This post will serve as a quick update on our first couple of months worth of deployment data for our Zoom video conferencing service. I explained our decision to move to a cloud-based system in general and our choice of Zoom in this post. We announced the availability of the service in early September, but other than holding a pair of official online training sessions for it, we’ve allowed the service to grow organically, depending primarily on word of mouth to get the word out about it so far.
2 Months of Zoom vs 2013 Polycom Usage
The easiest way to demonstrate how popular Zoom has become already is to compare the data we have on Zoom’s usage since we announced it to Polycom usage for the entire calendar year of 2013.
Polycom 2013 Usage
Unique users or hosts of Polycom meetings: 21
Number of Polycom meetings held: 104
Zoom 2 Months Usage
Unique users or hosts of Zoom meetings: 84
Number of Zoom meetings held: 385
So in just two months, we already have four times as many people hosting their video meetings via Zoom, for 3.7 times as many meetings. Why so big a difference? The biggest reason has to be convenience, and not just location convenience since our H.323-enabled conference rooms are still being used to join Zoom meetings, but scheduling and ease of use as well.
A Sampling of Meeting Types / Purposes
Our users, particularly our administration and leadership, host Zoom meetings for many of the same reasons they always have – department meetings, faculty meeting, project meetings. I’d say we’re seeing an uptick in those types of meetings simply because they’re so easy and convenient to hold and don’t require participants to pack up and go to a dedicated H.323-enabled conference room to join.
We’re also seeing increased usage for distance education. One of our departments was an early adopter of Zoom, before our public launch even, and they’re hosting a class multiple times each week with participants all across the state. We have graduate students hosting Zoom meetings for their thesis committees with remote members from other institutions.
Our Tennessee Extension unit hosted its quadrennial conference early this month. While over 800 attendees participated in the four day conference, quite a few members were able to join in from many locations around the state as both the general sessions and several breakout sessions were broadcast webinar-style via Zoom each day.
A Potential Money-Saver for Us
We’re a state-wide organization, with over 2000 employees located across all 95 counties in Tennessee. We have project and leadership teams beginning to use Zoom who simply never had the option of meeting via video before. While I expect our usage numbers to continue to accelerate, my gut tells me that as we leverage Zoom more, we will spend less on travel – be it lodging, mileage, or food, as well as fees for external conference call systems.
I’ll post more data as I have it, especially at the six and twelve month milestones.
This is post 24 in the #NaBloWriMo #vDM30in30 30 Day Blog Challenge