Zoho, which offers an online office productivity suite, said people with a Zoho account that uses a Google or Yahoo e-mail address would automatically be logged in to Zoho when they connect to the portal. People who don't associate their Google or Yahoo e-mail with their Zoho account can go to the site's services section and make the association.
Along with the new login feature, Zoho also made it possible to import Google or Yahoo contact lists to Zoho.
Zoho's move to link to accounts of far bigger players is significant because it's an example of a small Internet company looking to ride the success of bigger players. In this case, Zoho is tapping into the user base of a competitor. Google also offers an online productivity suite called Google Docs.
People using Zoho and Google Docs will not be able to move documents directly between the online services. However, the login feature does make it possible for someone to log in to Zoho using Google or Yahoo credentials in order to view and collaborate on documents created by a Zoho user.
Zoho is upfront on its motivations. "We obviously want many users to try out and use our applications," Zoho executive Raju Vegesna said in the company's blog.
Zoho believes sharing logins with other sites may encourage use because polls show that many Web users do not want to create another account for yet another online application, Vegesna said. In addition, Zoho is betting that people who come to the site will prefer its services to competitors'.
Zoho offers its productivity software at no charge, but also sells online customer relationship management software by subscription. While the Personal Edition is free, Zoho offers a Professional Edition for $12 per user per month and an Enterprise Edition for $25 per user per month.