This is a guest post from Thomas Randall of Software Reviews, a division of Info-Tech Research Group. Randall presides as a Senior Research Analyst and Advisory Director at Info-Tech.
About SoftwareReviews: SoftwareReviews was created at Info-Tech Research Group, a world class IT research and consulting firm started in 1997. SoftwareReviews empowers organizations with the best data, insights, and advice to improve the software buying and selling experience.
Zoho, a multinational software and web-based business tool provider, has announced the launch of Trident – a hub that brings Zoho’s pre-existing and brand-new unified communications capabilities into a single pane of glass. Trident operates within Zoho’s broader office productivity suite, Workplace. The news comes as Workplace sees continued global growth across all regions, positioning the company as an attractive alternative to Microsoft, Google, and Zoom users. In 2022, 40% of new migrations to Zoho Workplace came from Google and Microsoft. A big question for 2023 is how far Trident’s addition to Workplace will impact this trend.
Trident is intended to be the center of gravity for Workplace and is coupled with the release of several new communication and collaboration applications. Alongside its pre-existing apps for audio conferencing, messaging, presence, email, and telephony, (Cliq, Mail, Voice, and Meeting), Zoho is also introducing Webinar within Zoho Meeting (for one-to- many broadcasts), TruSync (providing a single source for users to search their drives for information and files), and BluPencil (an in-built equivalent to Grammarly).
Trident aims to offer an easy-to-navigate user experience. Users can drag and drop their communication and productivity apps to form personalized dashboards. Moreover, with Zia Search, users can search their files, chats, and emails all at once to retrieve relevant information. The inclusion of Zia Search for Trident is a key differentiator from core competitors; even Outlook and MS Teams remain separate apps to search between, despite Microsoft’s dominance in the UCaaS marketplace. With a competitive price point, Trident and Workplace are very attractive products for small- and mid-sized organizations looking to unify their communications and productivity software.
Yet Zoho’s extensibility also presents one of its most significant challenges: framing the value proposition of Trident and Workplace to enterprise organizations that have already invested heavily into Microsoft or Google suites. This is not just an investment in terms
of cost, but also in terms of data structure, employee records, and other core business processes. If organizations see the value of a Zoho application but enjoy Microsoft Excel for its sophistication, for example, IT departments face a few problems: seamless data integration, strategizing which platform becomes the go-to hub, and ensuring employees are not confused by similar functionalities across applications. Zoho will need to mitigate these problems to increase traction in larger enterprises for 2023.
Info-Tech recommends performing an application portfolio strategy review prior to considering a move to any communication and productivity suite. This includes ensuring that business processes and needs can be supported with relevant technology and identifying any gaps or overlaps in functionality. The benefit of any acquisition of or switch to a communication and productivity suite depends on whether there are clear use cases and change management potential. When that time comes, organizations should now consider Zoho to be a major contender in the communication and productivity suite market.