Zoom – the video platform and HCL Notes – can they be combined?
The many different tools provided by the new technologies make things much easier, especially for the business world. Conferences, scheduling, correspondence and collaboration in general become much less complicated and also cheaper across countries. HCL Notes (formerly IBM Notes, Lotus Notes) offers the possibility to provide data for different companies and interfaces.
The platform Zoom offers the possibility to conduct video conferences. Both offer enormous facilitation in communication and collaboration, not only in the business world.
But what exactly is Zoom and can the two technical means be combined?
What exactly is Zoom?
Zoom is a video conferencing platform from the company of the same name – Zoom Video Communications from the United States. It offers software that enables online video conferences to be held in real time.
The history of Zoom
The company was founded in 2011 and their software was released on the market in 2013. In the following years, the software was extended by many functions:
- In 2014, the software was extended by a chat function for video calls as well as webinars and open rooms for video conferences.
- In 2017, the first conference of users was held and the company was expanded with additional offices in Australia and Great Britain.
- In 2018, support for VoIP calls and Zoom apps was added to the software.
- In April 2019, Zoom Communications went public.
- The company sees itself as the market leader for pure video conferencing and uses 13 different server locations.
- The COVID-19 crisis and Zoom
While Zoom had 10 million users in December 2019, the number increased significantly with the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the company recorded up to 200 million users per month.
The reason for this is obvious. In addition to the usual business users, schools and universities are now joining the ranks of those who have had to resort to other educational options due to the significant social restrictions and impact of the pandemic.
The closure of schools due to the risk of contagion with the COVID-19 virus has forced schools and universities around the world to rethink and find other ways to teach. Here, Zoom offers excellent possibilities, since the teaching units can easily be converted on the platform with the classroom function.
The quality of the lessons suffers here, but this is a way to communicate the learning content and help the students and also parents to finish the school year despite school closures.
Many private users also benefit from the easy communication of the platform. Due to the great social restrictions for the safety of the risk groups, it is often no longer possible to visit parents, grandparents or other family members. Via video conferences, however, it is still possible to maintain visual contact.
The company reacts to the changed situation by adding some functions to the free version of the Zoom platform. At the same time, the company enormously benefits, as the value of its shares increases significantly.
A gain for both sides, both the general public benefits from the extended free version and the company experiences a significant upswing due to the great popularity, which is rewarded with a lot of profit.
What functions does Zoom offer?
Zoom convinces with a variety of different functions and extends and improves them repeatedly. It responds to the needs of the users and the usability and stability of the platform is constantly improved and convinces millions of users.
Which functions can be used in Zoom?
- The main function of Zoom is the “Zoom Meeting”. Here, users can participate in a meeting in so-called conference rooms, either via PC or via a smartphone app. The transmission quality is HD.
- A further function is the chat function. Here, users can not only exchange text messages and files, but also use a virtual whiteboard. This is an excellent opportunity for uncomplicated collaboration across continents.
- The video conference service also offers the possibility to share the screen and thus to see several participants simultaneously. This function can also be used on smartphones. In addition, conferences can be recorded and then processed into a script.
- The platform can also be combined with software from other providers.
- According to the provider, connections within the Zoom platform are end-to-end encrypted.
- The use of video conferences requires registration. However, the free version represents a time limit of 40 minutes.
- The “Zoom Rooms” feature runs with conference room technology from other third-party providers.
- The “Zoom Conference Room Connector” function is a system that runs via third-party providers as well. Here, users can physically manage conference rooms.
- “Zoom Phone” provides companies with a virtual telephone system.
- The “Zoom Video Webinar” function is particularly suitable for very large webinars. Here, up to 100 speakers can act and up to 10,000 viewers can participate in the webinars.
- Additional software can be purchased from the “Zoom App Marketplace”.
- “Zoom Developer” enables the creation of interfaces.
The numerous functions are particularly worthwhile for companies. Contacts and intensive cooperation between the different locations can be easily established without incurring too many costs. Global working is significantly simplified and accelerated.
Private users, schools and universities also benefit greatly. The free version offers an excellent opportunity to create alternative working methods and maintain social contacts. Especially in the current crisis, this is an enormous benefit and above all a huge relief for all users.
The many different and complementary options offer countless opportunities for independent work in combination with group and team work. Especially universities and students benefit here.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Zoom platform
The many different functions and possibilities provided by the Zoom platform are of great benefit. Still, the question whether there only positive features or whether the platform also have negative sides to consider arises?
