Zoom Video Communications is a world leading cloud based conferencing platform, used around the world for online meetings, content sharing, chat and webinars.
Organisations worldwide have been using Zoom software at the desktop and on mobiles for peer-to-peer communications since 2011, and the last few years has seem tremendous growth of Zoom’s cloud platform usage, especially in the huddle room, meeting room and conferencing spaces. These Zoom based rooms are otherwise know as “Zoom Rooms“.
Zoom Rooms is the idea of enabling individuals, teams and organisations to access the Zoom cloud conferencing platform from a meeting room so that your employees using Zoom can communicate from wherever they choose to work from.
Zoom Rooms is a combination of a Zoom Cloud subscription, Zoom Room Licences, and meeting room hardware… and of course a meeting room or collaboration space. Don’t forget – Zoom Rooms is not included with an organisations Zoom subscription – here’s a few questions and answers to help explain what Zoom Rooms are, and how it can work for your business.
What can Zoom Rooms do for me?
Zoom Rooms extends your Zoom Video Communications into your meeting spaces. When properly deployed, with the right hardware and services, your meeting spaces are enhanced with video and audio to connect with remote teams and businesses.
Like any modern Video Conferencing deployment, there are a huge benefits to professionally enabling your meeting spaces with Video. Connecting with remote teams, improving relationships, reducing travel costs, improving interviews & training, being more productive as a global team, reducing time to market… here’s a couple of past posts on benefits that you may like to take a peak at – “Video Conferencing in the Manufacturing Industry” and “Can Small Businesses really benefit from Video Conferencing”
In fact, Zoom Rooms can bring all these benefits and more to your meeting spaces, with a solid cloud communication platform in the background to deliver a range of features for remote team collaboration.
Can I buy Zoom Hardware?
No, not specifically manufacturered by Zoom, anyway.
Zoom doesn’t have it’s own endpoints, video conferencing systems or room based hardware. You can buy hardware FOR Zoom, but Zoom itself is a fully software based solution. However, there are a number of certified Zoom Room Hardware components, brought together as suitable solutions for professional meeting spaces, tried & tested by ourselves, that we recommend & install for professional video and audio, if you are using Zoom as the software platform. These include:
- Video Conferencing devices & audio solutions for kitting out a Zoom meeting room
- Video soundbars for Zoom Huddle Rooms
- Displays and interactive technologies for Zoom Rooms for Touch
- Controllers and PC based devices such as from Crestron or HP
- USB Cameras and Audio systems
- Devices such as the Poly (Polycom + Plantronics) Trio for Zoom, or X Series for Zoom
The idea of Zoom Rooms is that organisations deploy hardware for the particular room and space, and then connect into the platform to access the features from the Zoom cloud – Secure multipoint Conferencing, audio and content sharing with recording, chat, calendaring integration and all the other features you’d expect from a professional collaboration platform.
There are many certified, and non certified peripherals that can make up a Zoom Room hardware bundle – but there are some limitations, challenges & combinations that work better than others, so if you’re unsure, make sure you get some assistance to understand which ones will work best in your spaces.
What is a Zoom Room Connector?
The hardware and conferencing room systems to use for your Zoom Rooms is dependent upon your needs, aimed outcomes, room size and space, and the current communication and collaboration environment you have in place. Many organisations already have professional Video Conferencing technology in place, such as Cisco, Poly (Polycom + Plantronics) or Lifesize.
Zoom can be accessed with standards-based Video Conferencing systems such as those from Cisco or Poly (Polycom + Plantronics) by using a Zoom Room Connector, which enables organisations to use their current investments and professional Video Conferencing endpoints to access the features of the Zoom Cloud.
The Zoom Room Connector is a licence that enables SIP or H.323 room systems to connect with Zoom Rooms, and provides additional professional features to be brought into the Zoom Room meeting space, such as one-touch-to-join through your calendaring system.
I hear Zoom Rooms includes Digital Signage?
Yes. Screens in your meeting rooms can be utilised to display company information and notices, social media, weather and news reports and other information you may wish to share to the space whilst the display is not in use.
In fact, you get this functionality as part of your Zoom Rooms subscription licence. The digital signage offering enables you to manage displays at scale, or individually from the Zoom administration portal, and supports an unlimited number of displays.
The Zoom Digital Signage package is relatively basic in features, and suitable for those who just want the more simple aspects of Digital Signage.
What is a Zoom Room Licence?
Of course, you don’t get the ability to connect a bundle of hardware for your meeting room straight into the Zoom cloud for free! Whether you are currently using the free Zoom package, or you already pay for a subscription to Zoom cloud for your organisation, you’ll need to subscribe to an additional licence for Zoom Rooms.
That licence can also include additional add-ons, such as the Webinar, recording or large meeting add-ons, dependent upon what you need from your rooms and entire Zoom solution. Plus, Zoom Rooms for Touch, and the Zoom Rooms Connector – you’ll have to factor in those too. Don’t worry – We will create a bundle for your needs, that includes the right Zoom Licences alongside the right Zoom Hardware Bundles to make it simple – just ask.
What about Zoom Services?
Ensuring Zoom Rooms are deployed professionally and to the highest quality standard that you require for your meeting rooms is just as it would be for any other Video Conferencing or AV deployment across your business. Professional design, integration, installation, support & maintenance of equipment must be managed by a trusted integrator and certified supplier, with quality support from the manufacturer… in this case, VideoCentric & Zoom.
One key area to think about with Zoom professional services is around your maintenance and support. With lots of peripherals and accessories, different cloud connectors and licences, and a variety of options for different spaces, an all-in-one wrap around support service for your entire room is recommended. If managing multiple devices from different manufacturers with a range of warranties, offerings and hardware is something that may challenge you, have a chat to us about “XT Maintenance” for everything, including cabling, in your meeting space.
Take a look at some more information on Zoom professional services!
Sonos: A Zoom Rooms Story!
With 2 key offices, and a 3000 mile hallway between the two, Sono uses Zoom rooms to connect over 170 project rooms to enable engineers and manufacturers to look closely at components and technology from across the multiple sites and rooms. Take a look at the video case study here:
If you are looking at Zoom Rooms and are interested in the various room based solutions available for your meeting spaces, or want to talk to us about the different Zoom Room bundles and Professional services available, get in touch with our team today.