- This week Zoom announced a $599 touchscreen device to facilitate virtual meetings. The device, Zoom For Home - DTEN ME, is expected to ship in the U.S. in August, according to a company announcement.
- Zoom Meetings and Zoom Phone users can log into the 27-inch device "instantly," as it does not require additional licenses. "Zoom for Home is available with all Zoom Meeting licenses, including Basic," according to the company.
- The devices can either be managed by the end-user or remotely by IT through the administrator portal. Zoom For Home is meant to require "little to no IT support" for setting up.
Zoom is banking on a permanent work-from-home setup — literally.
The new device is compatible with the company's other Zoom Room appliances "to create the perfect work-from-home communications experience" through an employee's house, according to the announcement.
Earlier this month, Zoom launched its hardware as a service program, which provides customers with Zoom Rooms or Zoom Phone with the option to scale. The HaaS solutions are supported by Zoom, but customers can add managed service providers to their subscription if desired.
"Our understanding is that [Zoom For Home] is being positioned as a 'personal collaboration' unit, not for enterprise office/conference room purposes," Tom Eagle, senior director and analyst at Gartner, told CIO Dive.
Zoom For Home is reminiscent of Cisco's TelePresence Touch. Just last week Microsoft Teams announced its Lenovo ThinkSmart View, displays that are "all-in-one dedicated Teams devices that feature an ambient touchscreen and a hands-free experience powered by Cortana," according to the company.
"Zoom will need to really drive home the value of its new DTEN ME with the touchscreen features and whatever, if any, compute ability it may have," said Eagle.
As companies are adjusting their IT spend in real time, all cloud-based communication platforms-turned-hardware solutions have to prove their value during a recession. "Price-sensitive organizations equipping their digital workers with home-based videoconferencing access will tend to stick with cheaper webcams attached to already deployed laptops," said Eagle.
Historically, Zoom's price modeling is cheaper than some of its competitors, and the company has carved out a spot on the leadership board of Gartner's 2019 Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions. Cisco still leads, ahead of Microsoft, Zoom and LogMeIn. Google remains a challenger, alongside Adobe.
The pandemic boosted Zoom's adoption across consumer and business users in March. Though the initial adoption of the tool was shaken by security and privacy concerns, the company rebounded. By June, the company's revenue jumped 169% year-over-year for Q1 2021.
Zoom's partnership with DTEN "makes sense," said Eagle, especially as employees largely stay home under surging COVID-19 cases across the U.S. "It gives Zoom customers an additional option for accessing the Zoom cloud-based application platform, this time with touchscreen features associated with DTEN devices."