Zoom, the video conferencing Software as a Service company is in product launch mode, rolling out new products and services at its Zoomtopia conference held earlier this month, keeping Chief Executive and founder Eric Yuan busy.
The San Jose, California SaaS company not only announced partnerships with Dropbox, the online storage company and Atlassian, the collaboration SaaS company but also rolled out a marketplace for Zoom apps and services and a new cloud phone system dubbed Zoom Voice.
The cloud-based service provides customers with a single app for voice, video, voicemail, messaging and meeting scheduling. Users can make phone calls over cellular voice, cellular data, and WiFi. It also offers intelligent call routing and call transcripts. The product is slated to launch in the first quarter of next year, supporting local telephone service in 16 countries. The App marketplace is where users will find third-party productivity, scheduling and assistant apps that use Zoom’s APIs and software development kits. Zoom said apps in the marketplace are being vetted by the company to ensure security and the user experience. Some of the app providers taking part at the launch include Microsoft, Egnyte, HubSpot, among others. As for its partnership with Dropbox, customers will be able to start a Zoom meeting while accessing and viewing shared files on Dropbox. With Atlassian, its collaboration tools will be integrated into Zoom.
Zoom CEO Dreamed Up The Company Years Ago
The slew of product announcements and partnerships are clearly keeping Zoom and its Chief Executive Yuan focused on growing the company he started in 2012. The former corporate vice president of engineering at Cisco and one of the founding engineers at Webex, Yuan has a knack for taking a business and rapidly growing it. Take Webex for one example. It started out as a team of ten engineers in 1997, growing to 800 worldwide under Yuan’s lead. The company went from zero revenue in 1997 to more than $800 million by 2011.
Zoom’s CEO isn’t just a strong leader. He’s an inventor too. He is a named inventor on 11 issued and 20 pending patents covering real-time collaboration. The graduate of the Stanford University Executive Program founded Zoom out of his frustration stemming from having to ride a train for ten hours to visit his girlfriend in college, who has now become his wife. Dreaming of a way to close the travel gap, Zoom was born years later. The China-born executive decided to come to the U.S. in the mid-1990s as the Internet was taking off. After applying multiple times for a U.S. visa, he was finally granted one on the ninth try. The rest is history. After Webex was sold to Cisco in 2007, Yuan stayed on as corporate vice president of engineering. By June of 2011, it was time for him to create the video communications company he dreamed up on those long train rides. Since launching Zoom in 2012, the company has exploded with it hosting more than 20 billion meeting minutes a year and landing one-third of the Fortune 500 companies as customers.
But it's not just growing a business that Yuan is focused on. The company wants to do good for society and thinks videoconferencing can meet that end. “By allowing people to meet face-to-face, it reduces isolation and increases team cohesion. Studies have shown that body language and facial expressions account for as much as 70% of communication, so in that regard, Zoom supports better communications,” Yuan was quoted as saying in an interview last year. “Zoom is often used to help people. For example, it’s used by Project ECHO to bring healthcare to rural environments around the world, and in education, it allows students who couldn’t otherwise make it to class to ‘be there’ via Zoom.”