Getting Started with Zoho

Zoho has become a major player in cloud-based business software since being founded in 1996 by Sridhar Vembu and Tony Thomas. Headquartered in India, the company now provides a diverse range of online productivity and customer relationship management tools aimed at businesses of all sizes. In this in-depth Zoho reviews, we’ll look at what Zoho offers across its software portfolio and how the company positions itself as an all-in-one solution for managing key business functions like sales, marketing, operations, and more.

We’ll closely evaluate important factors like features, pricing, customer support, and other aspects to help you determine if Zoho is the right software vendor to meet your business needs.

Let’s start with a quick rundown of Zoho and the breadth of its product offerings…

Zoho Reviews: Overview, History, and Background

Zoho started by offering open-source tools and web applications to help internet businesses get started online. Over the years, it has evolved into a significant player in the SMB and enterprise productivity software market.

Zoho Official

Zoho Reviews: Some Key Milestones

  • 1996 – Founded by Sridhar Vembu and Tony Thomas to build software for Internet businesses.
  • 2005 – Launched Zoho Creator (now called Zoho Workplace) as its first SaaS product.
  • 2006 – Released Zoho CRM, its flagship CRM product.
  • 2008 – Introduced Zoho Docs, its online document collaboration suite.
  • 2010 – Crossed $100 million in annual recurring revenues.
  • 2015 – Surpassed 20 million users across its various products.

Today – Employs over 5,000 people globally. It Supports 40+ languages. It Serves over 50 million users worldwide.

Zoho Product Portfolio

Zoho offers 42+ online business applications spanning CRM, office productivity, finances, marketing, support, and more. Some of its major products include:

  • Zoho CRM – Customer relationship management software.
  • Zoho Workplace (formerly Creator) – Low code application development platform.
  • Zoho One – Integrated business software suite.
  • Zoho Books – Accounting and financial management software.
  • Zoho Recruit – Applicant tracking system.
  • Zoho Projects – Project management software.
  • Zoho Survey – Online survey tool.
  • Zoho Chat – Live chat software.
  • Zoho Analytics is a business intelligence and data analytics tool.

Zoho CRM Overview

Zoho CRM is Zoho’s flagship SaaS product for managing contacts, accounts, leads, deals, and activities from one platform.

Zoho CRM

Key Features of Zoho CRM

  • Contact and company management.
  • Lead capture and assignment.
  • Sales pipeline and forecasting.
  • Ticketing and support capabilities.
  • Customizable dashboards and reports.
  • Custom fields and modules.
  • Mobile apps for Android and iOS.
  • Third-party app integration.

Zoho CRM Target User

  • Sales, marketing, support, and customer service teams.
  • Small businesses to large enterprises across industries.

Strengths of Zoho CRM

  • Easy to use interface.
  • Powerful customization options.
  • Robust feature set for a low price.
  • Good support for multi-user, multi-team environment.

Zoho CRM is Ideal For

Companies looking for a full-featured and affordable CRM solution without the hefty price tag of market leaders like Salesforce. Ideal for SMBs as well as high-growth startups.

Zoho Workplace (Zoho Creator) Overview

Zoho Creator (recently rebranded as Zoho Workplace) is a powerful low-code application development platform to build internal apps without coding.

Zoho Workplace

Key Features of Zoho Workplace

  • Drag-and-drop form builder.
  • Custom workflows and business logic.
  • Table, charts, and dashboard widgets.
  • Mobile app creation capabilities.
  • Collaboration features.
  • Integrations and API.

Target User for Zoho Creator

  • IT managers and developers.
  • Business users and citizen developers.
  • Organizations looking for faster app development at lower costs.

Strengths of Zoho Workplace

  • User-friendly platform for non-coders.
  • Broad functional scope for app possibilities.
  • Robust API and integration capabilities.
  • Affordable compared to competitors.

Zoho Workplace is Ideal For

Organizations seeking to accelerate internal app development and customize existing Zoho solutions. It is beneficial for departments needing custom data tracking solutions.

Zoho One Overview

Zoho One is Zoho’s flagship integrated business suite, offering unified access to over 40+ of its business applications.

Zoho One

Key Features of Zoho One

  • Single login access to all core Zoho apps.
  • Unified directory for admin tasks.
  • We have centralized subscription billing.
  • App recommendations based on a business profile.
  • Powerful customization engine.
  • Workflow designer.

Target User for Zoho One

  • SMBs are looking for an all-in-one business software suite.
  • Mid-market and large enterprises.

Strengths of Zoho One

  • They have streamlined business software management.
  • Great budgetary value for growing companies.
  • Enables collaboration across departments.
  • Customizable for complex business needs.

Zoho One is Ideal For

Any organization seeking to consolidate disparate business software onto a unified platform for improved collaboration and user experience. They are particularly suited for fast-growing companies.

Plans and Pricing of Zoho

Zoho offers flexible pricing plans and models tailored for small and large enterprises.

Individual App Pricing

  • Zoho’s business applications are available on monthly subscription plans starting from free to hundreds of dollars per month based on features and users.
  • For example, Zoho CRM plans start from $12 per user/month, and Zoho Books from $6 per user/month.

Zoho One Subscription

  • With Zoho One, businesses can access over 40+ applications for a unified monthly or annual subscription fee.
  • The Standard plan starts at $30 per user/month, Professional at $45, and Enterprise at custom pricing. All plans include unlimited storage and support.
  • Volume pricing discounts and OEM/ partner agreements are available for large deployments.

Free Forever Plans

  • Most Zoho apps offer skillful free perpetual plans for individuals and small teams.
  • For example, the Zoho CRM Free plan bundles all core CRM features forever for up to 3 users.

Payment Options

  • Credit card, PayPal, invoice, and net 30 billing available.
  • Unique payment plans offered for Zoho One deployed across multiple subsidiaries of an organization.

