Zoholics Austin: Behind the Scenes with BSP

-17 June 2024-

As BSP’s Operations Coordinator, I had the incredible opportunity to attend Zoholics 2024 in Austin. Having previously attended Zoholics in Austin and Toronto, I was eager to see what this year had in store. This was my third Zoholics event, and I’ve witnessed its rapid evolution. The past events were fantastic, providing valuable insights and networking opportunities. However, Zoholics- Austin 2024 was on another level entirely. As Raju Vegesna, Zoho’s Chief Evangelist, stated, this was the largest Zoholics event in the country, and it certainly felt that way. The sheer number of breakout sessions, the wealth of information, and the expanded exhibitor participation made this year’s event truly exceptional.

Inspiring Keynotes

The event began with a series of powerful keynotes from Zoho’s top executives. Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho, gave an inspiring speech that set the tone for the event. His humility and vision for the future of Zoho were truly motivating. Sridhar highlighted that Zoho remains one of the few companies with 15,000 employees that is still privately held and has zero debt on its balance sheet. He emphasized Zoho’s commitment to privacy, stating that privacy is a fundamental human right and the company does not monetize user data, a stance I deeply applaud.

Raju Vegesna, Chief Evangelist, provided a detailed overview of Zoho’s product portfolio. He discussed Zoho’s approach of using their products to run their business, which allows them to identify and address any shortcomings. This philosophy has led to the development of new solutions like Zoho Backstage. This year, the entire Zoholics event was managed using Zoho Backstage, which streamlined the experience for both attendees and exhibitors. The Zoholics app, integrated with Backstage, made networking effortless, with contact information automatically stored and sessions easily discoverable based on interests and usage levels.

In his keynote, Raju focused on four main areas: Artificial Intelligence, Collaboration and Activity, Privacy and Security, and Platform Tools. These themes highlighted Zoho’s commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions that meet the evolving needs of businesses.

Informative Sessions

The variety and depth of breakout sessions this year were truly impressive. We attended numerous sessions that deepened our expertise in Zoho’s suite of tools. Each session was packed with actionable insights and strategies to drive business growth and efficiency. Notably, Senior Engineer Jacob Segura and Senior Evangelists Travis Compton and Taylor Backman gave particularly engaging sessions, sharing their deep knowledge and practical tips. The knowledge gained from these sessions is invaluable and will enable us to better serve our clients.

Networking Opportunities

Networking at Zoholics Austin was unparalleled. We connected with professionals across various industries and departments within Zoho. These interactions allowed us to exchange ideas, discuss best practices, and explore potential collaborations. Additionally, our team had the pleasure of attending a dinner hosted by the Zoho Books team, with other partners in attendance. We enjoyed amazing Austin, Texas BBQ, and insightful conversations, further strengthening our relationships and expanding our professional network.

Exciting Product Announcements

One of the highlights of Zoholics 2024 was the exclusive previews of upcoming features and products. Zoho’s announcements showcased their relentless pursuit of innovation. Among these was the introduction of “Zoho CRM for Everyone,” a set of new capabilities aimed at making CRM accessible for all customer-facing teams. This initiative enables various departments such as sales, marketing, and customer service to work seamlessly together within the CRM application, enhancing coordination and customer experience.

Key features of Zoho CRM for Everyone include:

  • Unified Communication: Sales teams can coordinate with other departments directly from the CRM, streamlining processes like product demos and win-loss analyses.
  • Team Modules: Business teams can create customized data modules, governed by IT, to manage their specific workflows.
  • Requester Profile: Team members can raise and track requests across departments, improving visibility and collaboration.
  • Refreshed User Experience: The CRM interface has been redesigned for better usability and accessibility, accommodating various user needs.

Additionally, Zoho introduced several exciting features included with Zia, Zoho’s AI assistant:

  • Summarizing Notes of an Account in CRM: Zia can now provide concise summaries of account notes, making it easier to quickly understand customer history.
  • Understanding Customer Sentiment in CRM: Zia analyzes customer interactions to gauge sentiment, helping teams address issues proactively.
  • Reply Assistance for Tickets in Desk: Zia offers suggested replies for customer support tickets, improving response times and consistency.
  • Reply Assistance for Reviews in Publish: Zia aids in crafting responses to reviews, ensuring that customer feedback is acknowledged promptly and professionally.

These are just some of the features introduced at Zoholics Austin. There are many other enhancements and new capabilities that Zoho is rolling out, all designed to improve productivity and streamline workflows. We are excited to see how these developments will impact our clients and the broader business community.

Key Moments and Personal Reflections

There were several standout moments for me at Zoholics Austin. The event concluded with an open house Q&A session with Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu. This open dialogue format speaks volumes about the company he runs and its commitment to transparency and engagement

I was also surrounded by a great team, including our Chief Technology Officer, Youness Outlou, and our General Manager, Denis Carrier. Their wealth of Zoho knowledge and their presence made Zoholics even more enjoyable and enriching. Their insights and camaraderie added tremendous value to the experience.

Zoholics Austin was a transformative experience. From inspiring keynotes and informative sessions to unparalleled networking opportunities and exciting product announcements, this event showcased the best of what Zoho has to offer. As we continue to leverage these insights and innovations, we are more equipped than ever to deliver top-notch solutions to our clients.

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