Therefore, you will find a list of the advantages and disadvantages of Zoom below:
- Facilitate video communication
- Real-time conferences are possible
- Data exchange and collaboration on these is enabled.
- Arrangements and appointments are much faster and more flexible.
- Business processes can be practiced more easily.
- Chat function and whiteboard are available.
- Large conferences with over 10,000 participants are possible.
- Real-time communication in all areas and globally is easy to realize.
- Enormous cost reduction for companies.
- Lessons are made easier even in extreme situations.
- Social contacts can be maintained even in extreme situations like pandemics.
- The company reacts to deficiencies and security risks with qualified and fast updates and rectifies them immediately.
- In order to make it impossible for strangers to dial in due to a lack of settings, Zoom has changed the default settings to prevent mistakes from occurring here.
- The storage of video conferences proves to be useful in some areas. Particularly in the use in school lessons, advantages can be drawn here.
- Due to the enormous spread and use during the COVID-19 pandemic, some safety deficiencies have come to light.
- In 2019, MacOS users installed a local web server to improve the user experience. This measure, however, makes it possible for strangers to remotely access the camera.
- This web server was not automatically removed when uninstalling the program.
- The end-to-end encryption that is promised is only a transport encryption and allows the company to access the data after it is sent.
- Administrators can monitor video conferences and see who was in the foreground for how long. This allows the monitoring of participation.
- Recordings can be saved and information about the participants’ devices and IP addresses can be viewed.
- Conferences that have not been provided with an additional restriction can be accessed by external participants.
Zoom offers many functions and possibilities, but is still struggling with optimizing the settings and fine tuning the software. It is up to each individual to decide whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
Due to the security deficiencies, some of which are serious, but most of which have now been remedied, many large companies and also government institutions have been banning their employees from using the Zoom platform since April 2020. However, the company continues to work on fixing all issues.
Can HCL Notes be combined with Zoom?
As mentioned above, the Zoom platform can be combined with the features and techniques of other third party providers.
The HCL Notes software is a database system that is document-oriented and distributed. The database system was also known under Lotus Notes and was originally developed by IBM. In 2019, HCL took over the Notes system and connected it with other systems and functions.
Since then, the system has different names for its respective users. The “traditional” users, i.e. the client software, is called HCL Notes, while the software for the developers and administrators is called HCL Domino. The databases of the respective versions are also listed under the respective names. In general, however, the Notes database is always mentioned.
HCL Notes not only provides database management, but also provides a platform which applications can be developed on.
In HCL Notes, emails are optimally integrated and thus make it possible to provide a good and fast communication between the different parties involved. In addition, the system offers many other applications and possibilities in its purchasable license, such as:
- The management and organization of databases in the form of documents
- Email integration, which also includes the use of the calendar and a task list
- Team Rooms
- In the developer version, applications can be developed and created
- And many more other useful applications.
The security of HCL Notes is rated particularly highly and is enforced on several levels.
– The access from the clients to the server: This access is controlled by user name and password as well as by a mutual verification of a certificate of client and server. This way, the access is secured and no foreign or unwanted parties can access the server.
- There are four different possibilities to store encrypted data on the server. These include:
- On the database level: with a public key of the client
- On the database level: with a public key of the server
- On the field level: with a public key of the person intended to read
- On the field level: with an own systemic key
- The code is always signed, and whether or not it can be executed is determined by a special release list.
The special advantage is that all security systems are defined in the HCL Notes system itself and are therefore much easier to handle than with other systems. The high security measures taken by HCL are also proof of the high quality of the software and are what makes it so popular.
But is HCL Notes compatible with the Zoom Platform?
Unfortunately, the integration of the Zoom Platform and its features into the HCL Notes system is not possible just yet.
Due to the high popularity and the excellent progress that has been and is being made, it is already in the works.
The developers and computer scientists are constantly working on new possibilities and variants to integrate other systems and software into the software. This is exactly what is happening at the moment with the possibility to integrate Zoom into HCL Notes.
The high demand makes the developers work faster, so that the possibility to integrate Zoom into HCL Notes and thus to get even more advantages from both systems will be available shortly. This is a great way to provide even more communication and collaboration over long distances, making it easier to complete projects, especially for executives.