What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Zoomtopia 2022

This syndicated post originally appeared at Zeus Kerravala, Author at eWEEK.

Zoomtopia has the potential to grow from a vendor event to a larger industry event, much like VMware Explore, Dreamforce and NVDIA GTC.

Zoom’s sixth annual user conference, Zoomtopia, is a hybrid event this year. It will take place virtually and in-person in San Jose, California, on Nov. 8-9. Given the rise of Zoom as a tool to enable us to work remotely and now in a hybrid manner, one could argue that this is the most important Zoomtopia held to date.

Of all the unified communications providers, Zoom is certainly unique in its appeal. Microsoft Teams is the product of choice with desktop pros, and Cisco Webex is preferred by network and communications teams. Zoom though, has strong appeal with end users due to its frequent use in both work and personal events. During the pandemic, we used Zoom for birthday parties, church services, fantasy football drafts – and now workers want to keep using it as the primary collaboration tool.

Zoom’s User Base Confers IT’s Respect

Zoom’s massive user base means that IT pros must pay attention, even if your company standard is another product. One CIO I recently interviewed had this exact scenario where the organization made the decision to use a certain product only to have most users prefer Zoom. The result, multiplied across companies: Zoom is now often the corporate standard.

Over the past couple of years, Zoom has changed significantly. Pre-pandemic it was an online meeting company. Now it has Phone, Rooms, Events, APIs and recently added contact center. This had me wondering what Zoomtopia 2022 would have in store for its audience.

To get a better idea, I recently interviewed Joseph Chong, Head of Product Solutions and Industry Marketing at Zoom, who gave me a preview of what’s to come at Zoomtopia. Highlights of the ZKast interview (which are done using Zoom), done in conjunction with eWEEK eSPEAKS, are below.

  • Zoom reported revenue of more than $4 billion for the year ending January 31, 2022, growing 55 percent year-over-year. Given the company’s growth and the role communications plays in the customer and employee experience today, Zoomtopia has the potential to grow from a vendor event to a larger industry event, much like VMware Explore, Dreamforce and NVDIA GTC.
  • Zoom is strengthening itself as a platform. It’s not just a meetings app anymore. There are many non-standard use cases for Zoom. During the pandemic, we’ve learned to use the platform to enhance other parts of our lives. Examples include consumer-to-consumer use cases like virtual birthday parties and church services, as well as business-to-consumer use cases.
  • This is the first in-person Zoomtopia since COVID. It will feature over 45 sessions, meet and greets with Zoom executives and partners, and most important, networking with peers, developers, technology leaders, contact center leaders, and others in the industry. This is the best way for attendees to learn how to best leverage the platform’s ability to facilitate better hybrid work.
  • Past attendees have asked for in-depth product training and technical labs. So, for the first time, in-person attendees will be able to explore Zoom products in technical labs. They will get real-world insights on topics, such as security strategies, third-party apps, and integrations. Additionally, those who are onsite will have access to Zoom’s brand-new Zoom Hub, featuring demos on the Zoom platform.
  • Expect to see many new products and technologies showcased at the event, designed around communications, contact centers, sales, productivity, and much more. Zoomtopia will also explore existing use cases in industries like financial services, healthcare, and education, as well as emerging use case in manufacturing and retail.
  • With the recent addition of Zoom Contact Center, the company has improved the customer service experience through video-optimized interactions. While video remains the killer app, it’s now more about the lifecycle of everything people do on Zoom, from meeting with colleagues to participating in webinars to chatting with contact center agents directly in the platform.
  • I’ve heard rumors of a major product announcement. While I asked about this, I was given no details other than Zoom confirming there will be something notable. Stay tuned for those details coming soon.
  • Zoomtopia is not just about networking but also about entertainment. This year, the attendees will see musical performances by Grammy Award-winning artist Nelly and singer-songwriter Yola. The event will be hosted by comedian Alex Borstein, who played Susie Myerson on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” The guest keynote speaker is another famous celebrity: record producer and rapper Timbaland.

Author: Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice.