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Security

If you even sign up to just a fraction of the services available, Zoho could end up holding a lot of information about you and your business. Zoho of course says that customer data security is very important, but also backs this statement up with details, which seem comprehensive. You can also check out the brief Zoho slideshow below.

Support

There are numerous ways to get support from Zoho:

  • Zoho Self Service Portal - According to Zoho, they aim to respond to queries submitted via their portal, even for free users, within a business day. Paid users also get the ability to track requests online and have phone-based support as an option.
  • Forums - Zoho's online forums are active, providing answers to posted queries. Only being on the free tier of applications this is the only way I've contacted them so far, there doesn't seem to be an SLA for responses to questions posted but they do reply relatively quickly so must be monitoring the numerous forums
  • Help Documents - There is a comprehensive collection of documentation available via the Self-Service Portal to help resolve issues that might arise, or walk you through something new.
  • FAQs - The usual FAQs provide some additional support
  • Blogs - Zoho's blog doesn't provide direct assistance, but has useful information, especially about new stuff.
  • Email Feedback - Each application includes easy access to email feedback. Having not used it, I can't comment on Zoho's turnaround time for responses.

Conclusion

I honestly started to write this article with the intention of keeping it brief, providing just an introduction. However, with the number of online tools available from Zoho, I think I ran a bit long! Some might argue that too much diversification is a bad thing, i.e. it doesn't let you focus on what you're good at. But I've been impressed with what Zoho has to offer over the five years I have used it.

It's difficult to name another company that has the breadth of applications offered by Zoho. Certainly Google & Microsoft provide basic productivity apps and there are many online collaboration and business management tools available from other companies big and small. But to find them all in one place is unusual, if not unique!

In follow-on articles, I'll get into more detail on specific online applications. But, in general, Zoho's apps perform speedily (unlike Microsoft's) and there don't seem to be huge privacy concerns (unlike Google), perhaps because Zoho is in the apps business and isn't interested in serving ads to you.

To the latter point, in Europe last week, Google pressed ahead with changes to its privacy policy allowing sharing of personal data between its applications, despite the EU justice commissioner saying this could in contravention of European law. This may allow Google to better tailor its search results and provide more targeted advertising, but at the cost of possible future EU legal action.

The bottom line is that Zoho is worth serious consideration if you're looking to move some of your business applications to the cloud.

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