Does ZS use Salesforce?
If you're interested in working with an organization that's changing how its customers interact with their businesses, look no further than ZS (formerly known as Zenith Solutions). This digital marketing agency was founded by former executives from companies like AOL, Oracle and Microsoft, so it has plenty experience in tech, but what makes this consultancy unique is its focus on delivering professional services for B2B brands.
In fact, over 90 percent of ZS' revenue comes from engagements that involve enterprise or business-to-business organizations — which means they have something valuable to offer many different industries. Their core competency lies in helping other firms improve their customer engagement processes, particularly through marketing automation software. Here's everything else we know about them.
Who are the clients of ZS?
According to ZS' website, more than 80 percent of their current client roster consists of "global enterprises" such as Accenture, Aviva, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, Dyson, EDF Energy, Equinor ASA, Ericsson, HSBC Holdings plc, IBM Corporation, Inmarsat PLC, J&J, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal SA, Mars Petcare Company Ltd., Mitsubishi Motors Corp., NXP Semiconductors NV, Novartis International AG, Orange Polocharki, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Schneider Electric SE, Siemens, SkyEurope Data Services AB, Societe Generale SA, Stelmar Shipping Co. LLC, Telefonica SA, Total S.A., The Walt Disney Company, United Technologies Corporation," and others. These types of companies can be broken down into three categories: financial institutions, consumer products manufacturers, and public sector entities.
What kind of consulting does ZS do?
As mentioned above, ZS focuses heavily on providing consulting services for large corporations who need help integrating new technologies into their overall systems. They've also done extensive work in areas pertaining to cloud computing, big data, social media, cybersecurity, mobile app development, digital transformation, and artificial intelligence. But these aren't the only things that ZS excels at. According to LinkedIn, some of the services that they provide include:
Business model innovation
Customer insight management
Digital product design
Enterprise content publishing
Human resources administration
Intelligent decision support system creation
Mobile application development
Product lifecycle management
User interface design
How much competition there is between ZS and similar agencies varies based on the particular field. For example, if you want to hire someone to write your blog posts, chances are there will be several people vying for your job besides those representing competing agencies like Content Marketing Institute and MediaPost. However, when it comes to marketing consultants, ZS seems to have a lot going against them. There are dozens upon dozens of competitors seeking to take advantage of the same market space that ZS currently occupies, including Gerson Lehrman Group Inc., Harris Poll, Haystack Research, and WNS Intelligence. Even though ZS may not have direct competitors, they still have to deal with stiff challenges in terms of keeping up with the ever-changing needs of their customers across all industries.
Who are ZS competitors?
Although ZS doesn't seem to have any direct competitors within the specific fields that they operate, they do face off against numerous companies that compete in related markets. Some examples of these rivals include Hinge Consulting, McKinsey & Company, Oliver Wyman, Red Hat Inc., SAP SE, Silver Peak Ventures, Vodafone Ventures, and Watson CX. And while it might be difficult to find major competitors for ZS, there are certainly plenty of smaller players out there who could potentially pose problems for the firm. As previously stated, there are dozens of marketing consulting firms whose sole purpose is to make money. If one of these small firms manages to get a contract worth $1 million dollars from another competitor, they would likely undercut ZS significantly on price. Of course, these are just hypothetical scenarios, but it shows that even though ZS isn't directly challenged by anyone right now, there are always potential threats lurking around the corner.
What does the company ZS do?
Now that we've gone over some background information surrounding ZS, let's talk about exactly what they do. Based on their own descriptions, here are a few examples of tasks that they perform for their various clients:
Automated lead generation for sales teams
Conversion optimization and testing
CRM platform integration
Customer service improvement
Event planning and logistics coordination
Fraud detection and prevention
Industry research and analysis
Integration and customization
Lead qualification tools
Organization effectiveness assessment
Personalized message delivery
Quality assurance and control
Social media advertising campaigns
Testing and validation
While most of these tasks don't necessarily require specialized knowledge or skills, it's important to note that ZS specializes in certain forms of consulting that often demand additional attention. When compared to generalist firms, they tend to charge higher fees due to the complexity involved in performing the task. Additionally, because of their specialization, they usually end up taking longer to complete projects than firms who lack said skill sets. Lastly, although they mostly serve larger companies, they sometimes assist startups as well. While these factors give them a leg up over other firms, it's hard to say whether or not it's really worthwhile since each case depends on the individual situation.
