The competition responds to Google

As exciting as Google’s announcement was today regarding their release of Google Apps, ripples were felt by all of the Web-as-office company’s today. Check out Zoho’s response here:

Now that Google has announced its gameplan for an online Office suite targeting businesses, what does it mean for Zoho? As a TechCrunch commenter remarked
“looks like poor old Zoho just got thrown a curveball”. Well, it is not
like we were not facing an “insurmountable” force already (does the
name Microsoft ring a bell?). Our business plan is not based on us
beating Microsoft or Google, it is based on serving customers well
enough to earn a profitable share of the market. Business is not
superbowl, though it often appears that way in a 24×7 news cycle. It is
perfectly possible for a smaller company to offer a compelling product
to customers and earn a perfectly good living, without “winning” the
market. And having a profitable business helps us invest in R to
bring more innovations to market, keeping the pot boiling so to speak.
After all, building a profitable business in AdventNet is what allowed
us to invest in the R to create Zoho – and made this conversation
possible! And if you look at the markets AdventNet serves, we have tens
of thousands of happy business customers, but we also face companies
much larger than us.

As of today, it is Zoho that has a broader, more polished suite of
offerings than anyone else in the market – as the overwhelming response
to Zoho Notebook
demonstrated. We are sure Google’s offerings will get better over time,
but we are sure we will keep moving too. And services like Zoho CRM, Zoho Projects and Zoho Creator
help us differentiate our offerings even more, helping us in the
crucial task of earning a profitable share of the market. We are by no
means finished – in March we have a significant new offering coming,
and even more in the months ahead.

Let’s not forget that Google can and does really expand the market
for all of us in the online productivity applications space. This is
the famous “anchor tenant” effect in shopping malls – having the
presence of a large, recognized retail player helps attract the crowd
to help the smaller players. We have already seen how our busiest days
are when Google makes an announcement.

One assurance we can give customers: we have a strong, profitable
business, focused on delivering real value to our users. We have a ten
year track record to prove it. And we try harder.

I am just going to sit back, try them all and let the big dogs keep creating good stuff. This can only be good for me.

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