Info-tech

‘Zoom bringing in new technologies this year to ease connections’ 

Yatti Soni | Updated on: Jan 19, 2022
Sameer Raje, General Manager & Head of India, Zoom Video Communications

Sameer Raje, General Manager & Head of India, Zoom Video Communications

Sameer Raje, General Manager & Head of India, Zoom Video Communications on the video conferencing software company’s security efforts and future outlook

Zoom is working on adding virtual reality avatars, video engagement, and other technological advancements in 2022. BusinessLine spoke to Sameer Raje, General Manager & Head of India, Zoom Video Communications about the company’s security efforts and future outlook. 

What is the significance of the Indian market to Zoom? Everything that is international today, which is outside of the US, is of importance to Zoom and that’s what we’ve been focusing on for the last few quarters. India is amongst the top few countries for Zoom on two fronts. It is important not only for the market but also in terms of the intellectual talent that country brings in. What we are trying to do is to tap into the India market and the second is to tap into the intellectual pool available in the country, to get engineers and quality folks. From these two perspectives, I would say that India is a very important market.

Increasingly there are new companies building video call products that serve the needs of various professional groups like education, sales calls, business meetings etc. Does Zoom also have plans to add use case specific features to the platform?

If you look at Zoom as a platform, we have not only been evolving, but we have also been ahead of the curve, in terms of inventing and bringing in more features. When people started getting back to offices, we brought in what is known as you know, virtual receptionist. Where people could interact remotely with a receptionist who is probably somewhere in a safe zone within the office environment or even at her home. Then when we realised that only 50 per cent of people are going to work in offices, we came up with a solution for people to book office desks, called Hot Desks.

Further, we also announced video engagement centers, which are similar to toll-free calls made to customer support representatives. Just imagine if it was on video, there is 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 the evolving needs, and then we introduce tech to help them in these areas. 

There are multiple instances, where court proceedings or online classrooms were disrupted by trolls. How is zoom working to make the platform more secure? 

The human element and the technology element, both have to go hand in hand. Technology will have to continue to evolve to adapt to the new threats that are coming in, and moreover , we have to be preemptive or proactive in terms of avoiding such kinds of issues and challenges. For example, we have set up pre-meeting notifiers. So if you have shared your meetings on a public forum and we see undue attention coming to those meetings, our automated systems will reach out to the meeting host giving intimation that their meeting is getting undue attention. It will suggest that they either move 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 have to remain ahead of the curve so that’s foremost. But the second element to it is the human element. Each and every person today is a chief security officer of themselves, and they need to take care of their own security. Let’s say someone hosts a meeting and then sends out the meeting ID and the password and the URL to unknown people or shares on social media. Then, you’re going to get unwanted guests in your meeting and there’s not much one can do to stop that. What we are doing about the issue is that we are coaching and are enforcing certain rules. We conduct a lot of training programmes for schools, teachers and children. We tell them about the best practices, and the same goes for our corporate clients and the rest of the customers.

What new updates can we expect to see from Zoom in 2022?

Video engagement centers are something that we are looking forward to in the early part of 2022. Similarly, we have whiteboarding sessions in huddle rooms. We are working on solutions where you can actually write on certain devices which are touch devices and capture it straight into your instant messaging and chat. Virtual reality avatars are also coming in. We are looking forward to bringing in a lot of new technologies this year. We are confident in what we’re doing and helping organizations stay connected, and bringing in more elements of technology into it so that we ease the collaboration and bring more human elements.

Published on January 19, 2022
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