thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
How to “Zoho-matize” a business

How to “Zoho-matize” a business

During ZohoDay 2022, I had the chance to have a longer conversation with Elie Katz, founder and CEO of National Retail Solutions, NRS. if you do not want to read too much but prefer watching the edited interview, you can do so here. NRS was founded in 2015 and has  since then grown its customer base to more than 17,000 retail stores across the United States. NRS is a part of IDT, a provider of communications and payment services to individuals and businesses. The business provides POS and payment processing software, focusing on small, independent retailers, who want to not only survive but also thrive in a big box environment. The NRS POS system is built to help stores organize, attract customers and increase revenue; it includes a loyalty coupon program and other bells and whistles. An important point is the NRS outside-in philosophy, which is defining its own success as a result of making its customers successful by being able to address their needs. The challenge that Elie, his business, as well as the parent company, needed to support requires quite sophisticated own customer service and sales software; there is a widespread salesforce to be supported along with a good number of very different customers with disparate needs and service requests. The team learned early on that it needed a CRM system. This system was originally supposed to be implemented on a well-known platform – that remains unnamed here. The reason being that it was already being implemented at another branch of IDT. This system needed many third party tools and consequently the implementation dragged along at considerable cost, without showing adequate progress...
Don’t mess with Zoho – A Zohoday 2022 recap

Don’t mess with Zoho – A Zohoday 2022 recap

After spending two days in Austin, TX, attending the ZohoDay 2022, it is time for a little recap of this interesting event.  We were 99 analysts and 24 customers and plenty of knowledgeable Zoho personnel. The incredible Sandra Lo and her team organized the event around open and transparent communication. So, there was plenty of access for us to customers and the Zoho team.  Which was very important, as already the keynote session by founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu was quite hardcore. Vembu talked about how strategy and culture need to be one, how culture needs to be the root of strategy, and how Zoho implements this. The Zoho strategy lies on three main pillars Transnational localism, a unique concept that in its essence is about embedding a company into a local community by not only selling into it but also by investing into it. This investment is e.g., by offering high paying jobs in areas where these are scarce, by fostering local education, but also by own local sourcing including local materials and using sustainable practices when building. That way, these communities become self-reliant. Zoho first introduced this concept in 2020. In essence, Zoho sets up shop outside of centers, in rural areas, in a hub and spoke model. Tightly integrated products that together form a powerful platform to run a complete business. This is counterintuitive to the thought of apps using a common platform to deliver their services.Privacy as a core part of all applications and services, born out of the idea that the need for free flow of data needs to be governed by privacy.  This is a great...
SAP reports its Q2 2022 – A snap Analysis

SAP reports its Q2 2022 – A snap Analysis

The News On July 21, 2022, SAP reported its numbers for the second quarter 2022 and the first half of the business year 2022. In contrast to the last times, I’d like to cover this in written form, as this one is quite interesting and probably takes a bit longer than 5 to 10 minutes. SAP changed the report structure to reflect the common cloud service terminology. It is reporting IaaS, PaaS and SaaS now. The overall cloud revenues increased by 34 percent, with some tailwind by the current weakness of the Euro. The cloud backlog surpassed € 10 bn for the first time, growing at the same pace. S/4HANA Cloud revenue is up by 84 percent, with the backlog even growing at 100 percent. This revenue growth is consistent across the reporting regions. For the first time, SAP broke out PaaS revenues, which came in at € 389 million, up 49 percent yea over year.  Not surprisingly, the profitability went down, which is attributable to loss of business due to the war in Ukraine and unfavorable conditions for SAP Ventures. The bigger Picture The enterprise cloud market is extremely contested. It is a saturated market that is dominated by few vendors that are able to support important parts of or even the complete business value chain. The challenge facing all these vendors is the necessity to scale down into the mid and lower mid-market. This, however, is a region that is covered by smaller vendors with similar aspirations, e.g., Creatio, Freshworks, Hubspot, Odoo, Pega, ServiceNow, SugarCRM, Zendesk or Zoho, to name but a few.  The big vendors in this Clash...
How to create value with a CDP

How to create value with a CDP

These days, Customer Data Platforms, or in brief CDPs, are one of the most discussed topics in the CX industry. Last time I looked, the CDP Institute counted more than 150 CDPs of different flavors that target different business challenges. This raises a lot of questions, chiefly: What is a CDP? Which business challenges do companies solve with a CDP and how do they approach the solution, i.e. how do they proceed implementing one? Let’s start at the beginning. According to the CDP Institute, a CDP is “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems”. Figure 1: A simple model of CDP functionalities Functionalities offered by CDPs reach from simple data gathering and unification to the activation and even active usage of information derived from customer data. This already shows the different business challenges that can be addressed with a CDP. It also shows, that the business challenges can be addressed in a way that provides increasing value to the business. As an aside: A good CDP always bases on a solid foundation of customer identities and the consents that customers have given. The second important question is how a CDP can or should be implemented. What is a viable approach? To learn more about these questions, we spoke with Mario Kurmann, Senior Product Manager CRM at Migros Fachmarkt AG in Switzerland. Mario was responsible for the initial CDP implementation and now for its continuous improvement. Migros is one of Switzerland’s biggest retailers. Fachmarkt, as part of Migros, basically operates five independent brands in the areas of sports, electronics, home improvement, furniture...
Zoho Marketing Plus – How to Change the Marketing Game

Zoho Marketing Plus – How to Change the Marketing Game

 The News On May 10, 2022, Zoho released Zoho Marketing Plus, its suite of marketing solutions. You can read the complete press release here. The suite combines multiple Zoho applications including Campaigns, Social, Webinar, Analytics, Marketing Automation, Workdrive, PageSense, Survey, and Backstage. It shall provide digital marketers with a unified platform of integrated capabilities that help them achieve their objectives more easily through a combination of simplification, integration and embedded collaboration capabilities. Zoho Marketing Plus brings together marketing activities throughout the whole campaign life cycle from ideation through creation, execution to measurement. This allows to manage campaigns and provides the whole marketing organization with a single shared view of information. “Consumers and digital marketing continue to evolve at warp-speed, and marketers are struggling to keep up. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to properly manage multiple campaigns, channels, customer profiles, data, and ROI,” said Mani Vembu, Chief Operating Officer at Zoho. “The complexity of data and personalization at-scale only raises pressure on marketers and CMOs to deliver effective campaigns and revenue. By eliminating redundancies and confusion arising from multiple siloed solutions, Zoho Marketing Plus maximizes productivity and teamwork, allowing marketers to stay nimble and collaborative amid evolving customer needs. When marketers aren’t bogged down by operations, they can deliver creative campaigns that promote meaningful relationships between the brand and customers.“ With Zoho Marketing Plus, Zoho addresses mid-market companies with around 250 to 1,000 employees and a structured marketing organization with a progressively thinking leadership. Early customers show themselves impressed with the breadth of the functionality as well as the support for the end-to-end support that is offered by the platform. Says...