Zoho Touts Show as PowerPoint, PDF Alternative
Small business software as a service software maker Zoho has upgraded its online presentation application with new export format, integration with Picasa and Flickr, more language support and other perks.
SAAS adoption is growing at a reasonable clip and collaboration and productivity providers such as Google and Zoho have been regularly updating their portfolios as they try to challenge entrenched incumbents such as Microsoft and Adobe.
Adding new features and allowing customers to access their app data offline should help the companies gain share, but it's still a Sisyphean battle versus the heavyweights.
As a purely Web-based application, Zoho Show competes with Google's Docs presentation application, but both are alternatives to Adobe's PDF (Personal Document Format) and Microsoft's PowerPoint applications, which users host on their own computers.
Speaking of which, now users can export Zoho Show to PowerPoint, PowerPoint Slideshow and Sun Microsystems' OpenDocument Presentation, as well as the originally supported HTML format. Users can also now jazz up their presentations by adding photos from their Picasa and Flickr accounts to them.
Zoho users may also access Show in Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Europe), Spanish, and Swedish, which is crucial because, as Zoho Evangelist Raju Vegnesa explained to me earlier, the company wants the app to gain traction internationally.
Other new features, which may be viewed in a Zoho slide presentation here, let users create personal groups and add individual contacts from Zoho Mail or by manually entering e-mail addresses.
There are new settings for how embedded presentations will appear, a chat tab for all viewers and a notes tab for the presenter; the ability to copy and paste slides from one presentation to another; and up to 50 undo-redo opportunities.
Vegnesa was optimistic in a statement regarding the Zoho show upgrades, which come on the heels of refreshes to Zoho Sheet spreadsheet and Zoho Writer word processing apps. He wrote:
As our entire suite matures, our online applications are approaching the functionality of their offline counterparts. Soon, Zoho applications will surpass the functionality of offline applications, and our focus will turn to integration, a unified interface and consistency across the suite.
Bold words. Can Zoho and Google Apps actually exceed the feature functionality of Microsoft Office or SharePoint? I'm not so sure that's possible.
Kudos to Zoho for the optimism as it stands up to Salesforce.com on the SAAS business application front, while beating back Google Apps in collaboration on the other.