Zoho unveils the ‘first bot for CRM,’ plus a new ‘serverless’ infrastructure service
Known for its collection of business software, the company is now adding a voice/text conversational interface and a for-hire backend to its CRM.
Zoho offers an expansive suite of tools for businesses, covering sales, marketing, customer support, finance and other necessities.
This week, the company announced its first bot and launched an infrastructure service in support of apps made with its tools.
The bot – or AI assistant, in the company’s description – is call Zia Voice, and Zoho describes it as the first conversational agent designed for sales teams. More specifically, it offers a voice and text chat interface for Zoho’s customer relationship management (CRM) system on mobile devices, and text-only conversations on desktop.
Zia Voice draws on the Zia layer of artificial intelligence that Zoho added about a year ago.
The voice/text agent can answer questions and make predictions about such CRM things as new leads created, average deal revenue, monthly forecasts. It can also dial phone numbers, or, once the deal is closed, handle orders.
And Zoho is adding some other enhancements to its Zia AI layer, besides this new bot interface for CRM. Zia can now offer lead and deal predictions, email sentiment analysis and alerts for the best time to contact a potential customer.
Zoho is also releasing Catalyst, which it describes as a “hyper-customization platform” for its CRM.
Catalyst contains a new mobile software development kit (SDK) — Zoho’s first — for client companies to build their own custom mobile apps, and a new Mobile Device Manager so firms can distribute and manage their own apps.
Plus Catalyst offers a new “serverless computing” service for Zoho’s CRM.
Developers can upload their Zoho CRM-backend code to its infrastructure-as-a-service platform, without worrying about hardware configurations or maintenance. It’s an alternative solution for businesses looking to avoid either Amazon Web Services or managing their own servers.