Google Docs vs Zoho (David and Goliath?)

Which is Better Google Docs or Zoho?

I see in a previous post by Jagpal Uppal, there’s been a lot of discussion about Google and its Google Docs application.  One other other productivity tool, similar to Google Docs is Zoho.  Zoho is actually an entire suit of productivity tools that are very integrateble and, for the most part, free!!  A quick cube analysis would be as follows:

1. Market Focus: small to medium sized businesses, non-profit organizations, post-secondary students/instructors, and to a lesser extent secondary school students/teachers

2.  Types of Offerings:  offers a variety of publishing tools (wp, presentation, spreadsheets, notebook), communication tools (chat, email, meeting), database tools (creator, reports) and more.  Zoho is positioning itself as a one stop shopping productivity, collaboration center.

3. Who is the buyer? Most of the Zoho services are  offered for free.  Business services are for purchase.  Buyers of Zoho services would include small and medium sized businesses looking for an affordable platform to integrate their online communication and document creation and storage needs.

4.  Global Markets:  Zoho is offered in several different languages.  The company that owns Zoho is AdventNet.  AdventNet is a large international IT organization.  It offers services in 23 different languages, however, not all tools are in every language.

5.  Development of the Market:  Zoho is competing in highly connected markets where high speed online access needs to be readily available.

6.  Competition:  Zoho faces stiff competition from Google Docs. However, Zoho offers broader range of services.  Other competitors are mostly at the enterprise level that don’t offer services for free online and are aimed more at high end enterprise users.

Watching the Battle Now….To See the Future

The interesting thing about Zoho is its tenacity to take on Google.  Many people have questioned Zoho’s ability to attract attention to its services given the huge shadow that Google tends to cast over competitors.  However, Zoho seems to be surviving, even thriving with the claim it now has over 1 million registrations.  Even though Zoho has backing from its large parent company, Adventnet, this is still a very interesting showdown to watch as it may fortell the ability of other startups to compete with the internet giants.  Some see Zoho ultimately winning the battle…

Personally, I think Zoho is a much better service and its potential for education as a fully integrated suite of services have yet to be exploited.  Check it out…. Care to debate?……any comments?

 

2 comments


1 nancy castonguay { 09.22.08 at 1:57 pm }

Hi Drew… I took your advice and visited Zoho… at the onset, I thought I was visiting a Google page… it seems that they copied much of their design features from Google… down to the color scheme… I didn’t have time to actually fool around with the various tools but one thing that comes to mind is that Google has built a solid relationship with web users through iGoogle… Gmail… Google search engine… this will make it difficult for users to transition to Zoho even if it’s tools are superior… I can’t really see them really taking on Google unless they are bought out by say, Microsoft and then blended in with Yahoo… as you point out though, if there is a giant, there is a David out there somewhere willing to take him on…


2 David Vogt { 09.23.08 at 9:22 pm }

Nice work Drew, and Nancy’s suggestion of Zoho’s exit strategy may be precisely on target (although Microsoft would have to throw out its entire office suite – unlikely!! – or offer Zoho as a web extension to it – difficult!).

I see the real difference in this battle in terms of business model. Google is offering an integrated ‘webtop’ as a direct competition to Microsoft but also with a specific goal of owning your identity in deep and devious (but “do no evil”) ways. I think Zoho is going for a more traditional advertising route, and is probably depending on the larger marketplace eventually waking up and choking on Google’s endgame.

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