More than just meetings Zoom EMEA CEO Fredrik Maris sat down with UC Advanced to share his vision for 2024
Whenever we enter into a new year the temptation to ask about the coming 12 months is always one that’s hard to resist. While predictions are great to make, to my mind, they usually fall into two brackets: too safe or wrong. Of the two I know what category I usually fall into, but, if I were inclined to make a prediction, this year I might be tempted to put my neck on the line. Thinking about the last months of 2023, it’s hard to miss the traction generative artificial intelligence was getting in the general enterprise experience. Outside of using ChatGPT to write emails, draft reports, and answer our most pressing questions, the attention Sam Altman’s firing and rehiring received just demonstrates how critical GenAI is to the future of work. In the collaboration world, there were also a couple of big announcements. Microsoft went on the road to demonstrate how CoPilot can help drive businesses of any size, announcing the limited availability as of November, whereas Zoom appeared to go one better, offering GenerativeAI to all customers. Along with this Zoom also entered the productivity space with Zoom Docs, a move that many saw as critical for Zoom to gain meaningful market share in the communications and collaborations sector, and added to its workplace management and contact centre solutions. An Artificial Opportunity The new capabilities added may be seen as an inevitability. After the explosion of ChatGPT integrating some AI into the solution, on top of anything that was already in place, is a must in order to keep up with competition. But while the external picture may be one of keeping up, Zoom EMEA CEO, Frederik Maris, was able to set out his view of how AI is making a mark in the marketplace. “I often compare AI to when the internet
came about, because that brought a completely different way of doing business once we learnt how to use it. “Now that we are starting to think about how to apply AI in business to be more productive, I think we’re just really scratching the surface of what it can offer. Over the next year or two the pace of change is going to be incredible. “As a result, we are trying to figure out how AI plays into our solution. There are a couple of areas which are instantly interesting like meeting summaries for people who are late so they are aware of any relevant points or questions raised. Other than that, I think the whole world is trying to figure out how we can integrate AI into our daily operations. We are no different.” Open AI One key differentiator for Zoom is that AI capabilities are open for customers of all tiers to use whereas other companies have limited capabilities and even put AI systems behind a paywall. “I think it’s just part of the way that we want to run the company, by offering best-in-class solutions and making it fair and interesting for people to join us,” said Maris. “It’s the question of price versus performance. Are we going to sell very few of something for a high price or are we going to sell more for a lower price? “We are more interested in making AI readily accessible, and for people to say, ‘yes, let’s go for it, let’s try it’ instead of it’s too difficult.” Zoom has pedigree with this approach too. The way they exploded onto the scene is an example of how they can grow in a small space of time. That’s a growth that is still being targeted by Maris, who said that they are looking to use Generative AI to disrupt another facet of the communications market. “We have an opportunity to disrupt the
Fredrik Maris CEO
Now that we are starting to think about how to apply AI in business to be more productive, I think we’re just really scratching the surface of what it can offer.
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