Why we cooperate with Google

General | August 28, 2008 | 2 min read

I explained earlier our rationale for why we compete with Google. From our forums today, here is a request for Google Apps integration with Zoho:

… I would like to have an app which will sync docs, spreadsheets, etc. with Google Apps and/or other providers. It will help convince users that they can move their data to the cloud and have a peace of mind …

Here is another request on GMail integration with Zoho CRM:

I will sound like an heresy to suggest. but we have become hooked on Gmail.

Salesforce and Gmail willl very shortly work together.

Is there a remote chance that Zoho and Gmail will work together ? of course the decision is more strategic in nature for Zoho than purely technical.

I wish that this post gets addressed from the Zoho developer team.

Let me state this very clearly: our goal is to fully support Google Apps across Zoho, so we do not consider these requests unreasonable at all. We are working very hard at these kinds of integration. Why haven’t we done it already? I will put it down to the practical reality of software project management. Integration projects are inherently complex, and integration of any two products (even if they are from within Zoho!) is quite involved. A lot of scenarios need to be tested, and that just takes time. We have already embraced Google Gears for offline support and provide sign-in support for Google/Yahoo users. We are working on a lot more of these types of integrations, but it just takes time, so please bear with us.

Our commitment to support the Google suite is not merely tactical. We fully recognize that we live in a Google era, as I outlined in my post IBM, Microsoft and Google Eras of Computing. We believe the best opportunity for Zoho is to align ourselves with the dominant platform, which is now Google, and innovate on the applications. That is how we best serve our customers, and that is how we ensure our own long term prosperity.

By embracing the Google suite, do we risk getting marginalized? If we fail to innovate and provide extra value to customers, we will be marginalized regardless of whether we support the Google suite or not. That explains in a nutshell why we choose to cooperate with Google. It is a huge win for customers, and it keeps us focused on what we need to do to provide extra value.

I have always believed sports analogies get taken too far in business. Google Apps doesn’t have to lose if we have to win. That summarizes our philosophy and world-view.

  1. Jim HR

    Is google’s online documents supported by you? you’re great if so

  2. Jim HR

    Is google’s online documents supported by you? you’re great if so

  3. Arvind

    Jeevan : The list there is of July 2008 (major features brought in since Zoho Projects Beta was released in Aug 2006). We made couple more major updates after that forum thread – Project Templates, bulk upload of documents, multiple-admins support, documents/forums mapped to tasks etc. http://blogs.zoho.com/category… will give you more details on all things related to Zoho Projects.

  4. Arvind

    Jeevan : The list there is of July 2008 (major features brought in since Zoho Projects Beta was released in Aug 2006). We made couple more major updates after that forum thread – Project Templates, bulk upload of documents, multiple-admins support, documents/forums mapped to tasks etc. http://blogs.zoho.com/category… will give you more details on all things related to Zoho Projects.

  5. Jeevan

    Thanks Arvind. Appreciate your reply. I checked the thread and it looks the list compiled by your team relates to Aug,2006 status, hence may not have the details that I need. I am sure many more would have added in the mean time. I’ll check.

  6. Jeevan

    Thanks Arvind. Appreciate your reply. I checked the thread and it looks the list compiled by your team relates to Aug,2006 status, hence may not have the details that I need. I am sure many more would have added in the mean time. I’ll check.

  7. Arvind

    Jeevan : Many of the individual product teams in Zoho/AdventNet use Zoho Projects for their product management. It is at the discretion of the Product Manager to use a tool like Zoho Projects, Zoho Wiki, Zoho Planner or other ones. As far as I know, no team uses MS Project.The majority of Zoho Projects users are small & medium businesses and they may or may not have used MS Project in the past. In Zoho Projects, you can define tasks/tasklists not associated with any Milestone. Please go through this forum thread and it might answer many of your questions on Zoho Projects.Do write to me at aravind at zohocorp.com or to support at zohoprojects dot com all the queries and issues you have.

  8. Arvind

    Jeevan : Many of the individual product teams in Zoho/AdventNet use Zoho Projects for their product management. It is at the discretion of the Product Manager to use a tool like Zoho Projects, Zoho Wiki, Zoho Planner or other ones. As far as I know, no team uses MS Project.The majority of Zoho Projects users are small & medium businesses and they may or may not have used MS Project in the past. In Zoho Projects, you can define tasks/tasklists not associated with any Milestone. Please go through this forum thread and it might answer many of your questions on Zoho Projects.Do write to me at aravind at zohocorp.com or to support at zohoprojects dot com all the queries and issues you have.

