Supporting Employee Collaboration in the Age of Hybrid Work

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter return-to-work strategies, IT teams are left to support an ever-shifting mix of work schedules, locations, and employee expectations. To understand what challenges employers are facing in empowering the employee experience and pricing productivity in a post-work-from-home environment, enterprise leaders need look no further than Zoom – the leading cloud-based video conferencing platform – as a model for unifying the hybrid workforce.

In this webinar Marko Spremo, VP of Sales Strategy at Bluewave (formerly Telapprise) and Colby Nish, Head of Global Zoom Phone at Zoom, cover these topics:

  • Understanding how COVID-19 lockdowns and the shift to working from home has altered employee expectations.
  • Strategies for driving a unified employee experience whether they’re at home, in the office, or working from a remote location.
  • Empowering business productivity in a modern marketplace that demands flexibility.
  • How Zoom has helped their clients achieve distributed collaboration through their Voice, Video, and Chat platforms.
Transcript

Marko Spremo:

So for those of you who are still joining us, we’ll be starting here in just about 30 seconds as everybody gets logged in. Okay. Let’s get started. So first and foremost, thank you for everybody attending our webinar today as part of our monthly webinar series Supporting Employee Collaboration in the Age of Hybrid Work. The goal of today’s webinar is to talk about really four key points, understanding how COVID-19 lockdowns and the shift to working from home as also employee expectations, strategies for driving a unified employee experience, whether they’re at home, in the office or working from a remote location, empowering business productivity in a modern workplace that demands flexibility, and how Zoom, our partner today, has helped their clients achieve distributed collaboration through their voice, video and chat platforms.

Marko Spremo:

A couple of quick housekeeping items, on the Q&A piece, we want to have this interactive as much as possible. So for those who have questions, please do address those questions via the Q&A. And we’ll hope to have this as interactive and answer any questions that we have. As for those of you who know, the pandemic has changed things quite a bit and for all of us in the workforce and where would we be without Zoom? My kids probably wouldn’t have been able to go to school. And so Zoom has become now a verb kind of in the English language. And we’re really excited to have Zoom here today. So I don’t need to really address kind of who Zoom is but I’ll let Colby, our presenter, do that. As far as Telapprise, for those of you who do not us, a little blurb about us, we specialize in helping clients translate what we call the technology chaos and helping move them into streamline efficiency by helping them manage through what we call the technology life cycle of pain.

Marko Spremo:

And we really do that by helping clients identify source, procure and implement data solutions from the carriers and providers as a value at a representative of various carriers and vendors out there. Without further ado, we’ll go ahead and get started with today’s content and introduce our guest speaker. And thank you very much. We’re introducing Zoom’s head of Zoom Phone Americas, Colby Nish. Colby, thank you again for joining and participating in our monthly webinar series and I really look forward to the conversation. And again, thank you for your support and your team support on this conversation today.

Colby Nish:

Great To be here, Marko. Thank you. And it’s a privilege to be connected back with you again. For those… Probably no one on this call knows, but Marko and I worked together two decades ago. So really a blast from the past. And it really brought back the glory days where as we worked together we were really focused on delivering the best service to our customers to be prompt and deliver the best value ad to differentiate ourselves and glad to see Telapprise is still doing that and happy to be here with you all. After that time, I went over to Cisco for 14 years leading different sales teams, Video Go-To-Market as well as our sales strategy for Americas and then joined Zoom a little over two years ago.

Colby Nish:

To build up what is Zoom Phone today, we have an awesome team of a little over a 100 people that are really the best and the best in the business that have sold PBX’s and phone systems in the past, and really helping those customers migrate from one platform over to Zoom. And so I’m going to walk through exactly the four points that Marko talked about. The impact on COVID, we see a lot of customers asking, “How do I go back to the office? How do I do it safely? What are those tools to help me be effective? And especially through the pandemic, we’ve learned a lot, but we’re also continuing to evolve. So I’m going to jump right in here. And I think we’ve all seen this last year has really been quite a change. When the pandemic hit and employees were told to head home, it wasn’t that simple, right?

Colby Nish:

Did we have the right tools in place? If I wanted to collaborate with my people, did I have a meeting platform that I could be effective? Was it simple? Could my end users pick that up? And a lot of times only certain people have those licenses, special knowledge workers, executives, people that were on the road. Now, when they move all of those functions to work in remote, really changed things. And for us at Zoom, it was amazing. I mean, you saw overnight, we went from 10 million users to over 300 million daily active users, incredible. Absolutely growing pains through that process, but we’ve all had those pains.

Colby Nish:

And for those in IT that are on this call, I think we’ve all seen that IT really had to step up to the forefront to make the business continue to work, but also to transform ourselves in not only how we’re working, how do we continue to work in a new dynamic where all of our users are not in the office, how do we transform our tools, deliver those services and how do we do it in a way that makes us productive and competitive in the market.

Colby Nish:

We have now seen that shift over to trust. So as companies are starting to look to come back to the office, some are in the office in certain states, certain locations, you have a fair amount of employees that are concerned about their safety. I think we have a lot more germaphobes than we had in the past, but I want to know is this a safe environment? Maybe I don’t want to touch things. I probably don’t want to touch a rail in the subway but nowadays I may not want to touch a phone or a whiteboard inside of my office. And so we’ll talk a little bit about that throughout our time together.

