Zoom is a New World Video Platform
Updated February 01, 2017

Zoom is a New World Video Platform

Stefan Scherbik | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Overall Satisfaction with Zoom

Zoom is used by the majority of our support staff, and is starting to be used by our field employees. This includes a few hundred offices, involving around 2500 regular users. Its greatest strengths are ease of use, reasonable cost, powerful encoding technology, end-to-end encryption, and one of the richest feature sets of any video conferencing platform. Notable features include cloud recording, support for legacy equipment, on-prem, and cloud, baked-in virtual backgrounds, polling, breakout rooms, whiteboards, file sharing, and best of all, a fully integrated conference room system. We use it for team meetings, recruiting, telehealth, executive meetings, company webcasts, outreach, chat, and one-on-ones.
  • Features! See above for its rich feature set. It's so easy to onboard users onto the platform because it's easy to get them excited about all the ways Zoom can help them. My users are buying popup greenscreens left and right because they're so excited about Zoom's Virtual Background feature, for instance.
  • Integration. The best example of which is Zoom's full integration with the Kubi robot. This robot is a tablet mounted on a swiveling stand which can be controlled remotely through Zoom to be able to look all around a room. My company uses it for telehealth purposes, and my team in particular uses the robot for video shoots in which we need a quick and easy remote shot of a crowd or event. We even have someone using Zoom and a Kubi to remotely monitor an empty front desk and greet guests who walk into the building. Few (if any) platforms can boast integration with such pioneering technology.
  • Price. Zoom is very reasonably priced to be sure. Not only are we saving by using it instead of other, more expensive video platforms--we are saving thousands in other, less measurable fields. Since the inception of Zoom at my company, travel costs have dipped significantly (because most managers and directors are more inclined to use the reliable Zoom platform to communicate, as opposed to traveling between offices). We were also able to almost eliminate several costly teleconferencing services. Ironically, full video meetings with high-quality VoIP audio are significantly cheaper than traditional phone-only teleconferences. Lastly, this may be anecdotal, but there is a perceived increase in productivity since Zoom allows more direct team communication than was previously possible.
  • While very good for what it is, the Zoom Room solution for conference rooms has some flaws. We have just over 30 of these rooms throughout the company, and issues with connectivity are a bit frequent, and this is likely due to the fact that it uses two consumer devices (a PC or Mac plus an iPad) which require a constant connection for the platform to work. Many may find it easier to support a conference room system involving one mini PC running Zoom (reminder, Zoom is available for Linux on PCs as well as Windows and Mac) and a simple wireless keyboard/mouse to control the meeting, instead of using a Wi-Fi connected tablet.
  • I would personally like to see even more cross-platform integrations on the part of Zoom. For instance, Facebook Live is a powerful new outreach platform, and would be even more powerful if it could sync up with Zoom. Imagine starting a Facebook Live broadcast through a Zoom Webinar room and reaching hundreds of followers with full video. Virtual Reality is another growing technology. I actually found it possible to stream a virtual reality video through Zoom by using Zoom's Screen Share feature for Android. By mirroring an Android phone running a VR app, I was able to broadcast a 360 video in a standard Zoom room so that other Android and iPhone users could view through Google Cardboard. But this is more of a workaround than a baked-in feature. Something like a "Go VR" button which converted your video to a stereoscopic mode, or that enabled VR streaming through consumer VR cameras like the Ricoh Theta, would be truly amazing through Zoom. (UPDATE Jan 26, 2017: Zoom recently announced support for Facebook Live)
  • I'm more involved in the support aspect of Zoom than the financial, but I can say that it represents significant savings, both because it is more reasonably priced than many competitors, and because its ease of use leads, naturally, to reduced travel cost. Its feature set allows companies to condense multiple platforms into one Zoom subscription. Why continue paying for a costly enterprise teleconference account when Zoom has VoIP audio and baked-in teleconferencing?
  • Reduced support needs is another plus. Supporting Zoom is a Breeze compared to supporting other platforms. Having been part of a very small team supporting Zoom companywide for the past two years, I can attest that my job has gotten easier and easier as people quickly got used to the platform. This has allowed me the freedom to take on multiple projects in addition to being the Zoom support grunt. And, it saves the company as less heads are required to scale and support the platform.
  • Zoom has produced a productivity metric which my company has never previously been able to observe. Because it is the standard for communications throughout the company, we can easily draw up a weekly productivity glance by measuring the amount, duration, and purposes of Zoom meetings. Zoom's reporting features are very good, so this is an easy task every week, and the chiefs love seeing it.
We have over 30 Zoom Rooms throughout the company, with plans for many more. I've previously described some of their flaws. Despite those, the Zoom Rooms system is really great, and they do work 90+% of the time. They recently added great features like ultrasonic detection which allows you to share a laptop screen with, literally, one click. They also now have voice control, allowing one to say "Hey Zoom, start a meeting" to start a meeting. And they recently released an Android controller version (in addition to the existing iOS version), so IT folks reluctant to use iOS no longer have to give in. Camera control through the iPad is another big plus. Plus Zoom continually strengthens baked-in remote support for these rooms, so they keep getting better.

