Something to look forward to: Zoom's fast growth has raised the company's ambitions to new heights. Reports indicate they are looking to become an enterprise platform with all the productivity tools needed to compete with existing solutions from the likes of Microsoft, Salesforce, and Google, all of which have much deeper pockets.
Zoom has seen huge growth in 2020, which is why public investors have sent the stock to around six times what it was in December last year. With over $1.5 billion in cash and marketable securities, the company is now exploring ways to develop a richer ecosystem of productivity services around its successful video conferencing app.
According to a report from The Information, Zoom is working on email and calendar services, with the first well under way for an early 2021 preview release. The calendar app is reportedly still in the planning phase, with no clear timeline on when development might start.
Earlier this year, Zoom Chief Product Officer Oded Gal told Protocol the company didn't expect the app to achieve this level of growth in the business space, let alone becoming a household name for consumers who wanted alternatives to FaceTime and Skype.
Zoom even became popular on devices like Facebook Portal and Google Home, and with increasing usage necessary improvements to security have been rolled out, with plans for end-to-end encryption in early 2021.
Most companies are migrating to a hybrid workflow where work from home is encouraged when possible, but as vaccines become available, many are expected to return to office buildings in the coming months. Zoom knows this, which is why the decision to create a suite of productivity tools makes sense to become competitive with rival solutions such as Microsoft Teams, which is embedded into Office 365.
According to Protocol, Zoom has been exploring a full enterprise suite, including real-time translation, automatic note-taking, augmented reality for remote meetings, text-chat, and things like Zoom Phone for replacing desk phones. Those ambitions have only grown thanks to the newfound success, to the point where Zoom is planning to create a platform that can cater not only to the business crowd, but also to medical facilities and schools.
In related news, Zoom is also rolling out a new version of its app with native support for Apple M1 Macs. This means that you can now download a "Universal" Zoom binary similar to Microsoft's updated binaries for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Visual Studio Code for Mac. But perhaps more importantly, this proves how easy it is for a lot of developers to port their apps to Arm / Apple Silicon, which is a major concern for those who are on the fence about buying the new machines.