TheNFAPost Podcast

Chennai, NFAPost: Global technology company Zoho Corporation has announced BackToWork, a fully comprehensive modular solution enabling businesses and organisations to safely transition back into the workplace.

Free for the remainder of 2020, BackToWork, powered by Zoho Creator, is the latest program to be introduced, as part of the company’s ongoing relief efforts, which support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

In March, amid global office shutdowns, Zoho introduced Remotely, a free suite of 11 business applications designed to help companies of all sizes transition to remote work. Since its release, more than 25,000 organisations are using Remotely, which will remain free for businesses through September 1, the company said in a release.

In the next phase of relief efforts, Zoho unveiled its Small Business Emergency Subscription Assistance Program (ESAP), which continues to provide Zoho’s small business customers free access to their existing Zoho applications.

Nearly 20,000 organisations have taken advantage of ESAP, providing financial relief during this crisis. In April, Zoho’s Vertical Relief Plan was rolled out, offering businesses in three hard-hit industries — Retail, Government & Non-Profit, and Education — custom-built tools and assistance programs to navigate pandemic-related issues. Zoho is entering a new phase with BackToWork, giving businesses around the world a safe and secure way to return to the office.

“We’ve seen tremendous successes from businesses moving their entire operations quickly onto the Remotely platform. Likewise, we’ve seen customers applying to ESAP and rebuilding their organisations online using the VRP,” said Zoho Chief Evangelist Raju Vegesna.

“Now that organisations are planning to re-open in some parts of the world, we want to help them resurge, this time through BackToWork, an application enabling companies to maintain end-to-end workplace safety,” he added.

Scalable to companies and organisations of all sizes, BackToWork supports Chief Operations Officers, Chief Human Resources Officers, Facility Heads and their teams in making critical decisions around returning to the workplace without compromising on the safety and compliance aspects. The robust application consists of six modules designed to address every concern involved in the process of re-entering the workplace, all within one secure, easy-to-navigate solution, the company added.

Safe Entry: Define multiple buildings and locations and control facility access based on employee wellness and travel history via a contactless end-to-end check-in system through generated QR codes.

Employee Wellness Assessment: Track workplace wellness by defining self-assessment, safe entry, and travel policies. Employees can securely and privately submit a wellness questionnaire reporting travel history, recent medical history, and other pertinent possible exposure history.

Maintenance and Assets: Define and manage assets and building maintenance requests for employees. Repair/replacement requests can be handled in the app.

Admin Control Panel: Gain a 360-degree view of workplace data in pre-configured dashboards as well as add and manage your employees, and define roles for tasks such as approvals, emergency contacts, etc.

Volunteer: Add and manage your company’s volunteer programs.

Communication: Materials such as announcements, FAQs, and best practices, policies and safety documents can be shared with employees and managed in the Communication module.

Other Key Features

  • The user-friendly application allows organisations the option of advanced customisation to tailor to their specific company needs through Zoho Creator.
  • BackToWork is currently available in five languages (English, French, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic) and will soon be available in three more (Spanish, Portuguese, and German).
  • The application can be easily integrated with top HR platforms like Zoho People and BambooHR.
  • BackToWork is accessible via progressive web app, iOS and Android.
  • BackToWork can be simply integrated with Active Directory and Zoho Directory.
  • Zoho has several enhancements in the pipeline including a Travel Management module and integrations with popular video conferencing platforms.

“For us here in the National Maternity Hospital, it was very much a case of continuing to provide our services in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said National Maternity Hospital, Ireland, Director of Quality, Risk and Patient Safety, Dr Luke Feeney.

“To do that, we needed to provide and assure easy access to up-to-date, accurate, and insightful information concerning our response to COVID-19, which could underpin effective and efficient understanding and decision-making,” he added.

BackToWork will be offered free of charge until the end of 2020. After that period, it will cost $2 USD/user/month for all regions, the company said.

Zoho files a case against Freshworks

Recently in March, Zoho was in news for filing a case against Freshworks at the California Northern District Court under the Defense of Trade Secrets Act, accusing it of accessing and using confidential customer data. Now, Freshworks has said that Zoho’s plea lacked “specificity and particularity” in its allegations.

SaaS unicorn Freshworks has asked a US court to dismiss a plea filed against it by rival Zoho Corporation.

It maybe noted that Freshworks was founded by two former Zoho employees, Girish Mathrubootham, formerly a Vice President of Product Management at Zoho and Shan Krishnasamy, who was Zoho Technical Architect working under Mathrubootham. Both of them had worked in Zoho from 2001 to 2010 before founding Freshworks.

Zoho has alleged that Freshworks used its non-public financial information to gain the trust of investors, which in turn, helped the company seal its first round of funding. Freshworks raised $1 Mn in its first round of funding, a Series A round back in 2011, led by Accel, an early and growth-stage venture capital firm.

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