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Zoom Docs launches in 2024 with built-in AI collaboration features
Ready to take on Microsoft and Google Docs
I’m so tired of working in Google docs or Microsoft products, and there’s going to be another option soon.
Zoom Video Communications Inc. is adding word processing to its suite of tools and experimenting with novel features for meetings as it faces steep competition from Microsoft Corp.’s Teams.
I like how ambitious Zoom is with integrating AI into its products and expanding what they can do.
Zoom is bringing a document creation tool, Zoom Docs, to its workspace portfolio.
What sets the tool apart is the ability to include information and artificial intelligence-generated summaries from Zoom meetings, Chief Product Officer Smita Hashim said in an interview.
Zoom’s All in One Comms Tools with AI Just Got Serious
Zoom Docs is their AI-powered, modular workspace for docs, wikis, and work management, all in the Zoom platform. Coming in 2024, it will integrate with Zoom and third-party apps to help you easily create, collaborate, manage projects, and stay organized.
It’s sad to admit that this excites me more than Microsoft or Alphabet trying to stuff Generative A.I. into everything.
So the reason is, it sounds more AI-native from the get-go.
Within Docs, AI Companion can alter wording for tone adjustment, brainstorm ideas based on a prompt, and summarize or query content stored within the Zoom product suite. For example, AI Companion can retrieve information from Zoom Meetings and Team Chat to answer users' questions.
The announcements made at the company’s Zoomtopia event broaden the company’s platform for users and boost market opportunities in the call center space.
Zoom unveiled a step to fight back against Microsoft Teams, the all-in-one communications suite that has been taking business from Zoom’s web-based videoconferencing.
When Microsoft cloned Zoom with Teams, it felt like they were going head-to-head but this feels more like a competitor of Google Docs, with its own AI powered tools that are way more intuitive.
The company’s fiscal-year revenue jumped more than fivefold to $4.1 billion from 2020 to 2022 as Zoom became an essential tool during the pandemic. But in recent years Zoom hopped on the AI bandwagon pretty hard to try to impress. I get the feeling it is innovating but I’m not sure if its customers are ready to embrace all of this quite yet?
Zoom is trying to redefine the concept of a document – it’s no longer a static record but a dynamic repository of the information vital to a collaboration.
In a hybrid first and remote friendly reality of the workplace, how we interact and collaborate with docs has changed a lot.
Zoom has seen early success with its office phone service, which is now making about $500 million per year, and its customer-service center offering, which passed 500 clients. Zoom knows what it is doing, but how do you go up against Monopolies like Microsoft and Google? Even Salesforce hasn’t fared so well in the CRM and Slack space.
A bit on the Notion Side of Things
The product will be equipped with Zoom’s artificial intelligence assistant, AI Companion, and other AI capabilities that will help users draft, edit, summarize and change tones as well as include items from meeting discussions. It also could answer questions about the content in the document.
The shared documents will be integrated into Zoom’s platform so that users can work on a document from its meetings, chat, desktop and mobile apps. The product will be generally available in the spring of 2024, and Zoom said it is still determining pricing.
Zoom Docs is AI Native from Day One
Zoom Docs goes beyond basic functionalities and is embedded with advanced features to enhance the user experience. Since AI powers it, the tool can assist users with content creation and comprehension through accessible formats and refined search queries. The AI companion also simplifies composition and summarization, making writing content easier and faster for users.
Along with the Mail and Calendar (Verge) offerings launched during last year’s event, Zoom Docs is another step toward a full office suite alternative to Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, which both have started to integrate AI-powered tools of their own, dubbed Duet AI and Copilot, respectively.
Zoom has thus created a valid alternative to those monopolies that we might be getting tired of. Additionally, Zoom Docs users can customize layouts and workflows, organize data, track tasks, and manage schedules with the table blocks feature—all with one click. Table blocks assist users in arranging data by utilizing columns, filters, and grouping.
A lot of us actually use Notion more than Microsoft products now.
Zoom AI Companion Keeps getting Better
The ability to generate ideas on a digital whiteboard and organize them into categories, helping teams get to work faster.
Expanded access to Zoom AI Companion for certain education and healthcare customers
I am a fan of Smita. There’s an elegance to the design of these products.
Another innovation is the Global Unified Search functionality, enabling users to find information across the Zoom platform. Now if only Zoom had acquired Neeva instead of Snowflake. Snowflake’s market cap will soon be 3X that of Zoom, so it’s hard to compare the two companies of course.
Zoom’s AI companion is evolving faster than most other such products in the Enterprise space I have noticed.
Zoom is entering its prime, it’s now or never for the platform.
Zoom’s strategy to revive growth is based on providing a wider suite of business tools beyond video meetings, including features from Workvivo, an employee communication service it agreed to acquire in April, 2023.
The way Microsoft bundles things like Teams is plain unfair and anti-competitive. Everyone has known that for years, but Zoom won’t get much sympathy. Zoom has met with regulators from the US and European Union over the last year to express concerns about the way Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, gives preference to its product through design and price bundling.
I almost feel bad for Zoom because it really is more interested in real innovation than Microsoft or Google. Zoom executives — and many financial analysts — say most people simply like using its videoconferencing app better than Teams. But Zoom controlled only about 7% of the market for communication and collaboration software as of the first quarter of the year, while Microsoft topped 42%, according to industry analyst IDC.
The barrier is the price though to be honest. Zoom AI Companion is included in the price of the company’s paid subscription plans, which start at $149.90 per year per user. Microsoft charges an extra $30 per user per month for 365 Copilot, and Google has said it will do the same.
Zoom is an Remote work and hybrid-work native platform, but in a world of forced RTO, does it even matter? Or is Zoom still stuck in its pandemic glory days?