Zoom Shakes the Room with New Conferencing Appliances
New range of purpose-built appliances simplify installation and management of large scale room deployments
Zoom Video Communications has launched a new range of Zoom Rooms Appliances for conference rooms at its Zoomtopia event, being held today and tomorrow (15th & 16th October) in San Jose, California.
The company says the new range of purpose-built appliances will simplify installation and management of large scale room deployments while also adding room intelligence and analytics for enterprises.
“Zoom Rooms Appliances are a best of both worlds story where the hardware is purpose-built for videoconferencing with audio and video features like speaker tracking, scene framing and noise cancellation, plus they are a software platform for the Zoom Room experience that streamlines the interaction between the equipment and the user,” Jeffrey Smith, Head of Zoom Rooms, told UC Today.
“With these appliances we have worked closely with our hardware partners so the lines are blurred somewhat on what the hardware is doing versus what our software is doing but the end result is an end-to-end experience that is frictionless for the user and IT”
Smith said the appliances are affordable and offer premium performance and quality with installation taking just five minutes from removing the appliance from the box to making calls. He added that Zoom Rooms Appliances will require fewer physical devices and cabling, leading to cleaner installations that can be completely remotely managed. In addition, all software – including operating systems, firmware and the application – can be upgraded through the Zoom admin interface.
Zoom Rooms for all use cases
Although traditional conferencing rooms with oriented around costly hardware continue to fall out of favour, the rise of unified communications coupled with flexible ways of working, is seeing a need for small and medium-sized conferencing rooms. Zoom believes its new appliances will meet these needs.
“We have announced Zoom Room appliances for many use cases today including huddle rooms, small to medium conference rooms and even large conference and collaboration spaces with digital whiteboards”
“If the physical space is relatively common, there is likely to be a good Zoom Room appliance for that space.”
In terms of appliance availability, Smith said that Zoom is announcing at Zoomtopia that Poly and DTEN are building appliances for its programme and the company will announce further names soon.
Aside from the appliance, Smith added that Zoom is announcing several new features for Zoom Rooms. “Highlights include Find a Room functionality with scheduling display which allows an IT group to upload floor maps of their buildings to the Zoom admin portal and display those on our Zoom Room scheduling displays with an overlay of free or busy availability,” he explained. “The user can then tap on any available conference room and book that room for an adhoc meeting or for a later time. Next, we have Servicenow integration which enables a Zoom Room alarm to automatically produce a ticket in the Servicenow system and immediately post that to the relevant chat groups in Zoom Chat. Anyone in the group can then click on the link to see the detail of the issue and also links to a Zoom Rooms dashboard in the Servicenow system. Finally, we have Native Room Control Integration. This allows for IP-addressable devices in the conference room to be controlled directly from the Zoom Room Controller, such as lighting, shades, HVAC and others.”