Zoom offers remote conferencing services including videoconferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration. And with its 8+ years on the market, it could still be seen as the new kid on the block compared to its direct competitors.
But in that time, it’s quickly risen to ‘heavyweight’ level, directly challenging more established brands such as Cisco and Microsoft. So much so that during 2018 it forced Cisco to bring out its heavy artillery to stop customers jumping ship. Cisco Webex was relaunched with a striking new look, new features and additional integrations, all designed to take Zoom down a peg or two.
But this only served to add fuel to the flames. Now, the war between them is more furious than ever, with Zoom unveiling its latest release at the end of January.
So get yourself comfy, grab some popcorn and enjoy this new episode of Zoom: What’s new?!
Until now Zoom was basically an online meeting service, with a cute desktop app and a recently-added option to send chat messages to your team members outside of meetings. Simple to join, intuitive interface, good quality communication. The trouble was that with competitors offering platforms for continuous collaboration like Webex Teams and Microsoft Teams, it was falling a bit behind when it comes to the meeting experience as a whole.
The new desktop app is easier on the eye, with one window instead of two, plus different tabs for ease of navigation between the different activities: Home, Chat, Meetings, Contact and the Phone paid-for option.
To make the desktop app home page more engaging, Zoom
The chat functionality, which allows further collaboration before or after actual meetings with 1:1 chat and private or public channels, has also seen an upgrade:
A completely new offering, Zoom Voice, allows you to make and receive Zoom calls from within the apps softphone. You’ll need to have the Zoom Voice add-on, which must be purchased and for now is only available in the USA and Canada. Yoou’ll only see this tab in the app if you have subscribed.
The Meetings tab has been simplified for easy management of your meetings and the information surrounding them. You can now:
The Contacts tab gives you a quick view of all your contacts and channels, shows you how to reach out to them, and offers a simple way to invite new people.
This upgrade includes some very interesting enhancements, especially from a cosmetic and usability point of view. There’s nothing truly innovative here, but users will definitely discover some great features that will help them feel at ease. Options for continuous collaboration – and not only within meetings – were definitely something that was missing, and this upgrade was a step in the right direction. But is it enough or too little, too late for Zoom to win the race?
Want to know more about these new features and how they can benefit your operations? Reach out to our team of experts.
*GIF source: Zoom What’s New