Revamping Your IT Architecture in a Post-COVID World – Futurum Tech Podcast Interview Series

On this special episode of The Futurum Tech Podcast – Interview Series host Daniel Newman welcomes Chandrashekar LSP, Product Evangelist at Zoho to discuss a recent work engagement survey, how COVID-19 has impacted IT architecture and how to revamp your IT architecture with one easy test.

LSP and I explored how COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation. Every company, no matter the industry, was impacted. Most had no choice but to pivot. In the last six months, we’ve seen more digital transformation than the last decade. There has been a tremendous increase in technology adoption as businesses shifted to working from home environments. Zoho specifically saw clients increase productivity and collaboration technology spend to keep business running effectively. In turn, this technology has given companies a new lease on the way to do business.

Zoho’s work engagement survey. LSP shared that in April 2020, Zoho conducted a survey to determine how engaged people are at work. The survey had three parts that covered alignment and leadership competence, employee happiness and satisfaction, and the technology tools that are used in the workplace including the technology strategies that are in place. The survey found that people are happy doing what they do, but companies can improve employee experience when it comes to technology, a telling result for all companies involved.

Silos exist in almost every company. The survey showed many businesses struggle with silos, be it data silos, or technology silos. Too often, companies adopt pieces of technology but do not have the right IT architecture and discipline in maintaining the software. We were experiencing a software creep in IT and marketing until COVID when IT departments had to standardize the technology being used to drive a better customer experience.

Revamping your IT architecture. LSP and I discussed what he calls the four C test to find the right software that fits your company and your needs. The first C is context. Systems need to give seamless context across applications so you can easily jump from one application to another to work on an issue. The second C is continuity. Software needs to be accessible from different devices and different spaces in order to be effective. The third C is convenience. Is the software simple and easy for all employees to use? The final C is collaboration. Is the application or software something that multiple employees can collaborate on at once? Chandrashekar explained that companies could easily justify their tech investments by performing this test.

Zoho’s different approach to business. Lastly, we explored what makes Zoho different from other companies including their stance on privacy. Chandrashekar reiterated that Zoho does not sell any user information and they don’t run ads in their software. That’s a lot of money to sacrifice, but it’s worth it to protect customers. We also examined the breadth and depth that Zoho offers which includes 45 products that can be deployed across an organization to solve almost any problem. Everything is integrated and information is shared across the applications, eliminating silo walls before they can even be created.

If you’d like to learn more about Zoho, their work engagement survey, or any of their products and services, be sure to check out their website. Listen to the full episode below and don’t forget to subscribe to the Futurum Tech Podcast so you never miss an episode.

Disclaimer: The Futurum Tech Podcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this podcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we do not ask that you treat us as such.


Daniel Newman: Welcome to the Futurum Tech Podcast. I’m your host today, Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst, and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. And today we have an interview series in the Futurum Tech Podcast, and I’m really excited to have this conversation. I have Mr. LSP from Zoho and I’ll let him tell you a little bit more about his name because it’s one that you never forget after you meet him.

And I had the chance to meet this gentleman when I was in Austin for the Zoho Analyst Summit, not too long ago, but have a great conversation today. Going to be talking a little bit about the transformative impacts of COVID-19, how businesses are recovering, evolving, changing, and getting ready for what’s next, but without further ado, LSP, welcome to the podcast. How are you doing today?

LSP: Daniel, thank you for having me on the show. I’m doing very well and it’s been interesting. Let’s put it that way. It’s been interesting days, months, and weeks.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, it really has. And when you and I talked online for a few minutes before the podcast, it’s kind of like, we’re all asking each other different questions about sort of the state of the state and Canada has done pretty well. Of course, it’s had some flare ups and issues with the Coronavirus and its impact. The US is a really sort of bizarre anomaly because we’re one country, but we were literally like 50 countries when it comes to policies. And actually when you start thinking about different cities and mayoral impacts, the 50 starts to become exponential too, which means depending on where you are in the country, you can have a completely different life experience going on. We’ll talk more about that momentarily, but I want to kick off the podcast because I met you in Austin. I remember the conversation with you. I remember Sandra Lo, the Analyst Relations Head making the introduction to LSP. And I said, “It’s really interesting.” I mean, it’s unforgettable, but it’s… Got to tell me if you don’t mind sharing-

LSP: Oh, not at all.

