Video conferencing and collaborative meeting spaces are must-haves in the business world, and one platform has risen into the top echelon of providers: Zoom. While Zoom’s recent drop in the stock market amid concerns that it is priced too high may have some questioning its staying power, we don’t think this highly capable and flexible video conferencing platform is going anywhere. In fact, more than 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies currently pay for a Zoom account.
So, why is Zoom so successful? How did it build itself into one of the foremost video conferencing platforms on the market today? Zoom has brought over 700,000 business clients to the table through its innovative collaboration and video conferencing services. Zoom also earned a place in the “leader” quadrant of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions. It was named a top-rated web conferencing platform on TrustRadius. But what sits under the hood that has made it–and kept it–so popular among users?
Zoom Places Its Focus on the User Experience
Zoom adopted a customer-centric focus from the start, and it shows in the line of products and features it delivers to users. Its experienced team of developers and engineers, many of whom left WebEx with founder and CEO Eric Yuan, has devoted a significant amount of time to getting the user experience right. According to an interview Yuan gave in 2017, Yuan realized how important a customer-centric approach was after he became frustrated when Cisco would not let him change direction to better serve the needs of WebEx customers who were unhappy with the product.
A robust free version of Zoom also makes it easy for businesses to evaluate the basics around what the platform can offer them.
Taking their approach from the perspective of a user enabled the engineers at Zoom to design a suite of communication tools that is usable even by those on the lower end of the technical prowess scale. The platform is known for its clean and intuitive interface and its “one click to join” feature, which helps reduce the confusion that often accompanies video conferences as participants attempt to join from different devices with different operating systems.
Zoom also offers a subscription model that includes a free version, which allows users to use Zoom for free as a personal or business meeting space, with some limitations. This free model makes video conferencing accessible to those without the financial resources or long-term need to subscribe to a paid version of the platform. A robust free version of Zoom also makes it easy for businesses to evaluate the basics around what the platform can offer them without the need to sit through a sales presentation and without pressure to subscribe, further deepening Zoom’s ties to its customers.
Solid Technology and Versatile Features
So what is the magic in all of this? Zoom is a low-cost, highly capable video conferencing option that provides a high level of technical ability under the hood. Unseen by users’ eyes, the processes running behind the scenes allow Zoom to present a very simple and stable user UI on a variety of hardware options, including tablets and smartphones, all without lag or reduced quality. This gives users a highly functional video conferencing solution but without the hassle of extended setup or configuration.
Zoom has an easy-to-use Skype for Business plug-in.
A big area in which Zoom stands out from the pack is in features and flexibility. Zoom supports H.323/SIP call-in and callout functions so that room systems from vendors such as Polycom and Lifesize can communicate with devices like tablets and smartphones. Couple this with its easy-to-use Skype for Business plug-in (soon to be Microsoft Teams as Skype for Business nears its end of life in 2021); its high number of maximum video call participants; clear, reliable screen sharing; convenient local recording; and nice-to-haves like a virtual background feature, and you have a versatile conferencing solution that can benefit almost any business.
Why Is Zoom So Successful?
Perhaps the key reason behind why Zoom is so successful is its customer-driven, innovative user experience, underneath which is a solidly engineered software platform. The variety of options available for a low cost (or for free), from video conferencing and webinar formats to internal chat to screen and document sharing all help Zoom maintain its foothold at the top of the hill. Businesses that may have once struggled to sort through a complicated set of options are finding that Zoom offers a combination of user-friendliness and reliability that’s surprisingly hard to find on other platforms. These advantages of the service make it easy to understand just how Zoom achieved its success, and why it will continue to gain ground in the foreseeable future.