On Wednesday, Zoom Video Communications Inc. unveiled new innovative features and tools intended in part to help executives in information technology handle the health and safety of workers who are progressively moving to the offline office.
Some of the functions operate with hardware intended for the video conferencing platform of Zoom. They have a remote receptionist who welcomes individuals who come to a physical office. Other methods will track how many individuals at the very same time are in a specific meeting room.
Both of these new instruments could prove useful as businesses remain focused on keeping workers safe throughout the pandemic, said Harry Moseley, the San Jose, Calif.-based company’s global chief information officer.
“In the post-pandemic era, work has changed forever,” Mr. Moseley said. The new features of Zoom could help bridge the gap between staff who are working in the office as Covid-19 lifts lockdowns and those who are going to continue working remotely, he said.
More About The New Tools:
One of the added tools makes it easier for institutions to settle in the physical office for staff who arrive. If needed, a human receptionist, working remotely, can direct them through a temperature check and other protocols for safety and health.
Via Zoom, through a tablet placed in the physical office, the receptionist can interact with a worker. “People can walk up to the screen, see the friendly face, and have a video and audio interaction with the receptionist who could actually be anywhere,” Mr. Moseley said.
Another tool allows employees and managers to see that in real time how many people are in a single room. This is to ensure that meeting spaces are not overpopulated. In a physical conference room, software integrated into a camera and audio device made by the Norwegian company Neat can be positioned under a video conferencing screen. The software detects a person’s outline and the quantity of people in the room is counted. On a Zoom dashboard or on a display outside the physical meeting room, the total is shown.
Tim Crawford, CIO strategic adviser at Los Angeles-based consulting firm Avoa, said that IT leaders will need to deploy collaboration tools that facilitate a combination of in-person and remote employees. “They should look for collaboration tools that make remote workers feel included, and not like a second-class team member,” he said. “There is no prescriptive way that works for everyone”. Mr. Crawford, who formerly held CIO and senior IT leadership roles at Konica Minolta Inc., Stanford University and Knight-Ridder Inc said.
Zoom uploaded a record quarterly revenue of $772.2 million in November and saw a large increase in its paying subscriber base during the disease outbreak. The company had 300 million Zoom meeting participants on a daily basis last April, up from 10 million in December 2019. The WSJ reported recently that it aims to increase $1.5 billion through what would be its largest stock offering since its trading debut in 2019.