Zoho is #3 in Top 11 Online Office suites

Last updated: December 17, 2019
The Zoho Office Suite is an alternative 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.

Positions in ratings

#3 in Top 11 Online Office suites

#3 in Top 12 Business Management software


The best alternatives to Zoho are: Google Workspace, QuickBooks, Odoo, Microsoft 365, ONLYOFFICE, Kissflow, Bitrix24

Latest news about Zoho

2020. New and improved Zoho Workplace adds Dashboard view

Zoho unveiled revamped Workplace, a comprehensive suite of productivity, communication, and collaboration tools. Workplace moves beyond offering just a suite of apps; it’s a completely unified and integrated workspace that integrates well with other business applications, providing context and ensuring continuity. The new icing on top of the integrated Zoho Workplace is the Dashboard view. It sorts and lays out recent and most important work items for you—such as your recent emails, calendar schedules, urgent documents, reminders, and more. Workplace not only simplifies switching between apps, but also maintains context when you do, giving you a smooth transition from one app to the other. For example, an email attachment received in Mail can be edited with Writer, and uploaded to WorkDrive, while the email thread can be carried over to Cliq as a group conversation, an event can be created from this conversation, and a meeting can be launched from the event’s calendar entry.

2020. All new Zoho Writer adds collaboration analytics and templates flow

Zoho has introduced the new version of its online text processor Zoho Writer 6 with a new collaboration analytics tool called Engagement Insights. This brings you a great set of comprehensive, useful information about how your collaborators are interacting with your document. When working with legal documents like proposals, this gives you an idea what sections your clients tend to consider the most crucial (or the most confusing). Another area where new Writer could make a huge difference is in minimizing the amount of copy/pasting, manual editing, and duplication of content involved in generating contracts, proposals, letters, and customized marketing materials. It's implemented via a new Prepare Template flow that you can use to configure document templates for workflow automation, and later connect it to a data source—like Zoho CRM or a third-party application—via native Zoho integrations, Deluge Custom Functions, or REST APIs.

2018. Zoho gets virtual assistant and analytics upgrades

Zoho has unveiled a range of updates to Zoho One, its all-in-one cloud app suite, with new analytics capabilities and access to its Zia AI assistant. Zia was initially available within Zoho’s CRM tool, offering suggestions to sales reps based on customer data. It will now be extended across all Zoho One apps, offering contextual information from a variety of sources. For instance, Zia can pull data from Zoho CRM and service desk tool Zoho Desk to inform users of how many customers in the sales pipeline have an open support ticket. Customers will be able to ask Zia things that cross a number of apps, and get a response back that may have come from Zia working behind the scenes with multiple Zoho One apps to get the answer.

2018. Zoho opened a platform for developers

Zoho unveiled Zoho Office Platform - a brand new way to integrate, connect, and build solutions over Zoho's world class office editors. It provides a set of simple, easy to integrate APIs to give your apps a built-in document editor. Create, open, and edit documents right from your web app. This is especially helpful for businesses that are building a web application but still need fully-featured office editors to handle document management in-app. You can connect your apps to the Zoho Office Suite using our Open APIs. This will let your app users create, open, edit, convert, publish, and manage Zoho Office documents right from your app. Take a look at our detailed Sheet and Writer API docs to get started.

2017. Zoho launched Operating System for Business

Zoho released it's biggest market launch ever - Zoho One. It's a broad and cohesive set of applications that work collectively to run an entire business on the cloud. It includes more than 35 web applications (CRM, Books, Mail, Docs, Projects, Invoice, Campaigns and others) and an equal number of mobile apps—under a single sign-on, with centralized administration and provisioning—making it a true operating system for any business. While each application punches above its weight against alternatives, collectively they deliver a knockout punch. The pricing starts at €35 per employee month-to-month.

2017. Zoho offers free online office for 25 users

Zoho is the world champion in making SaaS services for small business. They created so many services that you can easily loose your mind looking through the list. To make it more simple and attractive, Zoho now offers a bundle of 9 most popular services under the title Zoho Workplace. It includes email Zoho Mail, text editor Zoho Writer, spreadsheets Zoho Sheet, presentations Zoho Show (with audience engagement tool Zoho Showtime), cloud storage Zoho Docs, intranet messenger Zoho Chat, site builder Zoho Sites, internal social network Zoho Connect. And the most exciting is that all this if free for 25 users. Moreover, if you invite other companies to the service you can get 25 more free users. It's a great offer while the competitors (Office 365 and G Suite) don't provide free version at all.

