Zoho unveils enterprise CRM

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In a competitive move against Salesforce.com and other SaaS providers, Advent Net Inc.'s Zoho has released its first enterprise-level CRM program.

Zoho CRM — Enterprise Edition offers role-based security administration, customization, multi-language support and integration with Zoho Sheet. It is an on-demand application.

“There are a few things that make us different from other products out there,” said Raju Vegesna, Zoho evangelist. “Our customization is one of the key aspects. We provide lots of customization from a modular level at the top to customization for individual users.”

Vegesna added that the Zoho pricing model also makes it stand out from competing technologies. The Enterprise edition of Zoho CRM, designed for medium-sized enterprises, costs $25 per user per month.

“We also have integration with other Zoho apps. Zoho Sheet is the beginning, and we plan to integrate with other applications whenever it makes sense,” Vegesna continued. “That will make a more unique product.”

Zoho Sheet, the first of the other Zoho apps to be integrated with the CRM system, allows users to edit CRM data on a spreadsheet and then save the changes back to the database. The company will be focusing its next few months' efforts on integrating the rest of the Zoho productivity suite — which includes Zoho Invoice, Zoho Meeting and Zoho People — into the CRM product. Zoho will also make Zoho CRM available as part of its single sign-on offering.

The company will not target a particular industry with its new CRM offering and will not have a large marketing push. Rather, the product will be dependant on word of mouth and trade show presence to spread awareness. Zoho also provides CRM — Enterprise Edition for free to the first three users in an organization, an offer that Vegesna believes will encourage more people to try it.

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