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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

Zoho Workplace may well be the employee experience platform we have been missing

On February 8th, 2023, Zoho unveiled its unified communications platform, Trident, a Zoho Workplace that offers businesses easier ways to communicate across channels, improve employee experience, enhance organizational productivity, and accelerate business transformation by combining collaboration, productivity, and communication tools. “Distributed,” “remote,” and “hybrid” – these are the realities of today’s workforce. Businesses are increasingly using technology to provide cohesion within the workforce. Businesses that have adopted unified workspace technology believe strongly that it contributes to productivity by providing a single workspace, delivering better access to applications and resources from which employees can accomplish most of their daily work. The Zoho Workplace, five years in development before employee experience became imperative, is one solution that can replace multiple products such as Slack, Trello, Zoom, Monday, DocuSign, Grammarly, and even M365/Google Workspace. Techaisle’s analysis of current and planned cloud workloads underscores the importance of contextual, collaborative capabilities within business applications. Each product mentioned addresses a specific business requirement but is not seamlessly interconnected to provide a cohesive experience without customization and integration overheads.

In the wake of great resignation, robust job market, and paucity of skill sets, businesses are prioritizing employee experience. For example, Techaisle’s latest research shows that deploying employee experience solutions is a priority for 60% of small businesses, 88% of core midmarket, and 96% of upper midmarket firms. These firms are using digitalization initiatives for employee empowerment and are digitally transforming to support employees. Many factors drive productivity, including management approaches, processes and practices, and collaboration/synergy across activities and functions. But technology is a pivotal contributor to productivity – directly and through its ability to positively affect processes and collaboration. This is the target market that Zoho is addressing. Zoho Workplace has more than 16 million users and is growing at 30%+ year-on-year.

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Eight Key SMB and Midmarket Trends

97% of SMBs and midmarket firms consider technology important and integral to business success. As we enter 2023, IT product and service suppliers are looking to create a context for understanding the range of outcomes that the new year may bring. Techaisle has launched its "2023 in Focus" research series to support that effort, which illuminates issues and requirements in the vast SMB, core-midmarket, and upper-midmarket segments. After surveying thousands of SMBs and midmarket firms and having hundreds of depth calls, we see key trends that revolve around:

  • Enabling a connected business and business process automation
  • Converging on long-term growth, profitability, and innovation
  • Prioritizing cloud cost management and security
  • Hybrid work but challenges are overwhelming
  • Sharpening focus on IT spend for time to value, agility
  • As-a-service technology acquisition gaining momentum

techaisle 8 key smb trends

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SMBs and midmarket firms cautiously moving away from Hybrid Work

Poised for liftoff for some time, the remote work revolution was set to shift into overdrive. However, hybrid work is challenging the SMBs. By the end of 2023, 32% of employees within the SMB and midmarket firms expect to have hybrid work arrangements, down from 58% in 2021 and similar to 29% (pre-pandemic levels) in 2019. Over 40% of SMBs and Upper midmarket firms are experiencing significant challenges impacting remote employees’ productivity. In addition, 39% of SMBs and 41% of upper midmarket firms have critical security concerns relative to remote and hybrid work. Furthermore, 43% of businesses cannot adequately support remote employees, and 39% cannot provide consistent technology experience for remote and on-site employees. Finally, 41% of SMBs and upper midmarket firms have not overcome organizational challenges in managing remote employees. Techaisle data shows that senior management is spending 3X more time maintaining company culture through the hybrid organization, 2.5X more time in employee empathy, and 2X more time in supervision and management. 

As a result, 62% of SMBs and 68% of upper midmarket firms plan to return all employees to the office in 2023. However, bringing the employees back to the office is also of concern to the executive management. As a result, 37% of SMBs are prioritizing office space planning, and 32% are identifying wayfinding technologies. In addition, 41% of upper midmarket firms are investigating ID management, and 40% are investing in smart meeting rooms.

techaisle smb midmarket hybrid work

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Webex By Cisco - Supporting Hybrid Work with New Capabilities

Hybrid work trends have emerged rapidly over the past year, changing how organizations approach collaboration. Not long ago, the hybrid mode of work was viewed as a luxury – a privilege only for employees who could manage their job from home on occasion. However, the pandemic compelled organizations to scramble for new ways to ensure business continuity, and Hybrid work transformed into a must-have from being a nice-to-have option. Organizations that fail to embrace this change and try to return to a 100-percent-office-based work strategy are at risk of falling short in productivity, talent retention, and much more. Amid the worldwide trend of ‘great resignations,’ organizations have been trying to find a balance between working from home and the office.

In a scenario where hybrid work is no longer a choice but a necessity, many organizations are already aware that they need to provide consistent technical support to employees across different locations to enable a hybrid work environment that is seamless, secure, and smart. Hybrid work requires more than just collaborative software; it requires advanced devices, robust security, dependable connection, and smooth networking—all of which must function in tandem. Furthermore, it requires a unified solution to avoid fragmented communication, additional IT administrative labor, and increased security concerns.

The Webex platform addresses all these essential aspects of hybrid work – where employees work and how they prefer to work. It offers several solutions that can be easily integrated with various pre-existing systems and ensure enterprise-grade security.

Read on learn about Webex, comparisons with Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet

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