Tech News : Zoom Hopes New Features Make It “One Stop Shop”

Zoom has announced that its new (beta) productivity tools, Zoom Mail and Calendar (clients and Services), combined with its existing features will mean that workers will have everything they need in one app. 

Give Workers A ‘Toggle Tax’ Break 

Zoom says that the new productivity tool, working together with existing features within Zoom, such as Zoom Meetings, Phone, Whiteboard, and Team Chat will mean that “teams can move quickly and seamlessly from email to a video meeting, elevate a chat message to a phone call, collaborate on projects, and early next year, they can share out whiteboards, all without ever leaving the Zoom app.” 

The New Tools 

Zoom’s new (beta) productivity tools are: 

– Zoom Mail and Calendar Clients. These will let any Zoom user (free or paid) access their existing email accounts from popular third-party email services directly in the Zoom desktop app. Zoom says that this is designed to help users to focus more on their work by saving them the trouble of having to toggle between different apps. 

– Zoom Mail and Calendar Services. The Zoom Mail service will allow customers (in the U.S. and Canada at present) with Zoom One Pro or Zoom Standard Pro plans to be set up an email account hosted by Zoom at no additional cost. Also, customers with a Zoom One Business or higher plan will be able to set up a custom domain. The Zoom Mail service also gives end-to-end encryption for any emails sent between active Zoom Mail Service users and expiring emails with access-restricted links for external recipients. Zoom says that its Zoom Mail Service is “designed for small-to-medium businesses without dedicated IT resources who also have a need for enhanced privacy in their business communications, such as law firms or any business needing to share private information within their team.”  

More Planned 

Zoom is also set to introduce features like Zoom Spots in early 2023. The feature “virtual coworking space” enables more spontaneous video calls to replicates the “working alongside” aspect of an open office. Zoom also offers cloud VoIP services with ‘Zoom Phone.’ 

What Does This Mean For Your Business? 

These new tools are squarely aimed at SME businesses and see Zoom competing with platforms like Teams, Slack, Google Meet, Skype, and the likes of WhatsApp which has been introducing a raft of new features, thereby widening its appeal to business customers. As Zoom points out, it hopes that these tools, which relate to “business critical” communications will make business customers more dependent on (and loyal to) just the Zoom app for most of their business comms needs and stop them from “hopping between apps”, i.e. using competing apps. The end-to-end encryption and expiring emails aspects of the new tools are reminiscent of valued features of WhatsApp (Teams also offers E2EE for calls). Ever since the pandemic dramatically swelled the numbers of users for Zoom and other comms apps and collaborative working platforms, there has been a battle raging for market share with an expansion of features to cover more and more business needs to make themselves more of one-stop-shop.

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