Zoho Strengths and Weaknesses
Competitive positioning in the cloud CRM market is highlighted with the following strengths and weaknesses.
Zoho CRM Strengths
- A low cost and quick to deploy CRM software solution.
- The most recent release delivered in late 2011 really stepped up the UI and user experience. The UI has leveraged consumer technologies and navigation has been streamlined to reduce the number of clicks required to perform the most common tasks.
- A strong breadth of integrated online productivity applications. Zoho encompasses a wide product scope of complimentary services due to its integration with over 20 other Zoho applications.
- Zoho's quote and sales order processing, with integrated inventory management module, and one-click function to convert a quote to an order or an order to an invoice is helpful for both inside sales and field sales that go beyond the opportunity record and actually take the order.
- Zoho's unique freemium pricing model provides users with a thorough trial or starting solution.
- The company operates within redundant (Equinix) data centers in New York and California. The facilities are impressive Tier 4 infrastructures, however, occasional short duration system interruptions remain a recurring issue.
Zoho CRM Weaknesses
- The Zoho vision is unclear, and the business applications direction is even more vague. We would like to see Zoho put more definitive stakes in the ground supported by market strategy, planned go-to-market execution and product roadmaps.
- Like most cloud CRM solutions, Zoho remains behind the curve in key areas such as social CRM, business process automation (i.e. a workflow engine) and analytics.
- The Zoho CRM, Zoho Books and Zoho Invoice products possess reasonable forms and seemingly a reasonable data model, however, the designs are sometimes not intuitive and appear to come from programmers and not practitioners (or even well versed project managers).
- While Zoho accommodates small business customers well, it doesn't offer the software feature sets or configuration flexibility required of most middle market or enterprise organizations.
- The company offers a diverse product portfolio, but much of those products lack feature sets found in competitor products and lack meaningful integration among each other.
- The company faces significant competition from many types of mature technology companies. From Microsoft and Google in the desktop apps space to Salesforce.com and SugarCRM in the cloud CRM market. Carving out the niche markets where it will surpass these competitors remains a work in progress.
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