Zoho, the scrappy software-as-a-service provider, offers a wide range worthy, browser-based alternatives to Microsoft applications as well as to Google Apps. Today, the company Zoho Mail Add-on, which integrates Zoho's e-mail offering with its CRM. The add-on provides single sign-on capability and allows users to search for and manage contact information in both the CRM and Zoho Mail without having to open a new browser window. Contacts from Zoho Mail also can be added directly to the CRM, along with any tasks associated with those contacts, and the software can help prevent duplicate contact listings.
The Mail Add-on also can integrate with Web-based e-mail like Hotmail or Gmail; users can continue using their third-party e-mail service while reviewing contact-related e-mails within the Zoho CRM.
[ Last month, Zoho linked its online productivity apps with Microsoft SharePoint. ]
Currently, the Zoho Mail Add-on supports POP access, and there are plans to offer IMAP support as well, though no timeline has been given.
In a separate announcement, Zoho also unveiled its Zwitch program, which aims to entice Salesforce.com users to switch to Zoho. The program, which is open to all current Salesforce.com customers, offers a 15-day free trial (including free data migration) that allows for real hands-on use of Zoho's CRM. If, after the trial period, a customer decides to switch, they will be credited on their account for up to six months of their time remaining on the Salesforce.com contract.