ZOHO: Blending SaaS And Managed Services
Consider two of the biggest questions facing MSPs: First, how will managed services and SaaS (software as a service) converge with one another? Second, what role will MSPs play in that convergence? Take a look at ZOHO Corp. and you might begin to find some key trends and answers. Here’s why.
When it comes to the IT industry, ZOHO Corp. (formerly called AdventNet) has multiple irons in the fire — including:
- Zoho.com: Focused on SaaS productivity and collaboration applications. Competes against Google Docs, Salesforce.com and a range of other on-demand offerings.
- ManageEngine: Focused on enterprise IT management and managed services. Currently has about 40,000 customers.
- WebNMS: This Zoho division focuses on the needs of OEMs (original equipment manufacturers)
ZOHO Corp. has spent recent months converging SaaS with managed services, and building its channel partner network. Plus, the company has been making some aggressive moves in the SaaS industry. A new “Zwitch to Zoho CRM” effort strives to move Salesforce.com customers to Zoho’s CRM solution.
In many cases, it seems like SaaS applications are growing up in separate vendor silos:
- Google Apps
- Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS)
But ZOHO Corp. seems to be building a suite of integrated SaaS applications that compete against all of those industry giants. And the strategy includes MSPs and channel partners. Is ZOHO Corp. up to the task? I need to do more research before answering that question. But like I said: I’m intrigued by the strategy.