Video Conferencing: Is One Option Enough?

Can B2B companies really “get by” offering to provide their prospective and current customers with just one video conferencing option, and just have one video conferencing provider?.. or do their B2B customers really prefer to be communicated with on the same videoconferencing platform they use at their company? Let’s face it, most people are creatures of habit, and not all are as tech savvy as they may be perceived. So as the use of video conferencing continues to expand, I believe most companies will find themselves needing to offer their clients more than just the one video conferencing option that their company prefers.

From an internal perspective, while there are several important criteria to consider when selecting a video conferencing platform, from an external aka customer’s perspective, are there any criteria more important than using the video conferencing platform that is preferred by most of your prospective and existing customers? In my mind, no.

Currently, Zoom has 64% of the video conferencing market share, followed by Skype (24%) and Webex (10%) based on the “State of the Cloud 2020” article dated April 22, 2020 that was posted on Saul’s board last week. https://www.bvp.com/atlas/state-of-the-cloud-2020 This would suggest that in order to follow the voice of the customer, or most customers, Zoom should be one of the video conferencing options offered by most companies.

We all know the dollar value of a client to most sales organizations is quite significant, as are the amount and quality of time required to establish credibility, share your value proposition and win work from a client. So having the “right” video communications platform to facilitate this process in the prospective clients’ mind is a low cost, high ROI solution. The right video conferencing option not only needs to work well, it also needs to help clients feel comfortable and ease their technology anxiety. Business development and sales teams need to have the ability to initiate a meeting on their clients’ preferred platform. What most clients I’ve spoken with have said about Zoom is that “it just works.” This is consistent with 64% of the video conferencing market who have said the same. With such a high market share, will those companies who do not currently have a Zoom account be more likely to consider purchasing one?

Regarding security, Zoom has answered this question in the minds of most people. Yet, how does Zoom compare to the competition, who have so far slid by unscathed by short sellers fanning the security flames of Zoom? While I have not researched the competition’s security, Zoom’s management team letter to its customers dated April 23, 2020 documents the recent security features and upgrades to “AES 256 GCM.” https://www.zoom.us/docs/en-us/privacy-and-security.html According to the ask Erik call yesterday, Zoom now provides its users with the same security features that are approved for top secret military usage by the federal government.

Finally, I see ZM as a long-term investment, and I believe Covid 19 has forced the issue and that we’re just getting started with the use of video conferencing. The ROI and payback are too irresistible, too great and too quick for large-scale adoption not to expand. This is validated by the number of articles I’ve recently read from workplace planning thought leaders who foresee the future of work as a hybrid of A) traditional office, B) video conferencing from office and remote locations and C) in-person and face to face in meetings in the same location as their client.

sjo
Long ZM and someone who works for a wonderful and successful company, and yet whose I.T. Department is not yet allowing employees to subscribe to Zoom, and requires them to either use Webex or ask the client to initiate the video conference meeting.

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Anecdotal but…
The company I work for uses Microsoft and Skype. Works well enough for internal meetings, but bringing in persons from outside the [company] network seems problematic.

One of our project security people maligned Skype for leaving ports open, saying it was a known bug and didn’t want our meetings with him to use Skype.

At the beginning of the month (April), a WebEx meeting got canceled because the world was video conferencing, and capacity scaling was an issue. With a suggestion to use Zoom, a rescheduled meeting and a successful demonstration occurred. I received a comment from the [external company] host saying thank you for the Zoom suggestion as they found it easier to use than WebEx, and it worked.

I assert that there is a need for multiple video vendors for corporate meetings as monolithic technology stacks don’t seem to play well with others across castle walls. Or maybe it’s only for the barbarians outside the gate.

FredM
finally own ZM shares

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Fred,
Thanks for your input.
Currently the company for who I work utilizes Citrix, which does not play well in the sandbox with most video conferencing systems.

Recently when installing a Webex account on my laptop, I was informed by one of our IT Technicians that I need to host or participate in all video conferences outside of Citrix. Otherwise, upon signing onto the video camera, the video conference will be dropped, which I have found to be true.

When I asked him if both Webex AND Zoom could be installed on my laptop outside of Citrix and if that would create any problem, he said no, as long as one logs onto either video conferencing platform outside of Citrix.

sjo
Long ZM