Zoho launches HR app for smaller companies

zoho.jpgZoho, a company that claims to offer a wider range of productivity and business applications than anyone, has launched a human resources app called Zoho People. Unlike most HR apps, Zoho People is aimed at relatively small companies, says Zoho evangelist Raju Vegesna — in other words, companies that have more than 50 employees but aren’t too much larger than Zoho, which has a staff of around 200.

That small-company focus is most evident in Zoho People’s pricing. The app, now in testing mode, will probably cost around $50 per month for HR staff to use, and around $4 per month for other users, so a smaller company can pay well under $1,000 per month. In contrast, Vegesna says competitors like WorkDay and PeopleSoft often charge in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Zoho People’s offerings include organizational charts, automated hiring processes, automated expense reporting and automated task assignment. None of this is particularly innovative, but Vegesna says Zoho People’s other big selling point is its customization.

Because the company’s application maker Zoho Creator has been embedded into Zoho People, users can alter any of the existing forms or build new ones through a drag-and-drop/picklist interface. For example, in less than a minute I was able to edit the holiday request form to add a requirement for supervisor approval, as well as space for the employee to say when and how they can be reached during their vacation. (see screenshot below).

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You can watch a video demo here.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company’s other offerings include Zoho Writer (our coverage), Zoho CRM and Zoho Meetings. Zoho’s parent company AdventNet is self-funded, Vegesna says.