How Zoom Continues 'Zooming' Upward Amid the Pandemic

Zoom video conferencing has taken the world by storm. It has in one of the most competitive markets been able to break into it and rise above it.

In less than a year after Apple launched their facetime App, less than one month before Microsoft announced that they are willing to pay $8.5 billion for Skype, it has been growing consistently over that last decade specifically during the pandemic and the need for social distancing in 2020 - where people have to stay away from each other, but still need to communicate. Zoom’s number of customers has skyrocketed as of June 2020 Zoom’s stock price has grown from $68 to over $200.

Its usage has increased exponentially as schools, universities and workplaces have shifted online. Zoom has given these organisations and individuals a faster way to communicate relative to audio-only chat and in-person meetings and is not restricted by geography. It has now proven itself to be a vital tool to help businesses communicate more effectively with their customers, suppliers, and manufacturers around the world to communicate real-time.

As people across the globe are embracing social distancing by allowing people to meet face to face virtually, zoom has kept many businesses afloat. I recall a time during the lockdown when I had to communicate with stakeholders and team members, I was left with no choice but to open a zoom account to catch up with the team.

Zoom is a great example of a bold company led by a true visionary. It’s also a great example of what happens when you identify an urgent problem in need of a solution and focus on that solution to the exclusion of everything else.
Its Founder, Eric Yuan claims that he started Zoom in college when he, Yuan and his girlfriend attempted to navigate the pitfalls of long-distance dating. Yuan dreamed of a handheld device that would enable two people to see and speak with each other from anywhere in the world. He thought it would be fantastic if there was a device, he could just click a button and see her and talk to her without having to travel.

In January 2013, Zoom 1.0 was released to the world. The company timed the announcement to coincide with its $6M Series A round, which was led by Qualcomm Ventures.

Eric Yun identified a growing market and applied his passion and experience into creating a customer-oriented highly accessible service because of that they’ve been able to attract investors and steadily grown into a multi-billion dollar industry leader.

One of the most significant updates to the core product to date came in December 2015, with the introduction of Breakout Rooms. This feature allowed hosts to create smaller groups within a larger meeting. Couple of sessions I have attended have used this feature severally to facilitate their training. Because it lets people meet face to face, and provides support for screen sharing, it has become a
collaboration catalyst and helps build teams across geographies. It has kept many businesses and employees operating despite the current economy pandemic.

A report by Forbes tells us that “humans process visual information far faster and more aptly than text or audio.” And, relative to audio conferencing, “62% of executives agree that video conferencing significantly improves the quality of communication. Also, 50% of those surveyed believe video conferencing also improves the degree of understanding.” Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a large company, clear communication is critical to understanding projects, setting expectations, and meeting your goals, which makes video conferencing a win, no matter how you look at it.

In July 2016, Zoom introduced virtual backgrounds to the core product. Now, Zoom meeting hosts could present in front of a green screen using a video-production technique known as chroma key to create the illusion of hosting a meeting from another location. Virtual backgrounds were far from an urgently needed feature. But it did show that Zoom wasn’t averse to developing and introducing fun new features that weren’t essential.

In 2020, when the demand reached unexpectedly high levels, they were in a position to take advantage of it.

Zoom has hosted over 20 billion analyzed meeting minutes and their customer base includes one-third of the fortune 590% of the top 200 US universities.

Over the past years, Zoom grew very rapidly. Not only does Zoom build a technology or service but an ecosystem that can integrate with CRM applications like Zendesk or Slack and with other hardware as

well. The best value and return on investment.

What set Zoom apart from the competition is how they worked on mobile. Consumers complained about poor video quality and bad connections, the education sector was also driving demand for high-quality video-conferencing solutions which was a critical vulnerability for many web-conferencing companies. Zoom quickly capitalized on this and developed a product that can operate at a 40% connection loss. At that time, many web-conferencing companies, such as Vidyo, were focused on hardware solutions for
desktop conferencing.

Unlike other similar products, Zoom has been customer-oriented having the customers in mind, it is simple to use having all the desired features set up in an intuitive way they put out a good product. Also, the fact that Zoom is easily accessible to customers and does not necessarily require creating an account even made Zoom seamless to use.

Zoom ran seamlessly on all platforms, including iOS and Android devices. The product’s screen-sharing functionality was smooth, and the image quality was superb.

Likewise, with Zoom, scheduling a meeting has never been easier. When members of my team travel, scheduling meetings is always a challenge. But with the Zoom App already installed on their mobile phones, they can join in from practically anywhere, including taxis, hotel rooms, airports, and more with just a link. It has helped to reduce travel time and costs.

Now, the possibility of people embracing more remote work is on the increase. Millennials have recognised that they can get the job done without physically going to the office. In the next 10 - 15 years, Millennials will become business leaders and top executives and remote working will be the absolute norm.

Web-conferencing products like Zoom have redefined the entire way we do business and interact today. This change is here to stay.

Artist and Communications Strategist