What are Zoom Cloud Meetings and why are they so popular?
During the global COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom became the generic term for video meetings. As well as enabling friends and family to keep in touch, it also allowed business workers to virtually interact with colleagues when in person meetings were simply not possible. It’s ease-of-use, high quality video and audio and ability to join anywhere on any device resulted in huge growth in use.
And whilst traditional video meeting vendors Cisco and Microsoft Teams have upped their games, Zoom still leads the way. For the sixth year in a row Zoom appears as a leader in analyst Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for meeting solutions and puts them ahead of Cisco and Microsoft.
Some impressive stats:
By the end of 2019 Zoom had more than 80,000 business customers, but in 2021 that has grown to more than 500,000 with 10 employees or more. And that includes 70% of the Fortune 100, over 50% of the Fortune 500 and 85% of the Forbes Cloud 100, the world’s top private cloud companies.
Why do so many businesses use Zoom for meetings and conferences?
In this article, we take a look at some of the benefits that have made Zoom a market leading solution for cloud meetings and corporate communications, ahead of rivals such as Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, Google Meet, GoToMeeting, and Skype for Business. Specifically we will look at:
What are Zoom Cloud Meetings?
Zoom Cloud Meetings are often simply called Zoom Meetings. Zoom Meetings are video conference meetings that are hosted using the Zoom cloud app. And being a cloud-based app is significant. It means that you can join any meeting, from anywhere, using any device. In the past a video conference was typically restricted to office meeting rooms with specialist video conference equipment.
You may have also heard the term Zoom Room. A Zoom Room is actually the physical hardware installed in conference rooms to allow participants to launch Zoom Meetings. So participants can be seen and heard via in room webcams and audio rather than via their laptops. And because Zoom is cloud-based, remote participants can join from their personal devices and take part in the meeting as if they were in the room.
As well as being seen and heard, Zoom Meetings also provide live chat, content sharing, interactive whiteboarding and many other features to make meetings more productive. Whilst many will argue that there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings, Zoom Meetings can do things traditional meetings cannot.
So what are Zoom Meetings used for in the workplace?
- Collaborative working
- Client presentations
- Sales meetings
- Board meetings
- Company meetings
- Technical support
Zoom Meetings can be held whenever you need to communicate with others for business purposes. Zoom is extremely scalable and can be used among individuals, small to large teams, all the way up to mass participation live event conferences with hundreds of participants and thousands of viewers.
Why do business users love Zoom Meetings?
During the COVID pandemic it’s likely that most business users will have experienced Zoom. And although Zoom Business plans offer many more features, the experience is familiar. It’s effortless, simple and intuitive.
Setting up meetings
- Easy invites – each meeting is provided with a unique meeting ID, so you can easily invite new participants.
- Easy initiation – meetings can be started instantly or scheduled ahead of time with calendar integrations (including Outlook).
- One-touch controls – initiate a meeting instantly, invite attendees and get started with simple touch controls.
- Consistent look and feel – no matter which device or operating system you are using the Zoom interface remains. So there’s no delay in trying to figure out how to start and participate in the meeting
- No touch – Zoom meetings can be voice-activated or you can use your mobile phone via the Zoom Room Controller app. So unlike other vendors, you don’t need to touch any in room equipment.
In meeting experience
Seeing and hearing people
- High-definition audio and video – you can be sure that everyone can be clearly seen and heard when using Zoom.
- Flexible screen views – you can switch views between full screen and gallery view to easily configure your conference settings. In gallery view you see up to 49 meeting participants – with 3 screens it’s 147!
- Dynamic voice detection – makes it easy to determine who is speaking; even if dozens of participants are speaking simultaneously.
- Live chat – to complement audio and video, live chat can be simultaneously used to share links or ask questions within the meeting or get relevant information from co-workers outside of the meeting
- Host controls – full control over who joins the meeting and preferences used for the meeting or conference.
- Appearance – it’s easy to add your own backgrounds, apply filters and you can even “Touch Up My Appearance” if you’re not looking your best
- Unlimited camera support – if you want to see the presenter, the content and track who is asking a question you need multiple cameras. Additional cameras add a new dimension to meetings.
Collaborating with people
- Screen sharing – Zoom’s intuitive interface makes screen sharing a simple process. Whether you simply want to share your desktop, display a visual presentation or share an entire video, Zoom screen sharing is powerful, easy and effective.
- Easy content sharing – from sharing documents on your desktop, to playing a presentational video saved on your tablet, to sharing images saved in Dropbox or Google Drive, Zoom makes it quick and easy to share content from multiple sources during a meeting.
- Remote access –allow remote meeting participants access to your device, so they can make direct edits to documents or co-annotate in real-time during the meeting.
- Whiteboarding – Zoom provides a digital Whiteboarding feature that allows users to draw and make notes in real time, which can then be shared with other participants.
Post meeting experience
- High-quality recordings – to ensure you never miss anything important, you can locally record any meeting or conference in high-quality MP4 and MP4A formats.
- Video recording transcripts – the meeting host can check and edit your transcript plus scan the transcript text for keywords to access the video at that moment, and share the recording.
Webinars and Live Events
Zoom Business plans allow from 100 to 500 meeting participants, but you can extend that to 1000 with a Large Meeting add on.
If webinars and large events are important to your organisation the Zoom platform is incredibly scalable and its simple, intuitive experience are available for webinars and live events. Live events can support up to 50,000 participants!
Why do IT Teams love Zoom?
Zoom can be instantly activated on Zoom’s cloud, making the software a favourite amongst IT administrators. Also, if preferred with just a few minutes extra work, Zoom can be hosted on-site using the Zoom meeting connector which extends Zoom’s cloud infrastructure onto an internal network.
Cloud conferencing with Zoom includes seamless online monitoring and data reporting. The Zoom Cloud also takes care of administrative functions and global backups in the background.
Thanks to Zoom, video, voice and content sharing data all run securely on the cloud, so you can focus on your important work.
- Minimal training – Zoom provides a standardised experience across all of your devices, removing the need for complex training or time-consuming setup.
- Interoperability with H.323 and SIP conference systems – you can effortlessly connect Zoom with your existing conference room system hardware. Zoom works seamlessly with video endpoints from other major conference room systems including Lifesize, Polycom and Cisco.
- Reliability – widely regarded as one of the most reliable systems on the market. Zoom has been engineered from the ground-up with focus and expertise, ensuring stability. Top performer in Wainhouse Research test January 2021 on video quality against increasing packet-loss.
- Cost-effective – Zoom is perfect for evolving your business communications without a burdensome time or financial investment. Zoom Phone represents a serious option for Microsoft users versus licence upgrade costs required to use Teams Telephony
- Scalable – Zoom is truly scalable. With the ability to support 500 interactive participants, and up to 50,000 viewers, Zoom can cope with your meeting requirements, whether you’re a small business or a multinational needing to connect teams on every continent.
- Security – end-to-end encryption
Why Choose MVS Audio Visual as your Zoom installers?
MVS Audio Visual was the first company globally to be awarded Gold Certified Integrator status and won Global Integrator of 2020. So we know our Zoom stuff and we’re fans of Zoom solutions.
Equally we’re here to do what is best for our customers, so we’re vendor agnostic and have deep experience with all the top AV hardware and other video conferencing platforms.
You may be looking for a brand new Zoom solution. To integrate Zoom Rooms with Microsoft Teams. To integrate Zoom with your legacy video conferencing hardware. Or to deploy Microsoft Teams Rooms.