The Warehouse Group has become one of the first customers for a new offering from cloud business applications software developer Zoho that provides access to its full range of more than 30 business applications for a fixed per-employee price per month.
US based Zoho was founded in 1996 and now claims 30 million users in 200 countries. It has to date offered access to, and charged for, each of its apps separately and this system will continue.
Its new pricing model, Zoho One, announced on 25 July, which it has dubbed “the operating system for business,” offers access to all apps for $US30 per employee per month on a 12 month contract with the proviso that an organisation must pay this for every employee regardless of whether or not they use Zoho apps.
Zoho One also features and administration portal that allows an administrator to control which employees have access to what apps.
Zoho president, Raj Sabhlok, named the Warehouse Group as an early customer at a press briefing in Sydney earlier this month, where he introduced the group’s chief information & digital officer, Timothy Kasbe, as “a rock star of the IT world.”
Prior to joining the group Kasbe has held roles as CIO at US based retail giant, Sears, Indian conglomerate Reliance and global coffee shop chain Gloria Jeans. He joined the Warehouse Group earlier this year.
Kasbe said Warehouse Group had not been a Zoho customer prior to taking up Zoho one, but had sought out Zoho about two months ago for its service desk application, Zoho Desk, and had been offered Zoho One after also looking into Zoho’s HR application following its frustrations with other vendors.
“I had been knocking my head against a wall with the who’s who in the HR space and one of the best known ones said ‘get me the NDA and we can set it up for you’. So I got that but they said they could not set it up unless we became a customer.
“So we looked at other options and we had pilots of two of the others set up when someone said, ‘Zoho has an HR app that maps to what we want to do, can we use that?’”
Kasbe said the company’s take up of Zoho One had been “a very interesting journey and a quick one. … There was no long drawn out sales negotiation. We started discussions about seven weeks ago and we have been live for quite a few weeks now. Business folks can go in and enable themselves with very little dependence on IT. That is beautiful.”
He added: “One of our values is to be very fast in everything we do because, in retail, time is not our friend. With the global competition we are expecting we feel we need to move as fast as we can. That is why I wanted to look at Zoho.”