At this week’s Zoomtopia event, the company launched plans for video call centers, improved transcription and translation features, integrated whiteboards, and shared desktop options for the hybrid workplace.
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year and the need for buy-in video collaboration, Zoom has become the video answer for many companies. to Zoomtopia event by in this week , the company explained how it intends to build on its recent success, revealing a range of new products, capabilities and upgrades designed to further strengthen your customer base.
Video in contact center?
The 10-year-old company has highlighted what it considers to be its greatest strength: launching a cloud-based video contact center in 2022, it will «connect organizations with their customers in new ways,» according to Heidi Elmore, director of UCaaS at Zoom.
Elmore, in a briefing before the start of Zoomtopia, said that contact center innovations generally focus on improving agent productivity, answering more calls in less time, which means agents have enough information to answer. Adding videos to a contact center allows agents to «connect with empathy» and build relationships and trust with customers. (As part of this push, Zoom bought the Cloud Five9 contact center in July for $ 14.7 billion ).
The company intends to automate the call delivery workflow, he said. «We will help automate the way video interactions are programmed, [ofrecer] an experience in the waiting room and, of course, [continuar] facilitating that average common experience in a Zoom mode. Then, after the call, we will help automate tracking with things like surveys or tracking tasks, ”Elmore said.
Zoom intends to provide a set of industry-specific call center templates, such as healthcare, and include analytics and management capabilities to help organizations increase productivity.
Mike Fasciani, senior research director at Gartner, said Zoom will need to reimagine video-based customer experiences in order to succeed in contact centers. «Simply adding a video calling option to a typical customer service engagement through a contact center app won’t generate much interest from companies using traditional contact centers.»
Fasciani also mentioned that contact center agents work in different conditions around the world, environments that may not always be attractive on video. As a result, Zoom needs to create virtual customer experiences for specific scenarios in which adding videos provides real business value.
«Adding videos to virtual doctor visits makes sense, because both the doctor and the patient can see each other,» Fasciani said. «[Eso] provides greater confidence that the patient gains by consulting his regular doctor, and the doctor can get a better reading about health, emotions, etc. of patients, ”he said, adding that the video could be useful in other areas, such as remote banking, virtual courtrooms or city council meetings.
Video conferencing receives more transcription assistance
Meeting transcription capabilities are becoming the norm for many video conferencing platforms. But Zoom was behind that curve. Although Pro Zoom and Pro Otter.ai users had access to transcripts from 2020, regular users had to wait. As of today, Zoom has now accepted real-time translation capabilities, «bringing together more languages and more people,» according to Jeff Smith, director of Zoom Rooms.
«We are delighted with the way this extends not only to teams [a través de] language barriers, but we believe this will add to the inclusion of people who may be in noisy environments and who may not always hear the word spoken, ”Smith said. «It is also part of our extensive inclusion efforts for those with different hearing abilities.»
In a presentation at Zoomtopia, Zoom officials said the platform expects to add 12 languages to its translation capabilities next year and 30 languages for transcription.
Another future addition is a «personal assistant» known as the Zoom widget. It is designed to provide greater transparency in meetings, allowing callers to see who has joined a meeting before joining; inform the host if they arrive late; And when a meeting is extended, check if a user’s next meeting has started and who has already joined.
For the hybrid office, Zoom Rooms Smart Gallery
Zoom loses availability Zoom Rooms Smart Gallery, its meeting effort to create a consistent experience for hybrid meeting participants, no matter where they are. The result is that remote participants can see meeting participants more clearly and can participate more naturally.
As the meeting participants move around the room, the room will follow them, making the distant participants feel as if they are at the meeting. The new and improved Smart Gallery can also process the sound to highlight the person speaking and to analyze the dynamics of the conversation to identify the best video angle to show the participants.
«It’s like having a virtual film director in the room,» Smith said.
Zoom Board Beta Coming soon
The most anticipated update at the meeting will probably be the new Zoom list, which is scheduled to be available in beta later this year.
Described by Smith as «a modern web of collaboration that allows for persistent visual collaboration,» users can create whiteboards inside or outside a meeting invitation, allowing others to develop ideas and control access for internal and external collaborators.
Whiteboard is usually used for brainstorming and displaying complex ideas; The Zoom version includes shapes and connectors to illustrate the relationship between thoughts, sticky notes to highlight ideas, comments to generate discussions, and a detailed version history so participants can track changes and see who contributed to the board.
Fasciani hopes this will resonate well with Zoom customers, especially in hybrid work arrangements, where a common visual canvas can be particularly useful. «Physical whiteboard is often cited as a missing element when meeting participants cannot all sit together in the same room,» he said. «The digital whiteboard has become a standard requirement for collaborating with remote colleagues.»
While Zoom’s slate plans are a step in the right direction, Fasciani said the company will need updates in the next 12 months to catch up with space leaders. By highlighting the following, Zoom can persuade customers to reconsider any plans to use third-party options, he said.
The new whiteboard tool will run on hardware that can currently access Zoom, including desktops, mobile devices, and Zoom cameras.
Zoom has also partnered with Oculus Horizons to bring Zoom meetings and whiteboards to the Horizon Workrooms experience. According to Smith, the integration is designed to facilitate the efficient use of the Zoom whiteboard without a large screen.
«In the Oculus Horizons Workrooms experience, the Zoom whiteboard can be accessed from the user’s physical desktop, using the remote control to write directly to the table surface in front of you,» he said. «This gives a tactile sense of writing in this completely virtual environment.»
The whiteboard can also be accessed on the front of a virtual camera, giving users a larger canvas. The whiteboard can be placed on a real physical wall, which means it can mimic the feeling of writing when a user «writes» with the remote control.
Although Oculus Horizon Workrooms has received mixed reviews, Fasciani does not believe that Occulus integration is a bridge too far. «We see an increased interest from buyers looking for virtual / augmented reality options. It may not be a huge short-term requirement, but it is an excellent demonstration and illustrates the potential innovations that are expected, ”he said.
Shared desktop for hybrid office
It becomes an accepted fact that after Covid-19, many employees will no longer be in the office five days a week. The hybrid work model (partly office-based, partly remote) has gained ground among companies that see it as a viable option.
With this in mind, Zoom has introduced a common office function that allows employees to book offices and spaces in their office. The solution is accessed through a browser application and allows people to reserve office space using an interactive map. Zoom’s built-in intelligence helps employees select a location based on individual preferences, job title, or whether other team members are in the office that day.
This information is communicated through Zoom Rooms devices to turn the desktop into a fully customizable personal device that allows users to replicate their home office configuration to their desktop.
The company also supported a variety of additional features and updates, including:
- Conference Zoom Events – An event platform that allows hosts to host multi-track and multi-day events with rich functionality, including an event lobby, chat, networking, sponsors, surveys, recordings, analysis and more. It is designed to offer hosts and participants a customizable, captivating and connected virtual event.
- Zoom applications – Designed to streamline workflows, Zoom applications (originally unveiled in July) will be available across the platform later this year; These include Zoom apps for webinars, Zoom apps for mobile devices, and exciting apps for better collaboration.
- Zoom Chat Huddle View – A visual aspect of the channels designed to give teams a sense of connection while working in practice. Channel members will be able to choose a unique virtual background, chat, can easily see who is on the channel and can quickly identify if they are busy or available.
- Zoom video phone – Designed to provide a more enjoyable alternative to voicemail, this allows users to leave video messages to their colleagues in the voicemail box.
- Zoom collaboration in progress – Designed to facilitate collaboration, these planned enhancements will make it easy to share files, recordings, and chats from Zoom Meetings to Zoom Chat.