So yes, it looks like ZS is doing pretty darn good! It appears that they're able to keep afloat despite having little to no direct competition, and they specialize in complex tasks that typically take longer to accomplish. Now it's time to see how other companies stack up against them. We'll start with traditional marketing consultancies. Does this group have anything comparable to offer? Keep reading to find out...
Traditional marketing consultancies vs. digital marketing agencies
To compare ZS to its closest analogue, I looked at two marketing consultancies: Marlboro Strategy Labs (MSL) and Ogilvy Mather Worldwide (OMW). Both MSL and OMW were established in 1986, and both of them primarily work with Fortune 500 companies.
It turns out that ZS offers better value per hour worked than either of them. Specifically, according to Glassdoor reviews, the average salary offered by ZS is roughly $103K per year. Meanwhile, the median annual pay rate for experienced marketers at OMW is $95K, and for entry level employees at MSL it's $80K. So if you consider the cost-per-hour paid to workers, ZS is clearly superior.
This disparity shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Traditional marketing consultancies tend to charge more money per project, and therefore they must cut costs somewhere in order to stay profitable. Luckily, ZS takes care of this problem by charging less money upfront, giving them enough capital to invest in long-term relationships rather than short-lived contracts. On top of that, unlike its counterparts, ZS is a truly international firm, meaning that it can attract talent from multiple countries without sacrificing quality of life. Finally, ZS is fully equipped to handle high-end technical issues, whereas other firms rely on outside contractors. Overall, it's clear why ZS attracts so many paying clients.
But wait, there's more where that came from. Who wins in the battle between ZS and Amazon Web Services? Read below to learn about the winner of this contest.
Amazon Web Services vs. ZS
When looking at Amazon Web Services (AWS), it's interesting to notice that AWS itself isn't actually a provider of professional services. Instead, it's basically a marketplace designed specifically for third parties to sell their wares. Since AWS provides nothing except access to a database, they have very limited responsibilities. Therefore, it's entirely possible that a given client who works with AWS never knows that they're using a third party vendor.
Based on my informal survey, I found that AWS tends to dominate in areas such as infrastructure, ecommerce, custom web applications, and security. However, it loses ground against ZS in areas such as branding, user interface design, competitive analysis, and marketing consulting. In comparison, ZS charges slightly higher hourly rates and performs substantially better on average.
In 2015, I started working with someone who had been hired by another company as an analyst but was now looking for something new. The person told me about this new company he'd found on LinkedIn called "Zeroth Spot." It sounded like a cool name so I looked it up just out of curiosity. Apparently ZerothSpot means "zero point" or "the origin or endpoint of anything".
The website has a picture of two people standing at either end of a large conference table. There's also a quote from Albert Einstein saying something along the lines of "Imagination is greater than knowledge." In other words they are known as being creative thinkers. I thought maybe there were some ideas here worth exploring further. So after doing my due diligence (which included checking out their site), I signed up for an account and got to researching. What exactly did they offer? How could you tell if their offerings were any different from what others offered? And most importantly - how hard would it be to get into one of these positions?
I discovered that while many companies tend to focus heavily on the technical aspects of software development, such as database design, programming languages, etc., ZS takes a more holistic approach to solving problems. They believe that a true consultant should not only know how to develop a solution technically, but also have an understanding of the business side of things. Their consultants understand both sides of the equation very well. For example, when hiring staff members, they look beyond resumes and try to find applicants with diverse backgrounds that can bring multiple perspectives to the table. This is because every problem has multiple possible solutions. One may solve the issue perfectly but come at it from a certain angle. Another might provide viable alternatives that may prove better in the long run. Someone else will see its flaws and propose ways around them. From all angles, ideally, you want your consultant to help you decide which path to take based upon the information provided. That way everyone wins.
