Zoom is reportedly working on launching email and calendar services that will bring the burgeoning company further into the unified communications and collaboration space and make it a more complete player in the enterprise market.
According to an exclusive report from The Information, the Zoom has begun developing a web email service that could be ready to roll out to some customers in 2021, and a calendar app could follow shortly after.
The technology publication further reported that these new initiatives were brought forward as optimism grows that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic may be behind us as vaccination programs are beginning and organizations are mulling a return to the office sometime next year.
At its peak on Oct. 19, shares of Zoom’s stock were trading for over $570, representing a 735% increase since the start of the year.
Since then, however, shares have fallen 32% as pharmaceutical companies began announcing results of vaccination studies.
Already, vaccination programs are underway across the world, and the market is reflecting that optimism and the reality that videoconferencing companies like Zoom will likely never replicate the past 9 months.
According to the report, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan wants to transform the company into a full-fledged communications platform that includes email, messaging and other productivity tools that would better compete with Microsoft Teams and Google Workspace.
Here’s more from the report, which cited anonymous sources close to Zoom’s internal discussions on the matter:
Yuan’s aim to build email and calendar services is part of a strategy to compete with Microsoft and Google for large corporate customers, the people said. While Zoom has integrated its video service with email and calendar offerings from other providers, senior Zoom executives have discussed how having a broader collection of apps would help the company cast a wider net for business users. Targeting those customers also heightens the importance of developing a calendar app, since email and calendars are often used in tandem, said one of the people.
The company already has sought to broaden the utility of its platform by launching integrations that allow users to easily access popular software tools such as Asana, Dropbox and Coursera from within Zoom. The integrations are a clear sign that Zoom wants to expand its identity beyond videoconferencing, said Raúl Castañón-Martinez, a senior research analyst at 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence.
“That tells you they are definitely looking into expanding into productivity,” he said. “Zoom says they are doing this through third parties, but it could make sense if they look to expand this with their own technology.”
The company is also reportedly hoping to better compete with the likes of Google, Slack and Microsoft with a new integrated messaging product. That push was accelerated with Salesforce’s recent acquisition of Slack.
A marketing push for the messaging upgrade could come as early as the first quarter, the report notes.
The company’s product roadmap also includes directory services, a software that manages users’ access to networks, applications and data, according to the report.