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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

Zoho: A Mid-Market and Up-Market Powerhouse - Examining its Suitability and Strengths

In an era of globalization, businesses often pursue economies of scale and standardized solutions. Zoho, a global software behemoth with Indian origins, is carving a distinctive path. It has embraced a unique business strategy known as “transnational localism.” This approach intertwines global connectivity and local grounding, fostering local economies while partaking in the exchange of knowledge and culture. Transnational localism, as defined by Zoho, is a decentralized strategy that harnesses the benefits of a global scale while maintaining deep roots in local communities. It transcends the conventional “think global, act local” mantra, offering a more nuanced and influential method to tackle today’s complexities. This strategy is implemented through a tripartite approach:

  • Developing a Global Technology Stack: Zoho creates its software products suite, ensuring total control and adaptability.
  • Empowering Local Teams: Zoho sets up regional offices staffed with local talent, enabling them to tailor solutions to specific market requirements.
  • Prioritizing Local Communities: Zoho invests in local talent development, infrastructure, and social initiatives, nurturing a sense of collective responsibility and growth.

Transnational localism strikes a balance between global outreach and local engagement. It involves establishing offices in less affluent locations globally, injecting investment, expenditure, and job creation into these areas. The company stays globally connected, not just digitally, but also through a shared ethos and culture, while remaining locally anchored.

Zoho’s CEO, Sridhar Vembu, characterizes transnational localism as a strategy that sources talent from regions often neglected by other companies. These are typically areas experiencing talent emigration, leading to hollow communities. Zoho strives to reintroduce opportunities into these regions, commonly drained into urban centers.

Zoho IMG 9649

Beyond the Numbers: Real-World Examples

Zoho’s dedication to transnational localism extends beyond mere theory. It has actualized this philosophy by setting up a global network of over 25 offices in rural areas. Many IT suppliers overlook these locations for opportunities compared to their metropolitan counterparts. For instance, Zoho has an office in McAllen, Texas, with nearly 150,000 residents within a metropolitan area housing over a million people.

Another notable instance is Tenkasi in India, where Zoho inaugurated its first rural office. Despite being a city of nearly 100,000 people, Tenkasi is considered rural compared to India’s major metropolitan areas. In Tenkasi, Zoho operates a remote farm and an elementary school, both flagship initiatives in its rural revival strategy.

Zoho demonstrates its commitment to social responsibility in several ways. It has invested in rural India through its "10,000 Schools" program, which bridges the digital divide by providing digital infrastructure and training to schools. Additionally, Zoho empowers local communities by establishing offices in smaller towns across the US and Europe, fostering diversity and creating local job opportunities. Finally, Zoho tailors its product suite to specific market needs, showcasing its commitment to global inclusivity by respecting cultural and regulatory contexts.

The Impact on Zoho's Business: A Multi-Faceted Success Story

Transnational localism has significantly influenced Zoho’s business, propelling its remarkable growth. By the end of 2021, Zoho had amassed 500,000 customers, over 70 million users, and 40,000 customers on Zoho One, a product launched in 2017. One of these customers had 32,000 employees utilizing Zoho One. Fast-forwarding to 2024, Zoho’s customer base has expanded to over 750,000, with over 100 million users across 150+ countries.

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Zero Trust Adoption in the SMB and Midmarket: Drivers, Challenges, and Partner Ecosystem

Zero Trust (ZT) is a concept that, while not universally recognized, holds significant relevance in many organizations, particularly within the mid-market sector. Techaisle’s SMB and Midmarket Security Adoption Trends research shows that Its awareness is relatively low in the small business segment, with a mere 8% familiarity. However, this awareness escalates within larger organizations, reaching 46% in core midmarket businesses (100-999 employees) and 69% in upper midmarket businesses (1000-4999 employees). This trend intensifies when examining the perceived importance of ZT among those aware of it. Only 29% of small businesses regard ZT as more than “moderately important,” whereas a staggering 90% of core midmarket and 93% of upper midmarket firms deem Zero Trust as “important” or “very important.”

