Zoho's Office Suite takes functionality to the next level
The basic idea of cloud computing has been around for at least half a century. It wasn't until the mid-1990s, however, that companies began laying the cables for what we now understand as the "cloud". At first, this new technology network mainly provided operational advantages for businesses.
In other words, infrastructure got cheaper and decentralized, and as a result, the software became less expensive for users. This is still true, but today the key differentiator for business software vendors exists at the application layer, where contextual integration allows apps to work with one another seamlessly. Advancements in artificial intelligence are helping to drive this change.
The software company Zoho, which has been around for more than 20 years, is a great example of a business that was active during major shifts in cloud computing and has capitalized on the network by providing deep integration across all of their applications. And there are a lot of them. Zoho stands out in the SaaS space, for one, because of the breadth of their product portfolio. (Zoho offers 40+ business apps.) Having built all of their applications in-house and on the same technology stack, Zoho products are comprehensive, intelligent, and contextual.
Zoho's latest release, Zoho Office Suite, was created with the understanding that productivity applications become unproductive when they are siloed from other business apps. The Office Suite, which includes four sophisticated productivity applications-Writer, Notebook, Sheet, and Show-uses the company's AI-powered assistant, Zia, to enrich these integrations and to meet the evolving, end-to-end demands of software customers.
How does it work? From a single window in Zoho Writer, users can import data from Zoho CRM, enable one-click signature collection using a Zoho Sign integration, and send the document out through Zoho Mail. Cliq, Zoho's cross-platform messaging app, further simplifies team workflows. Many competing software companies offer applications that merge productivity and communication software, but Zoho takes this one step further by integrating applications across productivity, communication, collaboration, and business applications.
In the Zoho Office Suite, Zia has added considerable capabilities, specifically to Zoho Writer, Sheet, and Notebook. In Zoho Writer, the company's document creation software, Zia can detect grammar mistakes, suggest style corrections, and even provide a readability score to users.
In Zoho Sheet, Zia automatically shows users the most relevant charts and pivot tables for their data. In Zoho Notebook, Zia Voice-the company's conversational AI-can be employed to provide users customized, personal "smart cards". Users can create a cooking recipe smart card simply by asking Zia Voice to "get the latest recipe from Epicurious" and the AI will grab the relevant visuals, instructions, and shopping lists from the web, organizing it neatly in the application.
As a privately held, bootstrapped, and acquisition-averse company, Zoho is able to invest heavily in developing and fine-tuning their products without outside pressure from investors or shareholders. As such, Zoho can be first-to-market on many of their products. In the Zoho Office Suite, Zoho Sheet and Show both include original features. Zoho Sheet is the first spreadsheet software to offer data-cleaning capabilities, in which duplicated data and inconsistencies are detected and users are given the option to fix these errors with the click of a button. In Zoho Show, users can run presentations on Apple TV and Android devices from their mobile phones, controlling the presentation on multiple TVs at once if desired.
On their own, these refined features are impressive, and will undoubtedly set Zoho apart from the competition. By providing users rich contextual integrations-across every business touch point-Zoho is eliminating inefficiencies. Customers no longer have to leave a single webpage to sign a document or bring in CRM data. The Zoho Office Suite is a prime example of how this company is not simply keeping pace with changes in business software, they're leading the charge. - firstname.lastname@example.org