The things that Zoho does well are tracking contacts, accounts, and the sales cycle from a lead to a potential client as well as linking with Outlook and Zoho Projects (see next section). I keep my Outlook contacts and calendar synchronized using Google Apps, which in turn synchronizes with Zoho, so I don’t have to enter the data in two places. I also have a website entry form that brings in the data automatically to Zoho as a new lead and sends me an email to let me know I have a new inquiry. It also synchronizes with QuickBooks.
The Zoho Docs all-in-one productivity solution offers both an online productivity suite and a file storage, sharing and management platform. First, users can create, manage, share and publish files using Zoho's Word Processor, Spreadsheet and Presentation programs. Then, they can invite other users to collaborate, as well as assign tasks to keep track of progress. Although Zoho is limited to those three office programs, users can store documents and files in any format and share them with anyone using dedicated links. Zoho Docs is available on the Web and on iOS and Android devices. Free plans come with 5 GB of free storage, while paid plans start at $5 a month and come with 250 GB of storage and advanced features.
"We too used to be a Salesforce customer. But on looking at it, we thought we could develop it (CRM) better and sell it cheaper," said Sridhar Vembu, chief executive officer (CEO) of Zoho, which quickly jumped onto the SaaS bandwagon in 2004.
Over the last five years, Zoho has grown from one million to eight million users, and CRM is its fastest growing product, with which the company hopes to cross 10 million users this year.
A new territory management feature in Zoho CRM lets users organize customers by geographic location, industry type, expected revenue and more. They can also make forecasts based on territories, identify particularly profitable regions and better strategize the allocation of resources.
The days of the Rolodex are long gone, but the need to manage and retrieve business information quickly is more important than ever. For the same functionality as that little mechanical Ferris wheel-like tool, most people rely on their email client's built-in contacts manager. The problem is that's chump change in terms of what most businesses need. Zoho knows this and has stepped up its already powerful game to include a new tool called Zoho ContactManager.
Zoho has launched a service that centralizes contacts for customers, helps them share them across different groups and manage related tasks. As part of the effort to reach small business owners, the CRM company and business services provider is also letting customers set their own price after a 30-day free trial.
Contact management is one of the most important tasks in customer relationship management (CRM), especially for smaller businesses who differentiate themselves from their larger competitors by fostering close relationships with customers.
Zoho, which offers applications for business tasks including project management and invoicing, has introduced ContactManager, a CRM application geared toward small businesses that helps users create, organize and view information about their business contacts and capture all interactions with the contacts in a central place.
Zoho CRM doesn’t look fancy when you use it, but it offers the same services you could pay up to 4x as much for with other software. You can track your sales, connect with your customers, and integrate your CRM account with other apps to expand it into a customized business solution. It even allows you to sync your account with Google Apps.
Zoho Survey, available for web and iOS and Android devices, offers different question types, such as multiple choice, ratings and text boxes. After users create surveys using either the web app or the native iPad Survey Builder, they can preview their surveys to see how they display in a web browser or on mobile devices.
You've likely been taking advantage of Zoho's mobile apps and the service's Google Drive integration if you use its office suite. Well, now the company has also released a Zoho Docs for desktop client that syncs files saved on its cloud with a Mac, Windows or Linux computer. It also works in reverse, so files saved on your PC will sync with the cloud -- even documents edited offline, now that the feature's been added, will sync once you connect to the internet.
Zoho has taken a very unconventional approach to its business by not taking any venture money. But that strategy, strange as it seems, is paying off. Zoho has built a line of more than 25 applications — including CRM, project management, web conferencing and invoicing — and claims more than 7 million customers.
Zoho has launched an online password manager for clients to store, organise, manage and safely share their passwords. Called Zoho Vault, the tool also helps clients share their online credentials, financial records and other sensitive information. Zoho Vault offers safe, secure password and data storage and complete data privacy. Passwords are encrypted with the latest encryption standard, AES-256. The ‘passphrase’, which the user enters to access Zoho Vault, is used as an encryption key but is not stored anywhere on the Zoho Vault server or on the user's computer or iPhone.
Online apps are becoming a big craze, particularly with the all-out war between Google Apps and Microsoft’s Office 365. But Zoho has been in the game for quite a while, reporting over six million users, and the company is now out with version 3.0 of its Docs online document management application. The enhancements focus on file sharing and collaboration, providing tighter integration across its office productivity apps.
Zoho has a new Card Scanner app for iOS for its SaaS platform that allows a customer to take a photo of a business card and have that data stored in the Zoho CRM or as a new contact. The app scans business cards in English, French, German and Spanish.
The underlying technology is that Card Scanner extracts first names, last names, company names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, Twitter handles and other card information regardless of the size, font and format of the business card.
Priced at $4.99, Card Scanner can also work offline. A user working offline can take photos of the business card and save them on the device. The app automatically synchronizes the information in Zoho CRM when the user connects to the network.
This tool allows users to reply to emails, add follow-up tasks, and write notes from the MailMagnet panel. It also provides on-screen notifications when a new email arrives from someone listed in the user's Zoho CRM Contacts or Leads module. MailMagnet works withZoho Mail, Gmail, Google Apps, Microsoft Exchange and other email services.
MailMagnet filters email based on the active deals that the salesperson has in Zoho CRM. The new mobile app update allows field sales people to locate customers and leads close to them. With the filtering, you can see a contact page from the CRM system and the email exchange related to that individual. The new service also allows for users to share email exchanges with specific customers.
The third feature Zoho added is location awareness, which is compatible with Zoho CRM's iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile applications. Within the Leads and Contacts module in the mobile app, customers and prospects can be pulled up on a map, along with their contact information, based on the geographic area the salesperson is currently in.
Zoho, which brought email and social media marketing campaigns into the Zoho CRM picture with the launch of Zoho Campaigns late this summer, continues to evolve its product roadmap. "I think CRM is going to evolve beyond the pure CRM we are used to," Vegesna remarks. "One of the requests we got from customers was project management integration into their CRM system…[which] makes sense. I can create a project and check out what percentage of a project has been completed in the context of a customer."
According to IDG News Service, with the latest updates to its CRM suite Zoho is becoming a “credible alternative to Salesforce.com for customers with five to 50 employees.” IDG notes that Zoho “continues to flesh out the feature set of its cloud-based CRM,” as these updates follow upgrades in 2012, including an overhauled user interface, integration with LinkedIn and a social network-like feature called Pulse.
In addition to the upgrades cited by IDG, Zoho also made a significant and telling improvement to its CRM tool last June by linking it with business intelligence features. As reported by CMSWire, Zoho gave its CRM users an analytics option other than third-party plug-ins by linking the solution to Zoho Reports, which comes with 70 pre-packaged reports, allowing users to create any number of ad hoc reports. Users can also share and embed, schedule and print their reports.
Zoho today launched new updates to its CRM suite aimed at helping sales and marketing professionals collaborate better, prioritize their email communications and leverage opportunities on the go with the addition of location awareness to their travels.
The company's just-released Document Library module acts as a central repository for sales and marketing collateral, according to Zoho. Instead of functioning as another cloud storage add-on, Zoho evangelist Raju Vegesna told Enterprise Apps Today that the new module serves as a "full-fledged document management system."
Vembu credits some of his company’s success to its long-term research projects and extended training program, which pays high school graduates in India and the U.S. to learn to code. Graduates of Zoho University make up about 15 percent of programmers employed by the company.
He said those types of endeavors might have been frowned upon by outside investors. It would be easier and quicker for Zoho to just hire qualified engineers, he said, but they wouldn’t be as connected to the independent corporate culture that Vembu has cultivated over the years.
Bringing collaboration, business and productivity applications under one umbrella, Zoho gives organisations the ability to easily run business processes, manage information and be more productive in the office or on the move, without having to worry about expensive, incompatible or outdated hardware and software.
Zoho Sites enables businesses to create professional websites in minutes. The special part is that no coding is required. The Zoho Mail integration lets Zoho Sites users add and manage email hosting for their domains directly from the Zoho Sites console.
Users can purchase and manage multiple domains. Mail hosting can be enabled for verified or registered domain. Each domain includes support for unlimited email aliases. Users have the ability to add or delete users for the domain. Options are provided to import users from a file or through LDAP and assign roles to each user within the console.
Zoho is delivering on its promise to be a one-stop source for small-business applications with the addition of new cloud services for email and social media marketing. The new application, called Zoho Campaigns, integrates into the company's CRM software, which means small-business owners can maintain a single customer list that might be used for different purposes including marketing, sales automation or customer support. The new Zoho Campaigns application supports social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. It also can be integrated with Google Apps, allowing small businesses to synchronize lists with what's included in the Google Contacts database.
Zoho today announced the launch of Zoho Campaigns, an email and social media marketing application that is bidirectionally integrated with the Zoho CRM Suite, at CRM Evolution. "Many customers have been asking for campaign management, CRM, and customer support," explains Raju Vegesna, evangelist for Zoho. "When you're in CRM and you go to a contact, you can see all of the email campaigns that a particular contact received…and get into the particulars of the campaign, like what time he received the email and the number of clicks."
