MIT Technology Review writes about Zoho

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Richard Brandt at MIT Technology Review has an article on Zoho titled “Can Zoho beat Google?“. From the article :

Zoho has become a prolific designer of online software tools, releasing at least one new product every month for more than a year. It boasts 15 product offerings so far, including a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation tool, a Wiki, a project manager, a customer-relationship management (CRM) tool, a database, and a project-planning tool. Bloggers who have tried the software say it’s more robust than online applications offered by Google, and it offers better collaboration capabilities (for example, it lets multiple people work on a document simultaneously or sync spreadsheets with remote data from websites) than products from Microsoft. Zoho’s fans see it as the model for a new generation of Web-based applications that could displace expensive software sold by Microsoft.

Zoho is the suite to beat. A Gartner report released on March 12 placed Zoho at the top of its list of “Cool Vendors in Web 2.0,” five companies that offer “a glimpse into the future of enterprise innovations.” Says Gartner analyst Nick Gall, “Zoho is ahead in the user community and in the technology.”

Thanks to Richard Brandt & MIT! In other news, The Social Computing Magazine has a write-up on Zoho Notebook titled “Zoho Notebook: One-Stop Business Collaboration Tool“. And in a blog post on Zoho Notebook at weblogg-ed, Melinda Miller has this to say about Zoho Polls in the comments :

I really like zoho polls. One of my 4th grade teachers used it in class one time so now I use it all the time with my staff. We voted on our theme for next year, planning for next year’s holiday party, and staff shirt preferences. Here is a link to my school blog with the zoho poll embeded.

In a post titled “CRM on the Cheap“, Davey Moyers writes,

Looking for an inexpensive, robust CRM program? Why not check out Zoho CRM. The price is right, free for three users. I have been giving this system a test drive, and there’s power under the hood. Full CRM functionality. It lacks mobile capability or offline use, but otherwise this is a solid player for the individual sales rep or small team. It also boast Outlook synchronization that is as good as the competitors in this space. The features I especially find appealing are lead management, opportunity management, and sales quotes…. I spent four years using salesforce.com on a daily basis, and I would pit this program against salesforce.com in all categories save one. Offline and mobile are not yet offered. However, the print templates on Zoho are much better than salesforce.com. So you plan it, print it, execute it. Whatever “it” is.

Amit Agarwal has a nice post explaining how to embed Zoho Sheet’s charts in one’s blog. Zoho Chat’s shoutbox feature (embedding a chat window in your website) has been put to good use by a community named Cerebrals Hens Network. Cool background options, guys! And our recent REST API release got noted by Thomas Willingham & Go To India Web 2.0.

Thanks, one & all :-)

Zoho APIs made easier

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The Zoho API for Zoho Writer, Sheet & Show have been made more developer friendly. In addition to the existing XML-RPC format, we have added the REST APIs as well. This makes it a lot easier for the developers to read data by just making HTTP GET requests to Zoho. The new storage REST APIs for :

Zoho Writer
Zoho Sheet
Zoho Show

One more change is the way time/date is handled in our API response messages. It wasn’t flexible enough since it returned the date in a particular format & the time was in our server’s timezone. We have changed this to the standard long milliseconds format which is just the number of seconds since Jan 1, 1970, 00:00 GMT.

Omnidrive, Box.net, myDataBus, Kearen are some of the web services which have implemented the Zoho API and there’s a lot more to come. Try the new APIs out and we will be glad hearing your feedback.

Zooomr Mark III Launches

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If you are following the status of Zooomr, Mark III is up and running. If you are not, Zoli has a good writeup.

Zooomr is a photo service supported by some awesome fans across the globe. Prior to the recent Zooomr episode, I just heard about it but never paid any attention. But when Scoble called for help in his blog, we discussed internally and thought we can help Zooomr. We know how challenging it is to run a company initially without raising any capital. We have been there (For those of you who don’t know, Zoho/AdventNet after 11 years is still privately owned, self-funded and a very profitable company) and we decided to help Kris Tate and Thomas Hawk.

Once Robert Scoble put us in touch with Kris and Thomas, things moved fast. We managed to get Zooomr into one of our Zoho/AdventNet data centers and couple of days later, Zooomr Mark III is online.

