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Zoho Takes On Global Rivals With Innovative, Affordable Products

Launched three new products namely Zoho AppCreator, Notebook and Zoho Writer along with the introduction of a new game-based feature known as Gamescope in Zoho Projects

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Chennai-based Zoho is competing head on with bigger rivals like Microsoft and Google with innovative cloud-based products – built in India for the world. Zoho is the cloud computing division of its parent company Zoho Corp which has two other businesses – WebNMS and Manage Engine. WebNMS caters to the software and networking requirements of the telecom sector while ManageEngine primarily deals with IT infrastructure management. While WebNMS now only forms a small fraction of their business, Zoho is growing fastest at over 35 per cent year on year.

Zoho calls itself the “operating system for business” — a single cloud software platform with all the applications to run an entire business. Currently, it boasts of more than 18 million users. In terms of markets, the US is the largest contributing about 50 per cent to Zoho’s revenues while the remaining is from other parts of the world including India which contributes about 15-20 per cent. “But we are seeing a lot of traction in India,” said Sridhar Vembu, founder and CEO of Zoho Corp. “And, we are lot more affordable than any other products…which our Indian customers love.”

To stay ahead of the competition, earlier this week, Zoho announced the launch of three new products: Zoho AppCreator, Notebook and Zoho Writer along with the introduction of a new game-based feature known as Gamescope in Zoho Projects.

Zoho AppCreator is a web-based software that enables users to create mobile apps, without knowing iOS or Android programming languages. Users can create mobile apps by just dragging and dropping fields. Users can also share the app with colleagues. Zoho AppCreator has a single database for everyone to work with.

Notebook is Zoho's note-taking mobile app. Users can jot down text, create a checklist, capture a photo, and record audio – all in a single note card. They can also create dedicated text, audio or photo notecards. Notebook syncs across devices, so users can access their notes from anywhere and at any time.

Zoho Writer has been reinvented into a minimal and clutter-free word processor. With minimalistic user interface, Zoho Writer has a re-designed interface that look simple and distraction free. It has three modes that the users can work on – Compose (for writing and formatting), Review (for collaboration) and Distribute (for publishing). The new interface provides a “Reader View” that is free of clutter like buttons and background images, and changes the page's text size, contrast and layout for better readability.

Gamescope is a new Zoho Projects feature that makes project activities like creating and completing tasks more engaging and exciting. It encourages employees to play friendly games with one another and earn rewards. The unique aspect of this is that anyone can create and play the games without involving the manager.

“From the operating system for businesses, we are moving on to become the operating system for work,” said Vembu of Zoho Corp. “The wide range of Zoho’s product suite provides the ecosystem for people to accomplish any kind of work. We are now deepening our offerings by creating innovative software in diverse spheres. ”

Zoho runs all its applications from five data centres across the world – two in the U.S. (Sunnyvale and New Jersey), two in Europe (Ireland and Netherlands) and one in China. A sixth one is underway in Chennai which is scheduled for completion this year. Vembu believes a local data centre in India will help Zoho gain traction as a lot of government agencies and regulated industries prefer to keep their data in their own country.

Zoho’s customers are spread across multiple sectors with technology and new-age companies leading the way. Some of its customers from India include HCL Technologies, ThinkLABS, SRM University, Visual BI Solutions, Payoda Technologies, and Indium Software.


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