In a bid to maintain its competitive edge in the crowded videoconferencing market, Zoom has announced the rebranding and expansion of its AI-powered features, including the generative AI assistant formerly known as Zoom IQ. The move follows recent controversy surrounding changes to Zoom’s terms of service that hinted at the company’s potential use of customer videos to train its AI tools and models. In response to the backlash, Zoom updated its policy to clarify that customer data of a “communications-like” nature will not be used to train AI apps or services.
Zoom has rebranded and expanded its generative AI features, introducing the AI Companion and Zoom Revenue Accelerator. The AI Companion offers conversational interactions, real-time feedback, and various productivity-enhancing capabilities. Meanwhile, Revenue Accelerator includes a virtual coach and deal risk signals for sales teams. These updates aim to solidify Zoom’s market position in the face of increasing competition and recent challenges.
The AI Companion: Enhancing User Experience and Efficiency
Renamed as the AI Companion, the rebranded Zoom IQ combines Zoom’s in-house generative AI technology with AI models from various vendors, such as Meta, OpenAI, and Anthropic. The AI Companion’s scope has also been expanded to encompass more areas within the Zoom ecosystem, including Zoom Whiteboard, Zoom Team Chat, and Zoom Mail.
One notable addition is a ChatGPT-like bot, which will be introduced in spring 2024. Users will have the ability to engage in conversational interactions with the AI Companion, allowing them to ask about previous meetings and chats and delegate tasks on their behalf. The AI Companion will be able to provide real-time feedback on participants’ presence in meetings and offer coaching on conversational and presentation skills.
Furthermore, Zoom Team Chat users will soon have the option to summarize chat threads using the AI Companion and even have chat sentences auto-completed. In addition, Zoom Whiteboard will leverage the AI Companion’s capabilities to generate images and populate templates. On the other hand, users of Zoom Mail will benefit from AI-generated email suggestions, while Zoom’s note-taking app, Notes, will provide the ability to add meeting summaries. These features will be gradually rolled out, with some becoming available as early as this fall.
Expanding Zoom’s Revenue Accelerator
Zoom’s sales assistant tool, formerly known as Zoom IQ for Sales, has been rebranded as Zoom Revenue Accelerator. The tool has undergone a transformation in response to initial criticism regarding the accuracy and reliability of its sentiment analysis algorithms. The latest capabilities introduced include a “virtual coach” feature that simulates conversations for onboarding and training sales team members. This virtual coach can assess salespeople’s performance in pitching products using different sales methodologies.
Moreover, Revenue Accelerator now offers deal risk signals, enabling sales team members to set alerts if a deal has not progressed within a specified timeframe. Another upcoming feature, discover monthly, will analyze competitor mentions during calls and provide summarized trends on a monthly basis.
Strengthening Zoom’s Position Amidst Market Challenges
These rebranded and expanded AI features come at a crucial time for Zoom, as the company faced its first quarterly loss of $108 million since 2018 in the fourth quarter of the 2023 financial year. Zoom had previously laid off around 1,300 employees in response to a decline in demand and increased competition from rivals such as Microsoft, Cisco, Webex, and Slack. However, Zoom has since revised its annual revenue forecast upwards, indicating a more positive outlook.