Zoom may be planning to expand beyond videoconferencing and develop into a full productivity suite. According to The Information, the company is preparing to launch email and calendar apps before the end of this year. The new products may arrive at its annual Zoomtopia conference in November.
Zoom’s email and calendar apps are internally known as Zmail and Zcal, respectively. The company has reportedly spent the better part of two years on the development of these services, which suggests the work began as soon as the videoconferencing giant peaked during the early waves of the coronavirus pandemic. It has kept the development a secret even within the organization. Most Zoom employees are unaware of Zmail and Zcal, which may not necessarily be their market names.
However, a person with direct knowledge of the plans told The Information that Zoom could launch its first-party email and calendar apps during the Zoomtopia conference a couple of months later. Of course, there hasn’t been any official communication from the company regarding this. But if true, we may hear more about the plans, albeit unofficially, in the coming weeks.
Zoom could be making a full suite of productivity tools
Zoom debuted as a videoconferencing tool and grew in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. It has since expanded its services to offer chat and collaboration tools, as well as features like a whiteboard. However, at its core, Zoom is a videoconferencing tool and people mostly use it in conjunction with productivity suites such as Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365. These services offer everything from email and calendar to videoconferencing, chat, collaboration, and other productivity tools.
As the new report notes, people use appointment links from calendars or email services provided by Google and Microsoft to join online meetings on Zoom. Since both Google and Microsoft offer videoconferencing tools, they can easily eat into Zoom’s market. The company is seemingly looking to address that limitation in its services. By offering its in-house email and calendar apps, Zoom could reduce reliance o third-party services for bringing people onto its platform.
Of course, it isn’t an easy task to try and make people switch from Gmail or Outlook to an unknown Zoom email client. But the company seemingly sees these developments as essential to stay afloat during these trying times. After taking during the pandemic, Zoom has somewhat stagnated. Time will tell whether the launch of in-house email and calendar apps brings any change to its fortune.
Zoomtopia 2022 is scheduled to take place on November 8 and 9 at the San Jose Convention Center in California.