Zoho's cloud-based CRM platform is branching out into markets pioneered by MailChimp and Constant Contact. The company this week unveiled Zoho Campaigns, an email and social media marketing module that offers tight integration with Zoho CRM. Rather than a new set of menus and checkboxes that launch bulk emails or Facebook page updates, Zoho campaigns opens the floodgates to targeted messaging the likes of which are only possible with deep hooks into the platform, says Zoho evangelist Raju Vegesna.
Online application provider Zoho is launching Zoho Campaigns, a campaign management app for reaching out to customers via email or social media. The product can be integrated with Zoho CRM, its customer relationship management solution, and the company said the combined products can lead to more sales and better service. It gave the example of how CRM’s Contacts and Leads can be synchronized with Campaigns contacts, or campaign details about a customer can be viewed in the CRM.
Zoho has integrated its cloud-hosted office productivity applications with the Google Drive online storage service, Zoho said in a blog post. The integration lets Google Drive users open their files using the Zoho Office applications Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet and Zoho Show -- word processor, spreadsheet and presentation creation applications, respectively.
This morning, Zoho Office, the David to Google Apps’ Goliath, is announcing that it will now be integrated into Google Drive. Zoho ... is positioning the new Google Drive integration as a challenge to Microsoft, which this week revealed the future of its own Office Suite and online offerings. Like much of Microsoft’s install base, Zoho also targets the corporate and enterprise market with its products.
Zoho has now released a version of its CRM app that's been optimised for Apple's iPad. Users can now also access preset custom views with filtered datasets. The app allows users to access their Zoho CRM contacts, accounts and leads, as well as view, create and delete records, amongst other functionality.
Zoho today announced the immediate availability of Zoho CRM for iPad, a dedicated iPad app for the company's on-demand customer relationship management software. Zoho also announced support for accessing custom views that are defined in the CRM system through Zoho CRM for iPhone as well as Zoho CRM for iPad.
Zoho is ahead of the technology curve in offering its products over the internet and because of such positioning it faced hurdles in India in the past. Low internet penetration and connectivity issues here made India a low priority for Zoho, in the past. California based Zoho, founded by Sridhar Vembu in 1996 as AdventNet, owns close to 22 web applications that are primarily aimed at enterprise users. In India, Zoho's products are re-sold by the likes of Tata Communications, which purchases it and later re-brands it before selling it to end customer. Zoho finds growing IT adoption by small and medium business here a lucrative opportunity.
Zoho, a pioneer in the global SaaS space, has made a foray into the Indian market, with its suite of business, productivity and collaboration products on the Cloud including Zoho CRM, Zoho Sites, the Zoho Docs suite and the Zoho Mail suite. Raju Vegesna, Chief Evangelist, Zoho, said, “We are excited to enter the burgeoning Indian SMB market and play a proactive role in helping companies work online. As one of the first vendors to offer a comprehensive online office suite in India, the creation and development of every Zoho product is important, as it reinforces our commitment to the Indian SMB market. We hope to provide effective solutions across segments so that companies can concentrate on their core competence and leave their IT needs to us.”
Zoho Corporation, an online software solutions provider with its development centre in Chennai, will be rolling out over 20 applications, including customer management and invoice, for iOS (iPhone operating system) and Android-based devices, according to Raju Vegesna, chief evangelist for Zoho. “Imagine an application that allows you to capture the image of a business card, grab the information and send it to your CRM (customer relationship management) system? These are some of features of the applications that we are currently working on, which will be launched within this year,” he told reporters here on Monday.
Zoho, a SaaS (Software as a Service) based products company, which is upbeat on the Indian small and me dium business segment, is looking at adding at least 20 new products this year, meant especially for mobiles. The company, which engineers its products in India, hopes the country would fetch at least 25 per cent of total revenues going ahead, up from 5 per cent now.
Zoho is adding business intelligence to Zoho CRM with Zoho Reports integration. The move brings Zoho Reports' business intelligence and advanced reporting capabilities to the company's on-demand customer relationship management software. With the Zoho Reports integration, Zoho supplements the established reporting engine in Zoho CRM with business intelligence and advanced reporting capabilities. Now, Zoho CRM users can visually analyze their CRM information, creating their own reports and dashboards using a drag-and-drop interface.
Zoho, a division of Zoho Corporation that offers a suite of on-line business, productivity and collaboration products on the Cloud, is making its India foray with a focus on small and medium businesses (SMBs). Raju Vegesna, Chief Evangelist, Zoho said: “We hope to provide effective solutions across segments so that companies can concentrate on their core competence and leave their IT needs to us.” Zoho’s offerings include Zoho CRM which automates day-to-day business activities, provides visibility of sales cycles and access to customer data from mobile phones, etc. Zoho Sites which is an online website builder the non-technical user. Zoho Mail Suite is an ads-free email service with advanced features like powerful search and filters and multiple domains and Zoho Docs Suite where files can be stored securely in a centralised location and then accessed online.
Zoho Corporation, an online software solution provider, is keen on expanding its footprint in India by offering cloud-based products to small and medium businesses (SMBs). The U.S-based company, which has a development centre in Chennai, sees a potential market of around 50 million SMBs, with 10 million currently being technology-ready.
Zoho Corporation is aggressively looking at India market to sell its on-line business, productivity and collaboration products on the ‘cloud'. Large companies, small and medium size business and individual users will be able to use Zoho CRM, Zoho Sites, the Zoho Docs suite and the Zoho Mail suite, Mr Sridhar Vembu, CEO, Zoho, told newspersons.
Forbes describes Mr Sridhar Vembu as the ‘Smartest Unknown Indian Entrepreneur.' But little is known in India about this founder and CEO of Zoho Corporation, which is India's Google. It offers most of the products that Google offers, including email application. Mr Vembu is credited with creating one of the first online (cloud computing) office suites as a company. While the base is in Chennai, the company is well known outside India. It has 6.5 million users for its 25-plus products such as an email application. It is adding nearly 150,000 new users every month, he said.
Interlinking between applications is increasingly importan for Zoho, Vegesna said. While many Zoho customers start with just one application, they usually add additional ones after a period of six months. Right now, the average Zoho customer uses at least two or three applications, a number that has been climbing over time, Vegesna said. It is Zoho’s intention to keep growing that average apps per small business number, he said.
Users previously had to manually enter the account and transaction information in Zoho Books. To improve this process, Zoho has integrated Yodlee, a digital financial management provider, to establish the automatic bank feeds in Zoho Books. Users can now automatically download bank and credit card transactions, match the downloaded transactions, and accept or reject them for inclusion in their reports.
Zoho has just bolstered their Android lineup with two new additions - Zoho Docs and Zoho CRM. The Zoho Docs app allows users to upload and share (but not edit) documents with coworkers and team members, while Zoho CRM provides users read/write access to their full vault of customer information, accounts, leads, and more.
Zoho also comes bearing good news for users of their online project management service, as they’ve unveiled a new Projects app. Previously, users on-the-go had to rely on the company’s mobile website, but users can now use the native app to create/manage tasks, monitor time spent, and jot down/record notes to keep all team members on the same page.
The iPhone Projects application allows users to create project tasks as well as edit existing ones or mark them as complete. They can also use "start-stop" timing widgets to record hours they work on a job, for later inclusion in the project's overall time sheet, Zoho said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the CRM Android application gives access to contacts, accounts, leads and other fields in the CRM system, which can also be edited and deleted.
Both the Projects and CRM mobile clients enable offline activity, with data synchronized back up to Zoho's servers once the user reestablishes connectivity.
The interface for Zoho Writer is well designed. Each button serves as both a tab which reveals a toolbar, and as a drop down menu. This is really, really, nice--you can have the Format toolbar showing, then click the "Insert" dropdown and choose a command, without the current toolbar being replace. There is no need to click back to your preferred "main" toolbar. On the other hand, if you prefer switching toolbars, just single-click the appropriate button, and there you go.
App-building services such as Zoho Creator and QuickBase from Intuit can help employees create their own Web apps—applications that are accessed through a mobile Web browser. Hiring a Web developer to make a custom mobile app can easily run from $50,000 to $75,000. In contrast, some of these services are free or can cost less than $10,000.
Zoho’s Web app-building service has been used by employees at Honeywell International, Ikea, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, and Walt Disney’s Pixar.
Zoho has launched a significant upgrade to its on-demand CRM suite, with a revamped user interface and LinkedIn integration. It also announced that it now had more than 25,000 customers for its CRM application. While its user base is still much smaller than Salesforce.com, it could pose a threat to Salesforce.com going forward.
Zoho unveiled a significant upgrade to its on-demand CRM (customer relationship management) software on Thursday with new features including an overhauled user interface and an integration with LinkedIn.
Other new features in the CRM upgrade include a module called "Pulse," which allows users to follow accounts, leads and other data objects within the system much like they would follow a friend or business associate on social networks.
The LinkedIn integration allows users to tie a contact's Zoho CRM profile with their LinkedIn profile, so they can send them LinkedIn messages from within the CRM system, for example.
One of our favorite cloud office suites comes from Zoho. The company offers apps for just about every conceivable productivity task, from word processing to meeting hosting to calendar tracking, presentations, and accounting. It's a positively massive collection of different tools that work well together.
