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December 6, 2023
CCaaS and Zoom are back in the spotlight, with new Zoom features drooping to compliment its contact center offering. These new Zoom features span security to fresh messaging capabilities with WhatsApp and Meta's Messenger.
Available via three packages, starting with what the firm calls "the essentials," users pay $69 per month to access Zoom's AI Companion, remote control, privacy and security features, and support for voice, chat, SMS, video and more.
The "premium" package extends all the features offered in the essentials package, along with email, social, and outbound dialer support for $99 monthly.
Last is the "elite" package. With Zoom's elite package, customers gain access to all the features in premium, along with Zoom AI Expert Assist, quality management and workforce management tools for $149 monthly.
According to Zoom, it will drop features such as Zoom AI Expert Assist in early 2024. This new feature fetches and suggests the "best responses from knowledge bases, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and other systems companies give it access to.
With Zoom being late to the contact center game, it is vital to note that most of its CCaaS competitors already extend many or all of these features — and have for some time.
"Additional functionality expected in early 2024 includes recommended next-best action, personalized steps, and an intelligent view of agents and activity for supervisors and contact center leaders," the UC giant wrote in a press release.
Zoom further said it would expand its communication channels to include email and Meta's Messenger. IT teams also will get access to remote controls, enabling them to assist scattered work teams from afar. And Zoom contact center subscribers will gain access to outbound dialing, a feature presently available in beta.
Looking to address privacy and security concerns, the UC provider and CCaaS hopeful will add "built-in post-redaction of certain personal data in voice and video recordings, as well as voice, video and messaging transcripts," it notes.
Customers can soon bring encryption keys to shield data stored in Zoom Cloud infrastructure.
More third-party application integrations will grace the CCaaS platform, enabling agents to access more CRM and payment systems from within the Zoom client.
All features announced by Zoom will become generally available in early 2024.
Skip Picciano, chief technology officer at Effortless CX Consultants, tells Channel Futures that Zoom is thinking big.
"Zoom hopes it will quickly expand its offering within its call center software platform and is ready to move beyond the SMB market," he said.
Effortless CX Consultants' Skip Picciano
Picciano believes that a competitive agent assist tool from Zoom has to show agents what to say when callers ask questions and know how to move a conversation forward.
"Solid agent assist offerings from Zoom will need to remind agents of the call flow to allow agents to stay on track and effectively carry out conversations — in any language."
An effective automation tool from Zoom can enhance a brand's ability to create an effortless experience by reducing the time agents spend searching knowledge bases. Call center agents can then provide answers to customer questions at their fingertips, Picciano further noted.
Partners will almost certainly benefit from all this, said Picciano.
"Partners benefit when vendors can deliver on the promises vendors make to the customer," he added. "We also benefit from easily and effectively deployable solutions."
He cautioned that vendors tend to "bend the truth," so it's the partner's responsibility to keep vendors honest regarding their capabilities and "expose the level of effort on all sides when installing new solutions."
After making another go at a Five9 acquisition and getting rejected, it seems that CCaaS is something Zoom takes seriously and is willing to stop at nothing to compete in the space.
Contributing Editor, Channel Futures
Moshe has nearly a decade of expertise reporting on enterprise technology. Within that world, he covers breaking news, artificial intelligence, contact center, unified communications, collaboration, cloud adoption (digital transformation), user/customer experience, hardware/software, etc.
As a contributing editor at Channel Futures, Moshe covers unified communications/collaboration from a channel angle. He formerly served as senior editor at GetVoIP News and as a tech reporter at UC/CX Today.
Moshe also has contributed to Unleash, Workspace-Connect, Paste Magazine, Claims Magazine, Property Casualty 360, the Independent, Gizmodo UK, and ‘CBD Intel.’ In addition to reporting, he spends time DJing electronic music and playing the violin. He resides in Mexico.
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