June 16th, 2010

searchtools.com

Zoho Search: sometimes the little companies get it right first

My InfoToday article: Zoho Search fills an important gap in the cloud business suite

Zoho Corporation offers a suite of cloud-based applications for small to medium-sized businesses. It has everything from email to HR functions, conferencing, and invoicing. The most basic functions are word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations, so it's a direct competitor to Microsoft Office Web Apps and Google Apps, neither of which has cross-application search.

In early June, Zoho rolled out an Search function, allowing users to find text across their email, word-processing, presentation, shared notebook and discussions documents, with other apps forthcoming. Essentially, this is an Intranet aggregate search, including access controls. Because Zoho is hosting the content, it can do internal handoffs of indexable data with very low overhead. It uses a familiar format format for search results: the title or email subject, some text (here the first line), location, author and date.

Since I wrote the article, the base interface at search.zoho.com has improved tremendously. Read my article on InfoToday for more details of the context and the features within Zoho Search. It's still a bit rough around the edges, but they have the basics and it's a great idea.