Zoho has extended its customer relief efforts by offering parts of its software suite for free to verticals most affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Called the Vertical Relief Plan (VRP), the initiative comprises programs and tools to help industries affected most by COVID-19 in Australia, specifically retail businesses, education and not-for-profit & government organisations.
The new plan comes after Zoho’s previously announced Small Business Emergency Subscription Assistance Program (ESAP), where all Zoho customers with 25 employees or fewer who have been severely impacted by the coronavirus-related downturn can use its software suite for free for three months until 1 July 2020.
Zoho co-founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu said the company is grateful to all the workers helping all of us weather this storm.
"Beyond those on the front lines, there are workers in industries who are struggling, who are persevering, who are inventing new paths forward,” Vembu said.
“The Vertical Relief Plan is a way to support those people, whether they be teachers, government workers, or retailers, who are entirely committed to helping others and returning the world to solid ground."
Retail storefronts that have shuttered during the crisis will get a 60 day free period for Zoho Commerce Starter Plan. The no transaction fee threshold for existing Zoho customers will also be increased for three months.
Retailers providing essential services like pharmaceuticals will also get free training and onboarding of Zoho Inventory.
Education customers meanwhile will get Zoho Classes free for up to 100 students, with each user also getting Zoho ShowTime with no extra cost.
Zoho Classes is an integrated platform accessible to both teachers and students that allow educators to deploy multiple apps. Some apps include video content delivery, classroom communication apps, assignment management tools and project-creation applications.
Non-profits will get the Zoho Creator COVID-19 App Program, where they can get Zoho to build web and mobile apps for free using Zoho Creator, the vendor’s low-code application development platform.
Zoho Social, which helps drive donations through social media and manage distribution pipelines, is free for six months. Zoho Checkouts, which simplifies the collection of online donations, is also made free for non-profits.
Government agencies can avail of free software licences of Zoho’s help desk suite, Zoho Desk, to help federal and local government bodies fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
For a wider range of businesses, Zoho also introduced more offerings to support businesses’ change management.
These include: Zoho Survey is 50 percent off its retail price; Zoho Campaigns now offers “crisis templates” to assist with outreach and communications; and Zoho WorkDrive’s shared storage limit is up to 1TB and 3TB for the Starter and Team plans, respectively, with free 100GB and 300GB each for those with more than 10 users.
In addition, Zoho People adds unexpected change management training, privacy and security training, stress management training, new technology training, onboarding training, communication and collaboration training, and role-change training.
The vendor is also offering free Zoho Recruit video credits until the end of June 2020. Its Zoho Meeting is now free with Zoho Bookings and the vendor has additional resources to assist businesses, including a live COVID-19 impact dashboard, financial planning and recovery advice, a remote working help center, and virtual user groups