Today (June 25, 2017), the cloud-based business software company, Zoho, redefined a suite and pricing of business software with its launch of Zoho One, a platform and licensing model connecting 35+ mobile, native, and web software apps. Google, Apple and Microsoft each have a cloud-based suite of business-focused software applications. Each offers a subscription model and provides the basics: word processing, presentation, spreadsheet, calendar, and contacts, along with some data and file storage options. Unlike their subscription model where a company pays a few dollars per employee per month (for a few software applications), Zoho One is priced at $30 per employee, per month, for the entire 35+ collection of software.
Previously, Zoho has focused primarily on the small business market and has created independent software and business service apps. But in a project lasting four years, Zoho has combined all of those independent apps onto one data platform with a plan to expand its market beyond small businesses. Raju Vegesna, Zoho’s chief evangelist, said the company wanted to make its entire business operating system available in a buffet. “We think this will expand the market,” said Vegesna. “We initially thought Zoho One would appeal to smaller companies, but we’re seeing mid- to large-enterprise beta customers.”
Zoho will now be competing with software in nearly all business categories, including Google, Microsoft, Oracle’s NetSuite, Salesforce and Intuit. “We are targeting anyone who does work. This isn’t a traditional way of looking at the business market,” said Vegesna.
Zoho One’s Challenge
The challenge of going broad with a 35+ application suite of software services is the eco-systems already developed around the software that individual industries are built upon, like Intuit or Salesforce. In military terminology and strategy, the expression “two-front war” describes a situation in which a country finds itself fighting enemies from two directions (e.g., Germany in World War II). In choosing to offer 35+ different software categories, Zoho will find itself engaged in a 35+ front war. According to Zoho, it has 1,000+ implementation and training partners who are available to help customers whenever needs arise.
Zoho One Applications
The array of software categories and applications in the Zoho One suite in impressive. Here is a list of the categories and applications in each.
A multichannel approach to modern sales processes. (Customer relationship management.)
Gamification-enhanced sales performance.
A business intelligence platform.
A small business app to manage contacts and deals until you graduate into the full-blown CRM.
Engages website visitors.
Create, send, and track email campaigns.
Post content, interact with followers, and monitor conversations across social networks, from one place.
Helps make decisions using feedback from surveys.
Forms for lead generation and customer engagement.
A multi-channel help desk that helps prioritize support requests.
Troubleshoots customer issues remotely for quick resolutions.
Productivity & Collaboration
Securely hosted, ad-free email.
Quick and informal messaging for team communication.
A private social network for team discussion and sharing resources.
An online word processor for collaborative work.
A collaborative cloud spreadsheet.
Create slide decks with ideas from multiple collaborators.
Present slide decks to audiences anywhere and interact with them.
Store and share files and documents with teammates, partners, vendors, or customers.
Plan, track, and collaborate on projects across teams.
Browser-based web conferencing for demos and presentations.
Securely store and manage passwords.
A simple note-taking app.
Sign documents digitally and request signatures.
Online accounting software.
Bills customers on a recurring or subscription basis.
Turn receipts into expense reports for quick approvals.
A centralized inventory management system for distributed sales channels like retail stores, online shops, or marketplaces like Amazon or eBay.
Simple one-time and recurring online payments solution.
Manage your employees, including managerial approvals, performance management, and more.
Designed for both in-house recruiters and staffing agencies.
Turn unique processes into custom applications.
Business intelligence platform that provides useful insights about your business.