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Zoom: The University's New Video Conferencing System

Blue background with the word Zoom
April 29, 2019

Learn what it is, how it was chosen, why we are changing, key milestones, and more.

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a popular video and web conferencing service that can be used to host small and large meetings and webinars. It works with Macs, Windows and mobile devices. Zoom features meeting and webinar capabilities, along with real-time messaging and content sharing. Zoom's predecessor, Webex, will be retired on September 2, 2019. Highlights include:

  • An accessible interface
  • Automatic captioning
  • Breakout rooms
  • Polls, collaborative screen annotation, chat, and more

How Was it Chosen?

Following a Request for Proposals (RFP) process and a pilot of the top two selections, Zoom was chosen to replace Webex as the University of Minnesota's system wide online meeting tool.

Why the Change?

  • Pilot participants preferred Zoom to Webex by 89 percent
  • Accessible interface
  • Lower cost to the University

Who Can Use Zoom?

  • Students, faculty, and staff can host meetings for up to 300 people.
  • Faculty and staff can host webinars for up to 500 people.
  • Students, faculty, and staff who are part of the HCC (Health Care Component) will be assigned to a modified instance of Zoom, in order to preserve best practices around Protected Health Information.

Note: If you are part of the HCC, you will need to take a very brief training before you can access your Zoom account. Access this training by going to zoom.umn.edu and clicking or selecting Log In.

When: Key Milestones

February 27: Zoom Transition is Announced

April 1: Zoom Available System Wide

  • Visit zoom.umn.edu. Download the desktop app, sign in, or join (or host) a meeting.

September 2: Webex Will Retire

  • Webex (and recordings stored in Webex) are permanently unavailable
  • By this date, all Webex recordings must be moved to Kaltura or Box Secure Storage

Further Information

Learn more about Zoom by visiting the University's Zoom web page where you can also access online training and self-help guides.