Remote video conferencing options abound with Zoom
Zoom Video Communications specialises in using cloud computing to provide remote conferencing services for both meetings and webinars. It boasted 1 million users in its first nine months of operation, and by 2015, had topped 1 billion total meeting minutes. A small-to-medium sized business can retain Zoom’s online meeting plan services for around US$20/month. Zoom was founded in 2011 in California by engineers from Cisco Systems and WebEx.
Prices last checked July 2017
Zoom’s main service
Zoom’s bread-and-butter feature is the ability to host online meetings. These meetings are hosted by Zoom’s cloud technology so that they do not slow down participating users’ computers. They offer room for up to 500 participants, screen sharing capabilities for the person hosting the meeting, and HD video and high-quality audio.
Zoom’s other services
- Zoom’s Video Webinar hosting function can host occasions including town hall meetings and marketing events. Webinars are scalable up to 100 interactive video participants and as many as 10,000 view-only participants. These events can also be broadcast live via Facebook or YouTube.
- The company’s self-named Zoom Rooms range in size from one-on-one executive offices to small-team huddle rooms to large-scale conference rooms to multi-camera training rooms.
- Zoom’s Instant Messengerservice has lots of functions conducive to business collaboration. The IM service is available for desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile devices and allows instant transfer or sharing of text, image or audio files. Group meetings are a click away and all employee listings are searchable by phone number or account.
- Zoom offers its H.323/SIP Connector along with its partner Polycom to access Zoom’s cloud video service and video solutions.
Additional features of Zoom
In addition to the main features listed above, Zoom offers:
- Mobile apps for iPhone and Android
- Plugins for Outlook, Intel Unite and Microsoft Lync
- Browser extensions for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome
- Integrated scheduling
- Technical support
Price structure of Zoom
Zoom’s Meeting Plans are its most popular offerings and come in four price structures along with special offers for customers in the education, health and API fields. Other Zoom applications have additional costs. All prices are in Australian dollars (AUD).
Zoom Meeting Plans
|Unlimited one-on-one meetings||All features of Basic package plus: unlimited meeting duration for all meeting sizes||All features of Pro package plus: phone support, admin dashboard, vanity URL||All features of Business package plus: unlimited cloud storage, dedicated customer success manager|
|Host Up To 100 Participants||Administration Feature Controls||Managed Domains||Executive Business Reviews|
|40-Minute Limit On Group Meetings||Custom Personal Meeting ID||Company Branding||Bundle Discounts On Webinars And Zoom Rooms|
|Unlimited Number Of Meetings||1GB Of MP4 Or M4A Cloudrecording||Custom Emails||–|
|FREE||$14.99/Month/Host||$19.99/Month/HostWith A Minimum Of 10 Hosts||$19.99/Month/Host With A Minimum Of 100 Hosts|
Prices last checked July 2017
Other Zoom packages
- Zoom Rooms: High quality video, audio and web conferencing for Mac, PC or Touchscreen; integrates with Google/Microsoft Exchange calendar; screen sharing with Wi-Fi, Airplay or HDMI connection; $49/month/room.
- H.323 Room Connector: Works with endpoints including Polycom, Cisco and Lifesize; cloud-based or on-premise room connector; connect systems with desktop, tablet, mobile devices, Zoom Rooms or other H.232/SIP endpoints; $49/month/port.
- Video Webinar: Up to 100 interactive video participants; up to 10,000 view-only attendees; host control of various functions; Q/A, polling and registration options; ability to livestream on Facebook or YouTube; starting at $40/month/host for 100 attendees.
- Premium audio: Allows addition of call-out, global toll-free and local dial-in for premium countries; no charge to participants to call in from any device; starts at $100/month.
- Additional cloud recording storage: Stores, streams and makes video downloads available in either MP4 or M4A file formats. Storage options up to 3TB/month.
Pros and cons of Zoom
- Basic package is free of charge and offers great services for startups on shoestring budgets.
- Per-month costs allow you to try services before committing long term to them at great costs.
- Easily integrates with virtually every major system and software.
- Minimum number of hosts for Business and Enterprise packages accelerate costs quickly.
- Bundle discounts for multiple services only available for Enterprise-level customers.