Creating a collaborative workspace with Zoom

Julia O'Reilly caught up with Zoom to discuss hybrid work, security, and dominating the video conferencing space
Image: Shutterstock via Dennis

23 June 2022

In association with Zoom

While Zoom has been integral in helping customers adapt to remote working over the past two years, how is it now supporting those embracing a hybrid work model?

Through its National Remote Working Strategy the Irish government is working to capitalise on the widespread adoption of hybrid working practices throughout the country. A key element of this strategy is the expansion of a new network of co-working spaces called Connected Hubs. Each hub provides a space where anyone can source and book desks and meeting rooms so they can work remotely without needing to commute or move from their community. Led by the Western Development Commission, Zoom partnered with Connected Hubs to provide users of the 200 plus hubs with access to its suite of tools and services, optimising their ability to connect and collaborate in co-working spaces.

The partnership provides hybrid workers using the hubs access to a bespoke package of Zoom services at a reduced rate. This includes meetings and webinar licences allowing up to 500 attendees to join. Hub users can also benefit from Zoom Rooms licenses, which are designed to facilitate hybrid meeting spaces, and a suite of other productivity enhancing tools such as Zoom Chat, Zoom Whiteboard and Zoom Apps.




For Irish workers who previously felt compelled to move to a major urban setting to pursue or develop a career, the opening of a Connected Hub in their community offers real opportunity for prosperity and progress while living wherever they choose. Zoom is proud of the role it has played in this transition and is excited to support the changing nature of work and the myriad social, economic, and cultural benefits it stands to bring.

Zoom have also launched a suite of products that can be used within offices to support hybrid working. These include Workplace Reservation, Zoom Whiteboard, Zoom Rooms and Zoom Phone. Additionally, Zoom have launched an expanded hardware portfolio in order to support its expanded software range.

Zoom recently announced the general availability of Zoom Whiteboard, a digital canvas for collaboration and creation within the Zoom platform. What can users expect from this product?

Zoom Whiteboard was developed with the ambition to create a more collaborative real-time whiteboarding experience complementing existing Zoom offerings such as Zoom Meetings and Zoom Rooms, with support for Zoom Chat coming soon. The digital canvas contains a range of innovative features which will make it simpler for hybrid teams to interact in new ways, empowering secure, intuitive, and flexible collaboration regardless of where they are located.

Designed to provide a unified space where both on-site and hybrid teams can visually structure their ideas online, Zoom Whiteboard includes features such as advanced shapes and connectors, adding, dragging, and dropping images, sticky notes, messages and more.

Zoom Whiteboard is not just a tool for meetings, but also offers an ideal whiteboarding option for those working in an education or training setting, providing an engaging space where students can share ideas, work together to solve problems, and enjoy a visual breakdown of concepts and lessons.

It also offers a perfect solution for project management, by streamlining the sharing, review and editing of project roadmaps, allowing project teams closely monitor progress using process flows and track changes.

What are the benefits of embracing a cloud-based phone system, such as Zoom Phone, over a traditional on-premises solution?

The benefits of a cloud-based system such as Zoom Phone, is that it was built from the ground up with the objective of solving both user and administrative challenges. Individuals can streamline their day-to-day management of their phone system and save valuable time with the centralised admin portal. Zoom Phone also allows organisations to leverage a single Zoom app for all video and voice communications, while retaining existing numbers and service providers.

Simply put, traditional on-premises phone solutions fall short in supporting remote and hybrid workforces. Most traditional desk phone systems rely on being hardwired to a private branch exchange (PBX), which is a private telephone network used within a company or organisation. These systems are fast becoming outdated as they weren’t built to accommodate hybrid and remote workforces.

Remote working has exposed many challenges for companies that don’t support a bring-your own-phone-device environment. For example, from a security perspective, the inability to secure devices could put confidential company information at risk and in terms of general remote administration, legacy solutions often are not managed offsite, making them difficult to update and troubleshoot.

