Zoho, which offers Office-compatible applications as services, is now offering a version of Sharepoint, aimed at extending Microsoft's lock-in of customers.
Last year Alfresco began offering support for the Sharepoint protocol, essentially a lock-in key. With Zoho Office for Microsoft® SharePoint® customers have a viable alternative for sharing files, under Microsoft standards, even if they're not currently paying Microsoft server licenses.
Among the new functions Zoho is offering:
- The ability to create new documents and save them to SharePoint in MS Office formats.
- The ability to view existing documents within SharePoint using Zoho Applications.
- The power to edit existing documents with Zoho Apps and save them back to SharePoint.
- Collaborative editing capabilities based on SharePoint's sharing permissions.
On his blog Zoho evangelist Raju Vegesna pushed this, not as a way to get away from Microsoft, but to extend the embrace.
If you have already invested in Microsoft SharePoint, this add-on is a great compliment that brings in the advantages of online productivity applications to SharePoint. If you are able to access SharePoint, you'll be able to view/edit documents without having to invest on productivity suites for every desktop in your business.
The software is priced at $3 per user per month, $2/month if you buy it on a yearly basis. The main benefit seems to be that it enables collaboration for non-Sharepoint shops working with those who have the software.