Zoho Continues To Unify Its Platform With Zoho Trident

By Patrick Moorhead - February 23, 2023
ZOHO

This week, Zoho, a company I follow closely, announced a new all-in-one collaboration, productivity and communication platform called Zoho Trident. The company is always looking for ways to unify its products, and in a previous article, I wrote about Zoho Marketing Plus; you can read it here. In that piece, I said that the more Zoho can unify its products, the more valuable its tools will become and the better its customer experience (CX) will be.

With Zoho Trident, the company continues to unify its offering around what it calls the three pillars of a workplace: communication, productivity and business. Let's dive into what Zoho announced for this unified communication platform.

Zoho focuses on communication, productivity and business

Out of Zoho’s three pillars, communication is arguably the most challenging to get right. Pre-pandemic communication was fairly straightforward, with in-person meetings and a majority of workers on site in the office, and while video calls were accelerating at a steady pace, it was nothing compared to the explosion of remote communication that occurred during the pandemic. As many businesses underwent a digital transformation and many workers learned how to operate remotely, the shortcomings of digital communication quickly revealed themselves. That brings us to the past year, when hybrid work—a variable mix of remote and office work—has become the norm. In this new era, multiple forms of communication have proliferated, whether formal or informal, synchronous or asynchronous, text or video, and across many different ecosystems.

Zoho Trident aggregates these communication mediums into one platform so that email, messaging and video are all in the same place and integrated with other productivity and business applications. Zoho Trident is a native application on macOS and Windows 11 that combines Zoho Cliq, Zoho email, Zoho Voice and Zoho Meeting.

Zoho unified communications platform, Zoho Trident. ZOHO

One aspect of Zoho Trident I find interesting is that it unifies all third-party and Zoho-specific widgets into one platform. This strategy is similar to how Zoom unifies its platform contextually. (You can read more of my thoughts about Zoom's platform here.) While Zoom is centering its apps and widgets around its video call experience, Zoho takes a broader perspective to address its apps and widgets toward all mediums of communication—chat, email, video and voice.

While Zoho's communication apps are integrated into Zoho Trident, I think it's important to point out that you can also use third-party apps with the platform. This is a great approach that reflects the reality that communication happens across multiple ecosystems. Even if a business opts to use only one ecosystem internally—as they could with Zoho's Workplace platform—they will still inevitably deal externally with partners, clients, vendors and others that use other ecosystems.

Zoho Trident users can multitask between different Zoho and third-party apps such as Zoho Desk, Zoho Projects, HubSpot, Asana or a CRM solution. I am glad to see Zoho include third-party widget integration, and I believe it is a critical feature for creating a unified experience, especially for multi-ecosystem workflows.

Widgets in Zoho Trident. ZOHO

Zoho Trident also integrates Calendar, Tasks, Notes and Contacts. In my own work, many of my daily tasks and calendar events require constant communication with the people I am meeting and collaborating with. As someone who meets with hundreds of people a month, having a quality contact list is also critical to keep a clean calendar. That’s why I believe having these integrations is crucial for efficient and strategic workflows. And Zoho Trident's integrations definitely make it much more seamless to plan and manage collaborative tasks and calendars.

I believe Zoho takes it a step further with Smart Assistant and Smart Mail tools. Zoho says Smart Mail acts on emails that are contextually integrated with real-time data from other Zoho applications to avoid switching between apps and tabs. Overall, I am excited to test how Zoho Trident makes communication, productivity and business workflows easier with a unified experience. I will be especially interested to see how different the unified experience is when dealing with external versus internal interactions.

Zoho Webinar makes online broadcasting easy

Zoho has also announced its newest meeting app, Zoho Webinar. Zoho says Webinar enables businesses to broadcast themselves to thousands of attendees and engage with them using polls, Q&A forums and virtual file sharing. While Zoho is late to the game to offer a virtual webinar platform for its users, I believe this is a welcome addition to Zoho’s offerings.

Out of the box, Zoho Webinar allows up to 3,000 livestream attendees for a broadcast, along with the ability to share to YouTube without additional downloads. I believe its biggest strength is that it is unified with the rest of Zoho, creating more value for the Zoho Workplace while allowing users to benefit from the integrated CX and CRM functions of the Zoho Workplace platform.

Zoho Webinar live streaming on YouTube. ZOHO

Wrapping up

Zoho continues to unify its CX and CRM experience across the board. As businesses continue to embrace digital transformation and adjust to hybrid work models, Zoho Trident is making it more seamless than ever to communicate and collaborate.

Zoho Trident creates a unified experience with both Zoho applications and third-party applications to make it easier to connect, be productive and conduct business across multiple mediums and through multiple ecosystems. Zoho is unblurring the lines between workplace applications, and I'm fully on board.

Note: Moor Insights & Strategy co-op Jacob Freyman contributed to this article.

Patrick Moorhead
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Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.