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Zoom signs multi-year preferred cloud provider deal with AWS

Video-conferencing platform provider Zoom is forging even closer ties with long-standing cloud partner Amazon Web Services, prompting questions about where this leaves its technology tie-up with Oracle

Zoom Video Communications has signed a multi-year preferred provider deal with long-standing technology collaborator Amazon Web Services (AWS), several months after naming Oracle as a core cloud infrastructure partner.

Use of Zoom’s video-based communications platform has soared during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic as remote working has become the norm among enterprises, while consumers have turned to the platform in droves to keep in touch with friends and family.

“Over the past year, Zoom has grown on AWS to accommodate an increase from 10 million daily meeting participants in December 2019 to more than 300 million a day regularly since April 2020,” the companies said, in a joint statement.

On this point, AWS CEO Andy Jassy said Covid-19 had served to “change everything” for Zoom, and the public cloud giant had been on hand to help it manage the surge in demand for its services that occurred “virtually overnight” as a result.

“When organisations build on AWS they transform their business, expanding and innovating much faster. Together, Zoom and AWS have delivered great experiences for new Zoom users around the world, and we look forward to using the cloud to develop new ways to help the world communicate,” he said.

Zoom is known to have been an AWS customer since 2011, and in the statement, the two firms said the multi-year agreement they had forged now would serve to ensure the platform can continue to scale and perform reliably for the enterprises and consumers that rely on it.

“Beginning in February 2020, engineering teams from AWS and Zoom worked around the clock and across remote locations to securely and reliably meet the needs of this vast, globally dispersed user community, adding tens of thousands of Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) instances to Zoom’s overall capacity, even adding thousands of instances in a day as usage demanded,” the statement continued.

“Together, Zoom and AWS have delivered great experiences for new Zoom users around the world, and we look forward to using the cloud to develop new ways to help the world communicate”
Andy Jassy, AWS

As the number of people and organisations relying on Zoom has increased, so too have the demands being placed on its customer service support teams, which is another area AWS has assisted the company in addressing through the provision of more than 1,000 Amazon WorkSpaces virtual desktops to its helpdesk team.

The deal will also pave the way for the two firms to collaborate and co-create additional features and services for Zoom’s enterprise customer base, including offerings that will run on Amazon devices such as its Alexa-enabled smart displays.

News of the partnership with AWS is sure to raise questions about what this deal means for Zoom’s other cloud partners, including Oracle, which it announced as a cloud infrastructure partner back in April 2020.

Computer Weekly contacted Oracle for clarification on this point and was told the company had no comment to make at this time.

Meanwhile, Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan said the “substantial majority” of the company’s cloud-based workloads run in the AWS cloud.

“Faced with unprecedented global demand this past year we’ve been able to handle it, in significant part, by running the substantial majority of our cloud-based workloads on our preferred cloud provider, AWS, and relying on AWS’s performance and scalability,” he said.

“Looking forward, we will continue to innovate alongside AWS to re-invent virtual collaboration and deliver secure and exciting experiences for our customers.”

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