UC Roundup: Zoom, Fuze, Vonage Talk Video Conferencing Issues


Video conferencing with associates

Zoom has experienced sharp highs and lows since the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a massive wave of video conferencing to accommodate remote workers.

Its user base grew by another 50% to 300 million in the last three weeks. At the same time, Zoom has been dealing with a massive backlash over security and privacy issues that has prompted a number of governments and organizations to ban using the video conferencing app.

On Wednesday, Zoom announced security enhancements with the upcoming general availability of Zoom 5.0, part of the company’s 90-day plan to identify, address and enhance its security and privacy capabilities.

Zoom said adding support for AES 256-bit GCM encryption provides increased protection for meeting data and resistance against tampering.

So what have these highs and lows meant for Zoom’s partners? We asked Laura Padilla, Zoom’s head of global business development and channels.

Channel Partners: Can you first talk about the explosive growth that partners have experienced because of the work-from-home shift?

Zoom's Laura Padilla

Zoom’s Laura Padilla

Laura Padilla: The whole world is experiencing this unfortunate pandemic, so as a result, we’re all shifting. We’re all changing the way we normally work and are having to do that at an extremely fast pace. Our architecture is built in a way for distributed environments and for video sharing anyway, and that’s one thing that we were natively built for, so we just lend ourselves very well for a working-from-home environment, and so users just naturally gravitated towards us. And we were excited and proud to be able to help the world right now.

We obviously have everything from governments like New Zealand, the U.K. Parliament is using us to run their business and their countries, 100,000 schools are using us to run their classrooms and keep children educated, and health care institutions and and hospitals. So all those different use cases have been something that we’re very proud that we’re able to support. But at the same time, it was very challenging to do that all within three weeks or so. We went from about 10 million users to about 200 million daily users in a matter of weeks. So it was a strain on our infrastructure. But again, because the way our product is built, it’s built for distributed access. And so we were able to scale and to grow with the usage as needed.

CP: Has this prompted new opportunities for partners to gain new customers?

LP: Absolutely. Our partner growth has been exponential. I know one of your questions was have partners stopped selling Zoom, but actually it’s been the opposite. What it’s actually helped us with is partners who were on the fence or maybe were selling some of our competitors more have completely shifted to selling us more because they just see that we’re better to service their customers. The request for Zoom has been so high from their customer base that it’s been inevitable. And so the demand, the pipeline and the number of customers coming in, we’ve had to hire lots of new contractors to be able to support the influx and usage, and also support all the requests from partners as well.

CP: At the same time there’s been all these questions and concerns about Zoom security and privacy. What have you been hearing from partners about this?

LP: Our partners have expressed questions from their customers that are similar to the ones that you’ve been hearing in the press and so forth. And so we’ve done briefings to their customers. I just did a webinar … to our whole partner base around our security and privacy policies, and how we’re addressing the demand. And we’re doing another one, and also for the APAC region as well. We’ve given them a whole slew of assets that they can use to address any customer concerns, as well as we’ve been doing personal calls and briefings to their customers to make sure we address any questions that they may have.

CP: What’s been the response from partners? Are they able to then go to their customers and reassure them?

LP: It’s been great. Actually, after the briefings, they left very confident and comfortable using the product. None of them have…

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