Zoom Video Communications has been actively stepping up security and privacy features on its popular video offering and it's paying off as more users flock to the platform, according to the collaboration specialist.
"Zoom is still the platform that customers love to use, and that hasn't changed," said Laura Padilla, head of channel and partners for Zoom.
"I look at this experience as making us an even better platform for partners to sell because the list of things that we have introduced have made us stand out even more from our competitors."
Usage for Zoom's video platform surged this year as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic began shutting down offices and schools, forcing millions of employees and students around the globe to work and learn remotely while using video to stay connected.
The firm on Wednesday announced it has surpassed 300 million daily users -- which represents a 50 percent jump in its user base in the past three weeks -- despite security and data privacy concerns that have plagued the company.
For comparison, Zoom Video's daily user volumes in the U.S. hit a record 4.84 million on 30 March, according to data from research firm Apptopia. That number was more than three times the number of average daily users that its closest competitor has, Microsoft Teams, which had 1.56 million users on the same day.
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan on Wednesday announced that version 5.0 of its video conferencing platform will soon be available, which includes a support for AES 256-bit GCM encryption, a single, easy-to-use icon that contains all security features, and the ability to report users for inappropriate conduct.
Version 5 will be available immediately through the channel, which represents about 10 percent of Zoom's current business, Padilla said.
The latest version of the video platform is a result of Zoom's 90-day security enhancement plan, a strategy the company put in place to boost the security of its offerings, address data privacy concerns for customers and partners, and build user trust, Zoom said.
“I am proud to reach this step in our 90-day plan, but this is just the beginning. We built our business by delivering happiness to our customers. We will earn our customers’ trust and deliver them happiness with our unwavering focus on providing the most secure platform,” Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said in a statement.
Zoom's Padilla said that the surge in usage that the company experienced as a result of COVID-19 has pushed the firm to evolve its offering.
"The problem we were having before was that because of the explosive growth and because we are so easy to use, people were just jumping on and publishing their IDs openly, and it's just like if your email out your security pin -- unfortunately, there are people who will take advantage of that," she said. Many users -- some first-time video users especially -- also weren't aware of many of the security features that Zoom offered in its settings, like passwords and meeting "waiting rooms," Padilla said.
"The good thing that came out of this is now we are even more secure and stronger from a feature-rich perspective," she said. "And the platform is going to be even stronger in the year to come."
Zoom in March launched its first-ever referral partner program. The brand-new program, which teamed Zoom with several U.S.-based master agents, has seen staggering growth in its first two months with about 2,000 agent partners signing on to work with zoom through master agents, Padilla said.
"We've seen amazing growth and an amazing response from the partner community. We are now actively trying to meet those demands and requests for deal registrations," she said.
Zoom Video Communications went public in April 2019. The firm's stock -- a standout in a stock market that’s been pummeled as a result of the virus -- is up 142 percent so far this year, rising to $166.82 on Thursday afternoon.