Zoom recently announced the launch of its Zoom for Home offering: an all-in-one hardware and software for home users. The new product is designed to enable the work-from-home (WFH) user, offering them a single home appliance for web conferencing, phone calling, and interactive whiteboard collaboration.
The product launch comes on the heels of the immense gain in popularity Zoom has experienced as of late in the realm of web conferencing services amid the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and increased adoption of a remote-work environment by employers. Due to the likelihood that many WFH provisions will remain in place throughout the post-COVID-19 new normal, the launch of this product is timely.
The device offered in the inaugural launch of Zoom for Home is the DTEN ME, a multitouch tablet-like home office appliance. “Tablet-like,” however, is as far as the comparison goes – at 27”, the device is much larger than the typical media tablet, and it sports three wide-angle cameras and an eight-microphone array. Zoom support is built in and works right out of the box, allowing connectivity to anyone through Zoom Meeting. Home users of organizations that have adopted Zoom Phone will benefit from the additional phone calling features built into the Zoom for Home device.
Zoom for Home will be highly appealing to end users who simply want to push a button to make technology work, as well as to IT departments being asked to support WFH setups. The all-in-one nature of the hardware and software will reduce the complexity of support for the home setup, and there will be no need for IT to ensure cameras or microphones are properly configured, along with other general characteristics of home-office web conferencing.
Source: Zoom at SoftwareReviews
As mentioned above, the beauty of the Zoom for Home offering is that it will appeal to end users who are nontechnical and simply want to push a button to do their work. Zoom for Home as an all-in-one hardware and software offering means that there would only be one vendor for IT departments to escalate issues to, rather than the standard finger-pointing that IT departments regularly face as a result of a multivendor environment.
IT leaders will need to think about their investment in Zoom for Home, as it will likely be an “all in” decision since it’s not anticipated that the hardware will be repurposed for other non-Zoom web conferencing services. The ease of support should also be considered, as IT will not be required to ensure proper devices drivers are loaded and working, nor will IT need to troubleshoot an underlying operating system.
At a mere US$599, there seems to be good value for these IT benefits. The product fills a hardware offering gap that exists within the market, as there are no other 27” touch tablets in the market today, nor are there any tablets outfitted with the same camera/microphone specifications as the DTEN ME device. On the other hand, the device will likely be single purpose, usable only with Zoom.
Info-Tech Research Group is staying on top of these developments. Watch this space for more updates!