2020 - Year in Review

The year 2020 made sure it was a force to be reckoned with

Thousands of businesses, including us, were thrust into a "new-normal" mode of survival. We knew we had to act quickly. Not just to stay afloat, but to ease the economic burden that small businesses and our local communities were facing.

We did our best, and we know you did too.

While we wrap up 2020 and prepare for the new year, we wanted to re-live and share some of the major milestones that helped us get this far.

1st quarter

Firming up on our core principles and preparing for change

The year began with us still reeling from hitting the 50-million-user mark and winning the "2019 Best Enterprise Software Vendor" award!

January

We had a promising start with ZohoDay—our annual analyst meet-up—where we brought together customers and analysts from different verticals. At this event, we discussed all things Zoho and set the tone for the rest of the year.

January

We opened a new office in Dubai this month! Our in-house artists came up with original murals for our workspace that perfectly represents our philosophy: Business software—our craft, our passion.

"At Zoho, we are taking a stance. We are not going to let surveillance companies track users on our property."

Raju Vegesna
Chief Evangelist, Zoho.
February

We further solidified our commitment to data security and privacy by taking a stand against "adjunct surveillance," which roughly translates to customer data being illicitly tracked by third-parties. We also removed all third-party trackers from our websites.

February

We were purposeful and intentional in moving away from being just a "software company" to a more well-defined role as a "technology company." We renewed our focus on building full-stack expertise and directing our efforts towards investing heavily in R&D.

February

Our CEO, Sridhar Vembu, forecasted a "cloud-enabled rural revival" process taking place in the next 10 years. He also spoke about bringing high-tech opportunities back to the local communities.

February

We announced our very own appointment scheduling app—Zoho Bookings.

February

Sridhar was awarded the "Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2019" award in the Services category.

We debuted a Zoho One campaign during the Super Bowl this month! If you missed out on watching our video, we think this might delight you. 

For most of us, this was the year's most pivotal month. All 8000 of us at Zoho—across 12 offices—made a quick transition to working-from-home in just 3 days.

March

We made the decision to cancel all our in-person events, including our signature user conference—Zoholics. We also moved some of our physical events online. In fact, we hosted our first-ever virtual press conference on Zoho Meeting.

March

In response to the pandemic, we launched two important initiatives for our customers and community:

A Small Business Emergency Subscription Assistance Program (ESAP), to lighten the financial load on our small business customers severely impacted by the economic disruption.

March

Zoho Remotely: A remote-working toolkit to help businesses quickly adapt to new remote working conditions. Though initially offered for free until July 1st, 2020, we later extended its free use through November. 

March
2nd quarter

Building resilience, embracing remote work, and experimenting with satellite offices

We put together relief initiatives and remote working resources to help businesses smoothly transition to WFH and help them stay connected with their customers. We also set up a new Vertical Relief Program (VRP) to assist organizations globally in Education, Non-Profit, Government, and Retail sectors.

April

We launched Zoho Influence: our new destination for thought leadership and insight from customers and industry experts. We've always been big on advocating and rooting for our customers. So we made this move to bring more of their inspiring stories to light.

April

We introduced Zoho Classes, a new mobile app to help schools and colleges teach students online.

April

The beginning of this month was all about slowing down and taking a moment to check in on small businesses around the world. Here's our tribute to them.

We picked up our pace and launched a brand-new product: Bigin by Zoho CRM—a pipeline-centric CRM solution built and priced for the needs of small and micro-businesses.

The beginning of this month was all about slowing down and taking a moment to check in on small businesses around the world. Here's our tribute to them.

May

We picked up our pace and launched a brand-new product: Bigin by Zoho CRM—a pipeline-centric CRM solution built and priced for the needs of small and micro-businesses.

This month saw our vision for revitalizing rural economies, training local talent, and building remote offices in the smallest of villages—start to take shape. Sridhar appeared in a Forbes India cover story to discuss this initiative.

Sridhar

Zoho Desk was named a "Niche" in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center.

Sridhar

“About a year or two ago, I decided that I wanted to do something new. I want to go to the smaller villages and set up what I call satellite connected office centers where 10 to 20 people will work.”

We plan to adopt this model not just in India, but also in Mexico (Queretaro), the US (Austin, Texas), and Japan.

Sridhar Vembu
CEO and Co-founder, Zoho Corp.
3rd quarter

Fostering rural economic revival and making strides in new technologies

From adopting a culture of experimentation, to being relentlessly self-critical— Sridhar shared his thoughts on being resilient, agile, and staying relevant as a business.

