U.S. Markets open in 2 hrs 16 mins

Zoom Unveils New Call Center Product After Failed Five9 Deal

·3 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Zoom Video Communications Inc. unveiled an updated product aimed at enhancing customer support for businesses after a failed $14.7 billion bid last year for now rival call center software vendor Five9 Inc.

Most Read from Bloomberg

The release of Zoom Contact Center on Wednesday is the latest move by the company to expand beyond its video conferencing platform that surged in use during the pandemic and helped solidify Zoom as one of the most well-known names in enterprise software. However, investors remain concerned over how the company plans to capitalize on the huge growth in sales.

The updated call center product propels Zoom further into a highly competitive market focused on helping businesses connect with customers across different channels -- from phone calls with a live agent to web-based chat tools -- and ultimately provide more tailored service.

“The big value is the way it will work in conjunction with our other services,” said Chief Product Officer Oded Gal. “Moving forward, the idea is to expand the services that we provide in these companies so they can rely on us for more.”

Zoom is counting on its reputation as a top video conferencing software provider as a differentiator. The revamped call center product infuses its signature technology alongside more standard features, like an agent assistance dashboard to help support specialists respond to customer inquiries and improved routing to help funnel calls to the most appropriate experts, the San Jose, California-based company said in a statement. For example, video-based support could prove a key lifeline if an individual has an urgent medical question.

“We’re not going to support only the vanilla use cases for contact centers, like a support agent or a sales call. If you think about a tele-health use case, it is a type of contact center,” said Gal.

While it has been diversifying its product portfolio, Zoom has struggled to convince Wall Street it can sustain the momentum gained during the initial period of the pandemic when businesses relied on the vendor to buttress an overnight pivot to a remote workforce.

The stock has been on a near constant decline after reaching a high of $568.34 in October 2020. The shares closed at $126.61 Tuesday in New York and have dropped 31% this year.

The updated customer service product was called the Zoom Video Engagement Center while it was in development. Future releases will include text and web chat capabilities, as well as integrations with other standalone applications, like customer relationship management software, which other vendors already provide. At launch, the call center product will support as many as 50 agents, which will likely preclude most large organizations from switching immediately. Notably, Zoom said it will continue to uphold existing partnerships with call center software vendors like Genesys Cloud Services Inc.

Alongside the call center product, Zoom has also seen momentum for its cloud-based replacement to landline telephones. While the company doesn’t break out specific sales figures for Zoom Phone, Chief Financial Officer Kelly Steckelberg previously told analysts that revenue grew triple-digits year-over-year in the three months through October. And in anticipation of the evolving hybrid work model, Zoom has also introduced products tailored to helping businesses bridge the communications gap between in-office employees and those that continue to work remotely, like Zoom Rooms.

Collectively, the products push Zoom toward its vision as a one-stop shop for key consumer and employee communications tools.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.