Disruptive Forces in AV/IT – Part 3: Zoom

Zoom-cloud-company-0414OK, I’ll admit it, I’m a social media junkie. Without social media, I’m not sure I’d have even been doing such a series in the first place — I’ve gotten a very good idea of what the companies involved in this bring to the table either through certain individuals or collectively. And this company is no exception; in fact, I consider it to be one those companies driven through social media giving it the necessary profile among other industry players.

Positioning itself as “The Cloud Meeting Company,” Zoom is another fairly new to market player in the world of video conferencing, founded in 2011 by experienced leaders and engineers from Cisco WebEx. According to the founders’ write-up, every founding engineer has over 10 years of real-time collaboration experience. In essence, they bring a worthy team of experts to the ever-growing landscape of communications and collaboration.

Our blog participant is Nick Chong, the head of product marketing for Zoom, who certainly handles many responsibilities for the company and has an extensive experience in technology, market development, sales execution and pursuit of customer satisfaction. Nick is responsible for product strategy, thought leadership and global market evangelism at Zoom.

CM: Nick, I would like to thank you for participating in this blog interview, please tell us about the company and its culture.

NC: Zoom was founded in June 2011 with a simple mission — to forever change the way we communicate and collaborate. In the past, siloed voice, video and screen-sharing solutions were expensive, difficult to use and offered inconsistent user experiences. In addition, they could not address two key customer requirements: mobility and cloud. Zoom, the cloud meeting company, unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and mobile collaboration into one easy-to-use platform. Our solution offers the best video, audio and screen-sharing experience across Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, H.323/SIP room systems and ZoomPresence.

Zoom is all about our customers. We strive to win one customer at a time through our relentless pursuit of customer success. We engage with our customers via live video meetings, whether it’s Sales meeting with prospects or Customer Support trouble shooting an issue on Zoom. Our collaborative culture makes it possible for us to meet our customers needs, as, for example, our Sales team relies on our Support and Engineering teams to keep our customers happy

CM: How do you look to compete in this highly competitive video conferencing market?

Zoom-laptop-0514NC: A couple things set Zoom apart from our competitions.

First: quality matters. High quality video conferencing costs anywhere from $10,000 to $250,000. Consumer video tools are cheap but are low quality. Zoom, on the other hand, is $9.99/month per host for our Pro service, and has the highest quality HD video, audio and content sharing.

Second: ease of use. Zoom’s all-in-one platform unifies and simplifies the user experience. Our integrated solution was built that way from the ground up. Unlike other solutions that started with video or started with web meetings and tried to tack on a clunky mobile app or collaboration features, which only serve to complicate the user experience, Zoom has created a seamless platform for video conferencing, web meeting and mobile collaboration.

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Third: a premium product at freemium pricing. Zoom is freemium, meaning we offer a full-feature free product and our paid version is still about 80 percent cheaper than most of our competitors.

Finally: unique features, such as 100-person interactive video meetings and a hybrid cloud to enhance security.

CM: I see that you put out a lot of blogs. What is your overall social media strategy?

NC: Our social media strategy begins with our blog. In our blog, we provide in-depth insight and information about our product, video conferencing best practices and events that interest our customers. We disseminate this information via our various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

We also use our social media platforms as another way to directly connect with and receive feedback from our customers. For example, we receive feature suggestions on Twitter and we host regular meetings for our LinkedIn user groups.

Our social media strategy involves posting every day so there is always something new to learn for our followers, and being responsive to customers and potential customers who engage with us on these platforms.

CM: Can you tell me about your plans for 2014?

NC: 2014 is going to be a big year for Zoom. We will launch ZoomPresence (Zoom for the conference room) and Zoom webinars (up to 1,000 viewers) soon – both are in beta right now. We will also be offering many new features and improvements to our core product, Zoom cloud meetings, with a particular focus on creating a better, more unified user experience, especially for global businesses.

CM: Do you have any final words for your channel partners?

NC: While Zoom is a complete video collaboration solution, we know that it is a part of a larger unified communications strategy for many of our customers. We are glad for our partnerships with hardware providers to enhance the experience of Zoom users, SSO providers to give our customers more options and robust security, and our resellers for getting Zoom into more hands around the world. In turn, Zoom helps our channel partners provide a more compelling solution for their customers, go to market faster, earn competitive margins, and generate recurring revenues.

I would like to thank Nick for participating in this third installment in the series and I hope that many of you who might not yet be familiar with Zoom have gotten some very insightful information about the company, its strategies and its offerings. To check out the Zoom solution as well as further info about the company, take a look at their website.

I looked for inspirational Zoom quotes on the web but couldn’t come up with any good ones. So I found this instead, it’s a quote from the movie Zoom (2006):

Larraby: I told you not to call me unless the world was going to end.

Dr. Grant: I don’t know about the world ending, but we’ve been tracking a pan-dimensional anomaly that seems to be moving toward our time-space continuum.

Larraby: Dr. Grant, I speak Greek, not geek.

Ahh, modern technology…

About Corey Moss

With 15 years in audiovisual integration sales, Corey Moss writes on AV and IT, unified communications and collaboration, cloud and software, mobility, cybersecurity, IoT and other technologies. He has conducted interviews on rAVe [Publications] with AV and IT industry executives and influencers. He is the host and producer of AV Power Up! here on rAVe RADIO. You can reach him at cbmoss1@outlook.com.