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Zoho Builds Commission-Free App Store for Small Business ISVs

Zoho, which offers SaaS applications to 20 million users worldwide, has launched new developer and app store capabilities to propel small business ISVs (independent software vendors) forward.

The two big moves include (1) Zoho Developer to help partners write applications and (2) Zoho Marketplace, an online store where developers can sell their applications. Among the big twists: Zoho Marketplace is commission-free — unlike many other app stores where roughly 30 percent of each app or ISV sale goes to the store owner (i.e., Apple).

Similar to Salesforce AppExchange‘s ability to wrap an ecosystem around Salesforce CRM, the Zoho Marketplace offers extensions to Zoho CRM and Zoho SalesIQ — with more extensions coming soon.

Zoho’s launch partners include Devart, Docusign, Eventbrite, Exigo Group, MailChimp, Plivo, SurveyMonkey, Ytel, Zendesk and other major SaaS vendors who have introduced several ready-to-deploy solutions on Zoho Marketplace, the company says.

Zoho Markeplace Meets VAR and ISV Services

Stephanie Martin

Stephanie Martin

Potential winners include Stephanie Martin, CEO of Exigo Group — and a CompTIA member who is very active in channel circles. “Now more than ever, Zoho is making all our dreams come true with the launch of the NEW Zoho Marketplace,” Martin says. “Filled with affordable, pre-built extensions and tools, we have more opportunity than ever before to drive our company, to quote Buzz Lightyear, “TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!”

Still, the current Zoho Marketplace opportunity involved a long-term journey for Exigo. Indeed, Exigo partnered with Ringlead (formerly Broadlook Technologies) almost two years ago to develop a Capture Chrome Plugin. Exigo as a result is the Master VAR on all end user and Partner Zoho/Capture license sales. “I couldn’t have done it without massive support from key Ringlead executives Donato Diorio, Dan Hughes and Ross Hoppenjan,” Martin says.

Cloud Apps for Small Businesses

Meanwhile, the Zoho Developer push seeks to engage more developers, channel partners, ISVs and IT service companies that want to write and distribute solutions for the marketplace.

Raju Vegesna

Raju Vegesna

Although SaaS offerings from Microsoft, Google and Salesforce sometimes generate more buzz, don’t underestimate the size and strength of Zoho. The privately held company has 20 million SaaS users, with 700,000 new users signing up every month, Raju Vegesna, chief evangelist of Zoho, tells ChannelE2E.

Zoho currently has about 4,000 employees — but headcount will grow to roughly 8,000 people over the next three to four years as the company introduces new solutions and expands focus on small and medium businesses (SMBs), Chief Operating Officer Manikandan Vembu recently told The Economic Times.

Zoho also owns ManageEngine, which develops a range of IT management tools for MSPs and corporate IT departments.

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