But start-up Zoho has launched an “enterprise edition” of its low-cost CRM products, in yet another move by an upstart to lower the cost of software by offering it over the Web.
Zoho’s move comes just a few days after CRM company Salesforce announced it will be integrating with Google Apps to offer those low-cost office applications to its customers.
The big new feature in Zoho CRM is role-based security administration, which should be an easy way to manage permissions and access within the hierarchy of a big company. The new update also includes improved customization and support for 11 languages. Zoho goes into more detail about the changes here. The enterprise edition of Zoho CRM will cost $25 per user per month, putting it on the low end of the industry price range.
As a company, Zoho tends to deliver solid products, then differentiate itself through pricing and by linking its broad array of applications (including Zoho Meetings, Zoho Invoice and ZohoDB) together into a powerful package.
Judging from the Salesforce-Google announcement, Salesforce also realizes that integrating multiple applications into a single package is crucial. Zoho chief executive Sridhar Vembu was dismissive of the new partnership in a blog post. (The title alone — “Very Expensive + Affordable = Still Very Expensive” — makes Vembu’s argument pretty clear.) In that post, Vembu also says that Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff had offered to buy Zoho, but Vembu turned him down.
You can read our coverage of Zoho’s latest application, Zoho Invoice, here.