Zoho rolls out app for schools; offers online meetings platform to govt bodies

Zoho rolls out app for schools; offers online meetings platform to govt bodies
Photo Credit: Pixabay
30 Apr, 2020

Software-as-a-solution provider Zoho has launched an app for schools among other initiatives to help education and government sectors cope with disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the first phase of its Swadeshi Sankalp initiative, the firm launched Zoho Classes.

The mobile app, according to the company, replaces the need for educators to deploy multiple, disintegrated apps including video conferencing tools that are meant for business users and come with security concerns.

Zoho’s entry into education space comes at a time when online learning has gained popularity due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown. 

Zoho Classes allows teachers to upload courses, broadcast live classes, share assignments and collect responses on one interface, the company claimed. The mobile app also lets students view videos based on their convenience.

Students can only join a group after an invitation is sent directly from their school and the app runs on the company's own data centres.

"The initiative is one way in which we can be of service to our country, by providing relief to the education and government sectors that are in need of a secure solution," Sridhar Vembu, CEO and co-founder of Zoho said in a statement.

As for the pricing, Zoho has made the application free for all government schools in India. Other schools can use the app for free for the first 100 students. The price is at Rs 250 per student, per year for additional students. 

Government bodies get Zoho Meetings for free

The company has offered  Zoho Meeting free for three months to government bodies. The online meetings and webinar app allow users to conduct group video calls for up to 25 participants, while other attendees can join via audio. 

The company also introduced Zoho Creator Covid-19 App Programme, which helps non-profits, government bodies and communities that are working on initiatives like patient monitoring or food distribution to execute their mission with the help of apps. 

These organisations can place a request, and Zoho will build an app for free using Zoho Creator, a low-code application development platform. 

The Chennai-based company announced Zoho Remotely soon after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic and offered it for free to all businesses until July 1.

Currently, around 15,000 businesses around the world use Remotely, 18% of which are in India, the company said. Zoho Remotely is a virtual productivity platform of 11 collaboration applications.

It also made its products free for around 20,000 of its paying customers. Under the business emergency subscription assistance programme (ESAP), Zoho customers with 25 or fewer employees will be able to access its products for free for the next three months, the company had said.

Zoho, which has over 7,000 of its 8,000 employees based in India, adopted a work-from-home policy in the first week of March.