- Zoom has told India Today Tech it is working on bringing the hardware solutions to India.
- The hardware solutions are available to US customers on a subscription basis.
- Zoom has also launched a new R&D facility in Bengaluru.
Zoom has said it is looking to bring its hardware solutions for organisations and businesses in India. The California-headquartered company known for the popular video conferencing app has confirmed it is talking to hardware vendors to provide their devices that will be compatible with Zoom video and audio calls. Zoom started offering hardware products, sourced from partner vendors, in the US earlier this month as it announced entry into the Hardware as a Service (HaaS) domain.
"Yes, we are in the process of looking at the nitty-gritty details, although it might through some of our [Indian] partners who are already into hardware," said Sameer Raje, country head for Zoom India.
Amid the growing competition, including the recent onslaught brought about by two leading telecom companies - Reliance Jio and Airtel, Zoom is keeping pace, registering a 5X growth in its non-paying customer base since March while its paid customer base increased by four times in the last four months. While the software offerings for both individuals and organisations are keeping Zoom's business afloat, the company told India Today Tech that it is planning to enter the HaaS market soon.
"That [HaaS] will possibly be available in a short span but we are working on integrating it right now," said Raje. Zoom did not specify details of its plan.
In the US, Zoom's hardware solutions include various equipment and accessories that enable audio and video conferences, including Zoom Phone and Zoom Rooms, fully compatible with the company's software offerings. For that, Zoom has partnered companies such as DTEN, Neat, Poly, and Yealink, which offer their hardware on a subscription-based model to organisations. For the organisations availing both software and hardware offerings, Zoom will bundle both subscriptions into one. The company also provides subscribing organisations with "enhanced end-to-end management" for both hardware and software.
Zoom's entry into India's HaaS market will prove to be crucial as the sector will attempt to revive from the temporary slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic. According to IDC, the domestic spending in India's IT market, including both hardware and software, is expected to dip to negative 4.5 per cent in 2020 when compared with the growth rate of 9.1 per cent last year. A fresh set of hardware-based subscriptions in India will possibly catapult the sector a little further until the impact of the pandemic-induced lockdown begins to minimise.
After the heavy criticism over the China routing of calls and allegations that it has connections with China, Zoom is treading carefully to assure governments that it is a US-based company. In its efforts to ensuring that, Zoom has also announced it is opening a new R&D centre in Bengaluru without revealing the investment statistics. Zoom already has two data centres in India and the new R&D facility will allow Zoom customise experiences on video conferencing for the Indian market.