Google has been a dominating force in the productivity suite arena for a while now, offering an excellent - and some would argue better - alternative to the incumbent: Microsoft's Office 365 and Outlook email client.
However, Google isn't the only productivity suite making moves. Zoho Workplace mirrors Google's G Suite, offering a similar suite of applications and email platform, aiming to provide an all-round package for businesses.
To help you decide between the two, we compare the two in greater detail and reach a verdict about which is better for business use.
Both Google and Zoho offer a range of web-based software that offers similar capabilities within the workplace.
Zoho recently launched Zoho Workplace, a suite of nine applications to rival Google's G-Suite. These are grouped under the headings, Create: Writer, Sheet, Show; Collaborate: Docs, Showtime, Sites; and Communicate: Mail, Cliq, and Connect.
Zoho's Flow tool also offers the ability to integrate a number of cloud-based apps into your email interface, such as LinkedIn or Slack. This could be especially useful for jobs which involve a lot of social media promotion, allowing you to update Twitter and Facebook feeds without leaving your email app.
You can also automate tasks across various different apps by using an intuitive builder where you can drag and drop tasks into a 'flow'. Alternatively, you can select a pre-built flow which automates routine but time-consuming processes.
Zoho's Cliq feature includes some of the capabilities offered by Slack - namely a 'real-time messaging, file sharing, audio/video call-making software built for work'. It allows members of a business to create different channels and groups to communicate quickly about various topics.
An advanced search mechanism allows you to search the chat history for particular files or keywords.
Similarly, G-Suite offers Google Hangouts where you can message, create groups, phone or video chat. Recent announcements from Google outlined the push for adding greater voice command capabilities to the application. Meaning that soon, you will be able to initiate a conference by saying, 'Hey Google, start meeting'.
Zoho mail vs Gmail
Deciding on an email provider is a difficult decision for any new business, with a dizzying array of different specs and price points, it's hard to know which offers the best value in terms of your business needs.
Gmail is the go-to email suite for many businesses, from startups to large enterprises. But before you settle for the most well-known brand, it's worth considering Zoho. The webmail and online office suite provider has been beefing up its offerings of late.
Zoho Mail is also the clear winner when it comes to price. It offers a completely free starter pack to enterprises with under 25 members - ideal for small startups just getting off the ground.
You can sign up with a domain you already own, or alternatively buy a domain name through the Zoho site.
This package comes with up to 5GB of storage for each user and a 20MB attachment limit.
However, Gmail's email platform still shouldn't break the bank. For £6.60 per user/month, you'll get business emails, video and voice conferencing software and share calendars, along with Google's top-notch productivity suite.
You'll also get access to admin controls, which is extremely important for managing staff data, as well as unlimited cloud storage for businesses with more than five users.
Gmail has also introduced a number of nifty AI driven features such as Smart Reply, that suggests quick responses based on the content of the email received, and Smart Compose which will suggest autocomplete options to commonly typed phrases and personal information, based on past behaviour. The former has become popular among consumer users of Gmail, now starting off 10 percent of all communications.
Additional workplace applications
The Zoho suite also offers more specialised features for a range of different professions. For example, its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application is aimed to help sales professionals more easily streamline their client relationships and manage their schedules.
Zoho One offers an all-in-one suite for business use including over 40 apps with complementary mobile apps, including CRM, Books ('smart accounting') and Creator (to build custom apps). Alternatively, you can select 'bundles' of apps aimed at different job roles, for example, CRM Plus, Finance Plus or IT Management.
For Google, a range of CRM and other add-ons are available to browse on the Marketplace.
Both Gmail and Zoho offer integration with a wide range of third party apps.
Price - Zoho Workplace
The next step up from the free package is the Standard Zoho Workplace package, costing $2 (£1.50) per user per month. This package includes 30GB of combined storage across Zoho Mail and Zoho Docs, a 30MB attachment limit and multiple domain hosting, among other features.
In terms of Zoho Docs, the Standard package buys you 5GB file uploads, G-Suite integration and the ability to send files to non-Docs users.
Under the Connect tab, this package buys you unlimited groups and channels and unlimited custom apps.
Upgrading to the Zoho Pro package for $5 (£3.70) per user per month will increase the amount of storage to 100GB, the attachment limit to 40MB in Mail as well as group sharing, advanced analytics & reporting, audit trail and custom branding.
Upgrading to the $8 (£5.90) Enterprise package will increase users' storage to 1TB.
Price - G-Suite
Meanwhile, for the G-Suite, prices begin at £3.30 per user per month for the basic package. This includes 30GB of cloud storage, video and voice conferencing, shared calendars, Docs, spreadsheets, presentations and 24/7 support via phone and email online.
The G-Suite also works offline which is a bonus for when staff may not be able to access internet. It's compatible with Microsoft Office and users can access hundreds of business apps through the G-Suite Marketplace.
Upgrading to the £6.60 per month per user package will mean unlimited cloud storage.
Therefore, it's clear that solely looking at price, Zoho comes out the winner.
Google and Zoho offer very similar capabilities. Zoho allows more integration with social apps like Twitter and Facebook, but Google offers a greater number of third party app integrations.
If deciding solely on price, Zoho clearly comes out top for small businesses and startups. And given Zoho integrates with the range of G-Suite apps, it shouldn't be too taxing to collaborate with non-users.