Aplikasi Rapat Online Zoom: Sukses Mengalahkan Skype, WebEx, Teams dan Lainnya
Aplikasi rapat online (daring) Zoom begitu populer saat pandemi Koronavirus (COVID-19) ini. Apa kelebihan Zoom dibandingkan Skype, Google Meeting, Microsoft Teams, Webex, GoTowebinar dan kompetitor lainnya? Tulisan ini mengulas hal tersebut.
Zoom adalah aplikasi yang dipergunakan untuk video conference / telekonferensi saat kerja jarak jauh / dari rumah (work from home / (WFH), belajar jarak jauh (online learning), 1-to-1 meeting untuk keperluan konsultasi, webinar oleh online marketer dan keperluan lainnya.
Sementara itu, para pesaing / kompetitor Zoom, seperti Skype, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, dan Google Hangouts atau yang bersifat open source seperti Jitsi sukses dikalahkan oleh Zoom. Padahal aplikasi rapat online seperti Skype dan Webex telah lebih dulu muncul dibandingkan Zoom.
Berikut ini cerita fenomenal kesuksesan Zoom mengalahkan sejumlah aplikasi rapat online pesaingnya, terutama Skype.
Zoom atau lengkapnya Zoom Video Commmunications, Inc adalah suatu startup yang berbasis di San Jose, California, Amerika Serikat. Perusahaan ini menyediakan layanan videotelefoni dan obrolan daring berbasis P2P komputasi awan. Eric Yuan adalah pendiri sekaligus CEO dari Zoom hingga saat ini.
Kisah Eric Yuan sendiri sangat menarik. Ia adalah ex eksekutif Cisco Webex. Namun sebelum itu, ia ikut membangun Webex, sebuah aplikasi video call. Namun Webex pada akhirnya diakuisisi oleh Cisco pada tahun 2007 dengan nilai 3,2 milyar dolar. Dan Eric pun diangkat menjadi salah satu eksekutif sampai akhirnya ia meninggalkan Cisco untuk mendirikan Zoom.
Kesuksesan Zoom datang sebelum tahun 2020, ya sebelum masa pandemi virus Corona (COVID-19) melanda dunia. Pada tanggal 11 April 2019 Zoom telah melakukan go public. Sahamnya di hari itu meningkat 72% dari harga awal $36. Nilai valuasi perusahaan pun menjadi 16 milyar dolar di hari itu, meningkat dari 1 milyar dolar di bulan Januari 2017.
Berbeda dengan startup lainnya yang tidak menghasilkan untung, Zoom sejak diluncurkan bulan Januari 2013 telah mampu memikat hingga 1 juta pengguna hanya dalam 5 bulan. Dan pada tahun 2014 berhasil mengumpulkan pendanaan hingga 16 juta dolar yang membuat valuasi perusahaan menjadi sekitar 50 juta dolar saat itu.
Apa rahasia keberhasilan Zoom? Berikut ini rahasia kesuksesan Zoom yang dirangkum dari video di bawah ini:
1. Memberi lebih banyak daripada harga yang harus dibayar pelanggan. Tiga layanan sekaligus diberikan: video konferensi HD, mobilitas dan rapat onine / web meeting dengan harga lebih murah dibandingkan kompetitor (saat itu 9,99 dolar)
2. Memiliki kemampuan deteksi perangkat otomatis, sehingga tidak perbedaan versi bagi pengguna Windows/MAC.
3. Menggunakan data yang lebih kecil dan mampu bekerja dalam lingkungan koneksi internet yang lambat.
4. Tidak membutuhkan instalasi yang membuat pusing bagian IT perusahaan pengguna.
5. Memastikan platform aplikasinya tidak melebihi standar latensi (delay) 150 milidetik, sehingga komunikasi terkesan natural dan “real time”.
Silakan ditonton video berjudul Kisah Sukses Zoom berikut ini:
Berikut ini adalah transkrip yang telah diedit dari video di atas:
These are strange times and if you are in your house which you should be, chances are you’ve used some sort of video call with family friends or even to school. Most likely it’s been Zoom the videoconference software has taken the world by storm.
But in the presence of giants like Microsoft and Skype and Teams and Google with its Hangouts why is everybody using Zoom? To find the answer we must go back a few years so you will understand how it became successful.
The origins if you search google for the keywords “zoom and successful” you might be surprised to see articles praising the software. That date back as far as well when it launched back in 2013.
The reason for this praise is mostly due to this man. Meet Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan. In the late 80s he migrated from China to the US to work in tech. He had the vision that one day technology would allow portable, easy to use video calls and this became his obsession as an engineer.
He landed a job in a company called WebEx Communications. From the start Yuan became a key player in developing their video conference software. WebEx became one of the first options for video calls in the market.
At first it seemed geared for success so much so that Cisco acquired WebEx for 3.2 billion dollars in 2007. Yuan doubled down on his efforts to improve the software, at the same time climbing up the ranks reaching the rank of VP of Engineering.