2013. Zoho CEO: Salesforce acquires, acquires, acquires, while we build, build, build

Yesterday, Salesforce agreed to pay $2.5 billion for ExactTarget, and of course, Zoho chief, Sridhar Vembu, could not silently pass this event. Five years ago Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tried to buy Zoho, and being refused, banned them on Force.com platform. So Sridhar loves to troll Mark, and yesterday he was on a roll. Here are the most interesting quotes from his speech: "ExactTarget, which competes with our Zoho Campaigns product, has about 1600 employees, while all of Zoho Corp has about 1600 employees. By way of comparison, Salesforce has nearly 10,000 employees, and they are adding those additional 1600 employees today. With all that headcount, they still don’t have the breadth and depth of Zoho." "ExactTarget has lost money for years and Salesforce is not exactly a profit-machine either – they spend over 65% of their revenue on sales, marketing and administration. Most acquisitions fail, but in this case, maybe the two companies do have a deep cultural fit, because they both know how to spend loads and loads of money to “acquire” customers while never turning a profit." "Zoho Campaigns is now enjoying rapid growth and market acceptance, thanks to its nice feature set and the integration we offer with Zoho CRM. To get that same level of integration, Salesforce is shelling out $2.5 billion. But you know what?  I am a software engineer and I say with confidence that integration projects on the scale needed to integrate ExactTarget into Salesforce are extremely difficult to pull off in any reasonable time frame. Salesforce has done these deals before, without ever integrating them." "About 3 years ago, Salesforce acquired Heroku, shelling out $212 million for the company. Visit Heroku.com and see if you can detect any sign of Salesforce anywhere. Visit Do.com and Desk.com – both of which Salesforce acquired a while ago – yeah, there is nice logo level integration, I will give them points for that. Try to sign in with your Salesforce account in any of these sites." "The Salesforce playbook is simple. Benioff feels restless, he sees stagnation, sees companies like Zoho continuing to innovate, he just goes out and does a blockbuster deal to feel good, more money the better. And if you are a Salesforce customer, you are going to have to pay for this acquisition"

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 launched online accounting service Zoho Books

Zoho has finally filled the most evident gap in its package of online applications for small business - released the online accounting service Zoho Books. Now we can state with full responsibility that Zoho provides the complete set of tools for small business. Zoho Books allows to control financial flows, bank accounts, create and send invoices, receive payments via PayPal or credit cards, plan revenues and expenses. It's integrated with Zoho CRM, Email, and spreadsheets, making it more suitable for accountants and other staff. Zoho Invoice users will be given a simple way to upgrade to Zoho Books. Zoho Books - is the first Zoho product that has no free version. Only the 30-day trial. This is not surprising, since in most small companies there is only one accountant and providing a free single-user version would be nonsense. So the service costs - $ 24/mes for single account. For each additional user you will have to pay extra $ 5 per month.

2010. Google offers to login via SMS, Zoho - via OneLogin, Apple - via facial recognition

Today, Google has significantly improved Google Apps security by implementing two-factor authentication. If an account administrator activates this feature, users after entering Google Apps login / password will need to enter a secret code that will be sent to them via SMS, or generated by mobile application or dictated via phone call. Thus, even if somebody steals your Google login and password - he won't be able to use them without your phone. Such security scheme is used in many online banking and online payment systems. At the moment the new feature is available in Google Apps Premiere Edition. Soon it will appear in free Google Apps accounts, as well as in personal GMail-accounts. Unlike Google, Zoho decided not to invent the bicycle itself, but integrated with the authorization service OneLogin, which we have already reviewed. This service allows to provide all employees with a single point of authentication for all business apps and supports different authentication technologies, including sending code via SMS. And Apple believes that all of these logins, passwords, and SMS confirmations - are so old. Today we have found that Apple has acquired Swedish company Polar Rose, which develops mobile applications for facial recognition. One of them - Recognizr - allows you to login to web services by simply taking picture of your face with the smartphone.

2010. Zoho Search - unified search for online office

We have become accustomed to the fact that Zoho is mainly a step ahead of Google Apps. But today's Zoho new feature is especially insulting for Google. It is Zoho, but not the search giant, who is first to deploy the unified search in the online office. Zoho Search indexes data from Zoho Mail, Docs, Writer, Sheet, Show, Notebook, Discussions, Contacts and allows you to find all the contextual results for any request from those sources. The search results can be filtered by application or date range. Found emails and documents can be opened directly on the search portal, without opening the appropriate service. Besides. directly in the search results you do different actions - for instance, reply to an email. Meanwhile Zoho Search works only as a separate service (with an interface very similar to google.com). But soon the universal search box will appear in all the suite apps.

