thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
Zoho – ready for enterprise prime time? What do customers say?

Zoho – ready for enterprise prime time? What do customers say?

Zoho is well-known as a technology vendor for the SMB market. The company has products that support the whole range from single proprietors to larger companies. This range in itself is remarkable. For some time now, the company is diligently working on moving upmarket and to also support enterprises. This is not in the least, as with a growing customer base, more and more existing customers grow into the enterprise segment. The transition from SMB to enterprise is far from trivial. Sales models change, messaging, consulting approaches, support infrastructure, even the demand for the size and structure of the ecosystem are different in the enterprise sector. So, how does Zoho fare? To find out, I had a conversation with Parl Johnson, “Chief Nerd” at Nuvia Smiles. You can find our complete conversation on YouTube. Interview with Parl Johnson, Chief Nerd at Nuvia Smiles Nuvia Smiles is a dental implant company and currently has 1,500 Zoho seats. The company has more than 30 locations across the United States. Its specialty is to provide a 24-hour turnaround time to get permanent teeth into the patient’s mouth. This way, they do not have to wait long periods of time to get dental replacements. This requires a very rigorous process and having a lab at every location. Decision making is highly decentralized to support this fast process. The challenge with this degree of decentralization is that there are many disconnected applications and with that also very decentralized data. Nuvia Smiles identified 80 different applications with a scope of consolidation across the 30 locations. While this initially facilitates fast growth, it can become a...
Zoholics 24 – exciting news from the Zohoverse

Zoholics 24 – exciting news from the Zohoverse

Zoho’s annual main customer event Zoholics took place in Austin, TX last week. The company presented updates to products and strategy and gave partners the opportunity to present themselves on a big show floor. In parallel to the event, Zoho published some interesting news about product enhancements in four areas, namely security and privacy, CRM for Everyone, collaboration, and platform tools. In addition, Zoho reaffirmed its AI strategy. Of course, CEO Sridhar Vembu set the scene in his usual humble, yet no-nonsense way. He detailed out, why Zoho is truly different. Zoho’s strategy of transnational localism with a clear focus on investing into employees is well known by now, and we see it working. Explaining the strategy with another twist, Vembu laid out five principles that will continue to be essential for every business software vendor to thrive: Investing in a full product portfolio with breadth and depth Offering attractive bundles that have deep value Investing into exceptional service and support Improving interoperability with more prebuilt integrations Getting close to the customer with a strong local partner ecosystem With 55 tightly integrated apps and growing, value-oriented bundles, and a thriving ecosystem, Zoho is certainly on a strong way following these principles. Another topic is the way applications get built by software developers. Vembu compares developers to artisans and postulates that software development will become ten times more efficient with the help of generative AI. The developer’s role will change to become far more one of a scientist, leaving the mundane tasks to the system. This way, the whole development cycle as such changes considerably, also enabling vendors to deliver...
SAP acquires WalkMe – a snap analysis

SAP acquires WalkMe – a snap analysis

The News On June 5, 2024, SAP announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire WalkMe. Walkme is a leader in the digital adoption platform (DAP) market. DAPs are about the elimination of digital friction from workflows to turn the business application tech stack into a competitive advantage. You can read the complete announcement here. WalkMe’s solutions help organizations navigate constant technology change by providing users with advanced guidance and automation features that enable them to execute workflows seamlessly across any number of applications. This results in higher adoption of the underlying application and as such drives value realization. By combining WalkMe with SAP’s earlier acquisitions Signavio and LeanIX, SAP intends to complement its business transformation management portfolio to better help customers through their transformation journeys. According to the press release, WalkMe helps organizations boost enterprise productivity and lower risk by enabling consistent, effective and efficient use of software and the workflows it enables. Its DAP works on top of an organization’s application landscape, detects where people encounter friction and provides the tailored support and automation they need to complete the job to be done, right in the flow of work, across any application. Importantly, WalkMe will continue to fully support non-SAP applications. “Applications, processes, data and people are the four key elements of a successful business transformation,” said Christian Klein, CEO and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE. “By acquiring WalkMe, we are doubling down on the support we provide our end users, helping them to quickly adopt new solutions and features to get the maximum value out of their IT investments.” The acquisition...
Salesforce stock tanks after earnings report – a snap analysis

Salesforce stock tanks after earnings report – a snap analysis

The news On May 29, 2024, Salesforce reported its results for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2025. Highlights are a total quarterly revenue of $9.133bn US, resembling a year-over-year growth of 11 percent a current remaining performance obligation of $26.4bn US a remaining performance obligation of $53.9B US an operating margin of 18.7 percent. Diluted earnings per share of $1.56 The company reported a revenue guidance of $9.2bn – $9.25bn US for the next quarter and a full year guidance of $37.7bn – $38.0bn US, resembling growth rates of 7 – 8 percent and 8 – 9 percent, respectively. With these numbers, Salesforce ended up at the lower end of last quarter’s guidance on the revenue growth side while exceeding the earnings per share projection and slightly lowered the guidance for the fiscal year 2025. The result: The company’s share price dropped from $272 to bottom out at $212. The bigger picture Salesforce is the big gorilla in the CRM and CX industry. The company has surpassed SAP as the biggest business software vendor in the last 18 months. This is largely thanks to the extraordinary growth that Salesforce showed in the past years and secondly because of SAP’s still ongoing transition from an on-premises vendor to become a cloud vendor. All three, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP report a higher cloud application growth. But then, the big games in town are generative AI and infrastructure. All of these companies, including Salesforce, are investing heavily in their own artificial intelligence capabilities in a race to provide superior business applications. Plus, several other ones, including Google and, specialist vendors....
SugarCRM and sales-i reimagine sales intelligence in a sweet move

SugarCRM and sales-i reimagine sales intelligence in a sweet move

The news Today, May 22 2024, SugarCRM and sales-i announced the acquisition of sales-i by SugarCRM. sales-i is leading provider of a revenue intelligence solution that helps businesses maximize their revenue and profitability. It targets at making sales professionals more efficient and effective by providing actionable insight into every customer, product and sale. The acquisition comes nearly a year after Sugar announced a partnership with sales-i to improve business-to-business (B2B) sales performance by delivering AI-powered revenue intelligence that leverages the data of a business’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and CRM. This combination provides businesses with actionable insights that improve sales, marketing, service and support, resulting in greater revenue and higher levels of retention. You can read the full announcement here. The combination of SugarCRM and sales-i combines the detailed transactional data residing in ERP systems with the rich sales data in SugarCRM. According to the release information, his shall create an intelligent data hub enabling customers to successfully execute impactful sales strategies to improv revenue, maximize profitability and increase customer satisfaction. In this combination, sales-i delivers the revenue intelligence, while SugarCRM delivers the CRM data; both of which are needed for a better sales enablement. Together, SugarCRM and sales-i intend to deliver the most innovative intelligent account management solution in the marketplace by utilizing leading edge sales enablement technologies provided by both companies and the rich revenue intelligence capabilities provided by sales-i. The bigger picture The market for CRM and CX solutions is crowded while only few vendors enjoy significant mindshare. And what is more, both terms, CRM and CX, get increasingly fuzzy as many vendors use them...