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Zoomtopia 2019: Day 2 Highlights
October 16, 2019 by John Montgomery

Thanks to everyone for another amazing day at Zoomtopia 2019The second day blasted off with an interview with actor and producer Zachary Quinto and an out-of-this-world presentation from former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino. Quinto discussed his origins as an actor with Zoom CRO Ryan Azus, and Massimino told the audience all about the lessons he learned during his training to become an astronaut. 

Some fun facts from our Day 2 keynote speakers:

  • Quinto landed the role of Spock after a casting director heard him expressing his interest in the character during a press interview for the TV show “Heroes.” 
  • Massimino applied to become an astronaut four times before he was finally accepted into the astronaut program. 
  • Massimino’s astronaut class included famous astronauts like Scott Kelly, who holds the record for the longest single space mission by a NASA astronaut (and whose twin brother also was an astronaut), and Peggy Whitson, who holds the record for the most days spent in space by any NASA astronaut.

Quote: “When you’re at NASA, you work with lots of different people from around the world who think differently. And the best way to be an effective team is to like or admire one thing about everyone that you work with. If you find someone who you don’t like or who doesn’t think the same as you, think of it as not knowing them well enough instead of not liking their thought process.” — Mike Massimino, former NASA astronaut

Some other Day 2 session highlights:

Movers and Shakers of Enterprise Communication and Collaboration

In this session, Ira Weinstein, founder of Recon Research Inc., sat down with Laura Marx, VP of Global Product and Alliance Marketing at Poly, Simen Teigre, CEO at Neat, Scott Wharton, VP of the Video Collaboration Group at Logitech, Ted Colton, Vice President at Crestron Electronics, and Jim Hickey, Vice President of Products at Five9, to discuss the new opportunities and customer needs that are taking shape as the enterprise communication industry expands. Some highlights:

  • Video conferencing was once a technology that was reserved for executives or people in the technology space, but now video chat is used by everyone, so it needs to be intuitive and easy to access.
  • The movement toward cloud-based software and services makes it easier for companies to create new innovations, deploy products, and gives customers easy access to products.
  • The next big focus for SaaS and UCaaS providers should be removing friction from the user experience and making their products and services easier to use. 

Quote: “Companies need to prototype quickly. Get products out of the lab and into the hands of your users and employees so you can use their feedback. There is a ton of momentum when it comes to testing out new products and providing feedback, so use that to create a better product.” — Simen Teigre, Neat CEO

Zoomtopia 2019 Day 2

Financial Services Evolving

Zoom’s CIO Harry Moseley joined Greg Martin, Director of IT at NASDAQ, Trent Harris, Head of Collaboration and Unified Communications at National Australia Bank, Fred Love, Senior Manager of Unified Communications at Capital One, and Casey Santos, former CIO of General Atlantic, for a discussion about Zoom’s impact on the financial services industry and how Zoom has streamlined operations for their teams. 

  • Zoom’s willingness to work with teams from these companies to produce their desired outcomes had a large impact on the success of these partnerships. 
  • The consistency of Zoom’s interface across IOS and Android devices made it much easier to use for companies that support a diverse tech stack. 
  • The fact that Zoom’s platform has encryption built into the platform made implementation and maintaining a secure environment much easier for IT teams. 

Quote: “Everyone recognizes that the meeting tax, or the time it takes to set up a meeting and get everyone into the meeting, exists, but workers don’t take into account the impact that the meeting tax has on the rest of your operations, including the timeliness of meetings and the quality of meetings.” Harry Moseley, Zoom CIO 

Enterprise Customer Panel: Journey to Zoom Phone

Colby Nish, Zoom’s Sales Leader for Zoom Phone, sat down with Kevin Krautle, Senior Systems Engineer for Unified Communications at Take-Two Interactive, and Henry Ku, Senior Director of IT Infrastructure at Ciena, to discuss their journeys to Zoom Phone, including their decision to implement the solution and the impact it has had on their organizations. Some highlights:

  • Although most employees use video conferencing to chat, having a phone solution that offers legacy capability is crucial because phone calls are still a frequently used communications medium internally and externally.
  • With PBX solutions, IT teams were unable to identify issues that cause call quality to dip, so they were forced to open a ticket with their providers and wait for assistance, which wasted time and money. 
  • The ability to choose to use an office number or a personal number in the Zoom Phone interface made it easier for employees to coordinate communications and use the appropriate number for the situation. 