Trials and Demo Access

  • All apps provide fully functional 14-15 day free trials with full access to features.
  • Live guided product tours, documentation, and Trailhead modules are available for self-exploration.

Additional Costs

  • There are no additional costs for regular software upgrades, maintenance, or support.
  • Consulting services are available at additional costs for complex implementations, customizations, etc.
In summary, Zoho’s flexible plans and perpetual free tiers make it affordable for all businesses, regardless of size or budget. Pricing is highly competitive against peer solutions.

Zoho Reviews: Implementation, Customization and Support

Implementation

  • Apps are hosted in the cloud, and users must create accounts to use them.
  • Implementation support from Zoho Professional Services is optional but recommended for strategic deployments.
  • Tools to simplify admin tasks include user provisioning integrations, bulk data uploads, etc.

Customization

  • Apps are fully customizable via admin consoles and include options like custom fields, forms, views, workflows, etc.
  • Zoho Workplace enables building entirely custom apps from scratch without coding.
  • The integrations library supports extending functionality via pre-built connectors.
  • Developers can build integrations, bots, and custom apps using the REST APIs.

Knowledge and Support

  • Solutions are well-documented online with tutorials, Trailhead modules, and community forums.
  • Email and live chat support are available based on subscription plans 24/7.
  • Phone support for Enterprise plans during business hours.
  • Certified implementation partners worldwide for advanced requirements.
In summary, Zoho promotes manageable self-service implementations. However, strategic projects may require professional services support for complex data migrations and integration touchpoints. Support options are comprehensive for issues.

Zoho Hosting, Security, and Compliance

Infrastructure

  • Applications are hosted on Zoho’s global private cloud infrastructure, spanning 30 data centers worldwide.
  • Architecture is geared toward scale, security, flexibility, and compliance norms.
  • Monthly uptime SLA of 99.9% backed by redundancy and disaster recovery processes.

Security

  • Data centers are SOC 1, SOC 2, and ISO 27001 certified and regularly audited by third parties.
  • App access is controlled via granular role-based permissions and multi-factor authentication.
  • Integrations follow the least privileged approach with monitoring and supervision.
  • Apps incorporate measures like data encryption, activity logging, and anomaly detection.
  • 256-bit SSL encryption protects data in transit and at rest.
  • Regular external vulnerability assessments and penetration tests are carried out.
  • It features centralized access management, SSO, and directory integration.
  • Apps can be optionally deployed behind a customer’s firewall for additional security.
  • Notifies users of any potential security threats via email.
  • A dedicated security team works with clients to address advanced requirements.
  • Provides biannual transparency reports on government data requests.
  • Participates in bug bounty programs to identify vulnerabilities.
  • Follows standards like NIST PCI-DSS and maintains security compliance certifications.
  • It offers optional add-ons like advanced antivirus, firewall, e-discovery, and archival.

Zoho Integrations

Integration Approach

  • Zoho follows an open architecture and supports over 3000 integration plugins.
  • It provides pre-built connectors to Google, Microsoft, Slack, and others via its marketplace.
  • Offers REST APIs for custom integrations and third-party extensions.

Integration Categories

  • Data Integration: Sync data between apps and legacy databases.
  • Workflow Integrations: Trigger workflows across apps via webhooks.
  • Third-party Integrations: Extend capabilities through Salesforce, Hubspot, etc.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Integrate bots for intelligent automation.

Integration Tools

  • Zoho Flow enables visual workflow automation across apps and systems.
  • Zapier provides pre-configured integration templates via a no-code interface.
  • Developers can build using Zoho’s API toolkit and libraries.
  • Partner ecosystem offers certified integration solutions.

Key Benefits of Zoho Integration

  • Flexible integration capabilities maximize the utility of existing infrastructure.
  • Streamlined workflows improve response rates and productivity.
  • AI integrations deliver personalized experiences at scale.
  • Open architecture future-proofs investments.

Zoho Mobile Access

Zoho Mobile Apps

Mobile Apps

  • Native Zoho mobile apps are available for CRM, Docs, Mail, Books, and Recruit.
  • Support iOS and Android platforms for offline usage.
  • Deliver personalized experiences optimized for mobile.

Features of Zoho Mobile Access

  • Offline caching for available data access without the internet.
  • Integration with contact books and calendars.
  • Barcode and image scanning abilities.
  • Push notifications for tasks and reminders.
  • Customizable to suit individual workflows.

Benefits of Zoho Mobile Access

  • Enables remote/field workers to be productive on the go.
  • Drives engagement with personalized reminders and alerts.
  • Improves convenience and transparency for customers.
  • Supports evolving hybrid work culture.

Final Thoughts on Zoho Reviews

In closing Zoho reviews, It offers a wide breadth of affordable business tools suited for both SMBs and larger enterprises.

Some of the key upsides are:

  • Extensive suite of products enabling a true one-stop-shop experience.
  • Flexible, pay-as-you-go pricing plus free tiers to get started.
  • Robust features that can be tailored for complex business scenarios.
  • Emphasis on user-friendly experiences, quick setups, and support.
  • Open platform for deep integrations and customizations.
  • Proven stability as a mature SaaS provider.
Overall, Zoho delivers tremendous value and capabilities, making it an attractive option for businesses undertaking digital transformations globally. Its unified approach also means a smoother experience for companies future-proofing their IT systems. For organizations seeking a full-service software partner, Zoho reviews checks all the boxes.
Amelie Lamb

Amelie Lamb

Amelie Lamb is an experienced technical content writer at SoftwareStack.co who specializes in distilling complex software topics into clear, concise explanations. She has a talent for taking dense technical jargon and making it engaging and understandable for readers through her informative, lively writing style.

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