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What I Learned at Zoholics 2024

3 Mins read

In partnership with Zoho

Every year, usually in June or July, there is a gathering in Austin, Texas, for people from all over the country. They call themselves “Zoholics,” and at this big event, they come together to learn, network, and collaborate.

This is my 6th Zoholics event, and it was quite possibly the best one. Attending Zoholics 2024 was enlightening and entertaining. This year’s event showcased Zoho’s commitment to innovation, collaboration, and privacy. The company made four major announcements—three of which are relevant to my network of business owners. The announced upgrades to Zoho CRM, advancements in collaboration tools, and enhanced cybersecurity and privacy measures will change how businesses operate.

Zoho CRM: A New Era of Customer Relationship Management

One of the big announcements was “CRM for Everyone,” a significant upgrade to Zoho CRM. Traditional CRMs often lead to fragmented communication, resulting in an incomplete view of the customer journey and inefficient operations. Zoho’s innovative approach aims to address these issues by offering a unified platform that facilitates full collaboration across teams.

The new CRM interface is designed to provide rich customer content and organize information relevant to each team member’s work. This “one-stop shopping” experience allows everyone on the team full visibility, enhancing coordination and improving overall outcomes. The new features include team modules that require no IT skills to set up, built-in templates, and profiles for various requesters such as partners and other teams—all integrated within the CRM.

Early access to “CRM for Everyone” began June 5th, and the initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. This upgrade will empower teams with better tools, increased accountability, and a seamless total experience.

Collaboration and Productivity: Breaking Down Silos

Zoho also announced significant updates to its suite of collaboration and productivity tools. Emphasizing the importance of contextual intelligence, Zoho is integrating AI into its tools to enhance productivity without users even realizing it. Its AI strategy is centered around being contextual, truthful, privacy-focused, and valuable.

The new capabilities in the collaboration/workplace suite are specifically for four tools: Zoho Projects, Zoho Notebook, Zoho WorkDrive, and Zoho Sign. The contextual cross-in-pollination of features within these apps is designed to improve user experience and create a more productive work environment.

Cybersecurity and Privacy: A Fundamental Right

Privacy has become a paramount concern in today’s digital age, and Zoho is taking big steps to address this issue. Sridhar Vembu, Zoho’s founder and CEO, reinforced the company’s stance that privacy is a fundamental human right. Their approach to privacy and security is built into all their platform tools, from no-code to pro-code applications. All developments maintain user privacy while delivering functionality. Their conviction that data should never be monetized and that privacy must be protected at all costs sets them apart in an industry where privacy often takes a back seat.

A Culture of Growth and Prosperity

With 15,000 employees, Zoho remains a private company, allowing them the freedom to pursue their unique journey based on strong convictions. Sridhar Vembu’s personal mission to understand rural poverty and his belief in investing in employees are central to Zoho’s philosophy.

Zoho believes that happy employees lead to satisfied customers. They reject the extreme measurement and management of employees, viewing metrics as helpful tools rather than masters. By providing space for employees to learn and grow, Zoho believes that they will have room to innovate and thrive.

Additionally, Zoho’s investment in affordable office locations demonstrates its commitment to reducing the financial burden on employees. It doesn’t believe in having offices in cities where the rents and mortgages for employees are too high.

All the above highlights what made Zoholics 2024 my favorite event of the year. I enjoyed learning about tools that will help the business owners in my network run better, more productive companies. But I loved the message of protecting customers and making financial security and job satisfaction a company priority.

Walking the Talk! That’s what Zoho does every day.

Brian Moran is the founder and CEO of Small Business Edge and the co-founder of Bricks and Sticks. He’s also the host of the Small Business Edge podcasts.

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