I’ve written a brief review cum opinion piece about Zoho‘s announcement that it’s added limited support for Visual Basic macros and pivot tables to its spreadsheet service. I’ve also posed a question to Simon Hurst about this over at IT Counts (private registration, sorry) where I ask whether in his opinion these new additions represent the kind of game changers that could help tip Zoho towards the mainstream and pose a threat to Microsoft.
I’m genuinely excited about this. While I personally hate messing around with pivot tables I know they’re beloved by my professional bretheren who see them as a way of doing some funky analysis. I’m thinking about it beyond analysis.
Just as we had Winforecast, until it became part of the Sage stable, Zoho could – and I emphasize could – become the bones of a reporting and analysis engine for the many finance applications that are starting to emerge. Some will say that baking analytics into the application is enough. I disagree. At least for now. Accounting data serves many purposes and right now, the emphasis is on user specific requirements. That’s fine except we should never forget that regulatory purposes need attention. If Zoho can become a reporting engine then it means someone, somewhere can make a very nice living by providing that service. Just an idea.