Google is launching support for embedded bi-directional interoperability on Zoom Rooms and Google Meet devices later this year, pushing the unified communication and collaboration industry closer to interoperability among the handful of major platforms.
According to Google, this means Zoom Rooms will be able to join Google Meet meetings, and Google Meet devices will be able to join Zoom Meetings either directly from a Zoom Room or a Google Meet device calendar with the tough of a button or by entering a meeting code.
Google already has already launched bi-directional interoperability between Cisco Webex devices and Google Meet devices, and the company says it will continue to support Pexip for Google Meet to allow users to join Meet meetings from a range of third-party videoconferencing solutions.
The news comes the same week as Cisco announced an integration with Microsoft Teams that enables the Teams Rooms experience on Webex devices. Cisco is now a Teams Rooms certified partner, meaning that Teams meetings will be available natively across certified Cisco meeting devices. This allows users to configure Teams as the default meeting experience.
At launch, Zoom’s interop with Google Meet will be supported all ChromeOS-based Meet devices with support for additional products over time. Google Meet interop will be supported on all Zoom Rooms across all platforms. Administrators will be able to turn on interop for registered devices in their organization, and allow trusted devices to join cross-platform calls without knocking, according to Google.
Elsewhere in the videoconferencing industry, interoperability is somewhat mixed. Microsoft Teams users can join third-party meeting platforms with Teams Rooms via Direct Guest Join. Currently, Teams Rooms can join meetings hosted on Webex and Zoom.
According to Microsoft, a Teams meeting add-on lets Google calendar users schedule and join a Teams meeting from Google Workspace, but the kind of interop enjoyed by other conferencing service providers has not yet come to the two tech giants.
Meanwhile, Webex can interoperate with Zoom, Teams and Google Meet.
According to a early 2022 study from IT monitoring and management software company Netscout, 72% of enterprises currently support between three and nine UC&C tools. That figure is up 9% from 2020. Even new Cisco research finds that 85% of organizations use more than one meeting platform.
Google is also expanding its Google Meet devices outside of the ChromeOS platform, bringing in Poly and Logitech devices as the first two videoconferencing partners to deliver meet for Android-based appliances.
According to Google, this will enable customers to buy a device from Poly or Logitech that will run Meet, or another third-party conferencing platform, based on admin configuration. Customers with existing Poly or Logitech Android-based devices will be able to leverage their investment and move to Meet by just adding a Meet license for these devices.
The Poly Studio X family of Android-based videoconferencing bars certified for Meet will be available in early 2023, and Logitech’s lineup of Rally Bar and Rally Bar Mini for Google Meet will also be available next year.
In a blog, Dave Citron, director of product for Google Workspace, says organizations need to close the gaps between people, teams and within offices to thrive in hybrid work.
“These innovations by Google and our partners can help further break down the barriers between video conferencing platforms and give greater choice and flexibility for our customers,” Citron says.