Zoom Perspectives Analyst Event: Zoom Workplace and an AI-First Future

The Zoom Perspectives Analyst Conference was held in NYC this year, much to my delight (as someone who is a bit tired of traveling to the West Coast!). As usual, the company showcased its Zoom Events solution to run a great hybrid event. Analyst attendees, presenters, and Zoom staff joined and interacted from both the physical location at NeueHouse Madison Square, and from remote locations.

We were also treated to a great tour of Major League Baseball (MLB) headquarters and the Zoom Replay Center. Zoom is the Official Unified Communications Platform of MLB https://www.mlb.com/news/press-release-mlb-and-zoom-announce-first-of-its-kind-partnership, and we got a birds-eye view of the MLB’s Zoom Replay Operations Center, which uses Zoom’s Contact Center solution during replay reviews. We also learned how the MLB uses Zoom’s technologies to streamline collaborations and communications across its operations.

The event centered on how Zoom is innovating with AI to redefine how organizations connect, collaborate, and create—and become the trusted source for connected information. It offered us a deep dive into Zoom’s strategy, but a significant portion was delivered to us under NDA. It also covered both Zoom’s Workplace and Business Services (marketing and customer care) solutions. In this blog, I’m focusing on what I can discuss about Zoom Workplace and AI Companion.  

From Meetings to an End-to-End Workplace Platform

To refresh: Zoom’s journey began with the quest of its founder, Eric Yuan, to build a simpler, higher quality, and more reliable video conferencing solution than what was available in 2011 when the company was founded. The company launched the first version of the Zoom platform in 2013 and went public in April 2019 in a very successful IPO. Zoom grew exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic and became a verb as it became the go-to platform for collaboration for remote workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While video conferencing was Zoom’s first solution, it designed it to be an extensible and adaptable platform from the start. This has allowed Zoom to add new applications, features, and integrations to build a comprehensive collaboration and communications suite, Zoom Workplace (formerly Zoom One).

Today, Workplace includes:

  • Communications staples, such as Meetings, Team Chat, Phone, Mail and Calendar, and Scheduler.
  • Productivity tools, including Whiteboard, Docs, Notes, Surveys and Clips.
  • Spaces, which offers solutions such as Workspace Reservations, Visitor Management, and Digital Signage to optimize office and hybrid work.
  • Security safeguards include end-to-end encryption, compliance with industry standards, and robust admin controls across the platform.

Workvivo, which Zoom acquired in 2023, is also part of the Zoom Workplace platform. Workvivo is a communication and engagement platform designed to improve internal communications by providing a user-friendly interface for sharing updates, celebrating achievements, and facilitating collaboration. It is not included in the SKU bundle but is available as an add-on to it.

Additionally, Zoom’s App Marketplace offers integration with more than 2,600 third-party apps, as well as APIs for those who want to build custom solutions to fit their specific needs.

With these capabilities, Zoom Workplace can offer a convenient, efficient, consistent, and simple approach to collaboration and communication. According to Zoom’s Platform and AI Study, users cited several benefits, such as increased productivity, time savings, and improved preparedness compared to using other solutions that require frequent switching.

Zoom AI Companion Amplifies the Benefits of Zoom Workplace

Zoom’s strategy is “AI first”— focused on innovating with AI to further streamline communications, increase employee engagement, optimize in-person time, and improve productivity.

The company’s AI Companion, launched in 2023, promises not only to bring new powers to individual applications but also to amplify their benefits when used as part of Zoom Workplace.

AI Companion helps users get information more quickly, automate routine tasks, prepare for the day ahead, delegate, and make better decisions across workflows to help them get more done. The focus is on providing the right functionality seamlessly, when and where it’s needed, whether for mobile workers, remote teams, or office environments.

Zoom has integrated AI Companion across the platform, and it’s already supporting many tasks. For instance, it can:

  • Summarize discussions, generate questions, record and provide summaries in 35 languages for Meetings.
  • Compose messages, summarize threads, complete sentences, schedule, and support 38 languages in Team Chat.
  • Summarize calls, prioritize voicemails, and manage voicemail tasks and SMS threads for Phone.
  • Compose emails.
  • Generating content, creating flowcharts, and mind maps in Whiteboards.

True to its pledge of moving at “Zoom Speed”, the vendor is planning to launch many new AI Companion features in 2024, some of which help to integrate workflows across different tasks. For instance, Meeting Preparation and Recap, slated for release in October 2024, will help users prepare for meetings by gathering and summarizing relevant information from various sources within Zoom (Meetings, Mail, Team Chat, Notes, Docs), provide meeting recaps, and identify action items.

Zoom is also planning to use AI Companion to pull relevant content from select third-party applications. This should enable Zoom to offer more tailored solutions for its target industries, including industries, such as healthcare, finance, education, and government.

AI Capabilities at No Extra Charge

One of Zoom’s strategic moves to foster growth and ensure widespread adoption of its AI capabilities is to include many AI features at no extra charge. This approach provides Zoom with significant differentiation versus behemoths Microsoft and Google (who charge for AI functionality) and with several go-to-market advantages:

  • Removes a potential barrier to adoption. Users and organizations are more likely to utilize these features if they are included in their existing plans—and this helps Zoom differentiate from competitors who charge extra for AI functionality.
  • Enhances Zoom’s overall value proposition. Users get more value from their subscriptions without paying more, which should result in higher satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Customers won’t feel like they’re being nickeled and dimed, which should help build trust and loyalty, and encourage word-of-mouth referrals to help attract new customers.

Zooming Up the Partner Ecosystem and Channel Strategy

Zoom’s partner program, Zoom Up, was set up in 2022. It rewards partners who invest in Zoom practices and fosters a more collaborative ecosystem between direct sales and channel partners. According to Zoom, this has led to substantial growth in channel-driven deals. As this program matures, more educated and engaged partners should help Zoom significantly increase sales of Workplace versus individual solutions.


The Zoom Perspectives Analyst Conference in NYC highlighted how Zoom is leveraging AI to redefine organizational connectivity, collaboration, and information sharing. This strategy underscores how far Zoom has come from its origins as a video conferencing tool to a comprehensive Workplace platform that addresses diverse communication and collaboration needs.

The vendor’s AI-first approach, embodied by AI Companion, is set to enhance productivity, streamline communication, and improve employee engagement—without taxing customers for these additional benefits.

 Zoom’s integrated platform, enhanced AI functionality within and between applications and workflows, and channel investments should help Zoom build the case for more customers to consider Workplace as their one-stop shop for collaboration and communication applications.

© SMB Group, 2024

Note: Zoom is an SMB Group client.