Zoho is launching unified search today across all of its applications. Previously, Zoho had search on individual apps. The new capability means that people may search across all applications in one search query.
The search service makes Zoho one of the few services that can offer a search that spans multiple applications. For instance, Google offers search for individual applications but not across the entirety of its services.
In some respects the news puts Zoho into a much larger market. It provides potential customers with further incentive to use a SaaS for productivity purposes. It also further distinguishes itself with Google Apps.
Zoho offers a full suite of services that in some respects mirrors Google Apps. Zoho also offers business apps for CRM; project management; online reporting and business intelligence; invoicing and additional services.
You can see, then, how Zoho search unifies queries, but also the applications. That's compelling for growing businesses and companies with multiple business units.
For example, a query can check:
- CRM for contact information
- An email system to view the emails you exchanged with the customer
- Document system to view agreements you have with the customer
- Others systems to get other pieces of data.
Zoho is not alone in offering unified search. There are a number of SaaS services, such as Sharepoint and Box.net that offer in-depth enterprise search capability.
Zoho has a history of offering services that mirrors Google Apps. Zoho is a partner with Google in the Google Apps Marketplace. They see their service as complimentary to some degree. But they also offer a suite of services that put them more into the SaaS world of enterprise applications.
Google will most likely offer a similar search capability. But this does give Zoho the opportunity to reach into a deeper market and serve existing customer with a service that makes it easier to connect and find the information they need to make fast decisions.