Computers have ceased to occupy a large space on the work desk and have replaced the desktop, becoming virtual desktops which combine all the work tools on a single screen
Instead of using an endless number of tools or appliances, nowadays everything goes through your work computer. If it is portable, you can also work anywhere with Internet access. The next step is to have an online office accessible from any device, wherever you are, which combines all your work tools.
One example of an online office or, as its owners prefer to call it, an operating system for business, is Zoho, a compendium of tools directly accessible from any web browser which will allow you to perform your professional tasks at any time and in any place with an internet connection.
A tool for each task
In the same way that the apps store on your mobile phone is full of applications and games, Zoho provides an assortment of web apps focused on the professional tasks of any company or self-employed worker.
You sign up free of charge and, to begin with, you have an online CRM, a mail client and an organizer and editor of documents (text documents, presentations and spreadsheets). A three-in-one ideal as the first step towards having your own competitive online office. But there is more.
Zoho’s list of tools is very extensive and is organized in accordance with the tasks or departments that will use them: sales and marketing (CRM, contact list, campaign manager), finance (account books, cost control, inventory manager), IT and assistance (MDM, ServiceDesk) and human resources, e-mail and collaboration (office automation, communications, project organizer, meetings manager).
On signing up with your credentials you will have access to all of them and you can customize them as you like. The changes will be in the Zoho cloud, as a result of which, when you log in again on the same or another device, you will see that everything is just as you left it.
If you can’t find the right tool, Zoho offers you a marketplace, a store with online extensions and services from third parties (both free of charge and upon payment) which are incorporated into the Zoho tools, adding new features. If you use Google Chrome, Zoho Marketplace will remind you of the Chrome Web Store.
In addition, Zoho offers Zoho Creator, a generator of web applications which allows you to create your own online tool without the need for any programming, simply by dragging and dropping modules in the creation window.
As it is a service focused on professionals, Zoho offers a default free basic service and additional payment options. Free of charge, you will enjoy 5 GB of space for your documents, user management (up to 25 users can work together), mobile access and integration with Dropbox. But, if you need more, for 5 dollars per month per user you will have 50 GB of space, group management and encrypted links, among other options, and for 8 dollars per month per user you will get 100 GB of space, file sending and much more.
An on-demand online office
An accessible online space for working in small or large groups. Free of charge to start with and adaptable to your needs. Zoho shows promise; it has been operating for years and has constantly improved to adapt to the new needs which arise in daily work.
On the other hand, there is the uncertainty generated by relying on online tools. To what extent are you willing to upload sensitive company data, business plans and strategies onto the internet? However much security Zoho offers, not everyone is ready for it and some people prefer to work offline. Together with the fact that it depends on a permanent internet connection and the data are stored on an external server unrelated to it.
In any event, if you need a professional solution at low or zero cost, accessible anywhere for centralizing your work and that of your employees, Zoho could be a powerful ally.
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