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ICANN's Move to Zoom: Follow-up Status Update and Response to Feedback

9 May 2019
By Ashwin Rangan

As previously announced, ICANN org is deploying Zoom as ICANN's official remote participation (RP) platform. We are on track to transition entirely to Zoom in time for ICANN65 in Marrakech, Morocco.

To reiterate from my previous blog, this change is being driven by a need for information security and data privacy, as well as stability and usability of the platform. In head-to-head testing, Zoom excels in these aspects. Early adopters also have confirmed that the Zoom experience is substantially better, particularly when on-the-go.

Thus far, the feedback we've received from both early adopters and those who read the blog has been minimal but positive. In total, there were fewer than ten specific comments, and a handful of concerns were raised. We would like to address those concerns here.

The primary concern is the potential loss of recordings from our Adobe Connect instance. I can assure you that work to preserve these is in progress. We are working with our Adobe Connect provider to develop a concrete solution.

I am also happy to report that Zoom webinars can hold up to 500 people at once, the same as Adobe Connect. All the vital features of a successful RP platform, such as chat, hand-raising, polling, and document-sharing, are available in Zoom.

We have a great working relationship with Zoom. Following our request, their team has added a feature where the participant list will now show those with hands raised in the order they were raised. This flexibility and willingness to work with us has been a refreshing aspect of our migration to Zoom.

One specific concern remains unaddressed: the inability for each user to view chat activity that occurred prior to joining the meeting. While we do not yet have a fix for this, Zoom has taken it on as a feature request. We look forward to reporting back with an update soon.

In choosing Zoom, we undertook a customary techno-economic feasibility study. Our own technical tests, paired with the user-experience feedback, confirm that Zoom is the right choice. Though not a driver, cost-savings were certainly a welcome bonus.

Please continue to provide us with feedback, comments, concerns, or questions as you begin to acclimate to Zoom. We look forward to hearing from you. Rest assured that ICANN org remains committed to providing the community with a feature-appropriate, techno-economically optimal RP platform.


Ashwin Rangan

Ashwin Rangan