In today’s Zoom review, we’re going beyond the basics to explore the functionality of the entire Zoom platform. After all, though Zoom may still be commonly associated with video meetings and webinars, the company offers so much more than many businesses realise.
The Zoom ecosystem even earned space as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for UCaaS at the beginning of 2023, alongside major vendors like Cisco, Microsoft, RingCentral, and 8×8. For years, Zoom has positioned itself as an innovator and market leader in the communications space, committed to unifying teams with simple, yet transformational tools.
However, it wasn’t until the pandemic hit in 2020 that Zoom’s growth really skyrocketed. Within a year, active meeting participants grew by 2,900%, and by 2023, Zoom boasted a massive 12% increase in enterprise customers, demonstrating its growing presence in a range of markets.
So, what exactly does the Zoom platform offer? This comprehensive review will tell business buyers everything they need to know.
Zoom Review: The Zoom One Platform
In 2022, Zoom cemented its position in the UCaaS market with a new packaged platform offering: Zoom One. Promising an intuitive experience capable of unifying teams across multiple platforms, Zoom One is an all-in-one collaboration and communication toolkit.
Pricing for Zoom One is based the number of users in a company, and the features required. Options range all the way from a free plan which supports up to 100 attendees in basic meetings, to various premium options such as:
- Pro: $149.90 per user per year: Includes all the features of Free plus 5GB of cloud storage, and access to essential premium apps for free for 1 year.
- Business: $199.90 per user per year: All the features of Pro plus 300 attendees per meeting, unlimited whiteboards, SSO, managed domains, and more.
- Business Plus: $250 per user per year: All the features of Business plus 10GB of cloud storage, phone access, translated captions and workspace reservations.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing for all the features of Business Plus, as well as up to 1000 attendees per meeting, full-featured PBX phone, and more.
Depending on the plan, the Zoom One solution combines the following features into a comprehensive tech stack for teams:
Zoom Meetings is the iconic HD audio and video meeting platform, designed for internal collaboration. The solution was built for modern teams, allowing staff to join a meeting from any device, using either a link, or an integrated calendar system invoice. There are even dedicated “Zoom for Home” devices available for remote workers.
Zoom Meetings goes above and beyond the basics of video conferencing, with powerful virtual meeting security sessions, such as role-based security, passcode protection and waiting rooms. It also features a number of innovative collaboration tools, such as screen-sharing, co-annotation sessions, virtual whiteboarding, filters, reactions, and polls.
Users can meet and chat at the same time with included messaging, share files, music, and video, and even record meetings which can automatically be converted into searchable transcripts. Some of the other core features of Zoom Meetings include:
- Advanced lighting and appearance touch-up options
- Reactions and emojis
- Advanced background noise suppression
- Virtual backgrounds (with slide sharing options)
- Immersive view for engaging meetings
- Auto-generated reports and notes
Integrated with the rest of the Zoom One ecosystem, Zoom chat is the simple messaging solution provided by Zoom. It includes powerful search filters, to help teams find information quickly, message pinning and @mention options, and easy-to-use private and public chat threads.
Zoom Chat supports file and screen sharing, with advanced encryption options, SSO, and multi-factor authentication for security. Admins can also take advantage of granular admin controls to determine how files are stored, and which users can add new contacts. The solution comes with cloud storage support built-in, as well as integrations with options like Google Docs and Dropbox.
Plus, teams can enhance chat sessions with apps and bots, available throughout the Zoom platform. Accessibility features and analytics are also available within the same Zoom interface.
An essential part of the Zoom UCaaS toolkit, Zoom Phone (now with 4 million users), is a feature-rich cloud phone system intended for businesses of all sizes. The intuitive VoIP phone system allows teams to make outbound calls, and receive inbound calls in the same unified interface.
Zoom boasts global coverage for its phone technology, and promises exceptional security, with standards based SIP over TLS 1.2, and AES 256-bit calling encryption. Zoom Phone also aligns with various major standards and certifications relevant in a host of industries. Zoom Phone includes all the features you might expect from a leading VoIP solution, such as:
- Mobile and desktop apps
- Call transfer, forwarding, and routing
- Call blocking
- Call recording
- Call delegation and hold
- Listen, whisper, and barge-in options for supervisors
- Call park
- Shared line groups
Companies can choose to either purchase phone packages directly from Zoom, which start at around $120 per year, per user, with included internal and outbound calling, or implement their own carrier into the Zoom system. The BYOC solution is available to access either in the cloud or on-premises, so teams can build their ideal communication strategy from scratch.
Part of the overall meeting experience offered by Zoom, Zoom Whiteboard is a digital, scalable whiteboard which allows staff to collaborate however, and whenever they want. Companies can take advantage of interactive, real-time whiteboard collaboration, virtual sticky notes, and convenient sharing tools. Whiteboards can also be saved automatically and shared outside of a meeting.
Advanced whiteboarding tools include custom templates, organizational templates teams can share through the organization, and third-party integrations. Plus, Zoom has a host of recommended partners available to deliver hardware to collaborating companies. Options range from the DTEN D7, to the Neat Board, and Logitech Rally Bar with Touch Display.
Otherwise known as “IQ for Sales”, the Conversational Intelligence solution offered by Zoom provides direct access to productivity metrics and actionable insights in Zoom Meetings and Phone interactions. The platform transforms raw data from across conversations into visual graphs and dashboards, with AI-enhancements to help guide business decisions.
Companies can aggregate Zoom reports with their CRM system, implement insights from sales funnels, and create custom reports based on a host of KPIs and metrics. The platform can also deliver useful insights and next-best actions to agents in real-time, through Zoom IQ.
