The videoconferencing software is the cornerstone of any successful and productive team. Videoconferencing tools, such as Zoom, allow people to meet and work together productively face-to-face when it is not possible to meet in person. This makes remote meeting much more human, which is essential for helping users feel and stay connected.
The number of Zoom users has grown rapidly this year around coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns. The company is estimated to have added 2.22 million monthly active users so far in 2020, while in all of 2019 it has added 1.99 million users.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of Zoom and everything you need to know about membership, background information, and professional tips to get the most out of your Zoom experience.
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing platform that can be used for video conferencing meetings, audio conferencing, webinars, meeting recordings and live chat. According to a lot of research, Zoom is the most popular video conferencing solution for companies with 500 or more employees, and the second most popular solution for companies with 500 or more employees, after Skype for Business. According to the presentation S-1 by Zoom in early 2019, more than half of the Fortune companies 500 uses Zoom.
Next, let’s look at the most common Zoom use cases in a typical workplace: Zoom Meetings and Zoom Rooms.
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What is a Zoom meeting? Zoom Meetings are the foundation of Zoom, and the term refers to video conferencing meetings that use the platform that allows remote and located meeting participants to communicate frictionlessly. Since you don’t need a Zoom account to attend Zoom meetings, you can also meet clients or conduct job interviews with remote candidates.
A “Zoom meeting” simply refers to a meeting hosted via Zoom, and attendees can join the meeting in person, via webcam or video conferencing camera, or via telephone.
A Zoom Room is the physical hardware configuration that allows companies to initiate Zoom Meetings from their conference rooms. Zoom Rooms are a software-defined video conferencing hardware system for a conference room that allows users to schedule, start and run Zoom Meetings with the push of a button. Zoom rooms require an additional subscription in addition to a Zoom subscription and are ideal for larger companies with many employees holding Zoom meetings on a regular basis.
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To set up a Zoom room, you need to:
- A computer to synchronize and run Zoom Meetings
- A tablet for attendees to start Zoom meetings
- A microphone, a camera and a speaker
- 1 or 2 HDTV monitors to view remote meeting participants and screen or presentation sharing
- An HDMI cable to share computer screens on the TV display and an Internet cable to wire the connection
Now that we understand what Zoom is and the key terms for using it, let’s go through the steps for setting up with Zoom.
How to get started with Zoom
1. Choose the right plan for your team.
Zoom offers four distinct price levels for the corporate subscription (excluding a Zoom Room subscription).
1. Free Zoom: this is the best option if you are trying Zoom, or if you work alone or with just one or two other people in the same position and do the brunt of planning and coordinating the meeting. With the free version of Zoom, users can hold an unlimited number of meetings, but group meetings with multiple participants are limited to 40 minutes and the meeting cannot be recorded.
2. Zoom Pro: this is the best option if you are using Zoom with a small team with at least one member working remotely full-time or part-time so you can collaborate effectively no matter where the meeting takes place. Zoom Pro costs $ 14.99 / month / meeting host and this tier allows hosts to create personal meeting IDs for recurring Zoom meetings, allows meeting recording on the cloud or on users’ devices, and limits the duration of group meetings to 24 hours.
3. Zoom Business: Zoom Business is best suited to small and medium-sized businesses with multiple teams that schedule Zoom meetings on a regular basis. This tier costs $ 19.99 / month / meeting host and offers compelling features for companies to branding Zoom meetings with vanity URLs and corporate branding, dedicated customer support, and transcripts of Zoom meetings recorded in the cloud.
4. Zoom Enterprise: For businesses with 1,000 or more employees, this level of Zoom offers unlimited cloud storage for recordings, a dedicated customer success manager, and discounts on webinars and Zoom Room. This Zoom tier costs $ 19.99 / month / meeting host.
Also, if you want to set up Zoom Rooms, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial, after which Zoom Rooms requires an additional subscription of $ 49 / month / room, and video webinars using Zoom cost $ 40 / month / host.
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2. Download Zoom.
After selecting the Zoom plan you want to start using, you can register and download Zoom in on your computer to start using it. Users can sign up using their work email if they sign up for a single free account or if the system administrator is signing up for a Pro, Business or Enterprise account, you will be invited to sign up for Zoom as one of your company’s hosts .
If you are setting up a Zoom Room, you will also need download “Zoom Rooms for Conference Room” on the computer in the room and “Zoom Room Controller” for the tablet in the meeting room.
3. Synchronize Zoom on calendar.
Next, we recommend that you sync Zoom on your calendar in so you can schedule Zoom meetings that appear on your calendar, or so you can easily add a Zoom Meeting link to events on your calendar so that remote attendees can join.
To do this, when you log in to Zoom, select “Settings”, then “Meetings”, then “Synchronized calendars”. Then, turn on “Sync Zoom meetings from calendars” and tap to select the calendars you want to sync with Zoom. This way, you can sync calendars with Zoom in both directions, so your calendar client will offer an option to add a Zoom link, and your calendar will show scheduled Zoom Meetings in the Zoom app.
If your company sets up Zoom rooms, you can sync those rooms with your company’s shared calendar in so employees can see which meeting rooms are available when they go to book. Zoom rooms can also be configured to display upcoming meetings so employees are aware of when they need to start finishing the meeting or when they can sit in a drop-off meeting.
4. Schedule a meeting using Zoom.
You are now ready to start using Zoom. You can schedule a meeting using Zoom using your calendar client (as explained and shown above) or you can schedule a meeting using the Zoom app. To do this, you can start a new meeting right now by clicking “New Meeting” or clicking “Schedule Meeting” to book a Zoom meeting for the future:
Then, you can edit the meeting details, for example, you can schedule a recurring meeting, set a meeting password, and choose the calendar you want to sync.
Once you join a Zoom meeting, you can use features like toggle video and microphone settings, invite other meeting attendees, chat with other meeting attendees, record the meeting, and share your screen.
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