April 28, 2020
By Kelly Teal
Reliance on Zoom meetings has soared more than 300% as the coronavirus has spread and more people work from home. Zoom says it now hosts 300 million participants per day, up from 10 million last December. This has taxed the service’s visual and audio quality, and exposed the holes that have allowed for so-called “Zoom-bombing,” wherein hijackers pepper meetings with pornographic images.
Last week, Zoom released new security enhancements addressing the latter problem and, on Tuesday, announced the Oracle partnership. Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said his company chose Oracle’s cloud platform for its security, performance, reliability and support. Zoom still will use Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, according to CNBC; the new expansion, though, applies just to Oracle.
Zoom’s Eric Yuan
“We recently experienced the most significant growth our business has ever seen, requiring massive increases in our service capacity,” Yuan said. “We explored multiple platforms, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure was instrumental in helping us quickly scale our capacity and meet the needs of our new users.”
TheStreet.com reports that Zoom was able to implement Oracle in six weeks. Zoom already has transferred nearly 7 petabytes through Oracle’s cloud servers every day, according to Oracle. Seven petabytes equates to 93 years of high-definition video, Oracle said. For its part, Zoom said that Oracle enables it to scale and adapt quickly to deliver “flawless service.”
Of course, the burning question may be why Zoom did not go with one of the top three public cloud providers: AWS, Azure or Google Cloud. The answer lies in Oracle’s heritage of serving enterprises. Zoom traditionally has been the realm of the casual, rather than the business, user. But as more organizations support work-from-home initiatives, Zoom has found itself the go-to video provider for enterprises and SMBs. Why? Because it’s so easy to operate. Thus, as Zoom supports more and more business users, it must rely on cloud infrastructure grounded in the enterprise world. That’s Oracle’s strength.
Channel Partners reached out to Zoom and Oracle Cloud for comment on the significance of the announcement for the partner community (recall that, in March, Zoom launched its referral program); we had yet to hear back by the time of publication. However, Zoom’s Laura Padilla, head of global business development and channels, recently took part in a Channel Partners Q&A to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on Zoom’s video consumption and the channel. One of the questions, not surprisingly, related to security concerns. After all, partners want to offer services and products that only make their customers’ assets safer. Padilla said Zoom has been working hard on that front.
Zoom’s Laura Padilla
“Zoom CEO Eric Yuan now does a weekly webinar that’s Ask Eric Anywhere, and we’ve published a 90-day plan to be able to further increase our security,” she said. “But to be clear, security has always been top of mind for Zoom, and privacy has been as well. We’re just now further enhancing it.”
For example, Padilla said, recent improvements include a security icon that lets the host lock a meeting. There’s also now a waiting room so the host can see each person who wants to join. Then they can decide case by case whether to admit them.
“You can also decide whether you want to allow participants to share their screen, to chat during the meeting and rename themselves,” Padilla said. “And if even after all of that your participants still decide to do something that is not welcome in the meeting or disruptive, you can also remove that participant instantly just from that security icon. So we’ve done quite a bit to be able to help users protect their meetings on top of also a few things for our free users.”
Pro users also now get default password protection, Padilla added.
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