Philly EnterpriseTech Highlights 3/11 & 3/12: Universal Orlando to close; NetApp acquires Mt Laurel-based cloud storage player Talon

Zoho a disruptive force in SMB software

Tom Paine

Have you heard of Zoho?

The Indian-American SaaS CRM company has been getting considerable attention recently as it continues to grow. A classic disruptor, it is beginning to move upmarket from its SMB roots towards the enterprise market.

Industry analysts love Zoho’s story, because it seems free of much of the baggage legacy enterprise vendors carry. Customers love not paying Salesforce prices. And you can piece together other Zoho application modules to form ERP- like capabilities .

Zoho’s founder and CEO, Sridhar Vembu, 51, was born in a small town in Southern India and went on to earn his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Princeton. He was on his way to a long career in academia, but quickly decided that was not what he wanted to do and set his sights on the tech industry and software.

Vembu co-founded Zoho in 1996, and he and his family own over 90% of it. Zoho has some 8,000 employees and has had 5 consecutive 30% + growth years. It has never required outside equity.

Vembu has had Zoho build and surround itself with its own ecosystem, owning a full-stack operating system, operating Zoho University (which breeds much of the company’s top talent), and following Mr Vembu’s other often unique ideas for building a software business.

Zoho One is the core of what it calls Zoho’s “operating system for business”, consisting of more than 45 separate apps. Zoho has built all of Zoho One internally.It has its own hardware and data centers. All the apps are fully integrated to work with each other. App builder Zoho Creator can work in a low code environment.

Last year, Zoho relocated its US headquarters from California to Austin.

We are not the SAP of the east. SAP is the Zoho of the west“,  is Vembu’s refrain. He isn’t looking for an IPO, though it could do that. Revenue has surpassed $500 million, but likely is still short of $1 billion, and Zoho says it is profitable.

Zoho references the City of Philadelphia as being important client. Philly-based Purolite is another. Philadelphian Gene Marks runs a Zoho user group which was scheduled to meet tomorrow, but was cancelled..

Analysts seem skeptical about how much Zoho can penetrate the large enterprise market. Certainly it can handle some apps, but perhaps lacks the infrastructure to manage a complex enterprise. Also, I would be concerned about Zoho becoming too inwardly focused, depending as it does on a rather closed proprietary architecture.

Zoho’s video ads, which run on cable, look like takeoffs on another ad genre:.

Vijay Sundaram, Zoho’s chief strategy officer and a Wharton grad, on Constellation Research’s DisrupTV

Philly EnterpriseTech Highlights 3/9 & 3/10

Philly EnterpriseTech Highlights 3/7 & 3/8: Is goPuff a good neighbor? Trump goes after Comcast again

Podcasts: LLR Partners, Dell Boomi, Big Pharma, Zoho Chief Strategy Officer (Wharton Grad)

Philly EnterpriseTech Highlights 3/5 & 3/6: Veeva reports billion dollar year & helping customers deal with COVID-19; MeetMe to be acquired for $500M

MSNBC’s Circus Act

Tom Paine

It was another wild week at Comcast NBCU’s MSNBC. It started on Monday night with Chris Matthews announcing he was retiring and then walking off the set during the first break. Matthews, who is 74, was near the end of his run anyway, but NBCU management all but pushed him off the cliff. I’m not so sure the reason was his behavioral idiosyncrasies, but rather that he lacked the ideological purity MSNBC viewers demanded. Remember, he once was a regular guest host on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.

The funniest thing that happened was Brian William’s journey into the world of advanced mathematics. He figured that Bloomberg’s campaign spending was equal to giving every American citizen $1 million.

Veeva reports another excellent quarter & has 1st billion dollar year; Helping customers deal with COVID-19

Tom Paine

Veeva Systems, which has its headquarters in California but a significant east coast presence based in Radnor, announced its Q4 fiscal 2020 and full year results Tuesday, exceeding a billion dollar annual run rate and beating analyst estimates for revenue and earnings.

Total revenues for the fourth quarter were $311.5 million, up from $232.3 million one year ago, an increase of 34% year-over-year. Fiscal Year 2020 Total Revenues were $1,104.1M, up 28% . Fiscal year 2020 net income was $301.1 million, compared to $229.8 million one year ago, an increase of 31% year-over-year.

For Fiscal 2021, revenues are expected to be within $1.40-$1.41 billion. Adjusted EPS is expected to be $2.50.

Veeva (NYSE: VEEV) has a current market cap of $21.7 billion. Its current share price, $146.54, is still below its all-time high of $176.90 achieved last year.

Veeva’s Paul Shawah, Senior VP Commercial Strategy, also told me that Veeva is aiding life sciences companies’ communications with physicians, which has become more difficult in some places due to the Corona Virus (COVID-19).

In China, for example, people are often being asked to stay at home. This is having a major impact on doctors as it cuts off an important communications channel to the pharma reps and medical professionals they depend on for information on the latest research and treatments. This is especially true for oncologists and cancer treatment. If the pharma industry can’t reach the doctors, they can’t educate them on the latest medicines for their patients

In response to the growing challenge of COVID-19, Veeva is offering a rapid remote detailing enablement program using Veeva CRM Engage Meeting, a web-based video and content sharing platform designed for unique needs of life science companies. This will allow Veeva customers to engage with healthcare providers in a compliant way and ensure continuity of care for patients, whilst avoiding the need to travel or meet in person.

This offer is valid exclusively for Veeva CRM customers not currently using Engage Meeting and for customers wishing to extend their existing Engage Meeting country deployment in other countries not currently using Engage Meeting. This offer does not apply to Engage Meeting licenses already contracted for.

 In just two weeks, nearly 12,000 reps across 6 major pharma companies have taken advantage of this offer and gone live.

Another way in which Veeva can help is by having the other side of Veeva’s business, Veeva Vault, manage clinical trials for life sciences companies with potential therapies or vaccines for the virus using Veeva Vault CDMS. These clinical trials will obviously have a need for speed by streamlining the process while still meeting the regulatory hurdles. But I have no confirmation on specifics for that at this time.

Philly EnterpriseTech Highlights 3/2 to 3/4/20

Trump threatens Comcast: “I’ll do everything possible to destroy their image”

Tech Events Status Changes due to #CoronaVirus: SAP Cancels Sapphire Now And Partner Summit, Plans Digital Events

Updates added as received. (Tweet to @phillytechnews)

Updates added as received. (Tweet to @phillytechnews)

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), Philadelphia, 3/13/20 – 3/16/20: Monitoring developments but no plans to cancel or postpone at this time.