Daniel Newman: How did LSP become a name? And then of course, tell everybody a little bit about what you do at Zoho, because you do a lot of things, and Zoho, by the way, as a cool company in the sense of titles are there, but they really aren’t something that the people at Zoho focus much on.

LSP: Well, let’s start off with the name part. My first name is Chandrasekhar. My last name Lalapet Srinivas Prasanna. And when you say LSP, you’re basically abbreviating my last name and it is something pretty common back home in India where I grew up. When you have long names, they abbreviate you and they just make it your initials. So LSP is my initial, LSP is my abbreviated form of my last name.

Coming back to what I do for Zoho. Well, this is a company that I’ve been associated for the last 19 or 20 years now. Started my career as a software developer over time, did a lot of things as you rightly said. There is no limits in Zoho. The things that you want to do. You put your hands up and there’s things to be done. So you get to do a lot of things and have fun. As such, title-wise I go out as an Evangelist, but I do a lot of analysts relationship. And also press and media here in Canada, and also responsible for the marketing activities for Zoho in Canada.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, it’s a big, great mix. Like I said, I remember talking to you and kind of thinking in any other company, that role probably wouldn’t exist, but that’s kind of what makes Zoho neat because it’s a just, everything’s just a little different. We’ll actually talk more about that in the show here today. But you know, I sort of alluded to this in the beginning of our conversation.

I’m going to start off talking a little bit about Coronavirus, COVID-19. I’m sure everybody out there is a little tired of this discussion, but at the same time, it’s an important one. We’re trying to balance, how do we find the important parts of this discussion, because it is still here. It has made major impacts on our business. We used to meet each other in person. Now we’re doing all of our work on Zoom and on video. We used to go around and see customers. We had attended events. We used to have customers walk into the retail front doors of stores. If that was your business or manufacturing plants, everything’s different. But part of this everything’s different COVID-19 is really been a accelerator for business and digital transformation. So I’d want to ask you at a macro level. How do you feel that the pandemic has impacted business and technology adoption?

LSP: First off, Daniel, truly this has been accelerating digital transformation in big and mighty ways as such, Corona is a COVID-19 took us all by surprise. Every sector be it travel, be it hospitality, be it retail got hit. And the choices that were present to business were either to adapt pivot to new way of doing business and remain relevant using technology. So for example, a case in point is Hyatt. What did Hyatt do? Well, they basically turned a lot of their properties into coworking spaces. Think about restaurants, any restaurant that did not go on a food aggregator literally perished, because there was no way to survive because there were these lock downs there, nobody coming up, showing up and the restaurants and the business was going bust. Now, coming to Zoho. What did we see? As you know, Zoho has over 45 different business applications, Cloud based business solutions that we offer.

We saw a tremendous surge and adoption of these technologies. Be it remote workplace, because all of a sudden you’re no longer working in the office. You’re living at work, right? Or work from home as some people call it. But clearly you needed tools to be more effective and you needed tools that could make you productive. So we saw big surge in productivity and collaboration speed up software that we offer.

Then looking at marketing. Right, it became even more important for you to adopt a good system to keep in touch with your customers. Because hey, you know what? The writing was on the wall. The choices that were in front of business were pretty binary, adapt or perish. Clearly we have seen at Zoho initially we thought there’s going to be a drop in spending on software, because we felt hey, what are people going to do with business software when business itself is affected. But interestingly people adapted. People started adopting more technology, for example, a lot more mom and pop and boutique retail stores now have an eCommerce store simply because that’s the only way for them to survive. So technology has given a lot of businesses, a fresh lease on life. And so we are seeing that. And Zoho has been in the front and central of this particular adoption.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. There is so much everything you said, you could almost go industry by industry. And there’s two sides of that coin. There’s the coin side, where if you had a certain set of digital and business transformation activities that are underway and you accelerated them, you may have done better. There’s restaurants that actually did better. There’s retailers that they’re e-commerce exploded and they had minimal disruption. And then concurrently, right. Concurrently there were businesses that looked rock solid that just weren’t ready. And then it transformed too slowly. I call them the Kodaks right. The companies that had a great model made a lot of money didn’t want to necessarily pivot from that business or hadn’t started pivoting. And this was like an overnight destroyer of those kinds of companies.

