As most of us have learned during the pandemic, managing all those Zoom meetings really demands a calendar and currently that functionality is handed off to your Outlook or Google Calendar.
That could change in the near future as Zoom is reported to be looking to expand beyond video conferencing to email and calendar services, using its massive growth during the pandemic and the fact it’s now a household brand.
According to The Information, Zoom is already working on an email web service that could launch for testing next year while the calendar service would be a longer-term goal.
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Zoom supports more than 3.5 trillion annualized meeting minutes, and sees well over 300 million daily meeting participants, more than triple Google Meet’s 1 trillion minutes of video calls globally this year.
The move into email and calendar apps could also help Zoom hedge itself against a future where people actually do return to work after COVID-19 vaccines are distributed to the world’s population through 2021 and beyond.
The move into email and calendar apps has the potential to make Zoom more of an enterprise productivity platform that competes with Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace.
In the enterprise, it would push the company beyond voice, video and unified communications and its traditional territory competing against Cisco, Microsoft and Avaya. It also has the potential to become a more consumer-focussed brand.
Of course, with $1.9 billion in cash and equivalents, Zoom could make another acquisition following its purchase of Keybase, the maker of an end-to-end encrypted messaging and cloud storage system.
Zoom counts among its competitors Cisco Webex and LogMeIn GoToMeeting; bundled productivity solutions providers with video functionality, including Microsoft Teams and Google G Suite and Meet; and PBX providers, including Avaya, RingCentral, and 8×8. In the consumer and small business space, it counts including Amazon, Apple and Facebook as key rivals.
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As Zoom noted in its latest 10Q filing with the SEC, it faces competition from rivals that can offer bigger bundles of software.
“Certain competitors offer, or may in the future offer, lower-priced or free products, or services that compete with our platform, or may bundle and offer a broader range of products and services than we do. Similarly, certain competitors may use marketing strategies that enable them to acquire customers at a lower cost than we can.”