Sridhar Vembu, CEO, Zoho Corp
Image: P Ravikumar For Forbes India
Imagine you own a popular chain of restaurants in a metro or the maker of folk-art based ethnic apparel hundreds of miles away from the city or a mid-tier auto-parts supplier with multiple connections to customers and suppliers up and down the supply chain.
Any option that takes away the infrastructural headache of managing the operations — such as finding the processing power to run some marketing analytics urgently to run a new campaign, or ensuring compliance with the latest tax rules — will probably be welcome.
And if it’s also possible to tap into the cloud for everything from facilitating real-time collaboration or managing customers, so much the better. Zoho Corp, Chennai and Pleasanton, California based provider of cloud software, has brought together pretty much all of its products and added new ones to offer customers such an enterprise-in-a-box on the cloud.
The suite of products is called Zoho One, and offers a single-sign-on access to cloud software for sales, marketing, customer support, accounting, HR, productivity, collaboration, and business analytics, the company said in a press release on June 25.
In other words, it is an ambitious effort to offer an all-in-one suite of applications to run an entire business — across every function and organisational group. It includes more than 35 integrated web applications and an equal number of mobile apps — under a single sign-on and with centralized administration and provisioning. That last bit, provisioning, is industry jargon for adding what’s needed, when needed. In India Zoho One is on offer for Rs 1,000 per month per employee.
“Zoho One puts all the software you need to run a business online, and turns it into an accessible business utility," Chief Evangelist, Raju Vegesna, said in the release.
The utility also offers “contextual integrations” in many ways, allowing software used by different departments or functions to speak to each other, which makes for better decision making. And the utility will work with most of the leading non-Zoho software as well, thereby preserving customer choice and flexibility.
Whether it is the IT head of a medium sized business or the CIO of a larger enterprise, Zoho One provides a single panel to add or disable user accounts, creat groups, define policies and the rules for who gets what access and so on. The pricing licenses companies to use all of Zoho’s enterprise products, and businesses get a 30-day trial, according to Zoho.