LSP: See, everybody’s comfortable maintaining the status quo. And something like this happens, something like COVID-19 happens. People are just shaken beyond belief in terms of what do they need to do? I mean, there is a lot of result in terms of how people have reacted to this. Especially small business owners. I mean it’s, large businesses they have enough to survive. But small business owners, the way they have managed to kind of deal with this and tight this. At least they’ve been trying to tight this. Right. It’s been a very interesting study in terms of what 10 years of all analysts and all vendors trying to talk about digital transformation. In the last seven months, we have seen more digital transformation. Then as an industry, as windows and analysts, we have seen the last decade, I would say.

Daniel Newman: I did a keynote for one of the world’s largest SI’s. And I actually said, I think we’ve seen 10 years in 10 weeks for some of them it’s everything in between. For some companies, like I said, they were already on the path. This was just literally, maybe you put your foot down on the gas. And you had some companies, like I said, they had been riding the brake, proverbially speaking. I had been sort of resisting it, but this didn’t put those companies out. Those companies were already in the wrong direction. The thing was, if this was the moment that all of us.

I’ve written seven books on digital transformation and the future of work. And I’ve been saying, this was going to happen, not this. But I’ve been saying that there will be this pivotal moments that will decide the future of companies. And this was one that, unfortunately it wasn’t a small disruption, like an Uber disrupting taxis. This was a global disruption that impacted every business. I’m sure we could talk about this forever, but I want to talk to you about a survey that you recently worked on with Zoho.

You pulled a bunch of end users about their systems and by the way, we do something similar. I’m really excited to hear your thoughts on this. About their systems, about how they basically feel about technology and how well their systems are keeping up with their business needs. Share a little bit about what your initial findings and takeaway were from the survey you did.

LSP: Sure. In around April 2020, we partnered with Beagle Research Corporation to do a survey. And the goal of the survey at the outset, was to understand how engaged people are at work. So this was a survey to understand employee engagement. And to understand this, we thought of three important areas that we need to focus on. The first one was alignment and competence, where we basically had the respondents talk to us about what, if they are aligned with their leadership. Then we also ask them about how competent they think their leadership is. That was the first part.

The second part was the employee engagement from the standpoint of, how happy are they at their work? Do they feel a sense of pride in what they’re doing? So really what they feel about their work. The third part of the study was to understand if the technology and the tools that they have to do their work is effective, if it is bringing them the productivity gains that you would want to see from a technology plan.

These were the three things that we wanted to understand. Once we have the results in, and again, to kind of give you the bigger picture we had over 509 participants from North America and US and from Canada and US by and large. And all these users are the people, the respondents were essentially people in non-managerial and non executive roles. We really wanted to understand what it was out there for the people on the frontline, so to speak.

The results were quite interesting. For example, if you look at what they felt about their leadership on their alignment and competence. 63% of the respondents agree that their leadership is competent, and that they can align their work with the business. Over 69% of the respondents love doing their job and they take pride in what they are doing. This was on the alignment and the engagement side.

When we cross over to the technology aspect of the study, the survey revealed basically that 90% of the respondents are the navel to get a three 60 degree view of their business. 88% of the respondents feel it takes too long to build systems for their use. I have to drill down a little bit more here, because we surveyed companies of all sizes, not just large enterprises. We looked at small, medium and large enterprises, and the summary is staggering across the board in respect of the size of the company.

