A new round of features added to ‘Zoom AI Companion’ represent the latest expansion of Zoom’s AI portfolio.
Zoom AI Companion is a GenAI assistant launched in September 2023. It is available at no additional cost for customers with paid services assigned to their Zoom user accounts. Target audiences for the new features include admins, contact centre agents, and meeting participants.
Company admins can now gain a better understanding of how Zoom AI Companion is being used across their organisation.
A new analytics dashboard provides metrics such as the volume of meeting summaries generated over time or the number of employees composing chats or summarizing chat threads. Such insight is useful for identifying where time and resources are needed for spurring adoption of Zoom AI Companion. However, it comes at a cost – organisations risk making employees feel their work is being monitored for questionable purposes. It is therefore imperative that organisations clearly communicate what the data gathered is being used for – and what it is not being used for.
The customer experience
Contact centre agents can take advantage of real-time conversation summaries before or during a customer interaction, live sentiment and speech analytics, and auto-generated post-call action items.
These tools are valuable as they facilitate agent productivity and allow more meaningful customer relationships to be developed. In that respect, they dovetail with a GlobalData prediction for 2024: that the concept of a ‘contact centre’ will continue to yield to the broader concept of the ‘customer experience’ (for more, please see Cloud-Based Collaboration in 2024: Change Will Come on Multiple Fronts, January 24, 2024).
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Whereas contact centres tend to be reactive, transactional, and generic, the customer experience is proactive, relationship-oriented, deeply personalized, and executed in real-time, largely thanks to AI. Zoom AI Companion can help businesses graduate from providing a ‘contact centre’ to providing a ‘customer experience.’
Zoom AI Companion is proactive
Like agents in a contact centre, meeting attendees will also see valuable productivity enhancements. When using Zoom Team Chat, Zoom AI Companion will detect intent to schedule a meeting and open a calendar invite pre-populated with attendee, date, and time information.
Zoom AI Companion will also allow Zoom Whiteboard users to visually organize and structure thoughts stemming from a central idea based on user prompts, thus creating ‘mind maps.’ A third enhancement for meetings is the ability of Zoom AI Companion to use attendees’ gender pronouns from their Zoom profile when generating meeting summaries; this amounts to a novelty and nothing more.
The GenAI arsenal
Although the announcements cover a hodgepodge of functionality, they mark the latest milestone in what has been a rapid build out of Zoom’s GenAI arsenal. That fact has intriguing implications.
Before GenAI arrived, Zoom was viewed as an ‘also-ran’ to the likes of Cisco, Microsoft, and Google, whose technological heritage gave them a huge leg up in the collaboration space to anyone who dared oppose them.
Since coming on the scene, GenAI has quickly become an equaliser, with rivals tapping roughly the same AI ‘treasure trove’ and sprinkling its contents platform-wide. From an AI perspective, Zoom has joined a prestigious club.