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July 7, 2020
Zoom has moved beyond software and services and into the video conferencing hardware business.
The company on Tuesday launched its hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) program. Zoom HaaS aims to make Zoom Rooms and Zoom Phone more accessible by making it easier to get hardware.
They can deploy communications with a variety of subscription options for phone and meeting room hardware. Zoom customers can scale video conference rooms and phones with hardware options and technology upgrades at a fixed monthly price.
Jeff Smith is head of Zoom Rooms. He said HaaS offers more than just financing options.
Zoom’s Jeff Smith
“It’s looking at that core issue of how you provide hardware in a way that reduces upfront costs and makes budgets predictable,” he said. “That’s part of the benefit of financing versus requiring a customer to buy that equipment up front. But we’re also looking at the information that can be provided to a customer when they make a purchase, making that purchase a single point so they can buy software, hardware and services all from one place, as well as consolidating support. You’re not handing off people when they have issues from service provider to a hardware reseller, to a manufacturer.”
Zoom has not been in the hardware business in any meaningful way, Smith said.
“Our partnerships with hardware vendors have been, we provide software, they provide hardware, the customer purchases the hardware wherever they feel like … and they can load our software on it,” he said. “As you might imagine, that leads to a lot of complexity … and a lot of opportunities for that experience to fall flat. So this is new for Zoom to be in the hardware business where we’re selling [it] directly to the customer.”
If a customer has an issue with one of Zoom’s devices, the company can troubleshoot and resolve it, Smith said.
Zoom HaaS offers new opportunities, potential new customers and new use cases for partners, he said.
“We expect a lot more Zoom customers are going to have a great experience with hardware,” Smith said. “And that hardware is going to need installation. Also, there are a number of physical spaces that are not covered by our program. If you look at the device portfolios, small and medium conference rooms potentially use those in some vertical cases like education or health care. But there’s a lot of space where traditional audio/visual integrators really have their bread and butter. So in larger spaces or more bespoke deployments, we will need to partner with a much more specific hardware implementation. There’s room for everything with this program, both installation services on your run-of-the-mill room as well as the heavily integrated spaces.”
Zoom software and hardware purchases are on a single invoice. Also, customers can add or remove hardware as their business evolves.
Zoom will fully support all HaaS offerings. IT teams will also have the option to add professional and managed services for installation and enhanced end-to-end management.
“Amazing hardware partnerships are a key part of Zoom’s ecosystem,” said Velchamy Sankarlingam, Zoom’s president of product and engineering. “With many people globally coping with today’s unique challenges, easy access to hardware is critical for offices, distance learning, telehealth and more. Zoom HaaS will help users adapt to new work-from-anywhere environments by making it easier than ever before to get access to the latest and greatest hardware for Zoom Rooms and Zoom Phone.“
Read more about:Agents
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