Zoholics in London: A2Z Cloud’s behind-the-scenes scoop
Zoholics 2023 wasn’t just another annual conference. As the bustling streets of London welcomed professionals and partners from all over, the atmosphere was charged with anticipation. The reason? Zoho, the multi-application SaaS giant, announced that they had reached a pivotal milestone: 100 million users.
As a Premium Partner of Zoho, A2Z Cloud is pleased to share the key takeaways from this year’s pivotal event.
The 100 million users milestone!
From a humble 1 million users in 2008 to 50 million in 2019, and now a staggering 100 million in 2023, Zoho’s growth trajectory has been nothing short of impressive. What makes this all the more commendable is that Zoho stands as the first bootstrapped SaaS business from India to achieve this monumental feat. As part of this exceptional journey, A2Z Cloud, having implemented over 400 projects, feels an immense sense of pride to be instrumental in contributing to this global user base. Zoholics provided the perfect backdrop to reflect on this achievement, setting the tone for the insights and developments shared during the event.
Deepening Roots in the UK
Zoho’s announcement of its continued commitment to the UK market at the London conference solidifies its dedication to growth on British soil. Zoho’s approach, distinctively different from its sales and marketing-driven competitors, relies heavily on product-driven growth. As Prashant Ganti, head of product management for Zoho’s finance and operations suite mentioned, “We have a ‘marketing through engineering’ concept. One product feeds another. A customer might find value in one app, explore the Zoho ecosystem, and discover other applications.”
Their investment in the UK isn’t just in words. The past year has seen the UK team collaborating extensively with its partner base, launching marketing investments to support Go To Market initiatives. This involves backing for events and Zoho merchandise and enhancements in staffing and pre-sales support.
Sachin Agrawal, Zoho’s UK Managing Director, echoed this sentiment, stating, “Even though our UK customer base stretches back over fifteen years or more, there is still so much potential growth opportunity for Zoho.” Their commitment also extends to local communities with the partnership with ActionCOACH, the world’s most successful business coaching franchise. This collaboration promises to equip over 200 business coaches in the UK with Zoho’s backing for business and digital transformation.
Furthermore, Zoho’s announcement to expand its Bletchley-based UK office intends to triple its staff capacity. This move is aligned with Zoho’s ‘Transnational Localism’ programme, aiming to empower local teams to provide expertise to customers, fostering digital transformation and building self-reliant communities. With the expansion, Zoho aims to further bolster roles in sales, customer support, and marketing.
New Releases: The Future of the Zoho Ecosystem
Zoholics unveiled a series of releases and future initiatives.
A notable launch was Zoho FSM – a comprehensive Field Service Management platform aimed at refining field operations and boosting customer service.
RouteIQ for Zoho CRM is another exciting release, providing sales teams with tools to optimise their sales routes based on call locations, making their operations more efficient.
Perhaps the highlight, however, was Zoho Billing. Evolved from Zoho Subscriptions, this tool now provides businesses with the flexibility to handle diverse billing requirements – from one-time payments, project-based billing to subscription models. With integrations to popular payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe and over 20 plugins, Zoho Billing is set to be a game-changer.
Furthermore, Zoho Catalyst showcased plans to supercharge its offerings with advancements in PaaS, Authentication, and new services, including QuickML (Machine Learning), ConvoKraft (AI-powered NLU Chatbot Builder), and SmartBrowz (Browser automation service).
AI and Data Privacy – Can Zoho strike the right balance?
A pivotal session of the conference delved deep into Zoho’s stance on AI, especially in the context of their renowned emphasis on data privacy, dissecting how Zoho plans to marry these two seemingly conflicting ideals.
Ramprakash Ramamoorthy, Zoho’s director of AI Research, captivated the audience with his insights into Zoho’s AI vision and strategy. He explained, “AI is not just an add-on for us; it’s integral, infused into everything we do at Zoho.” But what stood out was the company’s unwavering commitment to data privacy, a cornerstone of their ethos.
Highlighting real-world applications, Ramamoorthy spoke of features like Zoho Sheets’ ability for users to query in natural language or Zoho Analytics, where users can seamlessly extract insights through a simple question. These features, though leveraging AI, maintain a user’s data privacy.
Addressing the buzz around Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT, he acknowledged their potential but underscored the risks they pose in exposing sensitive customer data. Zoho’s stance? An opt-in approach with full transparency. He clarified, “If a customer opts for integrating with an LLM, they are met with a clear cautionary message. We want them to make an informed decision.”
The session shed light on the broader industry challenge: harnessing the power of AI without compromising the trust of users. For Zoho, the roadmap is clear – innovation should never come at the cost of privacy.
Mastering CRM automation with A2Z’s experts
A2Z Cloud’s Senior Business Engineers, Jimmy and Felix, received an enthusiastic applause for their engaging session on Automation. From dissecting types of automation to live demos of customer file collection using CRM and WorkDrive, the duo covered it all, shedding light on the potential automation holds for businesses.
Client Stories: Real-world successes with Zoho
Framtiden, one of A2Z Cloud’s esteemed clients, took the stage with Zoho People to discuss the Zoho solution we had crafted for them. The session was a testament to the tangible impact of Zoho’s suite in streamlining HR operations for diverse teams.
If you’d like to read more about their journey with A2Z Cloud, go here.
Zoholics 2023 wasn’t just a conference; it was a testament to Zoho’s unyielding commitment to innovation, user experience, and global growth. As Zoho continues to soar to new heights, A2Z Cloud stands shoulder to shoulder, ready to deliver unparalleled value to businesses worldwide.
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