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Zoom

Zoom is a popular collaborative tool that provides remote conferencing services using cloud computing. Zoom offers communications software that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration. Comparable products to Zoom include Go-To Meeting, WebEx, and Skype.

Why has UR invested in the use of Zoom? 

The use of collaborative tools on campus has been growing over the last 5 to 7 years. Many University faculty and staff have been using free versions of products like Skype, WebEx, Go-To Meeting, and Zoom. Zoom has emerged as an industry favorite over the last couple of years, and Information Services was asked to look at the possibility of supporting the “pay for” (or pro) version of Zoom, primarily for the setup of collaborative meetings; audio, video, and content sharing.       

Information Services also continues to support the use of other products on campus, but please remember that each of these products require the user to have a unique account set up in their name.

The use of Zoom on campus: 

Zoom is intended initially to support the requests that IS is receiving for the use of a collaborative tool for meetings. The University does not have an enterprise license of Zoom, so each user cannot be assigned a dedicated license. Zoom licenses will be assigned to persons as needed in order to support a meeting request. After its use, the Zoom license will be pulled back by IS, and reassigned elsewhere when needed.   

It is important to plan ahead when evaluating the possibility of using a tool like Zoom in a meeting.  There are over 162 classrooms/labs, and over 70 meeting rooms, on campus, and the audio visual capabilities in the rooms vary greatly; from fully integrated video and sound system capabilities that will work with a tool like Zoom, to a basic audio conference unit, to no A/V at all. Planning ahead will allow IS team members to evaluate the capabilities of a space and to prepare appropriately for your meeting needs.

Zoom is NOT: 

Zoom is not intended as a replacement for normal audio conferencing needs. Information Services will continue to support the use of Century Link audio conference services for the campus. If your meeting request does not include the need for video, or content sharing, then the standard audio bridge device with Century Link services enabled will be the solution that is provided. 

Zoom is not available as an on-demand service; for instance, in the case of inclement weather. Plans for synchronous or asynchronous online access should already be in place, and faculty should also consider the existing capabilities of Blackboard and Panopto to support online access of information for students. 

If the University does decide to pursue an enterprise wide classroom virtualization initiative, Zoom may be one of several different solutions that would be considered as part of the University’s strategic sourcing and procurement process.

Zoom License Comparison:

Zoom Basic (Free)

Zoom Pro

Host up to 100 participants All Basic Features PLUS ---
Unlimited 1 to 1 meetings Can scale beyond 100 participants
40 minutes limit on group meetings Meeting duration limit is 24 hours
Unlimited number of meetings User Management
Online support Admin Feature Controls
Video Conferencing Reporting
Web Conferencing Custom Personal Meeting ID
Group Collaboration Assign Scheduler
Security Features 1 GB of MP4 or M4A Cloud Recording

 

If you have additional questions about the differences between Basic and Pro, please contact the Telecom and Media Support Services (TMSS) group at 804-287-6500, or tmss@richmond.edu/