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Overview: Zoom Phone
On March 17, 2020, web conferencing vendor Zoom held a webinar introducing its new Zoom Phone offering. Zoom Phone is built on the same infrastructure as Zoom Meetings, expanding Zoom’s unified communications platform by transforming legacy voice-first services to a video-first communications phone.
Zoom Phone is currently available in 43 countries, with a beta version in 25 other countries in Latin America and APAX. Telephone numbers are provided in each region, with the option to move current business numbers across. For regions where Zoom Phone is not available, Zoom offers a “bring your own PBX” solution. Zoom redirects existing PTSN trunks to Zoom Phone while the carrier maintains SBC and private connection.
Calls through Zoom Phone in available regions are directly routed over a private network between five vendors: Five9, Twillio, Genesys, Nice Contact, and talkdesk. Zoom Phone also integrates with Slack and Salesforce, enabling call initiation through either software.
Key features of Zoom Phone include:
- Make and receive phone calls
- Intelligent call routing and voicemail
- Functionality between mobile and desktop apps, desk phone, and Zoom Meetings
- An upcoming feature will enable auto switch between mobile app use to Zoom Rooms when entering a physical meeting space
- Three-way calling and call merge
- Direct and team messaging
- Supports traditional business phone system features
Zoom Phone also has an Enterprise Management for Scale option. This option has built-in reporting and analytics for administration management. This includes:
- A real-time dashboard and historical records
- Webinar registration and attendance recording
- Alerts and status of call quality
- Call detail report
- Provisioning and policy control
- Auto attendant and IVR Management
- Identification of potential network issues, with native reporting of VoIP codec bit rates, packet loss, and jitter
Source: SoftwareReviews Scorecard for Zoom. Accessed February 26, 2020
For much of Zoom’s lifespan, it has sought to solidify its staying power by being the “go to” web conferencing tool that integrates with as many software solutions as possible. With the release of Zoom Phone, Zoom is starting to show signs that its new long-term plan is to offer a full unified communications platform that builds directly on top of on its web conferencing success – both in terms of its infrastructure and popularity.
Consequently, we may be beginning to see a shift that will see Zoom start to expand its communications portfolio. Zoom would have a way to go before being able to offer end-to-end communications solutions; however, its integrations and reputation suggest that it has a solid foundation from which to begin achieving such long-term goals.
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