Asia-Pacific Region ‘Zooms In’ for First Zoomtopia APAC 2020
We recently wrapped our annual user conference, Zoomtopia, and this milestone event was not only the first time we took the event fully digital, but it was also the first ever Zoomtopia specifically for APAC! The event was chock-full of news updates and new products, as well as guest speakers from our amazing customers around the region.
If you didn’t get to join us on the day, you can still watch the recordings on our Zoomtopia 2020 website. For now, here are some of the highlights from our APAC sessions to help you find your way to the best bits.
Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan got things started with a virtual fireside chat with Yasufumi Hirai, CIO & CISO of Rakuten, who explained that all of his employees have full Zoom capability to work where they want, when they want. The retailer has also onboarded 750 new graduates remotely during the pandemic, many of whom passed an engineering program certificate as part of the hiring process.
“The company has been acknowledged by the HR Institute for its outstanding use of technology to overcome the boundaries of time and physical location in this so-called ‘New Normal.’ ” – Yasufumi Hirai, CIO & CISO of Rakuten
Yuan also revealed a new partnership between the two companies that enables Rakuten to serve the Japanese market with Zoom solutions.
Aparna Bawa, Zoom COO, provided updates on two new regional data centres in Singapore and Osaka and a new technology centre in Bangalore. Bawa also discussed growing local currency and language support for India and Vietnam, and reviewed 12 strategic partnerships that have been developed in the region during the course of the last year, positioning APAC as a leader in the future of work.
Technology highlights announced at Zoomtopia included:
- End-to-End AES Encryption – End-to-end encryption (E2EE) for free and paid users was announced as a technical preview
- OnZoom – OnZoom is arriving in 2021 to help APAC businesses host and monetise online events
- UCaaS enhancements – New features and functionality for Zoom Meetings, Zoom Phone, and Zoom Video Webinars
- Zoom for Home – Purpose-built hardware for the home office with software enhancements to upgrade the work-from-home experience
GIC Technology Group Managing Director Sam Liew underlined the capabilities of Zoom as part of the company’s security-first culture. Liew explained that GIC employees join Zoom meetings with encrypted devices that are integrated with the company’s SSO infrastructure, allowing for the highest degree of secure communication.
Atlassian Futurist Dom Price gave APAC delegates an enticing view of the Future of Work in his interview with Michael Chetner, Zoom’s Head of APAC:
“Don’t wait for the pandemic to be over and drag everyone back (into the office). The future is about creating more meaningful ways of working.” – Atlassian Futurist Dom Price
Atlassian claims the home as its third largest “office” of its 13 global locations, which has been the case long before the pandemic began, according to Price. He sees Zoom as an amplifier for the flexible workplace.
Attendees from around the region joined us throughout the day for information-packed sessions, giving attendees an idea of how APAC companies are creating a new future for the way they do business.
Building Connections in a Hybrid World
This pre-keynote session kicked off the day with fascinating insights from Zoom APAC’s newly completed Connectivity 2020 Index (report coming soon!). This regional report into connectivity and its impact on people within a professional environment revealed that those who spent at least 50% of their working time at home felt 21% more empowered.
Customer Panel: Disrupted or Disrupter
This panel, which examined agility and resilience in ever-changing times, was hosted by Anthony Stevens, CIO Advisor at Zoom. Drawing on extensive experience of leading enterprise organisations, including his former role as Partner and Chief Digital Officer for KPMG, he described how he has witnessed some companies go through economic destruction. He also reported that some organisations have navigated these pandemic conditions as though they’ve had a “shot in the arm.”
Aaron Evans, Digital Operations Director and CISO of NZ Trade & Enterprise, and Peter Haviland, CTO of Latitude Financial Services, and Ismail Gafoor, CEO of Propnex discussed the emerging theme of human connection and the need for it to go hand-in-hand with technology innovation.
Customer Panel: The Future of Education
In this session, a panel of education industry experts explored virtual learning and the future of the practice. Host Tain Barzo, Zoom Product Lead for Education, asked:
“What if expanding, not retracting, technology is the answer? Is it possible that the connectivity measures we’ve put in place could generate entirely new revenue streams?”
Micro-credentialing surfaced as a way for education providers to adapt to the future of work by offering continuous learning opportunities for people well into their 60s and beyond. Catherine Moran, Deputy Vice Chancellor-Academic for The University of Canterbury Christchurch, felt micro-credentials would only increase in demand in the future.
S. Ryan Meyer, Managing Director of General Assembly, warned that some subjects carry higher stakes than others, and companies accepting candidates on the strength of their micro-credentials should make sure to have a full understanding of their capability.
Echoing Atlassian’s Dom Price in the keynote, Jacqui Hills, Deputy Head of Kellet School in Hong Kong, told delegates that digital and cultural change must happen together.
“We have truncated the school day so that students are not in front of laptops all day and have time to do something with their families.” – Jacqui Hills, Deputy Head, Kellet School
When Security Meets Rapid Innovation
Sergio Aguilera, Senior Sales Engineer for Zoom APAC, led attendees through a deep dive into the security enhancements of Release 5.0. He was accompanied by Zoom CTO Brendan Ittelson, who demonstrated the power of E2EE in stopping the “meddler in the middle.” Brendan also revealed a roadmap for upleveling identity security in Zoom.
Locknote With Naomi Simson
Naomi Simson, renowned entrepreneur, author, and co-founder of the Big Red Group, rounded off the day by asking, “Are we ready entering the new normal?”
“When I started my business back in 2001 working from home, I wouldn’t have thought I’d be here, 20 years later, still working from home.” – Naomi Simson, Co-Founder of the Big Red Group
From 300 experiences in the first year to 600,000 last year, the Big Red Group has delivered more than 6 million customers to small businesses around Australia and New Zealand. And it didn’t get there by standing still – technology enabled that growth.
“We are not going back to how we were,” Simson said. “We are in a new world, and it’s up to us to make it a better world.”
For the Big Red Group that means offering hundreds of at-home experiences for the new, hybrid world we live in.
A huge THANK YOU to all the customers, partners, and attendees who took part in the incredible moments and insightful conversations that made Zoomtopia APAC 2020!
Visit the Zoomtopia website to re-watch your favourite sessions, or contact us to discuss the new product announcements at this year’s conference.