Zoho, a maker of SAAS messaging and collaboration and enterprise applications, unveils Zoho Office for Microsoft SharePoint to let Zoho Office users create documents and save them to SharePoint. The plug-in is Zoho's latest bid to create bridges between SAAS and the on-premises world as the AdventNet subsidiary competes with cloud computing providers Google and Salesforce.com and desktop application providers Oracle and Microsoft.
In the latest marriage of the cloud computing and on-premises software
June 23 released Zoho Office for Microsoft SharePoint,
module that will let Zoho Office users create new documents and save them to
SharePoint in Microsoft Office formats.
The plug-in, which users can see demonstrated
will also allow users to read SharePoint documents using Zoho SAAS
(software as a service) applications such as Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet and Zoho Show,
and edit documents in Zoho Apps and save them to SharePoint.
The Zoho Office for Microsoft SharePoint
add-in also makes use of SharePoint's
sharing permissions so that multiple users can work on and make real-time changes
to documents, spreadsheets and presentations. While editing files, users can
also chat with colleagues via Zoho Chat.
Business users who have SharePoint installed behind their corporate firewalls
will be able to view and edit documents using Zoho's online applications. IT
managers might ask: Does that mean Zoho sucks in corporate data through
SharePoint to comb over?
No. After changes, the documents are saved back to the SharePoint server
behind the corporate firewall without leaving the data on Zoho's servers. When a
user opens a document, a copy is transferred temporarily and securely to Zoho
servers. When the document is closed, it is permanently deleted from Zoho
The integration is significant to Zoho users for a couple of reasons. First,
in hooking Zoho Office to SharePoint, Zoho is tying in to the leading
on-premises collaboration suite in the market, one that garners over $1 billion
a year in revenues for its instant messaging, video conferencing and other
Second, Zoho Evangelist Raju Vegnesa told eWEEK the integration will appeal
to enterprises that want to keep their data behind the firewall, but still take
advantage of the collaboration capabilities of online applications. "This
is best of both worlds for such businesses," Vegnesa said.
Beginning June 23, customers of Microsoft SharePoint 2003 and 2007 can
install the add-on to their Microsoft SharePoint Server to integrate the Zoho
Office Suite with SharePoint. Zoho is inviting users to try a 30-day evaluation
version for unlimited users. After the 30-day trial period expires, users will
pay $3 per user per month, or $2 per user per month for a yearly subscription.
Zoho, a division of AdventNet, hosts Web-based applications on its own
servers, including SAAS enterprise applications that compete with the likes of
applications from Salesforce.com and SAAS collaboration applications that
compete with Google Apps.
SAAS providers such as Salesforce.com, Google and Zoho not only compete with
each other, they also compete with traditional software makers that sell applications
that customers install on their own servers. These options include enterprise
applications from Oracle and Microsoft and collaboration applications from IBM