The global plan allows for streamlining the service agreement process by letting customers purchase domestic calling across all geos, while the new support covers mainly Europe, but also geos in Central and South America, and in Asia.
Today, Zoom Video Communications is making a pair of announcements, whose impact in North America will be making it easier for customers who have facilities abroad. They are introducing a new and, drastically simplified telephone service plan for companies with global locations. They are also more than doubling the number of countries where they provide local telephone service and domestic calling, with 25 new ones, the majority of which are in Europe. The intent is to encourage businesses with legacy phone systems to consolidate all their business communications into Zoom’s unified communications platform.
“We originally came out with Zoom Phone to simplify things for customers, who were moving their hardest workloads to the cloud, and were wondering why they needed two phone systems,” said Graeme Geddes, Head of Zoom Phone. “It’s a natural extension to leverage the same single Zoom client to cover local telephone services and domestic calling.”
Zoom Phone originally launched in the U.S. and Canada 18 months ago.
“Since then, in order to address the needs of the international audience, we have expanded our international support, to 18 countries and territories,” Geddes said. “Today, we are more than doubling the footprint to more than 25 countries and territories. For customers in Canada or the U.S., this will impact them if they have remote offices or users in these international markets.”
The new country support covers Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, and Slovenia. In addition, support is now provided to the Hong Kong SAR.
The new Zoom Phone Pro Global Select plan is also intended to encourage companies with a mix of legacy and cloud phone systems to consolidate on Zoom by providing extremely streamlined billing and support. It lets them purchase domestic calling in any of the geos where Zoom provides PSTN [public switched telephone network] service, for a single price, as an alternative to negotiating telephone service agreements with carriers in different geos.
“Zoom is known for being simple from both a cost and a regulatory perspective,” Geddes said. “This extends that further by creating a single plan with unlimited domestic calling in any of the over 40 countries in which we operate. It’s a single plan, with a single price for domestic calling, with an international calling add-on.”
Geddes indicated that while the extension of Zoom Phone will be valuable in the Work From Home market created by the pandemic, that wasn’t the intent when this was designed.
“It is somewhat coincidental, but it is also relevant,” he said.
“Our intention from the get-go was to dramatically expand markets where we had phones,” Geddes noted. “However, with the Work From Home initiatives, a lot of customers have found themselves in difficult scenarios. Some of the alternatives don’t support Work From Home easily, and so those customers have had workaround stop-gap solutions. We think that in most cases these would be fairly short term, and that many of these companies are now looking for longer term solutions for moving from on-prem to cloud.”
All of this become much more relevant to the channel since Zoom launched their Master Agent channel in March.
“We were extremely excited about the expansion of our program into the Master Agent space,” Geddes said. “It lets our channel community leverage the power of the Zoom platform to help customers in these situations.”