Zoom Video Communications
|Headquarters||San Jose, California|
Zoom Premium Audio
Zoom Business IM
Zoom Video Webinar
Zoom H.323/SIP Connector
Zoom Developer Platform
Number of employees
|~1300 (August 2018)|
Zoom Video Communications is a company headquartered San Jose, California that provides remote conferencing services using cloud computing. Zoom offers communications software that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration.
Zoom was founded in 2011 by a lead engineer from Cisco Systems and its collaboration business unit, WebEx. The founder, Eric S. Yuan, graduated from the Stanford University executive program and was previously vice president of engineering at Cisco for collaboration software development. David Berman, from WebEx and Ring Central, became president in November 2015. The service started in January 2013 and by May 2013, it claimed one million participants. During the first year of its release, Zoom established partnerships with B2B collaboration software providers. Its partnership with Redbooth (at the time known as Teambox) played a role in adding a video component to Redbooth. Shortly after this partnership, Zoom created a program named "Works with Zoom", which established partnerships with multiple hardware and software vendors such as Logitech, Vaddio, and InFocus. Towards the end of the year, Zoom managed to have its software integrated into InterviewStream, a company that provides remote video interviewing capacity to employers. InterviewStream expanded their video interviewing capabilities using Zoom's video services.
On December 11, 2013, Centrify Corporation announced it would integrate Microsoft Active Directory, access control, and single sign-on (SSO) compatibility with Zoom's application. By March 17, 2014, Zoom added the capability for participants to join meetings by dialing into a toll-free public switched telephone network number via its partnership with Voxbone. The release of version 3.5 later in the year added mobile screen sharing to mobile devices running iOS.
In June 2014, Zoom's participant count has grown to 10 million. As of February 2015, the number of participants utilizing Zoom Video Communication's chief product — Zoom Meetings — reached 40 million individuals, with 65,000 organizations subscribed. In addition to this, the company surpassed 1 billion total meeting minutes across its entire service lifespan.
On February 4, 2015, Zoom Video Communications received $30 million in Series C funding. Participants in this funding round include Emergence Capital, Horizons Ventures (Li Ka-shing), Qualcomm Ventures, Jerry Yang, and Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. In the same year, on the 15th of September, Zoom partnered with Salesforce to integrate video conferencing into the CRM platform, allowing salespeople to initiate such conferences with their leads without leaving the application. Shortly after this integration happened, on 3 November, David Berman — former president of RingCentral — has been named president of Zoom Video Communications. Peter Gassner — the founder and CEO of Veeva Systems — joined Zoom's board of directors on the same day.
On February 2016, Zoom has opened a new office in Denver, Colorado. According to Eric S. Yuan—the company's CEO—the reason for this expansion was to take advantage of the state's "growing technology scene" and its central U.S. location. Later the same year, the company added Bask Iyer—VMware's CIO—as a business adviser.
On January 2017, Zoom has officially entered the Unicorn club and attracted $100 million in Series D funding from Sequoia Capital at a billion dollar valuation. The announcement was coupled with the release of Zoom 4.0. According to CEO Eric S. Yuan, the company would be banking the investment and investing in portions that need development, rather than planning a project with these funds, since Zoom has had a cash-flow-positive status in the last quarter.
On April 24, 2017, the video communications provider announced the release of the first scalable telehealth product, allowing doctors to visit their patients through video for consultation. The solution, called Zoom for Telehealth, integrates with other healthcare applications within hospital infrastructures and provides a "virtual waiting room" for patients. It also allows for signed business associate agreements to maintain HIPAA compliance for adopters.
In May 2017, Zoom announced a partnership with Polycom through a new product called the Zoom Connector for Polycom. Zoom Connector for Polycom integrated Zoom's video meetings into Polycom's conferencing systems, enabling features such as multiple screen and device meetings, HD and wireless screen sharing, and calendar integration with Outlook, Google Calendar, and iCal.
In August 2017, Marketwired published a press release recognizing Zoom's passing of several milestones in company growth. Highlights included hosting over 20 billion annualized meeting minutes (up from 6.9 billion last year), opening offices abroad in Sydney and the U.K., growing its year-over-year revenue by 150% and customer base by 100%, partnering and optimizing integrations with Polycom, Crestron, and Cisco, and introducing new features and enhancements to its platform including Zoom Rooms Scheduling Display and Zoom for Telehealth. In addition, Zoom was ranked 18th on the Forbes Cloud 100 List and scored a 4.8 / 5 on Gartner Peer Insights.