Colby Nish:

And then we’ve seen just this huge change. So when we look at the amount of increase of jobs searches for remote users, that has consistently ticked up 4X the number of jobs being posted for remote users. And I know I could tell you at Zoom, we used to have a lot of people physically in an office in San Jose, in Denver, in Atlanta, Kansas City, certain offices, we don’t care. We get the best people wherever they’re located and they can work remote and we have the tools to make them successful. And I think a lot of companies are in that same dilemma. We’re also seeing now, what does that look like in the return to work?

Colby Nish:

So we see some stats like these, like 74% are thinking they’re going to permanently have some type of flexible work environment and we see different things. Is it Monday, Friday that we let them have off? Well, now all of a sudden that’s a five day weekend, how much productivity do I get out of them being in the office or at home? Or do we have some people come every other day? People are struggling with how to figure that out. And I think it’s really important to have the right tools to support whatever that paradigm is that we have out there. The good news we’ve seen throughout this is those flexible environments. When we see this improvement in our top performers, but also our low performers, people are much more productive. I would argue I’m one of those people that the company gets a lot more time out to me now. I miss to commute, I miss the flight at times and the ability to catch up on work versus being on all day, but we’re seeing a huge impact on productivity based on these tools.

Marko Spremo:

It’s interesting. Colby, if I can just interject you for one question, we just posted something in our LinkedIn channel a short while ago that was a study done by Forrester, right? And it talks about the toping issues for organizations and it’s interesting to supporting a permanent hybrid workforce anywheres it follows, right? 76% said it was operational efficiency, 73% said it was remote work experience, 69% said it was hybrid worker experience. And according to the study, the most strategic and impact of collaboration activities were working sessions, planning sessions, group brainstorming. I know for us, as we’ve been remote since March 7th, 2020 for all of our employees throughout the nation, that is some of the stuff that we do struggle with.

Marko Spremo:

And what people are saying is the most difficult things perform 37% of the respondents that are part of this study by Forrester. And we’re saying that only 37 are extremely satisfied with the current collaboration and productivity and 80% agreed that investing in this type of cohesive collaboration solution was the most important initiative and will help the organization stay competitive and maintain that industry leadership. So it ties into kind of exactly what you’re saying. Sorry to interrupt. I just want to kind of bring that up because it was a very interesting article that we were looking at the other day.

Colby Nish:

That’s a great article and I think the 37% you mentioned, that’s a very sad number, right? You have a lot of people that aren’t happy about the tools that they have, and this is an area where as the pandemic hit and people who got sent home, you think about it… And I run our phone team, right? So though it’s really hard to pick up a phone, you get that to work a home. Didn’t matter what solution you’re on. If you had an on-premise PBX, did you have the right infrastructure in place to be able to support that? And then secondarily, we saw a lot of people roll out soft phones and the amount of complaints we can hear from customers of like, “Hey, that soft phone’s confusing. I don’t get it. It’s difficult.” It wasn’t what we hear from Zoom, which is, “Boy, it just works. It was super intuitive. It was simple. My end users picked it up.”

Colby Nish:

And we had a financial service company deploy 180,000 users in a week moving from their existing platform over to Zoom. You think about the amount of onboarding enablement, that would be a nightmare. And they would’ve completely laughed prior to the pandemic that they would even consider doing something like that. If you don’t have those right tools that are stupid simple for your end users to pick up and use, you’re asking for trouble. And that’s what we probably see from those 37%, right?

Marko Spremo:

Yeah. And I think one of the things that us in technology, we always forget is that from an adoption, we’re very early at the adopter, especially obviously as I was mentioning at the start, 18 months ago, Zoom was known in the corporate world, but it wasn’t a verb in the language. Today, “Oh, I’m on a Zoom.” Right? And it doesn’t matter whether you’re five years old or you’re 90 years old, people know what Zoom is.

Marko Spremo:

But also I think some things we forget a lot of the time is that in corporate America, as early adopters and dealing with technology, we forget that there are older technologies out there. We were just talking to an organization that still had a T1 PRI on a PBX 18 months into the pandemic and are still struggling on how are they going to get the remote workers because their calls are coming in and coming out, it’s costing them money. It’s causing them challenges, productivity, the whole ecosystem they’re trying to reinvent, but it ties into some of the stuff we’ll get into later, how do they take that existing infrastructure and move, right? Because when you’re starting something up from brand new, it’s very easy, when you’re trying to integrate all these different things, it’s not that easy. And that migration of 180,000 users, that’s an amazing story because that’s extremely quick.

Colby Nish:

Exactly. Yeah. Just to further along our conversation, we’ve seen this change, right? The workplace is now everywhere. And when we look at that workforce and where are they, they are everywhere now. And it’s really changed from work being a place where I go to to being work is I do. I do it anywhere, right? I can work from anywhere if I have the right tools. And it’s just been an interesting dynamic. And so when we look at how is Zoom helping people, and you talked a little bit about this Marko, we’ll dig into some of those exact use cases, we have seen really the power of UCaaS. We’ve heard a lot of people talk about Unified Communication as a Service being that next frontier and people being in this market for many years trying to get there.

