Meeting is as simple as clicking on an invitation link to launch the app or prompt users to install the interface. There’s no need for any mass provisioning solutions, and the interface is lightweight and straightforward on both mobile and desktop devices.

Of course, there’s more to Zoom than just simplicity. Zoom also offers super-fast functionality, with high-quality audio and video at every price-point.

Other benefits include:

  • Security: Although security has been a point of contention for Zoom, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has committed to improving this factor. Zoom is making important changes to its security strategy and implementing new features. For instance, all meetings now require host permission and a password to join
  • Excellent support: Zoom boasts fantastic user support to serve companies around the world. There’s phone support available through multiple time zones. You can get a quick answer to your questions whenever you need it. However, the solution is so easy to use that you shouldn’t have too much trouble
  • Scheduling: You can also schedule meetings in advance from your Zoom app, which you can connect to a range of other calendars, including those from Google and Microsoft. This makes it easier to get everyone connected using the tools you love
  • Advanced features: Another benefit of Zoom is that it’s constantly updating and improving what you can do with the technology. Virtual backgrounds allow you to get rid of the messy meeting room in the background of your call. Additionally, there are even touch-up functionalities too for those who are worried about wrinkles
  • Immersive host controls: The host controls in Zoom provide excellent control over how your meeting runs. You can create a co-host for your meetings if you’re working with another consultant. Additionally, there’s access to desktop sharing and hand-over controls too
  • Excellent engagement: As well as delivering a futuristic and straightforward experience, Zoom also makes it easy to keep your team engaged with things like virtual hand-raising and other exciting functionalities

Zoom Meetings Review: Plans and Pricing

Depending on what you need from your video meeting solution, Zoom comes in a range of pricing packages. The free plan is one of the most compelling offers on the market, offering a surprisingly rich range of features for those who don’t have a high budget.

On the Free plan from Zoom, you can:

  • Host meetings for up to 40 minutes with up to 100 participants
  • Have unlimited one-on-one conversations

Similar to other conferencing solutions, Zoom also delivers its pricing on a per-host basis. You’ll need to ensure that you’re investing in the right amount of licenses for your company’s needs.

Options include:

  • Pro: Pro plans cost $14.99 (£11.99) per month per host when you pay monthly, or $12.49 (£9.99) per month per host when you’re paying annually. This plan extends the group meeting duration limit to up to 24 hours
  • Business (Minimum of 10 hosts): The Business solution costs $199.90 (£159.90) per month per user paid monthly, or $166.58 (£133.25) paid annually. In this package, you get 1GB of cloud recording, Skype integration, and API access. There’s also an Enterprise option if you have 100 hosts or more. This costs ten times the price of the Business package
  • Education: For an annual price of $1,800 (£1,440.00) You’ll get all the functionality you need to host Zoom solutions in an education environment, with support for up to 300 participants

Zoom also offers a “Zoom Rooms” Meeting Room as a Service pricing package. The cost of this service starts at $49 (£39) per month per room on a monthly basis, or $41.59 (£33.25) paid yearly.

Zoom Meetings Review: Add-Ons and Extras

One of the things that makes Zoom such a compelling choice for those in search of collaborative tools is that it’s incredibly flexible. Zoom allows businesses to connect their Zoom functionality to a wide range of apps and online services, including Microsoft Teams, Slack, and countless other tools. You can even access Workplace by Facebook, and Google Calendar.

Thanks to open API access, it’s easy to implement features from Zoom into your existing environment, too if you have the technical know-how. Aside from a range of integrations, Zoom also provides a range of “add-ons” to support today’s teams, including:

Zoom Rooms:

Zoom Rooms are the hardware and software solutions from Zoom designed to help businesses create accessible meeting rooms. You can access one-touch meeting starts, HD audio and video, and all of the latest technology from Zoom in a huddle-room ready package. Building the perfect conference room is easy with Zoom Rooms, and you can even access a range of different hardware options to suit your preferences. Features include:

  • Conference room connectors so you can use your existing hardware
  • HD video and audio access
  • One-touch meeting join
  • Powerful security built-in
  • One-click wireless sharing
  • Co-annotation whiteboards
  • Range of options for rooms of all sizes
  • Scheduling displays
  • Remote management and software provisioning
  • Room and location hierarchies
  • Role-based administration

Zoom Webinars:

Zoom Video Webinars allow you to host events with up to 100 interactive participants who you can interact with, and 1,000 view-only attendees. Like other Zoom solutions, webinars are easy to set up with branded emails and registration forms available. There are also multiple integrations for your CRM systems too. Features include everything from live broadcasting, to event assistance from Zoom specialists, and even reporting and analytics. You also get on-demand viewing solutions too, with auto-generated transcripts. Features include:

  • Auto-generated transcripts
  • On-demand or recurring webinars
  • HD video and audio for up to 100 panelists
  • Reporting and analytics on attendees and engagement
  • Live broadcasts via social channels and YouTube
  • Event assistance from the Zoom Team
  • Host controls like mute/unmute and more
  • Q&A and polling features
  • Hand-raising
  • Instant chat for attendees and presenters

Zoom Chat:

Zoom Chat is included with your Zoom Meetings licence. Designed to keep teams connected, Chat ensures that you can streamline your teams with quick instant messaging, and integrations with all your favourite tools. Intelligent search is built-in, and you can choose between one-on-one and group chat too. Starred channels and contacts make it easy to stay focused, while status and presence features show you who is online. There’s even security and archiving for compliance purposes. Features include:

  • Instant one-on-one or group chat
  • Status and presence indicators
  • Tools for productivity
  • Archiving and security with multi-factor authentication
  • Quick search functionality
  • Calendar integrations
  • Mobile and desktop access
  • Settings and notifications to help control the feed

Zoom Phone:

Zoom Phone is the enterprise cloud phone system from Zoom, providing businesses with an all-in-one environment for business voice and collaboration. You can access the features of a traditional phone features, including centralised provisioning and management, as well as auto-attendants and HD calling. Other features include:

  • Intelligent call routing and auto attendants
  • Integrations with Microsoft, Salesforce, and Google
  • Voicemail and call recordings
  • Bring your own carrier functionality
  • Secure HD audio
  • Standards-based endpoints interoperability
  • One-touch meeting or call join
  • Accelerated path to the cloud
  • Dashboards to monitor call health

Transforming the State of Video Collaboration

Zoom might have started out as the go-to solution for simple video conversations, but it’s a lot more than that today. Although the company still excels at keeping teams and external contractors connected with quick and easy access points, it can also accomplish a lot more. Depending on your needs, you could build your entire communication and collaboration stack within Zoom, tapping into everything from Zoom Chat, to Zoom Phone for traditional business voice features.

The Zoom environment continues to expand and evolve to suit the needs of its audience today. As the world continues to embrace the potential of remote work, Zoom is rapidly becoming an all-in-one solution for productivity and efficiency in this new environment. Today’s workplace leaders can take advantage of Zoom for chat, video, and audio alike.

Although Zoom has had a few issues with things like security and rapid scaling in the past, the company is improving all of the time. The brand has responded to concerns about security and is working harder to ensure that its full-stack offering is as appealing to enterprises as possible.

What do you think about Zoom Meetings? Let us know in the comments below.

Searching for a Zoom Alternative?

 

4.6 out of 5

Join over 30,000 Weekly News Subscribers