Friday, 07 June 2024 05:21

Zoho Corporation delivers major product announcements and Australian expansion at Zoholics 2024 Featured

By John Babic

Zoho Corporation hosted its annual Zoholics 2024 conference in Austin, Texas this week. The event brought major product announcements, as well as news about its Australian expansion.

In the rapidly changing world of business, where the focus has turned to optimisation and task automation, entrepreneurs and business leaders continuously seek ways to streamline operations and stay ahead of their competition. Navigating this dynamic landscape is no small feat. Enter Zoholics 2024, a landmark conference held at the Austin Convention Centre in Austin Texas, by Zoho Corporation. This event brought together Zoho users from across the globe, offering a prime opportunity for networking and expert learning.

Spanning two days, Zoholics 2024 presented an extensive program featuring over 12 tracks and more than 100 different sessions. The event catered to a wide array of interest and expertise levels, covering everything from technical details to the latest industry trends. It provided invaluable opportunities for collaboration, knowledge exchange and strategic planning, helping businesses propel themselves towards their next phase of growth. The old adage is everything is bigger in Texas and Zoho took that to heart with Zoholics 2024 bringing four exciting new product announcements from this leading global technology company. More on those announcements soon.

With an attendance exceeding 1,500 decision-makers from various sectors, participants had unparalleled access to tailored content specific to their organisational needs. Whether exploring marketing strategies, sales techniques, financial management or advanced skill development workshops, Zoholics 2024 comprehensively addressed every attendee's professional requirement.

iTWire was on-site throughout the conference, diligently capturing pivotal moments and insightful revelations shared by Zoho and its user community. This coverage highlighted the transformative potential of harnessing Zoho’s suite of tools, showcasing how the event has empowered businesses to innovate and optimise their operations.

Australian Expansion

In an exclusive interview with iTWire, Zoho chief strategy officer Vijay Sundaram sheds some light on the company’s bold decision to establish an office in Adelaide, Australia, diverging from the bustling tech hubs of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Sundaram shares Zoho’s vision for Australia. “Australia is in the top 10 countries for Zoho,” Sundaram asserts, highlighting the distinct advantages Adelaide offers. With Zoho serving over 150 countries, Australia has made itself to the top of Zoho’s radar. Proximity to surrounding states, the affordability and the ability for employees to have freedom of space are some of the key highlights of the area, with estimates the office which has only just recently opened will hopefully double in the next 12 months.

This strategic choice reflects Zoho’s broader approach to office locations, prioritising affordability and conducive environments for personal and professional development. By fostering a culture of holistic growth, Zoho aims to empower its employees both physically and mentally, a principal integral to the company’s ethos.

Zoho has been experiencing year-on-year growth in Australia of 33% with employee numbers growing year-on-year by 57% to support it. Australian businesses are taking up a suite of products from Zoho with the top applications being used by Australians being Zoho One, Zoho CRM and CRMPlus.

 

Zoho Major Product Announcements

Zoholics 2024 expanded its portfolio of product lineups with four key announcements across collaboration, CRM, security and developer tools.

  • Zoho Collaboration
  • Zoho CRM for Everyone
  • Zoho Security Stack
  • Zoho Developer Platform

 

Zoho Collaboration

Zoho is currently experiencing a 78% year-on-year migration growth away from some of its top competitors, driven by strategic emphasis on its collaboration solutions. AI Integration, workflow automation, and industry-specific features enhance Zoho’s collaboration tools making for a compelling proposition for customers. In an interview with iTWire, Zoho director of AI Ramprakash Ramamoorthy discussed the 5.5 billion AI hits per month across their products is a testament to the uptake of clients making use of the technology.

Zoho’s collaboration projects now feature advanced AI capabilities, including natural language processing (NLP) integrated into Zoho Projects through their proprietary AI engine, Zia. This integration enables users to issue colloquial everyday voice commands, significantly optimising time by extracting contextual information stored across Zoho’s suite of applications. Zia’s functionality extends further within Zoho Notebook, the company’s versatile notebook-taking application, offering users smart summarisations, task management, automatic topic tagging, data analysis, visual chart creation and colander integration to name a few. 

