Zoom Perspectives – Five Takeaways

5 Jun 2024

Zoom Perspectives – Five Takeaways

May marked my return to business travel, with two events in the same week – Zoom Perspectives and Verint Analyst Days. Lots to share from both, and I’ll present five takeaways for Zoom here, then will do the same for Verint in a follow-on review.

  1. Zoom isn’t just a video company anymore

I would argue that no company benefited more from the pandemic than Zoom, and while their stock price came back to earth some time ago, there’s still a growth story here. Zoom remains a verb for video calling – so that isn’t going away – but they’ve added a few concentric circles around that. Workplace keeps adding features seemingly by the hour, making Zoom a bona fide competitor to Teams, Webex, RingCentral and everyone else in the UCaaS space.

Zoom Phone has been a big success – 74% CAGR over the past three years – and the Business Services side of the house addresses opportunities outside where UCaaS normally plays, namely Sales, Marketing and Contact Center. Then add yet another circle around that with AI, and Zoom has as complete a portfolio as anyone in the cloud communications space. Well, they don’t have cloud itself, but there is no shortage of platforms happy to partner with them.

For me, this was the first big takeaway from Perspectives. It’s not news for anyone following Zoom, and they provided plenty of growth metrics to support this position. As analysts, we get it, but clearly, it’s important for Zoom that everyone else out there sees what we see.

  1. They’re selling digital transformation, not collaboration

Video and Workplace would be what most people associate with Zoom, and that’s very much about communications and collaboration in the workplace. That may be their bread and butter, but those offerings are largely commodified now, and the vendor landscape is very crowded. Knowing how saturated that market has become, new growth vectors are needed.

One avenue is to identify new problem sets, especially bigger picture issues that are more strategic to the organization. Digital transformation is one of them, and it lines up well with their all-in focus on AI. With technology constantly changing and moving so fast, business leaders need solutions and platforms that “just work” – there’s so much complexity and so many moving parts, that adopting new technology is a major challenge.

Simplicity and a great user experience has always been the hallmarks of Zoom’s success, and this looks to be carrying over as they move up the value chain to address digital transformation challenges. They understand that business itself cannot “just work” unless workers have tools that do the same. While their portfolio seems to fit the bill to support that, it’s more than technology.

Chief Growth Officer Graeme Geddes talked about how their go-to-market has evolved to sell more deeply into organizations, as digital transformation is more than just selling point solutions. They couldn’t have done this a few years ago, and it’s is a key part for how Zoom has evolved as company, and has grown beyond selling video.

  1. Contact center is ready for prime time

After failing to acquire Five9 in 2021, Zoom has invested heavily to build their own CCaaS platform. I have no idea how much of the roughly $15 billion they would have spent for Five9 went to developing Zoom CX, but am sure it was less, and probably money better spent. Kudos to Five9 for remaining independent, but this space is a must-have for Zoom, and when they put their minds to R&D, the results are usually pretty good.

In their view, Zoom CX is “ready for prime time”, with success metrics shared during the sessions both by CFO Kelly Steckelberg, and their CX team. Two notable metrics – first, they now have a critical mass of customers globally – 1,000+, and second is the strength of support from channel partners, who are driving 66% of revenues. They’ve come a long way since charting their own CX path, and aside from seeing a solid demo from Amy Roberge, they walked through how diverse their channel and partner networks have become, allowing them to sell into this market at any level.

Bigger picture, they broke out the DNA of their leadership team, and collectively they cover a who’s who of the major contact center players. Combine that level of industry experience with Zoom’s deep R&D pool, and they may well have the horses to fulfill their mantra of “reinventing modern CX”.

  1. They’re getting it right with AI

Everyone is trying to be “AI-first”, so there’s nothing new here. Of course, being cloud-native, Zoom has a shorter path to AI, but we’re all learning on the fly, so nobody truly has an advantage yet. That said, right at the outset, Gary Sorrentino stated how their AI – namely AI Companion – is natively AI and not “bolted-on”. Am not so sure I buy the claim that AI is Zoom’s “superpower”, but they are certainly saying all the right things about it.

First is the emphasis on using AI to “enhance human potential”. Yes, AI Companion is about streamlining processes and automating tasks, but their main objective is to re-define how we connect with each other as humans, and collaborate more effectively.

Smita Hashim characterized this in three ways, starting first with how AI Companion amplifies your capabilities. Building on that, AI-first experiences will simplify work, allowing us to be more creative and human-centric. Finally, AI helps us delegate, automating tasks, so we can focus on more complex challenges. All told, this translates into Eric Yuan’s Zen notion of delivering “happiness”, where AI Companion delivers “Work Happy” for all.

Another important element is responsible AI, where Mahesh Ram outlined the importance of giving workers control over using AI-based features, both for which ones to use, and who they share these features with. I don’t think we’ll ever get this perfectly right, but I always watch closely for how vendors articulate their position on transparency what controls are in the hands of workers.

Yet another indication that Zoom is getting it right with AI comes from what they’re hearing from customers. Mahesh made a passing comment that was telling for me – how customers are asking “better questions for how to use AI”. There’s a lot to unpack here, but a key takeaway is how both customers and vendors are on a journey with AI, and Zoom seems to listening closely to make sure they get it right.

  1. Zoom is winning on several fronts

This could easily be a separate article, but there were several indicators for how Zoom has evolved beyond video, and is reading the tea leaves very well in terms of staying in the winner’s circle for vendors who are best-positioned to dominate this market.

First would be Workvivo, which may turn out to be a home-run for Zoom (pun intended, as we were treated to a tour of MLB Studios, one of Zoom’s flagship customers). Employee engagement is an adjacency to the collaboration space that UCaaS addresses, but in today’s hybrid workplace, it’s become more than a thing. Platforms like Workvivo are more about inclusion and culture than skills that drive productivity and business results, but it’s a key part of the overall employee “experience”. Once you connect the dots from here to agent experience and customer experience, Workvivo lines up nicely with Zoom Workplace, and the Work Happy Zen state Eric Yuan is after.

Beyond this, the “win” for Zoom comes from the very recent news that Meta is shutting down its Workplace platform, which was intended to help position Facebook as an enterprise play to compete with Teams, Webex, Slack, and yes, Zoom. While that’s big news itself, the bigger news is that Workvivo is the sole migration partner. Not only does this knock a Big Tech competitor out of the employee experience race, but this could be a great Trojan Horse play for Zoom to land and expand with Meta’s enterprise base. This sure makes their Workvivo acquisition look prescient.

Continuing on the “win” tangent, as part of Twilio’s right-sizing, they decided to EOL their programmable video offering. Zoom is not the only migration option, but it’s the default partner for Twilio’s video SDK. As with Workvivo, this takes a big competitor off the table, and plays nicely to making Zoom an even stronger video player.

Also discussed were extended partnerships with major players to broaden the footprint for Zoom Workplace – namely Avaya and AWS – with the former being prominently featured at the recent Engage event. Not to exclude the biggest player, they reviewed the latest integration of Workplace inside MSFT Teams, so Zoom has left few stones unturned.


There’s plenty more to talk about from Perspectives, but there’s enough here to show how far Zoom has come from taking video mainstream just a few short years ago. It’s also easy to forget that Zoom is over 10 years old, so this is no startup. There’s no way to know if there will be a Second Coming for Zoom’s stock price, but based on what they shared at Perspectives, they clearly belong at the top of the leader board. I suspect they’ll still be there come October, which will set the stage for a lively Zoomtopia event, so stay tuned.


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