Dion Smith, Head of EMEA Channels at Zoom Video Communications, in conversation with the Channel Post MEA discussed its participation at GITEX and the main aim to be part of the show is to expand its partner network and extend its footprint across the Middle East.
What makes this edition of GITEX special for Zoom and why are you here?
Over the last year, we’ve been focusing on building our partner ecosystem for the emerging markets specifically. We have made big announcements at the start of this week for new strategic partnerships in the region. We announced Redington, as our new tier-one distributor for the MENA region. We have renewed our partnership with FVC, extending the distribution coverage they provide for Zoom and onboarded them to Zoom master agency, which means that they can now do referrals within other partner ecosystems in the region. So, we are using our debut in GITEX to let the market know that we are expanding our partner ecosystem.
We are also using this platform, to showcase our different offerings, such as the Zoom Phone, Zoom contact center and Zoom IQ.
How do your solutions relate to the current year’s theme ‘Enter the next digital universe’?
This year’s GITEX is the biggest that’s ever been! COVID has introduced the hybrid worker and we are now looking at innovative and creative ways to mobilize the hybrid workforce. So, we’ve got a lot of messaging around our Zoom platform. We are here to show how to utilize our various products such as the Zoom Phone, Zoom Rooms, Zoom Webinars within different environments. We are seeing an explosion of innovations in this region, especially in APIs for Zoom and opportunities to embed into other offerings in the market such as the oil rigs and in hotel chains.
With many countries now adopting ‘back to office’, did you recalibrate your strategies?
We have put in a tremendous amount of hard work and have introduced such innovative solutions that Zoom is no longer a video-only application. We have a platform that is all-encompassing and can communicate and operate, no matter where the user or the business is.
For instance, our Zoom rooms technology is one such solution that is aiding this ‘back to office’ trend. Right from the ability to remotely check into the office, to looking for room availability to booking a time slot and enabling the right technology to have a personalized video conferencing experience for each person, who can be a hybrid worker, remote worker or employee working from the office. So, that’s our take on this emerging trend.
How is Zoom preparing to adapt its solutions for the Metaverse, which though still in its infancy, has the power to alter communication?
The immense effort, we have put into shaping Zoom as an all-encompassing communication platform is really helping us discover so many new verticals, that we can now seamlessly embed our technology and solutions, to enable communication, no matter what’s the device, the ways and means that communication is received.
How has Zoom as a company performed in this region?
We’ve had explosive growth within this region, and that has underpinned our ability to invest in the way that we’re investing, it was important that we established some of those strategic partnerships with Redington and FVC, because they give us the scale to be able to reach more countries within the region. We are not opportunity constrained within the region, our biggest constraint is not having the capacity to saturate those opportunities. And that’s why channels are critical for us within the region to build that capacity and capabilities to support.
What are the growth avenues for Zoom in this region?
The current growth avenue for us is Zoom Phone. We launched our phone seven months ago, within EMEA, the product itself has been running for about two years now globally.
The Zoom phone platform operates at a very low bandwidth environment, unlike the traditional platforms wherein one might have to turn off their video. Zoom platform because of it’s ability to operate in such low bandwidth environments offers both stability and availability. This unique feature enabled us to reach 2 million sales in the first 24 months. Further to that, from what we are hearing from our partners here, we expect to significantly accelerate growth even further. As a subset to that, we also announced contact center within the region, around eight weeks back, the contact center will be the next part of the growth once that phone is embedded within our clients.
What are your takeaways from this year’s GITEX?
It was great to see so many people attend this event. I’ve never seen the GITEX as busy as it has been this year. We’ve had phenomenal activities in both ours and partner stands. I think there’s just a general euphoria and excitement that people can come out again and physically communicate.