Zoom Phone Footprint Doubles For Businesses Seeking Integrated Video, Voice Platform
‘Zoom Phone is an extension of the platform [customers] were using already for video, so now they have the business continuity to work from anywhere,’ Graeme Geddes, head of Zoom Phone and Rooms, sales and go-to-market, tells CRN.
Zoom Video Communications’ cloud-based voice service is now available in 25 more countries and territories globally for businesses seeking a combined voice and video offering, the company said Monday.
Zoom Phone, a cloud-based voice offering introduced in 2019, is also now available via a new simplified voice service plan for businesses with global locations.
The expanded geographic coverage of Zoom Phone will give partners the option to help customers migrate from their legacy phone systems and consolidate their business communications on the Zoom platform, said Graeme Geddes, head of Zoom Phone and Rooms, sales and go-to-market for Zoom.
“Our customers are having broad success with Zoom, but they still have their antiquated telephony systems that they’ve been looking to converge onto a single vendor,” Geddes said. “We knew we’d need to expand [Zoom Phone] internationally to support more companies.”
Zoom Phone was first launched in the U.S. and Canada in 2019. Now available in more than 40 countries and territories globally, the newest areas to gain local voice services and domestic calling are Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The company also rolled out the Zoom Phone Pro Global Select plan, which lets businesses purchase domestic calling in any of the 40-plus countries and territories where Zoom provides PSTN service—inbound, outbound, landline and mobile calling—for a single price of $20 per user, per month. The new plan joins Zoom’s existing phone plan, the Phone Pro option, which gives customers a Bring-Your-Own-Carrier model for companies that don’t require each employee to have a direct number. The Zoom Phone Pro plan is available starting at $10 per extension each month.
Unlike competing phone services that offer metered usage or a pool of minutes, Zoom’s Global Select plan will give customers a more predictable telephony bill, Geddes said.
Zoom in March launched its first-ever referral partner program with a handful of master agents, including Avant Communications, Intelisys, Telarus and Pax8. One of the goals of the program was to work with more agent partners in order to sell Zoom’s voice offerings, Laura Padilla, head of channel and partners, told CRN at the time.
Unlike Zoom video and Zoom Rooms, which can easily be sold by VARs, voice can be a harder sell for these partners because of the telecom taxes and regulations around phone services in different geographies. The agent channel, however, is well-suited to selling telecom offerings. “We’re seeing success and broad interest and adoption from the agent community,” Geddes added.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company has seen a noticeable uptick in demand for Zoom Phone, especially as businesses around the globe braced for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting work-from-home trend, Geddes said.
“From a voice perspective, a lot of businesses had physical phone systems, so it was really complicated and didn’t scale well in a work-from-home model,” he said. ”Zoom Phone is an extension of the platform they were using already for video, so now they have the business continuity to work from anywhere. The demand is there.”
Zoom’s approach to communications has been different from its competitors because it started with video and then built a telephony offering. It’s easier to start with a cloud-based video offering and then develop the voice piece, Geddes said. “We didn’t bolt voice on. It’s really a natural extension of our platform. The Zoom platform has supported PSTN since its inception because you could always dial into a meeting,” he explained.
Zoom Phone will continue to be extended to more geographies, Geddes said. By comparison, 94 percent of the globe’s countries and territories use Zoom video, or about 226 countries and territories out of 241, according to Zoom.