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Small Business Success In The Age of Flexibility: How Zoom Aims To Manage Your Time? – News18

Video interactions rose across the world for several reasons in the recent years, and individuals as well as businesses have benefited significantly from this trend. The availability of high-speed internet and the development of user-friendly video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Google Meet made it easier for people to connect via video calls. These advancements improved the overall quality and accessibility of video communication.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote work, making video calls essential for daily work routines. Businesses had to quickly adapt to remote collaboration tools to maintain productivity and communication among remote teams.

Businesses have harnessed advantages to improve productivity, reduce costs, and expand their reach, making video interactions an integral part of modern business operations.

Sameer Raje, General Manager and Head, India & SAARC Region, Zoom Video Communications, Inc., shared detailed exclusive insights with News18.com around the rise and might of technology-led interactions across the globe and how consumers have leveraged the platforms for their advantage and what they need to keep in mind while utilising the digital-interaction platforms.

Edited Excerpts;

  • As remote work becomes more prevalent, security and data privacy are paramount concerns for businesses. How does a video conference platform ensure the protection of sensitive information and maintain a secure environment for corporate communications?

While hybrid work creates flexibility and scalability, it presents a complex IT challenge that requires a more thoughtful approach to security. Exposure points multiply as employees work from offices, homes, coffee shops, airports, and more, tasking IT with securing and controlling a diverse set of environments. This requires security leaders to design a strategy that helps protect employees no matter where they are or what they do, one rooted in the variability that comes with flexible work.

It is key that security is incorporated into the beginning of the product design. Robust features like industry standard encryption and optional E2EE adds to the security of the platform.

Another key facet of security strategies involves engaging with the ethical hacker community through our Bug Bounty Program to identify and address potential threats before they can evolve into problems, thereby helping to create a safer environment for customers and enhance the platform’s security posture.

By adhering to industry-leading certifications and attestations, collaboration platforms ensure that the platform is on par with security standards set around the globe and up to the task of safeguarding sensitive corporate communications. Advanced features like “Customer Managed Key” (CMK) empower organisations to use their own encryption keys to protect specific data stored at rest within their cloud infrastructure, giving them added peace of mind and control over their data security.

  • How can consumers safeguard their data and online identities during virtual interactions?

Virtual collaboration has helped thousands of businesses and organisations connect more productively, reliably, and securely. A core focus for these solutions has been to provide a safe and secure environment for all users.

Currently, collaboration tools come with a host of controls and numerous security features designed to effectively manage meetings, prevent disruption, and help users collaborate from where they are all while safeguarding user data and virtual identity.

Below are few tips for users to safeguard their virtual interactions:

-Encryption: Look for platforms that offer strong encryption, such as 256-bit AES-GCM, to protect your data during transmission.

-End-to-End Encryption: If available, enable end-to-end encryption so that no third party has access to your meeting’s private keys

-Two-Factor Authentication: Utilise two-factor authentication whenever possible to add an extra layer of security to your account.

-Attendee Consent: Be aware of recording practices during virtual interactions and ensure that you are informed and have given consent if recordings are taking place.

-Secure File Transfer: If sharing files during virtual interactions, use platforms that support encrypted file transfer and automatic deletion after a certain period.

-Audio and Image Watermark: The audio watermark, or audio signature, embeds a user’s personal information into the outgoing audio as an inaudible watermark. This means that if someone records the meeting, with either a separate microphone or 3rd-party, and shares the audio file without permission.

-Keep Software Updated: Regularly update your software and other applications to ensure you have the latest security patches. Consider enabling automatic software updates, if available.

-Be Cautious with Personal Information: Avoid sharing sensitive personal information during virtual interactions, especially in public chat sessions.

-Verify Host Authenticity: Verify the authenticity of meeting hosts and organisers before joining any virtual event to avoid potential phishing scams.

-Secure Network Connection: Use a secure and private network connection, such as a VPN, when accessing sensitive information during virtual interactions.

-Check Privacy Policies: Familiarise yourself with the platform’s privacy policies to understand how your data is handled and stored.

  • Many businesses rely on integrating various software and tools into their daily operations. How do the platforms facilitate seamless integration with other business applications, such as project management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), or team collaboration tools?

