Zoom launches South African offices

By Myles Illidge for MyBroadband

Zoom Video Communications is increasing its presence in South Africa by launching offices in the country and focussing on distribution channels in the Sub-Saharan region.

The video conferencing company has also signed a deal with First Distribution, which will help expand its footprint in the region. It plans to adopt additional distributors in the future.

Zoom had previously worked with TechSonic as its channel distributor in South Africa.

Zoom’s sales manager for the region, Parmesh Naidoo, explained that its customers will still be able to purchase its products directly online and through its new distributor.

He confirmed that while pricing may differ through distributors, there would be no pricing adjustment for Zoom’s current client base.

The company will also launch its “bring your own carrier” (BYOC) Zoom Phone product in Africa.

Zoom Phone is a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) system integrated within the Zoom app to let users switch between voice and video calls as they need.

The native version of Zoom Phone is cloud-based and is available in South Africa.

Since it is not available in other African nations, Zoom will launch the BYOC version of the product on the continent in the coming months. This will allow customers to select a telecom provider that best suits their needs.

Zoom is also introducing its global partner programme, Zoom Up, in South Africa. This will allow companies to enrol as sales or performance partners to offer Zoom’s products to their customers.

Additionally, the video conferencing company’s expansion in Africa will add support for its developer platform.

Zoom’s Developer Platform provides several avenues of integration, including Zoom Marketplace, apps, APIs, and its voice and video SDKs.

Zoom Marketplace offers over 1,500 apps, such as client relationship management integrations, which users can add to the conferencing platform.

For livening up meetings, Zoom’s apps offer several integrations such as Kahoot, Warmly, and weather updates.

The company’s solutions engineer for the region, Ryno Venter, said many of the apps are designed to combat meeting fatigue.

Zoom observed a significant jump in sales as more people transitioned to hybrid or work-from-home environments when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, with sales increasing by 170% in the first fiscal quarter of 2020.

The video conferencing company generated $328 million (R5.2 billion) over the period, exceeding analyst expectations.

This surge has subsided as demand for video conferencing normalised as countries started relaxing lockdown restrictions.


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