Zoho Corporation, a California-based online business applications developer, is in the process of launching an audio-video chat and instant messenger service for small and medium enterprises, according to its vice-president (sales and marketing – Asia-Pacific) Sudhakar S Marthi.
The new application will be an additional feature to Zoho Mail and Chat services for businesses and professional users and will enable conference with contacts across networks like Yahoo!, Gmail and MSN.
“The objective behind developing the audio-video chat application is to enable enterprise users to collaborate much faster, real-time. The application will help small organisations move from the highly-priced communication gadgets to the cloud besides giving real-time advantages,” he said.
Real-time collaboration market, including audio, video and web conferencing products and services, is currently pegged at $5 billion globally.
Speaking to Business Standard at the 20th International World Wide Web conference here recently, Marthi said the company would provide some kind of compatibility to access and use the application.
“For instance, if you have an account in Yahoo! or Google Gmail, you can always sign up in Zoho. The same way, when you are using Yahoo! Messenger, seamlessly you will be able to access Zoho video and audio. We will provide those kinds of plug-ins,” he said, adding that the application was in the alfa stage and would be launched worldwide sometime this calendar year.
The privately-held company, which employs 1,500 professional at its Chennai development centre, is currently focusing on small and medium business enterprises to aggressively push its audio-video chat service, which was specifically designed for internal communication.
“We are offering our Zoho Mail service for $25 per user per year. The new audio-video chat service will also be as affordable as our existing ones. We are working out modalities in terms of pricing and are in talks with various enterprises in Asia-Pacific,” Marthi said, while declining to comment further.
Stating that nine of Zoho’s applications were available on mobile, Marthi said the company was working closely with telecom service providers to offer co-branded services, including customer relationship management and invoice, to mobile users in India.
“The future belongs to smart phones and tablets. We will be launching 28 more applications as co-branded services with the operators here from this April. An announcement on the same will be made by the operators shortly,” he said.