Colby Nish:

And we’ve all taken different approaches and we’ll talk about Zoom’s approach, but that single platform, single architecture is really been the key to Zoom’s success because it is simple, it works, it’s reliable, it had a 100% up time this last year and this is through phenomenal growth and the ability to scale in a distributed architecture that’s a cloud native application versus the old ways of having a cluster of a 16 servers of my PBX, I’ve got a video MCU sitting there and I’m trying to figure out how do trunk and get those to work and mix in other platforms, extremely difficult. And so this is where we have really shined where customers are looking at, hey, how do we collapse these different collaboration applications into one subscription that one, is financially much better cost savings, but more importantly, is it more productive and allows me to run my business in a better way that supports my end users at home, in the office and on the road?

Colby Nish:

So when we look at where we’ve come just to take a step back in time and Marko, I think you were talking about this, right? We had people with T1s going into it. We see everything in between working with the customer. Last week you had Cisco’s IP communicator if you remember that product. Boy, talk about being back a few versions. But everyone’s come at this from different ways, right? We’ve seen the conferencing market where you used to call IT interior service provider just for audio conferencing. And then that really moved into adding video. We saw like the Tambergs, the Pauly Rad Visions of the world come out and change the financial dynamics and putting those boxes on-prem, which were big iron with big dollar signs next to them. And then we saw the WebExes of the world and others popped up around, “Hey, let’s move this to a cloud and put this into a subscription.”

Colby Nish:

That’s the same path we’ve seen for phones from TDM based, PBXs over to voiceover IP and then people starting with voice in the cloud. If you look at where Zoom started, we started 10 years ago and we started from a video first perspective. And this is where we really show up as a differentiator when you look at the experience between one platform to another. You start from a fax side or a voice side first, and then try to cobble on and add video on top of that, those that are using those platforms, you see the struggles of getting those to work, whereas we’ve come the other way. When you start with video first, you can have the best video quality in the world, but if you don’t have great audio quality like we’re having right now, it’s worthless, right? If you don’t understand me, it’s a bad meaning. Well, that is actually what Zoom Phone is.

Colby Nish:

And this is where Zoom has been able to leverage that single platform and change that into things that you’re all seeing every day, right? We’re seeing healthcare completely transformed, being able to do telemedicine, telehealth sessions over video and meet with doctors. And a lot of that is all of these that sped up through the pandemic, things like all of our kids on Zoom last year. If we didn’t know Zoom, we ended up learning it from our school and trying to figure that out. And I can tell you that that was a challenge, right? Having three kids at home and you’re trying to work at the same time and you’re all on Zoom, difficult, but a tool allowed us to be successful. And across the board, we have seen Zoom really transform from what was more of a business platform for conferencing and transform into areas like delivery and fitness and events and everything under the… And it’s amazing if you look at our on Zoom platform of what people are doing to move services onto a video first environment.

Marko Spremo:

I always think, where would we be in the pandemic if this was 25 years ago? The technology really has allowed us to continue to do our job, right? Without it, I don’t know how we would’ve gotten through things if this was two decades ago without this technology.

Colby Nish:

No. And the thing is we all had that. We all had some technology, just did it serve the needs we had this last year and a half, especially with these increased needs and the scale? And so this is where if you’re not familiar with Zoom… I talked about Zoom as a platform. So it’s this single platform, single application. If you’re on, like we’re all on right now as a Zoom user, you’re registered to multiple data centers in an active, active stance globally across the world. And then that’s what powers all these experiences. And we’ll talk about a few of these, right? The ability to have video chat, video rooms, phone, whiteboarding, email, webinars, events, all of them under one single platform, but when we look a little bit closer, you have to have that same consistent experience at home versus in the office or even on the road.

Colby Nish:

And this is where we’ve done extremely well, because if it’s a different application or a different experience, you feel like a second class citizen when you’re trying to work from home, it’s challenging. And we’ll talk about some of those use cases, which is, we’re all used to this little square now on Zoom. That completely changes when we go back into the office and there’s six of us around a table. So what should that look like? And to give you a glimpse of where we’re really focused on back to the office, these are some of the use cases. And if we’re to kind of look at these, there might be areas that you on the call are also looking at. From a health and safety standpoint, you have the ability to do virtual receptionists, do you want someone physically up there or would you rather have a Kiosk where someone could check in either with a QR code or be able to touch control and be able to select where you want to get to environmental data?

Colby Nish:

So all of our new video endpoints systems that are out there, and a lot of the older ones have environmental data. So what is going on in the air? It’s sensing that, it’s sensing heat, but also what’s in the environment. And then how many people are in that room. You may have a policy that, hey, this room is set up for six people and because of safety concerns, we’re not going to have more than four people in here. So having that people counter and being able to control that starts to become very interesting. We’re seeing a lot of companies ask for those key things.

Colby Nish:

Then like digital signage, hot desking, room scheduling, we’ll talk about those. But from a hands free communication, this is another area we see a lot of customers really happy to see innovation, which is I talked about this beginning. I don’t want to touch anything, right? I want to come in and check in, I don’t want to touch anything. And then I want to go into that conference room and I want to be able to pair with that video system. If I’m going to use it for the day, I don’t want to touch it. I’m either going to pair directly with my own cell phone, or I can use a QR code and take that over. And we’ll talk a little bit about that hot desking capability.

