Zoom prepares to take on rivals with email service, calendar app

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Not many people were using Zoom, the video communication platform, as much as they do now before 2020.

But then the pandemic happened which forced millions of people to stay at home. They relied on it for video conferencing and Zoom became a household name. In short, it was a blockbuster year for the US-based company.

New reports suggest that Zoom is preparing to take on Google and Microsoft head-on with its new email service and calendar app. The report states that Zoom may start testing its email service as early as next year while there has not been any updates regarding the development of the calendar app.

Plans for a post-pandemic world

Zoom’s biggest competitors are Microsoft and Google, which offer a bundle of services including email, video conferencing tools, Calendar apps among others. While a lot of companies including Google, Apple have extended work from policies until the second half of 2021 it could possible that some companies will eventually start getting employees back at work. If, and when, that happens employees will cut down their usage of video conferencing app and that won’t be a good situation for Zoom. To launch an email service might just be what Zoom could need in a post-pandemic world.

The new email services will aim to offer a “next generation” experience instead of merely copying the features that users already have and the company is also eyeing the rollout of a calendar application, said sources.

To explore new technologies, Zoom increased its research and development (R&D) spending in the third quarter of 2020 to $25 million, an 80 percent annual increase. R&D was almost 3 percent of the total revenue earned during the quarter.

The video streaming platform saw its shares grow more than 500 percent this year and new revenue streams may make Zoom less of a single-purpose platform and help it compensate for a potential decline or stagnant growth once the pandemic subsides and life returns to normal.