In addition, Zoho features excellent support for Microsoft Office formats, making it a better option than Google Docs for people who need to send their creations to Microsoft Office users. Zoho also provides a software plug-in for Microsoft Office that lets you create and edit documents from your Zoho account using the Office apps on your PC, and automatically save them back to your Zoho storage space. The plug-in is a great compromise for users who prefer working with desktop apps but want the convenience and collaboration benefits of cloud tools. Zoho apps are free for personal use; businesses pay to use the apps on a per-month and/or per-user basis.
The updates, which cover Zoho's CRM, Docs, Mail and Recruit tools, include support for the iPad, and closer integration between tools to help employees work across the firm's range of applications.
Zoho has added five more applications to the Google Apps Marketplace which makes it the largest software provider on Google marketplace. The five new apps are: Zoho Creator, Zoho Discussions, Zoho Meeting, Zoho Reports and Zoho Wiki.
"We have tens of thousands of customers using Zoho applications in the Google Apps Marketplace, so it's clear our users want this kind of integration," said Raju Vegesna, Zoho evangelist. "While Google is a competitor, they are also often a collaborator we work with wherever it can benefit our users. Going forward, Zoho and Google users can look forward to even more Zoho applications making their way to the Google Apps Marketplace as well as integration enhancements for the apps already there."
Compared with Google Docs, Zoho's interface is a pleasure to behold. Instead of being rudimentary, the design is elegant and intuitive, and far more closely than Google Docs, it resembles what most of us are used to from desktop applications.
A customizable dashboard lets you manage your entire workflow, and importing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents posed no problem. Even better, basic tasks like document editing, which can be a bit of a nightmare in Google Docs, have a functionality that is leaps and bounds ahead in Zoho. Documents we created there also worked in Microsoft Office without any issues.
The package is beautifully suited to business users who need to collaborate or access documents while on the road. At the same time, it even integrates with Microsoft tools and Google Apps, and the offline capabilities could be very helpful. Users who never travel or collaborate would probably be fine with a desktop package, but anyone else would do well to consider Zoho.
The new components are providing functionality that has been highly requested by the Zoho users who have built hundreds of thousands of applications with Creator, said Zoho evangelist Raju Vegesna.
With Scheduler, users can set up the automated triggering of certain actions within applications, such as sending alerts and reminders. These actions can be scheduled to occur at preset time intervals or whenever a user performs a specific task.
Meanwhile, Reports lets users create, distribute and share documents with graphs and charts based on an application's data; generate summaries and pivot tables; and analyze data in various ways.
Zoho Books is intended for businesspeople who may not have accounting backgrounds, but it includes the features we’ve come to expect from accounting software, including functions to manage customer, invoice, banking and expense data. Users can generate estimates, quotes and invoices in multiple currencies, all of which can be customized, include company logos, and be sent electronically or by postal mail. Its systems for generating reports, automating recurring invoices and sending out payment reminders should be useful for many businesses.
Zoho Books also includes some nice additions, including a function allowing accountants and financial advisorts to collaborate with business owners in real time, and a system for letting customers pay online using Authorize.net, Google Checkout, or PayPal for Business.
Zoho Books’ tabs are clear cut. The screens boil down to money in and out. There’s also a standard feature to share Zoho Books with an accountant. Zoho Books runs $24 a month with access for two users and $5 per user a month for additional folks.
Key features for Zoho Books include:
The big picture for Zoho is that Books builds out the company’s entire suite. Ultimately, Books will be integrated with all of Zoho’s applications.
Looking for an alternative to Intuit’s Quick Books online? Online applications provider Zoho is releasing Zoho Books, online accounting software designed for small and medium-size businesses, complete with a full feature set such as invoicing software, expense tracking, bank and credit card transactions and more.
The accounting software in the cloud adds to Zoho’s existing portfolio of applications that include CRM, email, project management, HR and recruitment, among others. It is offered at $24 per month, with an additional $5 fee per each additional user.
Zoho mostly sells direct in the U.S. market but does work with a handful of strategic partners and resellers, according to Raju Vegesna, Zoho evangelist who briefed Channel Insider on the new cloud application release.
Zoho has close to four million customers for all of its cloud applications, including Zoho Invoice, a predecessor to Zoho Books. User numbers have been growing by 100,000 to 200,000 new users per month, says Vegesna.
Zoho’s 26th productivity app, Zoho Books, is an online accounting software that gives business as snapshot of money flowing into and out of accounts. The software allows you to send invoices for payments, receive online payments, record bills and expenses, monitor bank and credit card transactions, deal in a variety of currencies, manage contacts, and share data.
Users can generate custom estimates, quotes and invoices in multiple currencies-complete with company logos and other customizations. Users can also receive payments online, automate recurring invoices and other repetitive tasks, and send out payment reminders.
The new application [Zoho Books] already integrates with Zoho's CRM and spreadsheet applications, and the company plans to offer more integrations in the future. Zoho Invoice users should be able to migrate to Books seamlessly.
Of late, many of the popular desktop applications have an online equivalent too. For instance, the Office suite, one of the most popular desktop applications, has several online solutions. Google Docs, Zoho Docs and the like are some of the prominent ones in this genre. You can use these applications to create text/spreadsheet/presentation documents from anywhere on the Web. You can even use them to conduct instantaneous surveys-using Google Docs ‘Form' option or Zoho creator, you can create a data collection form and administer it online within a few minutes.
The Vembu brothers had little idea then, but in these moves lay the beginnings of ZOHO Corp, which today employs close to 1,300 people with offices in Chennai, US, Europe, Japan and China, and the main development centre in Chennai . Its online suite of productivity and collaboration tools called ZOHO.com competes with Microsoft's and Google's offerings in the space, including word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, as also customer relationship management (CRM) tools, where it competes with Salesforce.com. The suite has over 3 million users around the world.
There's a tension in enterprise software between the suite/Swiss Army knife approach and the best-of-breed approach. Zoho seems to be trying to have it both ways. It offers both a mammoth suite of business applications to customers such as GE. But it also offers its applications ala cart through channels such as Google Apps Marketplace, where ZohoCRM is the third most popular application. These integrations may attract customers that use one of Zoho's best-of-breed solutions for other platforms to its larger suite of integrated offerings.
In an industry scrambling to hire and retain restless engineers from top engineering and business schools, Zoho offers lessons to other entrepreneurs in terms of looking beyond traditional hiring, apart from demonstrating that India can produce software product for users across the globe.
For over a decade now, India’s low-cost software exports industry has been waiting to have a home-grown, software product to compete with larger rivals at the global stage, and in some ways aimed at a mass user base. It remained a holy grail for what’s now over $50 billion industry, until a little-known firm called Zoho arrived on the scene and challenged Microsoft and Google—two of the biggest software companies around.
QuickBooks users will be able to sync customer and supplier information to Zoho CRM. Data from Zoho CRM, such as quotes and invoices, can be pushed to QuickBooks. The feature is compatible with on-premises QuickBooks Premier versions 2008 to 2010 as well as Simple Start 2008.
The new PhoneBridge option includes support for several PBX systems including Asterisk, Elastix, Avaya and Trixbox. It serves up customer contact information for incoming calls, can store notes made during calls and logs other details. It also enables single-click outgoing calls from within the CRM system.
Zoho Writer can handle almost all document formats, including the new .docx MS Office 2007 filetype. The usual slates of word-processing tools are available in a familiar format. Visual appeal is high; the interface is more polished and refined than what you will find in Google Docs.
Today, Zoho announced it has released tools for the Google Apps Marketplace that let Google users integrate Zoho's apps into their Gmail inbox. Now Zoho users who also use Gmail for email management can interact and act on Zoho tasks from directly within their email.
The VAR Guy keeps a close eye on Zoho because when it comes to enterprise SaaS, they seem to have figured out what the IT channel needs: cheap and easy to deploy applications that go beyond word processing and spreadsheets. By integrating with Gmail right in the message pane, I can only imagine that the Zoho Apps package gets more attractive to enterprise Google users – it may be the best of both worlds.
Zoho has aggressively built out its software-as-a-service portfolio over the last couple of years, with more than two dozen services. But the vendor hasn't been opposed to making its platform work with the technology of its bigger rivals, namely Microsoft and Google.
Zoho today said it's taking advantage of the recently announced Contextual Gadgets for Gmail, which lets third party apps integrate into Gmail messages.
Zoho's CRM, Invoice, and Projects software will now integrate with Gmail.
Sheet 2.0 now has support for 1 million cells per workbook (65,536 rows & 256 columns). In comparison, Google’s spreadsheet app only supports 400,000 cells (maximum of 256 columns per sheet). That is quite a difference!
Using Google Chrome or Safari? Zoho Sheet supports these browsers too.
Zoho Docs is a streamlined viewer for documents stored in Zoho Writer, Sheet, Show, or Docs--the company's Web-based office apps (and Google Apps competitors) for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. Any documents that you create in these apps, upload to them (including PDFs), or that other Zoho users have shared with you can be viewed in Zoho Docs for iPhone. You can also upload images from your device's Photos app.
Zoho offers a comprehensive suite of more than 20 web-based applications for businesses that range from word processing, spreadsheets and email to web conferencing, customer relationship management (CRM) and databases. Nobody offers that wide a range of capabilities. Not Microsoft. Not Google.
