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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

Zoom Gears Up for Next Growth Phase with AI Companion and Zoom Docs

Zoom is gearing up for its next phase of innovation and growth, transitioning from a mere meetings provider to a comprehensive communications and collaboration platform. Central to Zoom’s strategy is the provision of choice and flexibility, allowing customers to work in ways that suit them best. Its rich ecosystem fosters seamless workflows across Zoom and third-party platforms. In the era of hybrid work, challenges abound in fostering employee engagement, productivity, and enhancing customer experiences. Zoom, with its communication and collaboration software and rapidly evolving cloud contact center solutions, has emerged as a preferred choice for improving both employee and customer experiences. As part of its growth trajectory, Zoom has introduced the Zoom AI Companion, an innovative AI assistant designed to enhance productivity and efficiency at both individual and team levels. This tool provides a convenient platform for connecting and collaborating with team members, external partners, and customers.

During Zoomtopia 2023, Zoom’s annual conference, it unveiled several enhancements for the Zoom AI Companion. It also launched Zoom Docs, an AI-powered workspace designed to tackle the challenges of hybrid and remote work with flexible AI-powered workspaces for documentation, wikis, project management, and more. Additionally, updates to its channel partner program were announced.

Zoom AI Companion

AI is at the core of Zoom’s offerings. Zoom already utilizes AI to enhance connectivity, video compression, and audio transmission, ensuring superior video quality. Features like anti-fraud measures, AI assistants, and Zoom Rooms with intelligent attendee auto-tracking have been integrated to elevate user experience and engagement. AI-enabled features like virtual backdrops, avatars, gesture detection, and background noise reduction make meetings more engaging and inclusive.

Zoom unveiled AI Companion on September 5, with further feature enhancements and platform expansions disclosed during Zoomtopia on October 3-4. All AI Companion capabilities are available at no extra pricing for paid subscribers. AI Companion aids users in managing note-taking activities during meetings, ensuring uninterrupted participation. It also simplifies summarizing lengthy chat threads, allowing users to concentrate on more strategic tasks. On the creative side, the Zoom Whiteboard, powered by AI companion, assists users in generating ideas for brainstorming sessions.

zoom ai 1

Zoom uses a federated approach to AI, incorporating its own large language models (LLMs) alongside Meta, Anthropic, and OpenAI models. This allows Zoom to tailor its AI solutions to meet users' unique needs and preferences. For the uninitiated, Federated AI is a dynamic approach to developing and deploying machine learning models. A Federated approach uses multiple AI models to optimize results while maintaining cost-effectiveness.

zoom ai 2

At the time of writing the report, AI Companion supported only English-language meetings, but Zoom is working on adding multi-language support soon. AI features are off by default and can be enabled by administrators and account owners. Meeting hosts can also control the AI features once enabled, and meeting participants can see when AI features are being used. AI companion currently only responds to topics discussed during active meetings.

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Webex By Cisco - Supporting Hybrid Work with New Capabilities

Hybrid work trends have emerged rapidly over the past year, changing how organizations approach collaboration. Not long ago, the hybrid mode of work was viewed as a luxury – a privilege only for employees who could manage their job from home on occasion. However, the pandemic compelled organizations to scramble for new ways to ensure business continuity, and Hybrid work transformed into a must-have from being a nice-to-have option. Organizations that fail to embrace this change and try to return to a 100-percent-office-based work strategy are at risk of falling short in productivity, talent retention, and much more. Amid the worldwide trend of ‘great resignations,’ organizations have been trying to find a balance between working from home and the office.

In a scenario where hybrid work is no longer a choice but a necessity, many organizations are already aware that they need to provide consistent technical support to employees across different locations to enable a hybrid work environment that is seamless, secure, and smart. Hybrid work requires more than just collaborative software; it requires advanced devices, robust security, dependable connection, and smooth networking—all of which must function in tandem. Furthermore, it requires a unified solution to avoid fragmented communication, additional IT administrative labor, and increased security concerns.

The Webex platform addresses all these essential aspects of hybrid work – where employees work and how they prefer to work. It offers several solutions that can be easily integrated with various pre-existing systems and ensure enterprise-grade security.

Read on learn about Webex, comparisons with Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet

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US SMB and Midmarket Video-collaboration adoption may increase by 184 percent

Techaisle data shows that the percent of US SMBs using web-video conferencing solutions is likely to increase from 38% to 89%, a change of 184%. It is common knowledge that cloud is being adopted by SMBs and midmarket businesses for business agility and video-conferencing is playing an increasing role in contributing to SMB agility - decision agility, productivity agility, customer agility and innovation agility - for high-growth and innovative businesses. Businesses without modern collaboration solutions are scrambling to catch up with those that are already capitalizing on the benefits video-conferencing solutions. As new adopters are learning from firms that have already made early investments in the technology, Techaisle is seeing reasons for launching collaboration initiatives rapidly evolve. A comparison of early adopters to firms that are just now embracing advanced collaboration systems finds that the pace set by early adopters is forcing other SMB firms to invest in collaboration solutions to address current and future market issues.

This next generation of SMBs & midmarket business collaboration solution adopters is responding to specific pain points, more than their predecessors and video-conferencing is figuring in their collaboration strategies, specifically because:

• They cannot coordinate meetings involving employees in multiple locations
• Customer satisfaction is declining
• The pace of decision making is too slow
• Email is not an adequate means of connecting staff with each other and with customers
• They are trailing competitors and want to catch up
• They have to keep pace with market uncertainty and want to find new avenues for business viability and growth

Survey data finds that these firms have begun using video-collaboration solutions as a reaction to business problems that are preventing them from achieving their business objectives of growth, productivity, time to market, customer retention and operating cost reduction.

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