The Power of Zoho One
by Geoffrey Boulden
Abstract – On July 24, 2017, Zoho announced a new product called Zoho One. This document explains the strategy behind Zoho One and how it can benefit small to medium sized businesses (SMBs).
The concept of cloud computing has been proven successful for Small to Medium sized Businesses (SMBs). The main benefits of cloud computing:
- It reduces or eliminates the IT function at your business. You don’t need to buy servers, or upgrade servers. You don’t need to perform routine upgrades of software. You don’t concern yourself with backups or viruses. Most importantly, you don’t need to hire staff to perform these functions. Focus on what you do.
- Quite often, data security is enhanced. Zoho’s data centers are manned 24 hours a day with biometric access to the equipment rooms. Video cameras everywhere. Bullet-proof structures. SOC2 compliance. In North America, Zoho runs two data centers and they are mirror images of each other with three separate power feeds each. If one data center goes down, the other can jump in. Most companies cannot match this level of redundancy and security.
- Accounting – Computer hardware and Software were once part of your Capital Expenditures. Software upgrades had to planned and budgeted. Cloud computing moves software into the monthly expense category. Usually, you can quickly adjust user counts in a few seconds.
Current State of the Cloud
In our opinion, cloud software is largely inhabited by single-app companies. Think of the largest or the smallest – Salesforce, Constant Contact, MailChimp, Quickbooks, Slack, etc. Most of these companies occupy a single space in the cloud. Not all are profitable. This causes problems for SMBs:
- Selecting an app from 50 or more similar apps.
- Integrating that particular app with your other cloud apps. This may require consultants and custom code.
- Each app can evolve on its own and may not continue to work with your other apps. Or the app you selected is now out of business.
- Training users of each of these apps. Many of them use different terms for similar objects. A business may be called an “Account” in your CRM system but a “Customer” in your accounting software and a “Site” or “Location” in your mapping software. In essence, each app has its own way of doing things and these will vary. This will increase training time.
Zoho One is a suite of 40 separate apps, all designed to work together.
There is really nothing like it in the cloud today. We do expect to see some of the large single-app companies aggregate in an effort to survive. But currently, you cannot get such a complete suite of the 40 most popular cloud applications.
- The price is $30/user/month = $1 a day.
- These apps run on a common platform
- The apps have a similar look & feel. Training time is minimized.
- The same programming/scripting language is used to customize every app in the suite.
- There is a common admin panel where you can quickly add a new employee and set them up on their respective apps. When you run multiple disparate apps, you’ll have to set up or remove a user at each app’s admin panel.
Zoho does have a policy that you must buy a subscription of Zoho One for every person in the company. There is no clear definition of a user. For example – Contractors are users but not employees. Some employees may not even use computers (warehouse, production line, truck drivers, etc.) If you have a large business and you are unsure of what you user count is, call us or call Zoho.
If you’re a small business, get one user license for every employee.
Zoho has a highly evolved sense of what software should be.
- It should be a utility, like electricity. Use it when you need it.
- Software should not be rationed. If sales people want to view (never edit!) accounting data, then give them access. It will cost you nothing.
- The more that software is available to all users in the business, the better.
- Zoho will keep adding apps to the Zoho One suite.