When Class founder Michael Chasen was in college, he and a friend came up with the idea for Blackboard, an online classroom organization tool. His original company was acquired in 2011 for $1.64 billion. Chasen later developed the Zoom plug-in Class during the pandemic to help teachers better use Zoom in classroom settings, something they struggled to do early in the pandemic.

But Chasen said people using Class kept telling him they needed similar business features, and on Thursday Class announced the release of Zoom ProFeatures, designed specifically for business users.

Rather than simply sharing a single screen that only one participant can control, ProFeatures lets everyone edit a document in Microsoft Office or Google Docs, brainstorm on a Miro whiteboard, or edit code together in Microsoft Visual Studio (to name a few example). If you want a SaaS tool that isn’t part of the default toolset, you can use the built-in browser to access any website or application.

Additionally, you can open multiple tabs, allowing people to share multiple screens, not just the presenter.

“All these customers said, ‘Hey, I’d love to use this for regular meetings.’ So I asked my developers to adopt our product, turn off the learning tools, and leave just the fundamental improvements we made to Zoom .” Chasen told TechCrunch.

While Class is performing well (it has raised $164 million, Crunchbase reports), Chasen sees an opportunity to expand the business. “So we have two products now. We have Zoom courses and Microsoft Teams courses. Now we also have ProFeatures for Zoom,” he said.

Even before he officially had a product, he was able to sell $17 million worth of ProFeatures enterprise licenses, so he knew he was on to something. It’s free for individual users, but the premium features come into play when multiple people are in a meeting.

Funding comes from the Enterprise License, which provides enterprise features such as centralized control of IT, single sign-on, and other features that IT departments need to control usage in large organizations.

But Chasen said he found the tool had viral qualities. “We actually have some really interesting things that are viral marketing that we do that no one has done yet. So if you’re in a meeting, let’s say you’re on a regular Zoom with 10 other people, but you have Pro feature, when you share a document, everyone gets a message from you saying, “Hey, I’m sharing this Word document.” You can only view it in Zoom via screen sharing. You can edit it. Click here to download ProFeatures,” he said.

Zoom ProFeatures opens and people edit a Word document together.
Zoom ProFeatures opens and people edit a Word document together. Image source: ProFeatures

If you don’t want to share editing capabilities with the entire group, you can limit who can see it or limit what participants can do, such as view, edit, or comment. Additionally, you can choose to revoke these permissions after the meeting.

Finally, there is an artificial intelligence component, the ProFeatues AI Assistant, which can transcribe meetings and capture all documents, files, and web pages shared in the meeting.

Meetings – It can answer questions about everything discussed in the meeting, including shared documents and web pages.

ProFeatures is available in the classroom starting today.

#Blackboard #founder #turns #Zoom #plugin #designed #teachers #business #tool

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *