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How Zoho’s Contextual Intelligence is Redefining AI in Business

by | AI

You’ve likely caught wind of AI, but how is it actually impacting your daily work, especially if you’re a Zoho user? When giants like OpenAI and Google grab the spotlight with their advanced models, Zoho takes a subtler, yet equally impactful approach.

In this blog, we dive into the unseen yet omnipresent role of AI within Zoho’s ecosystem. We’ll explore how ‘contextual intelligence’—a term you might not be familiar with yet—perfectly aligns with your business needs, ensuring that Zoho’s AI isn’t just smart, but also contextually savvy. From the integration of AI in routine tasks to the customisation of complex algorithms, discover how Zoho’s strategy is setting a new standard in business technology.

Embracing the invisible

You may not realise it, but Zoho already applies AI within the platform in many ways that are not obvious to the end user. Simple examples include automatically identifying phishing emails or the auto-categorisation of your expense receipts.

At a recent European event for Zoho partners, Raju Vegesna, Zoho’s Chief Evangelist, shared insights into Zoho’s philosophy around Artificial Intelligence. Zoho aims to stand apart from the noise around AI, emphasising ‘contextual intelligence’ to seamlessly integrate AI solutions within the fabric of business operations. It’s all about making A + B = C as straightforward as possible.

Contextual Intelligence Graphic

Zoho believes the best uses of AI are those where the customer does not know they’re using AI. Just because OpenAI and Google boast models like ChatGPT and Gemini, it doesn’t necessarily translate to intelligence that is specific to your business. 

‌Consumer LLMs like ChatGPT and Gemini lack business context. Combining AI with your business context is central to Zoho’s strategy, enabling businesses to derive meaningful insights from their data, housed within Zoho’s comprehensive suite of applications, such as CRM, Desk, Analytics, or WorkDrive.

Why context matters

Unlike generic AI models that serve broad applications, contextual intelligence thrives on specificity. For instance, Google’s proficiency in public data search does not seamlessly translate to enterprise search due to the lack of business-specific data. Zoho’s AI strategy is designed to overcome such limitations by embedding business context into its AI models, ensuring the solutions are not only intelligent but relevant.

The role of diverse AI models

Zoho doesn’t rely on a one-size-fits-all model. Instead, it employs a range of models tailored for specific tasks:

  • Narrow Models for precise tasks like phishing detection in emails.
  • Small Language Models (SLMs) which handle tasks such as document anomaly detection or receipt scanning through OCR.
  • Medium and Large Language Models (MLMs and LLMs) that offer more complex data handling capabilities, essential for creating content or identifying nuanced patterns in data.

This diversified approach allows Zoho to apply the right type of AI to the right context, enhancing both the efficiency and effectiveness of the solutions provided.

The role of diverse AI models graphic

Integration with business data

The true power of contextual intelligence lies in its deep integration with business data. Zoho’s AI systems pull from an extensive database of business-specific information to inform and refine their outputs. This bespoke adaptation not only improves the accuracy of the AI but makes it incredibly relevant to the user’s specific needs. For example, a seemingly simple task like expense reporting is vastly improved by AI models that learn from company-specific spending patterns and policies.

Seamless user experience

One of Zoho’s core AI implementation principles is invisibility—the user should not need to be aware of the AI’s operation. This seamless integration ensures that AI-infused tools enhance user experience without the complexity often associated with new technologies. Upgrades in the backend, like replacing a SLM with a more efficient MLM for expense management, are made without disrupting the user experience, quietly improving productivity and usability.

Continuous innovation and customisation

Zoho’s commitment to innovation is evident in their continuous development of new models and their customisation capabilities. The introduction of tools like Catalyst for custom model creation allows businesses to tailor AI functionalities based on their unique data sets and operational needs. This not only provides flexibility but also empowers businesses to maintain control over their data and the AI processes applied to it.

Zoho Catalyst for custom model creation

Wrapping up

Zoho’s commitment to contextual intelligence is setting a new standard in the integration of AI into business. By focusing on the specific needs of businesses and embedding AI deeply into workflows, Zoho is not just solving current problems but also paving the way for future innovations. This strategy ensures that AI isn’t just a tool, but a fundamental part of business success in the digital age.

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