3 Key Trends in Enterprise Communications … and What Zoom is Doing About Them
I spend a fair amount of my time speaking with my fellow CIOs and other IT leaders, listening to their challenges and viewpoints on technology and communications. From these conversations, three trends have emerged that I would like to share with you. I also will discuss how Zoom is addressing each of these with our enterprise communications technology.
Key Trend #1 – Video is the New Voice.
Video is the future of communications. Video enables higher engagement, stronger relationships, and faster decision-making among remote teams. I am not the only one who says so. According to Frost and Sullivan, over 88% of C-level decision-makers say that video makes meetings more effective, 84% say it reduces meeting times, 86% say it accelerates decision-making, and 83% say it improves productivity.
At Zoom, video is the center of everything we do. We have developed our modern cloud architecture from the ground up optimized for video. Even our other services — Zoom Phone and Zoom Chat — offer one-touch options to elevate your voice call or chat to video. No one else provides this. Your participants do not have to hang up and input meeting codes; everyone just automatically transfers to the video meeting. This is the power of Zoom. We offer a single platform for true video-first unified communications. Our video-centric approach is working, and when customers switch to Zoom, they experience an 85% increase in video usage.
Key Trend #2 – Video-Enabling Every Space, Small and Large.
At Enterprise Connect 2019 in March, Eric Krapf, general manager and program co-chair for Enterprise Connect, said there are an estimated 32.5 million huddle rooms around the globe. The vast majority of these have no technology, save for maybe a phone or ethernet cable. With the trend of open floor plans in offices, employees need more private spaces to collaborate. Companies right now have about one room for every 10 to 25 office employees, Frost and Sullivan sees this going to one room for every five office employees. While less than 14% of huddle rooms are video-enabled now, the analyst firm expects this to increase to 77% by 2023.
For years Zoom Rooms have been the go-to for companies to outfit their huddle and conference rooms. To make this even easier, we are working with a group of carefully selected partners to enable frictionless procurement and deployment of Zoom Rooms. We have conference room kits with AVer, Crestron, DTEN, Logitech, HP, and Poly. These single-vendor solutions provide the hardware, and we provide the software, in some cases preloaded. Said differently, we are software engineers at our core, and our hardware partners are embedding our great software into their great hardware so that our clients have an amazing experience!
The single-vendor approach is great for huddle rooms, and as you move into more complex spaces (training rooms, rooms with special features like glass walls, etc.), you may need an open hardware ecosystem. Only an open software provider like Zoom makes this possible, and our professional services team works with AV integrators to make this easy for our customers.
Key Trend #3 – AI, Intelligent Communications, and Cognitive Collaboration.
Perhaps the noisiest topic in our industry (and most industries?) is AI. Every company is rebranding its services as “smart,” “intelligent,” “cognitive,” and so forth. Generally, I find that my fellow CIOs know they need to stay ahead of this trend, but it also can be difficult to separate the signal from the noise. Where does AI provide real value and not just a bunch of wild promises?
Zoom’s approach here is to focus on the user experience and leveraging AI technology for pragmatic enhancements to fit specific needs. Joe Park, vice president of Associate Digital Experience and Enterprise Architecture at Walmart, one of our customers, emphasizes being people-centric and using data to provide better user experiences. We look at using AI the same way — it is about providing great experiences for people. That is why we were first to market with AI-based recording transcripts. We also use AI for our virtual backgrounds (available for desktop and mobile and without a green screen), voice commands for Siri and Alexa, and Apple Carplay.
AI is also used to help improve our audio — it blocks background noises like typing. Partners like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Chorus.ai, and Theta Lake integrate with Zoom through our App Marketplace using our API to add another layer of AI, so people can gain actionable insights with their Zoom data. We are also working on real-time transcription of meetings and meeting notes summaries, both available Q3 2019.
The Future of Enterprise Communications
So in all, the CIOs I talk to tend to share a common understanding of these trends in enterprise communications. We know where the future is, but we have to make sure we lead our companies there. The technology landscape continues to evolve at an ever-increasing pace, and Zoom is at the forefront of these efforts. We have no legacy technology or code, a purpose-built platform from the ground up with video-first, continuous innovation at speed, which is only becoming more engaging and provides massive benefits to our increasing client base.
To achieve these objectives, you need trusted partners. I hope that Zoom will become that trusted partner for more and more CIOs.