Under his guidance, WebEx grew to more than 750 engineers and had annual revenues of more than 800 million dollars. WebEx wasn’t only one of the first, but also the most complete video conferencing tools. So it was a hit at the time.
But it wasn’t perfect. Connectivity was unstable, audio and video would lag and the installation process was frustrating for IT departments. Remember this WebEx managed to survive because there was very little competition in the market.
But things wouldn’t remain the same for long. Yuan was aware of upper ranks didn’t go along with them and after dealing with a lot of resistance he ended up leaving the company. But his time in WebEx taught him very valuable lessons.
Check out what he said in an interview, “Before I left Cisco, I spent a lot of time talking with WebEx customers. And every time when I talked to the WebEx customer after the meeting was over, I felt very very embarrassed because I did not see a single happy customer. And I try to understand why is that. And I summarized all the problems all those WebEx customers they shared with me.”
This gave Yuan a north: customers had to be happy so he took all these new problems and aimed to create a video conference software to solve them. Was this a bit crazy at that stage? Well others believed in his idea.
In an interview with Forbes, Yuan recalls that close to 40 engineers left with him to pursue that goal. Investors believed in it too. In 2011 he raised three million dollars to start his idea and within two years he had created the first Zoom iteration.
Here we have to highlight a key element in his strategy: he created Zoom with a video first mentality. Other companies like Skype had created audio first and then adjusted the video which proved to be costly.
With Zoom beta testers were very happy with the product and after fine-tuning some issues it finally launched in January 2013. From the start zoom was massively successful. By May soon claim they had reached 1 million participants with the launch.
They clinched another round of funding. This time for 10 million dollars with a valuation of around 25 million dollars. And by late 2013 another round of funding secured them 6 million dollars more and doubled the company’s valuation by 2014.
Zoom had claimed 10 million users, but why was this so good? Zoom’s recipe for success. Zoom was great because it provided a lot in exchange for very little.
Tech magazines like Scene it highlighted its three in one package: HD video conferencing, mobility and web meetings all for $9.99 which was cheaper than other options which only provided one or two of these services. Zoom was as compatible as it possibly could with browsers like Firefox, Chrome and Safari.
It also detected devices instantly so there was no need to have versions for Mac or PC. And it’s data use was low enough that it worked well even in slow or weak connections. Plus Zoom had free features that other competitors like Skype charged, for at the time like group video calls.
Microsoft would eventually learn from their mistakes and make them free on Skype but Zoom didn’t tend only to the users. Remember how WebEx was particularly hard for IT departments? Well Zoom wasn’t cloud meetings meant intrusive installations weren’t as frequent and when they were needed the process was pretty easy.
Then there was this number: a hundred and fifty milliseconds. That’s all it takes for a conversation to feel unnatural. So chief product officer Odette Gal has stated that they worked hard for their entire platform to ensure that those 150 milliseconds are never surpassed.
But in the end all of this is a reflection of what mattered to young people. He has insisted that eye contact is essential for success and for happiness. So the company has worked hard to make this happen as easily as possible. It seemed like there was no stopping them.
Is that a unicorn what do most, if not all tech companies, want well to be profitable? But very very few companies are able to get there and we’ve said Zoom seemed unstoppable. All cylinders were firing and people loved the app and the customer service.
CEO Yuan would even reply to tweets from unhappy customers. This is a quote from a former Cisco customer who ended up switching to Zoom. “Zoom understands what the customer wants and its technology and customer service satisfy them better than competitors do.”
So investments came easy from 2014 to 2016. Funding increased and so did the company’s valuation. Until January 2017 in their series funding Zoom received 100 million dollars and finally reached a 1 billion dollar valuation.
Oddly enough Yuan has said that they weren’t even looking for funding. Sequoia one of the main investors just knocked on their door. Who wouldn’t like that Sequoia? So this means that Zoom was now a unicorn, a company valued at 1 billion dollars or more, but a very different one at that contrary to most unicorns.
Zoom was making profits year after year. So with the 1 billion dollar valuation in 2017, solid growth in the next two years, it was time for the company to go public in April 2019. When it went public shares went up 72 percent from the original $36 value. That day Zoom was valued at 16 billion dollars. Not bad at all success in turbulent times.
Have you noticed one thing about this episode? Zoom’s success happened before 2020. It did a lot right beforehand so it should come as no surprise that Zoom was a hit when people were sent to work from home. But it still was a surprise. Why? because it seemed as though everything was already taken, besides Zoom there was Microsoft, Google, WebEx, GoToMeeting just to name a few but none of them provided a complete package like Zoom does.
Zoom even gave users free 40-minute meetings for up to 100 people and it works in slow saturated internet. And of course Zoom couldn’t have predicted what happened in 2020. No one could since the entire world was taken by surprise by the situation.
Searches for webinars, video conferencing tools and VPN spiked in a matter of days if not hours. So all these years working on making video calls easy came in handy at the right time. People needed a tool that was ready for the job and amidst all of them there was one that stood out is the future bright.
1. Slidebean: Startups 101 Channel di Youtube