The sentiments were similar, but you could drill down. For example, if you really wanted to get down to the next level and see, hey, what does the sales department in an organization with more than 2000 people feel about the technology? You would see that sales and marketing would have a different view or different response, but the overall message was loud and clear. People are happy doing what they do, if there is one area that businesses can look in to improve in employee experience it is technology. So that to me, just doing the exercise of understanding the whole thing was a fascinating experience.

Daniel Newman: It’s one of those things too LSP, that you feel pretty sure as you’re doing this research, that these answers are going to come somewhat directionally this way. I think it’s anecdotal in the role you’re in, you talk to people all the time, and part of the reason that you win business, that you win. And that’s something we’ve learned as we researched Zoho, is that there’s a lot of small and midsize companies where you’re really specialized. These companies find it too hard to deploy technology. They find too many fragmented tools. The tech isn’t, the business, it’s an enabler of the business, and they want that support. It doesn’t surprise me, but at the same time that consistent validation in years and years of digital transformation. I wrote my first book that was specifically targeted on what was driving digital transformation in the experience economy, it’s called Building Dragons.

And we were talking about this five, six years ago that tech was too hard. That wasn’t even all that cutting edge then, and so even then for 10 more years and 20. You know what I’m saying? As we’ve continued to evolve technology, we’ve made a lot of great progress, but at the same time, making it easy is still something that is kind of the ultimate, it’s the elegance. It’s the ultimate sophistication is making it easy and it’s actually hard.

So following up on all that research, one of the areas that I noticed as I kind of sifted through the report and the data was that, companies are also beyond getting used to using their systems. They’re really struggling getting that full view of the customer. And so we’re hearing more from across the software and data stack about things like customer data, platforms and 360 customer views. And those sound great.

Theoretically, every company needs one, but it’s hard. And it seems to me from the research that’s really hard and there’s too many silos, too many tools and customers are struggling to build the types of relationships. How do you interpret that? What was your first thought as you sort of looked through that data?

LSP: When I looked at it right, my first thoughts were about. Okay, people talk about customer experience as the top. It’s a buzz word. It’s something that everybody talks about, but clearly a three 60 degree view of customer is one aspect. But then a three 60 degree view of business is even more important. As a business why do we need technology as you just attested earlier? It’s about you being able to do work.

It’s an enabler. So being about customers or vendors or employees today, systems lack context. Now, if you try to peel the layers here, why the systems lack context, why do we even have data silos to begin with? I think it really goes back to one of the interesting aspects of Cloud, where Cloud has made software a commodity. And what this has done, the falling prices of software essentially has broken down barriers for shadow ITs.

So depending on which team, which organization, which location you are at, you make a choice about the communication chat platform that you want to use. It could be a platform from Zoho. It could be from Google, or it could be from Slack. This is a very simple example about chat platform that an organization can have, and you can have multiple chat platforms exist. In the same way what happens is, over time these shadow ITs essentially start accumulating and you start having silos. And once you have the silos, then the challenge is how do you bring the data across these applications together to make sense for my business? So the conundrum are the challenge that businesses face are the best of breed or an integrated system. We all know that best of breed you essentially end up with having to put a lot of money for the upkeep, for the maintenance, for the integration part.

The other aspect of challenge that a lot of integration systems also bring in, even if you have the right architecture and the discipline to go with an integrated platform, they are not customizable. They are just it’s, you basically have to adapt or adopt the process that the tool can support and not the other way around. You need tools that can adapt or adopt your business process. But the challenge with integrated systems is also such stark. You are pigeonholed into a certain way of running a business and that doesn’t scale things have changed and it doesn’t work that way. For example, I also did some detailed analysis of why do we have data silos? Interestingly enough, Cloud has played an important role as alluded to earlier. For example, 76% of CIOs is don’t know about Cloud spending, 76%, 86% of Cloud applications, represent unsanctioned shadow IT in large organizations.

