Zoom is a video / audio conferencing tool that works with your computer, phone, and / or conference room system (Polycom). It can work as an online conference room, phone bridge, or webinar host. It works with Windows, Mac, mobile (Android / iOS), regular phone lines, and in-room cameras (H.323). It’s flexible, reliable, and easy to use so it will be replacing systems like Adobe Connect and AT&T conference phone lines. It’s similar to things you might have used before like GoToMeeting, WebEx, or Skype.
- READ CAREFULLY — PEOPLE OFTEN GET THIS WRONG WHICH CAUSES DELAY IN GETTING AN ACCOUNT.People should go to WSE.zoom.us and log in to create an account. That address is WSE.zoom.us, not www.zoom.us or jh.zoom.us. If you go to a different URL, we in WSE IT can’t approve your account. By default, this is a free-tier account, which allows for meetings up to 40 minutes. This is enough for people to see what Zoom does and to see if it is useful for them.
- People can ask to be upgraded to a paid Pro account and it will be automatically approved. Paid accounts can have meetings up to 24 hours long with 100 participants. To do this send an email to email@example.com.
JH has signed an agreement with Zoom to give us the tools for a reduced cost. “Reduced cost” isn’t free, so while we want to make it as easy as possible for people to get comfortable with the tool and want people who need Zoom to use it, it wouldn’t be prudent to automatically give everyone a paid account forever. Here’s how it works.
- People should go to wse.zoom.us and log in to create an account. By default, this is a free-tier account, which allows for meetings up to 40 minutes. This is enough for people to see what Zoom does and to see if it is useful for them.
- People can ask to be upgraded to a paid Pro account and it will be automatically approved. Paid accounts can have meetings up to 24 hours long with 300 participants. The dean’s office is paying the bill. To ask for a paid Pro account send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you already have a Zoom account (personal or other) but want a WSE account, you need to 1) log out of Zoom in whatever other account you have, and 2) go to WSE.zoom.us and make a new account. We can’t “see” accounts made in other instances, so we can’t upgrade them to Pro features.
- Periodically (right now, we think every four months) we’ll look for paid accounts that aren’t getting used and will downgrade them back to free accounts. They’re eligible to get re-elevated to paid, of course, but we want to have some cost control for people who think they’ll use Zoom but then really don’t need it.
- Participants in meetings don’t need accounts — the level of meeting (free vs. paid) is determined by the person who schedules the meeting.
- Paid accounts can schedule as many meetings as they want, but can have only one meeting active at any one time. While it is tempting to share accounts this can be challenging to schedule, in case two meetings need to overlap
- There are add-ons available for things like using Polycom cameras (aka “H.323 or SIP endpoints”), large webinars (hundreds through thousands of people — see a comparison of webinars vs meetings here), and “Zoom Rooms” (tablet software that makes using Zoom in a physical conference room easier). People should ask us at email@example.com if they need any of these features.
- If you ended up here by accident and really need help using Zoom in a conference room with a Polycom device, we have info about that here.