Video call

A company in Franklin previously named Zoom International has changed its name to avoid confusion with the now ubiquitous video conferencing software.

The Franklin company is now called Eleveo. 

Like Zoom Video Communications, Eleveo is in the communications industry. Eleveo creates software for call center operations. The software can record conversations, help manage employees and measure customer satisfaction.

Vice President of Product and Marketing Barry Williams said the the Franklin-based company started noticing some brand confusion all the way back in 2017. Over the last several months, that confusion has only increased.

“It definitely was amplified during COVID. We had already intended to rebrand this year. We pushed forward probably a month or two because of this,” Williamson said. “It really got bad." 

Over the last two months, Eleveo registered an unusually high number of people landing on their webpage after searching for zoom recording. Eleveo does offer recording technology for call centers, but Williams suspects many of those people were searching for a way to record video conference calls. 

The company had also been running online ad campaigns, but those ads were getting drowned out because Zoom Video Conferencing was spending much more money on online ads. 

“It created confusion in our ads. It created confusion on our website,” Williams said. "We're a smaller company. They're pretty large, and they were spending a lot of money advertising. We're just not going to be able to compete with that.”

Eleveo isn’t the only company to experience some brand confusion. In March, stock prices for the publicly traded company Zoom Technologies, which was using the ticker symbol ZOOM, surged as confused investors tried to invest in the video conferencing platform. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission decided to halt trading for Zoom Technologies because of the confusion.

This week, a company called ZoomInfo, which promises to generate sales leads for companies, went public.

Eleveo had already been working on the rebranding long before the coronavirus outbreak swept across the world. Planning started about two years ago. Last year, the company tested out the Eleveo name for a new cloud-based workforce management product.

After receiving lots of positive feedback, the company decided to rebrand the whole company using that name, in part to reflect the company’s shift towards  more cloud based products.

Over the last few months, the coronavirus has accelerated Eleveo’s shift towards more cloud-based software and products to help call center employees work from home. Williams said the company is selling more products for recording screens and video calls.

In other words, while Eleveo is actively trying to distinguish itself from Zoom Video by creating a new brand, the company’s operations are actually inching slightly closer to its near doppelgänger. 

“I would say that line got a little more blurry,” Williams said. “It’s a good thing we changed our name," he said. "We've started doing more recording of video. If we could not change the brand ... it probably would have been pretty bad for us.”

Many of Eleveo’s customers have moved to remote work, and Williams said he thinks that could have a lasting effect. Even if employees come back, he expects the company to continue doing more work with cloud-based software and screen recording. 

All of Eleveo’s employees are working from home as well during the coronavirus pandemic. That means they’re spending a lot of time of video calls, but the company isn’t using Zoom. They’re going with Webex, one of Zoom Video’s largest competitors.