Sticky features like this, and the fact that they're among the cheapest conference room solutions out there, do add value to the platform. But they still have work to do to make them more solid.
Zoom is the perfect blend of ease of use, smart technology and performance, cost-effectiveness, and features. When we started with it two years ago, it was still something of a promising startup. They've gone from that to a Gartner-recognized industry leader in a very short period. Before Zoom, we had been using Brother OmniJoin as our main video conferencing platform, but many found OmniJoin to be clunky, so it became known as an interim solution while we searched for something better. We had also been using Adobe Connect for large trainings and webcasts. Adobe Connect is great for niche use, but due to its expense, old business model, lack of focus on participant video, and some compatibility issues, it would have been impossible to scale.

While we began to evaluate other technologies, we looked at WebEx, Join.me, GoToMeeting, and BlueJeans. These are all perfectly capable platforms, and there's a reason they're so popular among other businesses. BlueJeans is the best among these in my opinion. But pound per pound, none of them compared to Zoom.

Some companies may prefer the low cost, easy support, and wide availability of something like Google Hangouts or Skype. And those with Office 365 subscriptions may find it very easy to justify using Skype for Business, which is not at all a bad move. But Zoom was the clear winner for our company, and around here it enjoys an NPS hovering in the 70s and 80s.

I believe I've made clear so far the situations in which my company has found Zoom useful. We had evaluated many platforms before arriving at Zoom, and two years ago they were a fraction of the platform they are now. Since they've added features like breakout rooms and whiteboarding, we were able to get our company trainers off of the unintuitive, expensive Adobe Connect platform and onto Zoom. So whether it's training, outreach, recruiting, telehealth, team meetings, webinars, etc., Zoom is robust enough to be well suited for whatever you can throw at it.

Zoom Feature Ratings

High quality audio
High quality video
Low bandwidth requirements
Desktop sharing
Calendar integration
Meeting initiation
Integrates with social media
Record meetings / events
Live chat
Audience polling
User authentication
Participant roles & permissions
Confidential attendee list

Using Zoom

Chiefs, managers, directors, associates, trainers, recruiters, digital sales and marketing, communications, clinical managers/directors/associates.
6 - Basic computer literacy and customer support.
  • Internal video meetings are the currently most important use case, and I'd imagine this is the case for many other companies
  • Zoom Chat is the most popular company chat platform.
  • Large Zoom webinars are commonly used for internal and external purposes.
  • Zoom is widely used throughout the company as a recording platform, for recording screen shares or video as a shareable .mp4.
  • We have over 30 Zoom Rooms set up throughout the company, with plans for many more.
  • Virtual Backgrounds are a really innovative baked in feature. No longer do users have to install extra applications like ManyCam or Xsplit--Zoom already includes greenscreen capability.
  • Zoom's integration with the Kubi robot allows for a wide range of use cases, from remote robotic monitoring of an office to more interactive face to face meetings.
  • Zoom's sizeable collection of international numbers allows us to set up calls all around the globe.
  • Attention tracking is a brand new Zoom feature that our marketing people really seem to be excited about. It lets the host know if participants don't have Zoom as the active window (and therefore aren't paying full attention) during webinars.
  • Zoom will hopefully, in the not too distant future, have support for Virtual and Augmented reality.
  • Zoom's brand new integration with Facebook Live and YouTube live will really expand our outreach abilities. We're planning many big FB Live videos.
We're sticking with Zoom for the foreseeable future--given its compelling feature set, ease of use, and advanced technology, there's just no other competition to be excited about. Plus it's a Gartner-recognized industry leader, so it's a rather easy choice.

Evaluating Zoom and Competitors

Yes - We had used OmniJoin/Nefsis, Skype, Google Hangouts, Adobe Connect, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Join.me, and a wide variety of teleconferencing platforms. When we picked Zoom, it wasn't quite the giant it is today, but the person in our company responsible for selecting a new platform was familiar with Zoom's history and trusted that they would rapidly improve. It was a gamble, but one that we handily won.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Vendor Reputation
  • Analyst Reports
  • Third-party Reviews
We had tried the platform and found it to be already ahead of many other conferencing vendors. And as previously mentioned, we were familiar with Zoom's history (such as CEO Eric Yuan having been Corporate Vice President of Engineering at Cisco and developing WebEx), so it seemed a trustworthy choice. Plus Zoom had had a great feature list planned, and it didn't take long to realize that they were excellent at implementing these features quickly.
We would not change our process. We got extremely lucky in picking Zoom early-on. We did our due diligence in evaluating other platforms, and were able to find a diamond in the rough.

