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The “end meeting” button may only be the start for Zoom users next year. At its annual Zoomtopia conference this week, Zoom showcased several significant updates and new products that aim to further streamline hybrid work and collaboration. Headlining the announcements was Zoom Docs, a fully-integrated AI-powered, multi-user cloud documentation solution built directly into the Zoom platform.
In a release, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan emphasized Zoom’s continued promise to evolve its platform through powerful AI capabilities. “Our new innovations demonstrate Zoom’s commitment to evolving our platform in ways that empower limitless human connection and solve real business problems,” said Yuan.
Zoom Docs offers a new hub for teamwork
At its core, Zoom Docs provides document creation, editing, and collaboration features like other cloud document solutions. However, its tight integration across Zoom differentiates the product.
Documents, wikis, tables and other content can all be created, edited and searched for within Zoom Meetings, Team Chat or the Zoom web and desktop apps, offering a direct competitor to up-and-comer Notion.
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Modular content blocks let users customize layouts to specific workflows through options like drag-and-drop table blocks, offering competition to the likes of project management software such as Monday or even content creation tools such as WordPress (which VentureBeat uses for this website) and Mailchimp (used for our newsletters).
Perhaps most innovative is Zoom Docs’ use of AI. Zoom’s AI Companion can auto-populate docs with insights from meetings to expedite creation. It also generates summaries of long-form content and helps users quickly find information across documents.
Building onto videoconferencing
Initially announced in September, Zoom’s AI Companion earned further enhancements. The assistant debuted in the new Zoom Whiteboard, where it can help generate and organize ideas visually.
AI Companion also expanded its reach, with Zoom launching meeting and chat summarization for higher education and healthcare customers. It helps streamline tasks like catching up late to meetings, summarizing long threads and automating email responses.
Zoom further announced platform updates aiming to enhance the evolving hybrid workforce experience, including Workvivo, a recent acquisition, integrated directly into Zoom’s popular meeting client.
Zoom offered new meeting scheduling and “Huddles” tools, customizable scheduling links, integrated location maps and coworking presence indicators.
The path ahead
With breakthrough products like Zoom Docs and expanded uses of AI Companion still in development stages, the company has an opportunity to gain ground.
However, Zoom will face fierce competition standing in its path to success as it launches the document software in 2024, with Google Docs, Microsoft Word 365, and Notion all offering versions of shared document creation, note-taking, and annotation/editing features.
Zoom also endured a self-inflicted wound earlier this year when it attempted to change its Terms of Service to enable more permissive uses of customer data for AI research and product development, prompting a fierce backlash and ultimately, a rollback of the very new terms it tried to introduce.
As Yuan said, “One thing will remain the same: effective collaboration and communication tools are crucial for businesses to succeed.”
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