Zoho People Targets People Management

The folks over at Zoho are offering a free beta trial of its new Zoho People product, which Web Worker Daily says is “clearly overkill if you have only a few employees; it’s aimed at companies who have 30, 50, or more employees and a continuing string of job openings to keep track of.”

Zoho People offers things like employee files, workflow tracking of the hiring process, travel requests, employee announcements, multiple levels of security, and an employee portal.

It features automated checklists that triggers a sequence of tasks on a specific action like create/edit/approve of a request to complete a business process. It also enables your employees to keep track of the progress of their requests.

The company has also prepared this video about Zoho People:

View from a Tree

It also uses an employee reporting hierarchy so everyone can know the employee reporting hierarchy structure of your organization in a tree-based view:

This tree is constructed based on the “Reporting To” field of employee data, and when an employee moves to another team, you can use a “drag and drop” to update the system.

Zoho People is part of the Pleasanton, California-based company’s suite of office and Web-based products, including Writer, Projects, Sheet, CRM, Show, Creator, Wiki, Planner, Suite, Notebook, Chat, Meeting, and Mail.

After the beta period, the pricing will eventually end up in the range of $50 per month for HR administrator, and possibly available as part of Zoho’s suite of enterprise apps under blended pricing.

Zoho + Google Against Microsoft?

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There are critics of similar enterprise applications, including Zoho competitor Google, which offers Google Apps.

Computerworld reports that 500,000 organizations are using Google Apps. Matthew Glotzbach, director of product management for enterprise at Google, acknowledges that large organizations are hesitant to join in.

“One challenge we’ve had is building that enterprise credibility,” he said.

Gartner analyst Matt Cain notes that Google Apps won’t be seriously considered by enterprises until the company can show it can support reporting, audit trails, and service-level agreements of large-scale commercial users.

Cnet reports that Zoho could “bump up against more established software-as-a-service HR offerings from well funded companies such as Workday, Taleo, NetSuite, SuccessFactors, and others.”

Cnet says Zoho is most concerned about setting itself apart from Google, “which lacks the business applications. Google, as well as Microsoft, will be watching Zoho closely to see if it gains any traction with customers. If so, either one would be a candidate to acquire the Zoho, which is a subsidiary of India-based AdventNet.”

According to Larry Dignan, editor in chief of ZDNet, Zoho is more enterprise-friendly than Google.

“For me, Zoho People raises one big question: Why hasn’t Google acquired Zoho yet? Sure the spreadsheets and word processing overlap with Google Docs and Spreadsheets, but Zoho has turned into something much more enterprise-friendly. Something like Zoho People — not to mention its CRM and other services — could be a fine tuck-in for Google Apps.”

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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