Zoho alternatives

The Zoho Office Suite is a Web-based online office suite containing word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, note-taking, wikis, customer relationship management (CRM), project management, invoicing and other applications. Zoho helps you get more sales, get paid, support your customers and make your business more productive.
Zoho alternatives are:
Google Apps, Basecamp, Office 365
Here are the latest news about Zoho:

2013 How Zoho was "helping" Salesforce users

Last week the biggest IT conference Dreamforce took place and as usual for these big vendor events, it didn't escape some funny marketing tricks. Competitors are always trying to drive customers from a company that owns a conference (in this case, Salesforce) and invent original ideas. For example, that's how Microsoft tried to spoil Salesforce conference and Salesforce picketed Oracle conference. At this time, was Zoho's turn. Though Zoho's CEO, Sridhar Vhembe, has the personal offense with Marc Benioff, he didn't try to troll Salesforce at its event. Instead, he ordered to help Salesforce users. After all, they have to pay big money monthly for CRM-system and even a ticket to the conference costs $1,000 . So Zoho gave Salesforce customers free pedicab rides to whatever their destination was – their next session, party or their hotel. It was something like free Zoho CRM test drive.

And for lunch they gave Salesforce.com customers free snacks to taste a piece of Zoho

with such napkins:

Do you think Zoho has just wasted money to entice a couple of Salesforce customers? Of course not, because the main benefit of this campaign came from the social networks in which people talked about Zoho:

2013 Salesforce and Zoho launch support chat apps

Yesterday Salesforce said: "Customers want to get support via their phones." Stop! This is how it was before. If something happened, you took your phone and called support. And then Salesforce said that people don't want to call, but want to get support online - on the provider site or in social networks. And now, we should call again? No. Salesforce means that now people want to get convenient online support, not only via computer, but also via their small phones. That is why yesterday Salesforce launched the new mobile app Service Cloud Mobile, which includes mobile chat, mobile knowledge base interface, and even mobile browsing (co-browsing). And all these features can be embedded directly into your mobile app, providing maximum convenience for customers. The chat service costs $50/month for 1 operator.

Zoho yesterday also released the new support chat LiveDesk that can be embedded to your site. Zoho already has the free service that allows you to chat with your website visitors - Zoho Chat. But Zoho is now trying to make more money, so it created the dedicated commercial tool. Unlike the free Zoho Chat, LiveDesk provides more specialized features: full customer information, operator selection and rating, canned answers, offline forms, analytics, etc. LiveDesk pricing starts from $19/month for 3 agents.

2012 Zoho will work on top of the Google Drive

Looks like guys from Zoho are not going to create their own file storage and syncing service. Instead, they will use the product of their "friends" from Google - Google Drive. Yesterday, Zoho has launched the integration of its office suite (Writer, Sheet and Show) with Google Drive, which lets you open documents stored on Google Drive in these online Zoho apps. You just need to install Zoho editors from the Chrome Web Store, and then the integration will be enabled not only in Chrome, but in all other browsers. This integration demonstrates the potential of Google Drive as a cloud storage for third-party apps. Various project management systems, CRM, intranet solutions can use Google Drive as an external storage, which also enables file access on any mobile platform. And the third-party developers can be assured in Google's decency, because even competing Zoho apps passed the moderation.

2012 Zoho to close a number of services

Unbelievable: SaaS-provider Zoho, that has always wanted to get into the Guinness Book of Records by the number of created services, is now pruning its garden. In the end of the year 6 Zoho products will be closed: 1. Zoho Challenge - tool for testing job candidates. 2. Zoho CommentBox - social customer support app (our review). Apparently, the company has finally noticed that they have another similar service. 3. Zoho Planner - Online organizer. Probably, Zoho Planner wants to entice users to pay for Zoho Projects. 4. Zoho Plugin for Office - add-on that allows to co-edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents. 5. Zoho Share - document publishing service (ala SlideShare). 6. Zoho Viewer - online file viewer. The official reason of the closure - the desire to focus on the more successful services. And it sounds very reasonable, because even Google can't support such a large number of services.

2011 Zoho Mail takes on GMail

Zoho Mail
As known, Zoho uses to make friends with Google. Despite the fact that both companies are developing online offices for SMB, Zoho always combines its applications with Google Apps, rather than compete with them. Zoho is the champion by the number of applications in the Google Apps Marketplace (i.e. integrated into Google Apps). And maybe that's why Zoho for a long time didn't touch the holy grail of Google Apps - email app GMail. In fact Zoho launched it's email service (Zoho Mail) almost two years ago, but it was just a personal email service. It was as functional as GMail and even allowed to use your own domain, but it had no administrative panel that allows to create accounts and manage security policies. So it couldn't be used as a corporate mail server. Now it can.

But we don't think that Google will apply any political sanctions against Zoho because Zoho Mail - is no longer completely free, so won't influence Google's business much. It's free only for 3 users with 1GB mailbox limitation. After that - you have to pay $2 per month per user. At the same time, Google Apps Mail provides free version for 50 users with 7.5Gb mailboxes.

But anyway Google should be beware. Because in functionality Zoho Mail even exceeds Google Apps Mail. It features:
- multiple domains support
- multiple accounts per user
- multiple signatures, depending on the account
- tags and subfolders
- threaded discussions
- filters
- contacts (with shared folders)
- antispam, antivirus (with black and white lists)
- autoresponder
- powerful search that can even scan attachments
- mobile access (iPhone, Android, Blackberry and other smartphones)
- offline mode (using Google Gears)
- POP3, IMAP support
- archiving and exporting messages

Moreover, Zoho Mail - it's not just mail and contacts, but also super-calendar (Zoho Calendar), which is not inferior to Google Calendar and Tasks module that makes Google Tasks look like a toy. There is also the Notes section, but it's not the powerful Zoho Notebook, but a simple notes list.

The value of Zoho Mail can be considerably increased by integration with other Zoho services - messenger Zoho Chat, office editors Zoho Docs, CRM system Zoho CRM ... Funny, but Zoho Mail is better integrated with Google Docs, than GMail. In particular, Zoho Mail allows to send files directly from your Google Docs account.

Zoho Mail
And, as we noted, Zoho Mail now has the control panel where administrator can add / remove users and groups, assign roles, mailbox quotas, add domains, configure filters, unjust security settings.