Zoom aims to empower hybrid workforce with phone appliances

Video conferencing provider introduces devices that offer an all-in-one desk phone solution for calls and meetings, with hardware solutions from Poly and Yealink

Just days after revealing it had kicked off its current fiscal year with a very strong first quarter, in which it added to the million seat sales of the comms product line it announced in January this year, Zoom Video Communications has launched a new category of hardware optimised for the rapidly growing hybrid workforce.

The company said its Zoom Phone Appliances line would likely see use in home offices and shared huddle spaces, addressing use cases across industries as remote working and hybrid working models increase.  

“The traditional workplace is evolving and adapting, and our goal is to empower the workforce to accomplish more by blurring the lines between voice and video,” said Graeme Geddes, head of Zoom Phone and Zoom Rooms at Zoom, explaining the reasons for the launch.

The existing Zoom Phone line is marketed as a disruptive alternative to legacy phone systems, and is a core product in Zoom’s unified communications platform, which also includes Zoom Meetings, Zoom Chat, Zoom Rooms and Zoom Video Webinars.

Built on a secure, scalable, global architecture optimised for a video-first experience, the appliances are said to have the features of a business phone system while providing a modern, unified communications experience across both desktop and mobile devices. Features include centralised management, contact centre integration and global call routing. Zoom Phone is currently available in 44 countries and territories, and, through a “bring-your-own-carrier” strategy, is also available globally.

Zoom pitches its Phone Appliances as a new certified hardware category, purpose-built for an optimal phone and meetings experience. Devices provide video and audio capabilities with a touch display. The company describes it as an all-in-one desk phone solution for high-definition video meetings, phone calls and interactive whiteboarding that will streamline communications, remove friction and enable a “powerful” communications experience.

Zoom Phone Appliances will be always on and ready for instant communication and collaboration, with the ability to start meetings, make and receive phone calls, check voicemail, and virtually collaborate with content sharing and annotation. Centralised management takes place through a dedicated admin portal with remote provisioning and updates. No additional licensing is required above the standard Zoom account and the appliance is personalised for the user. 

The appliances will combine Zoom technology with hardware from technology partners, the first two of which will be Poly and Yealink Technology with the CCX 600 Desk Phone, CCX 700 Desk Phone with integrated video camera and Yealink VP59 Smart Video Phone respectively (pictured above). In addition to authorised Poly and Yealink resellers, Zoom Phone Appliances will be available through the Zoom hardware-as-a-service programme.

Commenting on the potential of the line, Elka Popova, vice-president of connected work research at analyst Frost & Sullivan, said. “Zoom continues to demonstrate a fast pace of innovation and the ability to scale globally with its robust cloud phone offering, Zoom Phone. The new appliance programme further enhances its value proposition by enabling businesses to video-enable workspaces with purpose-built appliances that are easy to procure, deploy and manage.”

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