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Zoom Aims to Disrupt Video Conferencing Market

June 19, 2013 | Telepresence Options


Story and Images by Jude Chao / Enterprise Networking Planet

Workers are becoming more mobile and workforces more distributed, making mobile collaboration ever more vital to the modern enterprise. Plenty of vendors have already jumped on the mobile video conferencing bandwagon. Santa Clara, CA-based Zoom Video Communications aims to stand out from the crowd thanks to some innovative features and disruptive pricing.

Zoom, which announced the release of Zoom Version 2.0 last week, unites cloud-based HD video conferencing, mobility, and web meetings across all platforms and devices in a service dubbed the 3-in-1 Cloud Meeting Platform. The platform allows meetings of up to 25 participants or rooms at once, with HD video in full-screen or gallery view, with the option of joining either by teleconferencing in or using an H.323/SIP room system. So far, so good. So what's different about the platform?

One key differentiator, as Nick Chong, the company's head of product marketing, told me via Zoom video conference, is that Zoom is "a true cloud-based solution," with no dedicated on-premises hardware necessary. To deliver video meetings, Zoom offers their first-to-market hybrid cloud model: the "meeting connector" software, which runs on any virtual machine, can run behind an enterprise's firewall, and meetings happen within user organizations' own private clouds. This way, enterprises can keep meetings local while using Zoom's public cloud infrastructure to conduct meeting setups. This also ensures easy scalability. Each meeting connector can host up to 350 people at once, and scaling up simply requires the adding of more meeting connectors.

Another differentiator is Zoom's approach to mobililty. Zoom's goal, Chong told me, is to "make 'mobility' true mobility." Mobility shouldn't just be about having a mobile app, he explained--not if that mobile app has limitations that PCs and laptops don't. To that end, Zoom is the first in the market to offer mobile screen sharing. Mobile users can also start or join meetings; send invitations via email, SMS, and instant message; and utilize a full suite of collaboration features, such as typing on and annotating documents and presentations and recording meetings directly from their mobile devices.

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