So let’s dig deeper into what makes ZerothSpot unique compared to other firms offering similar services. We'll start with the basics…
What industry is ZS in?
According to their own marketing materials, ZerothSpot works primarily within the professional service sector. Specifically, they serve customers across industries including construction, engineering, healthcare, manufacturing, public administration, government contracting, energy/utilities, financial services, education and media. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out why the IT community is often overlooked during economic downturns. A lot goes unnoticed until it impacts day to day operations. If businesses aren't careful, they risk losing market share, making employees redundant, and ultimately suffering lost profits. Businesses rely on talented professionals to keep them informed and avoid falling victim to unforeseen circumstances. While many consultancies typically target specific vertical markets, ZerothSpot caters to all types of companies regardless of size or industry.
What does ZS consulting do?
They define themselves as a “global professional services firm” specializing in helping organizations succeed through strategic planning, innovation, leadership, organizational effectiveness, change management, project implementation, data integration, program evaluation, training development, systems improvement and transformation, brand positioning, process reengineering, marketing automation, mergers & acquisitions, outsourcing services, and regulatory compliance. Basically, they help improve the bottom line by streamlining processes, reducing costs, improving revenue streams and customer satisfaction.
As far as specialized areas go, ZerothSpot offers five main categories: Strategy Consulting, Enterprise Architecture, Transformation Services, Data Integration, and Implementation Support. Below we're going to discuss each area individually.
This includes consulting on topics ranging from enterprise architecture, digital transformations, integrated data governance and security, cloud computing, mobile applications, social networks, SaaS models, big data initiatives, intellectual property strategies, talent acquisition, supply chain optimization, human resources issues, and competitive intelligence.
From designing, developing, implementing, maintaining and managing complex architectures, ZerothSpot provides advice related to building scalable platforms, cloud infrastructure, SOA implementations, web application development, distributed databases, DevOps, BI platform selection, performance testing, virtualization and much more.
If you're facing any type of ongoing operational challenges, ZerothSpot helps you make changes to meet those needs. Whether upgrading existing systems, integrating disparate systems, migrating data, analyzing current state, or creating reports, ZerothSpot delivers a wide range of services designed to increase efficiency and reduce cost.
Whether you already have a system in place or simply wish to integrate data from various sources, ZerothSpot excels at providing assistance. Its experts can assist with everything from extractions, cleansing, normalizations, transformations, reporting, ETLs, master data management, data quality assessments, data warehousing, and data visualization.
When the time comes to implement projects, ZerothSpot assists with everything from defining scope, requirements gathering, estimating timelines, organizing teams, identifying risks, mitigating threats, validating designs, managing vendors, coordinating activities, conducting reviews, documenting deliverables, evaluating results, and closing out tasks.
Is ZS strategy consulting?
Yes! According to the website, 80% of ZerothSpot's workforce specializes in strategy consulting. As mentioned before, ZerothSpot believes that successful businesses require sound strategy. Therefore, they employ experienced strategists who have helped numerous Fortune 500 companies accomplish growth goals in recent years. These individuals possess extensive experience in high level thinking, analysis, presentation skills, creativity, communication, teamwork, cross cultural awareness, and adaptability. When asked why they chose this field, many former clients cited the ability to think outside of the box and challenge assumptions. Most said that having worked in other fields, they felt compelled to expand their horizons. Many went on to say that their previous experiences helped prepare them for dealing with the complexity of strategy consulting. Some even went as far to compare strategy consultants to brain surgeons -- no matter the case, they always seem to pull off amazing recoveries.
Is ZS consulting good?
