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Zoom Adds to UC Platform Story

While once strictly focused on video collaboration, Zoom has taken strides toward becoming a video-first UC provider, bringing together video, voice, content sharing, and chat into a single cloud platform. Today the company announced new features and integrations across its portfolio -- Zoom Phone, Zoom Rooms, and Zoom Meetings.
Zoom Phone (previously called Zoom Voice) is an add-on cloud phone system the company announced last year. It enables enterprises to consolidate their business communications and collaboration solutions and replace their PBXs. Today, Zoom announced several new features for Zoom Phone that will be available in April:
  • Call-to-Video Progression -- Users will be able to transition from a Zoom Phone call to a Zoom Meeting, no hang up-and-call back required.
  • Contact Center Partner Program -- Charter members Five9 and Twilio will provide integrations for enabling on-net SIP trunk peering and providing call routing options that are easier to manage, the company said.
  • Salesforce Integration -- Salesforce users will be able to make Zoom Phone calls by clicking on a phone number within Salesforce.
  • Zero-Touch Provisioning -- Service integration to Polycom and Yealink will ease task of setting up and deploying Zoom Phone connected devices
On the Hardware Front
Separately, Zoom announced that at its Enterprise Connect booth, 213, it will be showcasing a variety of new solutions developed with hardware partners with the aim of easier Zoom Rooms deployment. They include:
  • Aver EP65 -- A 65-inch interactive whiteboard including all components and software configurations necessary to run Zoom Rooms for Touch out of the box
  • Crestron Flex B Series -- With a native integration for Zoom Rooms, this pairs a Crestron Smart Soundbar, for audio and video, with Crestron’s enterprise-grade touch screen for meeting control
  • DTEN D7 -- A dual 55-inch display interactive whiteboard, also configured for running Zoom Rooms for Touch
  • Logitech Solutions for Zoom Rooms -- Bundles for various-sized conference rooms that include the Logitech Tap touch controller and Logitech conference cams
  • Polycom Studio -- A USB video conferencing bar that includes a camera, microphone, and speaker
Meeting Smarter
Zoom also announced a number of intelligent features for Zoom Meetings:
  • Real-time Transcription -- Available in Q3 2019, for meetings
  • Simultaneous Interpretation -- Also available Q3, Zoom will provide support for interpreters through multiple audio channels, allowing users to select their language of choice to receive real-time interpretation of speech delivered in other languages
  • Meeting Notes Summary -- Zoom will capture meeting notes into a summary and action items and make available after meetings for fostering continued collaboration; also available in Q3.
  • Enhanced Microsoft Teams Integration -- Available in the second quarter, the next iteration of Zoom’s integration with Microsoft Teams will focus on providing a simpler user experience across core use cases by providing features to more easily start, schedule, and view Zoom meetings
  • Siri Shortcuts -- Available in April, allowing iPhones users to ask Siri to start meetings or read a list of upcoming meetings
“Zoom is taking the UCaaS market by storm,” said Elka Popova, global VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, in a prepared statement. “The innovative provider continues to lead the pack, launching compelling new products, useful features, and deep integrations at an astonishing pace -- all with a clear eye on what both IT staff and end users really need in their business communications.”
Those at Enterprise Connect this week can stop by and see these solutions for themselves by visiting Zoom on the Expo floor, at booth 213.