Zoom reimagines the desk phone for the hybrid workforce

The video conferencing giant has collaborated with Poly and Yealink for collaborative office hardware

Zoom has unveiled a new range of desk phones fit for the office and the home that includes high-definition video and built-in collaboration software.

These are the first two products to come from the firm's 'Zoom Phone Appliance' programme, which combines its conferencing software with hardware from electronics specialists Poly and Yealink.

Both are fairly traditional-looking desk phones, but also feature a large touch screen and webcam, though the Yealink version also comes with physical keys. Zoom suggests these devices are a "new category of hardware", optimised for the so-called hybrid workforce that mixes home and office working.

"The traditional workplace is evolving and adapting, and our goal is to empower the workforce to accomplish more by blurring the lines between voice and video," said Graeme Geddes, head of Zoom Phone and Zoom Rooms. "The new Zoom Phone Appliance program boasts a selection of purpose-built Zoom Phone hardware from Poly and Yealink, streamlining communications, removing friction, and enabling a powerful communications experience."

Yealink and Poly video conferencing phones with Zoom software
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The devices have been designed for simple installation and low maintenance, so that they are just as easy to use at home as they are in the office. The desk phones also feature 'Zero-touch provisioning', which Zoom claims minimises the need for IT support with a centralised management system and regular updates. What's more, the phones will work with your regular Zoom account, so no additional licensing is required.

Both the Poly and Yealink devices include 'always-on' Zoom capabilities, where meetings can be scheduled and joined instantly, and more traditional desk phone functions such as audio calls and voicemail.

The touch screen display also includes an interactive whiteboard that can be shared with colleagues and exported to other devices. The system can also be synced with the user's calendar – which includes Google Calendar.

These are the "inaugural class" of Zoom Phone Appliances, the firm said, with other products and features to follow, potentially from other partners.

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