Colby Nish:

But you may have seen Zoomtopia, the ability that we showed this last week, hey, I might be needing to whiteboard, well, I don’t want to go touch someone else’s pen. Was that sanitized? Well, you can do that directly from your phone as well. So a lot of these wireless pairing, wireless sharing voice control features are really what we’re seeing address a lot of those concerns as people go back to the office and concern with safety. And so let me show you a few of those. So Zoom Rooms, Zoom Rooms is a license that is for the standalone video conferencing rooms. We are very agnostic. So we have companies like Polly, Neate, Logitech, AVer and others that make those devices, we power the software.

Colby Nish:

And what’s beautiful about that is any room you go into, it doesn’t matter which vendor you pick, you pick the right vendor, the right camera, the right setup for your room, but that user experience is going to be identical in any of them. So really simple for your users to walk, in easily join. We talked about wireless sharing so… “I’ve tried to figure out where’s the dongle. How do I get this set up? Oh, crap, maybe, didn’t get that set up right, I need to call somebody.” You don’t need to do that. You walk into a room, automatically it senses you’re in that room from your Zoom client and you share it. Really simple.

Colby Nish:

Whiteboarding’s available across not only the meetings, but across all of our endpoints, and then there’s integrations with Miro and others that you can do very rich integrations and things like Infinite Canvas. Now, what I also mentioned is on the rooms perspective, this is a I guess maybe I was going to say a secret, it’s one of our sales guys cringe sometimes when we share, but one single Zoom Room license allows you and entitles you to unlimited digital signage across your environment, unlimited room scheduling and displays and virtual Kiosks.

Colby Nish:

So you have the ability to manage that based on location, based on your floors. But these are things that we’re seeing as people go back to the office is, hey, I want scheduling. I want to know is that room available, I want to be able to book it. I want to have signage for things that alerts across my campus and I don’t want to pay a ton of money for it.

Marko Spremo:

And how are you seeing from… And maybe you’ll get into this a little bit here, but how are you seeing as these employees are starting to come to work, right? I mean, some are being required, right? We’re seeing here and now the new announcement last week where you have the vaccination for a 100 employees or more. And the new normal is hybrid. Right? I don’t know some companies where you have to be in because the technology is not there, but for those that are there, how are you seeing by doing all this, how can organizations utilize the collaboration technology to ensure that, that experience… When you’re there in office if you had a question, you’d knock on someone’s cube or office and say, “I got a question.”

Marko Spremo:

And one of the things with collaboration is always finding. Now it seems to be always on a Zoom or some sort of conference call. And so you get the presence piece. But how are you ensuring with Zoom and I guess, what are you seeing is a better question that the individuals that are coming into hybrid that when they’re there, obviously they start feeling it’s a new normal, right? They start feeling their back part of the team. And I know we had some in-person collaboration with our team. It felt like we were so productive, so much more productive in many cases. And then on the flip side, there’s areas where we’re productive in the collaboration piece that we aren’t when we’re in-person because you’re in a condensed timeframe.

Marko Spremo:

So how are you seeing that your clients are ensuring that everyone feels that they’re part of the team and culture and aren’t feeling left out? When they come in the office, completely understand that. But many organizations are saying people aren’t going to come back to the office. So how are you seeing that from the tech that you’re providing that that is changing and ensuring because culture’s a big thing in making people feel part of that team. How are you addressing that with some of this stuff and what are you seeing?

Colby Nish:

You bet it’s all over the place, right? Everybody’s different. Every vertical industry we see has a different take on things. Do they need those people in the office? Some are mandating more so than others where we see a lot of people are given that flexibility like, “Do you want to come in the office? Hey, we’ve been successful for the last year and a half and highly productive without you being in the office,” kind of makes it hard to mandate you need to be in here to do your job when you’ve been super successful without coming into the office. But I think what you touched on is the most important part, which is the culture. I mean, like at Zoom, we’ve more than doubled the size in the last year and a half of our company, right?

Colby Nish:

And we had a culture of being in-person and spending time with people and building those relationships. And I think probably everyone on this call, very similar. And so it’s really hard when you have hired all these people you’ve never met in-person, you’ve never shared a drink or a lunch, you haven’t had the water cooler moments and how do you recreate those? And so I see the same thing you’re saying Marko is a lot of companies are really appreciating that and you become, hey, these are things we missed out. But we’re also seeing companies say, “Don’t come in the office if you don’t need to come in the office. If you need to come in the office to get work done, then do it.” And so I would say I can’t paint a picture of this is what we see from everybody, it’s definitely different degrees from every industry.

Colby Nish:

What I would say is when you look at the busy slide that’s been going on here for a couple minutes, we’re seeing this change really from equitable standpoint of we’re all used to being this little square in Zoom. And now when you go into this office, you think back before we went home, that screen that was just up where those three people in that conference room are having a very great conversation. You’re on the remote end, just feel like you’re not even there part of the conversation. Sometimes you’re hard to hear it. What this is is this is our new smart gallery feature that takes everyone in that room and then individualizes them to their own square. So really breaking out those remote users so we are feeling like we are together in the same experience we are right now.

Colby Nish:

So whether you’re in the office or you’re at home, you should be that first class citizen with that same exact experience. And so we’re seeing a lot of interest in that capability. And I mentioned this a little bit, but when you look at the hybrid work space and how do we interact with that, this is a new capability where I can go in any bookable device. I can go in and reserve that from home, from my phone or when I walk into the office perhaps on that Kiosk to be able to reserve something. Is it a phone I need? Is it a touchdown huddle space? Is it a conference room? And I want that to automatically signed out. And these are features we’ve struggled with with third parties trying to bolt on different reservation systems, scheduling systems and displays to now just very integrated.

