Exploring the Zoom Phone opportunity

I counted 21 mentions of “Zoom Phone” in the 2020Q2 Conference Call (https://www.fool.com/premium/coverage/earnings/call-transcri… ), during which they bragged about expanding just this month to 25 additional countries, earning FedRAMP certification, signing their largest Zoom Phone customer in Q2, and citing customers for it like ServiceNow.

But, what’s the TAM for Zoom Phone and who are the competitors?

The two competitors I know of are 8x8 (EGHT) and RingCentral (RNG). RingCentral is the larger of the two. RNG’s stock has done very well these past few years (up 10X in 5 years). They have partner deals with AT&T, Avaya and Atos, and cite customers like the state of West Virginia and Marvel Technology although some of their big customers are unnamed.

The categories RingCentral discusses are UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) and CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service). Zoom Phone plays in UCaaS.

RingCentral has a strong partner channel (2000 partners), which brought in 70% of their million dollar wins in the last quarter. (https://www.fool.com/premium/coverage/earnings/call-transcri… ).

While RingCentral is growing, it’s is not a fast growing company. From the 4Aug2020 earnings call linked above:
Total revenue grew to $278 million. This is a 29% increase year over year and is above the high end of our guidance range. Importantly, total annual return revenue, or ARR, grew 33% year over year to $1.1 billion.


We expect subscription revenue growth of 28%, up from 25% to 26% previously. We expect other nonrecurring revenue growth of 8% to 12%, reflecting customer engagement shift from desktop phones to RingCentral apps on laptop and mobile devices.

We expect total revenue growth of 26% to 27%, up from 24% to 25% previously. We expect non-GAAP EPS to be between $0.92 and $0.94, up from $0.91 to $0.94 previously

In terms of TAM, RingCentral says the TAM for UCaaS is $50Billion+. That’s where Zoom Phone competes.

One question/concern I have is the observation that RingCentral is heavily dependent on robust channel partners for sales. Is that because RingCentral was small and direct sales would be too hard/slow, or because the market for phone services needs an ISV or other installation/integration/migration services to be provided? If having these integration services is important for selling in this market, is Zoom going to be setting up those partner relationships? It might be a mistake to assume that companies using Zoom Video will automatically think to migrate to Zoom Phone - those are different departments at most large companies.

RingCentral has had a video conferencing solution (RingCentral Meetings) that is built on Zoom! (https://www.techradar.com/reviews/ringcentral-meetings )

So, with Zoom going after RingCentral’s market, it would seem obvious that they’d want to get away from giving money to Zoom. Just last quarter they introduced their own video solution, RingCentral Video, which has about 10K paying customers so far. RingCentral hopes to migrate everyone from RCM to RCV. Obviously.

A while back there was some discussion about what kind of moat Zoom may or may not have, and that anyone could write their own video conferencing application. That’s obviously true, as RingCentral has done just that, but whether they can catch up to Zoom’s ease of use and video quality remains to be seen. It may pay to watch migrations from RCM to RCV - if those don’t happen we’ll know that the new product isn’t as good as the one with Zoom inside.

At any rate, these two companies are positioning themselves for head to head battles in the market for Phone and Video services.


Hi Smorg,

I see RNG being a useful guide for where ZM might be able to take their PBX offering. I like the 50B TAM RNG states in their Q4FY20 CC.

Y-Charts has RNG with Full Year Gross Margins of 72%. Oddly, I didn’t see them list GM in the Notes at RingCentral IR so I found it elsewhere.

It’s higher than I thought and would be pleased if Zm GM was no more effected than if they were able to push out their PBX with that margin.

Is it lazy of me to ask for your thoughts on Possible margin effects Zm may experience related to their PBX offering growing as a percent of sales?

Thanks for bringing the clash up at the end: These two companies have collaboarated and stopped. Now they compete.

A quarter ago RingCentral was saying MessageVideoPhone and Zoom was saying we have added a PBX. Productwise not sure how different they are. My guess is not so much.

RingCentral has had a headstart, but it is virually unknown outside the business telephony space and North America. The same cannot be said about Zoom, which in the space of 6 months has become an international verb and a globally respected brand.

Channel to market
I believe RingCentral were forced to build the go to market on a legacy market place with lots of VARs, Network operators, ie everyone who used to make money on PBXs. I do not believe that this is as relevant today as it was a year ago and I do not believe there will be enough value add for the direct sales approach with ATOS/BT/AT&T/Avaya for the bulk of the UCaaS market. Which means any UCaaS leader will need to be seriously good at scaling selfservice globally… I know one company that has done this very well on a global scale and that company is Zoom.

Zoom will soon be in the Magic Quadrant for UCaaS and a large part of UCaaS TAM will be Zoom’s.