Unlike many software companies, Vembu said, Zoho prizes interoperability, the ability of Zoho's software applications to play well and integrate with others, including competitors such as Google and Microsoft.
"We make it easier for our customers," he said. Zoho Calendar, for example, works with third-party online calendars such as Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook.
Zoho ... makes a suite of office productivity applications used by over 3 million users worldwide. Sridhar Vembu, its co-founder and CEO, says, “Our subscription model dictates that all our current customers get access to all new developments and features. We don’t hold back innovation from our customers.”
Young software companies like Zoho “don’t need to pay a retailer or distributor margin, spend lots of money on advertising or to produce boxing and packaging for their software”, says Byron Deeter, a partner with venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners in California.
Zoho Creator lets you create databases from scratch and also allows you to create forms, define actions/triggers easily using its drag and drop interface. It gives you complete control over the database structure, relationship between them, and fields/datatypes, etc that are used for capturing data.
Be it MS Access Database or Spreadsheet, Zoho Creator helps in refining the database over the web and helps in collaborating with your team. It allows to move the MS Access database onto the web without porting through MS SharePoint, MySQL or PostgreSQL. For using this feature, you simply need to download a plugin, upload it and once migrated, start collaborating with the team easily.
How does IT need to prepare for the cloud? We have built software that runs in people's data centers and built closed software. Now, we tend to break up software into little components because that scales better -- in our spreadsheet, our macro functionality is a distinct subsystem. It does nothing but process macros. That's very different from the way you conventionally build software.
Then there's the business model disruption. Revenue models are very different. Traditionally, I came and sold you a huge package, and you spent a lot of capital and consulting dollars upfront and hoped and prayed it all worked out. In this model, the vendor assumes the risk.
For Zoho, a small company that competes with Google and Microsoft in the market for Web-based software, the strategy for surviving alongside huge rivals has been to target gaps in their products. Zoho now offers nearly 30 free and fee-based tools in the cloud: from wikis, word processing and spreadsheets to customer-relationship management, invoicing, and project management.
Zoho updated its Zoho Wiki to version 2.0 today, adding features such as granular access controls and the ability to create individual workspaces for different business units, departments, or teams. This represents a shift in Zoho's positioning of the product from a simple app to an enterprise-level platform for intranets, knowledge bases and collaboration.
Zoho has added workspaces within Wiki to allow teams to have their own groups within organization wikis. Each workspace has its own administrative and customization options and can serve as a separate portal. Zoho has also added more in-depth access controls to wikis, which allows administrators to set permissions for Workspaces, multiple groups, individuals, domains, public, and for users within an organization. Admins can also assign separate permissions for edit, view, create and delete functions.
Zoho Invoice and Zoho Creator Helpdesk joined Zoho CRM & Zoho Projects in the Google Apps Marketplace today. All the apps come in both free and paid varieties, and integrate Google Apps' users, contacts and other features into Zoho's offerings.
Zoho Search improves on other business search tools in two ways, Vegesna said — it’s universal and it’s actionable. By universal, he means users just go to search.zoho.com, type their query into a Google-style search bar, and they can see the results from Zoho Mail, Docs, Writer, Sheet, Show, Notebook, Contacts, Discussions, and Organization Contacts, with more apps promised to follow. That’s much easier than the more common experience with online business apps, where users have to search each application separately
The search service makes Zoho one of the few services that can offer a search that spans multiple applications. For instance, Google offers search for individual applications but not across the entirety of its services.
In some respects the news puts Zoho into a much larger market. It provides potential customers with further incentive to use a SaaS for productivity purposes. It also further distinguishes itself with Google Apps.
Actionable Search isn't just about having a unified search engine; Zoho also is aiming to make search results pertinent and contextual. For example, if your search results include an email, Actionable Search will give you the presence information of the person who sent the email. If the results include a document, they will also include the presence information of the original author, the timestamp of the last time the document was modified, and with whom the document is being shared.
Zoho has been an interesting company to me for sometime. The company’s office productivity products are solid—arguably better than Google Apps—and Zoho is an enterprise player with CRM apps and other software that would appeal to small and mid-sized businesses.
[Sridhar] Vembu is looking to a world where apps that reside in separate suites are broken down into modules that can be brought into higher level apps. For instance, “Zoho Docs and e-mail use jumped when they were integrated seamlessly into CRM,” explained Vembu.
Walk into your local Wal-Mart and look around. If your family needs food, you can get it from Wal-Mart. If your car needs parts, you can get them from Wal-Mart. If you're in need of medical services, you can get it. If you need clothes, you can get it. Need a new patio?
Zoho is like this for many small businesses.
Zoho is an online service that offers 22 hosted applications which enable businesses to do just about everything they need: Email, CRM, invoicing, presentation and more. Much more.
After a down-and-dirty look at the Zoho suite, it's clear that it's much more robust than Google Apps, much more obtainable for small or new businesses than many Microsoft applications and it does keep improving. We're not thrilled with every cloud offering we see, but Zoho gets it and its product is built to fit any number of potential solutions. It's a viable business-ready offering.
Zoho, a company offering an array of more than 20 web-based office applications covering everything from email to documents to sales to invoices, just announced that it’s supporting Facebook Connect. That means users can sign into Zoho with their Facebook login, and tie their Facebook accounts to their accounts on Zoho.
As a company going up against more well-known competitors like Google Apps, Zoho has previously taken steps to open up to other account types, and therefore to lower the barrier to using its products — most notably, Zoho allows users to log in using Google or Yahoo accounts. These moves make it easier for users to give Zoho a try, and perhaps even more importantly, mean that it’s easier for a company that uses Zoho to collaborate or share documents with others without worrying if everyone else has a Zoho account.
Last year, we wrote that Zoho has continued to implement an intelligent strategy to launch new products and add-ons to its existing offerings, partly to keep users from flocking to Google Apps and Microsoft’s Web-based version of Microsoft 2010. It looks like Zoho is continuing this strategy in 2010.
The adoption of Facebook Connect makes sense for a number of reasons. First, productivity apps in the enterprise are naturally becoming more social. Second, Facebook, with 400 million users, could bring more traffic to Zoho.
2008, productivity suite empire Zoho launched a simple invoicing tool, unsurprisingly called Zoho Invoice. Today, the startup is releasing a new version of its Invoice, dubbed Invoice 2.0, that has a fresh user interface and provides a more open application.
Last month Zoho announced the production release of Zoho Reports, its online reporting and business intelligence (BI) application. Zoho Reports is a cloud offering providing users with a basic yet functional set of BI reporting capabilities that allows them to upload data and build reports, and collaborate and share them online. This announcement marks a small step in the development of BI reporting in the cloud, but represents a larger step in Zoho's battle with titans Google and Microsoft to achieve dominance in the online office application space.
The third alternative, Zoho, like the much better known Google Docs, runs on the Internet. I've picked Zoho over Google because it does much more, is amazingly light on its feet and the competition will make everyone try harder. However, moving your routine Office chores to the cloud, as people call Web-based computing these days, is a pretty big leap.
Zoho Reports can upload data from a variety of sources including Excel and HTML files. And Zoho Reports works with hosted and behind-the-firewall business applications and databases from Oracle, Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL and MS Access databases. Users can interact with Reports via a drag and drop interface, with the application featuring in-depth collaborative tools that let users develop reports together and share reports with each other. Zoho also promises security of all reports.
New functionality includes a dashboard view that lets users collate similar reports and view them all on a single page. Users can also embed the gadget version of Zoho Reports in their iGoogle home page, giving them ready access to their reports and dashboards from their iGoogle page.
You can now side-load files into Zoho straight from your Google Docs storage. Composing an email in Zoho but need a file from your Google stash? No problem. Once you've granted access, Zoho can pluck anything from Docs without breaking a sweat.
Transferring files from Google to Zoho is lightning fast, and a real timesaver for anyone whose ISP throtlles uploads as vigorously as mine does.
Google Docs users can now attach files from Google Docs to Zoho’s CRM within Leads, Accounts, and Cases of Zoho CRM. When users try to attach a document from Google Docs, they will be prompted to authenticate using Google credentials. Google Docs will be listed within Zoho once users sign-in.
And while composing emails in Zoho Mail, users can attach files directly from Google Docs and Zoho Docs. Zoho users also have an option to upload files directly from Google Docs to Zoho Docs.
Zoho is now offering full integration with Google Apps, allowing users to seamlessly access Google Docs from within the Zoho environment. Zoho already provides integration with Google Apps via sign in. But this is the first time full access to Google Web Apps is available through Zoho applications. It's another move by Zoho to compete with the giants of the business through integrations that allow for interplay across multiple platforms.
A niche product, Zoho Recruit, is an application designed to help HR Departments and staffing agencies management recruitment.
Zoho Recruit, which is an offshoot of Zoho People’s recruitment technology, is an Applicant Tracking System that helps staffing agencies and recruiting departments track job openings, resumes, candidates and contacts. The application will source candidates by gathering resumes from multiple sources on the web and includes a technology that will weed out the candidates.
