Zoho and Omnidrive Bring Seamless On/Offline Computing a Step Closer

Omnidrive and Zoho took us a step closer to seamless on-and-offline computing by announcing their partnership over the weekend. The typical approach to editing online files is to download > edit > upload again. Better online storage services streamline these steps by auto-synchronizing your files, but editing is still a local operation.

Not anymore on (Z)Omnidrive: double-clicking on any Microsoft Office document will open it in the corresponding Zoho application, in the example below Zoho Writer. Currently Word, HTML, txt and ODT formats are supported using Writer, but later this week spreadsheets and Powerpoint files will also be available, through Zoho Sheet and Zoho Show. (Remember, although I am talking about applications here, all you need is the browser.) Thanks to Omnidrive’s sync-power the changes you’ve just made online will be reflected in the offline version of your document, too.

Creating new documents within Omnidrive is as easy as clicking File > New > Document type: Zoho Writer pops up, saves your document to Omnidrive, and voila! The Word file is on your computer.

I suspect this is just a beginning, and we’ll be seeing similar integrated offerings soon. For example I’ve long been saying that the attachment management functions the better enterprise wikis offer are nice, but they solve the problem based on yesterday’s technology. Instead of the upload>download>re-upload nightmare wouldn’t it be easier to work with the attachments directly online?

Koral, the innovative content collaboration service could also benefit from the Zoho API: it handles desktop Office apps like a charm, synchronizing, indexing, tagging …etc. them, but currently only has flash-previews for presentation files. A lot of extra steps could be saved by displaying / editing the documents online.

What other “candidates” can you think of?

Related posts:

TechCrunch, Omnidrive, Zoho, New Web Order, GizBuzz, Solo Technology, Webware,

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  1. I do think the flash preview capability is a decent half way house. Therre will be plenty of documents you only wish to browse or read and anything that reduces time to access has to be good. But the ability to click through to the original for editing would be an excellent addition.

  2. OmniDrive becomes perfect with Zoho

    Early last year I talked about Shortcomings of existing online storage solutions where the primary issue was upload/download. Once you have your documents uploaded to online storage solutions, you have to download them to view/edit them. This defeated…

  3. Zoli,

    I think it’s very good news to hear that some of the vendors are starting to work together to leverage each other. Given the broad array of products and features out there, there’s definitely plenty of synergies to be gained from partnering up.

    That said, I think the folder/file tree format that OmniDrive offers is starting to get a bit dated. It’s a great way to integrate with the desktop, but as a collaboration platform, it’s sub-optimal. I don’t expect it to disappear overnight, but I think some sort of hybrid wiki is a better solution to the collaboration problem. I just wrote a post on my Enterprise 2.0 wish list that discusses further.

  4. what does omnidrive have that zoho doesnt? just thinking that zoho might start poaching customers through this partnership? what do most wiki companies do for storage when they own the customer acquisition?

  5. Zoli Erdos says

    Zoho is not in the storage business as such; in fact there was some speculation of a Zoho-drive and those planes are nixed now. While they certainly store your Zoho documents, they don’t want your music, photo, video files, having to deal with sharing, frequent downloads ..etc – that’s an entirely different business.

    Omnidrive, on the other hand is more than just online storage: amongst others they synchronize your online/offline files pretty well. This way you can have all your doc, xls, ppt both on and offline, and access them with Zoho when online, MS when off…

    As for wiki companies (btw, I’d not classify Zoho as such), I don’t think users consider them as storage destinations. They naturally store your wiki content, and attachements to the wiki, but that’s it.

    Btw, since you’re an East Coast VC, you may want to check out Brainkeeper:-)

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