Zoom Video Communications is Expanding Beyond Video With Email, Calendar Tools

Zoom Video Communications is Expanding Beyond Video With Email, Calendar Tools

Zoom Video Communications Inc. is expanding beyond its video function as it plans to roll out email and calendar features to its suite of tools as part of its latest round of business features announced at its annual Zoomtopia event, to reverse a post-pandemic slowdown. The Outlook-like Mail and Calendar, which is currently in beta, will fit neatly into the company’s new unified Zoom One interface alongside other tools such as Team Chat, Whiteboard, Phone, and Meetings.

The new features are an attempt to centralize more work on Zoom’s platform, allowing users to stay on the app throughout the day rather than just for meetings. Zoom said Tuesday that its new email and calendar tools, which will be available in a beta version for clients, can be linked with other popular providers such as Alphabet Inc.’s Gmail and Microsoft Corp.’s Outlook. A Zoom-hosted email client is also available for smaller businesses without dedicated IT teams.

The company has already pushed into Slack and Microsoft Teams territory with the recent release of Zoom Team Chat, and the race for a complete hybrid work solution that includes instant communications, video, and email is on. Zoom is taking on Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) more directly by allowing businesses to connect to their existing email service or, if they lack an IT department, host it for them.

What you Should Know About Zoom New Features

Small businesses surviving the pandemic may need to migrate their outdated email servers to a more secure platform, especially if they lack the IT personnel to keep them up to date. Zoom Mail and Calendar services are now other options for businesses to consider in addition to Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace — after all, they are probably already using Zoom meetings.

Joseph Chong, head of product at Zoom explained in a company blog post that Zoom mail is end-to-end encrypted within Zoom Mail Service users. “The Zoom Mail and Calendar Services (beta) are targeted at small-to medium-business customers who particularly value email privacy.” The all-in-one solution is intended to eliminate the need for users to switch apps when group messaging, beginning a video meeting with the team, or responding to a client’s email.

Zoom Mail

Zoom’s newly updated Mail and Calendar webpage introduces a new ‘@zmail.com’ domain for customer accounts, while Zoom One Business plan customers can create their custom domain. Another page confirms that Zoom Mail and Calendar can integrate Google and Microsoft 365 (exchange) services when used as a client.

Calendars within Zoom make it easier to start meetings by eliminating the need to fumble with Zoom links or see who is already in the room before joining. You can also see which meetings have been completed and view a recording link without having to wait for staff to finish uploading and manually sending it to your team.

Zoom Video Communications Roll Out Other Features

The company also revealed some new features at its event. Zoom Spots, for example, aims to “bring the fluid interactions of in-person work” by keeping your and your teammates’ cameras turned on in a virtual co-working space. Zoom Spots are expected to be available in early 2023.

The video meeting platform also has a new AI-powered chatbot called Zoom Virtual Agent that can help businesses resolve customer issues and reduce call volumes to human agents.

However, this may be unrelated to the need for the company to return to its glorious era of 2020, as investors continue to doubt for certain if Zoom’s platform ambitions will pay off – the stock has fallen 86% from an October 2020 high. Analysts expect declining customer counts and sales growth of less than 5% when Zoom reports results on Nov. 21, a far cry from the triple-digit revenue increases that Zoom experienced during the pandemic.