Videoconferencing solution company Zoom announced a slew of new products and services this week at its Zoomtopia 2018 conference in San Jose, California. In addition to strategic partnerships with Dropbox and Atlassian, it took the wraps off “cloud phone system” Zoom Voice, a marketplace for Zoom-enabled apps and services, and additions to its Zoom Rooms platform.
First up is Zoom Voice, which integrates inbound and outbound calling through the public switched telephone network (PSTN) — in other words, landline phones — and supports traditional telephony features like auto attendant, voicemail, and interoperability with desk phones, fax machines, and overhead paging systems. When deployed in an enterprise environment, it enables users to tap a single cross-platform app for voice, video, voicemail, messaging, meetings, and conferencing over cellular voice, cellular data, or Wi-Fi. Other highlights include intelligent call routing and management, voicemail, and call transcriptions.
Zoom Voice will be available as an add-on when it launches in the first quarter of 2019, with support for localized telephony service in 16 countries.
Also new is App Marketplace, a one-stop shop for the third-party assistant, productivity, and scheduling apps that leverage Zoom’s APIs and software development kit. Apps in the Marketplace are fully vetted by Zoom for “security” and “user experience,” with the first few available from Clara Labs, Egnyte, HubSpot, Hugo, Microsoft Teams, Otter.ai, Slack, and Theta Lake.
Zoom also debuted improvements to Zoom Rooms, its software-based conference room solution. New kits and individual components are available from AVer, Crestron, Dell, DTen, Logitech, Polycom, and Suirui, and Zoom Rooms now supports multi-sharing — participants can simultaneously share content on displays. Zoom has moved audio processing from hardware devices to software, allowing each microphone’s audio stream to be individually processed and enhanced with echo cancellation and noise suppression. And new management features let admins reboot and automatically optimize PC settings during Zoom Rooms equipment installation.
Lastly, starting late 2018 Zoom Room users will be able to kick off conferences from the Zoom mobile app for iOS and Android.
That’s not all Zoom announced today. Spotlight features joining its portfolio include virtual backgrounds on mobile devices, which add a backdrop to meetings without the need for a green screen. (They’re available now on iPhone 8 or later and on desktop by the end of 2018.) Audio signature, another value-add coming later this year, embeds each meeting participant’s credentials into their audio track — if a private meeting leaks online, the recording can be traced back to them. Improved headset (for select Jabra and Plantronics models) controls allow Zoom meeting users to join, leave, mute, unmute, and control the volume. Last, but not least, Zoom’s basic and free plans have been upgraded: Accounts on Large Meeting 200 will jump to Large Meeting 500 automatically at no additional cost by 2019.
Dropbox and Atlassian partnerships
Zoom’s strategic partnership with Dropbox, which includes a financial investment from the former, will allow customers of both services to start a Zoom Meeting while viewing or working on shared files via shortcuts built into Dropbox’s viewer tool. It’ll also let them share docs and files from Dropbox during Zoom meetings and display them on-screen; after the meeting concludes, revisions can be saved back to Dropbox.
Those integrations will be available in the first half of 2019.
The Atlassian partnership, meanwhile, will see Jira Ops integrated with Zoom. Users will be able to start a meeting directly from a Jira Ops ticket with anyone associated with the ticket, and a log of the meeting — including its recording and transcription — will be automatically appended after it concludes. In addition, a Zoom Chat channel can be associated with a Jira Ops ticket, and timeline updates to the ticket will be automatically posted to the Zoom Chat channel in real time.
The integrated workflow experiences in Jira Software and Jira Service Desk will be available by the end of 2018. Going forward, Zoom and Atlassian plan to build integrations for Trello, Confluence, and other apps in Atlassian’s suite.
“At Zoom, we engineer happiness into our product suite,” said Oded Gal, head of product management for Zoom. “We hear time and again from happy customers that Zoom ‘Just works’, but we don’t stop there. We innovate beyond quality and reliability to create a truly unique and comprehensive communications solution. Zoom Voice, our App Marketplace, and the ongoing enhancements we make to Zoom Rooms and our core video meeting platform demonstrate our commitment to innovation and customer happiness.”
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