Zoom wants to offer a complete collaborative suite
In a blog post, Zoom announces that its platform will expand to an email and calendar service. Available in beta, Zoom Mail and Calendar will integrate with the Zoom One unified interface offered by the company. This already includes the Team Chat, Whiteboard, Phone and Meetings functions.
Thus, the company seems to be betting on a complete productivity solution, which directly competes with Google Workspace or Microsoft 365. Moreover, the interfaces of Zoom’s mail and calendar services seem borrowed from Outlook and Gmail.
The Zoom Mail and Calendar services are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses that want privacy for their emails. The Zoom messaging service will provide end-to-end encrypted emails when messages are sent directly between active Zoom messaging service users, and the Zoom calendar service will include a meeting scheduling feature. An easy way for attendees to select an available time to meet, says Joseph Chang, marketing, product and solutions manager at Zoom.
Another major novelty, Zoom introduces Zoom Spots, a tool that facilitates collaboration and spontaneous exchanges in the context of hybrid work. The objective: to encourage employees to meet in a virtual coworking space when they are at a distance. The deployment of this functionality is planned for the beginning of 2023.
New features for meetings on Zoom
Among the other announcements, many new features concern Zoom Meetings, with the aim of directly competing with Microsoft Teams. These new features are:
- Smart records: this function allows you to create meeting recordings including summaries and breakdowns into chapters.
- Meeting templates: this new feature will allow users to customize and configure different types of meetings. Once created, these templates will automatically configure the correct settings for your meetings.
- Avatars: users can choose between animal avatars, human avatars or meta-avatars, ie a virtual character to appear on the screen during meetings.
- Video clips: the ability to record videos to share with collaborators to communicate on projects. These videos are stored and centralized on the platform.
Another novelty to remember: the arrival of a conversational solution powered by AI, Zoom Virtual Agent. This chatbot aims to provide instant and precise answers in order to guide customers and solve problems, without human intervention at first. This novelty should be available in 2023.