What Enterprise Organisations Can Learn from Zoom’s Popularity

There have been few success stories so far in 2020 but one big one has been Zoom. As office workforces were forced to adapt to working from home, Zoom quickly grabbed headlines as the most talked about videoconferencing software platform.  According to estimates by Berstein Research, by April 2020 Zoom had added more users that it had in the whole of 2019.

And this was despite some high-profile coverage of various security and data privacy concerns that have surrounded the platform. Here at Videocall, we neither endorse nor condemn Zoom. As with all communication software it has its strengths, and its weaknesses.

But in this article we want to focus on what lessons enterprise collaboration service owners can take from Zoom’s unprecedented growth, and how they can use them to ensure success with their own collaboration platforms.

 

Free and Easy.

According to an article by Ashley Carman in The Verge,  “The app’s main selling point, at least to the broader consumer world, is that it offers free, 40-minute conference calls with up to 100 attendees. It’s easy to use — people don’t need a login to access a meeting — and the interface is relatively intuitive.”.

Ease of use is a huge factor in consumer adoption, but this is only part of the story. In the enterprise space, choice of platform is mainly dictated by the IT or facilities department. To provide unified collaboration for a workforce the platform must be compatible with other software and work within the organisation’s IT & Data infrastructure.

But in the consumer space, platforms are often driven by influencers and advocates. Take an example family, dad might be a “tech-luddite” and mum only has an old iphone. The young adult or teenage kids have grown up with devices in their hands and are eager to adopt and try new technology.

As many families have around the world have, our example family find themselves separated during lockdown and use videoconferencing to keep in touch and see loved ones in person. In the groups or circles, there are usually one or two driving too complicated to set up, Mum might not be able to get it working on her old iPhone, the daughter might only have an Windows laptop and can’t use Facetime. Eventually they will go with the simplest solution, that works for all participants, on all of their devices.

Now one platform user has created four other users who may take that platform on to use with communicating with other circles of friends or family. It’s very easy to see how Zoom grew quite so rapidly and which points can be used by enterprise to make their own collaboration environments successful.

User Experience.

As we’ve seen, and evangelised about before, user experience is key. You may have the most densely feature packed platform available, you may have state-of-the-art meeting spaces but if your users are put off by clunky UI’s and intimidating complexity then they won’t adopt or use the platform.

Training and familiarity can overcome many of these issues but what Zoom’s success teaches us is that users will readily adopt a simple easy to use interface. Luckily there are many pro-grade solutions on the market that use a simple “Big Green Button to Join” interface and are easy and intuitive to use.

 

Influencers and Evangelists

This directly follows on from ease-of-use. With smart communication and training, you can create internal experts and evangelists for the collaboration platform. They will influence other staff into adopting and learning the organisation’s chosen collaboration platform.

Works seamlessly, everywhere.

This is a critical one, and sometimes overlooked. The platform must work across all meeting spaces, company computers but also across all mobile, tablet and popular devices. Additionally, you service owners should insist on parity of the user experience, features and performance across all devices.

As soon as a platform hits a barrier of compatibility with a worker’s favourite device then adoption suffers and shadow IT becomes a risk. Added to reduced IT influence homeworking has added and the rise of BYOD, it is crucial to choose a collaboration solution that works across all major devices easily and provides the same level of user experience on each.

Security

This one comes from Zoom’s much publicised security concerns and won’t be a major revelation to IT service owners, but double check that the platform is secure. Make a point of getting detailed information on end-to-end encryption levels, how data is secured at rest and in transit and what the suppliers data privacy policy is. Its important to know exactly what will done with your companies’ private communication data.

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