India is a crucial market for us: Zoom’s Derek Pando

Zoom now supports Indian Rupee as a pricing option for users, says the platform’s Head of International and Partner Marketing

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Updated: Nov 24, 2020 8:02 AM
Derek Pando

Video calls have become a quintessential part of corporate life in the wake of the pandemic and players like Zoom have become indispensable in connecting colleagues, clients and offices across cities and countries. Even though markets have opened up and people are starting to go back to office, Zoom hasn’t seen a drop in traffic.

It has also developed new features keeping in mind the new requirements of the present times.

Derek Pando, Head of International and Partner Marketing, Zoom, shares with us the platform’s new offerings and importance of the India market.

Excerpts:

The use of Zoom has increased hugely post the pandemic. But things are slowly beginning to open up. Do you have a post-pandemic strategy to maintain the traffic?

For us, the future is hybrid. We will see continued usage across sectors and industries. Employers have realized that employees are more productive and motivated. There is a clear visible trend of frequent events being held on digital platforms. Businesses have become faster and smarter. As we inch closer to a post-pandemic world with the hope that researchers will find a vaccine soon – this need for agility will only increase.

The virtual world and its possibilities have now become embedded into our ecosystem, and they will continue to be a major part of business and IT strategies and daily business operations. We are looking at a hybrid world. Examples are all around us – TCS has announced that 75% of their workforce will work from home by 2025. Facebook said that almost half of its workforce may work from home for the next 5-10 years. All of these show that virtual communication and collaboration will continue to be a big part of our lives.

Since we have seen earlier how concerts would happen over zoom but ticketing would be managed by third-party sellers, did the thought of a Zoom marketplace emerge from there?

We were inspired by all of the amazing ways the world adapted to a literal shutdown of in-person events amid COVID-19. When business owners, entrepreneurs and organizations of all sizes had to find some way to continue providing services to their customers, many turned to Zoom. Not only corporates, many standalone users have been using Zoom for small scale events and more. OnZoom simplifies that experience. It provides a unique platform and marketplace for online events to allow paid users to build, host, and monetize events and activities. It will organize and facilitate anything and everything such as gigs, stand-up or music concerts, or dance lessons. Hosts can also track the status of their events and their channel in general.

By centralizing the booking and payment processes and getting a share of the revenue, Zoom makes it simpler for those offering the service. OnZoom also promotes fundraising, and covers all the payment costs, resulting in 100% contributions going to the charitable trust. Zoom uses AI to monitor all the content before publishing to make sure all is above board.

Tell us a little about OnZoom? What has been the response? How are brands using this? Help us with some examples. 

An extension of Zoom’s unified communications platform, OnZoom is a comprehensive solution for paid Zoom users to create, host, and monetize events like fitness classes, concerts, stand-up or improv shows, and music lessons on the Zoom Meetings platform. OnZoom supports the creativity and innovation that has enabled so many people to adapt their in-person events to virtual or hybrid experiences.

The OnZoom platform supports enterprises and entrepreneurs in the following ways: 

Schedule and host one-time events, an event series, and drop-ins for up to 1,000 attendees, list and sell tickets, share and promote public events via email and social media, reach new audiences beyond a business geographical location.

As part of the OnZoom launch, WW is hosting a WWeekend with its Head of Nutrition and Wellness, Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, who focuses on building healthy habits and snack hacks while working from home. WW also hosted two other virtual workshops too.  Then there is Life Rolls On. Through OnZoom, they have been able to bring their community together – easily and safely – sharing inspiration, making new friends, and raising funds for their non-profit foundation.

Is Zoom trying to move from just a video conferencing app to video conferencing solutions? If yes, then what are the other value-added services you are looking at?

While mostly perceived as a video conferencing platform, Zoom is a unified communication and collaboration platform. We have multiple services, beyond video conferencing that are embedded in our platform. We have the real estate space where we have Zoom rooms, huddle rooms, and software to control your meeting rooms, etc.

We also offer integrations into third-party applications – for example, if you are a customer and you have your application you can integrate Zoom into your application itself.

At our annual event Zoomtopia, we’d unveiled major developments to its platform that evolve the future of communications. Following are among the most significant developments:

  • Unified communications platform enhancements: Zoom has developed new functionalities for its core unified communications platform. More about the UCaaS Platform and Zoom Rooms enhancements.
  • Customizable SDK: Zoom is introducing additional improvements to its SDKs, allowing developers and enterprises to add Zoom’s platform to their custom video-based apps. A personalized UI and session control that can be used by users, making it easy for them to add high-quality video, audio, and instant chat to their apps.
  • Zoom Apps: Zoom Apps allow developers, during, before, and after the conference, to build apps that power workflows. Zoom has introduced first and third-party built applications into the meeting experience for real-time adoption. To develop apps, widespread transmission, and IT implementation and manageability, Zoom Apps offers developers a fast and agile web view canvas.
  • Personal workspace hardware certification: Zoom is widening its hardware certification program to cover personal workspace units, with long-term remote work being more prevalent. Personal and compact USB and Bluetooth speakerphones such as the latest Poly Sync 20, webcams, and all-in-one laptop devices are the additional hardware categories.

Help us understand the importance of India as a market for Zoom? Is this one of your key markets? Any India specific features/solutions on the way from Zoom?

India is a very important market for us and there are continued efforts to provide better and seamless services to our users, whether in the government, small or large enterprises, schools, or standalone users. From January to April 2020, Zoom has seen 67 times growth in free user sign ups in India and 4 times growth in paid users with 10 (or more) employees.

Out of our 19 data centers globally, 2 are in India – Mumbai and Hyderabad. We had recently expanded our presence by launching a technology center in Bengaluru where we are recruiting DevOps engineers, IT, Security, and Business Operations headcount.

The Bangalore center will supplement Zoom’s existing R&D centers and support Zoom’s engineering leadership, which is based at its San Jose, California headquarters. We now also support Indian Rupee as a pricing option for our users in this region. These strategic investments represent Zoom’s focus on the market which is one of the most important regions.

 

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