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The cloud contact center market is predicted to become a $45.5 billion industry within four years, up from $11.5 billion in 2020, as companies across the industrial spectrum have been forced to embrace new tools in a world that has rapidly accelerated toward remote work and digital commerce.
Zoom became somewhat synonymous with group video chats through the pandemic, transcending the office environment to power the social interactions of millions globally. But the company has also offered Zoom Phone since 2019, serving as a cloud-based business phone system with enterprise-grade features. And this is a path that Zoom is keen to go deeper into — it wants to distance itself from “Zoom fatigue” and go all-in on enterprise communication.
Zoom Contact Center
Zoom initially announced plans to acquire cloud contact center company Five9 last July, but the deal fell through after publicly traded company, Five9, failed to gain enough shareholder support. However, Zoom had already announced a cloud contact center product called Zoom Video Engagement Center, which it had planned to launch in early 2022 — and that, effectively, is what is going to market today under a new name.
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Zoom Contact Center, as the new product is called, is pitched as an omnichannel contact center that is integrated directly into Zoom, meaning it supports the usual Zoom Chat features directly in the main interface. At launch, Zoom Contact Center is optimized for video calls, though it’s not clear to what extent customers wish to engage with support teams over video — and that is why Zoom’s solution supports voice calls too. The company is also working on SMS and web chat functionality, which are currently available in beta, though there is curiously no mention of support for instant messaging services such as WhatsApp.
On top of that, Zoom Contact Center features such as real-time analytics serve companies with insights into agent productivity, call time, waiting times, service level satisfaction, and more.
While countless other cloud-based contact center companies have gained traction and raised sizable VC funding rounds over the past couple of years, Zoom holds a major trump card in that it’s already familiar to millions of people globally. This, according to Zoom, “reduces ramp time and learning curves” for companies considering a shift from their existing provider, be that a legacy phone system or rival cloud contact center.
Moreover, as businesses continue to embrace a fully-remote or hybrid working setup, Zoom is now better-positioned to serve both its existing customer base and would-be clients in the early stages of their digital transformation efforts.
“A cost-efficient alternative to legacy phone systems, they [cloud contact centers] are hosted over the internet to allow employees to work across one platform, regardless of location,” Zoom wrote in a blog post. “As a result, agents can access customer data quickly and resolve customer issues with ease.”
The company added that future releases will include new features such as CRM and workforce management integrations — which will be particularly crucial for larger contact centers — while it’s also planning AI/ML tools to “optimize agent productivity.”
Zoom Contact Center hits general availability in the U.S. and Canada from today, with more global launches on the agenda for later in 2022.
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