Zoom aims for video contact centers, whiteboard and collaboration improvements

Zoom is expanding its platform vision and smoothing out the divide between in-office and remote work.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Zoom Video Communications is rolling out a platform overhaul that brings video to contact centers, whiteboard collaboration and technology called Zoom Rooms Smart Gallery that aims to bridge the conference room and remote worker divide.

Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, said the company has released hundreds of new features and has been focusing on more visual brainstorming tools and artificial intelligence.

From a platform perspective, Zoom Video Engagement Center (VEC) is the most interesting development. Zoom VEC will ride on top of existing contact center investments to connect experts to customers to solve problems.

Zoom VEC will also focus on specific industries, but what gets interesting is that customer care could become more interactive, intimate and effective with video. In addition, the definition of a customer service rep could become more democratized.  Zoom VEC includes templates, multichannel workflows and AI to optimize and automate processes. Video optimized templates connect to systems of record and add workflows for scheduling, appointment reminders, waiting rooms, live conversations via video, recording and followups. 

Heidi Elmore, head of UCaaS at Zoom, said the use of video in the contact center "expands who can be considered an agent." The idea is that experts could explain common user journeys and solve problems faster. Zoom VEC will be in beta this winter with general availability in 2022. Zoom VEC is designed to ride along with existing contact center investments. 

Here's a look at Zoom VEC and the waiting room experience. 

Zoom VEC waiting room experience. Credit: Zoom

Zoom VEC is a part of the portfolio that can ride along with Zoom Phone, which is getting Zoom Phone Video Voicemails. Video voicemails enable the ability to leave video messages for colleagues in the voicemail inbox.

On the meetings front, Zoom is offering some updates that aim to address some common hybrid work issues. For instance, Zoom Whiteboard is designed to be a digital canvas that can be used in real-time and asynchronous. The experience is designed to be similar to an in-person session.

Zoom Whiteboard will also be integrated with Oculus Horizon Workrooms. Horizon Workrooms ships early in 2022 and Zoom Whiteboard and Zoom Meetings will be integrated.


Zoom Whiteboards

In addition, Zoom Rooms Smart Gallery gives conference room meeting participants their own camera frame. These individual feeds of participants get equal footing with remote employees. In a demo, Zoom Rooms Smart Gallery was able to end that in-room vs. remote vibe that exists in hybrid calls.


Zoom Smart Gallery

Other Zoom platform updates include:

  • Zoom Chat will get office suite and cloud storage integrations with the likes of Microsoft Sharepoint and Box. Zoom Chat will also get rich text formatting and custom personal notes.
  • Zoom meetings will get live translation and transcription in real-time with support for multiple languages in 2022.
  • Hot Desking tools for Zoom that allow employees to reserve desks and spaces in the office and authenticate into Zoom Rooms or Zoom Phone.
  • Security enhancements including the ability to provision and manage their own encryption keys. The bring your own key offering will enter a first beta later this year. End to end encryption will also be extended to Zoom Phone.
  • Zoom Apps will be integrated throughout the platform including Zoom Apps for Webinars and Zoom Apps for Mobile.
  • Zoom Widget will offer an at-a-glance schedule so users can better manage times and expectations while hopping to meetings.
  • Zoom Continuous Collaboration so files, recordings and chats from Zoom Meetings to Zoom Chat can be shared.

Here's a look at Zoom Continuous Collaboration. 

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