thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
Zoho Creator – the next wave of collaborative no-code/low-code development

Zoho Creator – the next wave of collaborative no-code/low-code development

The News On March 3, 2022 Zoho released the new version of its Creator no-code/low-code platform. It offers a unified development platform to empower both IT teams and business users.  The new release is targeted at building end-to-end solutions in an easy way. It combines integration, process automation and analytics/business intelligence with the ability to build applications and offers application management capabilities needed to manage security, compliance and governance. Along with the built-in collaboration features it allows for a tight collaboration between business- and IT users. The bigger picture About a year ago I wrote a first article on no-code and low-code platforms, based upon the realization that the ongoing digitalization and necessity for business agility in fast changing environments require more than traditional developer support. At that time I cautioned that business users should not just be allowed to do everything without governance in order to avoid another “Lotus Notes moment”. Since then the world moved on.  No-code and low-code have become an indispensable part of the business applications world. They are critical to the fast adaptation of business applications and process automation across business applications. This is a task that is traditionally handled by IT departments. These, however, are regularly understaffed to be able to fulfil all the operations and enhancements demands that are on their desks.  To achieve this, no code and low code platforms need to support both, IT departments as well as the business departments. This means that they need to straddle a considerable gap. Typically, no-code and low-code platforms concentrated on either business users or IT departments. The latter are not really useful for IT departments as they...
The Clash of Titans – The Great 2021 Players

The Clash of Titans – The Great 2021 Players

The year 2021 comes to an end. More than three years have gone by since the last look at the Clash of Titans, an analysis of how the then big 4.5: Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, and Adobe – along with some other players, are shaping the greater CRM and CX arena. A lot has changed since Thomas Wieberneit published his 2018 series that consisted of 4 articles: Platform PlayMicrosoft and SAP weigh inThe War Cry: Oracle and SalesforceThe IaaS Platform Providers It is obvious that the commoditization of the business application continues, and the vendors’ focus on the underlying platform has even increased since 2018. CRM, and enterprise software in general, has always been a platform play although this has not always been recognized and sometimes even negated. Two obvious reasons for it being a platform play is that the creation of positive customer and user experiences needs a consistent technical platform, or we end up with engagements that are fragmented across interactions. This results in inconsistent and poor experiences. The second reason is that it needs a technological platform to enable and grow a thriving ecosystem. Vinnie Mirchandani in January 2020 stated that Enterprise Software Platforms have so far underperformed. Mirchandani looked at Microsoft, SAP and Salesforce. He basically argues, without providing too many details, that the major enterprise software vendors’ platforms are all lacking ambitious goals and do not aim high enough. One of his major points is that none of these vendors has put enough emphasis in empowering, nurturing and growing their respective partner ecosystems to take advantage of the software platforms by augmenting the applications delivered by the platform vendor...
You are a platform player? How to not be doomed!

You are a platform player? How to not be doomed!

These days every significant software vendor and some others, too, is positioning itself as a CX- and/or a platform player. By now, it is well known, what it means to be a platform player, and this is also not the main topic of this post. Just as much: In order to be a significant CX player, one quite simply needs to be a platform player.  Also, regardless of whether one has a platform or not, if everyone is a CX and a platform player, then obviously this is nothing that differentiates one vendor from the other anymore. Customers meanwhile nearly expect a set of solutions by one vendor being built upon one platform – or at least to appear like they are built on one platform. This basically means that “platform” as a thing to emphasize on has reached its zenith. And then, there is an additional problem associated with the platform game. A platform market is a kind of a winner takes it all market. Following the analysis and argumentation of Ray Wang in his new book Everybody Wants to Rule the World, in a platform market there will be only two major players. All other players are becoming insignificant or will vanish. While this sounds somewhat dystopian the point that I want to make is that there will not be a great many successful and strong players in a platform market. To use a metaphor, at one point in time a few vendors will have created enough gravity to become the entity that customers are attracted to. It is also visible that the first vendors have understood this and are acting...
Zoho One – The Operating System for Business

Zoho One – The Operating System for Business

Zoho is a privately-owned technology company that was founded in 1996 as Adventnet, Inc. and has quietly evolved into an ambitious global player that serves the SMB and enterprise markets with cloud applications. The company offers a suite of more than 50 business, collaboration and productivity applications. These include applications for CRM, project management, finance, human resource management, analytics and support.  The company is headquartered in Chennai, India. It has eleven offices in India, five in the United States and has offices in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Singapore, China, Egypt, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands. Offices in France and Germany are in preparation. Zoho has more than 10,000employees as of mid-2021. It is present in 180 countries with more than 70 million users. Zoho is led by its co-founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu. Being a privately held company, Zoho is not obliged to, and does not publish revenue or profit numbers. However, the company indicates a track record of profitable growth that is well in the double digits. The company manages its growth organically, i.e. without acquisitions. All applications are built by Zoho, using one single hard- and software stack. They are deployed and delivered via Zoho owned data centers in the United States, Europe, India, China and Australia. Following this unique approach, the company has built a solid platform with a unified data model that allows it to grow and deliver software at high speed. Core values of Zoho include corporate self-determination, privacy as a principle and a commitment to delivering high value. Zoho One Zoho aspires to deliver the operating system of a business with the goal of driving customers’ margins by unifying business operations on one single technology platform. The most important part...
Zohonomics: How to make a difference by creating resources

Zohonomics: How to make a difference by creating resources

What does it take to make a company sustainably successful? Why is it so important to combine the global and the local view? And what is Zohonomics about? The CRMKonvos team had the chance to discuss with Vijay Sundaram, Chief Strategy Officer at Zoho about these topics – and some more. As one of very few global companies, Zoho has made it its strategy to not build locations in tier one centres, but to go to smaller towns. According to Vijay, this is highly beneficial. The company is also doing some other things different. As one example, Zoho does not look at resources as something that is constrained, but as something that can and needs to be created! Another interesting view is the one on core competencies? What are they? And why? Will they stay static? What to do if one does not have a competency? Why does all this matter? Vijay explains this in the CRMKonvo.  tl&dr? The CRMKonvo is totally worthwhile following. In case you want a shorter version of some key aspects: Vijay Sudaram explains Zohonomics and how the avoidance of fads in favour of sustainable principles is beneficial....