Zoho Projects 2.0 adds messaging and collaboration functionality to the project management suite. The suite is a cloud computing package delivered via the Internet, competing with software from Microsoft, Intuit and startups such as LiquidPlanner and Clarizen at a time when managing projects online has become a popular practice.
Zoho on July 1 released a new version of its Zoho Projects
project management software, adding a Twitter-like user status tool, a project visualization
tool and the ability to create a project in Microsoft Project and import it to
Zoho Projects 2.0, intended to compete with Microsoft
Project, Intuit QuickBase and suites from startups LiquidPlanner and Clarizen, includes
traditional project management features such as tasks, milestones, reports,
time sheets, priorities and dependencies. Similar to all Zoho products, Zoho
Projects 2.0 is SAAS (software-as-a-service) hosted on Zoho's servers and delivered
to customers via the Internet, or the cloud.
The Project Dashboard provides a quick view of tasks,
milestones, meetings and other project happenings, while a multiple reports
feature lets project managers evaluate the progress against the plan. The timesheet
allows teams with external customers to log
and track time spent by individuals on specific tasks. Projects 2.0 is also
integrated with Zoho Invoice makes.
However, the upgraded suite also provides more team
collaboration features. In Zoho Projects 2.0, users can post files in one place,
tag them and search them; use integrated group chat for quick decision making; create
and publish Web pages; and embed videos.
The Project stream is a visual representation mapping tool
that lets users see the latest activities around their project. The user status
tool is a Twitter-like tool to let users publish their latest update to
their entire team. The Project wiki allows users to house project content in
There is also interactive discussion forums and a shared
Project calendar to keep knowledge workers up to speed on deadlines and
meetings. The software also integrates with Zoho's Office suite so users can
create and edit documents through their browser. See a video demo of Zoho Projects 2.0 here
The addition of social team collaboration tools signals a
key shift in the project management software niche. Just a few years ago,
project teams had to flit back and forth between a number of disparate
applications to get their work done.
Workers might keep their files in one content management
repository; conduct discussions through Microsoft Outlook e-mail; and chat with
other team members via AIM or Jabber instant messenger, all while keeping their
project plan in Microsoft Project. This made recovering project information
Zoho's idea with Projects 2.0 -- letting workers complete
tasks and achieve goals using wikis, status updates and visualization mapping
tools -- is to modernize project management through cloud computing. Google, Microsoft
and hundreds of others are all leveraging SAAS to meet customers' current
View the pricing plans here
. Briefly, Zoho Projects 2.0 is
available now in a free version, which covers one project for 100 megabytes of
Those who need to do more work can pay $12 per month for the standard
plan, which covers 10 projects and 2 gigabytes of online storage, or $80 per
month for the enterprise plan to conduct unlimited projects with 25 gigabytes
of online storage.