Simulation Lab™ R&D team stays connected on their research journey with Zoho Workplace

About Simulation Lab™

Simulation Lab™ is India's first independent and open Scientific Research and Development centre. Even though the founding members are primarily based out of Pune, the team has around 150 researchers across 12 countries. After the onset of the 2020 pandemic, the team has entirely been working remotely. The researchers work on developing new theories to make existing products and machinery more efficient, eco-friendly, and energy saving.

Discovering Zoho Workplace

Hitesh Singh Waskale, the Founder and Director of Simulation Lab™, was on the lookout for software that can help their team bridge communication gaps. A Google search led him to Zoho Workplace, and after reassuring words from his friends who use Zoho's apps in their companies on a large scale, he was willing to start using Zoho. Initially he signed up for the free plan with his custom domain for five users, and now has the entire team on the Zoho ecosystem.

First Impressions

For researchers at Simulation Lab™, the most important requirement was to communicate effectively and on time, be it new ideas, everyday updates, interesting findings, or doubts and questions. The combination of Mail and Cliq helped them achieve just that. "We use Mail when we want to keep a definite record of important milestones, specifications or instructions, and for external communication. Cliq is monumental for our everyday team conversations, because in research it is very important to share updates regularly", says Hitesh. The team especially saw a huge surge in the usage of Cliq when they were forced to go remote. The ability to share documents or images during the conversation also helps the team stay in context.

Managing Files in Workplace

Before going remote, the team had some of their files on a local server, and some online. Since embracing the Work from Home culture, their file system has moved to the cloud completely, thanks to WorkDrive. They define clear hierarchies, set up access privileges, sort the documents by folders, and share them with the right people. Files are usually very large in size, and they've had no problem sharing them easily and securely via WorkDrive. They create and maintain reports, data sheets, and important documentation using Writer and Sheet.

Midas Concept

Workplace Favourites

While the team enjoys the overall experience that Zoho gives, there are some features that they absolutely love. Undo Send, for one, saves one too many embarrassing moments! Especially when a team member is emailing a very important person, or is emailing late night after gruelling research hours, any mistake that slipped into the email can be quickly corrected. The team also likes how Cliq brings messaging, calling, file sharing in one place, with useful hacks like pinning a message, which they use to highlight any important group announcements or critical reminders. The team also uses Cliq extensively on mobile, and as everyone is already used to the instant messaging culture, it is a no-brainer that they love the app.

The Workplace Advantage

Simulation Lab™ has three divisions, Product Development Centre, Artificial Intelligence Centre, and Applied Science Centre. The team also publishes a free quarterly magazine titled "United we stand" to generate awareness about science and energy consumption. "With many activities going on, we need a collaboration platform we can rely on. Zoho never let us down. In the two years we've been on Mail, we had experienced just one downtime, which was also resolved within minutes. There is something new being added or improvements being made every month. We've literally seen the product grow!", says Hitesh. One of the first steps for anyone joining the company is to start using Zoho, and Hitesh observes that no one ever complains about it or finds any difficulty in getting the hang of the apps. Once a user is added to Zoho People, he/she becomes an organization member, and will automatically be able to access other apps in the ecosystem depending on the role that they have been assigned, without the need to separately create a user profile for each app. Simulation Lab™ finds this flexibility very handy and time-saving.

The Verdict

Amidst the lockdown and the changes in the way the team works, Simulation Lab™ continues to grow. They commend Zoho Workplace's Sales team for their continued support with requests for additional users, storage allocation, or other product doubts and questions. Hitesh concludes saying, "The expansion of our research team is in a way made possible by Zoho. Software should be helping us do more, and not distract us from the actual problem or task at hand. We are not wasting time on the hows—how to share a file or how to communicate, it has all become natural with the Zoho apps. We have to just do our job! Zoho gives us the platform and the structure to do that."

"We needed a collaboration platform we can rely on and Zoho did not let us down. Our everyday communication and file sharing now feels natural with Workplace, and gives us time to focus on the task at hand, without distractions. The expansion of our research team would not have been possible without Zoho Workplace."
  • IndustryScientific Research and Development
  • Company-size100 - 200 employees
  • Industry typeR&D
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Challenges Faced

  • Departmental silos
  • Poor communication within teams

What the company loves about Zoho Workplace

  • All communication and collaboration tools under one roof
  • Easy to use and adopt with great support team
  • Improved productivity with lesser time spent on manual tasks

Favourite Features

  • Reminders, pinned chats, audio/video calling, and file sharing within Zoho Cliq
  • Recalling sent emails within an organisation using Zoho Mail