Colby Nish:

And you’ll notice on this third box here, these Zoom Rooms, Zoom Phone appliances, so there’s rooms you can schedule these, but there’s also these Zoom Phone appliances that we came out with that a lot of people haven’t seen. The ones that have get very excited because what this is, these are three phones that are currently available and there’s another three that come out later this month that are even less expensive. But for a couple 100 dollars, you can put one of these devices in your room and you get the full Zoom user experience that we’re used to on our mobile phone or on our PC or Mac. So one driving that user experience is very simple, but I also have all the features of a phone, the ability to hot desk and take these over. But the thing that’s pretty cool about them is they’re actually a Zoom room.

Colby Nish:

So that is a full video display unit. It has camera built directly into it. You can whiteboard onto it. So I say for a couple 100 dollars, you think about it’s estimated that 94% of the conference rooms out there do not have video in them today. This is why we’re seeing a lot of customers figure out like, hey, we are all used to video, what’s that experience going to be like when you come into the office? And I need to be able to deliver those services. I need somewhere where maybe it’s acoustic fencing, so I’m not hearing every conversation or all that background noise, but I also need a way to deliver video in a very inexpensive way instead of putting $1000 units all across my office. So this gives you a very easy way to do it.

Marko Spremo:

Yeah. I think is one of the things that as everybody considers going back, we’re all used to sitting at home or in our own space. And so that capability to be able to speak as loud as you want, talk as loud as want, move around, everybody going into a little more of a confined space I think that’s something that really people need to think about as they, one, go back to the office, but as an organization brings people back in the office.

Colby Nish:

Yeah. And I saw that question in the chat. So we announced last year, so there’s full Interop between a Zoom room and a Microsoft Team’s room as well. So that ability to join other meeting services from your Zoom rooms very elegant, but also to have that Interop. So Microsoft and Zoom has that Interop between the two. And that’s just a decision customers need to make on what is that preferred experience, but it shouldn’t hold you back from when you… We know every business is going to get invited from every single different conference service based on who invites them to a meeting. You can’t really dictate that at times. But it should be for your own organization really simple to join those. And that’s what we’ve delivered.

Colby Nish:

I mentioned the Zoom Phone appliance, and I just want to give a couple plugs if you haven’t seen the Zoom Phone offering. So it’s been in market nearly three years. This is an enterprise PBX system that we have customers from the largest customers in the world running it to SMBs and plenty of customers with less than 10 users with every vertical in between there. And you talked about at the beginning, same exact platform. We took the audio features in here and added PBX and PSTN capabilities to call in and out of Zoom and that is Zoom Phone. Same management platform. If you notice in this picture, you end up with a phone tab down below, which is that soft phone, but we also support 70 other phone devices, analog devices, overhead paging capabilities as well. Same security as Zoom, we support AES 256 bit encryption, your device phones we support and this is delivered across all of our data centers.

Colby Nish:

So I’d mentioned a 100% uptime for Zoom Phone this last year, very simple to add into the platform. And we’ve had tremendous success. So I’ll share with you a customer’s slide here in a second of some of the customers. But we’re really focused with lighthouse customers that were fortune 10 customers saying we need to move off our long term on-prem PBX that we’ve had for a couple of decades. These are the necessary features to move forward. We delivered those. The other area was customers were and probably everyone on this call, you end up with a PBX and then you have a carrier delivering PSTN services. We partner with those carriers in a very great way. So we call it cloud pairing. We’ve connected our clouds with theirs. So you can leverage those PSTN services, but we’ve also delivered our own.

Colby Nish:

So we’re the carrier in 47 countries. What customers love is that predictable spend. And I know Telapprise, you guys work with customers to work through those telecom expense deductions. Customers love this because for a set amount, they can have unlimited calling all their users, but you can also mix and match. So you may have users that, hey, I just need a phone for 911 features. I don’t need all the capabilities. I don’t need a DID. You can mix and match those and dramatically reduce your cost. Now, we’ve had a lot of success in this space and I mentioned some customers. So customers ranging from Tapestry, you may know them from like Coach and Kate Spade, retail environment globally across the globe, inside retail environments, customer who moved off Cisco HCS reduced their bill by more than 50% and delivered a better service that their customers and their employees loved.

Colby Nish:

You can see some large names on here ranging from the largest in the world, but also customers in governments. So we’re FedRAMP certified. As I mentioned, 47 different countries, we deliver native service into, but can deliver it anywhere. And then you’ll see companies like CapitalOne inside the financial services. One of our largest companies not on this list has 40,000 phones deployed in a financial service environment that needed things like VDI support and the ability to have data retention on voicemails and very granular controls. So this is just a snapshot of what we’re seeing in the market. I talked a little bit about 911, but I’ll just give you one last plug is when you start thinking about going back to the office, employee safety becomes very serious, right? And as we talked about at the beginning, we couldn’t take our office desk phone home with us.

