Amanda Dolan Speaks at Gartner ITxpo
November 15, 2018 - Orlando Florida - Zoho is an online CRM software founded in 1996, and formerly known as AdventNet, is an app-based software designed to help businesses manage and communicate information. With 40+ modular apps including the CRM, Zoho Connect, Zoho Expense, Zoho Finance, Zoho Recruit, Zoho Reports, etc. the platform is easily customizable to fit the needs of any business, large or small. Purolite has utilized Zoho’s CRM since 2014 and continues to integrate Zoho applications into our business operations.
Due to our long-time utilization of the platform—and our knowledge of implementation on a global scale— Zoho asked Amanda Dolan, Purolite’s CRM Integration specialist, to accompany them to the Gartner ITxpo in sunny Orlando, to speak with other Zoho customers and potential clients about our experience with the software.
Purolite’s marketing team had the opportunity to speak with Amanda shortly before she departed from the expo, for a Q and A style interview on her experience there, and with her use of Zoho over the past few years.
Who invited you to speak at this Expo? Zoho corporation contacted me directly about presenting. We have been using the business applications software for a while, and they believed that our testimony would be valuable to other potential clients.
Why were you invited? Purolite is a large, global company. I was invited because Purolite is a power user of Zoho, and I’ve been working over the past several years on global integration within 40 countries. I’ve worked closely with Zoho on troubleshooting, and have provided them with extensive feedback and beta testing.
Who was your target audience? The intention was to speak with new and potential new users for Zoho applications. Attendees of the Expo were CIOs and IT executives at large businesses.
What was being discussed? Today’s businesses all have individual needs, and platforms need to be easy to use, simple to integrate, and stable. I highlighted interesting ways business can take advantage of the Zoho applications, utilize program features, and streamline integration at larger companies.
What types or size of businesses is Zoho intended for? Zoho started out with targeting small to mid-sized businesses. As of recently, they have been trying to re-focus on larger businesses. Having an ambassador from a large company speak at this Expo for them will hopefully catch the attention of other larger companies seeking to use their services.
Who were some of the other speakers? Other speakers included Amazon, KPMG, Columbia University, Netflix, Facebook, and air Canada, amongst many others. “Personally, I attended a Women in IT roundtable, hosted by Barika Pace, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner who is an expert on digital security, data privacy and regulatory issues—and also consults with companies on how to integrate IT to remain agile in today’s competitive environments.”
What was the key focus of this conference? The expo’s focus was for all areas of Information Technology. There were a lot of the new companies run on cloud-based systems. This creates an opportunity for businesses CRMs to become serverless which will be a significant benefit in the future.
What was Zoho’s goal or focus of this conference? To reach a new level of enterprise businesses and extending their region to larger businesses. Working with amazon.com, they are a competitor of Microsoft. In fact, the city of Philadelphia utilizes Zoho’s software for their operations. They are gaining traction and want to continue the momentum.
What will be some of the new useful Zoho features? A new application called PageSense will evaluate user interaction with the corporate website. “Heat map” pages will show where customers and website viewers linger on the pages, and which pages receive the most views. A new file sharing app called TeamDrive allows multiple members to work on a document at once—contributing to a collaborative workspace. In my opinion, TeamDrive will take companies much further than similar applications, such as Google Docs. Its shared user accessibility allows one user to move or organize files for all team members. This eliminates unwanted copies, or strangely misplaced files, that are common experiences with file sharing apps.
What is Zoho’s current most popular feature? The biggest feature we are promoting is the Zoho One suite. This includes all the 40+ Zoho apps and features, which interact and integrate with one another. Purolite currently deploys bits and pieces of this package and is integrating more applications as we go. Zoho is very affordable and reduces the amount of subscription-based services we need to sign up for. For example, we no longer need separate subscriptions for expense reporting software and meeting software. Before Zoho, different employees often utilized different subscription-based platforms, and the inconsistency did not work well company-wide. Now, Purolite operates almost completely off Zoho with one uniformed platform.
What differentiates Zoho from competitive CRM platform, Salesforce? Zoho stands out in the ability to integrate all their applications together. Zoho applications all work together, and you can transfer data from one over to another without compatibility or performance issues—something you really can’t find on other CRMs. The apps tie together seamlessly. A sales team can utilize the expense app along with the sales CRM to track data, for example.
What will the next year look like for Purolite’s use of Zoho? Purolite will continue to deploy Zoho’s CRM globally. We will integrate and train employees—one office at a time to make users comfortable in the platform, answer all questions, and ensure that there are no regional issues. At the same time, we will decrease the number of other subscription-based services used by Purolite, which will have significant financial benefit. We also want to increase focus on the reporting end of Zoho.
What makes Zoho so useful and user accessible? The number of apps and how they interact with each other. Also, Zoho is easy to deploy and requires minimal training. Zoho connect was the first app Purolite tried. It essentially creates a company-wide internet that allows for sharing of information, and collaboration. As an example, to ask a question in the global workplace, an e-mail would be sent to five or more people. With Zoho, employees ask the question onto the feed, and employees globally provide input that other employees can access. It’s much more efficient than having endless email chains that can’t be accessed by anyone, and can’t serve as a history if someone has the exact same question at some point in the future. As this type of reporting increases, we build a library of information that can be accessed by any Purolite employees, current and future.”
Why has Purolite chosen to invest in and utilize Zoho? The original decision was made in 2013 to use Zoho for our company-wide CRM. Purolite’s Marketing team was also interested in digital marketing, social media and creating a company-wide intranet. Being an early adapter of Zoho at Purolite, I thought “Wow. Zoho’s apps can do that!” After a 6-month research phase to confirm that Zoho applications could tackle some Intranet-style activities, testing of the features and capabilities, and usability testing— Zoho was deemed a success. The rest is PuroHistory.
Great Job at the Expo Amanda, and we are all excited to see the next year of Purolite and Zoho!