Zoom Implementation

If you receive any pushback from higher ups, point to any of the various positive reviews like this one. Or show Zoom's excellent Gartner report, or articles describing Zoom's partnership with Sequoia capital. It's not difficult to show how Zoom is a trustworthy industry leader with best-in-class technology.
Yes - After initial testing in IT, we first identified key users from various offices around the company and requested that they use the software for a month or two. When they were satisfied, we moved onto a larger group. After doing a few large company webcasts with Zoom, we then proceeded to release it company-wide.
Change management was a big part of the implementation and was well-handled - A large part of change management was simply various teams doing due diligence to ensure the change was properly implemented. Besides that, it was easy to implement Zoom.
  • None, it was as smooth as could possibly be expected.

Zoom Training

I was in charge of learning the platform well enough to train others, and it wasn't difficult at all to learn the features just by using Zoom.

Configuring Zoom

It's not really a product that begs for configurability. It's configurable to the extent that we need to configure it. Zoom lets us set up separate environments with different features turned on or off. For instance, for HIPAA-compliance, we have an environment with end-to-end encryption in which recording is turned off and passwords are required for joining the meetings. This is separate from our main internal environment which has everything enabled.
Take advantage of Zoom's ability to create separate environments. You can make one where none of Zoom's features are enabled, and one where all of them are.
Some - we have done small customizations to the interface - For some of the rooms, I have changed the color of certain UI elements on Mac, which is a lot of fun to do, but it's not a baked-in feature, so it was difficult to do. Zoom Rooms does have a baked in feature that lets you add custom backdrops to the TV screen, which is extremely easy. Zoom also lets you easily change automated emails sent out for invitations and a bunch of other things, so we've customized these emails for company use.

Best of all, Zoom also lets you customize the internal landing page for users using HTML.
Some - we have added small pieces of custom code - Zoom does release extensive developer tools, and you can access Rest APIs, their MobileRTC stacks for Android or iOS, their JavaScript API, and SDKs for Mac and Windows. We haven't used any of these tools much, but they're there.
We have used Arduino microcontrollers to run custom macros to get Zoom to do interesting things. For instance, I used an Arduino Micro with microphone sensors embedded in a table which would auto-detect when someone at a certain seat at the table was speaking. It would then use XSplit to switch the camera to focus on that person. Then if the person adjacent to the first speaker starts speaking, the Arduino triggers XSplit to focus on them. The whole setup cost under $30 since Arduinos and components are cheap and XSplit and Zoom are free. Compare that to something like the PolyCom EagleEye which does the same thing but would cost $15,000 just for the auto-focusing cameras.

I made another one with photoreceptors so that if someone hovers their hand over a receptor, it triggers AutoHotKey scripts to do stuff like start or stop sharing in Zoom, advance a PowerPoint slide, etc. There are tons of possibilities for making custom setups like this.

Zoom Support

Zoom's support is truly world class. And I'm not sure if that's because my company was an early adopter, but nonetheless, they're very helpful. If we encounter some kind of bug (a rare event), it's not long before the engineering team gets back to me with a fix. If I want to submit a feature request, a rep gets back to me instantly saying that it's now on their scope (and then it gets added to the product shortly after). If I have a question about some feature, Zoom support always has a speedy answer.

They're very good at giving detailed release notes any time there's an update, and their documentation is always great.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
Yes - They're always resolved satisfactorily and in a timely fashion.
When they first released Breakout Rooms, it was missing a few key elements to make it a great experience. I outlined ways in which it could improve, and the rep informed me that most of them were already in the works, and that the rest he already took the liberty of adding to their feature list.

Using Zoom

Zoom is the most intuitive and useable platform we've yet encountered. I was not onboard with my current company for very long before we picked Zoom, but the difference in support calls I had to take before and after we switched to Zoom was astounding. People seem to get Zoom very quickly.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Using video. Zoom's technology allows video to perform well even with poor network strength, which greatly reduces confusion and frustration among users. It's very easy to get into a meeting with video.
  • Zoom's great new features like Polling, Breakout Rooms, and Registration are all easy to use. They're more complex features which do require explanation, but despite their complexity, it's still rather easy to provide training for using these features.
  • Screen sharing is now easier than ever since Zoom added a Screen Share button to its client home screen. Plus instant share in Zoom Rooms is now possible thanks to ultrasonic detection.
  • Scheduling meetings might benefit from being simplified. The scheduling popup is a bit more complicated than many expect, and since we use Outlook companywide, it takes an extra step to get an invite to open in Outlook and send it from there. There is a way to schedule so that it goes right to Outlook, but it requires the user to go to "Meetings" first, and then click on a Schedule dropdown and select "Outlook". Nobody knows about this. So, I wish we could configure Zoom so that the Schedule button on the Home Screen automatically goes to Outlook if Outlook is detected.
  • Difficulties with logging in is probably the most common support call we get. This is because we use Zoom's SSO feature. The feature is just fine, but it's just the nature of the beast that logging in with SSO takes more steps.
  • Zoom's back end might need some work. For instance, there are advanced user features like Virtual Background, Breakout Rooms, Automatic Recording, etc. Currently, the only way to enable these features for users is by individually clicking through each user and checking each checkbox. So, I've had to write scripts to turn features on or off companywide as they're released. Either that, or we use an intern to do all of the clickwork. Zoom needs a way to turn a feature on or off simultaneously for all users or a group.
Yes - iOS and Android are a bit different from each other, but both are easy enough to use. Plus, since ChromeOS now supports Android apps, Zoom can be used with Chromebits and Chromeboxes. We rarely get support calls from mobile users. Plus they are not lacking in most of the features of the PC/Mac clients.