2010. Social Layer in Zoho? Facebook.

Perhaps the main purpose of all enterprise social tools that are now widely deployed in business applications, is to create a Team environment at work. When employees know more about each other, they are more interested in working together and achieving common goals. And where can you find out more about a person? Most likely, in the external social network (like Facebook), he (or she) would express himself better than in the intranet profile. So, why not use Facebook as an internal social network? Today it has become especially easy for Zoho users. Zoho has added support for Facebook Connect and enabled logging in their applications using Facebook account. A couple of years ago, Zoho created the App for Facebook, which allows you to create documents and share them directly in your Facebook-account. So, now you can create a private group in Facebook and use it as a workspaces. In addition, now you can easily provide an access to your Zoho documents for contractors who do not have Zoho account, but have a Facebook profile. Of course, for Zoho the Facebook Connect support means also 400 million potential users who do not need to register to begin using Zoho apps. Besides Facebook, Zoho also supports Google, Yahoo and Google Apps credentials.

2010. Zoho goes SMB 2.0

Zoho's Chief Evangelist, Raju Vegesna, in a brief interview to CloudAve shared his vision of Zoho strategy and the nearest plans of this SaaS provider. Of course, the most interesting is how Raju sees Zoho in future on the market where it competes with Google, Microsoft and Salesforce. In his opinion, Zoho will remain an independent company and will become the leading provider for small business. He even suggeted the term SMB 2.0 (opposed to Enterprise 2.0). The clear positioning Zoho on small business will enable them to compete with IT giants, that are primarily targeting large clients. After all, affordable price, suitable functionality and positive feedback from other users matter more for small business than the big vendor name. That's why Zoho, instead of spending millions on advertising, sales army and partner network, invests all the resources to the software development. Zoho has pretty big plans for the SMB market. Zoho is going not only provide each business with all the necessary (integrated) apps, but also connect small businesses into the network. They plan to not only enable companies to integrate their virtual offices and support joint projects and outsourcing, but also create a social network where entrepreneurs can find employees, partners and customers. As for the nearest Zoho plans, Raju promised that soon Zoho People will become a full-featured internal social network. In addition, we can expect online accounting service  based on Zoho Invoice. At the same time, Raju said that Zoho has no plans to develop social tools to link the virtual office with external social networks, and even Raji called Social CRM a bubble that will soon burst. On the other hand, it's very likely that Zoho will offer integration with the new Microsoft cloud offerings: Windows Azure and Office Web Apps.

2009. Zoho unites with VMWare

All we know Zoho, as a provider of SaaS applications. But  it appears that they also supply all these services as an in-house solution for large enterprises (more than 10000 users). I.e. Zoho Suite can be installed in the corporate data center behind the firewall. Besides the hight security level this solution enables enterprise IT easily integrate Zoho Apps with other business applications. But the price tag is too high. And even not because of Zoho Suite costs, but because an enterprise needs to create a copy of Zoho cloud infrastructure (at least one server per one service). And of course, in such cases virtualization helps. All the more, VMWare, the leading virtualization vendor, now promotes its "private cloud" idea. Opposed to Amazon's new "virtual private cloud", it is located in the private data-center, not in the internet server farm. So, together with VMWare, Zoho created out-of-the-box configuration on vSphere platform, that enables to save money on hadrware: company will only need as many servers as needed for given number of users, but not as many, as Zoho has. It's interesting that recently VMWare enticed several technical leaders from Google and now is creating the Google App Engine rival. And Zoho always used to be closer to Google, but now partnered with its competitor.

2009. Zoho uses Google Apps to promote Zoho Suite

Zoho, the web-based software suite, is launching sign-in integration with Google Apps, letting users login to Zoho using their Google Apps credentials. From now users can input their Google Apps domain name, and will be redirected to Google to sign-in using their Google Apps credentials. They will be given the option of authorizing “accounts.zoho.com” and will then be logged in to Zoho directly. Google Apps is actually a competitor to Zoho Suite, but Zoho says that many of its business applications, including Zoho CRM, Invoice, Meeting, and others, actually complement Google Apps and makes the transition between the two product suites seamless.

2009. Zoho takes MS Access online

Zoho today has rolled out plug-in that allows to provide access from Zoho Creator to Microsoft Access. Zoho Creator is web-based 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. 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. MS Access is a fairly painless way for enterprise users, many of whom are still tied to Microsoft by IT and management, to build simple databases. But there's never been a particularly easy method for sharing those databases and doing something really useful with them.