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Zooming On With Zoom
July 28, 2020 News

 

With social distancing and remote working being the new normal post-COVID-19, video conferencing tools are now a big part of our lives. Be it for work, leisure or keeping in touch with our loved ones, almost every one of us has used at least one type of video conferencing tool in the last couple of months. Among the popular video conferencing tools are Zoom, Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams, just to name a few.

Interestingly, among all the myriad of software available, Zoom was a big hit among users for work and leisure. DTA caught up with Magnus Falk, CIO Advisor of Zoom to get his views on what made Zoom so popular among users.

According to Magnus, the competition is stiff because of the need for such platforms and everyone has realised the importance of making video a free key feature for communication and have acted accordingly.

“What sets Zoom aside from the competition is the modernity of the platform. From 2011 onwards, we are capable of providing things that others find difficult to provide. And when you talk to users of Zoom, they will tell you Zoom has changed their lives. People tell us they enjoy Zoom because it’s easy to use, reliable and operates across different bandwidth capabilities. If someone has a low bandwidth, it will not affect a user with a high bandwidth during a call. It’s built to tolerate different bandwidth and it’s also built to tolerate packet loss. And it works on any device. The ‘it just works’ slogan is something that resonates with Zoom”.

Magnus explained that since its conception, Zoom was built with scalability in mind. As Zoom is cloud native, adding APIs to support and scale the software was simpler. Zoom has a global network of data centres which are co-located in tier-1 providers which are dedicated and connected by high bandwidth traffic. So, as a user connects, they connect to the nearest one to them and it provides them with the best experience. Zoom has always tried to manage those co-locations to be about half peak volume, which gave it a natural capacity and avoids failing over each other.

“We’ve got agreements with a whole range of cloud service providers to be able to offload particular capacity so that we can scale in theory, infinitely. If every cloud service provider was dedicated to us, I am sure everyone on the planet could be using video conferencing at the same time. It’s all about scaling and getting the cloud servers online, which isn’t easy. Zoom was able to do it because it was designed in a way to anticipate the need to scale”.

When asked if Zoom is looking to have Augmented Reality (AR) features in their video calls, Magnus said that although AR is a logical add on, Zoom has nothing to announce on this yet. He added that it is just a matter of time before it happens and if they don’t do it, someone else will.

Despite some concerning security and privacy issues which some Zoom users faced, Magnus said they have since added more security functions on their calls to ensure users are well secured and can have their privacy. He explains more about Zoom’s security features and Zoombombing here.

 

Zoom for Home

Zoom also launched Zoom for Home to support remote work use cases. Zoom for Home is compatible with all Zoom Rooms Appliances, including other hardware solutions from Neat and Poly, allowing users to select the hardware they need to create the perfect work-from-home communications experience across spaces such as living rooms and mounted displays.

“Zoom at Home is really a device that is dedicated to providing a great video conference experience. We are hardware agnostic. The Zoom that is on Zoom at Home is the same as Zoom on every other device. The thing that’s happened is that we have changed our licensing approach and we’ve worked with hardware providers. For heavy Zoom users, it makes sense for them to have a dedicated device that is basically a video conferencing machine. We’ve worked with hardware vendors to make it really intuitive, with touch screen, whiteboarding capability and such. It just enhances the experience of video conferencing”.

Magnus added that Zoom for Home can allow heavy users, especially those working remotely, to have that added relaxation and flexible feeling of using Zoom. The purpose of Zoom is to make people happy and they are glad they are delivering that in any platform possible.

As Magnus puts it, “I am sure people experiencing lockdown are not happy. But they are a lot happier because they’ve had Zoom available to them”.

 

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