Zoho on Wednesday will use its Zoholics Mexico City customer event to launch a revamped Office Suite that will now include Zoho Notebook, an app that uses a card-style format to help business professionals capture text, photos, audio or create checklists and sketches.
Zoho Notebook will be added to a package that already includes word processing, a spreadsheet tool and slide presentation software, along with its voice-enabled artificial intelligence tool, Zia. A unified communications tool called Cliq, meanwhile, can be integrated with Zoho Office Suite.
“Most note-taking apps we see today offer the same kind of editor regardless of the source material’s format and the end-user’s intent,” Zoho chief evangelist Raju Vegesna told B2B News Network ahead of the launch. “Sometimes users note text from a website or need to bookmark a video or capture a recipe or store a flight confirmation PDF. What inspired the smart card was trying to solve this multi-note-type issue.”
Zoho Notebook has a card intended for sales people to scan business cards, and over time others will be added for more specific business roles, Vegesna said.
Much like Microsoft Office, which has become an easy way for organizations to get all the applications they need in a single subscription, Zoho Notebook is being offered as part of Zoho Office Suite rather than marketed as a point product, according to Vegesna.
“We see the lines between productivity, collaboration, communication, and other business apps blurring,” he said. “We don’t believe long-run decisions will be made at the individual product level, but they’ll be made at the organizational level, where all software needed for a business is licensed together.”
Zoho Notebook will also make use of Zia, which might suggest particular content that a user might want to save or work with later on, Vegesna said. Though there is always risk that AI could get in the way or cause potential confusion in the process of creating documents and managing information, he said the company has been thoughtful in making sure the technology adds value the experience.
“If we just want to slap an AI label on every tool, it’ll fall flat,” he admitted. “In Writer, our word-processor, as you write a document the focus is on sentence formation, readability of the content, spelling and grammar. That’s where AI is applied. In a spreadsheet if you are analyzing numbers, AI helps with automatically creating charts and pivot tables by understanding the data you have.”
Future enhancements in Zoho Notebook will include sharing and tagging features, Vegesna said. The company also has plans to integrate its note-taking app into several of its other tools, including Mail and CRM, to enable more contextual integration.