  9. Jeevan

    Sridhar,I am just wondering (somewhat out of line with the intent and tone of your original post) – whether your team uses Zoho Project for Product/Project management at Zoho.As you have said, they are inherently complex. After using Zoho Project (of course it is really great to see that MS Project functionality can be achieved in the cloud), I think an advanced user may not be able to use it well.I have been using MS Project 2007 for quite sometime and have used Primevera. I guess most of your users will come from this segment. And the fundamental concepts are very different – like Milestone is something which I may or may not associate with a set of tasks. However, here Milestone seems to be designed as a cornerstone in the software design. I tried to check the Case Studies and but of not much help from fundamental project management perspective.MS Project is designed with a lot of management prinicples in mind, mostly notably PMI-PMP/PMBOK (which Microsoft recommends and informs as the reflection) and I find the concepts at Zoho not exactly synchronized with a core set of management principles.I have a set of issues and questions, could you please inform where to post them? Will that be Zoho forum? However, the main case, as I informed, I would like to know which set of project/product or program or portfolio management is being followed.Regards,
    Jeevan

  10. Jeevan

    Sridhar,I am just wondering (somewhat out of line with the intent and tone of your original post) – whether your team uses Zoho Project for Product/Project management at Zoho.As you have said, they are inherently complex. After using Zoho Project (of course it is really great to see that MS Project functionality can be achieved in the cloud), I think an advanced user may not be able to use it well.I have been using MS Project 2007 for quite sometime and have used Primevera. I guess most of your users will come from this segment. And the fundamental concepts are very different – like Milestone is something which I may or may not associate with a set of tasks. However, here Milestone seems to be designed as a cornerstone in the software design. I tried to check the Case Studies and but of not much help from fundamental project management perspective.MS Project is designed with a lot of management prinicples in mind, mostly notably PMI-PMP/PMBOK (which Microsoft recommends and informs as the reflection) and I find the concepts at Zoho not exactly synchronized with a core set of management principles.I have a set of issues and questions, could you please inform where to post them? Will that be Zoho forum? However, the main case, as I informed, I would like to know which set of project/product or program or portfolio management is being followed.Regards,
    Jeevan

  11. Sridhar

    Kannan,
    Mix-and-match scenarios (mail/docs from Google, CRM & Wiki from Zoho) are exactly what we are targeting. So yes, they will be fully supported. What is the motivation for us? You answered it: why not have GMail customers experience our CRM?Eagle,
    We are focused on *building* a great company, not on selling it, and have a 12 year history at it!Sridhar

  12. Sridhar

    Kannan,
    Mix-and-match scenarios (mail/docs from Google, CRM & Wiki from Zoho) are exactly what we are targeting. So yes, they will be fully supported. What is the motivation for us? You answered it: why not have GMail customers experience our CRM?Eagle,
    We are focused on *building* a great company, not on selling it, and have a 12 year history at it!Sridhar

  13. Eagle

    Cool ….ok ..Kewl …….. Ok smarties, its a no-brainer – you focus on business – SMB’s and enterprises and Google focuses on consumer market….perhaps if both of you marriage it will be a behemoth !!And BTW, we know you snubbed salesforce.com, what will be your reaction if Google proposes to you (with bended knee and a bouquet..) ??Eagle

  14. Eagle

    Cool ….ok ..Kewl …….. Ok smarties, its a no-brainer – you focus on business – SMB’s and enterprises and Google focuses on consumer market….perhaps if both of you marriage it will be a behemoth !!And BTW, we know you snubbed salesforce.com, what will be your reaction if Google proposes to you (with bended knee and a bouquet..) ??Eagle

  15. Kannan Ekanath

    You guys seem to amaze me everytime for some reason. I am mainly a J2EE guy and I have never used Google Apps or Zoho CRM. I use Google Docs and sites.google.com extensively. I was initially reluctant to keep my docs in Zoho but right now I use Zoho Writer for my blogs (only after the OpenID integration).By the way is there a financial motivation for supporting Google as well (Just curious)? Can I (in the future), choose an OFFICE suite with say mail, docs from Google, CRM and wiki from Zoho and expect them to work seamlessly? (This would mean you can have fine-grained penetration into markets that already use Google)

  16. Kannan Ekanath

    You guys seem to amaze me everytime for some reason. I am mainly a J2EE guy and I have never used Google Apps or Zoho CRM. I use Google Docs and sites.google.com extensively. I was initially reluctant to keep my docs in Zoho but right now I use Zoho Writer for my blogs (only after the OpenID integration).By the way is there a financial motivation for supporting Google as well (Just curious)? Can I (in the future), choose an OFFICE suite with say mail, docs from Google, CRM and wiki from Zoho and expect them to work seamlessly? (This would mean you can have fine-grained penetration into markets that already use Google)