01 Jul Is ZOHO a good fit for BIG business?
I’ve spent a much of my career as a Consultant helping large and global organisations implement CRM solutions on platforms such as Oracle, Siebel and Salesforce.
More recently I’ve partnered with ZOHO, a vendor that most folks consider a solution for small or mid-sized companies.
So, what’s the difference between CRM solutions for Enterprises vs. SMEs?
In my view, vendors that market to SMEs generally offer ‘packaged’ or ‘off the shelf’ applications that:
- Can be purchased on a relatively low budget
- Are relatively simple to set up, usually requiring no more than a few days
- Offer a suite of standard CRM functions that most users expect ‘out of the box’
- Ideally provide some customisation capabilities (although typically quite limited)
- Are accessible on both desk and mobile devices through a web browser
- Include core functionality to control use access and privacy
There are a plethora of vendor choice available for SMEs, some of which are actually free to start with, but most cost anything between £10-£40 (per user per month).
However, larger organisations need and demand more:
1. Platform: Although deemed as ‘packages’, enterprise scale CRM solutions are served on a native ‘platform’ which offers multiple, and natively integrated applications
2. Scalability: The application, its underlying infrastructure and data model can seamlessly scale with changes in an organisation’s business (which can often be complex and significant)
3. Flexibility: The application offers advanced capabilities that enable changes, extensions and modifications to be made to support an organisations’ evolving functional requirements – in terms of data, workflow/processes, reports, security, system and user interfaces
4. Breadth: The platform offers a suite of integrated solutions that engages and helps marketing, sales and customer service staff to work collaboratively, in a seamless way, from a single (logical) customer database (‘single view of the customer’)
5. Automation: The underlying workflow engine can easily be configured to automate processes (on time or other event based triggers) across an organisation’s business – both within the domain of the software and across other business applications (through integration)
6. Integration: The platform offers a flexible and open API that helps developers construct robust and efficient bi-directional interfaces based on industry standards and protocols, with other systems and applications
7. Mobile: The application allows for deployment across a range of mobile operating platforms and can be published as native mobile applications (i.e. served on Apple or Android marketplaces)
8. Business intelligence: The application offers advanced tools that enable developers and end-users to create analytical reports and dashboards based on data within its own database and across other business applications
9. Artificial Intelligence: The application incorporates advanced AI services that drive more pro-active actions and decision making
10. Development environment: The platform offers developers a comprehensive suite of programmatic functions to construct advanced, custom applications and solutions
11. Security: Access to the application data and functionality can be controlled based on a range of different variables, including: role and profiles, location, IP ranges, devices, browsers, etc
12. Support: The vendor offers strong levels of support across multiple time zones (ideally 24×7), with highly effective SLAs
13. Training: The vendor (in conjunction with its eco-system) offers a range of high quality, high value training services to help user and developers construct, manage and use applications in accordance with best practice
14. Eco-System: The vendor has established an extensive network of partnerships with reputable consulting firms and ISVs on a global basis, and the eco-system provides a quality range of plug-in applications and tools to help customers construct more powerful applications in shorter timescales
15. Vendor strength & reputation: The vendor can demonstrate significant and deep expertise in its field; has a large and global customer base; and, is highly regards by both its customers and independent analysts
As one would expect, you generally get what you pay for and, hence, enterprise CRM solutions typically start from around £60+ per user per month and, in some cases, well in excess £100 per user per month.
However, many SME’s are of a size and/or are growing at a rate that require an enterprise-strength CRM platform but may not have the deep pockets to implement them.
It is for this reason I signed up as a partner to ZOHO. It ticks all the above boxes, and arguably more.
Some interesting points of note about ZOHO:
- Founded in 1996 (23 years), Zoho now operate from 10 offices around the world, including the US, Europe and Asia
- Zoho offers a suite of over 40 powerful, integrated applications and tools to support the complete needs of business (including CRM, HR, Finance, Project Management, and more)
- Zoho has a global customer base of over 340,000 businesses (although mostly SMEs, this number now includes a growing number of larger enterprises)
- Zoho boasts a (paid for) user base of over 45 million users, worldwide
- Zoho is focused on innovation and launches new (often substantial) products on a highly frequent basis, every year, often multiple times a year!
- ZOHO Corporation also runs on ZOHO. It employs over 7,00 staff across the world. It easts its own dog food!
The cost of the complete ZOHO platform suite, called ZOHO ONE, only costs £30 per user per month.
Its already a recognised leader in the SME space but is now rapidly developing a presence in larger enterprises and proving they are great match in this market (i.e. against the likes of brands like Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, SugarCRM, etc).
Zoho is an enterprise strength solution priced at SME rates.
So, whatever size your company is, Zoho is worth a look at. It may surprise you!
Book a free consultation with me using the link below so that we can explore your business needs and discuss how ZOHO could help transform the you work.