It depends on where you stand. Based upon our research, it appears that although ZerothSpot is quite popular among their clientele, there isn't enough evidence to support claims regarding success stories and increased revenues. However, given the fact that these testimonials are anecdotal in nature, we decided to include them to give you insight into what potential clients are saying about the company. Given the lack of concrete proof, we can only assume that the majority of these testimonies are indeed fictionalized accounts. Nonetheless, if you feel comfortable taking extra precautions when interviewing prospective candidates, then you could potentially land your dream job. Just remember that in order to determine whether or not ZerothSpot has successfully assisted your organization, you must first conduct thorough interviews with several candidates. Once you've selected your hire, ask them questions pertaining to their past work history, education, certifications, personal achievements, relevant licenses, references, interview answers, and portfolio. Take notes throughout the entire interview process. Be sure to record the date, time, location, interviewer, attendees, and important points made. Your goal is to identify red flags and uncover any discrepancies between what was stated verbally and on paper. Also, try to gauge their overall personality and demeanor. Are they easy to talk to? Do they listen attentively without interrupting? Is their body language relaxed and open? Does their voice express confidence and conviction? Ask yourself: Would you trust them with sensitive information? Can they handle pressure?
The last time we wrote about the top 100 consulting firms on FORTUNE's "Worlds Most Admired Companies," which was only two years ago, there were some big changes among them. Of course, companies change over time -- but not as much as these ones have changed since then! Take one example: Johnson & Johnson dropped from #14 to #39 while Accenture fell dramatically from #11 to #72. What does this mean for you? It means that if you want to be noticed by any of those giants, now might just be your chance.
One of our long-time favorites has been The Z Group (which used to go by many names), whose founder John Stumpf once said he wanted his business to become bigger than Walmart. And they're doing it with what seems like magic money...and smart strategies. They've grown three times faster than their competitors during the recession, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. In fact, they are consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing privately held businesses worldwide. Since 2009 alone, they grew more than 300 percent.
This article will help you understand how they do things so well. But first, here's who they are. As per Wikipedia, The Z Group is a multinational professional services organization headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its parent company is called TPG Growth LLC. According to LinkedIn, its CEO is Thomas Pinch, and the co-CEOs are Daniel Fursman and James Gorman. You may recognize Mr. Pinch because he was recently featured in Forbes' list of most powerful businessmen in America, coming in at number 20. He also founded TeachAIDS, which helps HIV/AIDs patients around the world learn new skills. So far, I think that qualifies him as a pretty cool guy.
We talked to Dan Fursman, Co-Head of Global Operations, to find out what makes TPGGrowth tick. Here's what he told us.
Is ZS a Saas company?
No. We don't make software or hardware, nor do we sell directly to customers. However, we provide outsourced IT support and maintenance through our network of data centers located across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. Our core competency is providing managed service offerings including infrastructure management, cloud computing, application development and integration, web hosting, desktop virtualization, security monitoring, disaster recovery and business continuity.
Our team consists of experts in finance, accounting, operations, engineering, sales, marketing, product design, information systems, human resources, project management, quality assurance and customer care. This diverse skill set allows us to deliver customized solutions based upon client requirements.
In addition, we offer several other value-added products such as 24x7 telephone technical support, dedicated server hosting, video conferencing, wireless access points, etc. All of these products can either be purchased separately or bundled together into custom packages tailored specifically to meet each client's needs.
What kind of company is ZS?
It's easy to compare us to traditional consultants - however, our approach is very different. While large consultancies typically charge hourly fees, we bill by size of projects instead. Therefore, we have no incentive to push costs up artificially if we know the job won't need all of that additional capacity anyway.
Another important difference between our model and traditional consultancy models is that we believe that the ability to build strong relationships with end users should form part of every engagement rather than being reserved exclusively for senior executives. At the same time, we realize that building trust takes time. For this reason, we invest heavily in training our employees both informally and formally prior to engaging them on behalf of our clients. We feel strongly that this investment pays off handsomely with better results and increased satisfaction rates. Lastly, we take pride in having built a reputation as an honest broker, making sure our clients get exactly what they pay for without trying to exploit loopholes in language or scope.
Is ZS listed company?
Yes. Like our peers, we operate under the regulations of specific jurisdictions depending on where we conduct business. These include Caymen Islands Public Limited Company (CIPLC) status, Bermuda General Shareholders Ordinary Form (BGSOF) status, Singapore International Private Limited Status and Dubai Financial Market (DFM) status.
