On February 8th, 2023, Zoho unveiled its unified communications platform, Trident, a Zoho Workplace that offers businesses easier ways to communicate across channels, improve employee experience, enhance organizational productivity, and accelerate business transformation by combining collaboration, productivity, and communication tools. “Distributed,” “remote,” and “hybrid” – these are the realities of today’s workforce. Businesses are increasingly using technology to provide cohesion within the workforce. Businesses that have adopted unified workspace technology believe strongly that it contributes to productivity by providing a single workspace, delivering better access to applications and resources from which employees can accomplish most of their daily work. The Zoho Workplace, five years in development before employee experience became imperative, is one solution that can replace multiple products such as Slack, Trello, Zoom, Monday, DocuSign, Grammarly, and even M365/Google Workspace. Techaisle’s analysis of current and planned cloud workloads underscores the importance of contextual, collaborative capabilities within business applications. Each product mentioned addresses a specific business requirement but is not seamlessly interconnected to provide a cohesive experience without customization and integration overheads.
In the wake of great resignation, robust job market, and paucity of skill sets, businesses are prioritizing employee experience. For example, Techaisle’s latest research shows that deploying employee experience solutions is a priority for 60% of small businesses, 88% of core midmarket, and 96% of upper midmarket firms. These firms are using digitalization initiatives for employee empowerment and are digitally transforming to support employees. Many factors drive productivity, including management approaches, processes and practices, and collaboration/synergy across activities and functions. But technology is a pivotal contributor to productivity – directly and through its ability to positively affect processes and collaboration. This is the target market that Zoho is addressing. Zoho Workplace has more than 16 million users and is growing at 30%+ year-on-year.
Businesses should pay attention as Zoho’s vision and application simplicity are remarkable. Let us take a few examples. Zoho Voice Platform is a complete Phone System that directly integrates with Zoho Meeting and Zoho Cliq (e.g., Slack), transcending multi-channel communications, including voice, SMS, chat, and video. Similarly, Zoho Webinar incorporates Polls and Q&As, virtual file sharing, and other capabilities. If you are in the know, compare it with Zoom and Webex. Then there is TrueSync which creates a mirror of all Zoho WorkDrive files, allowing a user to switch between the cloud and PC easily. And the best feature of the Zoho Workplace is the Universal Drag and Drop, which empowers a user to drag an email attachment and drop it into a chat and other conversations.
Grammarly has taken off like a rocket ship. Integrated within the Trident offering is BluePencil, Zoho’s AI-based grammar tool, which makes writing suggestions, checks grammar, and helps construct impactful sentences. BluePencil’s text editor, similar to Grammarly, can be used on any application and third-party web pages.
Zoho has not limited the functionality to its own applications. Instead, the Zoho Marketplace platform, its ISV marketplace, has over 1000 integrations already built in.
The workplace runs on a single database architecture. It is purpose-built on the Zoho technology stack - services, software, hardware, and network infrastructure - deployed on Zoho’s own global data centers ensuring performance, availability, security, and privacy. In addition, the Zoho workplace includes mobile device management, usually sold as a separate product by competition.
The solution and features come at an affordable price of US$3 – US$6 per user per month, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes as it significantly reduces the total cost of ownership, deployment, and integration timeframes.
Final Techaisle Take
Communication and collaboration are central components of virtually all business activities. As the lines of demarcation between tasks have been eroded by the increased pace and changing nature of business activities, we have moved past the time when we linked discrete actions through linear, sequential processes. Instead, in today’s business environment, we interact at all points in the business cycle: in cross-functional planning and management, within a single co-created document or spreadsheet, and in the stages and connection points defined by our business processes. Trident, a unified platform, provides secure anytime, anywhere, any device access to a user’s workspace with single sign-on and password management for applications, services, and file sources used to run the business and helps businesses organize employees into connected groups.
The statistics quoted above show that technology is seen as a source of productivity-enhancing capabilities – meaning, in some way, that technology has “permission” from the business to help drive higher levels of workforce performance and employee experience. However, improved performance requires a strategy, and in technology matters, this strategy is usually driven by IT staff. Therefore, the IT function must be responsive to business requirements, deploy requested technology, and deliver user training.
Zoho Workplace, Trident, catalyzes the permission by focusing on a full-featured, flexible technology on a unified platform to contribute to workforce enablement, efficiently deploying the solution within the organization and working with employees to ensure that the benefits inherent in the platform are recognized and captured. From the business’s operating system to create a center of gravity for the business, Zoho has come a long way. As a result, Zoho Workplace should be on everyone’s radar, serious about tackling the multitude of disconnected applications and disruptive forces in digitally transforming employee experiences. Zoho Workplace is the unifying force.
Research You Can Rely On | Analysis You Can Act Upon