Zoom Reliability

Because the Basic licenses are completely free, and because it's very easy to configure and install Zoom, and because anyone can join Zoom from a link without needing an account, scaling is a Breeze. There are absolutely no roadblocks. My company keeps adding more Zoom Pro license every week since it's so in demand. We were able to convert users from several different platforms onto Zoom with no trouble at all.
There have been less than a handful of outages during our two years with Zoom, and whenever there was one, an email informing us of the outage went out immediately, and they had the issue resolved shortly thereafter.
Zoom has among the best performance of any video conference platform, as I've mentioned several times. Besides that, their Chat platform works great, and their back end always runs smooth. It's unfortunate that reporting can now only be done by one month at a time, but nonetheless, it only takes a second to run any kind of Zoom report, whether it's an attendee report, Poll results, a user report, a list of meetings from the past month, etc.

Integrating Zoom

Based on how quickly Zoom integrated Kubi functionality, they seem to be good at it.
  • Facebook Live
  • Kubi Robot
  • Zapier
We waited a while for Facebook Live integration, but it's finally out and working great with Zoom's Webinar platform. We also use the Kubi robots as I've mentioned before, and Zoom was very good at working with Revolve (Kubi's maker) to get it working properly with Zoom.

I haven't really messed with Zapier much, but there are a bunch of Zaps that let you add Webinar registrants create Zoom calendar events.
  • IFTTT/Zapier--IFTTT integration would be appreciated in addition to Zapier. But besides that, I'm pretty sure there are loads more useful recipes besides just scheduling meetings and adding webinar registrants.
  • VR--Virtual Reality support and integration with any of the various VR platforms would be a huge selling point for us. Imagine integration with the Ricoh Theta camera or the Daydream headset
  • Google Home/Alexa/Siri/Cortana--Zoom just got started with Siri support, but if there were scores of phrases to use with voice platforms like this, Zoom would be amazing. Imagine saying "OK Google, invite John Doe and Jane Doe to a meeting".
  • Augmented Reality--Zoom's Virtual Backdrops feature is great, but it would be a lot of fun if it could overlay customize-able bits of useful information in a video feed.
I believe Zoom has virtual reality support in the works.
  • File import/export
Don't be afraid to go to support.zoom.us and submit a feature request.

Relationship with Zoom Video Communications

They were very accommodating as we worked to switch to the Zoom platform.
We continue to have an excellent relationship with Zoom, and we continue buying more licenses from them.
There were not any special conditions. However, we are grandfathered into their earlier pricing model, having been early adopters.
Nothing is necessary, they're already very easy to work with.

Upgrading Zoom

Yes - We upgrade the Zoom client quarterly. Zoom usually comes out with 1-3 releases during a quarter, with pretty much one major release a quarter. There's never any down time, and they always work on back end updates over the weekend to reduce impact. One time they even did an update on Christmas day!

There are very rarely unexpected impacts. We always test updates before releasing companywide, but nothing bad ever turns up. One recent issue was actually my fault--Zoom released a new Waiting Room feature, and I enabled it companywide, not realizing that it supersedes the Join Before Host functionality--which everyone in the company relies on. I disabled the feature and now we only enable the Waiting Room feature for individuals upon request. So be careful to find out what something does before enabling it.
  • The latest update we did happened to be the 4.x update, which has all kinds of improvements like Facebook Live integration, improvements to Breakout rooms, voice integration, multiple screen sharing capabilities, multiple co-hosts, etc
  • There are always minor process update--Zoom continually improves the flow of their platform
  • I've heard people say, when other companies release updates, it's like "oh geez, now I have to update again." But when Zoom updates, it's like opening a pile of great presents.
  • Lots more great new features
  • Minor updates to improve useability
  • Possibly changing some UI elements
Yes - We have many Pro, Large Meeting, and Webinar licenses throughout the company, and are always adding more.