We’re happy to announce that Gartner, a leading independent technology analyst firm, has named Zoho a Visionary in this year’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAP).
At Zoho, we have a saying:
Put your head down and work hard. Results are bound to follow.
While we’re constantly listening to our customers’ voices and gauging our effectiveness, recognition from analysts like Gartner is always a moment of happiness for us. It affords us the chance to give ourselves a quick pat on the back before continuing on our journey to be the best we can be.
And what better way to celebrate but to share a quick recap of our journey thus far with Zoho Creator, our low-code platform evaluated for the research.
Read on to see how we began, where we are, and to get a sneak peek into what’s in store for next year! 🙂
Always think long-term. This is at the core of all our moves as an organization over the past two decades.
The decision to not go public, to stay free of debt, to invest in the cloud, to focus on building our own security infrastructure, and to create an entire ecosystem of over 45 interoperable business applications have all been a part of this.
Our journey with the idea of a low-code application development platform started in 2005. As a fast-paced young startup with a positive growth trajectory, we needed to build applications faster to run our operations smoothly, without adding to the burden on our in-house developers, who were already running at full capacity. We explored the traditional development approach to develop what we wanted, but the speed and cost, which was critical to us, was a big problem.
As we dug deeper, it became evident that our need was universal, and the right solution could potentially disrupt application development as we knew it.
And so we walked over to our drawing board and wrote down the problem statement:
Uncomplicate and democratize application development
It meant that we needed to create a platform that could help anyone, from a novice to a professional developer, create fully-functional business applications utilizing their full range of skills.
To date, this still remains our vision for our platform. 🙂
Any given feature in an application could be easy, difficult, or complicated to develop and deploy. Our approach was to build a cloud-based platform that could shift the easy to trivial, the difficult to easy, and the impossible to possible.
We achieved this by identifying customer-centric features that needed pro-code developer intervention, then abstracting it and pushing it down to the low-code or no-code spectrum. And what more, we do it retroactively with our product updates! For example, our customers could deploy a native iOS mobile app in 2013 for a web application they built in 2006, a year before the first iPhone was even launched.
So with a lot of hustle in the back room, we launched the first version of Zoho Creator, C1, in March 2006, around eight months after the first spark.
The ethos of our platform today
Today, fourteen years later, we’re on Creator 5 (C5) and still unwaveringly committed to our vision for the platform.
The result? Apart from being recognized by the likes of Gartner, we’re the preferred low-code platform for over 10,000 organizations worldwide. Our strength lies in turning Zoho Creator into a scalable, reliable, and secure platform loaded with customer-centric features.
Some key highlights of the current version of the platform include:
Multi-persona application development: Our platform is engineered for better user experience and scalability for developers with a range of skill sets. On the one hand, to meet the needs of low- and no-code developers, we’ve added multiple abstraction levels, reducing complex functions to one-click or drag-and-drop actions. On the other, we also provide an IDE and controls for pro-code developers to build customized applications and services from the ground up, without limitations. This makes us different from most other low-code platforms, which cater to either of the two personas but not both. To add to it, we also provide for interoperability between the GUI drag-and-drop mode and the IDE mode, for greater collaboration between the two personas, leading to a seamless application development experience and better app governance.
Multi-experience platform builder: Our web-based, multiplatform builder lets you build, design, preview, and deploy apps for web, mobile, and tablets. The app-building takes place for all platforms simultaneously, but users can design and preview the app for each platform separately. The multiplatform builder is a major productivity booster for app developers.
AI-based application development: We’ve implemented several AI services at the application level as drag-and-drop features, such as prediction, keyword extraction, sentiment analysis, OCR, and object detection. We also provide deployment of custom AI models, without the need for niche AI skills, as a low-code feature. For example, an object detection system usually identifies a predefined set of objects from an image. Through our custom AI builder, a user can build object detection for a healthcare system by feeding healthcare-specific information to that engine with just a few clicks. And don’t worry, we value our customer’s privacy and never use their data for model development or training.
Customer portal: Customers can set up dedicated white-label portals for their external stakeholders, like customers, partners, and vendors, to access the entire application or just the parts relevant to them. This gives our customers complete peace of mind without spending time and effort on building their own authentication and security mechanisms.
Integration without coding: With 430+ smart connectors and 700+ prebuilt workflows, our customers can integrate and automate existing and new applications using a dynamic builder to connect information across the enterprise and facilitate business synergy. This includes integration with external local on-premise databases, external cloud service databases, IoT services, and popular CRMs, accounting, eCommerce, ITSM, project management cloud services, and more.
Our product team is in the last leg of fine-tuning Creator 6, which is expected to roll out early next year. A host of exciting new features and improvements to existing ones are in store. A sneak peek is just around the corner! 🙂
We’re proud that our platform is slowly changing lives by making more people less afraid of software development and giving everyone the power to do more, faster.
On one end of the spectrum, we have Pedro Schambon—a farmer turned low-code developer turned CEO of ProFarmer Software Solutions—who has built and deployed an end-to-end farming management solution on our platform and is currently reselling it to other players in his industry.
On the other end of the spectrum is Shelby Spencer, CTO of Briotix Health, who regained 75% of her company’s revenue lost in the aftermath of COVID-19 in just under a month, through extensive deployment of applications built on our platform.
We know we need to keep pursuing our vision when we hear stories like these from our customers—and you can be rest assured that we’ll continue to work hard to do just that.
You can download the full report from here.
Click here to explore the power of Zoho Creator for free