Zoomtopia 2019 Day 2

Meetings of the Future

Harvey Jones, Atlassian’s Workplace Collaboration Lead, joined us at Zoomtopia to give attendees a sneak peek at the future of meetings. The discussion included Atlassian’s journey to creating a better meeting experience for their employees, a look at some of their groundbreaking Zoom Rooms, and what the future of meetings looks like. A few key takeaways:

  • Atlassian uses conference rooms with three large screens, one of which is a touchscreen to control the meetings. This creates a more dynamic environment for training and more screen space for presentations.
  • Improving your meeting experience requires leveraging employee feedback to discover pain points and reviewing analytics to gain new insights into the usage of conference rooms and tech. 
  • In the future, meetings will leverage AI and machine learning to make meetings more efficient, using features like live transcription and simultaneous translation to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.

Quote: “Our remote staff is now on equal footing with our on-premises staff thanks to interactive whiteboarding and the use of dual screens. They aren’t a little box in the corner of the screen anymore, they have their own screen which makes for a better experience.” — Harvey Jones, Atlassian’s Workplace Collaboration Lead

Zoom for Microsoft

Abhishek Balaji, one of Zoom’s Product Managers, took the stage to break down all of Zoom’s intuitive integrations with Microsoft products and applications. This session also featured useful tips for those who use Zoom alongside Microsoft, how Zoom integrates with Microsoft, and exciting new integrations and features that Zoom has planned for the future. Some of the cool features:

  • Zoom will be releasing a Microsoft integration that allows users to see Microsoft ID information about their contacts in the Zoom platform, including a co-worker’s job title, department, alternate phone number, and much more.  
  • As an IT lead, enabling calendar sync for your co-workers is crucial because it allows your team to see all of their Outlook meetings in the Zoom application, allowing them to easily see and join meetings. 
  • It’s also important to set up meeting rooms as a calendar resource, which allows users to see what rooms are being used, what types of rooms are available, and the schedule for each room as well.

Quote: “We recently released the availability feature for Microsoft Outlook. This feature looks at the calendars of meeting attendees and finds a timeslot for the meeting where they are all available. It then automatically collects these times and offers them as options to the user who is setting the meeting.” — Abhishek Balaji, Zoom Product Manager

Closing Keynote: Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, joined Janine Pelosi on stage via Zoom to share his journey as a founder of some of the most innovative and groundbreaking companies in the world. Branson and Pelosi discussed the origins of Branson’s success, including his first business ventures, the philosophy of running a successful business, and what Virgin Group has planned for the future, including the new release of Virgin Galactic’s Under Armour spacesuit. 

  • Branson and his team have launched 18 billion-dollar companies in over 14 sectors.
  • Branson started a magazine at 16 years old to protest the Vietnam war, which became his first legitimate business experience.
  • Learning to look for the best in people has been critical to the success of his companies, which meant giving people second chances after making mistakes and giving them opportunities to succeed.  

Quotes

“I had employees asking, ‘Why do I have multiple apps to make phone calls and join a video conference? I want a single app where I can make phone calls, make video conference calls, and not have to go to a new app or platform.’” Henry Ku, Senior Director of IT Infrastructure at Ciena

“Space exploration is important because we wouldn’t be talking to each other right now if it weren’t for the innovation that has been made in space. We often take for granted the technology we have and the capability we have that is possible due to our technology in space.” — Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder

Zoomtopia 2020!

This week’s Zoomtopia has been an incredible experience with plenty of new product announcements, inspirational keynote speeches, and a glimpse of the bright future of global cooperation and unified communications. Be sure to check out our recap blog later this week to get all the info on Zoomtopia sessions and announcements, pics from Wednesday’s celebration of happiness music event with Snoop Dogg and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and more. And if you loved this year’s Zoomtopia, make sure to register for Zoomtopia 2020 to get early-bird pricing!