Zoho launches business suite, Zoho One, and aims for broader market

Zoho is looking to become a business operating system for everyone from individual contractors and small businesses and up the food chain for more than 35 apps at $30 per month per employee.

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Zoho launched a suite, Zoho One, that will integrate its more than 35 applications into one suite that'll run $30 a month per employee.

The move is a pivot for Zoho, which has built a series of independent software as a service apps. In a four-year project, Zoho combined its apps on one data platform with a plan to expand its market beyond small businesses.

Raju Vegesna, Zoho's chief evangelist, said the company wanted to make its entire business operating system available in a buffet. "We think this will expand the market," said Vegesna. "We initially thought Zoho One would appeal to smaller companies, but we're seeing mid- to large-enterprise beta customers."

In addition, Vegesna said that Zoho One is likely to see interest from individuals such as consultants and contractors who can use Zoho One to grow as business expands.

Zoho's strategy is to go for breadth and a buffet approach. As for the competition, Zoho One would compete with companies such as Google and Microsoft to Oracle's NetSuite, Salesforce and Intuit. "We are targeting anyone who does work. This isn't a traditional way of looking at the business market," said Vegesna.

The average Zoho user may pay for one application, but use as many as 10 to 15. For this market, Zoho One would provide more value.

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Enterprises may give Zoho a spin given SaaS companies are increasingly charging for add-ons and delivering complicated pricing models. Zoho, which is privately held, can upend that model with simplicity. Zoho One also will dispense with multi-year contracts and usage restrictions.

Zoho One will include applications for sales, marketing, customer support, accounting, human resources as well as collaboration and communication tools. These applications are all integrated with contextual data.

According to Zoho, the suite will also be managed with admin tools, access control and single sign-on.

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