Beagle Research Group (on behalf of Zoho) surveyed more than 500 employees from businesses of varying sizes and industries throughout North America. This report revealed some of the major pain points for employees as they tried to transition to today's work while still using yesterday's technology. Here's the full report.

March

Zoho Workplace, an Enterprise Collaboration Platform, hit the 15-million-user mark. The platform also experienced adoption by customers that moved away from tools like Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and G Suite.

15Musers
March

Zoho CRM was named a "Challenger" in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation.

March

We won Digital India's Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge in two categories. For "Business," Zoho Books, Invoice, and Expense took the cake, while Zoho Workplace and Cliq led the pack in "Office Productivity."

We released two products: Zoho BackToWork, workplace-readiness software that helps organizations safely get back to their physical facilities, and Zoho TeamInbox, a shared inbox tool for enhancing team collaboration and transparency.

Zoho Marketplace launched its 1,000th extension!

 

We received our compliance certifications for the ISO 27701:2019 – Privacy Information Management System.

Zoho CRM was named a "Visionary" in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management.

August

We won Digital India's Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge in two categories. For "Business," Zoho Books, Invoice, and Expense took the cake, while Zoho Workplace and Cliq led the pack in "Office Productivity."

August

We released two products: Zoho BackToWork, workplace-readiness software that helps organizations safely get back to their physical facilities, and Zoho TeamInbox, a shared inbox tool for enhancing team collaboration and transparency.

August

Zoho Marketplace launched its 1,000th extension!

August

We received our compliance certifications for the ISO 27701:2019 – Privacy Information Management System.

August

Zoho CRM was named a "Visionary" in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management.

Our very own down-to-earth typeface,
Zoho Puvi, came to life.

Read the story.

April

The farm at our Austin campus (opened in February before COVID-19 became widespread) finally started bearing fruit! It produced over 30 varieties of crops—everything from basil, mint, and lavender to apples, peaches, and melons. It also became a place for our colleagues to reconnect (from a safe social distance).

April
4th quarter

Demonstrating positivity, vigor, and enthusiasm in serving businesses worldwide

October

We doubled down on our commitment to protecting customer data. From questioning what "consumer surveillance" and "business surveillance" means in today's modern society, to understanding the long-term implications of "sensory surveillance"—our leadership discussed what they see as the future of data privacy.

Among the many notable partnerships and accolades we received, we were especially proud of:

Gartner Magic Quadrant recognizing Zoho Creator as a "Visionary" for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms.

October

Nucleus Research naming Zoho Recruit as a "Leader" in their Talent Acquisition Technology Value Matrix.

October

360Quadrants placing Zoho Show as a "Visionary Leader" in the presentation software market, Zoho ShowTime as an "Innovator" in the presentation software space, and Zoho Meeting as a "Visionary Leader" in the webinar software space.

October

We won IDC's 2020 SaaS CSAT Award for Subscription Billing!

We released Zoho Transmail, a transactional email service from Zoho Mail.

We announced a strategic partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to provide end-to-end business solutions to enterprise and mid-market companies. This partnership will drive growth for global organizations through better alignment between technology and business goals, more transparency across solutions, and greater operational efficiency.

Zoho Creator was named a "Leader" in Nucleus Research's LCAP Technology Value Matrix 2020 report.

K2 awarded Zoho with the "Best Overall Mobile Strategy" in its 2020 Quality Awards. Amazingly, despite our offering being relatively new, we also won K2's award for "CPA Program," as well.

A new Zoho study: Together with CRM Essentials, we surveyed 1400+ North American business leaders and found out that third-party ad tracking is ubiquitous and tolerated. 100% of respondents said their companies allow tracking, while 57% were “comfortable” with the way third-parties use customer data.

December

Zoho Analytics topped the BARC BI & Analytics Survey with 12 top rankings and 28 leading positions across 5 different peer groups!

December

We won IDC's 2020 SaaS CSAT Award for Sales Force Automation!

December

Finally, we bid 2020 adieu, and ended the year on a truly exhilarating note: Constellation Research named Sridhar Vembu "Best CEO of the Year" in their annual Enterprise Awards!

December

Standing firm in our commitments to you

The pandemic surely did change the course of modern history, but if there's one thing that remains constant for us, it's our ability to reinvent ourselves, time and again, in the face of adversity.

Creating software has always been our craft and passion. And we've been relentless in our pursuit of solving business problems through the products we build. As more organizations make their way to the cloud, we're doubling our efforts on simplifying our suite of apps to support and serve businesses of all sizes.

December

A big thank you to our partners, colleagues, and users (now, over 60 million!) for being a part of our journey. More importantly, thank you for pushing us to be better every day and trusting us with your life's work.

December

We hope you have a wonderful start to the New Year!