Given that Zoom Phone can be managed remotely, it means organisations can cut down on time spent diagnosing performance issues with the ability to easily diagnose issues in the Zoom dashboard. Overall, a cloud phone solution will help businesses adapt and maintain continuity in today’s hybrid working environment.

Zoom recently launched IQ for Sales, which is the first iteration of its conversation intelligence technology. How can businesses use this solution to enhance sales?

Zoom IQ for Sales can be utilised by businesses that engage in video interactions with customers. It analyses customer interactions to surface key insights, actions, and content from sales meetings. Sales leaders can also use this data to help make better-informed management decisions regarding their sales teams. Some of the metrics Zoom IQ for Sales analyses during conversations with customers include engaging questions, longest spiel and next steps.

It can also be used to enhance individual and team sales performance by allowing managers to provide personal feedback and make evidence-based decisions. The insights and analytics provided allows sales leaders to forecast more accurately and understand sales deals better. Furthermore, Zoom IQ for Sales can help enhance seller productivity with automation, quick search functionality, and more, creating a more seamless and organised customer experience.

Of course, with virtual communication comes concerns around safety, security, and privacy. How does Zoom ensure user data is secure and protected?

Zoom takes users’ safety and security very seriously. Features developed to ensure users’ Zoom account information remains secure, include:

  • Account theft protection, a feature which helps identify users whose login credentials may have been stolen or compromised in a data breach elsewhere on the internet. Whenever its determined that a Zoom user’s login and password may have been compromised on another service, the user is sent a notification prompting them to reset their password within one day. If the password is not reset in 24 hours, the user will be logged out automatically to proactively prevent account takeovers.
  • Authenticated login, designed to help authenticate users in schools and business environments. Zoom offers a single sign-on (SSO) feature that creates a safe and quick process for logging in to the Zoom client. If you cannot use single sign-on, its recommend that a two-factor authentication (2FA) is used to add an extra layer of security to the process. Users can also log in via an OAuth process, which allows you to approve one application — Google or Facebook — to interact with Zoom on your behalf so you don’t have to manually enter a password. For any users manually logging in without using any of these protocols, Zoom recommends deploying a strong and complex password that meets requirements, and use unique, hard-to-guess passwords for all accounts.
  • A one-time password that is sent to the users’ email address if Zoom detects a suspicious login. This applies to those who use a work email to log in and do not have two-factor authentication enabled.
  • Brute-force attack prevention where Zoom strategically selects and works with third-party providers to help protect against attacks — where cybercriminals continuously try to guess a user’s password, often automating the process with bots.
  • An automatic update feature which is designed to help users receive important security fixes.

These features are just a few aspects of Zoom’s larger security strategy designed to help protect and support customers as they face advanced threats.

Additionally, a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) on Zoom’s Meetings, Webinar, and Chat services was recently published by SURF. A SURF-published DPIA represents an important benchmark for technology providers — accurately tracking current performance on data protection and a risk analysis, as well as identifying opportunities for enhancing practices.

The DPIA reflects the respect that Zoom has for European data protection policies and principles. Zoom is committed to expanding its engagement with European companies, governments, and citizens, agreeing to several actions while collaborating on the DPIA to further improve Zoom’s privacy, data protection and security safeguards.

Throughout the past two years, we’ve witnessed an explosion in the use of video conferencing solutions, and Zoom emerged as the leader in the space. Why do you think Zoom dominated over other platforms?

Almost overnight, demand for Zoom grew exponentially to the point where the brand name became verbalised. Zoom’s advantage over other platforms primarily comes down to accessibility combined with high-quality video and secure connection.

The simple nature of the platform means that those who aren’t that familiar with technology can easily use it. Users quickly became aware of how simple it was to set up meetings and navigate the platform, in the knowledge they could connect with friends or collaborate with colleagues from any device with one click. This familiarity and trust factor had an important role in Zoom’s growth.

Furthermore, Zoom has an impressive free offering which makes it an appealing communications tool, an element allowing the platform to stand out amongst competitors over the last number of years.

For more on Zoom visit https://zoom.us

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