Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Zoho - suite of on-line business, productivity & collaboration apps

I use Google's applications all the time. Just read this blog and you'll see how much I use and love Google's applications. But, they aren't the only player in town. Zoho is another service that provides online business, productivity, and collaboration apps, many of them for free.

Zoho is very focused on businesses and enterprise, but has a huge number of apps for personal and educational use. Zoho does have free versions of it's apps for personal use, and there are discounts for non-profit organizations. Every app has a free personal version.

The apps are separated into categories: Collaboration, Business, and Productivity. The Collaboration apps include Chat, Docs, Meetings, Mail, and more. Business apps include CRM, Invoice, Recruit, and more. Productivity apps include Calendar, Notebook, Writer, Sheet, Show and Planner. Docs is a document storage and sharing service (1GB free), while Writer, Sheet, and Show are word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation apps.

The business apps are great for small businesses needing invoicing, recruiting tools and the like.

The apps are all hosted online and include the ability to collaborate with others on projects. There is a mobile version, a plug-in for Microsoft Office, and versions of Zoho Apps that integrate with Google Apps (which is pretty cool, I must say).

There is plenty of support and help available, along with a user forum and community.

Zoho does offer some apps, especially for business, that Google doesn't and the features are different (and Google has apps Zoho doesn't). Take a look and see if Zoho is something that will work for you or your organization. Zoho and Google can also be used together complementing each other with different apps and features.


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