Colby Nish:

Sometimes we took the soft phone, but a lot of companies also said, “Hey, just use your cell phone.” Right? And when we see that, you think about the brand of your company, how are your employees interacting? What if they leave? What is the voicemail experience? How do they get a call and they need to transfer this to someone inside your contact center, inside your support or to somebody else? How do they look up that directory? But now when we go back into the office, how do I know if someone dialed 911 and how do I get ahold of them? And so this is what we’ve delivered is this nomadic 911 capability that’s included in Zoom Phone at no extra cost, but we track based on your access point, SSID, your switch port exactly where you’re at.

Colby Nish:

And now we know based on that location how to treat that call. And if we don’t know where you’re at, we ask you, and now I know, hey, I’m at home automatically aware. If I go into the office, it knows if I’m aware. And if you could notice on here, someone dials 911, that goes to your internal safety team, it goes out to the PSAP for emergency services. It can also go to that digital signage we talked about that’s included with your Zoom rooms. So just a lot of capabilities that are out there. And it gives us an opportunity to share with those on the call. Zoom is a very full feature set that’s driving a lot of capabilities as we look at that return to the office, but also help those that are at home.

Marko Spremo:

So quick question on that last slide you had. So you talk about nomadic features. So will that track when I go into the office and then come back home? Because one of the things with E911 that people forget about in many of the UCaaS solutions that are there today, and when you even don’t have UCaaS solutions even worse is you’ve got to put in where you’re at? So if I’m traveling… Historically speaking, I was using an application I could be saying that I was in California, but I’m in Texas, that’s a problem. So are you saying that that will automatically transfer based upon where you are or do I have to go and do that?

Colby Nish:

I would say yes, but there is a layer to that, right?

Marko Spremo:

Fair enough.

Colby Nish:

So typically, customers will deploy this. So a couple things when they deploy. One, I listed some huge customers on that list. None of them young can replace their PBX and move over. We have the ability. We call it on-premise appearing, but we will connect of that on-premise PBX, keep those calls on net. Your dial plan is exactly the same, allows for a seamless migration. A lot of those companies are paying someone like Intrado or RedSky or somebody else a couple dollars a user a month for the similar 911 capabilities that as you mentioned, Marko, are still manual and have to do a lot of stuff. But there’s been a lot of work done on, hey, I already know my office. This floor is based on this switch port and this IP address range, that can all be imported directly into Zoom.

Colby Nish:

And so when that’s done, it knows, hey, I’m on the third floor in conference room 2B. However, when I go home the first time, it’s going to have a popup that says, “I don’t recognize your location, can you add your address?” Once you add that in there, it now automatically knows it. So it’s not going to ask you again, but let’s say Thursday we go down to Starbucks and I fire up the laptop, it’s going to pop that up again. And so for unknown locations it will ask, but all your office locations through a deployment you would get those set up.

Marko Spremo:

Thank you. That clarifies. Appreciate that. So kind of circling back with some of the stuff we touched on and thank you again for going through some of the questions kind of around just going back to some of the topics, from the experience of Zoom and what you’re seeing out there in the market, what is the expectation now from employees going to this hybrid? Right? So the lockdowns and the shift to working from home has altered the employee expectations, but what are you seeing that look like and what are you recommending to clients to one, make sure they’re productive as we talked about the report from Forrester earlier, but one, keeping them tied into the culture and keeping them happy because everybody is talking about I don’t want to go back into the office. I mean, for me, I miss my office for various reasons but many people don’t want to go back wherever we’ll go back.

Colby Nish:

Yeah. You’re spot on. And it’s interesting because I think it all gets down to what are the tools that you deliver to your employees and are those tools that make them happy? Are they productive? That’s my background, delivering happiness, this is what we do at Zoom. We’re very focused on that happiness side. But if you give me something where it’s really hard to communicate… You and I were talking before about another solution that we see customers say, “This is just garbage. It doesn’t work for me.” If it’s really hard to connect to a meeting, if you can’t hear me, the video quality stinks. We talked about like the audio quality better be good. If you can’t hear me, then this was pointless. You think about those chat tools and how we’re collaborating.

Colby Nish:

If I don’t have the right tools, I’m probably looking to go somewhere else so I can be productive. And we’ve see a lot of employees, there’s definitely a labor shortage, especially when we look at skilled labor, we’re all fighting for the best people that are out there. And it starts to become something that attracts those employees or what are those tools that they have available to them. And so we’re seeing that as a key determiner of that decision making. And a year and a half through this pandemic, I see.. I was on with a customer two days ago, who said we really tried to consolidate down to one vendor, we’re having so many problems with of this. And so maybe it isn’t one vendor and this is where we get started with Zoom.

Colby Nish:

So everybody on this call, we’d love to do a proof of concept. If you haven’t seen Zoom, this is what we do because once you see that experience and you start using it, it’s where we shine. But I think maybe Marko to some of your question, it’s not that easy, right? You need to integrate into things like Salesforce, Microsoft dynamics, and into perhaps data retention and tools like Bear and Smartish and others. And so this is really where we’re focused on. We have 1500 different application integrations that are out there. We have a very healthy developer community with ISVs and APIs to integrate and build custom workflows because that’s necessary. Like it’s unreasonable to think that you’re going to live all day into one application and be successful at it. And so this is really a big focus is how do you deliver the power of video, power of engagement, be able to call and make it simple, but be able to do that in those different applications or workflows.

