Cloud-just-about-everything provider Zoho (news, site) adds integrated search to its range of productivity tools, to help workers find references, data, documents and people from within the cloud-stored archives.

Finding Within The Cloud

Looking at the Zoho front page, you could see how easy it would be for data to remain obscure and lost in the large number of applications, especially if you work in an enterprise 2.0-era distributed team. To allay those fears, Zoho has now added a search portal to help users find information from the mass of documents, calendar entries and other sources, wherever it may lie within your own Zoho ecosystem.

Currently a portal page, the feature will eventually be added into all Zoho applications, to make it an ever present feature. The portal uses a contextual approach, users can search just one area or your whole cloud of Zoho information. The response comes with additional beneficial information alongside the results. This might be who created the document, what their status is if you need to get hold of them.


Powerful Interaction

Once you've found a document or message, you can then choose to open, edit a document or make contact with the appropriate user, depending on the situation.

A powerful sidebar also helps if there are lots of results, breaking the them down into type, date and so on. Editing from within the portal means you don't have to jump around between apps or pages.

For small to midsize companies, particularly those working virtually, Zoho is increasingly being seen as a professional choice with more consistency than Google Docs and friendlier than Microsoft Office. It is inexpensive (starting at US$ 12 a month for the CRM app with three users for free).

With SharePoint and Facebook integration among the suite's growing list of features, it is easy to see Zoho becoming a go-anywhere kind of platform that can be used in almost any business.