Zoho Projects (http://projects.zoho.com) is an online project management and collaboration tool. It is part of the Zoho suite of web productivity applications. Zoho Project users have access to a number of project management and collaboration features. Each project has a Dashboard, where the user can view a summary of the activity stream for the project. In addition, users can add or view Tasks and Milestones, add to or view the project Calendar, schedule or view Meetings, and view, edit or add Documents. Other features include a project Timesheet, a Reports section, project Forums, the project Wiki, a project Chat application, and a list of project Users.
Each project has an RSS feed which gives a summary of all activity on the project. Users communicate using the project Chat feature – going to the User list and clicking on a person's entry will open a chat with that person. The Zoho Projects application has an Administrator who exercises control over all projects. Other types of users are Manager, who can exercise control over only those projects which they have been given access to. Employee is a normal user who works for the project with limited access to administrative abilities. A Contractor is a person who works for the project for a specified period of time, after which their access to the project will expire. Zoho Projects also offers integration with Google Projects.
Pleasonton, CA-based Zoho.com, the parent of Zoho Projects, was founded in September 2005. The site has undergone continuous growth since launch, and currently has over 1 million users (all applications). Sridhar Vembu is CEO of the company. The site continues to follow a policy of adding integration with other online tools to its suite of productivity applications.
Competition to Zoho Projects comes from sites such as Cubetree.com and Google Apps. Cubetree.com has more of an emphasis on social networking in their online collaboration tool. Google Apps, when taken as a whole, provide an online collaboration tool, but they do not have the wealth of features offered by Zoho Projects.
The Zoho Projects site has a clean and uncluttered look and feel. The site is quite responsive, and page loads and file transfers happen quickly. The various features have the feel of dedicated desktop apps, and are quite responsive. User navigation of the site is accomplished through a convenient top menu bar with tabs. There is no advertising displayed on the Zoho Projects site.
Registration to Zoho Projects is free and is required to use the site. The registration process simply asks for email address, password, and a name for the users web portal, which is a subdomain of projects.zoho.com. A free membership is limited to 1 project with an unlimited number of users and a 100MB file storage limit. There are 4 levels of premium membership available.
Premium memberships include Standard, Express, Premium and Enterprise. Standard allows for 10 projects, an unlimited number of users and a file storage limit of 2GB. Express allows for 20 projects, unlimited users, and 3GB file storage. Premium allows for 50 projects, unlimited users and 5GB of file storage. Enterprise allows for unlimited projects, unlimited users, and 25GB of storage. The Standard, Express, Premium and Enterprise memberships cost $12, $20, $35 and $80 per month respectively.
Zoho Projects is recommended to any group or organization who has need of an online collaboration tool. The service is ideal for groups or organizations which are geographically diverse or which employ a lot of freelance contractors. The wealth of features provided by the service make for a complete project management and collaboration solution.