Business Growth Blog

Are Google, Microsoft, and others taking advantage of the recent security concerns with Zoom to gain a competitive advantage?

As I watched and read the recent news about ZOOM in the past week, I found it interesting how one-sided the conversation was, and that many facts where being left out of the story swaying public opinion and Zoom’s Perception in the marketplace. The news also had an impact on ZOOM’s stock price.

BuzzFeed News reported that Google has banned Zoom from its staffer’s devices.  CNet reported that school districts in New York are telling their teachers to gradually transition away from zoom, and according to the ZDNet Zoom is facing a class-action lawsuit over security issues.

According to a discussion on Hacker News, it appears that Cisco’s WebEx uses the same pre-installer on Apple’s OsX, like zoom, but you don’t hear about that in the mainstream news.

This post isn’t just about video conferencing, security issues or technology.

I’m looking at this overall story from a branding and marketing perspective. For many years, in my keynote presentations, books, and podcasts, I share that a company doesn’t really own their own brand and that their brand is whatever the Perception is in the marketplace.  Perception is reality.  News, Competitors, and your digital footprint all have a significant impact on your brand’s Perception.

It’s essential to monitor your online reputation.  This includes what shows up when someone googles your brand name, company, or products & services on search engine results, your website’s user experience, business directory listings,  customer rating/review website, and your social media profiles on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube, just to name a few.

How are you influencing, engaging, and communicating your brand’s message in the marketplace? Okay, back to Zoom’s Perception.

Where is the news story about how Zoom’s platform was best in class, and immediately scaled up performance as the rush to work-from-home and virtual meetings dramatically increased over the last month?

The Zoom app has skyrocketed to 200 million daily users from an average of 10 million in December — along with a 535 percent increase in daily traffic to its download page in the last month. Yes, when Zoom scaled up, hackers did abuse the system, and Zoom was quick to make changes.

Was their response fast enough, that’s not my call, but imagine if you’d but your heart and soul into growing your business, creating a platform that was easy to use, and helped millions of people, only then to be vilified in the media.

One of the great benefits of ZOOM was that, according to zoom itself,  it was designed to make it super easy for salespeople, like me, and others, to have virtual meetings with their prospects, customers, and staff, without having to worry about connection issues due to browsers, computers or different types of phones.

I have used many other virtual meeting platforms, including Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, Google Meet, Google Hangouts, Amazon Chime, Bluejeans, and Cisco’s WebEx.   Each has their pros & cons, but zoom has always been the least complicated for my prospects to use.  Frictionless user experiences are a significant competitive benefit.

Good Read: A recent article from Wirecutter, a New York Times Company research and tested 19 platforms, and selected zoom as the best video conferencing service.  They haven’t done a retraction and are waiting another 90 days to see how zoom responds.

My entire Prime Concepts Group creative team uses MS Teams, and we love many features and functions, but for our sales, consulting, and client meetings, Zoom just works best, the video quality is excellent, and with the recent security updates I’m confident in it as our long-term solution. But, hey, this isn’t about technology, it’s about branding, the media, crisis communications, and if you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, franchisee, or organization, are you prepared with your crisis communications or action plan?.

Zoom has reacted fast to address issues. It’s a young company, I believe it was targeted because it became so popular so fast.  It caught the eyes of hackers and if it’s not Zoom that hackers are after, it WILL BE the next trending platform.

What matters now: The problems with Zoom were identified, the solutions are laid out, and according to the Zoom team, they are working quickly to rectify issues.  Plus, the Zoom CEO, Eric Yuan, is owning the issue publicly (Just like Starbucks did), and addressing its customers.

My Perception is that Zoom is the best video conferencing platform.  What about you?  What are you using to connect virtually?  What do you think about these concerns from your business perspective?

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