In September 2017, Zoom hosted Zoomtopia 2017, Zoom's very first annual user conference. Zoom announced a series of new products and partnerships, including Zoom's Partnership with Meta to integrate Zoom with Augmented Reality, integration with Slack and Workplace by Facebook, and first steps towards an artificial intelligence speech-to-text converter.
In October 2017, Zoom announced that Jonathan Chadwick has joined the Zoom Board of Directors as an audit committee chair to oversee financial reporting and disclosure.
On November 8, 2017, Zoom announced that Kelly Steckelberg, former CEO of Zoosk and CFO of Cisco's WebEx Division, has joined Zoom as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Initially, Zoom featured the ability to host conferences with up to 15 video participants. On January 25, 2013, the product was improved to allow up to 25 video participants for all meetings. Version 2.5 of the software further extended the offering allowing up to 100 video participants in one conference. The company has since expanded its offer to include meetings with up to 500 video participants. Zoom relies on client-side encryption using the Advanced Encryption Standard 256-bit (AES 256) algorithm for presentation content. As of October 2015, the lower limit of 25 participants in video meetings has been increased to 100. Between 2015 and mid-2016, Zoom Video Communications announced native support for Skype for Business and integration with Slack.
Initially, early adopters like Walt Mossberg were concerned that Zoom's quality could suffer as more users joined the pool. In 2012, Zoom had "only about 1,000 people using the service". According to Mossberg, "it's possible that if millions use it, speed and quality could suffer". In his review at The Wall Street Journal, he pointed out that "Zoom is an attractive alternative" to Skype or Google Hangouts. During this pre-release period, small business technology evangelist Ramon Ray had a chance to use Zoom. In SmallBizTechnology, Stephanie Faris covers Ray's experience with the software, saying that "Ramon was also impressed with how one of the remote persons on [sic] the video conference was able to share their screen". This particular trial meeting took place between him and Nick Chong, Zoom's head of product marketing.
On April 2, 2013, two months after the launch of Zoom, Judy Schneider and Paul Doherty reviewed Zoom at Construction Executive's Tech Trends section. Their choice of words to summarize their experience was "love at first byte". "The first meeting was seamless," said the authors. "Everyone arrived on time with little to no wait time". The overall tone of the review was positive with little mention of caveats in the software. This was also the first review mentioning its REST API. At the time, there were no alternative dial-in numbers, which they pointed out in their article. On December 14, 2013, Zoom has since implemented dial-in access in the release of version 2.5 of its software. On September 2013, when Zoom Video Conferencing has been released for six months, Emily Read wrote a comprehensive review of the software, in which she noted that "it's perfect if you want to record your meeting, or share your mobile screen" but "while there's no time limit on one-on-one calls made with a free account, a potentially annoying issue is that group calls using a free account are limited to a maximum of 40 minutes". Read also considered the software useful for "clients, friends or family who don't have Skype or Google+" as a result of the ability to join a meeting without registering accounts.
On October 3, 2013, Geek Magazine published a compilation of alternatives to FaceTime for Android, in which it included Zoom's service, saying that "while Zoom was built for professional conferencing, it's really easy to use it for personal activities." SheKnows, a women's entertainment website, said that "Zoom helps young businesses achieve a level of communication usually reserved for large, well-established companies."
Nitin Pradhan wrote an editorial for InformationWeek in which he said that "after using it for a year, it has become my go-to communications channel for important discussions, even before email and the phone." On September 10, 2014, Paul Richards, account executive at Haverford Systems, wrote a review of ZoomPresence (now known as Zoom Rooms), noting that it has "a simple menu that scales to fit [the user's] needs in a sleek app style application". The product's "Mac Mini-only" approach was also lauded by Richards, implying that it is a way to ensure stability throughout conferences.
In the beginning of 2015, Let's Do Video published a case study involving the Region 13 Educational Service Center area in central Texas and its use of Zoom. The organization spoke to Carol Teitelman, the head of distance learning services regarding the switch from on-site hardware video to cloud-based conferencing. According to the organization, "When asked about the drawbacks in implementing this switch, Teitelman did not hesitate to say 'None!'".
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