Zoom focuses on messaging and contact center integrations

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Zoom announced a host of new innovations for its collaboration platform, including new email and calendar integrations and conversational AI features in Zoom’s contact center.

Along with the updates, Zoom is also launching Zoom Spots, a virtual coworking space designed to foster employee connection and collaboration. The platform’s latest innovations were announced at Zoom’s annual conference Zoomtopia conference, which began on Tuesday.

Speaking at a pre-event briefing, Joseph Chong, head of product, solution and industry marketing at Zoom, said one of the biggest challenges facing businesses of all sizes is about staying nimble and adapting to changing customer needs, while trying to understand what hybrid working means for their organizations and finding new ways to make employees feel more connected.

“As organizations evolve and move deeper into flexible working, our mission becomes all the more important,” Chong said. “We listen to customers and are deeply focused on creating breakthrough innovations that deliver a connected communications experience on a single cloud platform.”

Empower Hybrid Working with Unified Communications

Although Zoom has become synonymous with video conference During the COVID-19 pandemic, as workers began to emerge from lockdown, the company turned to providing customers with a more unified approach to collaboration and facilitating hybrid work efforts.

As a result, most of the announcements made at this year’s conference aren’t about Zoom’s video conferencing solution at all, but instead focus on offering users “continuous collaboration” across all of Zoom’s platforms. .

A prime example is the Connected Workflows announcement on Zoom One, Zoom’s all-in-one communication and collaboration offering that bundles team chat, phone, whiteboard, meetings , etc.

Among the new features announced at Zoomtopia is a new integration between Team Chat and In-Meeting Chat, allowing users to switch between Team Chat and Meetings to reduce information silos and continue conversations after meetings are over.

For customers looking for enhancements to their video meetings, Zoom has added more video and recording features, including smart recordings to make meeting recordings more consumable, customizable meeting templates, new animal, human avatars and meta, and the ability to create and share short video clips.

New email and calendar integrations were also announced. They aim to reduce the time spent switching between apps by allowing users to access their email and calendar directly within Zoom.

Outlook, Gmail integrates with Zoom

Cari Dick, senior product marketing manager at Zoom, explained that popular email and calendar services such as Outlook and Gmail will be integrated directly into Zoom, meaning users will be able to quickly access their communications and planning. .

Additionally, for businesses that don’t have dedicated IT departments but are focused on privacy and security, Zoom has also launched a new Zoom-hosted email and calendar service, also directly integrated into the Zoom platform. .

“Zoom Mail Service provides end-to-end encrypted email, when messages are sent directly between active Zoom Mail Service users,” Dick said. Zoom’s messaging and calendar services will launch in beta in 2023.

Finally, Zoom Spots is a new virtual coworking space, slated to launch in early 2023. Described by Zoom as a “persistent video-enabled space,” Zoom Spots integrates with the Zoom platform to facilitate conversations, keep connected colleagues and bring the benefits of in-person interactions to distributed and hybrid teams.

Dick said that in companies where employees work in disparate locations, there’s a desire for connection, with colleagues often missing those chance conversations that happened in the office.

“We’re recreating that connection, virtually, with Zoom Spots,” Dick said, explaining that users will be able to engage in conversations or catch up with colleagues in an ad hoc, organic way.

“Our vision is that Zoom Spots will help foster inclusive discussions, keep colleagues connected on projects, and bring the seamless organic interactions of in-person work to distributed hybrid teams throughout the day,” said Dick.

Zoom Contact Center Updates

Having announced its intention enter the contact center market Zoomtopia in 2021, the failed acquisition from cloud contact center company Five9 a month later saw Zoom hit a pause on its plans. Then, in February 2022, Zoom spear its own “video optimized” contact center platform.

From, Zoom acquired Solvya start-up specializing in conversational AI and automation solutions for the contact center, in May 2022. The fruits of this acquisition now seem to be bearing fruit.

Zoom’s biggest contact center update comes in the form of a new virtual agent, a chatbot that uses natural language processing and machine learning to quickly understand and resolve customer issues.

Called Zoom Virtual Agent, the new feature provides multiple round-the-clock support channels to deliver fast and personalized customer experiences, with the goal of reducing call volumes to human agents and improving the operational efficiency of agents. businesses. Zoom Virtual Agent will be available in early 2023 and can be fully integrated with Zoom Contact Center or purchased as a standalone chatbot solution.

A new integration with Zoom Kiosk will allow users to walk into a kiosk and use the touchscreen to navigate the path they need to access the contact center resource. Zoom also announced new integrations with tools like Zendesk and ServiceNow.

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