Riding the Wave of AI Disruption: Key Takeaways from ZOHOLICS 2023

The much-anticipated ZOHOLICS 2023 was an enthralling two-day journey that unraveled how Zoho, a global leader in software development and cloud computing, is bracing itself for the future of business and technology. 

Gathered from comprehensive notes shared by our seasoned experts who attended the event, here are some insights on the highlights, key discussions, and strategic direction unveiled at the conference.

Macro Factors and the Role of AI: Day 1 Highlights

Embracing Change, Bracing for the Future

Vijay Sundaram, in his inaugural speech, served a sobering reminder of how macro factors, like economic uncertainty and technological disruption, are currently steering the course of businesses globally. 

Understanding the need for a futuristic vision and robust preparation, Sundaram urged the audience to envisage scenarios they haven’t faced before.

The Future of Tech: Disruption and Innovation

During ZOHOLICS 2023, it became abundantly clear that technological disruption is the new norm. With economic uncertainties on one side and technological breakthroughs on the other, the tech landscape is continuously shifting and evolving.

The most striking development is the emergence of generative AI, which is now posing a challenge to the technology industry itself. 

As we ponder the implications, we find ourselves in a paradox where the very tool that was supposed to facilitate and streamline operations now seems to be a potential disruptor.

AI as the Disruptor and Savior

An intriguing question that surfaced during the event was whether AI would become a threat or an opportunity. 

While the potential of AI to automate various roles and tasks is undeniable, the ethical considerations, including bias, transparency, and potential for misuse, cannot be ignored.

AI’s evolution from a demonstrable tool to an explainable one marks an important shift in the tech narrative. As businesses and consumers, we must ensure that our trust in AI is grounded and that its use is responsible and ethical.

Generative AI, Sundaram stressed, is not just a disruption; it’s a threat to the technology industry itself. 

Yet, it is through this disruption that opportunities arise – for business risk containment, anomaly detection, service automation, and role automation. Sundaram accentuated the shift from demonstrable AI to explainable AI.

The shift is a strategic approach to address AI-associated challenges such as bias, ethics, transparency, and deep fakes.

Zoho’s Strategic Maneuvering

To navigate these choppy waters of global disruption, Zoho outlined a multi-pronged strategy. The firm is determined to focus on investing in new skills, maintaining a no-layoff policy, building a local presence while maintaining a global outlook, and accelerating innovation through more products, integrated suites, and AI enablement.

Embracing the Power of AI: Zoho’s Approach

In this landscape of uncertainty and disruption, Zoho stands as a testament to resilience and innovation.

Echoing Sundaram’s perspective on AI as an opportunity, Raju Vegesna, in his keynote address, introduced ZIA – Zoho’s AI power tool. By integrating AI with Zoho apps, the firm aims to drive innovation across all organizational functions. Keeping user privacy at the forefront, Zoho aims to run the in-house developed AI on Zoho’s cloud.

By embedding AI in its operations and introducing AI-powered apps like ZIA, Zoho is demonstrating how to leverage AI’s transformative potential while mitigating its challenges.

Humanizing Digital Connections and the Role of AI: Day 2 Highlights

Emphasizing Human Connections

Ramon Ray stressed the importance of nurturing human connections even in a highly digitalized world. He reminded the audience not to overlook the serendipity that these connections offer.

The Role of Human Connections in a Digital World

Despite technological advancements, the importance of human connections and experiences in a digital world was emphasized throughout the conference. With increased digitization, we must not overlook the serendipity that comes with human interaction and the role it plays in innovation and creativity.

Nurturing a Better Employee Experience

One of the major takeaways from the conference was Zoho’s emphasis on a better employee experience translating to a better customer experience.

And drawing this direct correlation between better employee experience and improved customer experience, Zoho seeks to provide businesses with tools to create better experiences for employees, thereby enhancing their overall performance.

Zoho’s suite of HR tools and their commitment to an employee-centric approach signify their belief in the importance of nurturing human resources.

Business Intelligence and the Role of AI

Zoho’s approach towards simplifying data management and governance was commended. By offering machine learning intelligence, Zoho aims to enhance business performance and eliminate unnecessary friction.

Diving Deeper into the Zoho Ecosystem

ZIA – The Power Tool

ZIA, Zoho’s in-house AI, showcased how intelligence could be embedded in daily business operations. ZIA’s capabilities to enhance documents, spreadsheets, and CRM are revolutionizing how businesses operate. Furthermore, ZIA’s deployment within the Zoho cloud aims to provide best-in-class services without compromising user privacy.

The Unveiling of ULAA

Another exciting reveal was a secret product code-named ULAA. The details of ULAA remain under wraps, but its promise to save time and offer convenience and flexibility is already creating waves of anticipation.

Zoho’s Marketing Plus

Zoho’s Marketing Plus was a shining beacon of how an integrated marketing suite can drastically enhance business operations. The suite offers businesses the ability to create and customize landing pages, access a heat map to track potential clients’ clicks, and view all analytics in one spot.

The Power of Zoho’s Finance Suite

Designed to enable businesses to focus on their core operations instead of accounting, Zoho’s finance suite was showcased as a system that is intuitive, promotes contextual collaboration, connects multiple functionalities, and puts the customer first.

Data Integration and the Future of Business Intelligence

Zoho’s focus on seamless data integration across various platforms is a step towards creating a frictionless data management experience.

With integrated data management and governance, Zoho strives to provide businesses with the tools to manage and utilize data more efficiently. Zoho’s advancements in AI are setting the pace for businesses to leverage AI for improved performance and insights.

This seamless data integration can be achieved with powerful tools like Commercient SYNC through which you can integrate your Zoho CRM and your ERP software with ease.


Despite the uncertainties and disruptions in the business environment, Zoho’s strategic focus on its people, innovation, customer value, and resilience paints an optimistic future. Its extensive product portfolio, cutting-edge AI applications, and commitment to privacy and user experience provide a blueprint for navigating the uncharted terrains of tomorrow’s business landscape.

The company plans to invest more locally, double down on its workforce, accelerate innovation, focus on delivering customer value, and build resilience.

Additionally, the discussions and insights from ZOHOLICS 2023 prompt us to reflect on our relationship with technology and how we can navigate the disruptive landscape of the future.

As we continue to explore the potentials and pitfalls of technologies like AI, it is crucial to remain anchored in our core values of trust, transparency, and human connection.

While we look forward to the exciting possibilities that tools like AI offer, we must also be mindful of their implications and strive for a future where technology serves humanity, not the other way around.

This balance will be the key to harnessing the transformative power of technology while ensuring a sustainable and inclusive future.

In sum, ZOHOLICS 2023 was a beacon of inspiration, signaling the dawn of a new era in business technology. As we continue to explore and integrate these insights into our practices, we are excited about the vast potential that lies ahead with Zoho.