Marko Spremo:

And I appreciate that statement because what we see out in the marketplace is a lot of times vendors will say, “You can do it all in one.” Right? And then what we find out is a lot of organizations, they don’t know how to ask the questions for discovery of a vendor, right? How do I make the change? What are the challenges that I’m going to face? What are the issues that they’re going… And everybody, the old plug and play, right? I mean, we have all learned and been doing this, plug and play is not really plug and play and it doesn’t work. So kind of from that standpoint and I think one of our director of technology kind of coined this term in a presentation, we’re talking about UCaaS about two years ago right before the pandemic, which was Unified Communications is about unified as parts of the European Union and because it’s very splintered in that.

Marko Spremo:

And so when you talk about integrations, so this kind of ties into second point of the topic around the strategies for driving unified employee experience and whether they’re at home or in the office or working from a remote location. You touched upon that a little bit about how you’re utilizing the application. And there was a question here earlier about how do you see and what are you seeing clients… You talked about the struggle. So you have a Zoom application, how do you integrate with people have office 365 or I have the G Suite and my email, my calendaring, my presence, what are you suggesting to clients when you’re talking about the Zoom Phone and the Zoom application for them to look at what are some of the pitfalls they need to look at?

Marko Spremo:

Because we were talking about jumping on this Zoom, I went from this morning, I’ve been on a WebEx, I’ve been on Teams, I’ve been on a Zoom, this headset does not like that. It’s a challenge for me. Fortunately, I live all day doing these different things, but not a lot of end users are doing that. And that experience can be very frustrating. So what do you suggest clients look at and some of the things they need to look out for?

Colby Nish:

Yes. It’s a challenge all around from everything you described. In a perfect world, you would have that single application so you don’t need to bounce around one to another, but I think as much as you can consolidate that down, so do we have a corporate standard and this is the platform we’re going to use, that’s what we want to go with. And I noticed my video just got fuzzy there for some reason but I’m over here blurryfaced. So just to talk about that more… And I’ll pop off my video for a second. I’m back. So what we see really Marko is there’s definitely a challenge when you go from one application to another. What we have built is integration. So let’s say you’re in Slack and Slack is your chat application of choice, there is a Zoom application.

Colby Nish:

So when you click the video button, it launches a Zoom meeting. If you click the phone button, you launch as a Zoom phone call and you want to remove those areas where an end user would get confused. One of those key areas is Office 365 inside Teams. So we have the exact same integration inside of Teams with Zoom, where you can essentially replace Teams being that video conference in that phone and make it Zoom. Now, the challenge is most admins won’t go through and disable that button. So you can go in and configure Teams in such a way to remove all confusion for your end users, you click meeting and it launches a Zoom meeting, and that’s just how we work.

Colby Nish:

If you give someone two choices and there’s two buttons that look the same and they both do two different experiences, now we get back into those same issues of like, “Hey, how can you hear me? Where are you? I’m in the room. You’re not there.” And that causes a lot of end-user frustration. And so we’ve really focused on like, what is that one single engine that’s going to power those experiences in those other applications. If you can define that, you’re going to be able to dramatically reduce that customer frustration and the confusion of which app, but if you leave it to the wild West that like, hey, we have six different applications you can use for meeting services, you pick, then we are in that world that you had today, you get the Zoom invite, you got the Teams invite, you got the WebEx invite. And all of a sudden, does my mic work? Does my headset work? Did that integrate into Outlook accurately and show up and that’s usually a recipe for failure.

Marko Spremo:

And there was a comment here about 1.3 trillion was spent on digital transformation in 2019 and 75% of projects reported as a failure. And that goes back to the conversation around the discovery piece is what’s the underlying… I think it’s easy to stand something up from a tech when it’s new. Right? And so it’s very nimble quick, but as we touched on earlier, a lot of organizations have these legacy stuff that it’s a couple revs back, if you will, and how do you tie that? And that changes the way someone works and goes back to the culture. A couple other questions here, so as we go through we talk about briefly the customer experience is starting to take a more important role in organizations, right?

Marko Spremo:

And how does the acquisition of the Five9… And I know it’s still in process and it was announced, but how does that affect the Zoom Phone and end users collaboration experience? Because a lot of things now if I call in on something and I’ve got to be asked or wait on hold or I can’t chat, that becomes frustrating. So what does this mean in your view of… And it’s not just Zoom, we’re seeing that across the board with other UCaaS providers starting to give CCaaS and things of that nature and vice versa, what do you think that means for the blending of UCaaS and CCaaS? Do you think we’re going to see that become one seamless platform as organizations work to provide UCaaS and CCaaS.

Colby Nish:

Yes. Right. So we put down about 15 billion to make that vision happen. And so we’re seeing and hearing that from customers as well, right? They want to blend those two together in ways that allow them to do more unique things. And if you think about what is Zoom really, really good at? It is this video quality, uptime reliable best experience. You think about Five9 and having an omnichannel routing engine that just works and AI and bot integrations that they have in that platform, you put those two together, all of a sudden you start thinking about future customer experience and what does that look like? We have a great integration with Five9 as well as several other of the leading magic quadrant contact centers of service providers that are out there today. And that was our approach and still is best of breed.