Zoho is making another move to serve as the IT department for the small business market. Its latest offering is a service for staffing agencies and human resources to automate the process for hiring people.
The new service, available now, is an applicant tracking system that helps staffing agencies and recruiting departments track job openings, resumes and candidates
I'm putting it all in a Zoho Creator database, the same app we use here at Computerworld for our database of product reviews. I could keep it all in an online spreadsheet, but the database offers additional flexibility for searching, sorting and filtering by multiple criteria.I also like Zoho for its ease of development (drag-and-drop form creation, for instance); plus, you can export your data in multiple formats, and it runs on mobile devices.
It switched to smaller player, Zoho, deploying the vendor's SaaS CRM product for its 30 staff members, slashing its license fees by half, said a spokesperson. Extra features on Zoho such as shared calendaring and an e-mail marketing feature were additional cost-savers, she noted, adding that the company plans to stay on the cloud even as staff numbers grow.
I had the opportunity to test out Zoho Discussions and it’s both remarkably easy for anyone to set up and filled with useful features. With the new product you can create a platform for discussion forums, similar to Google Groups. The differentiating factor is that your forums can be customized and branded to adopt the look and feel of your site. Zoho even lets you pick out a domain name that coincides with your site. Plus, Zoho Discussions can be integrated with many of Zoho’s other productivity applications.
Businesses using Zoho Discussions can provision who gets to access which discussion forums and with what permissions. Businesses can also brand forums as they choose, adding their logo and other details to identify their company.
The real delight with Zoho Discussions is that the application does more than provide a forum where users can upload files and bounce ideas off one another. Though Zoho lists the application under its Zoho Business banner, Discussions is rich in much of the functionality Zoho users have become familiar with from Zoho's productivity and collaboration apps.
Zoho Discussions includes user profiles, labels and watch lists, content organization and file sharing, search, RSS, and support for OpenSocial widgets. There is a WYSIWYG post editor and support for e-mail confirmations, threaded conversations, drafts and previews, and managing preferences. Zoho Discussions also employs real-time spam checking and CAPTCHA tools to safeguard forums.
Because many new computer users in India lack familiarity with Microsoft's Office and other desktop software, they're generally more open to the idea of cloud computing, says Zoho Chief Executive Sridhar Vembu. "There's a whole set of new companies that have no apprehensions" about Web-based software, Vembu says. "We are now starting to see this as a major market opportunity."
Mobile versions of Zoho software are particularly popular with consumers in India, where mobile-phone sales are far outpacing PC sales. Applications for the mobile Web, as well as customized versions for Apple's iPhone and other smartphones, let students do schoolwork at homes or other locales where a PC may not be available.
Businesses use the software to equip salespeople in the field. In 2008, Mumbai-based data hosting company NetMagic Solutions signed up to use Zoho's customer relationship management (CRM) software to help sales teams in different offices share information about customer leads.
Zoho is best recognized for its software as service offerings, a suite of 19 applications ranging from a Google Docs competitor to a low-cost CRM. But for some time now the company has allowed larger enterprises to purchase appliances that replicate Zoho's own datacenter, but keep the data behind the firewall and allow for better integration with other enterprise applications.
The downside with selling appliances is that it forced customers to use the hardware configuration provided by Zoho. Running the apps on VMware's vSphere creates an alternative to that by providing a virtual appliance.
The most interesting company in Web-based office suites isn’t Google. It won’t be Microsoft, even after the Web-based version of Office shows up next year. It’s the much smaller company Zoho.
The newest thing Zoho is trying is letting users of Google Apps sign into Zoho apps using their Google credentials. Which certainly makes it easier to mix and match services from Google and Zoho to create a custom online suite of your own.
[Zoho] has 19 online productivity and collaboration applications, including customer relationship management, project management and invoicing. So it only competes head-to-head against Google with five offerings.
Zoho focuses mainly on the business market. Half of its distribution is through partners that integrate Zoho products into their offerings. Most of those partners are Web-based services. For example, Box.net, a service for storing, backing up and sharing documents, uses Zoho as the editing tool for uploaded documents. Low-cost Web-based software makes these business mash-ups possible in a way that would not work with traditional software.
It seems that the road map for Zoho lies in having a broad spectrum of business applications available on the Web. Though some of its products may compete with those of Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce, its nearly comprehensive take on software as a service is paying off.
Not one to stop tweaking and improving, Zoho's integrated notebook tool recently added universal search, HTML import and export, and tools to move your notes around between notebooks and pages.
Zoho has made significant enhancements to its Zoho CRM product. Zoho CRM now integrates with email -- and not just Zoho Mail. Users can choose which account to integrate with the CRM application and thenceforth, will see an "email" tab present in the CRM system. On the flipside, users who use an email client other than Zoho Email can configure Zoho Mail to be the interface for sending and receiving emails. Perhaps the most significant element is that when CRM is integrated into Zoho Mail, a person's contact information is automatically added to the Zoho CRM system. Additionally, the Zoho user can add tasks to contacts. Within the CRM system, users can see all of the email exchanges they have had with a particular contact. They can actually respond to email right within the CRM system.
Zoho Creator is web-based cloud computing platform that lets you build and run applications online. With the new plugin, Zoho will allow users to easily migrate data from Microsoft Access to Zoho Creator and Zoho Reports. Zoho says that when you migrate entire databases from Microsoft Access to Zoho creator, you are able to retain your database structure and data while being able to still create a collaborative database app in Zoho. Once imported into Zoho Creator, the entire application or parts of it can be shared with several users.
Zoho users can now create new documents and save them to SharePoint in MS Office formats, view existing documents within SharePoint using Zoho apps, and edit existing documents with Zoho Apps and save them back to SharePoint. The new add-on also provides collaborative editing functionality in Zoho with the integration with SharePoint.
Tasks, milestones, documents, meeting coordinators, and report generation are all there, as one would hope for in any project management package. But being an online suite, Zoho's Projects 2.0 provides a "Project Stream" that shows a condensed view of all the latest project activity, group chat rooms and forums for back-and-forth discussions, wikis and live document collaboration, and a tabbed interface that seems pretty navigable for anyone.
All in all, it expands on Zoho's strengths and further separates the suite from its Google Docs competetion.
The addition of social team collaboration tools signals a key shift in the project management software niche. Just a few years ago, project teams had to flit back and forth between a number of disparate applications to get their work done.
Zoho's idea w ith Projects 2.0 -- letting workers complete tasks and achieve goals using wikis, status updates and visualization mapping tools -- is to modernize project management through cloud computing.
Google wants to own the future of mobile software, including office suite software, but Zoho launched a new capability to run its very solid, browser-based mobile apps on all major platforms, not just iPhone and Windows Mobile.
The Zoho suite supports iPhone and iPod Touch, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and Symbian.
Zoho, the creators of a web-based software suite made up of document, project and invoicing management tools, has launched the availability of its comprehensive webtop productivity products on mobile devices.
Zoho Writer handles the basics and provides many advanced functions without breaking a sweat — like the ability to edit a document when page breaks are displayed. Google Docs can’t. Writer works even when one is offline, thanks to open source technology developed by Google, and used by Zoho in its word processor four months before Google used it.
Zoho Writer also provides some esoteric features, like a choice of footnotes or endnotes, with note numbers in superscript, placed in the text. Google Docs does only footnotes and puts in a pound sign as a placeholder. You may never need to create the most complex mathematical equations, but Zoho Writer makes it easy to do so.
Online office suite Zoho one-ups its Google counterpart by offering a half-dozen quick-access gadgets for its Docs, Mail, Calendar, and other webapps, embeddable in Gmail, Facebook, iGoogle start pages, and nearly anywhere.
Zoho's gadgets use the OpenSocial standard and pipe out as fairly standard XML. In plain speak, that means they can be embedded on web pages and blogs, in iGoogle or any other XML/RSS-friendly start page, and, particularly helpful, as a Gmail sidebar gadget.
Zoho, which offers SaaS (software-as-a-service) communication and collaboration applications for individuals and organizations, now lets users integrate Zoho data via gadgets in Facebook, Gmail and any site that is compatible with the OpenSocial APIs.
Zoho Business, a suite of hosted Zoho collaboration and communication software designed for use by small and medium-size companies, is free for up to 10 users. Thereafter, it costs US$50 per user per year. Zoho also has a set of applications available for personal use by individuals for free.
Zoho is one of a new wave of vendors that offer a SaaS-based alternative to traditional on-premise productivity and communication suites like Microsoft's Office and Exchange. Zoho specifically targets individuals and small and medium size businesses.
Zoho Chat 2.0 brings support for Yahoo!, Google, MSN, AIM, ICQ, and Jabber-based IM networks, but it’s just one in the long list of improvements in the new version. Other important features include integration accross the entire Zoho office suite, which means you can chat from any Zoho app, comprehensive chat history, sending files directly through chat, calendar integration, which lets you add events from the chat, as well as embedding the chat box in your website or blog.
Zoho Chat also comes with an impressive number of customizable features; you can change background images and other visual features, receive and customize audio notifications for various alerts, customize various view and sort options and so on.
