Zoho Launches the Zoho One Business Suite
Zoho today released Zoho One, a suite of applications that aims to serve as a one-stop shop for professionals in different divisions of a company, including those working in customer-facing roles—such as sales, service, and marketing—and beyond. Within Zoho One, users can access Zoho's CRM applications alongside its tools for finance, recruiting, human resources, productivity, and collaboration. According to Raju Vegesna, Zoho's chief evangelist, the package currently includes 38 web-based and mobile native apps, with more to be introduced in coming months in the areas of payroll, among others.
With Zoho One, "we are trying to offer an incredible amount of technology at an impossible price," Vegesna says. A major advantage of the bundle is in the breadth of functionality users are granted given the sum they are asked to pay. At a flat fee of $30 per employee per month, all users are granted access to a broad variety of tools that cover the majority of their business's needs, including tools that allow them to serve customers in sales and service interactions, run their operations for finance and recruiting, and collaborate and boost productivity through office and email functions. With the Zoho platform, businesses can also build custom apps to meet the needs of their business, add browser extensions, or integrate a variety of apps produced by third-party vendors via the Zoho Marketplace, if they so choose.
A stipulation is that to gain access to Zoho's $1 per user per day pricing model, companies must purchase licenses for each of their employees, Vegesna notes. Still, the advantage of having so much ground covered by the same vendor is that it greatly simplifies a number of potential and common problems. For instance, if a company needs help in using any of Zoho's products, it can benefit from turning to the same account manager for assistance, rather than having to figure out how to navigate various support teams within separate software companies. Since the account manager at Zoho is granted access to the company’s software links, as well as information regarding its contracts and billing and payment information, that person can act as an ongoing source of help.
Similarly, signing up for a bundle can save company higher-ups the hassle of having to decide how many seats to purchase for each app. Zoho One includes an Admin Panel, which allows a controlling user to decide which employees can and cannot access each of the apps. A secure account and single sign-on function gives the admin authority over the entire suite of products, allowing him to grant each employee permission to access various apps and exclusive groups. The admin can also ascribe company-wide policies to be followed by each employee, including two-factor authentication. These controls can either be enforced by a single user or delegated to admins within individual departments are groups.
And, since companies won't have to deal with multiple contracts, upgrades, or add-ons, they won't be "nickeled and dimed"—a practice that has been accepted in the industry and one that Zoho wishes to eliminate. "We're really trying to challenge and change that particular model," Vegesna says.
In a statement, Vegesna said that Zoho One helps takes some of the complexity out of running a business:
"With Zoho One, customers are not just licensing apps they need to run their business. They are licensing peace of mind. With the complexity of running multiple applications taken out of their way, customers can focus on their core business.”
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