Zoom may launch own email service and calendar app
Zoom has seen massive growth in 2020, which is why public investors have sent the stock to nearly six times what it was in December last year. With over $1.5 billion in cash and marketable securities, the company is now exploring ways to develop a more vibrant ecosystem of productivity services around its successful video conferencing app.
According to the latest report from The Information, the company is looking to expand beyond workplace video chat and into new territories, specifically email and calendar services. The calendar app is reportedly still in the planning phase, with no definite timeline on when development might start.
The company is already accomplishing the email product, which the report states will be a web email service Zoom may begin testing as early as next year.
The calendar app seems farther off, and it’s unclear if development has even begun. But both ideas are smart avenues for Zoom to explore, especially if companies begin returning employees to the office and reliance on videoconferencing declines as COVID-19 vaccine distribution picks up through 2021. Zoom declined to comment for this story.
Many of Zoom’s notable competitors are videoconferencing platforms bundled as part of broader enterprise app suites, with the two biggest ones belonging to Microsoft with its Office 365 platform and Google, with its competing Workspace bundle.
Both platforms offer a calendar, email, and videoconferencing products, so it executes sense Zoom would look to email and calendar to try to round out its offerings and make Zoom less of a single-purpose platform.
Zoom even grew popular on devices like Facebook Portal and Google Home. With increasing usage, necessary improvements to security have been rolled out, with plans for end-to-end encryption in early 2021.
Zoom is also working out a new version of its app with native support for Apple M1 Macs in related news. This means that you can now download a “Universal” Zoom binary similar to Microsoft’s updated binaries for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Visual Studio Code for Mac.
But maybe, more importantly, this shows how easy it is for many developers to port their apps to Arm / Apple Silicon, which is a significant concern for those on the fence about buying the new machines.
The Information’s report has some other telling signs the company is engaged in creating a full enterprise app suite, including job postings for “exciting chat features” and its existing integrations with other apps like Asana and Dropbox.
But there is always the chance the company chooses to wait and see how the shift back to office work transforms businesses and whether remote work remains a prominent factor of a life well into the future.