The Zooomr community was exceptional. I received close to 100 emails thanking us for helping Zooomr. I can clearly say that these are very passionate Zooomr users. To quote some…

Hi, Zoho team,

I wanted to drop you a note to tell you how much the Zooomr community appreciates your assistance in these difficult times. You have no idea how much respect and appreciation you have garnered because of this selfless act.

Having worked in the tech industry for a number of years, I find the times that a company has reached out to assist at this level and this speed to be severely lacking. You have not only shown up the big guys, but you have earned a devoted following because of it.

Keep up the great work and thank you again,

Raju and the rest of the Zoho crew,

Much thanks and the highest appreciation for all you’ve done for Zooomr. I hope that as a community we’ve adequately displayed our thanks. Your quick response in our time of need is incredibly admirable. It’s allowing Zooomr to grow as a community and reach our goal of doing incredible things with photo sharing.

If there is anything I or any of us can do, don’t hesitate to ask.

Please keep the faith, and many happy returns!

Thanks,

Hi Raju,

I hope you’ve already had an awful lot of praise for doing this, but I
wanted to add mine to the heap.

Zoho’s assistance no doubt helped Zooomr – specifically Kris Tate – in
a physical sense, but more importantly it will have helped in an
emotional sense. Without Zoho’s assistance, the psychological hill
that Kris needed to climb would have seemed all the more
insurmountable.

My faith in humanity, the web community, and good old fashioned
technology has been boosted enormously by the support Zooomr have
received.

So thanks!

Cheers,

Kudos to Zooomr guys for being very transperant to the community on whatever they did while their service was down. The community also created a Wiki (in Zoho Wiki) on the status of the service. Over the next few days, I assume Kris will be busy fine tuning Mark III.

We are glad we could help Zooomr. We wish them good luck.

Me personally, I just created a Zooomr account. I am heading there to upload some of my photos.

Zoho: Finalist for Webware 100 Awards

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Zoho is one of the finalist for Webware 100 awards (to be announced after June 11). According to webware, 250 finalists were selected by their editors from over 2,000 web 2.0 services nominated. We are one of the 250 finalists broken into 10 categories. Each category currently has 25 finalists of which 10 will be selected (based on your voting) as part of the final Webware 100.

Zoho is listed under ‘Productivity’ category. We’d love to win your vote under this category.

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Posts from the blogosphere

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Ryan McIntyre has a neatly done brief history of Excite presentation as an embedded Zoho Show slide show. ‘Connected Internet‘ recommends Zoho as one of the top 5 web apps that an enterprise can use. Here’s what the blog says about Zoho :

After trying them all, i am pretty much convinced that Zoho is currently the most advanced Office 2.0 suite in the market. What i like the most about Zoho, is that although it runs on the web, its set of features is rich, and would satisfy even the most enthusiastic MS Office user. In my opinion, Zoho Writer (the word processor) and Zoho sheets (the Excel like spreadsheet) are excellent choices for organizations that would like to cut their MS Office expenses (they are 100% free). I also like Zoho Creator, a nifty application that allows you to create database applications in minutes. If you don’t like to work on your office productivity suite on the web, you’ll enjoy Zoho Desktopize, a widget that allows you to work in selected Zoho applications in a desktop environment.

bemaNetwork, a group of experts for fighting SPAM write this about Zoho in their blog:

I have used several of the app’s myself and they are great, AJAX is being used here in force and it works marvelously. I am very impressed with the UI, the performance and what it delivers for the cost. Zoho.com we really appreciate these tools that you have made available, and want to share that with our members and friends. We hope that everyone that finds zoho will love these programs and use them everyday to replace your office or other productivity software, and maybe win a piece back for the developers!Great Job guys, we all love it!

We earlier wrote about Rick Roche and the surveys he does for his library. He is out with the results for his core biography survey. Wanna do such a survey? Try it with Zoho Creator. It is simple and easy.

Thanks, all :-)

PC World : Zoho in “The 100 Best Products of 2007″

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PC World has come up with a 100 best products of 2007 list ranking the best PCs, HDTVs, components, sites, and services. And Zoho’s part of it! What gives us more pleasure is the fact that we are at number 30 ahead of services/products like GMail, YouTube, Microsoft Office 2007, Firefox, iPod Nano, Skype, Flickr, MacBook Pro etc. Thanks to PC World and all our users :-)

Update : CNET’s Webware is conducting a poll for the 100 best web apps in 10 different categories. If you are a Zoho user/patron, do vote for us in the Productivity category.