What Is Zoom?

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way that businesses operate all across the world. Conventional “in person” meetings are now being replaced with safer video conferencing meetings. Zoom has become the “go to” application for video conferencing available today.

Zoom was popular before the coronavirus pandemic and now it is even more so. This cloud based application allows businesses to hold virtual meetings using video or in audio only mode like a telephone call. There is a live chat function as well. You can record your Zoom sessions which is a lot better than taking lots of notes during your meetings.

Zoom Meeting and Zoom Room

In 2019 more than 50% of Fortune 500 organizations were using Zoom. No doubt this number has increased in 2020. Have you heard people talking about a “Zoom meeting” or “Zoom room” before? There is a difference between the two.

A Zoom meeting is something that you are probably familiar with if you have used applications like Skype. You can participate in a meeting using your computer or mobile device with a camera and a microphone. It is also possible to join a Zoom meeting using a phone.

The Zoom room is different. It requires that hardware be installed in a conference room for example and then companies can use it to run a full blown meeting. There is an additional cost for the Zoom room setup and usage. Larger companies use the Zoom room feature.

The Features of Zoom
There are a number of different features available with Zoom and here are the most commonly used ones:

One to One Meetings
The user can host unlimited one to one meetings even using the free Zoom plan.

Video Conference Group Meetings
With the free Zoom plan you can host up to 100 participants on a group video conference for a maximum of 40 minutes. By choosing the large meeting plan you can host group video conferences with up to 500 participants and there are no time restrictions.

Screen Share
This is a very popular feature that is available with all Zoom plans. Whether you are in a one to one meeting or a large group meeting you can share your screen so that the other participants can see what you are doing.

The Zoom Plans
Whatever you want to achieve in your business there is a Zoom plan to support it. This includes the following:
• One to one meetings
• Group calls
• Training sessions
• Webinars both internal and external
• Global video meetings
Here are the Zoom plans and prices at the time of writing this guide (check for the latest offers here):

Zoom Free Plan
• Unlimited number of one to one meetings
• Group meetings with a limit of 100 participants and 40 minute limit
• HD video (720p) and HD voice
• Active speaker view
• Show up to 25 video feeds per screen
• Screen share (simultaneous)
• Virtual backgrounds
• Waiting room
• Permanent online meeting room
• Instant or scheduled meetings
• Plugins for Outlook and Chrome
• Meeting recording in video, audio and text modes
• Raise hand alert function
• Breakout room
• Apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS

There are other features too. Zoom offer a comprehensive set of features for free which allows you to test out the application to see if it is a good fit for your business. It will be, and you should certainly take advantage of this generous plan.

Pro Plan for Small Teams $14.99 Per Month
With this plan you get all of the features included in the free plan plus:
• Ability to raise the number of participants to 500 or 1,000 (you will have to pay higher monthly
charges for this)
• Meeting duration limit increased to 24 hours
• User management including adding and deleting users, role assignments and other features
• Admin controls such as recording enabling or disabling, chat and notifications and encryption
• Reporting which provides useful meeting metrics
• Personal meeting ID (customizable)
• Assign feature which enables you to assign the scheduling of meetings to others
• 1GB of cloud recording

Some useful features here if your business outgrows the free plan.

Business Plan for Small and Medium sized Businesses $19.99 per month
With this Zoom plan you get everything in the Pro plan plus:
• Meetings up to 300 participants
• Dedicated phone support
• Admin dashboard for viewing info about usage and in meeting data
• Custom URL e.g. yourcompany.zoom.us
• On premise deployment (your private cloud for video, voice and content sharing)
• Managed domains (use your business email address to add users)
• Single sign on (login using your company credentials)
• Branding (add your company branding to your customized meeting page)
• Custom emails (branded email templates for invites)
• LTI integration (great for inviting students to attend training sessions etc)
• Cloud recording transcripts (auto generated)

For $5 per month more you get a number of really useful features with this plan over the Pro plan. The
branding and customization features are certainly worth it.

Enterprise Plan for larger companies $19.99 per month
With the Enterprise plan you get everything with the Business plan plus:
• 500 participant meeting limit (you can increase this to 1,000 participants with the Enterprise
plus plan which will cost more)
• Unlimited cloud storage
• Dedicated customer success manager
• Executive business reviews (here you get detailed trending adoption analysis, product roadmap
discussions and ROI tracking)
• Discounts for webinar and Zoom Room bundles

The Enterprise plan starts off at the same price as the Business plan which seems like a no brainer but the “add ons” are more expensive.

Video Webinar
If you plan to use webinars in your business then Zoom has a Video Webinar plan that starts from $40 a month per host for up to 100 attendees. With this plan you have the ability to enable 100 interactive
video panelists.

There are also plans for view only webinar attendees from 100 people to 10,000 people. We will discuss the possibilities with webinars later on in this guide as it is something that you should really be considering as a great sales and marketing strategy.

Zoom offers other features which we have not covered here that may be a good fit for your business. Once you start to use the Zoom application you will find that these additional features make a lot of sense and could certainly benefit your business.

About Curt Freeman

Curt specializes in web design, website management, and project management. With over 40 years of experience in offline and online marketing.