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Zoom Makes a Big Bet on AI with Investment in Anthropic

In a significant move towards harnessing the power of generative AI, Zoom has announced its collaboration with AI startup Anthropic. Building on their existing partnership with OpenAI, the enterprise communication company revealed its plans to integrate Anthropic’s innovative Claude AI assistant into Zoom’s productivity platform. To solidify this collaboration, Zoom’s global investment arm has also made an undisclosed financial investment in Anthropic, which is supported by Google.

This strategic partnership aligns with Zoom’s federated approach to AI and comes at a time when competitors like Microsoft are actively incorporating AI-driven capabilities into Teams, Google is integrating AI into Workspace, and Salesforce is focusing on SlackGPT.

However, Zoom has outlined its initial objective of incorporating Claude within its omni channel contact center offerings before expanding its integration to other segments of the platform. The specific timeline and execution details for the broader integration have not been disclosed at this time.

How exactly will Claude help in Zoom Contact Center?

Zoom’s Contact Center is a video-first support hub that improves customer support for enterprises. It includes multiple products, including Zoom Virtual Agent and Zoom Workforce Management.

With the Anthropic partnership, Zoom plans to integrate Claude across the entire Contact Center portfolio to build self-service features that not only improve end-user outcomes but also enable superior agent experiences. 

For instance, it will be able to understand customers’ intent from their inputs and guide them to the best solution, and provide actionable insights that managers can use to coach agents.

“Anthropic’s Constitutional AI model is primed to provide safe and responsible integrations for our next-generation innovations, beginning with the Zoom Contact Center portfolio,” said Smita Hashim, chief product officer at Zoom. “With Claude guiding agents toward trustworthy resolutions and powering self-service for end users, companies will be able to take customer relationships to another level.”

Moving ahead, Zoom Contact Center will also use Claude to provide the right resources to agents, enabling them to deliver improved customer service, a company spokesperson told VentureBeat. They added that Claude’s capabilities will be expanded across the Zoom platform — which includes Team Chat, Meetings, Phone and Whiteboard — but did not share specific details.

The federated approach

The partnership with Anthropic is Zoom’s latest move in its federated approach to AI, where it is using its own proprietary AI models along with those from leading AI companies and select customers’ own models.

“With this flexibility to incorporate multiple types of models, our goal is to provide the most value for our customers’ diverse needs. These models are also customizable, so they can be tuned to a given company’s vocabulary and scenarios for better performance,” Hashim said in a blog post.

Zoom has already been working with OpenAI for IQ, its conversational intelligence product. In fact, back in March, Zoom announced multiple AI-powered capabilities for the product with OpenAI, including the ability to generate draft messages and emails and provide summaries for chat threads. The capabilities started rolling out for select customers in April.