Zoomtopia 2023: 5 New Products And Enhancements For Partners To Know About

With business through the channel accounting for 30 percent globally, here are five major product announcements and enhancements revealed at Zoomtopia 2023 that should be on partners’ radars.

‘One Platform’ To Rule Them All

Zoom Video Communications is ready to help customers and the channel partners that serve them move into the next era of collaboration. That requires a combination of hybrid communication tools for both in-office and remote employees on one platform.

San Jose, Calif.-based Zoom, led by company CEO Eric Yuan, took to its annual Zoomtopia 2023 event this week to unleash a series of new products and enhancements aimed at doing just that. The company wants its platform to be the go-to, and to that end, Zoom introduced Zoom Docs, a new workspace for documentation and content creation for users, as well as updates to the company’s generative AI digital assistant to make employees’ lives a little easier.

Zoom also unveiled a series of enhancements to Zoom Meetings, Zoom Spaces, and Zoom Huddles, including a handful of updates geared toward in-office meeting attendees and employees with features such as Workspace Reservation, Wayfinding, and Visitor Management.

The company is doing about 30 percent of its business globally through the channel, a figure that skews even higher for specific Zoom offerings, such as contact center, so it goes without saying that Zoom partners should take notice of the portfolio enhancements.

Here are five major announcements revealed at Zoomtopia 2023.

AI Companion Updates

The company took to Zoomtopia 2023 to announce the general availability of a new capability for AI Companion, the company’s generative AI digital assistant. Now, Zoom AI Companion can help generate and organize ideas in Zoom Whiteboard to help teams work collaborate and work together faster.

AI Companion is included at no additional cost with the paid services assigned to Zoom user accounts. Users can now manage their AI Companion settings for Meetings, Team Chat, Whiteboard and Mail all in one place via the web portal, according to Zoom.

Coming down the pike, Zoom at the event shared that a forthcoming AI Companion feature will include a conversational interface to allow users to interact with AI Companion’s capabilities so that it can understand the context of questions and support users with their content across the Zoom platform, including prior meetings, chats, and select connected third-party apps.

Customer Experience Upgrades

Zoom has spent the last couple of years prioritizing its contact center suite and that work is paying off. In fact, more than 60 percent of Zoom Contact Center bookings closed through partners in the first half of this year, Todd Surdey, Zoom’s channel chief, told CRN.

At Zoomtopia 2023, the company introduced a contact center integration with Salesforce for Zoom Events to help marketers and event hosts capture leads and prospects into their CRM, in addition to several other CRM and marketing automation service (MAS) integrations.

The company also unveiled a series of new contact center feature updates. Outbound Dialer can automatically dial numbers on a contact list as soon as an agent becomes available. Remote desktop control will let employees or customers grant helpdesk agents permission to remotely control their desktops to more efficiently and quickly solve problems, Zoom said.

The company is furthering its “open ecosystem” strategy by enabling more third-party application integration so that agents won’t need to toggle between programs. These third-party apps will provide agents with real-time access to customer information, including customer relationship management (CRM), support, and payments from within the Zoom client.

Hybrid Work Innovations And Workvivo Integration

Zoom continues to address the needs of businesses as they evolve their approach to hybrid work and collaboration via a series of enhancements to Zoom Meetings, Zoom Spaces, and Zoom Huddles.

For starters, the company is unveiling Name Tags, which lets those in the Zoom Room have their name displayed along with their video during a meeting. Name Tags is expected to be generally available in 2024.

The next feature is Dynamic Layouts for Zoom Rooms. Now available in Beta, users can view an enlarged visual of active participants when the two are speaking together. Viewers will see video frames shift dynamically in real time as participants raise their hands or begin speaking. Dynamic Layouts for Zoom Rooms is expected to be generally available in December 2023.

Next is Companion Zoom Rooms. Available in Beta, Companion Zoom Rooms can be configured to use the companion device’s display, speakers, and camera as additional resources during in-office meetings and is expected to be generally available in 2024.

For referral partners, Zoom in April brought on Workvivo, an employee experience platform. Beginning this month, Zoom referral partners are now able to refer leads and receive commissions for the sale of Workvivo, the company said.

In-Office Innovations

For those inside the office, Zoom has unveiled a series of innovations for in-person experiences or meetings with those that may be working remotely. Visitor Management, soon to be in private Beta, gives organizations the ability to check in and manage visitors at their facility locations. Office administrators or IT can set the guidelines for inviting visitors, including which questionnaires to fill out and photos to upload, designate who can invite visitors and view reporting. Employees can invite visitors to their workplace, get their guest badge printed, receive registration notifications, and easily reserve a space for them through Workspace Reservation. Visitor Management is expected to be generally available in December 2023.

The next feature, Workspace Reservation Wayfinding, builds on Zoom’s Workspace Reservation which already uses AI to suggest in-office seats close to teammates. Next year, the feature will allow users to find their own reserved desk via the Zoom mobile app, better locate colleagues, and offer new presence options so employees can find where coworkers are in the office and join them for in-person collaboration.

To help with space planning and hybrid schedules, Zoom is introducing Workspace Dashboard, which is expected to be generally available in 2024. Workspace Dashboard will give office administrators or IT teams enhanced metrics for better space utilization.

Lastly, the Zoom Rooms Help Button will give users in Zoom Rooms the ability to contact IT via a help button in the Zoom Rooms interface. Administrators can configure the button to contact any number through Zoom Contact Center or Zoom Phone. The Zoom Rooms help button is expected to be generally available in December 2023, according to Zoom.

Zoom Docs

Zoom at the event ripped the sheet off Zoom Docs, a new modular, flexible, AI-powered workspace integrates with Zoom for documentation, project and data management, creating tables, wikis and tasks. Zoom Docs lets teams create documents, build wikis and manage their various workflows while sticking to the Zoom platform. Zoom Docs integrates with Zoom and third-party apps so that teams and individuals can create, collaborate, manage projects, and stay organized. Zoom Docs has AI built-in so users can populate docs with content from Zoom Meetings to inform and jumpstart creation, the company said.

Zoom Docs is expected to be generally available in 2024.