My Perspective on Zoom Perspectives 2022
The Zoom Perspectives Analyst Conference in San Jose, CA demonstrated how to run a hybrid event. With hosts, presenters, and analyst attendees both in the physical and remote locations, Zoom showed off its events platform and set the bar for hybrid events going forward. Josh Brage, Global Services Manager, was the Remote Host and MC, and there was even a remote house band located in Austin, TX to perform between speakers. Remote attendees were able to participate in the live chat and Q&A and were equal participants during the sessions, as shown below.
While remote attendees could fully participate in the conference part of the conference, hybrid events still can’t replicate the networking that takes place during meals and evening activities (and remote attendees didn’t get to sample the amazing wines at Regale Winery or get a selfie with Zoom CEO Eric Yuan).
The Zoom Perspectives theme was “The Power of the Platform,” and we heard repeatedly about how Zoom wants to become a platform company.
CEO Eric Yuan discussed how Zoom is embarking on the Zoom 2.0 journey, going beyond video and unified communications to ultimately become a collaboration platform that helps any user connect with others.
Yuan noted that while Zoom was previously more focused on the UC elements of the solution, the company is now looking at the more collaborative asynchronous aspects of collaboration. Various speakers noted that Zoom today is so much more than meetings, adding chat, phone, contact center, rooms, whiteboard, Zoom IQ for sales, developer tools, and more. In positioning Zoom as a "working operating system," Yuan acknowledged that the company still has work to do, as many customers don’t know about the company’s persistent chat platform or take advantage of Zoom’s developer ecosystem.
Despite the recent quarter not meeting investor expectations, Zoom showed some strong numbers and metrics. The current outlook for 2023 is for over $4 Billion in overall revenues, with plans on becoming a $10 Billion company. As the company moves upmarket, the number of enterprise customers with over 100 employees grew 18% to more than 204,000. The magic number we heard throughout the event was four million – as in how many Zoom Phone licenses have been sold. This is up from three million just one quarter ago.
During the event, I had the opportunity to speak with Heidi Elmore, Head of Product Marketing, who discussed the event takeaways. In this video interview, Heidi discusses Zoom’s “pillars of innovation” as well as some of Zoom’s innovations, including Workspace Reservation, the Solvvy conversational AI, Zoom chat, and more. She also provides an update on Zoom Phone growth, Zoom IQ for Sales, and much more.
Drilling down into some product information, I spoke with Oded Gal, Chief Product Officer, who reiterated that Zoom is much more than UC, and that customers are looking for a single solution that helps them do more with less, while breaking down silos to make connections with coworkers and customers.
In this video interview, Oded discussed the Zoom Contact Center with its 150 new features, as well as Zoom IQ to provide insights to sales teams. Looking forward, Oded discussed how Zoom will be adding more collaboration capabilities, including new Zoom Chat capabilities and the enhancements to the Zoom Whiteboard.
Of course, the new Zoom Contact Center was front and center in the minds of many of the analysts. The Zoom Contact Center is a video-optimized omnichannel offering, providing intelligent self service and routing, a single experience for UC and contact center.
At the event, we heard from Scott Brown, the new Head of Zoom Contact Center, who discussed Zoom’s vision for contact center. Scott noted that Zoom plans to:
- Disrupt the contact center experience and provide customers with a simple solution
- Differentiate from competing CCaaS providers with intelligent self service, combined UC/contact center experiences, and high-touch video customer engagement
- Rapidly innovate with a multi-journey roadmap that turns Zoom Contact Center into the market leading CCaaS provider.
Video engagement helps personalize customer interactions and solve queries faster and more efficiently, while enabling customers to view customized content, estimated wait time, and callback notification before the agent joins the call. Once the agent joins, both the agent and customer can screen share, file share, and chat.
The intelligent self service and routing is based on Zoom’s recent acquisition of conversational AI vendor, Solvvy, to provide instant and highly specific responses based on advanced AI/machine learning.
I spoke with Scott to discuss the service’s rapid growth rate, the Solvvy acquisition, integration with Zoom unified communications, and a brief look into the roadmap and international expansion.
A big part of the Zoom Contact Center story is the company’s acquisition of conversational AI player Solvvy. Zoom continues to support the Solvvy installed base around the world, and as Scott noted, “Solvvy will become part of the native goodness we bring forward.”
In this video, Bob Grohs, Head of Marketing, Solvvy from Zoom, discusses the conversational AI platform, how Solvvy helps customers and agents, and Zoom’s plans for Solvvy.
Zoom as a platform was a key theme throughout the event. Ross Mayfield, Group Product Manager for Zoom Apps, presented a session on the evolution of the Zoom developer platform. Ross described how Zoom is productizing developer offerings, enabling developers to create unique solutions for customers. The various developer offerings include:
- Zoom Apps SDK – empowering developers to create engaging user experiences within Zoom products
- Meetings SDK
- APIs & integrations
- Video SDK
Together, they power over 500,000 private apps and published integrations.
In this video, Ross discusses how Zoom is transitioning to being a platform and productizing developer offerings. He describes the various SDKs and how developers can use them to create apps and integrations. He also discusses the Zoom Marketplace and the various types of apps created.
Partners and partnerships were also a focus of discussion, with a panel dedicated to Zoom’s various types of partners. Partners include:
- Technology partners – including hardware partners, ISVs, and those on the Zoom marketplace.
- Go-to-market partners – including alliances and solution partners.
- Sales and delivery partners – including solutions providers, distributors, and others.
Taking advantage of Zoom SDKs, APIs, and partner tools, Michael Chasen, co-founder and CEO of Class Technologies, discussed how Class Technologies adds teaching and learning tools to Zoom. In this video, Michael explains how Class builds on top of Zoom to provide a better teaching and learning experience, providing many of the capabilities that teachers need for online teaching to better engage with students.
There was a good deal of roadmap information, as well as some NDA information shared – but you’ll have to wait until Zoomtopia in November to hear more.
Kudos to Zoom, the Analyst Relations team, and the events team for putting together a unique hybrid experience. While Zoom showed the power of hybrid events, there’s still nothing like being there in person to interact and share some wonderful food and wine.