Austin Zoholics

The Six Five team discusses Austin Zoholics.

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Daniel Newman: Zoho… you spent the day yesterday in Austin with Zoholics. I spent the evening before at the part where they served the drinks and the food and that was pretty fun. It was good to see you and all of our friends out there. But Pat, what were the big… did they talk about generative AI, Pat?

Patrick Moorhead: So Dan, I do want to be like you when I grow up. There were some highlights here. So if you’re not familiar with Zoho, they’re a leader in an end-to-end enterprise SaaS suite. They have their own top to bottom infrastructure. They do everything themselves. They do have, obviously, APIs to services, if you prefer to use things like Gmail. But they really have developed where I think everybody wants to go, which is a full stack. So big discussions here was on ChatGPT. The second one was their upmarket growth, and the third one was a new service for entrepreneurs. They did go GA with their new browser, but I don’t think that was nearly as important. So they announced an integration of ChatGPT with Zia, which is essentially their bot or helper or assistant that’s already on the market. And they came out with 13 generative AI applications that were enhanced by it.

In fact, the naming says everything. So for instance it’s Zoho CRM with generative AI. And then they added four or five new capabilities to analytics, to word processing, to mail, to social media, to products called assists, landing page SalesIQ, that’s CRM notebook, and DataPrep, which is exactly what it is, and meeting. So really cool. My workspace VP, Melody Brue, will be doing the detailed take-down, but I think the timing’s good. I don’t think they needed to be first, but I do think they will likely be first with the complete rollout. But like all of this stuff, this is the beginning. I want to get in, I want to kick the tires, I want to see how useful it is. By the way, this is with an alliance at first with OpenAI. In fact, you bring your API key and it leverages OpenAI.

They did talk about their strategy around this, which I think was important in their approach. And we’re going to be writing more about that. Just in lieu of time, I’m going to go right to what I think is pretty cool, which is this new public beta of this product they have, that Zoho does really well with small business, but now they’re intercepting people as they’re forming business, where you can actually go onto this service, and form your business, get EINs, get a website domain, get a telephony service, publish your information to Google Maps. And also they’ve added a simplified way to do analytics, a simplified version of spreadsheet, a total mobile solution for CRM finance and action items. Exactly as you might expect.

Daniel Newman: I wasn’t there Pat. I’m looking forward to reading your write up. And of course six of the Futurum group analysts were there. It was great to have such a large team. We are a Zoho user in our organization. Been impressed since day one about this size, scale, and scope of Zoho One, I think the company’s been ambitious with leveraging the power of AI and I’m eager to sort of see how generative AI could play into this. Look, generative AI is going to democratize so much capability inside of operations, and I think this week’s, the IBM story Pat, about them not hiring around gen AI because of AI doing jobs. I think there’s two sides to this story that’s a really important nuance here.

Generative AI is going to, A, help companies be more efficient and stop spending money on things, companies fiduciary responsibilities is not spend money on things that doesn’t have to in order to do business. So hiring for the sake of hiring to just meet the good of hiring is not really good use of productivity. So what we need to do is figure out what that next wave of growth is. So getting rolled out of this should be also part of an additive story about growth. So that’s the second part of this equation that no one seems to quite have their arms around it. What are the growth opportunities that are going to come out of all of this implementation of automation, of generative content, of thought leadership, of applications, workflows?

So a tool like Zoho I would expect on the small to mid-size businesses is going to be an enabler. And of course, how much does this actually take the company into the future into being more able to participate in larger enterprise, which has been something Zoho has been trying to do over the past several years. So I’m looking forward to reading up on everything. I wasn’t there so I can’t add much to what the content was yesterday, but it’s always a good event, and Pat, you and I always appreciate that they come here to Austin to be part of it.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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