While Zoho Chat is no slouch when it comes to feature and options - actually, it’s probably among the best such applications out there - its biggest strength is its integration with other applications in the Zoho Suite. If you’re a Zoho user, using Zoho Chat is simply a no-brainer. It also brings Zoho another step closer to becoming the ultimate online office suite, even if faced with fierce competition from Google
The key enhancement in Zoho Writer 2.0 is the MenuTab design, which streamlines the toolbar with tabbed menus that organise commands in context-based groups. The key here is the ability to use the tabs as menus: you can access these commands either by clicking the tab, which brings up the appropriate button set on your toolbar (much like Microsoft Office 2007's ribbon) or by clicking the little arrow to the right of the tab title, which opens a drop-down menu without changing the toolbar beneath.
Zoho Writer 2.0 includes tabs for Format, Insert, Review, Share, Views and Page Setup. Commonly used features like Save, Undo/Redo, Cut/Copy/Paste and so on are grouped together to the left of the MenuTabs, so that they're always accessible.
Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions vary, but for the most part they help businesses manage sales leads, accounts, campaigns, forecasts and activities. Most CRM packages tend to be too heavyweight for the sole proprietor, however. They cost a bundle and contain features that most web workers don’t need. Zoho has a relatively simple CRM solution that’s free for up to three users.
Compared to other CRM solutions, Zoho’s CRM package is affordable and easier to learn. Web workers will more than likely find most of what they need in Zoho CRM for a great price.
We felt that Web Office vendor Zoho best represented the 'LittleCo' ethos this year, due to its David vs Goliath effort in competing head on with products from several very large companies: Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Salesforce.com's core CRM platform.
Zoho made two of our year-end Top 10 Products list - in the International category and in the Enterprise catagory. It made serious advances with its office productivity suite during 2008, reaching a milestone of 1 million users in August this year. Some of the specific highlights this year include: updating Writer at the beginning of 2008 to include support for the DocX file format, along with several other features; adding support for Visual Basic compatible macros to Zoho Sheet in April, then macro record and playback four months later; releasing a marketplace in September; Zoho Mail emerging from private beta in October, while offering offline support via Google Gears.
While Google occasionally adds new features to its online productivity applications and Microsoft is rumored to be preparing an online version of Microsoft Office that it can release as soon as its market share comes under serious fire from online competitors, Zoho has quietly been building an impressive fleet of Web-based productivity and business applications that are far more numerous and sophisticated than what Google offers and truly take advantage of the Web rather than just bringing offline apps into the browser. Especially for small businesses, Zoho is a viable alternative to Microsoft Office, and it not only saves money but also provides productivity benefits with online collaboration.
I think it's interesting for a couple reasons. First, Zoho Creator is a drag and drop system that doesn't require programming skills. So this could be an easy way for non-programmers to take advantage of Google App Engine. More importantly, though, it's another step toward integration of various cloud computing and SaaS platforms (and it comes on the heels of Zoho's recent announcement of Cloud SQL, which uses a standard language to access cloud-based data).
[Zoho] CloudSQL clearly demonstrates that cloud applications can be accessed using familiar software tools, which promises to address one of the key issues facing cloud computing: integrating cloud apps from a variety of vendors with traditional software from a variety of vendors. If developers can use existing tools like SQL to get at their data, integration could become much easier.
Zoho just can’t stop churning out software. Today it is launching the Zoho CloudSQL. Put simply, this is the first step to providing a cloud based integration framework that allows developers to pass data between Zoho applications and their own. This is exciting stuff. For the first time, a commercial software vendor is providing an easy way to interoperate with its applications without imposing an entry or exit visa tax.
[Zoho CloudSQL] is another step in Zoho’s steady march toward increased data portability. Except now they’re opening everyone’s walled gardens–their blog post states, “[CloudSQL] allows customers to interact with their data on the cloud, from another cloud application…” With this SQL pipeline, a company can seamlessly connect legacy systems and cloud-based systems. (Example: Microsoft Office connected to Google Apps connected to Zoho Office.) While Zoho’s CloudSQL technology is the first marriage of SQL and cloud-computing, expect further innovation as the functional differences between traditional on-site systems and cloud-computing continue to evaporate.
Zoho is an Indian startup that offers a number of office tools, project management software and CRM solutions. It has made serious advances with its office productivity suite during 2008, reaching a milestone of 1 million users in August this year.
Forrester Research advises CFOs to take a close look at cloud computing for messaging and collaboration and enterprise applications. The payoffs could be noticeable during the current economic downturn. Microsoft, Google, Cisco, IBM and a number of smaller players are ready to take your money for SAAS solutions.
For most users, however, free Web apps are really all you need. And they’re getting better all the time. Zoho has spreadsheet, word-processing, presentation and organizing programs, and lets you work both online and off; it even has an iPhone app.
Before you pay even the lowest price for Microsoft Office, give Zoho or Google Docs a try. They aren’t confusing, and they won’t make you feel stupid. To make absolutely sure, I became my own guinea pig. I typed this story in Zoho Writer, even though I had never even tried it until this week.
We have so much respect for the Zoho team here at Google. They produce great software, and they do it regularly! Their latest accomplishment has been getting their email product, Zoho Mail, working offline.
Innovative Web Office startup Zohohas beaten Google to the punch again, announcing offline support for the newly public Zoho Mail tonight.
Zoho already has over a million users in total of its portfolio of on-demand applications, and cross-adoption as users add extra applications has helped the CRM product scale up to 100,000 users so far.
Zoho is a platform. Although Zoho started out offering online Office applications, in particular its online word processor, spreadsheet and file sharing tools, its most pivotal application to date is Zoho Creator, an online database-driven application builder. Creator is the platform on which Zoho has created its own business applications and thus also acts as the tool with which users can tailor those applications to their own needs. Think of Creator as the glue that not only binds the Zoho suite together but also the source of stickiness that draws customers in. Vembu told me that 300,000 Zoho users have Creator accounts, which suggests that Zoho’s most avid users are building or modifying their own custom applications to then roll out to other users within an organization.
Awesome is not a word I use often but when I saw Zoho Marketplace, the sound of my jaw hitting the desk was audible in the next street. What better way to get its collection of services working as the hub for other services that might build from Zoho products?
Zoho firmly positions itself as an SMB player so potentially has a huge global audience. Larger companies that develop solutions based around Zoho might choose to use the marketplace as a way of sharing what they have learned. If that happens then goodness gets spread around to much broader audiences.
When it comes to the online office app market, Zoho absolutely kills the competition in terms of its offerings. To me, the product that most outshines the competition is Zoho Creator. I love the forms in Google Docs, but Zoho Creator is far more robust.
The Zoho Marketplace, which offers both free and paid apps (though I haven't been able to even find any pay apps), offers users the ability to take advantage of pre-written apps and integrate it into their workflow. Everything is hosted on Zoho, so you don't have to worry about compatibility or viruses.
Users can even request a specific application and get a response from the development community. If you want to sell or offer up your own Zoho apps in the Marketplace, listing is free.
Zoho continues to carve a niche for itself among the giants in the software-as-a-service market. The three-year old online application suite, which started off as a basic online version of Word, has grown to 1.2 million registered users and 500,000 unique monthly logins.
The company says that over 100,000 applications have already been built on its Creator platform, most of which are available to all users. Those applications are not being moved over the the Marketplace automatically, but developers will not have the option to do so, and either charge for the apps or give them away for free. Zoho is giving 100% of the fees to developers. There’s also an area of Marketplace that lets users request new apps and features, and developers can choose to respond and create what’s requested.
Zoho continues to forge a path among these much larger competitors, but it clearly isn’t shy about pitching for business.
The application marketplace is becoming a critical cog in the software development ecosystem. Zoho is that latest to hop on the bandwagon.
Zoho on Tuesday launched Zoho Marketplace, an app store with software from its developers, which offer their wares for free or a fee. Zoho’s app store is deployed in its Creator software, which launched its 3.0 version today.
The company, which adds apps at a rapid clip as it tackles everything from CRM to productivity software to the enterprise market, said its Marketplace wares are specific to “a particular use case or situation.” In other words, Zoho’s Marketplace isn’t nearly as fun as Apple’s App Store, but arguably more business friendly.
Listen to Zoho company “evangelist” Raju Vegesna, and you start to understand the dynamic. The company, which started three years ago, recently announced it has 1 million users. He estimates 30 percent of them are students.
We all love the David and Goliath story. What about David vs two Goliaths? That is the improbable story of Zoho, the Web Office startup competing head on with both Microsoft and Google. On top of that, Zoho is from India and who ever heard of a product company from India? Indeed Zoho has only 10 people in America, yet it is winning really big enterprise accounts in head to head evaluations with both Goliaths. What's more, they have not taken a dime of external money - having bootstrapped it from the start.
The other year, when I first looked at Zoho, they were (to me) an upstart curiosity. Now they're a force to be taken seriously in the online apps space, thanks to leveraging open source in their work -- even while they face possible competition from, you guessed it, open source.
SRIDHAR VEMBU is a dangerous man. If he succeeds, a lot of people will lose a lot of money: software developers, consultants, shareholders and others. The chief executive of AdventNet does not have fraud in mind. Instead, he wants to remove what he calls the “value-pad” from corporate IT in general and business software in particular: all those millions of dollars he thinks are wasted on inefficient production structures, marketing and, not least, proprietary standards. “In the world of corporate IT”, he says, “the low-cost revolution is very much unfinished business.”
