Zoom Phone Prepares to Disrupt the UCaaS Market
Watch out UCaaS, there’s a new kid in town and he’s got plenty of energy
One of the leading video conferencing companies in the world, Zoom Video Communications, recently announced a host of new updates to their cloud-based collaboration platform. Today, users in the Zoom environment can go beyond their standard video experiences to explore a range of options through Zoom Phone, upgraded Zoom Rooms, and even expanded Zoom Meetings.
With more than 200 enhancements to their product portfolio over the last year alone, Zoom is proving its passion for innovation. The business is moving at break-neck speed to deliver a new UCaaS competitor into the market.
We spoke to Oded Gal, the Product Management Head at Zoom, to learn more about the latest innovations that the company has invested in. Oded recently won the Enterprise Rockstar award from Business Insider, an accolade which celebrates his incredible insight and commitment to driving Zoom’s transformation forward.
The Evolution of the Zoom Phone Experience
Zoom Phone has only been on the market for a concise amount of time, yet it’s already making huge waves in the industry. With a video-first strategy, the Phone solution is set to disrupt the UCaaS market as we know it, mainly when you take Zoom’s agility and exceptional business performance into account.
Zoom is on the path towards significant growth and success – with an IPO just around the corner. With Zoom Phone joining their strategy, the industry is left to wonder whether this is the start of something bigger and better for Zoom. Oded told me that the organisation is focused on helping people access and deploy the ultimate collaboration and communication kit as easily as possible.
“We knew we needed to provide the basic capabilities for telecommunications with Zoom Phone, which was a huge checklist of things to cover. However, I think we’ve done this very well so far. What’s helped us to really deliver this offering so quickly is our comprehensive infrastructure. A lot of the work we’ve done has relied on our ability to leverage our existing infrastructure and build new things on top of it.”
You’ve Built Out the Phone Experience Very Quickly
Zoom’s Phone solution has gone from basic starting blocks to a finish-line solution very quickly. What’s more, they now can plug contact centre solutions like Five9 and Twilio into the solution too, which provides a very comprehensive experience for their end-users.
“We’ve managed to move very quickly because we’ve had the knowledge and infrastructure already at our core. Now, we’re looking at new features, working with contact centres, and developing new things.”
“We’re constantly moving forward, looking at international expansion, and partnering with different carriers and providers”
Currently, the Zoom Phone experience is available as an add-on to the Meetings experience for Canadian and US customers. However, the functionality will quickly make its way out into other parts of the world according to Oded. With support for outbound and inbound calling through the PSTN, Zoom customers will be able to consolidate all of their communication strategies within the Zoom environment.
Is Zoom Phone Easy to Use?
Designed to be just as easy to adopt and accessible as the rest of the Zoom experience, Zoom Phone has simplicity at its core. The system is intended to be a single pane of glass, where users can seamlessly transition from a meeting to a phone call, to a video conference, without any disruptions or delays.
“If you click on the Zoom client, you’ll see Meetings, Chat, and the new Phone function. When you click on the Phone option, you’ll see a dial pad, and you can enter a person’s name to pull their contact details from your global address book too. You get the same internal or external call experience on the mobile app too.”
There’s also the option to connect the business SIP strategy to the external platforms of Twilio Flex and Five9. This allows for easy management of efficient call routing options through some of the most popular cloud contact centre services on the market.
For now, calls are available through the Zoom calling plan. However, Oded commented that the company is currently working on allowing businesses to “Bring their own carrier” too. This means that if you have an existing relationship with a carrier, you can build in connections as you like.
“We already have the relationships with carriers that we need. It’s just about developing the platform even further to deliver the service in the right way”
Competing with Slack and Teams?
The collaborations with Twilio and Five9, combined with the new Phone system makes Zoom an impressive competitor in the collaboration and communication environment. What’s more, there’s even zero-touch provisioning available for companies that want to integrate with Yealink and Poly (Polycom) phones. I asked Oded whether Zoom is planning on competing against some of the other major collaboration offerings in the market, such as Slack, Cisco, and Microsoft Teams.
“With things like Microsoft Teams, it’s a great platform if you want a full collaboration stack, but it’s not as easy to use if you just want a more functional experience. Zoom wants to make it simple for everyone to join conversations with people inside and outside of the business. We’re coming at the environment from a different angle, with video as the new voice.”
For Zoom, video must remain at the forefront of the communication and collaboration journey. The delivery of Zoom Phone simply ensures that customers have more flexibility available in how they choose to connect. With new features like Salesforce Integration and advancements being rolled out consistently, Zoom is definitely “zooming” ahead with a new communication solution for the current marketplace.