Zoom is working on adding virtual reality avatars, video engagement and other technological advancements in 2022. Activity area spoke to Sameer Raje, Managing Director and Head of India, Zoom Video Communications about the company’s security efforts and the outlook for the future.
How important is the Indian market for Zoom?
Anything international today, outside of the US, is important to Zoom and that’s what we’ve been focusing on for the past few quarters. India is among the first countries for Zoom on two fronts. This is important not only for the market, but also in terms of the intellectual talents that the country brings. What we are trying to do is to tap into the Indian market and the second is to tap into the intellectual pool available in the country, to get quality engineers and people. From both of these perspectives, I would say that India is a very important market.
More and more new companies are creating video calling products that meet the needs of various professional groups such as education, sales calls, business meetings, etc. Does Zoom also plan to add platform-specific features?
If you think of Zoom as a platform, not only have we evolved, but we’ve also been ahead of the curve, in terms of inventing and bringing more features. When people started returning to offices, we brought in what’s called, you know, a virtual receptionist. Where people could interact remotely with a receptionist who is probably somewhere in a safe area within the office environment or even in her home. Then, when we realized that only 50% of people were going to work in offices, we came up with a solution for people to book offices, called Hot Desks.
Additionally, we also announced video engagement centers, which are similar to free calls to customer service representatives. Imagine if it was on video, there’s so much emotion and face value attached to it. The use cases are endless, so we do two things: first, we understand what our customers want based on changing needs, and then we introduce technology to help them in those areas.
There are several cases where legal proceedings or online classrooms have been disrupted by trolls. How does Zoom work to make the platform more secure?
The human element and the technological element must go hand in hand. Technology will have to continue to evolve to adapt to new threats that are coming, and moreover, we have to be preventive or proactive to avoid these kinds of problems and challenges. For example, we have implemented notifiers before meetings. So if you’ve shared your meetings on a public forum and we see undue attention in those meetings, our automated systems will contact the meeting host to let them know that their meeting is getting undue attention. It will suggest them to either upgrade to a better platform which is our webinar platform, set a better password or reset the meeting.
So technology will continue to evolve and we need to stay ahead of the curve, so that’s foremost. But the second element is the human element. Today, every person is responsible for their own safety and must take care of their own safety. Suppose someone organizes a meeting and then sends the meeting ID, password and URL to unknown people or shares on social media. Then you’re going to have unwanted guests in your meeting and there’s not much you can do to stop that. What we do about it is we frame and enforce certain rules. We organize many training programs for schools, teachers and children. We talk to them about best practices, and the same goes for our corporate customers and the rest of the customers.
What new updates can we expect from Zoom in 2022?
Video Engagement Centers are something we look forward to in early 2022. Similarly, we have whiteboard sessions in meeting rooms. We are working on solutions where you can actually write on certain devices which are touch devices and capture them directly in your instant messenger and chat. Virtual reality avatars are also coming. We look forward to introducing many new technologies this year. We’re confident in what we do and help organizations stay connected, and we’re putting more technology elements into it to make it easier to collaborate and bring in more human elements.
January 19, 2022