An Evening With Zoho

I went down to Yokohama on Friday night to check out Zoholics - the seasonal offline event by AdventNet - producers of Zoho, one of the early ranking contenders in the online office collaboration game.

I had heard much about Zoho, but hadn't had much more than a rather unsatisfying dabble with Show, so now was a chance for a bit of a deep dive. 

1) Zoho CRM

First up was engineer Takumi Yasuda,  presenting on Zoho CRM.  This module is part of Zoho's business play, and seems very well featured, with a lot of the bells and whistles you'd expect to track sales and marketing activities with customers.  The first three users are free, them 1800yen per month per user after that.

2) Zoho Project

Next was Akiyoshi Matsumoto showing off Zoho Projects. Again part of Zoho's business push, this seems to be again a well featured online tool for tracking project status and artifacts.  First hit's for free ... here is the pricing schedule at time or writing:

 

3) Zoho Case Studies

Paul Kiyoshito NakaGome is an IT consultant who was spurred into Web2.0 and cloud based services when a hard drive on a notebook of his failed, costing him valuable files.   He gave his own experience of Zoho as case studies.

He showed how he used it to coordinate activities and bookkeeping for a church he is involved with, as well as plan and market events - using Show to create the floor-plan for a bazaar, and integrating with Microsoft Office to do mailouts.  He also uses it in his consulting to generate BI reports, and embed them in iGoogle. 

4) Zoho Create

Mami Shimizu gave the last demo with Zoho Create - a drag and drop application builder for semi-technical people to create simple applications.  She whipped up a form to collect post-event feedback in no time at all.  Nice demo, but I wonder how far you can take an app built though such tools.  The APIs should allow some interesting extensions though...

5) Zoho APIs

There was also mention of the Zoho APIs, and some implementations of them such as StartForce - a webtop that leverages the Remote API to deliver an explorer from where you can launch Zoho apps. 

= Remote API : Use Zoho's features, but store the data elsewhere.

= Storage API : Manipulate data stored on Zoho servers

While still a wee way from the menu maze of Microsoft, Zoho keeps deepening their feature set and adding cool stuff such as Skype integration for Meeting, iZoho - Zoho for iPhone, Firefox plug-ins, steak knives, and more... Show 2.0 has been released, and it looks a lot better than what I originally used.

After the programme finished drinks and food were provided and there was question time and a slide show of images from Chenai where Zoho is developed.

It was an informative and enjoyable evening ... thank you AdventNet, and keep up the great work!

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Arvind's Gravatar Thanks for the nice post on Zoholics 2008, Rob!
# Posted By Arvind | 1/23/08 12:26 AM
Takumi YASUDA's Gravatar Thanks for your joining Zoholics!2008 & ITPro show!!

We are happy to hear you enjoy Zoho Notebook.

Hope you will be a Zoholic with us!
# Posted By Takumi YASUDA | 2/1/08 10:47 AM
Rob Cawte's Gravatar Hi Yasuda-san and Arvind,

Thanks for visiting my little blog. I think I am almost a Zoholic ... I will definitely be when Notebook has offline and printing capabilities ;)
# Posted By Rob Cawte | 2/1/08 2:10 PM
Mami Shimizu's Gravatar Yes, you've been a Zoholic already!
Wish you join our "Zoholics! contest" !
Please entry with your example how to make good use of Zoho.
http://www.zoho.jp/contents/interactive/contest001...

And, Hope you love Zoho Creator also!
(^-^)/
# Posted By Mami Shimizu | 2/6/08 4:49 PM
Rob Cawte's Gravatar Hello Shimizu-san,

Thanks for stopping by! I will check out the contest.

Also, I am sorry for misspelling your name in the article ... I have corrected it now! m(_ _)m

よろしくお願いします
-Rob
# Posted By Rob Cawte | 2/6/08 5:24 PM
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