Colby Nish:

And what we did is we direct connected our cloud to their cloud. We have presence across there. We have chat integration across there and the ability to call into that back office. And so that’s been one level, but we’re seeing customers ask, “Hey, we want a single subscription. We want a single management platform.” And this is the future that we see out there. And for those that maybe didn’t catch Zoomtopia this week, we had a number of announcements, but I would lead you to look at something really interesting that we did announce called Video Engagement Center. And this is really, you think about contact center, it’s really been a cost center delivering support. We’re really focused on this video engagement center being revenue driven, which is connecting people like we are right now in video.

Colby Nish:

And so think about the ability to have an IDR, being able to take a chat, be able to do scheduling, but then move that for video experience directly with an expert. So when we start thinking about like investment banking and telehealth, and be able to meet with the doctor and do it across video at a very inexpensive price point that’s outside of a contact center, so totally different, but we’re seeing the world merge between video engagement plus contact and customer experience for that next world, next gen experiences and that’s where we’re looking at for the future and excited about it.

Marko Spremo:

As we go to this call of future of hybrid work, as we kind of close out in terms of time here, what are the three things that you would say organizations need to look for or think about to allow for a productive hybrid work environment as you’re seeing that from a Zoom perspective and the challenges that you see clients face with the thousands of clients that you’re working with every day, what would you suggest?

Colby Nish:

Yeah, that’s a tough one. Thanks for the prep on that one, but I appreciate it. We see a lot of customers challenged with that. And it’s amazing just the expertise we see from our customers, those forward thinkers who are really focused on how do I deliver the best user experience that’s productive for my environment and have no technology religion. Let’s take a fresh look at the tools that are out there available and do they work for me? And I think you touched on a bit, like we all have legacy applications that we need to support.

Colby Nish:

We may not be able to move with those off right away, but how do those integrate together in a seamless way that makes our end users productive. Second is that architecture. Are you beholden to an older generation architecture? Are you looking at things that SD-WAN and how am I cleaning up that architecture, especially when I’m at home or seeing environments where offices are popping up that would’ve took them three months in the past to deliver they’re taking them weeks. They just drop an internet circuit, SD-WAN and everything’s wireless in that office.

Colby Nish:

I think it’s really critical when we start looking at those services. And then the third, I would say, just from listening to your end users, what are those surveys saying? Do they want to go back to the office? When they go back to the office, do they want to wear masks? Do they want to have room controls and the ability to not touch things, being able to cater to them so that you can attract and retain the right talent in your organization, marry all the three of those together and I think you have a pretty good recipe for being competitive and successful in the market.

Marko Spremo:

Thank you. And one item on that to touch up on. I just want to make sure there’s the clarification you touched upon earlier, right? And I think this is important for organizations to understand when you’re going to, you talked about standing up on that second point, standing up offices, the Zoom Phone application is a cloud based with multiple data centers. It’s not a hosted as it’s a single instance. And I think a lot of organizations, I shouldn’t say don’t know, it’s not expressed. And everybody thinks it’s all the same thing in the sea of sameness as we call it and they’re very, very different. So that is going back to your kind of point earlier. I just want to clarify for the users on call that this is a true cloud-based phone system. It’s not hosted in a single data center, it’s on a single instance, correct?

Colby Nish:

Correct. Thank you for asking. And it kind of goes a few steps further, right? The Zoom meetings application that everyone is used to using, Zoom Phone is part of that application. It is the audio that we are using right now today over three and a half trillion audio minutes a year pumping across that. We deliver PSCN service on the meetings platform in 130 different countries. What we added was PBX features directly into the Zoom application. And that Zoom application, whether it’s phone or meetings is one that is distributed across 18 data centers globally. We’re always an active, active stance. So for my instance, I’m based in Dallas, I am registered to two different data centers right now.

Colby Nish:

In that data center, those are in an active, active standpoint, and we have a tertiary one. So when I say a 100% uptime on Zoom Phone, no one would have a clue if we did have any downtime, because we would fell over from one to another. And it is that cloud native distributed architecture that people, when they try to move and rewrite their on-prem phone system, their on-prem video conferencing and then move that to a hosted environment, that’s not the same thing as cloud, that’s hosted and you still have those same issues and same hardware dependencies and operational dependencies.

Marko Spremo:

Thank you. And the reason I ask that is because when we talk about user experience, ensuring that no matter where you’re at, whether you’re in your office, you’re at home, coffee shop, your car, that makes a big difference. Colby, is there anything that we didn’t address that you wanted to address on today’s session?

Colby Nish:

Marko, I think we covered a lot. You got me out of my comfort zone. We talked about rooms and getting back to the office, and I really appreciate the time with you. The only thing I would mention is Telapprise is a great Zoom partner. And if anything in this call was of interest, we’ve got a huge team of people that look to work with you. And you hit on one of the important things, Marko, which is anytime you’re evaluating something, hold the vendors accountable to really understand your full environment and that proper discovery. That’s what my team, what we hold them accountable for. And that’s what we’re looking forward to do is allow us to show you the experience and show you how we can deliver that happiness to you. So I appreciate the time, Marko.

Marko Spremo:

Likewise. Really appreciate. It’s great connecting again. Thank you so much for taking the time from yourself, we really appreciate it and how busy you are. And thank you for the whole entire Zoom team insisting to this and thank you to the attendees that have sat on this and really appreciate your time. So Colby, thank you so much. All the attendees, thank you for attending and look forward to talking to all of you soon. Have a great and fantastic rest of the day.

Colby Nish:

Thanks.

Marko Spremo:

Thank you everybody.

 

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