Telco strikes deal with cloud collaboration solution vendor as pandemic drives market expansion
Telecommunications giant BT is offering Zoom cloud-based video and audioconferences as a collaboration managed service.
The Lowdown: The London-based company this week announced an agreement with Zoom that will enable it to deliver Zoom Meetings as a fully managed service to enterprises.
The Details: The rapid shift to remote working, distance learning, and telehealth driven by the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled skyrocketing demand for Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, and similar collaboration platforms.
For BT, the agreement with Zoom gives it an alliance with the video communications provider that has seen the greatest demand increase during the public health crisis and the ability not only to offer Zoom Meetings as a managed service but also to sell Zoom Rooms, Zoom’s software-based conference room system.
Through the partnership, Zoom is able to hook up with a global telco that has international reach. BT becomes the first global provider to offer Zoom Meetings as a managed service. The deal also includes end-to-end monitoring to ensure a good user experience and enhanced security.
BT is offering security options ranging from encrypting communications and protecting customers’ user IDs to multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) connectivity, dedicated network gateways, and user-adoption programs, which include customer education on security practices.
Organizations also have an array of network options, such as the Internet, global SIP, public switch telephone network (PSTN), and MPLS.
The Impact: Zoom and other cloud communications solution providers saw a sharp uptick in demand when the coronavirus outbreak spread around the world in late winter and employees were sent home to work and schools closed, forcing students to take classes virtually. Zoom reported that its saw as many as 300 million participants daily, a threefold increase over pre-pandemic levels.
Despite early stumbles around issues of security and privacy, Zoom has continued to see high demand. Synergy Research Group reported last month that the public health crisis drove an 18% increase in spending on cloud and hosted communications solutions in the second quarter, with Zoom being a key beneficiary.
Background: Zoom in September said it expected demand to continue to grow, increasing its sales forecast by more than 30%, with users moving from its free to paid offerings. Its first-quarter sales hit $664 million, a 355% year-over-year spike.
The Buzz: “We chose BT as a global managed service partner because it’s a trusted and established leader in the world market with in-depth enterprise voice, video, security, cloud, and networking expertise,” said Ryan Azus, chief revenue officer at Zoom. “Our new agreement will help large enterprises fully experience the benefits Zoom Meetings, Zoom Phone, and Zoom Rooms offer. This partnership will also expand Zoom’s global footprint and enterprise sales capabilities.”
“We’re keeping it simple for customers, helping them create secure and productive digital workplaces for their people, wherever they are,” said Andrew Small, director of global portfolio at BT. “Our new managed service allows global enterprises, typically with complex network and IT infrastructure, to consume Zoom Meetings in a simple, consistent, and secure way with optimized experiences for their people around the world.”