The Zoom IQ solution is an integrated artificial intelligence assistant, which leverages OpenAI (ChatGPT) technology to generate meeting summaries, guidance, and even content for chats, emails, and whiteboard sessions.
Zoom Email and Calendar
The Zoom email and calendar client supports business leaders in managing interactions and campaigns in one environment. Users can connect Gmail or Microsoft 365 accounts to the Zoom platform, and leverage email and calendar features alongside Zoom Meetings, Chat, Whiteboard, and Phone sessions. The integrated solution allows users to schedule and join meetings, send copies of emails to chat channels, and schedule calls instantly.
The Zoom One portfolio also includes access to a component of the “Zoom Spaces” collection of products: Zoom Huddles. The Huddles app provides instant access to an overview of the number of employees using huddle or meeting environments in a workplace, it also allows users to participate in huddles with comprehensive audio and visual controls.
Users can choose how they want to interact with a huddle, maximizing and minimizing the view of other users, and each huddle comes with its own team chat channel. Plus, Huddle users can also connect their solution to Zoom Rooms, the all-in-one meeting room creation solution from Zoom.
Zoom Review: Zoom Spaces, Rooms, and Connectors
As a leader in the meetings and collaboration space, Zoom also supports business leaders in the development of intelligent, hybrid meeting rooms. Companies have a range of ways to create rooms or spaces with Zoom, including:
- Zoom Rooms: A comprehensive workspace offering access to all of Zoom’s HD video and audio conferencing tools, Integration with SIP H.323 devices, and workspace reservation tools. Users can access scheduling displays, voice commands for hardware operation, digital signage, kiosk tools, and hardware offered by Zoom partners.
- Zoom Conference Room Connector: The Conference Room Connector allows partners, customers and other businesses to join Zoom Meetings, using standards-based SIP/H.323 equipment. The technology features wireless sharing capabilities, dual-screen support, one-touch meeting starts, and calendar integrations.
- Zoom Spaces: The workplace reservation and management tool from Zoom, Spaces, helps companies with meeting room booking tasks. Users can view open spaces, reserve them, check-in to meeting rooms, and leverage a host of digital signage, kiosk, and hardware tools from Zoom partners. Plus, everything comes with a web-based management portal.
Zoom Room and Spaces pricing depends on a number of factors, but basic Zoom Rooms licenses start at around $499.00 per year, per room.
Zoom Review: Zoom Events and Webinars
Zoom Events is the all-in-one event and webinar hosting solution, intended to help businesses host virtual experiences of any size or style. The all-in-one platform includes everything companies need to host single session events, online webinars, and community events, with live streaming.
Zoom’s Events solutions split into three separate offerings:
- Zoom Webinars: Webinar hosting for sessions up to 30 hours long, 100+ interactive video panellists, branded webinars with virtual backgrounds, chat panels, Q&A capabilities, polling and quizzes, performance and audience engagement reports, and practice sessions.
- Zoom Sessions: Everything in the Webinars solution, plus advanced performance and audio engagement reports, single-session events, robust registration and ticketing, branded event pages, multiple hosts per event, and event organisation tools.
- Zoom Events: The complete Events solution, featuring all of the capabilities of Zoom Sessions, plus networking features, a virtual “expo floor” service, all-in-one high-end production, and branding, plus event hubs and sponsors sections.
Zoom Events, Session, and Webinar prices are based on the specific attendee capacity needs and feature requirements of each company. Prices start at $990 per year, per license for Zoom Sessions, or $1,490 per year per license for Zoom Events.
Zoom Review: The Zoom Contact Center
Finally, like many competing brands in the UCaaS industry, Zoom has also begun expanding its footprint in the contact center. The Zoom Omnichannel Contact Center provides all the tools businesses need to drive customer loyalty with personalized voice, chat, and video interactions. Users can leverage screen and file sharing tools, create personalized waiting rooms for customers, offer self-service experiences, and even design an intelligent IVR with drag-and-drop tools.
Some of the core features of the Zoom Contact Center include:
- Integrations with CRMs, ecommerce systems, and databases
- Chatbot AI tools for self-service and conversational support
- Extensive chat and messaging histories
- Instant transfer across multiple communication channels
- Alerts and notifications on crucial KPIs
- Real-time reporting dashboards and historical analytics
- A visual customizable IVR systems
- Workflow automation for contact center interactions
- Virtual agent support with actionable analytics
Pricing for the Zoom Contact Center is delivered on a per-quote basis, chosen according to the number of users in a team, the number of phone numbers needed, and other factors.
Zoom Review: Verdict and Zoom Pros and Cons
Overall, it’s hard to deny that the Zoom portfolio has a lot to offer. The company covers every aspect of the communication landscape, from meetings and webinars, to events, phone conversations, and even contact center interactions. Plus, with a vast developer platform available, and dozens of integrations to choose from, it’s easy for Zoom users to customise their experience.
Zoom has come a long way from being just an innovative video conferencing company. Today, it’s a true contender in the UCaaS and CCaaS landscapes.
- Endless integrations, API access and developer tools
- Integrated AI solutions, including generative AI tools
- Powerful analytics and custom reporting features
- Full omnichannel communications for UCaaS and CCaaS
- Powerful collaboration tools, for file, screen, and whiteboard sharing
- Built-in phone capabilities and BYOC options
- Intelligent virtual workspace management for hybrid teams
- Subscriptions and add-ons can add up to an expensive package
- HD video isn’t enabled by standard (but is available)
- Limited coverage in some parts of the world for contact centres