Zoho ramps up A/NZ push

Published on the 01/03/2019 | Written by Heather Wright

Timothy Kasbe_Zoho

Opens offices and data centres across A/NZ…

SaaS business application and ITSM provider Zoho is ramping up its local market presence with an A/NZ push which will see it investing ‘tens of millions of dollars’ here following the opening this week of offices in both countries.

The US-based, Indian-born tech giant, whose business includes the Zoho integrated suite of more than 40 apps (including the popular Zoho CRM application), IT software management offering ManageEngine and webNMS, which is used by the telco sector and IoT applications, is hiring 30 staff across A/NZ, including 10 in New Zealand.

“We are seeing strong adoption of the Zoho suite in large enterprises so that’s naturally a key focus for us.”

It has opened offices in Auckland and, in a coup for disenfranchised IT workers in Brisbane, Byron Bay, as well as a small sales office in Sydney, and has built data centres in Sydney and Melbourne in its A/NZ cloud push.

Zoho says A/NZ is one of its top four performing markets globally, and it already has a well established client base here.

Timothy Kasbe, Zoho managing director for A/NZ and global large enterprise (pictured), says “We have tens of thousands of A/NZ users, all without having boots on the ground.

“By investing in building a local office, team and supporting infrastructure, we believe we can fast track our growth in Australia and deliver a deeper level of customer service and support to our New Zealand users.”

The company’s local A/NZ customer base includes BHP, Qantas, Turners and Growers along with ‘banks and other large household names’. Globally it claims to have 45 million users across more than 180 countries with more than 300,000 companies using its offerings.

“We are seeing strong adoption of the Zoho suite in large enterprises so that’s naturally a key focus for us [in A/NZ],” says Kasbe – previously CIO and CDO for New Zealand’s The Warehouse Group.

The company says that it competes directly with the likes of Salesforce, Google and Microsoft (we’d qualify that to say it competes with just a subset of products from those companies, except perhaps Salesforce) and cites its speed of deployment and pricing structure as its key differentiators, claiming businesses are able to digitise their operations for as little as $1 a day.

Kasbe says Zoho’s application suite has democratised business software.

“Business software has historically conjured up thoughts of applications that were only available to large companies with deep pockets and sophisticated IT teams. Zoho’s affordable and accessible suite has democratised business software for all,” he says.

“Our modern cloud-based applications address every functional area of business including sales, marketing, HR, finance, IT and even communication and collaboration applications to increase business productivity.

“We do this without reading customers’ data or worse, selling it to the highest bidder like other industry titans, as privacy and security are our supreme values.”

Prior to his stint with The Warehouse Group, Kasbe held positions as CIO and CDO at several Fortune 50 companies including IBM and Sears and was COO at Gloria Jeans Coffee.

The local expansion is part of a global expansion planned for the next two years.

“Launching in Australia and New Zealand, there are two broad goals for us: large enterprise expansion and deeper geographic expansion,” Kasbe says.

The company will be using a combination of direct sales, self-service and partner distribution in the market, working with companies including Oscillosoft, Squirrel CRM and FI Digital, as well as global players KPMG, Tech Mahindra and EY.

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