Videoconferencing company also is partnering with ServiceNow for management and support services
Zoom, a key beneficiary of the rapidly expanding work-from-home trend driven by the coronavirus pandemic, is unveiling a new Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) offering and partnering with ServiceNow to streamline the remote work experience.
The Lowdown: The cloud-based videoconferencing vendor has seen global daily participant numbers grow to as high as 300 million since the COVID-19 outbreak, which forced businesses to temporarily close offices and other sites.
The Details: Zoom’s HaaS, announced this week, is designed to make it easier for organizations to adopt its technology by eliminating the need for high up-front spending on equipment. Through the program, customers can choose phone and meeting room equipment from such manufacturers as Poly, Neat, DTEN, and Yealink to run the Zoom software and pay for it via subscription models.
Zoom is offering a range of subscription options that deliver the hardware and technology upgrades for a fixed monthly price. The benefits include:
> Predictable budgets: Enterprises can get the hardware they need without the large initial investment and know what they’ll be spending for the technology every month.
> Streamlined purchasing: Organizations will see their Zoom software and Zoom HaaS devices on a single invoice.
> Scalability: Hardware can be added as demand for Zoom Phone and Zoom Rooms grows.
> Support options: All Zoom HaaS offerings will be supported through Zoom and customers will be able to add professional and managed services for installation and management. Zoom will expand its use of ServiceNow’s Customer Service Management to cover HaaS devices.
In addition, as part of its larger partnership with IT management provider ServiceNow, Zoom will use the Now Platform, including its AIOps capabilities, for the HaaS model.
For its part, ServiceNow is exchanging its legacy phone system for Zoom Phone for its more than 11,000 employees. ServiceNow has been using Zoom technology since 2018 and that use has ramped up since the pandemic hit.
The Impact: Even after the pandemic passes, more employees will find themselves teleworking, as a percentage of both companies and workers say they want to continue the work-at-home model. Research firm Global Workplace Analytics is predicting that 25% to 30% of workers will be doing their jobs from home multiple days of the week by the end of 2021. That means businesses will continue to need affordable and streamlined collaboration tools like videoconferencing. A HaaS model also will give partners more options to bring to their corporate clients.
Background: Zoom has seen business skyrocket since the public health crisis took hold. Synergy Research Group said that in the first quarter the company saw revenue grow year-over-year 148%, far more than other competitors. At the same time, Zoom has drawn criticism over security and privacy concerns, which the company has worked to address in a 90-day plan that includes dozens of new features and the addition of more security expertise.
The Buzz: “Amazing hardware partnerships are a key part of Zoom’s ecosystem,” said Velchamy Sankarlingam, president of product and engineering at Zoom. “With many people globally coping with today’s unique challenges, easy access to hardware is critical for offices, distance learning, telehealth, and more. Zoom Hardware-as-a-Service will help users adapt to new work-from-anywhere environments by making it easier than ever before to get access to the latest and greatest hardware for Zoom Rooms and Zoom Phone.”
“Hardware as a Service is a game-changer that addresses key IT challenges of heavy upfront hardware costs, complex deployments, high-touch support, and cumbersome device lifecycle management,” said Roopam Jain, industry director of unified communications and collaboration at Frost & Sullivan. “It enables flexible and cost-effective OpEx-based end-to-end deployments that future-proof technology investments, allowing business users to leverage cutting-edge communications.”
“Since March, we’ve scaled to meet the incredible increase in business and consumer demand for our solutions,” said Ryan Azus, Zoom’s chief revenue officer. “ServiceNow has enabled us to deliver exceptional customer experiences during this period of growth. With the deployment of ServiceNow Customer Service Management, we expect to significantly increase productivity and reduce case volume.”
“Zoom has enabled employees across industries around the world to stay connected, and it’s also a core piece of our own technology ecosystem,” ServiceNow CIO Chris Bedi said. “Zoom’s capabilities and easy-to-use interface have helped our employees stay productive, supporting seamless digital conversations with our customers. Going forward, with the addition of Zoom Phone, we’re getting a head start on an even more robust experience with Zoom – one-touch communication and collaboration features, plus Zoom-connected conference rooms, giving our teams the best work-anywhere experience.”