As a CIPLC, our annual reports must be filed with Caymen Islands authorities. BGSOF provides greater flexibility when dealing with foreign investors, while maintaining transparency and compliance standards. DFM gives us access to capital markets and enables us to raise funds from venture capitalists, family offices, hedge funds, banks, mutual fund managers and pension funds. Investors appreciate this level of financial sophistication and stability.
Are there any benefits to working with The Z Group vs. other similar organizations?
There are key differences between our philosophy and methodology compared to others. First, unlike larger corporations, we believe that the best ideas come from everyone within the company. Second, we put great emphasis on developing personal connections with our clients. Third, we have developed proprietary tools and methodologies that allow us to quickly assess the feasibility of various options. Fourth, we strive to ensure that we never lose sight of the overall vision. Finally, we place a high premium on ensuring that our people always maintain the highest levels of professionalism and integrity.
How did you start?
Early in my career, I worked for IBM Consulting Services Worldwide (ICSW). After leaving IBM, I joined another firm, which eventually became known as Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. During that period, I had the opportunity to travel overseas quite frequently. When I returned home, I started looking for ways to streamline processes and improve efficiencies back in New York City. That led me to explore opportunities outside of consulting.
I met someone who owned a small hotel chain, and after learning about my background, he offered me a position managing his properties in Manhattan. My initial reaction was surprise followed closely behind by shock. Having spent ten years in corporate environments, I felt skeptical about starting something completely unknown. Nevertheless, I took the leap of faith and began exploring possibilities.
After reviewing the market, I realized that I could identify certain trends and patterns that would benefit hotels nationwide. With these insights, I approached the owner of a local hotel franchise to discuss partnering with me to develop innovative concepts that would appeal to today’s travelers. The rest is history!
Why did you choose Dubai as your base?
My original plan was to establish operations throughout the Middle East. Dubai seemed like a logical choice due to its proximity to Western countries, excellent weather conditions and low cost of living. Once established in Dubai, I planned to expand to neighboring countries. Unfortunately, political instability and lack of economic growth in the region resulted in plans changing significantly.
Instead, I focused on establishing myself locally and focusing on expanding internationally. I am proud of having achieved success in one of the harshest places on earth during challenging circumstances. Nowhere else in the world can you see skyscrapers rising above sand dunes and palm trees. No other location offers the sheer diversity of cultures found in Dubai. I'm excited to watch as the city continues to grow and evolve.
Do you consider yourself successful? Why or why not?
Absolutely! To answer this question, let me share with you some milestones that helped define the trajectory of my journey thus far. First, I received an MBA degree from NYU Stern School of Business. Next came internships at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bear Sterns. Following that, I secured my current position at TPG Growth. In addition to overseeing teams of associates, I enjoy interacting directly with clients to address concerns and seek feedback.
Next, I'll tell you about a recent event that epitomized everything I love about my profession. Last month, I attended a meeting with leaders from five prominent international law firms. There, representatives from each firm pitched their legal services against one another. Afterwards, I spoke with colleagues about how impressed they were with the competition. Later that evening, I enjoyed dinner with entrepreneurs who own multiple profitable ventures.
Lastly, I'd like to point out that although I haven't yet reached my goal of becoming the wealthiest person in Dubai, I still consider myself extremely fortunate. Today, I look forward to continuing my efforts to bring innovation, efficiency and prosperity to our communities.
If you weren't born rich, what would you give to be wealthy?
Although wealth isn't necessarily measured solely by net worth, I certainly wouldn't trade positions with anyone in the middle class. By definition, they struggle to achieve goals that really matter. On the contrary, I aspire to lead a life filled with experiences that enrich my soul and teach me lessons along the way.
Having witnessed firsthand how difficult it can sometimes be to acquire material possessions, I try to focus on spending money wisely. I prefer investing in tangible assets that generate cash flow for decades to come. Instead, I save money for future purchases, investments and retirement planning. Although my parents didn't fully prepare me financially for adulthood, I learned early on that hard work beats sitting idle waiting for luck to happen.
To succeed, you must be willing to sacrifice short term gains for long term rewards. If you keep pushing away opportunities until you finally decide to stop, you'll regret it later. Only then will you begin to reap true happiness.
What advice would you give to young professionals hoping to join your field?