There’s a complete study on shadow IT and its impact and the cost and the pitfalls of shadow IT. But clearly this is where a lot of data silos get erected, because you hear about a business that gets funded. You see them on Hacker Noon, you see them on VentureBeat, you see them in Crunchbase. Guess what? You have five people in a company starting to use that tool. And it’s so cheap. It’s like five bucks a month or eight bucks a month for two users. And you start having these data piling up all information. That’s like you said, at the beginning of this conversation, data is gold, right? And we are basically creating gold mines all over the place. And we are just not taking or having the right rigor and discipline in maintaining an IT architecture that you can pursue.

Daniel Newman: It’s very interest too. I had a recent conversation with Business Insider about Slack, and they were asking some questions to me about earnings related to Slack. We don’t need to talk about that here. But the part about Slack that was interesting to me was, why had Slack not grown at the same clip as Zoom or Microsoft teams and all these other products grew and Zoho grew? In fact, then I’ll let you talk about what, because I know you guys are private, so you don’t always share. So I’m using, I’m only referencing those companies because they’re public. So there’s a much bigger… But my point was, they were asking these questions.

I said, you mentioned the shadow IT thing. And I said, when there was kind of this unlimited software creep going on in organizations, in IT and marketing, there was no alignment. Software was growing in every area, but it wasn’t necessarily about standardization. It was just about the fact that people were using tech widely in adopting it, because it was either free ware or freemium models or very low cost they swipe a credit card. And then what happened with COVID though was, companies had to standardize on remote meetings. They had to standardize on certain, some shadow it tools. And all of a sudden company’s were like, well we’re not going to use Zoom, Slack, and Webex Teams and Microsoft. You know what I mean? They were like, we can… And so what happened was that you saw growth, but there was some limitations. I think IT started actually reeling things in a little bit about how software crept throughout the organization.

LSP: Absolutely. And in fact, I think it’s so important, right? Like I said, it’s about IT architecture. It’s about rigor and discipline, and it’s an iterative process because your business evolves. It’s not a point in time decision. These are decisions that need to be looking at where you want to go. What is your service architecture? What is your product architecture? What is your enterprise, IT architecture? The architecture goes, it creeps into every aspect of your decision making, where what does your support architecture look like? What does, what, what tools do you need from a sales, marketing and support standpoint to address all your customer needs? What tools and technologies do you need internally to keep your employees happy, so that you drive better customer experience. Because clearly there is no CX without UX. So it really comes down to creating great employee experience and that in turn will create a lasting customer experience.

Daniel Newman: Absolutely. It’s something that’ll be interesting to watch as we come out of this. We saw a huge rise in privacy concerns. I did a great podcast with one of your cohorts earlier on that topic. We’ve seen a big rise in security threats and breaches. And what I guess I’m saying is that’s all been driven by the work from home economy. Things like VPN, not being a great secure way to work from home, at scale it worked when you were occasionally doing it, but when it became every day for every right, that was a huge problem. So we’ve seen the proliferation of things like software defined WAN and such, but that takes time to deploy at scale for companies. And again, so security has brought a lot of pressure. So it’s maybe even caused a little bit of a rambling of the number of software tools being used. The point, especially spent money off meaning things that weren’t free as companies were looking to get rid of unnecessary costs at any sort of level during the beginning of pandemic.

So I’ve got a couple of questions left for you really appreciate the time. That was a great discussion. Thank you, Zoho for being part of this event. So as we look through all the findings and you’ve given some great data points. I’m curious as a company like Zoho, who’s grown fast, still a little bit more unknown than some of the more known big software names are the ones I mentioned earlier. You guys are very close though, to your customers. You’re very close because you work with so many SMBs, intimately, you’ve got 45 plus products that you deploy across the organization. How are you actually looking at these findings, and helping your companies employ systems that are more usable and friendly, and platforms that enable the wide swap of data to be successfully put, to use, to deliver better customer experience? Kind of where do you start? I mean, obviously I know you could take an hour to answer this question, but in a few minutes, I’m just kind curious. How are you going through this exercise?

