Zoho Extends Functionality Of Microsoft Sharepoint

as a development platform

On Tuesday, Pleasanton, Calif.-based Zoho rolled out Zoho Office for Microsoft SharePoint, an add-on that lets Sharepoint users view, edit and create Microsoft Office documents through a Web browser. This is done using Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet and Zoho Show, the corresponding applications to Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

Raju Vegesna, senior evangelist for Zoho, said the idea is to give Sharepoint users more flexibility by enabling multiple users within an organization to work on the same document at the same time, something that's not currently possible in Sharepoint. According to Vegesna, this will make it attractive not just to small and midsize businesses, but also to enterprises, where Zoho has yet to make much of an impact.

Zoho Office for Microsoft SharePoint also addresses the fears many companies have about storing data in the cloud. Although Zoho's applications are Web-based, all data is stored in Sharepoint and resides behind the firewall, Vegesna said.

This is the first foray into the Sharepoint realm for Zoho, which also makes an add-on for Microsoft Office that lets users edit Office documents offline and have their changes mirrored on their corresponding online Zoho documents.

Sponsored post

By making it possible to access and edit Sharepoint documents from a Web browser on any operating system, Zoho gives organizations a way to avoid paying for Microsoft Office licenses, and that's something that Microsoft probably isn't thrilled about. However, Zoho's add-ons are an example of Microsoft's Software Plus Services vision for the future, in which on-premise software is augmented by cloud based services.

Also interesting is the fact that Zoho Founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu recently said Microsoft's spotty track record with adhering to open standards has overshadowed the software giant's innovations. "Microsoft just has so much bad karma in this industry that I cannot imagine a company like us trusting them on much of anything," Vembu wrote in a recent blog post.

Zoho Office for Microsoft SharePoint is available as a 30-day free trial, and the company charges $24 per user for an annual subscription, and $3 per user for a monthly subscription.