About 30% of upper midmarket organizations are engaged in Zero Trust (ZT) access projects. In contrast, 45% of small businesses, compared to a mere 1%-2% of midmarket firms, have no immediate plans to implement ZT access. The data reveals that a significant number of businesses have initiated the deployment of ZT access solutions: 86% of upper midmarket firms, 69% of core midmarket organizations, and 42% of small businesses.

techaisle smb midmarket zero trust

Balancing Immediate Needs with Proactive Planning: Zero Trust Drivers for Different SMB Segments

Cutting-edge midmarket companies are embracing a variety of adoption drivers in response to Zero Trust’s (ZT) capabilities. These capabilities resonate with executives addressing immediate needs, adapting to alterations in their IT landscapes, and proactively forecasting future demands. As with most business decisions, leadership teams carve out paths to success that align best with corporate requirements. ZT stands out for its unique ability to cater to a spectrum, or even a blend, of diverse motivations.

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MDR Adoption Booms in Midmarket, Slow in SMB: An Opportunity for Vendors

SMBs are the backbone of any economy and are crucial in driving innovation and creating jobs. Yet, when it comes to cybersecurity, they often lag behind larger enterprises, lacking the resources and expertise to defend against sophisticated cyberattacks. This is where Managed Detection and Response (MDR) emerges, offering SMBs a cost-effective and scalable solution to secure their valuable data and infrastructure.

The cybersecurity landscape is littered with threats, and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often the most vulnerable targets. According to Techaisle's research, not many SMBs are aware of Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services, a powerful tool designed to safeguard against cyberattacks. This begs the question: are SMBs missing out on a critical line of defense in today's ever-evolving digital landscape?

Awareness drives adoption

Techaisle’s SMB and Midmarket research data shows that small businesses are at a much earlier stage of their journey to MDR than their midmarket peers. Just 17% of companies with 1-99 employees report being aware of MDR, compared with 61% of core midmarket firms and 76% of upper midmarket organizations. Looking only at companies that are aware of MDR, current adoption rates mirror this pattern: 5% of small businesses that are aware of MDR are currently using these services versus 45% of core midmarket and 58% of upper midmarket organizations and virtually all companies that are aware of but not using MDR are either currently considering MDR or planning to evaluate these services within the next 12-18 months. These statistics indicate tremendous potential in each SMB segment: vendors must boost awareness of MDR’s benefits while executing an effective conversion strategy. This is especially true in small businesses – which should be an excellent fit segment for a managed service.

Selling sophisticated products to SMB customers is a significant challenge for IT vendors. This problem is especially acute with cybersecurity. Most SMB and Midmarket customer environments need defenses against many different types of threats, attackers, and threat vectors. Most SMBs lack the internal resources to understand what is required to protect against vulnerabilities and how different “shields” can be connected without leaving (or even creating) exploitable gaps in defense posture. Even the channel partners struggle to keep pace with simultaneous growth in threats and threat actors, vulnerabilities tied to in-use technologies or common business practices, and the ever-changing security vendor community.

techaisle smb mdr

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Revolutionizing the Workplace: Cisco Webex’s AI Innovations

My journey with Cisco and its Webex product began when I established Techaisle. At that time, Zoom was not even on the horizon. Initially, GoToMeeting was my go-to platform for presentation collaboration, but we eventually transitioned to Webex. However, we switched as the Techaisle team grew and MS Teams was introduced. In the past two years, I have expanded my toolkit to include Webex, the Webex Desk Pro, Webex Desk Mini, Webex camera, and most recently, the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 950 wireless earbuds. Besides Webex, I have used these devices with various platforms, including Zoom, Teams, and Google Meet. The interoperability has been impressive, and the performance of the Webex devices has been outstanding.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

The recent WebexOne event marked a significant shift and showcased a transformed platform. Webex has shed its old skin and emerged as a rejuvenated entity steered by a team of exceptional executives. 

The digital revolution has reshaped the business landscape, with hybrid work becoming a cornerstone of modern corporate culture. Yet, the transition to hybrid work models is not without its challenges. Many organizations struggle to foster a consistent work culture and build high-performing teams in this new environment. Technological disparities, such as inconsistent internet connectivity, further complicate matters, impacting workforce productivity and inclusivity. This digital divide can lead to a sense of exclusion among employees facing connectivity issues, undermining the inclusivity of hybrid workplaces.

Webex is dedicated to helping organizations overcome these obstacles. By integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its platform, Webex has enhanced its efficiency, user-friendliness, and audio, video, and language processing capabilities. The platform now boasts advanced noise cancellation, speech-to-text conversion, automatic camera framing, facial recognition, and real-time automatic language translation, making meetings more accessible and productive. These AI-driven enhancements were unveiled at the WebexOne 2023 event.

webexone23

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