LSP: Yeah, absolutely. It’s a very interesting question. And depending on where you are as a business, if you’re a greenfield versus a business with technology debt in place and all these things, the answer will change. But overall right, I think if anybody be it greenfield or an existing business, if they are looking at new technologies or new ways to kind of revamp their IT architecture, I think applying the Zoho four C test as I call it is going to be important. So for example, the first C, the Zoho CCCC test, I call it the first, C the context. See the outcome of work is essentially to get things done and to get things done you need context. For example, you receive an escalation, let’s say you are a sales manager. You receive an escalation from your top customer saying that there’s been a support or an incident that has not been rectified and it’s been pending too long.

So the first thing you do is okay from your email, you just have to jump to another application, your ticketing system to look at, okay, who’s been working on this and then you want to initiate a conversation and then get back. Just imagine if you can do that seamlessly, from your email you get the email, you have the ticket ID. And from there, you automatically hop on to your ticketing system, where you look at the person with the support agent who has worked on it. And from there, right, click start a chat or audio visual call and get an update on what’s happening and respond. Having that context where information is passed across the systems is critical. Look for systems that give you seamless context across applications.

The second C stands for continuity. For example, let’s say I’m working on a marketing plan. I may start that out on a Sunday night, watching TV on my iPad. I start a document in my Word processor that I talk about my marketing plan for the next quarter. And then Monday morning, I go into my office. I open my laptop. I’m going to have access to the exact same document. And I start working on it. Once it’s completed, I’m going to be posting it into my enterprise social network. So clearly the idea is you jump from devices, you jump from work jumps across different spaces. Like it could be devices, it could be time, it could be geography, but then the idea is work goes where you go. And then you’re able to complete the task that is on hand.

The third one is convenience. Look for systems that are simple to use. You hear a lot of buzzwords around AI, as long as AI is going to help you to be more productive, reduce the number of clicks, reduce the number of application hops that you have to do. Get the job done. You know, look for systems like that.

And the last C is collaboration. Work is a team sport more so now than ever before. It’s no longer logging into a physical building and saying, I’m going to meet Daniel to get my job done. Daniel is in Chicago, live with it. LSB lives in Montreal. We have to work together. This particular podcast is a great example. You are where you are. We’re still doing what we have to do. The tools have to enable us to do that. Yes, you wanted to do a podcast. Great, here we are having this conversation on a conferencing platform, and there we go. Clearly look for all these things to be available. For example, the chat conversation that you had with your colleague should be available in the context of, let’s say your invoicing application. So look for systems that are built on the same framework. This is a test that you could apply for any application, the CCCC context, continuity, convenience, and collaboration. I think this is one way to look at how you would build a cat.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, I think that’s great. And I think that’s very helpful. And of course we see the way companies try to break down validate, justify, support tech investments as increasingly important, yet complex. And so as you work with these smaller middle, and of course, Zoho has enterprise customers as well. It really is a matter of building systems that enable those systems to be embraced fully, utilized and drive returns. Because like I said, except for those of us in tech, most of these businesses do something else. And so it’s important that the tech supports that something else. And that brings me into my last question. And you kind of started with the four it’s four Cs, right? I just want to make sure I got that right.

LSP: That’s right four Cs.

Daniel Newman: So you’ve kind of talked about the four Cs, but I am interested in, Zoho has this kind of uniqueness to it. And I’ve talked about it a little bit throughout, but I talked to advise work with a lot of software companies. Zoho is just a different animal and it’s really kind of cool. Every time I meet people the passion that you share for the business, the excitement it’s really positive. And the company really touts that. It says we have a different approach than other software vendors. Talk a little bit about how your different approach. So you’ve got the four Cs, you’ve got this unique approach. How are you yielding better short and longterm results, especially given everything that’s going on in the world? I’ll make this, the last question I promise.

LSP: Daniel there’s one thing that we strongly believe in. Zoho is a longterm company. Zoho is a longterm company for its employees. Zoho is a longterm investment and a longterm company for our customers who have invested in us. I think that’s how I would basically start. In terms of the company itself, probably you know this Daniel, that Zoho was started 24 years ago, 1996. We started building product right from day one. First off, we went in the telco space. Then we moved to enterprise IT. 2005, we came into the business software landscape offering Cloud based solutions. Does that make us different? No, that’s not what I’m trying to say. What makes us different is the philosophy. The stand that we have taken, for example, a very important topic today is privacy. Right from the word go we said, “we will not sell customer information to anybody.” When you come and sign up for even the premium plan of all the products.

