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Zoom turns to AI to reinvent itself as much more than just video calling

Zoom bets big on its AI powered collaborative workspace

Zoom has launched a bid to reverse its post-pandemic torpor and become the "everything app" for online and hybrid workplaces with its AI-fuelled Workplace collaboration platform.

The Zoom Workplace collaboration platform includes a raft of new features including document editing and sharing, continuous chat, real-time office room bookings, integrations with other suites and "AI-powered" live transcripts.

The firm has positioned the offering as an open platform, claiming its APIs, SDKs, and over 2,500 integrations in the Zoom App Marketplace will simplify the integration of existing tech and Zoom.

The platform is positioned not as a seperate application, but a "refreshed" look within the existing Zoom app. It is an attempt to be an everything app for collaboration, similar to Microsoft Teams or Salesforce owned Slack.

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The refresh spans 40 new features, the firm says, including a customisable toolbar that will allow users to pin their most-used features, along with multi-share, which will allow multiple participants to share their screens.

The platform has also included a new workspaces tab for hybrid workers, adding features that help them navigate offices, book workspaces and integrate with digital Zoom rooms.

However, the company has banked most heavily on its new AI-powered business services.

New features include a post-call summary tool using its AI companion which will take care of notetaking for meeting attendees, and even suggest next steps, which could include showing relevant action items, drafting agendas, and summarising chat and email threads, as well as documents. This feature supported 36 languages.

Another AI-powered tool will allow users to synthesize and share information from Zoom Meetings, Mail, Team Chat, Notes, Docs, and other e-paperwork. A more cheeky use of the tool will be allowing latecomers to meetings to ask the AI Companion to provide them with a summary of what they have missed.

On the business side, Zoom Contact Center will see further real-time capabilities available with AI Expert Assist, which include intelligently retrieving and suggesting the best responses from a curated set of knowledge bases, CRM systems, and other systems of record.

Additionally, supervisors will have visibility into their agents’ live engagements with real-time customer sentiment, live transcriptions, and conversation summaries from a single dashboard.

Other additional features have been unveiled to support customers of the software's Revenue Accelerator and Events services.

This push to be more than just a video conferencing software comes as the company ekes out revenue growth in single figures, following leaps of 300% plus in the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic. It shareprice is currently $65.95, compared to $559 in October 2020

In 2023, the company let go of 15% of its workforce, nearly 1500 people, due to slowing demand for its service. CEO Eric Yuan also took a 98% pay cut for the fiscal year.

While its margins have since improved, in February 2024, the company announced it would cut a further 2% of its workforce. It is now hoping that AI integrations (partly powered by an investment in Anthropic) will turn its fortunes around.

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