I posted last night about Zoho allowing logins with Yahoo and Google user details. This morning my feedreader has been inundated with posts about this very topic. Most see the wood for the trees and identify this as a major step for collaboration.

On a post over on Zdnet however I read something a little disquieting when it was suggested that the main feature needed was the ability to import documents en masse into Zoho.

In my opinion this comment misses the point – it’s not about trying to facilitate users to make the shift into another walled garden, it’s about breaking down the walls and allowing people to play, no matter which garden they’re hanging out it. Zoli has it right when he says;

Why not just make all documents available to online users, no matter where they were created? You should be able to list your Google and Zoho documents, open them, edit them, and save to whichever format (and storage) you want to.

Maybe it’s Zoho’s private ownership that allows them to chart a path that seems more in tune with this open garden approach – time will tell how that strategy pans out for them.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • We definitely share the vision of seamless data access. For our part, we will continually enhance our users ability to access their Zoho hosted data from third party services, through our use of open document formats, and our support for practically every standard out there. Vendor lock-in through proprietary formats deserves to fade into history!

  • A thought: without the ability to import en-mass will the users trust that their documents will always be available, or in the back of their mind will they fear that open collaboration between their service providers might be a temporary aberration?

    Also to provide seamless service you need directory lookup and search as well as edit capacity.

  • Seth, we definitely intend to provide easy export of all your data in one download. We already do that in CRM.

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