So all the 45 applications have a premium offer. If you come and sign up, even for a premium offer, we did not sell your information. Your information belongs to you. Next, we don’t do any ads. Even again, coming back to the premium product. Back in 2005, we took a policy decision saying we will not do ads. And to date, we have been able to survive. We’ve been able to sustain. It may look odd with all the 15 million customers, 15 million users across all the applications. There is a lot of money that others would have milked, but we decided and we said no to that. And we stick to our guns.

The third aspect that I think is definitely unique is the breadth and the depth, meaning we are both the best of breed and an integrated system. And we are committed to that cause of being the operating system for business. For example, we have a customer relationship management application that stands on its own leg, that has got tremendous amount of debt. Now, if you want a CX platform, we have the CRM combining with the marketing automation application and the social media marketing application and support application, and giving you a 360 degree view of the customer interactions or customer signals that you have in your business. In the same way, the entire 45 applications are packaged in what we call Zoho One. And the idea is everything gets integrated. Everything gets context by the virtue of the fact that every application has its own debt. And the information is shared across these applications. Meaning as a business, you can start off with something as small as CRM. And as you grow your business, let’s say you get to a point where you have enough customers and you need to invest in a customer support software.

Guess what? You can just turn on that dial or the knob add on that help desk ticketing to the CRM system. Then, hey, you want to do marketing automation done another dialogue. We grow with the business while maintaining depth at each and every product level, being a best of breed in its own space. We also have an integrated story that we have, that we have focused on. This is something, this is our vision. This is something that we have been working on. A few years ago we released Silver One and that story continues. There’s a lot of work to be done and we are focused, and we will do it.

Daniel Newman: That passion is a great way to wrap this up LSP. And by the way, thank you for spending all this time. Went a little long, even a couple of minutes longer than I usually like to go. But gosh, so much good insights here. Second of all, as if I said a first, congratulations on all the success. The company’s stability and its ability to be supportive to its clients during this really challenging time. I’ve watched this across the industry. I’ve been very encouraged by Tech and Tech’s big investment in supporting their customers and Zoho you as an organization have certainly been part of that story. With that in mind though, I’ve got to let you go.

LSP: Thank you very much Daniel. One last thing I’d like to add something that we probably did not cover and maybe we may not cover, is the standup we also took as an organization to do the emergency subscription waiver program for all businesses that had 25 or fewer employees. We just waived out their subscription fees. We made the remote workplace bundle available free of cost for organizations of any size until November. Again, these are, these are things that we feel strongly about because these small businesses, small and medium businesses help establish Zoho. This is Sridhar’s way or Zoho’s way of saying thank you to all those people who supported us. The pandemic has brought in a lot of different character out across the board. I’m not just talking about Zoho, but across, like you said, the tech landscape, the way they have reacted collectively, I think it’s been good overall.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. Congratulations again, thank you for bringing that point out, because I think it is really important. I’ve watched so many great moves and that was a big move. Small medium businesses are certainly the ones hit the hardest by this pandemic. So every little way that a company could jump in support, provide better cashflow and tools for those businesses to stay on their game, stay successful. And obviously those companies will have I’m sure, very, very significant loyalty on the backside of this pandemic.

So LSP, Zoho, thank you so much for being part of this podcast. I got to say goodbye for now, but for everyone out there that enjoyed this show, check out the show notes. I’ll put some links into that study that we referenced earlier in the show. We’ll get some links that you can learn a little bit more about Zoho as a company, definitely been one that I’ve been tracking, but very interested in watching. Hit that subscribe button. Stay part of our community for the future of tech podcast, with tons of great executives from across the industry that join us here just like LSP. But for now, Futurum Tech Podcast Interview Series, it’s time to say goodbye. I’ll see you later.

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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