Zoho Launches Emergency Assistance Program And Free Access To Its Powerful CRM Tools To Businesses Impacted By COVID-19

Zoho, a company that offers a comprehensive range of online productivity tools and SaaS applications announced the launch of its Small Business Emergency Subscription Assistance Program (ESAP) to help its customers during the coronavirus outbreak.

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ESAP aims to help over 20,000 Zoho clients that fall into the category of small to medium-sized businesses with 25 employees or less. Those companies will be able to use Zoho’s apps for free for three months.

“Businesses are hurting. They already face tremendous pressure on revenue and cash flows. Not knowing when things will get back to normal is even worse," said Sridhar Vembu, Zoho co-founder and CEO. “Every bit of help we, and other companies can offer to keep these small businesses afloat will go a long way, not just financially but emotionally as well. We are in this together and contributions from every business help our community get through this pandemic."

Vembu is encouraging industries "disproportionately impacted by the pandemic" to apply for the assistance program. He also stated that Zoho will be prioritizing those who are most in need.

The company is offering a range of tools which includes assistance with customer service applications, marketing, collaboration and production tools, back-office work and accounting, all of which will be available for free.

This comes shortly after the company confirmed it had made its Remotely product suite available for free until July 1, to support businesses transitioning from office spaces to working-from-home models. It has seen an increase in 5,000 new clients for its Remotely software, as well as an average of 500% growth in usage of its collaboration apps and 1000% growth in daily users of Zoho Meeting since rolling out this initiative in the beginning of March.

However, it was recently reported that hacking group APT41, which is widely believed to be linked to the Chinese Government attempted to exploit vulnerabilities in Zoho ManageEngine Desktop Central as well as Citrix Netscaler and Cisco routers.

California-based cybersecurity company FireEye observed the hacking attempt. On March 8, one day after Zoho permanently fixed the issue, the group attacked over a dozen FireEye customers and managed to compromise the systems of at least five of them. This isn't the first time APT41 used publicly available exploits to target internet-facing systems.