The lost profit of Zoom from new and non-renewed old licenses for the program in the public sector can amount to 100 million rubles or more, experts interviewed by Izvestia estimated.
At the same time, if the company goes to this decision, its withdrawal from the Russian corporate video conferencing market will not be noticeable to users, since the paid version of Zoom is used less often, analysts say. The service is likely to remain in the arsenal of distance learning in domestic universities – it will continue to be used privately, experts say. It is possible that universities will pay extra bonuses to those employees who will buy Zoom licenses, the lawyers suggested.
The Kommersant newspaper reported that Zoom Video Communications had banned its distributors from selling corporate licenses for the service to government agencies and state-owned companies, citing a letter from Zoom’s distributor in Russia, WrightConf. Prior to that, the problems with this company were discussed at the Higher School of Economics.
– Over the past months, a lot of negotiations have been held with Zoom Video Communications and with the exclusive representative of the company in Russia – OOO “RightConf” – on the subject of extending the service and expanding the scope of services. At the moment, the Higher School of Economics has refused to extend the validity of the services, the university said in a statement.
In the future, the educational organization reported that they were ready for this scenario. At the same time, the university counted on continued cooperation.
– Refusal to use the Zoom platform will in no way affect the educational process at the Higher School of Economics. Today, a number of alternative solutions are available at the HSE University – Cisco Webex, Webinar and MS Teams, – Dmitry Sokolov, head of the HSE press service, told Izvestia.
He added that Microsoft’s solution is available to all students, faculty and staff in the organization. Also, NRU HSE is negotiating with domestic developers of solutions, including Yandex.Telemost, a representative of the university said.
Izvestia was told at the WrightConf office that it had requested additional “details and clarifications” from Zoom and expected a response within a week. The American office of Zoom told the newspaper that they were studying the issue of working with government agencies and state-owned companies, but they themselves did not send any notifications to Russian users.
The lost profit of Zoom from non-concluded new and non-renewed old licenses in the Russian public sector can amount to about $ 50 million (about 3.8 billion rubles at the exchange rate as of April 7) annually, estimated the CEO of Spirit (developer of the domestic videoconferencing service and VideoMost server) Andrey Sviridenko.
– This is a lot, – the head and founder of the analytical agency TelecomDaily Denis Kuskov disagrees.
According to him, Zoom’s losses will be much more modest: no more than 200 million rubles. Whereas in the public sector only 100 million rubles are paid for Zoom.
It will not be empty
Even if Zoom’s management suspends any licenses in Russia, users in our country will still have a large number of other services that are similar in functionality, assured Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media Maxim Parshin.
“Today the register of Russian software contains at least five competitive Russian video communication systems that can be a worthy alternative to Zoom,” he said.
The Ministry of Digital Development has previously stated the need to develop domestic applications for video conferencing, since a significant part of activities in the field of education, medicine, culture, and business depends on their work today. The ministry is also working on import substitution of foreign software, the official added.
According to experts, the share of Zoom among the videoconferencing services used in Russia is small. The service loses to solutions Skype (26% of the market), Polycom (18%) and Cisco (17%), said Denis Kuskov. The expert estimated the share of Zoom itself at 6%. TAdviser analysts do not consider it the largest service. According to this agency, TrueConf is the leader in the corporate video conferencing market, and solutions from Microsoft, Videomost and Cisco are also popular.
As the interviewed representatives of the Russian ministries told Izvestia, the agencies generally do not use Zoom. The Ministry of Industry and Trade told the newspaper that they are working with domestic counterparts of the service – TrueConf, Telemost and Vinteo.
– The Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia is ready to consider the possibility of using domestic solutions – analogs of Zoom, if the developers of such solutions properly ensure the requirements for confidentiality and information protection, – added the press service of the Ministry.
Also “does not see any negative consequences” in the actions of Zoom and the Ministry of Education and Science.
– In 2020, licenses for video conferencing based on TrueConf solutions were purchased for the needs of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. Thus, the Ministry of Education and Science does not use Zoom solutions in its activities, the ministry noted.
From the suspension of Zoom licenses, it is not the state-owned companies and departments that will suffer the most, but educational organizations, Denis Kuskov said. Since the company provides a fairly wide range of functionality that educational institutions need, he said. On the other hand, it is not a fact that everyone really needs a paid version, besides, many are already going to work offline, and there is no great need for a video conferencing service, the expert added.
Universities can continue to use Zoom under licenses issued for individuals, and now many educational organizations are working in this direction, Roman Yankovsky, Deputy Dean of the HSE Faculty of Law, a member of the Commission on Legal Support of the Digital Economy of the Moscow branch of the Russian Bar Association, told Izvestia.
– Universities are considering options to pay bonuses to employees so that they purchase Zoom as individuals. For a university, this can cost an additional tens of millions of rubles. But this option carries a number of difficulties – universities will not be able to oblige teachers to spend their premiums on Zoom licenses, the lawyer argues.
He added that he considers Microsoft Teams to be similar to Zoom, but this service is less familiar to teachers, and its functionality does not suit everyone, so not all university employees are ready to switch to it.
As Izvestia was told at Moscow State University, the university does not have corporate licenses for Zoom. The university administration recommended using Russian analogues such as Vinteo or Yandex.Telemost, said Denis Yanyshev, director of the center for the development of electronic educational resources of the university. At the same time, teachers can use foreign services Zoom, Microsoft Teams and others privately as needed, he concluded.