Zoho Invoice is highly flexible--so much so that you could spend 20 to 30 minutes or so to choose the options that suit your business. I particularly liked the selection of estimate and invoice templates designed for selling services or products, or to collect fixed price amounts, which are generally used for recurring bills. You may also design your own custom template, with sales tax rates you define. You can opt to skip most of the configuration steps until you create your first invoice. Zoho lets you select most invoicing options on the fly, as you create the bill. .....
Zoho continues to roll out its ever growing lineup of inexpensive (indeed, mostly free) online office software. Today’s addition is Zoho Docs, an application that allows you to access the text documents, spreadsheets and presentations created in Zoho Writer, Sheet and Show, respectively, through a single application.To be honest, my first thought on hearing the news was, “Holy crap, you couldn’t do that already?” So this is hardly an amazing breakthrough. It is an important move, though. First because, yes, it’s lame if you can’t access all of these documents in one place.
Zoho is pulling together its three main Webtop productivity products (Zoho Write, Zoho Sheet, Zoho Show) into a central destination: Zoho Share. Just as Microsoft bundles its corresponding desktop products into its Office suite, bundling makes sense on the Web as well.......With Zoho Share, Zoho does take things a step forward, though, by adding social elements and a friendlier user interface.
Zoho, a software company started in 2005, has built applications that compete with Google and even Microsoft. The vendor believes it can stay in the game by having a quick development cycle that adds new features to their products faster than the big guys.
Zoho Sheet clearly has the best feature set -- at least for the moment -- and its integration of chat and publish functions shows why Web-based applications will be so important.
Zoho Show's wide variety of templates and clip art makes it the most useful of the three apps, and its integration with Zoho Meeting gives you a new presentation tool you haven't had before.
Could Zoho be the primary personal productivity software for an enterprise? Possibly. If the organization we're talking about is a smallish, widely distributed group that needs to share information and collaborate, but doesn't want the expense of central collaboration services servers, then Zoho is perfect. It is good enough for many companies and can't be beat on its implementation of SaaS (software as a service) principles for the SMB market.
Zoho, maker of an online suite of collaborative and business productivity applications, has landed a six-month pilot partnership with Swisscom to deliver its products to the telecom's 300,000 business customers.
Swisscom said in a statement that it chose Zoho because it provides a wide range of applications and has a solid engineering team.The Swisscom partnership follows Zoho's recent announcement that it had landed a distribution deal with the large Chinese online distributor Baihui
Zoho has enhanced its free online word processor with an equation editor for mathematics, export capability for the LaTeX document-preparation format used by mathematicians and scholars, and import capability for Google Docs.
Zoho, a unit of Pleasanton-based AdventNet Inc., says it added the features following requests from users, and noting that a significant portion of its users are students.
Zoho, which offers an online office productivity suite, said people with a Zoho account that uses a Google or Yahoo e-mail address would automatically be logged in to Zoho when they connect to the portal. People who don't associate their Google or Yahoo e-mail with their Zoho account can go to the site's services section and make the association.
Along with the new login feature, Zoho also made it possible to import Google or Yahoo contact lists to Zoho.
Online office suite Zoho rolled out yet more functionality this morning, allowing users to login using existing Google and Yahoo! accounts.
Zoho cites a recent Lifehacker poll with pushing it toward introducing these new features. The poll, simply titled "Google Apps or Zoho Suite?", found the majority of participants (42.5 percent) voting "Google, because I'm lazy and already had a Google account." Second place, at 21.2 percent was "Zoho, because I tried both and it's better."
One of the main complaints leveled at web-based alternatives to Microsoft Office is that they generally lack some of the more powerful features found in Office. While online office apps have the general use cases covered, they often lack the specialized tools. But Zoho is quickly changing that. The company recently announced an overhaul to Zoho Sheets with support for power user features like pivot tables and Visual Basic Scripting.
Zoho April 28 added support for Microsoft's Visual Basic Macros and Pivot Tables in Zoho Sheet, two of the 17 or so new features for its spreadsheet application. ... This means Sheet will let users import their existing speadsheets with Excel macros or create new ones, thanks to a new VBA Editor feature in Sheet.
Zoho doesn't get the amount of press that Google gets, but the Zoho suite of applications is quite good, and could easily be the only set of apps you need if (1) your requirements fall into those of the majority of business users and (2) you're pretty much always on line. ...
Zoho CRM Enterprise Edition is designed to make it easier for medium to large organizations to implement Zoho CRM. Zoho is not shy about its goal: to steal away customers from Salesforce.com, which Zoho says it is doing successfully, with one or two customers leaving Salesforce.com for Zoho CRM daily
Zoho's strategy is fundamentally different to Salesforce.com. It has a 'we build it all' mentailty rather than the platform thinking that Salesforce. com espouses. This has meant that its 200+ developers are beavering away on different parts of the overall suite of applications rather than being focused on any particular module. This has allowed Zoho to come into the market with a steady stream offerings and not be dependent on partners to provide functionality.
Zoho's brand-new Invoice service tries to solve some of that pain with an online system for creating, sending and tracking invoices.
After spending some time with it just now, I can see it being a decided improvement over my current spreadsheet and Word doc collection.
Zoho's invoicing app joins more than a dozen other Zoho productivity and business tools that are available for free or for low rates. Zoho's strategy seems to be to build critical mass early on, which is reminiscent of Google. And with its large set of online productivity tools, Zoho is also competing with Microsoft's set of collaborative tools.
As Google and Microsoft make lots of noise about online productivity software with Google Apps and Office Live, respectively, Zoho has quietly wowed legions of fans with its online word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications.
Zoho earned a reputation for innovation by adding online/offline functionality to some of its apps using Google Gears. That trick, in fact, makes Zoho “the most formidable competitor to Google’s own Google Apps suite,” according to PC World.
Zoho People, a freeware Web-based human-resources management tool, joins other free and fee-based offerings from Zoho, which compete with big-name applications such as Google Apps. Aimed at small and midsize businesses, Zoho's tools include CRM solutions and integrated word processing, presentation, meeting and project-management tools.
You may have heard of, but probably don't use, an online suite of office and productivity applications called Zoho. I know, I know – another Web 2.0 wonder application. ... Zoho is packed with so much innovation and surprising coolness, that I'm certain you'll find a better way to do at least some small thing you're already doing.
Zoho’s key demographic is small and medium businesses. The focus on this group is so great that Raju claims that Zoho’s ultimate goal is to “be the IT department for small and medium business.” Zoho’s products are designed for small and medium businesses, whereas Google’s are designed to be deployed by much larger entities. The different routes taken by the two companies could enable Zoho to triumph in their own demographic.
It's a brave company that tries to go head-to-head with Google, the Internet's most formidable presence. But that's where Zoho finds itself, as it battles for mind and market share for its online suite of office applications.
Zoho aims to provide the complete suite of online office and productivity applications for small to midsize businesses (SMBs). These apps are all designed to take advantage of the web with good collaborative features. You do not have to send emails with attachments to provide access to documents. You always see the latest version online and teams can make and see changes real time. Chat is integrated into all the apps so teams can discuss these changes.
Zoho's been gussied up since I last looked at it for my InformationWeek article where Barbara Krasnoff and I compared and contrasted it with Google Docs. Among other things, they've added spellchecking in 43 different languages, the ability to export documents in Office 2007's OOXML format (if you use that), a pivot-table function for Zoho Sheet, a complete revamp for Zoho Show, and ways to create and execute macros.
SaaS alternatives to major applications, like Google Docs & Spreadsheets and Zoho, can squeeze into the browser on many mobile phones and small laptops.
The "big" Office workalikes, Google and Zoho, start with the basics: word processing, spread-sheets and presentations. Zoho has been far more ambitious in spinning out auxiliary applets and services that augment Zoho Writer, Sheet and Show, providing everything from data managers to web conferencing.
Zoho apps are also more fully featured and attractive than Google Docs ... You can save documents and spreadsheets in a number of formats beyond Office '03, including PDF and HTML. They can be posted in public folders on the Google or Zoho sites or easily published to your blog or website.
What would the office of the future be like? Perhaps something that can assist you to do your work where ever it may be? Now with Internet access everywhere, the conventional meaning of work by sitting only at office (or in one place) is changing. This major shift in lifestyle is helpfully being facilitated by a fresh approach in tools that enable one to get their job done anywhere.
Meet Zoho - The Office 2.0… or perhaps a cliched, but appropriate denotation - “The Office of tomorrow, today”.
“The best things in life are free” and so is Zoho. Zoho is an extremely mature, well-designed, and a fairly responsive product. Of course, it cannot replace Microsoft Office yet, but is certainly on the way to do so with growing offline support. For most people don’t really care about the bloated complexities that Microsoft Office has, Zoho will certainly fill in those gaps for free.
Zoho DB uses a spreadsheet-like interface for simple data manipulation and navigation, and allows drag-and-drop analysis and reporting, with SQL querying of a variety of database management systems. The initial release works with IBM’s DB2, Informix, Microsoft’s SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, Sybase and PostgreSQL, or any system that understands ANSI SQL.