Collaboration solutions play a crucial role in enhancing business operations by offering seamless integration with other essential tools and applications. These integrations significantly streamline workflows and improve overall customer and employee experience. Here’s how platforms can facilitate this integration with various business applications:

-Project Management: Collaboration tools can integrate with project management tools like Asana, Trello, or Jira. This integration allows teams to initiate video meetings directly from the project management interface. Team members can easily schedule, join, or link video calls to specific tasks or projects.

-CRM Systems: Integrating collaboration platforms with CRM systems like HubSpot enables seamless customer interactions. Sales and support teams can initiate video calls directly from the CRM interface, accessing customer information and history during the call. This leads to personalised interactions, quicker issue resolution, and a better overall customer experience.

-Team Collaboration: Platform integrations within these tools enable instant access to video meetings, screen sharing, and file sharing during team discussions. These integrations minimise the need to switch between different applications and enhance communication flow, leading to better employee experience.

-Calendars and Scheduling: Integration with calendar applications ensures that scheduling virtual meetings is a seamless process. Users can create and send meeting invitations with video call links directly from their calendar interfaces. This minimises scheduling conflicts and makes it convenient for participants to join meetings without the hassle of manually inputting meeting details.

-Document Sharing and Collaboration: Many platforms allow users to share documents and collaborate in real time during video calls. Integrating with document management platforms enhances this functionality, enabling teams to access and edit files while discussing them in the video call. This integrated approach improves document version control and accelerates decision-making processes.

  • In a highly competitive market with several video conference platforms available, what sets your platform apart in terms of scalability, customer support, and cost-effectiveness, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)?

Global businesses are always going to need to evaluate the platforms that give them the best value and right solutions.

The recent acceleration in AI, particularly in generative AI, has allowed us to take our AI capabilities to the next level faster. We are excited that the industry is going through this AI evolution brought by large language models and see the increased benefits we can bring to our users.

Businesses are looking to consolidate and streamline amid today’s challenging business landscape, and SMEs face obstacles that are unique to their business operations. We know that leaders are looking to invest in the right technologies that can help consolidate business communications across employees, customers, and partners.

As flexible work models continue to gain acceptance, we will continue to help simplify how small-business teams manage their time, enhance productivity, reimagine both their customer and employee experience and scale the company.

  • It is believed that one on one interaction by being physically present in the real world is more fruitful for building relationships whether it’s business or any other space. How do you see the video or virtual interactions in light of this insight?

The workspace is no longer just in the office — it’s wherever you are. Whether you’re returning to the office, working from home, or a mix of both, we believe that one size doesn’t fit all. Different teams need different solutions; everyone has their own way of learning, collaborating, and creating.

The same communications platform, while driving effective collaboration at work, should also advocate for equity between hybrid teams. Connecting with globally disparate employees, customers, and colleagues also requires new thinking and approaches.

Managers and business leaders need to renew efforts to understand employee experience, connectivity, and equity, whether they are at home, in the office, or somewhere in between.

As teams get more culturally diverse, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to promoting inclusivity and building organisational culture. Instead, the flexible design has to be personalised by each organisation. It is critical to assess and identify what your employees need now to stay resilient and engaged.

Customer experience is critical to companies’ bottom lines, and we are seeing the platform-first approach coming into play as a significant way that organisations are transforming their customer engagements.

Global businesses will evaluate the platforms that streamline workflows, improve collaboration, and empower them to deliver exceptional customer experience.

Collaboration solutions and virtual interactions have transformed, and will continue to transform, industries like banking, healthcare, and education, as well as government and citizen services, by empowering their workforces to stay connected and agile while enhancing their customer experience.

Ultimately, we see human connection as a key priority to drive business strategies forward even more so than before as organisations navigate hybrid work and what that looks like for their organisations.

  • As the business landscape continues to evolve, what innovative features or advancements can we expect from your video conference platform to address the future needs of businesses and remain at the forefront of the industry?

Our goal at Zoom has always been to make all kinds of connections possible, effective, and meaningful. To this end, our team built and launched more than 1,500 features and enhancements on the Zoom platform in 2022 alone, advancing the way people connect with each other, their organisations, and their customers—ultimately, opening the doors wide for creativity and collaboration.

Zoom has been delivering AI innovations for a long time, starting with our transcription services. The announcement of our federated approach to AI and collaborations with Anthropic and OpenAI technologies earlier this year are the next steps in Zoom’s evolution.

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