Zoom has been one of the biggest success stories during the pandemic. The videoconferencing platform has acquired Five9, a cloud contact centre software company for $14.7 billion. Zoom’s first billion-dollar acquisition will help enhance its presence with enterprise customers
Five9 has over 2,000 customers globally and processes over 7 billion minutes of calls in a year. It delivers a comprehensive suite of easy to use applications allowing management and optimization of customer interactions across different channels.
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“Joining forces with Zoom will provide Five9’s business customers access to best-of-breed solutions, particularly Zoom Phone, that will enable them to realize more value and deliver real results for their business. This, combined with Zoom’s ‘ease-of use’ philosophy and broad communication portfolio, will truly enable customers to engage via their preferred channel of choice,” Rowan Trollope, chief executive officer of Five9, said.
The Five9 acquisition will complement Zoom’s cloud phone offering, with significant cross-selling opportunities
While the pandemic has helped Zoom become a household name, the company faces pressure as the need for remote conferencing begins to dip as economies gradually reopen. The addition of new features will encourage more people to use Zoom’s services. The acquisition will help the company push into a whole new vertical of customer service centers. The company’s share value has more than tripled since the pandemic. Zoom’s revenue rose 326 percent in 2020, but dipped to 191 percent in the first quarter of 2021. The good news is even after the pandemic, many people will probably continue to work from home as hybrid work culture gains mainstream acceptance which has worked surprisingly well for both employers and employees.
“One of the few great upsides of the pandemic is we’ve accelerated 25 years of drift toward working from home in one year,” said Stanford University professor Nicholas Bloom.
According to a Mordor Intelligence report, the Enterprise communication infrastructure market is expected to witness a CAGR of 17.53% between 2021 and 2026. The global video conferencing market is forecast to reach $22.5 billion as per MarketsAndMarkets data.
Cisco acquired Indianapolis-based startup Socio this year. Socio helps plan hybrid and virtual events. The company provides a missing hybrid event management component for Cisco to add to its Webex platform.
Cisco is working on gaining a larger share of the booming conferencing market, and the company recently refurbished the logo and identity of Webex and also added various new features. Cisco has integrated the offerings of Sildo too. The audience interaction technology platform lets people moderate questions and interactions from a larger group participating in virtual conferences as well as in live events.
Google’s own workspace ecosystem may be its biggest advantage. In June this year, the company ended the unlimited free Meet group video calls. Google capped group calls at 60 minutes.
Google also unveiled its Project Starline this year, which is aimed at changing the dynamics of how we interact in a virtual space. The innovative hyper-realistic tech for video calling will create photorealistic 3D images which will make the user feel as though they are right in front of the person.
Windows 11 will tightly integrate with Microsoft Teams, and the app will get prominent placement on the Windows 11 Start menu. The platform has 145 million users as of April this year. It also launched a free personal version that allows people to chat, video call and share files, calendars and locations.
Microsoft also continues to offer the free 24-hour video calls introduced in its preview version. Users will be able to meet up with up to 300 people in video calls that can last for 24 hours. Microsoft will eventually enforce limits of 60 minutes for group calls of up to 100 people after the pandemic but keep 24 hours for 1:1 calls. Microsoft Together mode uses AI to segment your face and shoulders and place you together with other people in a virtual space. Teams’ new front row layout includes methods designed to bridge the hybrid work gap between remote participants and those physically present. Teams is moving towards a more performant and more Microsoft controlled tech stack for a better client experience. Mixer will be used in the future to improve real-time interactivity, and low latency streaming for Teams and developers from the startup will join the Teams workforce.