I already had Zoom on my computers with a simple download. I just signed up for an account. As simple as putting in your email and name. They then send you and email, you click it, put in your email and password and you’re in.
I then started a meeting by sending an invite to my son. Unfortunately he was out driving - yikes! So I have moved the conference to my iPhone. He will click the link when he gets home. If this works the ease of use of this technology is dang impressive! I am using absolutely no infrastructure other than my iPhone. My son only has an iPhone as well. Lets see if this works.
If so, there my friends I believe we have what makes Zoom singular and such a phenomenon.
Easy Peazy and perfect video and audio. A better Skype anyways.
We started using it at work about a year and a half ago and it quickly took over, and I’m seeing that with a ton of clients that we work with as well.
I’m stunned now when I run into someone still using Skype for conference calls (and especially Skype for business) as the experience is so mediocre and clunky.
We use Zoom for all hands meetings (with a Conference Owl at HQ, which is awesome), for engineering evaluations as part of the hiring process, for one on ones, for client meetings, and it’s a smooth experience all around. Easy to schedule, easy to do ad hoc. I definitely prefer the native Mac app, but it works great on mobile too.
Looking forward to seeing what the numbers look like for the IPO.
The Motley Fool uses ZOOM for its monthly Farm Team meetings. It is easy to use. We also use slido.com on the side to submit questions (although in the last Zoom video conference, I was chatting with other Fools via a Zoom chat area). I am not that techy and the format is easy to use.
I use Skype for Business at work, our company use Microsoft for all cloud application, so that is what we have. My son takes some math classes online in past two years, teachers offer class in another states, but in same class, they also offer online same time when they teach in a classroom. That is when I know Zoom about two years ago. We use PC as well as ipad to access classes. My son took classes from two different teachers, one from Indiana and one from Texas. Interestingly, both teachers use Zoom for online classes. So far, the experience I see, Zoom is much better than Skype for Business. I am pretty sure Zoom will be a company changing the world, in same league as Netflix, with much certainty at similar stage of company’s life. Another company I can think of is Twilio, when it went public a few years ago, with similar buzz.
I’ve used zoom with some customers and partners who are on it, but we use Google business apps, so we are tightly integrated with Google Hangouts. I’ve also used GoToMeeting, and Cisco WebEx extensively (we have a lot of online meetings). They’re all pretty good, and they all have some quirks. G Hangouts works pretty good for what we use it for; such as screen sharing, video conference, directly integrated with Calendar, and so on.
Honestly, of all the above products, Zoom is my least favorite. Maybe that is because it is the least familiar to me, so I haven’t yet mastered their interface.
Invest wisely my friends
One anecdote/input from a non-US perspective - FWIW.
Leaving aside my previous comments about the number of times (double figures) my previous 2 employers switched telecon platform providers in under 20 year period); whilst I have used Zoom a handful of times recently (at other companies’ requests) and it performs well and is a solution provider we did consider for our own start up; there is one reason why it never made it to being a serious contender for us based on our footprint across Australasia, Asia and Europe.
For most teleconferencing and videoconferencing platforms sure there is a need for OTT/VOIP to operate direct via the PC when connected to the internet. However there is much more fundamental need for global dial in connectivity for non US international businesses and when out of office or traveling abroad and without broadband access. Unfortunately Zoom when we reviewed it last year and in all of the Zoom conferencing invitations I have have received merely has one single US dial in number. It maybe an 0800 number so for online or in US that’s not an issue but for rest of world that’s a real barrier. Dealing with American centric shortcomings of supposedly global solutions from US providers is a regular annoyance I have to say and this was one of those times. We didn’t go for Zoom for that reason - no global set of local dial in numbers. (Don’t get me started on AT&T that misses out so many countries in its supposed global teleconferencing solution).
As an additional thought - interestingly for all of ZOOM’s take on “video calling” being the new “tele-calling/conferencing”, none of the times that I have ever used the ZOOM app has involved turning on the video cam. And again quite frankly that’s another American centric point of view - given timezone differences it is likely that any US to Asia calling or even ROW calling is likely to involve one of the parties being outside office hours. I honestly cannot count the number of times I have had to do calls from bed at home or in hotels or clinging to wifi hotspots in bars/restaurants in foreign cities and this does not lend itself to wanting to switch on the video cam function. Being able to share screen as a function is probably a requirement in 50% of the calls and a much more mission critical technical requirement.
I find the ZOOM IPO and its current fundamental performance interesting however I honestly can’t get convinced on the Moat or disruptive play here as much as I want to believe it.
Apparently they have 90 countries/regions covered for local dial in numbers: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?u=jrZ6pjxLvP7FLSYEoK0eL2Lq7vq…
When you create an invite, you can customize which countries to include in the list of phone numbers, and it will still always give a link to the above list.
I probably use video about 50% of the time, some with client calls, and some with internal calls. There are certainly times that I join a call from my couch or the car and I leave the video off.
Sharing screens is smooth and easy.
Follow the money. Zoom clearly is doing something superbly correct. Of course it won’t get 100% of the market, almost no one does other than ISRG. But given all the competiton in this field, the incumbents, the newbies, whomever, Zoom has put together an incredible business that is clearly more than just another service.
I should be the last one to scream valuation, but that seems the only thing to scream here. At a high multiple but a reasonable marketcap, I probably jump all over Zoom at this point. I am not sure that the IPO will allow us that however. But all things are relative of course. Is Zoom at $10 Billion marketcap the equivalent to Zscaler at $3.5 billon marketcap when it was still called outrageously valued?
Heck, I don’t know. But that seems to be the only issue here with Zoom and the IPO on Tuesday.
when out of office or traveling abroad and without broadband access.
If the conference involves screen sharing … which I would think was most these days … how does one meaningfully participate without an internet connection? Doesn’t one just find a Starbucks or whatever or tether to one’s phone?
Me I try to avoid companies with plenty of viable competition. I want dominant near monopolies if possible.
I would buy ZOOM at IPO price but only for the initial pop, not for what most of us will have to pay.
We have had lots of user input here, and it seems there is nothing that special about ZOOM.
Exactly what about audio/video conferencing in general and Zoom in particular is New Paradigm? Is there a broken process here? Something mission critical? A moat?
Video conferencing to completely replace person to person a bit like nuclear fusion for power, it makes sense but it’s always a decade away. Though it can be a boon, in many cases tele conferencing has just added to the number of useless meetings . Because much of the time meetings are just a way for management to spread blame if something goes wrong. Pretty much any tool will do for that.
I understand Zoom’s appeal. The numbers are great and they have a trouble free product that simply works far better than product of the many competitors. But face it, video conferencing just isn’t all that stick and their moat isn’t all that deep.
Of the companies most followed here, Zoom seems the most vulnerable to competition from what I can determine. They could be commoditized pretty easily. I’m still thinking about sitting out the IPO. Can’t own every potentially great stock, I have trouble building confidence in this one.