Hosted Applications: Integration, Feature Rich Applications Or Both: Zoho Speaks Out

zoho.jpgOne of the biggest concerns I have in using a relatively new online service is that if their business fails or they change their business model, it greatly affects your own business.
Right now, most of us are still using Microsoft Office, however, more of us are also relying on online tools for document creation, databases, collaboration and so much more.
Zoho, Google Docs, Microsoft Office Live, HyperOffice, WebOffice and others all provide online services for a range of document and collaboration functions.
Zoho provides a full suite of online applications for business productivity. These apps include CRM, database, spreadsheet, word processor, chat and so much more. One of the complaints some have made about Zoho is that while they have launched a wide range of products, the products are not integrated or as integrated as they should be.
Zoho’s CEO Sridhar Vembu addresses this in a recent blog post.
Why is this important to know? If you, as a business owner or adviser to small businesses are going to invest in technology you need to understand, at least somewhat, what goes on in the companies producing these new technologies.
Does this mean you need to be a specialist in technology, if you are the owner of a bakery, flower shop or law firm? No. But it does mean you need to be AWARE of the evolution of technology to better understand technologies application in your own business.
Writing about the criticism of the lack of integration in Zoho Sridhar writes Now coming to the substance of the criticism, which we acknowledge, let me explain our product management philosophy, summarized by the phrase “depth first.” As an example, we intentionally prioritized having a world-class, stand-alone CRM offering ahead of integrating that CRM offering with the rest of the Zoho suite. If we had reversed the priorities, we would have shallow products integrated with each other, but individually no product would be really satisfying. Doing integration before a product matures is like getting married too young — your spouse may find you growing up to be someone totally different than the one they married.

Read the full post here