Zoho Adds Unified Search To Productivity Suite

Web-based productivity suite Zoho is getting into the search game today. The startup is adding an “actionable” search tool to its productivity suite, allowing a user to do a keyword search across an organization’s entire suite, across multiple applications including email, documents, forums, contacts, and more.

The search portal acts much like any search engine within a content site. Users can search by keyword or contact, and view results from multiple apps. Zoho Search indexes data from multiple Zoho Apps, including Zoho Mail, Docs, Writer, Sheet, Show, Notebook, Discussions, Accounts and more. Search results are grouped based on applications and filters are provided to view additional results from each category. From within search, users can reply to emails, edit documents, comment on forums, or update contact information.

The idea behind search is that it gives a user context behind each search and keyword. For example, if you search for a keyword in Zoho Mail, Zoho Search will display the content of the mail, and additional information such as the Folder in which this mail resides, Sent date, Sender Information etc. Zoho Search also knows if the sender is currently on your buddy list, and based on that, it displays the current presence information (i.e whether the user is online/offline/busy etc) of the sender.

Of course, Zoho search offers users powerful filters to narrow search results by applications, date, and more. And if the search result is an email, you can view the email directly within search results and reply to that mail without having to open the email app. Documents, spreadsheets, presentations and notebooks can also be viewed within the search portal. And you can interact, share and edit within the search portal.

While Zoho has an independent search portal, a universal search box will be will contextually be integrated within all Zoho Apps in the future. The feature will undoubtedly enhance the interoperability of Zoho’s productivity suite. And of course, all of this is possible because of the fact that all of Zoho’s app are in the cloud. It should make the productivity suite much more attractive to the enterprise community.

Zoho has steadily ramped up the acceleration of its productivity suite, reaching over 2 million users and even catching the attention of its competition. A few months ago, Zoho launched an application with the rollout of the Google App Marketplace and integrated Facebook Connect. Last year, startup unveiled a new version of Zoho Reports; launched a deeper integration with Google Docs; rolled out Zoho Discussions, a online forum tool for businesses; and debuted Zoho Recruit.

And over the past two years, Zoho has also added support for Sharepoint, mobile, Google and Yahoo IDs and group sharing.