Swisscom Teams with Zoho on Promising Pilot Program

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Zoho, creator of a suite of online business applications, has been selected by the Swiss telco Swisscom to launch a six-month pilot offering a package of Zoho's business productivity applications to Swisscom's 300,000 business customers.

Swisscom and Zoho have teamed up to create a custom version of Zoho Business, with Zoho Writer, Sheet, Show, Notebook, and Meeting on Swisscom's Teamnet portal. Even though Swisscom is the incumbent telco operator in Switzerland, it is taking what some have described as a bold approach by extending its offerings to the SaaS space.

Increasingly, service providers are looking to add value on their existing networks and have started to include online applications like Zoho to their portfolio of services. In the past, one would not turn to the telephone company for productivity applications, but this is changing with the wider adoption of SaaS in the marketplace. Zoho said it is pleased to see Swisscom take a lead in this initiative and said it looked forward to more partnerships as this trend picks up momentum in coming months.

"The goal of the pilot is to provide our business customers with a value added Web offering they can evaluate as part of a turnkey solution from their service provider. Zoho is an ideal partner that combines a wide and very innovative range of applications as well as a very solid engineering team to deliver the capability we wanted," said Michael Gmuer, head of Business Process Optimization at Swisscom.

Zoho and its Alliance Partner Program offer service providers multiple paths to increase ARPU (average revenue per user), the holy grail that telcos seek to maximize by adding additional services to their existing infrastructure. The program offers partners a flexible means to bundle various Zoho services for both consumers and business users.

While Zoho acknowledges that it is starting small with the Swisscom project, it is a significant step towards a broader Zoho distribution channel in Europe. This follows the company's recent partnership with online distributor Baihui in China.

Zoho, creator of a suite of online business applications, has been selected by the Swiss telco Swisscom to launch a six-month pilot offering a package of Zoho's business productivity applications to Swisscom's 300,000 business customers.

Swisscom and Zoho have teamed up to create a custom version of Zoho Business, with Zoho Writer, Sheet, Show, Notebook, and Meeting on Swisscom's Teamnet portal. Even though Swisscom is the incumbent telco operator in Switzerland, it is taking what some have described as a bold approach by extending its offerings to the SaaS space.

Increasingly, service providers are looking to add value on their existing networks and have started to include online applications like Zoho to their portfolio of services. In the past, one would not turn to the telephone company for productivity applications, but this is changing with the wider adoption of SaaS in the marketplace. Zoho said it is pleased to see Swisscom take a lead in this initiative and said it looked forward to more partnerships as this trend picks up momentum in coming months.

"The goal of the pilot is to provide our business customers with a value added Web offering they can evaluate as part of a turnkey solution from their service provider. Zoho is an ideal partner that combines a wide and very innovative range of applications as well as a very solid engineering team to deliver the capability we wanted," said Michael Gmuer, head of Business Process Optimization at Swisscom.

Zoho and its Alliance Partner Program offer service providers multiple paths to increase ARPU (average revenue per user), the holy grail that telcos seek to maximize by adding additional services to their existing infrastructure. The program offers partners a flexible means to bundle various Zoho services for both consumers and business users.

While Zoho acknowledges that it is starting small with the Swisscom project, it is a significant step towards a broader Zoho distribution channel in Europe. This follows the company's recent partnership with online distributor Baihui in China.

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