David Kirkpatrick

August 12, 2008

Zoho, Google and Microsoft

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:56 pm

This CIO.com story on Zoho is first I’ve heard of the software firm. It’s interesting because it’s taking a different approach to breaking into the big leagues. Zoho’s in the software as a service (SaaS) space, so its key competitors include Google and Microsoft.

(Total aside, if you’re reading much of the IT media world right now, SaaS comes up almost as often as cloud computing.)

An excerpt from the first link:

Here’s an interesting strategy for a new software company: create applications that place you squarely in the competitive sights of Google and Microsoft, bypass venture capital funding, and rebuff an acquisition offer from Salesforce.com, the surging software as a service (SaaS) company that delivers its products over the Web

That’s been the exact path of Zoho, a SaaS company launched in 2005 that offers a wide range of online software, including e-mail, a word processor, spreadsheets, wikis, and even a customer relationship management application that it sells to sales and marketing departments. In all, Zoho sells 17 productivity and collaboration apps, all for prices that, by traditional software standards, are dirt cheap.

For the whole lot of Zoho’s business applications, it costs a mere $50 per user per year (the same price that Google asks large enterprises for its Google Apps software). By contrast, the Professional Version of Microsoft Office, the popular software found on workstations throughout most of the corporate world, retails for as high as $499, the same price as some personal computers on the shelf at Wal-Mart.

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