Technology news has been abuzz lately with news of Web office applications launching from Google (www.google.com), Adobe (www.adobe.com), ThinkFree (www.thinkfree.com), and Zoho (www.zoho.com). Today’s Web office applications range from the lightweight Google Apps Professional Edition to fully featured Web office suites such as ThinkFree Premium and Zoho Business.
Jonathan Crow, director of marketing at ThinkFree, paints the current Web office suite market picture. “The adoption rate of Web office suites is opening up now as the huge giants are validating the space,” he says.
So you've spent a couple grand on a laptop. The next purchase you'll probably consider is the student version of Microsoft Office, at about $150. But if you have a fast Internet connection—and most colleges do—new Web-based Office-like suites let you do everything from your browser, usually free of charge.
The most fully developed of the three services I tried was Zoho (zoho.com), which offers Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet (a spreadsheet tool), and Zoho Show (its take on PowerPoint). I spent a few days in Zoho Writer and found it to be an excellent replacement for Word. Once you're finished with a document, you can save it not only in the Microsoft-compatible .doc format but also in other file formats, including Adobe Systems' .pdf. You can also perform other, more advanced tasks such as inserting tables and graphics. Storing documents online is a great hedge against a sudden crash, and it also makes them accessible from any browser on any PC.
“Cloud computing” is a new buzz word in the tech world. In essence it defines a type of software that exists on the web, instead of on your hard drive. This means that you can access your files wherever you are, so long as you have a web connection.
Zoho is a free online office suite in this mould. Simply register at the website (www.zoho.com) and create an account, then you can edit and access documents from anywhere. The word processor boasts ample fonts and formatting tools to make documents sparkle, and it can handle Microsoft Word documents sent from colleagues. The Zoho spreadsheet is equally adept, producing swish graphs for sales reports and presenting data cleanly. There is a selection of other tools for managing projects and hosting presentations, for example.
Forget learning Microsoft Access and Visual Basic: the newly-revamped Zoho Creator is an easy-to-use online database creation tool. Set up your database’s fields (like for an address book: Name, Address, City, State) and then build drag and drop custom entry forms with different input types like radio buttons, check boxes and dropdowns. Ambitious types can add custom logic to the application using the script builder, and the whole shebang can be added to your web site or blog (say, for a feedback form or survey).
Facebook users will have access to Zoho’s word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications – Writer, Sheet and Show – from within the Facebook interface.
The deal is the first time Facebook has offered its users access to productivity applications. Zoho has 12 other applications, such as Notebook (content collaboration) and Meeting (Web conferencing), that also could find their way into Facebook, according to Zoho officials.
Zoho went live with iZoho, which provides iPhone-optimized access to Zoho’s online office applications. iPhone users who visit www.izoho.com can view Zoho Writer documents, Zoho Sheet spreadsheets, and Zoho Show presentations – and edit Zoho Writer documents – from the Safari browser.
Zoho anticipates that the iPhone – with its big screen, built in Wi-Fi, good usability, and full-fledged browser – will only improve the use of web applications on mobile devices.
Zoho meeting, an online service meant for sharing your desktop/conducting meetings online, is the latest collaboration tool tested by this author. After initiating an on-line conference via Zoho from your browser, you can invite others to join.
Unlike the existing desktop sharing programs, Zoho lets you share your desktop with multiple people with ease. One can find multiple uses of this innovative product. For instance, the service can be used to co-edit a document with colleagues from different locations. This product could also be used for product demonstration, customer support and the like.
Another notable feature of this service is the facility to embed a ‘meeting’ on your Blog for helping the visitors directly access it (of course, if it is live). A teacher could find several uses of this facility.
I had a chance for a one-on-one chat and demo with Raju Vegesna, Zoho's evangelist, while at Enterprise 2.0 this week; since I do face-to-face interviews with a paper notebook, however, it's taken me until the flight home from Boston to find time to transcribe my notes.
When Web surfers take notes, they really like to "take" them--an image from one site, a video clip from another, an entry from Wikipedia, and perhaps even a song or two. For that reason, the blogosphere is full of praise for a new program, Zoho Notebook, released in beta on May 22. In addition to inserting their own text, images, video, audio, spreadsheet data, and other bits of information into virtual notebook pages, users can simply cut and paste in clips from websites.
Zoho Office Suite was honored by PC World with a 100 Best Products of 2007 Award. The article is available now on PCWorld.com, and will also be featured in the July 2007 issue of PC World, which hits newsstands June 12.
For Zoho, the PC World award affirms an on-going commitment to give customers the best and broadest array of Web-based applications for collaborative business. From pioneering applications such as Zoho Notebook to cornerstones such as Zoho Writer and Zoho Spreadsheet, the company's success is based on devotion to its customers.
It's the classic David versus Goliath battle being played out in the 21st century. And it's no surprise that this battle is being fought on the Web. We are talking of the great race between Web behemoth Google and Zoho, the Chennai-based underdog, to launch a suite of online office applications.
However, Sridhar Vembu, CEO of AdventNet, the company behind Zoho services, doesn't see it as an all-out battle. ``That would imply that there can be only one winner, which I don't agree with. Business is not like sports in that respect. It is perfectly possible to have a profitable, growing business without `winning' the market in the sense of being number one,'' he told Business Line in an exclusive interview.
Even more exciting than Google's new offering is another online program called Zoho. Unlike Google Apps, Zoho has its own version of PowerPoint and can produce charts from spreadsheets; as of now. Zoho is additionally compatible with Microsoft Office and allows users to work in Office while offline and transfer work easily back and forth. Like Google, Zoho offers free and premium packages of its services.
What makes Zoho the winner is that it doesn't merely try to copy Microsoft Office functionality. It's Web-based, so you can collaborate with others on your documents, for example. But the functionality of even the base software beats Microsoft's offering in some areas; for creating HTML and graphics-heavy documents, for instance, it surpasses Word. This is the best and most comprehensive Web-based office suite you can find. Included are a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation program, and a database builder -- and plenty of other productivity applications are being added all the time.
Zoho is, like Google Apps, a Web-based productivity suite. The biggest difference between them will be obvious the first time you visit the Zoho home page. Unlike Apps and most other would-be Office killers, the Zoho suite has all of the applications you expect: a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a presentation package, e-mail, and a calendar. There are also Zoho modules for databases and managing projects. And there are even tools with no counterpart in Microsoft Office, such as one for building wikis.
Zoho Notebook is an "online spiral notebook," letting users create pages that could include any sort of digital content, from text, audio, video or images. In addition, the system integrates with all of the other Zoho applications, so users can do their word processing within the notebook page framework.
Zoho, which sells Web applications, and Omnidrive, a Web storage platform vendor, have announced a technology partnership that provides users of the Omnidrive platform the ability to view, edit, share and publish office and other types of documents from directly within Omnidrive using Zoho products.
Zoho Writer features a hideable list of documents divided into sections for private, shared, and public documents, plus templates. Like Google Docs and ThinkFree, Zoho Writer can publish items directly to a blog and can save and import a range of text document formats, from Microsoft Word to HTML. With a plug-in for Microsoft Word, you can save from that application directly to your Zoho account.
Zoho Sheet’s clear icon-based controls, snappy response, intuitive keyboard navigation, graphs, and sharing options (which let you decide who can read particular worksheets in a document) make this an excellent tool for collaboration.
Zoho … has been making some advances in one of the most crucial areas for Web-based software, and that is the ability to synchronize online documents and offline documents. This week, the company launched several plugins for Microsoft Office products that effectively allow users to save their desktop files in folders on Zoho’s servers, where they can be retrieved and worked on from any PC with an Internet connection.
Zoho, one of a crop of companies making web-based productivity apps, has just released a plug-in for Office 2000, 2003 and 2007 that webilises Word and Excel, letting users save files to their Zoho accounts so they can still work on the web when away from their PCs.
The Best Web-Based Computer Applications For Small Business, Winner - Zoho Writer in Word Processors category Zoho Writer is in some ways superior to Microsoft Word, because it automatically creates an HTML version of your document on the fly and handles images better.
Zoho Writer can export files to many formats, including Word DOC files, Rich Text Format (RTF), text files, PDF, HTML, the Open Office SXW extension and OpenDocument’s ODT format
Zoho has released a whole range of services and one in particular has really impressed me: Zoho Creator a weblication that creates weblications. Zoho Creator is incredibly ambitious and there’s a lot more to the service that I just don’t have space to cover. If there was ever a poster child for the Web 2.0 world, this is it!
The Zoho service (http://www.zoho.com/) hosts a wide array of collaboration applications (both free and priced). Through several office applications, it is trying to gain some foothold in the highly competitive web-based office suite segment. The free product, web-based wordprocessor ZohoWriter (http://www.zohowriter.com/), developed for creating/sharing documents on-line, is one of its kind. It has almost all the features found on similar products (like Writely).
Another office-suite component worth a mention is the ZohoSheet, an on-line worksheet package. The product allows you to create/share spreadsheets in your browser. It supports facilities such as graph creation tool and mathematical functions like LCM, sum, log, sumsq (for sum of the squares of a set of numbers) and sqrt.