Zoholics 2 NLP enabled search

Image: Zoho NLP Enabled Search

To enhance workflow automation, Zoho introduces Blueprint, its visual workflow automation technology, now integrated into Zoho Projects, Zoho Workdrive, and Zoho Sign. With Zoho Projects, Blueprint empowers users to streamline traditional project workflows using templates, ensuring ease of use, repeatability, and scalability as projects evolve. In Zoho WorkDrive’s file management solution, users can efficiently map, manage and automate content procedures across departments and teams, particularly beneficial for HR operations for example. Additionally, Zoho Sign enables the creation of reusable templates for document distribution such as sales orders, HR paperwork or legal documents, facilitating signature capture and routing results back to appropriate team members.

Zoholics 3 Zoho sign 

Image: Zoho Sign

Zoho showcased the advantages of its latest technologies tailored to key sectors including construction, healthcare, manufacturing, and aviation. Among these innovations is the integration of Zoho Lens, the company's augmented reality remote assistance technology. This feature grants remote access to on-site workers' device cameras, facilitating real-time troubleshooting for industries such as construction and manufacturing. Healthcare providers benefit from robust Data Loss Prevention (DLP) security protocols embedded within Zoho WorkDrive, enabling manual or automatic checks and classification of sensitive data, ensuring compliance and peace of mind. For manufacturing clients, the incorporation of Blueprint into Zoho Projects facilitates streamlined communication and process management, automating steps in crucial processes such as prototype testing, phase gates, and inventory management.

Zoholics 4 Zoho Workdrive

Image: Zoho Workdrive

 

Zoho CRM For Everyone

Traditionally, CRM systems have been tailored by IT teams primarily for sales workflows, often overlooking valuable communications integral to client proposal development. Zoho addresses this disparity with the introduction of CRM for Everyone, a platform designed to grant each team within a company a dedicated space to actively contribute and organise information pertinent to their roles in the proposal process. Zoho goes a step further by empowering teams to customise their CRM views, ensuring the relevance and necessity of the information displayed. These team modules feature customisable fields, permissions, workflow automation, and other team-specific adjustments. CRM for Everyone ensures comprehensive capture of all team-contributed information vital to client proposals, seamlessly integrating into the overall proposal process.

Zoholics 5 Zoho CRM for everyone

Image: Zoho CRM For Everyone

 

Zoho Security Stack

Amidst frequent data breaches worldwide, securing your company against tracking, breaches, and attacks is paramount. With the global average cost of a data breach estimated at $4.5 million in 2023 by IBM, prioritising robust protection without compromising productivity is imperative. Zoho offers a comprehensive security stack centred around Ulaa, a privacy-first browser, Directory, a workforce identity and access management (IAM) platform, OneAuth for multi-factor authentication (MFA), and Vault for secure password management.

Ulaa, Zoho's privacy-first browser, integrates machine learning-powered phishing and crypto mining detection features to thwart unauthorised access by threat actors. Directory simplifies user, app, device, and network management from a unified console, empowering IT admins to automate access management and enforce conditional access and routing policies. Additionally, Zoho's Directory features a Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) capability, enabling users to deploy their encryption keys for enhanced data security.

Zoholics 6 Zoho director

Image: Zoho Director

 

Zoho Developer Platform

With over 25 years of developer support, Zoho continues to enhance its offerings within the developer environment. At Zoholics 2024, Zoho introduced significant upgrades tailored to professional developers and application teams. Catalyst by Zoho emerges as a pro-code platform, enabling rapid development, testing, and launch of full-stack, production-ready applications. Catalyst empowers developers to leverage existing infrastructure and data sources by seamlessly integrating with the Zoho ecosystem and third-party applications. The platform offers pre-built components and a suite of developer tools to streamline development processes, facilitating faster product innovation and market entry. Catalyst's latest features include automated testing and build for continuous delivery pipelines, along with a fully managed front-end platform compatible with popular frameworks like React.js, Next.js, and Sveltekit.

Following a product launch, data and analytics are pivotal in assessing app usage, performance, user engagement, and growth metrics. Zoho Apptics grants developers and management teams access to data streams, facilitating actionable insights through dashboards and reports, all while ensuring responsible data sourcing without compromising individual privacy.

Zoho provides a range of pricing tiers and plans to suit different business sizes and needs across all their products. To explore the range of applications and pricing models visit their website.

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