Google is not offering a Project Management App along with their Google Apps
Office Productivity Suite. Many Google App users were handicapped by
the absence of a Project Management app that is integrated with Google
Apps. This is where ManyMoon, a San Francisco based company, steps in
and fills the gap left by Google Apps.
Yesterday, Zoho (Disclaimer: Zoho is the sole sponsor of this blog but this is my independent analysis based on the same material which other bloggers from around the world got) has announced the integration of Zoho Projects with Google Apps.
In the beginning of July, when Zoho announced the release of Zoho Projects 2.0, I wrote a post about the evolution of Project Management and where Zoho Project fits in.
Today Zoho has taken the next step in the evolution of Project Management software with the release of Zoho Projects 2.0. (Disclaimer: Zoho is the exclusive Sponsor of CloudAve.) With this release, Zoho has integrated Zoho Wiki with Zoho Projects (a possibility I predicted in my PbWorks post
without actually having any knowledge about what is brewing in the Zoho
factory). Along with this integration, they have added a Twitter like
status update into the app. As they have done with some of their other
offerings, they have integrated the Zoho chat feature into the app so
that team members can interact in real time. But, what makes Zoho
Projects 2.0 different from other apps like SocialText is its tighter
integration with Zoho Office Suite. This makes Zoho Projects 2.0 a
comprehensive solution for teams working together in a project. Now
companies could offer their project teams a comprehensive suite
containing project management tools, wikis, social tools and a complete
office productivity suite. In fact, they can do this without the
exorbitant price tag.
With today’s announcement, Zoho is giving the users a choice. Unlike in the desktop era where a company holding monopoly like marketshare used to dictate terms to users about how they can use their software, the companies in the SaaS era are giving more choices to users empowering them in a truly free market fashion. What is actually happening in the SaaS era is that companies are allowing users to eat buffet lunch while offering an a la carte selection. Individuals and small businesses (even enterprises) can now pick up Zoho Projects from the list of diverse applications and integrate with their existing Google Apps setup.
Zoho Projects for Google Apps creates a rich, integrated experience for Google Apps users that includes single sign-on, integration with Google Docs and Google Calendar plus the ability to embed Zoho Projects information directly inside iGoogle, Gmail and Google Sites. Having a project management as part of your Google Apps helps you to seamlessly work on your projects, e-mail, documents all from a single place without a need to remember multiple logins and eliminates the burden of juggling your data floating around Google Apps and Project Management software. Zoho Projects for Google Apps allows you to plan, track, collaborate and enjoy the benefits of Zoho Projects while at the same time having an integrated experience with your Google Apps account.
We can see the moves by Zoho with two different lenses. One can wear an evangelist hat and argue that Zoho is all about empowering the users by allowing deeper integration with competing vendors. One can also wear an analyst hat and argue that it was a smart move by Zoho to fill the hole left by Google on the project management side and, thereby, consolidate themselves behind the proliferation of Google Apps. Either way, this is a welcome move and it will be interesting to see how smaller companies like Manymoon respond to this.
Here is a video about this announcement