On February 24-25, 2021, Zoho held its annual ZohoDay – a conference aimed at communicating the state of the business and product roadmaps. The event coincided with Zoho’s 25th year as a company, testament to Zoho’s long-term business approach: grow organically, have zero debt, zero external investments, remain cashflow positive, and plow cashflow back into the business and customers.
Zoho continued to grow during the pandemic. Registered users increased 22% between 2019 and 2020, customer and revenue growth expanded, and customer retention has gone up. Indeed, the customer churn rate has continued to drop year-on-year since 2015, with signs of plateauing at 2.9% this year. Zoho correlates decreasing churn rate with the boost of its ZohoOne suite, owing to users being locked into an ecosystem and deriving continued value from it.
Zoho performed well during the pandemic. Four reasons attributed to this success included (but was not limited to):
While Zoho One encompasses a range of solutions, Zoho Workplace was a key focus, given the surge in remote work. Workplace apps saw increased usage between 225% and 2500% over the past year, with the largest Workplace customer totaling 30k seats.
Key points of focus for Workplace moving forward include building on Zoho Voice for telephony capabilities and improving workflow automation for documents.
Zoho used its own software for ZohoDay, making good use of Backstage (for its interactive webinars) and Meeting (for its breakout sessions). Backstage performed brilliantly. Often, organizations that want to hold webinars or online events with large numbers of people still wish to have some audience involvement beyond Q&A text. Backstage enables the organizer to choose which participants can share their video and audio, with audience members also being able to notify the organizer that they want to speak by simply clicking the “Request Mic” option. This functionality is sorely missed in other solutions, especially for townhall use cases.
However, Zoho Meeting is still not as mature compared against leading web conferencing software. Certain features that have come to be table stake offerings in this marketspace were missing from Meeting. These included not being able to raise one’s hand, alongside the experience of ongoing jitter as the platform appeared to struggle with participant numbers approaching 50+. This jitter may be attributed to a lot of things – users do not always have the best internet at home, for instance. But given shared concerns in the chat about patchy audio and video, alongside Backstage’s seamless performance, it is reasonable to think some issues fell on the Meeting side.
Zoho is quick to respond to user feedback, though, and is less bureaucratic with implementing new features compared to Microsoft and Google. Indeed, Zoho Meeting still performs well in SoftwareReviews’ web conferencing data quadrant and should absolutely be leveraged if one is a Zoho user already or considering a Zoho suite. Bear in mind, Zoho Meeting is not a best-of-breed web conferencing software and its capabilities do not yet stand eye-to-eye with Zoom, MS Teams, or Cisco Webex.
Source: SoftwareReviews Web Conferencing Data Quadrant. Accessed: February 25, 2021.
At its fifth annual Zoomtopia conference, Zoom announced a wide range of innovations and upcoming products, including feature improvements for Zoom’s core videoconferencing platform; expansions for Zoom Phone and Zoom Events; and the introduction of Zoom’s Video Engagement Center.
On June 3, 2021, BlueJeans provided an update on its product direction for 2H 2021. BlueJeans is now fully integrated with Verizon One, completing Verizon’s full UCaaS solution.
On May 21, 2021, Cisco briefed on Webex’s security features. This not only included information about the type of administration control for end users when using Webex from any device, but also Cisco’s certifications and compliances more broadly.
This note outlines Info-Tech’s Three C’s of Enterprise Collaboration framework to help buyers effectively navigate the collaboration software marketspace.
With a return to the office looking ever more feasible, organizations need to consider what role web conferencing solutions will play moving forward. This note outlines three trends organizations should be aware of as we move into 2022.
On March 30, 2021, HCL Technologies briefed Info-Tech on the roadmap for Connections. For 2021 and 2022, users can expect Connections to have seamless Microsoft 365 integrations, enhanced user experience frameworks, landing pages for user engagement (with tailored notifications and updates), and broader integrations with third-party applications.
On March 11, 2021, Verizon provided updates to BlueJeans’ product vision and direction for FY2021. BlueJeans experienced dramatic adoption in 2020, particularly for webinars and events, and seeks to offer advanced breakout room features in the future.
This note highlights the top three trends to watch for in the 2021 UCaaS market.
On November 5, 2020, Cisco briefed on its upcoming virtual legislative session tool Webex Legislate. With a range of features that governing bodies around the globe have desired throughout the extent of the pandemic, Webex Legislate surely becomes the must-have tool for conducting virtual and hybrid sessions – especially if an agency is already leveraging Cisco products.