Zoom in talks with UAE to introduce smart call centres

Jonathan Kallmer. — Supplied photo
Jonathan Kallmer. — Supplied photo

At the height of the pandemic in December 2019, Zoom users went up from 10 million daily meeting participants to well over 300 million in April in the same year.



by

Anjana Sankar

Published: Thu 14 Apr 2022, 10:22 PM

Last updated: Thu 14 Apr 2022, 10:24 PM

Zoom’s newly introduced Contact Centres could soon be finding its way into the UAE and used by government departments to serve customers, a top official of video conferencing platform, told Khaleej Times said.

The Zoom Contact Centre that was launched in the US in February this year is the latest move by the company to expand and move beyond its video conferencing platform that became a household name during the pandemic helping businesses and individuals stay connected. “We are in discussions with different parts of the government. The discussions are very positive,” Jonathan Kallmer, head of public policy, and government relations at Zoom. He did not divulge details citing confidentiality but added that the new product can support governments to increase efficiency.

Zoom Contact Centre that combines contact centre functionality with Zoom’s existing communications solutions to provide customer service, combined with a live agent web chat and SMS service to be added in future, could be a gamechanger for businesses and governments, he said.

“Our vision is meeting the needs of governments as a vendor to them and not just, through video conferencing. The Contact Centre or the Video Engagement Centre, which is essentially a tool built on the Zoom video platform, will allow both companies and governments in dealing with their customers or citizens to carry out routine government services, over video or over chat. It will make life a lot easier than sitting on the phone or tapping on an email,” said Kallmer.

“I mean, just think if you can make an appointment with a physician for something that doesn’t require an in-person visit, and you can do it through Zoom. And you can pay through Zoom, get on the video, see your physician, and avoid traveling 50 minutes in traffic. We are saying that the future could be where… if you need a government service, you don’t have to go to a government department, it can be done virtually. And that is what we are.”

According to him, the US government is already beginning to use Zoom to issue driver’s licenses, or to have health care consultations for army veterans. “The use cases are beginning to become kind of more pronounced,” said Kallmer.

Zoom is re-entering the contact centre solution space after its proposed $14.7 billion acquisition of Five9, which has a contact centre software, fell through the cracks in October last year. The revamped call centre product makes it an omnichannel interface that helps businesses and governments connect with customers across different channels including Zoom Phone, or a call agent diverting calls to the most appropriate experts.

At the height of the pandemic in December 2019, Zoom users went up from 10 million daily meeting participants to well over 300 million in April in the same year.

With lockdowns in full force, ‘Zooming’ became the most popular form of communication tool for friends and family members, students, and employees. It brought a windfall for the company and revenues shot up 326 per cent in fiscal 2021. But with a respite in the number of coronavirus cases globally and the world slowing limping back to normal, shares of Zoom Video Communications dropped to 14 per cent in February, according ot data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

As mor and more people around the world are returning to work, Kallmer said it crucial for the company to stay relevant and innovate.

“We are glad the pandemic, hopefully, is kind of coming to an end. We want to be in person as well. And so, we need to adapt to a world where life is truly hybrid.”

Before the outbreak of the Coronavirus, he said Zoom was almost entirely a business-to-busines communication platform for enterprises, financial institutions, universities. “Overnight, it’s cooking classes and family staying in touch and yoga and whatever. So, we had the challenge of scaling up and meeting the surge in demand. Now, we are there to provide the services that people need in a hybrid environment,” said Kallmer.

He said the company is betting big on looking the Middle East and ​Southeast Asia market which according to Kallmer has seen an overwhelming trajectory of innovation and digitization. “There is both an expectation by citizens and a commitment by governments, to provide high quality government services, whether it is transportation or health care or labour support.”

“I think as compared to other regions of the world, this region is quite well prepared — both technologically and mentally to understand (the tech shift). We have got to both shift to digital and we have got to make it accessible,” added the official.

— anjana@khaleejtimes.com


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