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Zoomtopia Stories Day 2: Can it get even better?

Today is the second (and last) day of Zoomtopia 2019. Fun fact: it takes 47 seconds to walk from the hotel to the convention center. 😊

What’s on today’s agenda?

  • The morning keynote will be delivered by actor, producer and Zoomie Zachary Quinto, followed by NASA astronaut Mike Massimino and his amazing stories.
  • Several interesting breakout sessions will take place in the course of the day, such as “The state of the industry”, “Driving added value with Zoom Rooms” and “Integrating Zoom & Microsoft”.
  • The closing keynote will be presented by Sir Richard Branson.
  • Last but not least, the event will be wrapped up with a concert by Snoop Dogg and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Once again, it’s going to be an exciting day at Zoomtopia. In this blog post, I’ll share the event’s key highlights with you. Stay tuned!

A flying start with the morning keynote

Zachary Quinto, the well-known actor and producer who appeared in American Horror Story, Star Trek (as Spock) and Heroes, took to the stage today to share how he became a fan of Zoom and how the product has found its way into every aspect of his professional life. Watch his story.

After Quinto, we were lucky to see another inspiring storyteller on stage: former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino.

Mike started off with the compelling story about how he became an astronaut. He earned several degrees at MIT university and applied to join NASA afterwards, but it took 4 applications over several years before he was selected to join the astronaut training programme. One of his classmates at NASA was Peggy Whitson, who became the first female commander of the ISS and the first female Chief Astronaut. To this day, she still holds the record for the most cumulative time spent in space by a US astronaut.

Did you know that Neil Armstrong forgot to take a picture during his first moonwalk? Ever since, NASA’s official protocol declares that astronauts must have their picture taken during their first moonwalk.

Here’s another fun fact: Armstrong didn’t prepare his famous quote “It’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” beforehand – he was only thinking about successfully completing the moon landing. His lesson to Mike was fittingly straightforward: “Always put business first, then comes the rest”.

With another great story, Mike illustrated the importance of teamwork. He had some lessons to share from his period at NASA:

  • In a team, you need to bring the weakest and strongest players together and make them help each other to achieve joint team success.
  • If you dislike a member of your team, it might just mean that you don’t know them well enough yet. In time, you could come to understand why they act the way they do.

Watch Mike's story!

To conclude, Mike shared what he felt when he was in space, looking down at the world: “When you’re in space, you realise how beautiful our world is and you realise that there’s no other planet anywhere near here where we could go, so we absolutely must take the greatest care of this great place.”

Movers and shakers in our industry

The first breakout session featured a great panel of industry-leading vendors, including Poly, Logitech, neat., Crestron and Five9, moderated by renowned analyst Ira Weinstein.

They discussed ROI and how this calculation has changed.

Today, ROI goes further than just reducing travel costs. Organisations have tougher nuts to crack, such as:

  • Attracting young talent from the generation of “digital natives”
  • Taking care of our planet and taking social responsibility

The ROI of a modern Video & Productivity solution is influenced by these new factors. As a result, it must go beyond merely cutting travel costs.

Did you ever wonder how the costs of installing video/collaboration solutions in your meeting room compare to the cost of offering free coffee in your office?

Furthermore, the discussion in our industry has shifted from technology and features towards a discussion about real value, with the following key parameters:

  • Ease of use
  • Available for everyone and in every meeting room
  • Truly improving your personal and shared productivity
  • Focus on the overall experience; how do you make sure employees enjoy using a solution?

Luckily, our market has brought about accelerators as well, such as cloud, consumerisation and democratisation of the solution. This results in a significant step forward to native software-defined solutions (and moving away from standards-based interop with H.323/SIP/TIP), where new features will be released every month. Combined with lower hardware costs, this evolution makes bulk deployments possible.

A quick look at the future yields these cautious predictions:

  • AI will further enhance the experience and improve meetings and their outcome
  • Scale and simplicity for IT Admin and end users will be more important than ever
  • Innovation will provide the best experience to people inside and outside of the conference room

Driving added value with Zoom Rooms

Did you know that Zoom Rooms delivers more than just the Video Conference Room solution?

With Zoom Rooms, you can also easily set up digital signage on all displays in your organisation. To top it off, this functionality comes at no extra cost: it’s included with your Zoom tenant.

Here’s a brief summary of what you can do with Zoom Rooms Digital Signage:

  • Upload video files
  • Upload photo files
  • Refer to an (internet) URL
  • Select how long specific content should be displayed

Apart from digital signage, Zoom Rooms also natively includes a Room Scheduling Display, which lets you check the availability of a particular meeting room. You can even enhance this display by uploading a floor plan, enabling you to schedule a meeting room and looking up the room’s location on the map.

Integrating Zoom & Microsoft

This session about integrating Zoom Video Communications with Microsoft Productivity suite (Office 365), Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Intune was at the very top of my personal Zoomtopia to-do list. It was all about blending experiences that work flawlessly for the end users and justify the cost of the total solution.

Today, Zoom already delivers rich integrations with Microsoft Office 365 (Skype for Business, Teams, OneDrive and Outlook), Microsoft Azure (SSO) and Microsoft Intune (MAM).

If you’d like to find out all the details about the Admin checklist & End User Experience best practices, get in touch! We’ll gladly explain and show you everything there is to know.

Finally, we were treated to a sneak peek of the next months’ roadmap, with some great new application integrations to come and an even more thorough integration of Zoom and Microsoft Teams!

Sir Richard Branson Zooming in

The closing keynote of Zoomtopia 2019 was delivered by none other than Sir Richard Branson.

Wrapping it up with style

Last but not least, it was time to wind down and wrap up the event.

I had the unique opportunity to take a picture with Zoom’s founder & CEO, Eric S. Yuan!

After that, it was time for the concluding concert starring Snoop Dogg & Lynyrd Skynyrd. No further words needed: just relax, enjoy and drive home safely (powered by Poly).

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