Indian software company Zoho Corporation will invest upwards of $40 million to build two data centres and establish a regional office in Australia, as the privately held company rolls out a low-price strategy to take on US giants like Salesforce and Microsoft.
The company provides cloud-based enterprise software and already counts Australian companies such as BHP and Qantas among its customer base, which it claims amounts to 45 million users across 180 countries.
Construction of Zoho′s data centres at Tullamarine and Albury has begun and the company expects to hire about 20 people for its office at Byron Bay.
Timothy Kasbe, Zoho MD for Australia and New Zealand, said he believed the lucrative market for enterprise software would soon be "Amazoned" by lower-cost entrants. Zoho offers a $1-a-day per user for its flagship operating system Zoho One, which he said was a precursor to the disruptive arrival of "almost-free software".
Zoho, which has its global headquarters in Chennai, India, identified Australia as one of its top five markets globally, and claims to have tens of thousands of Australian clients already.
Zoho was founded in 1996 and despite its growing size, it remains a private company and has consistently said that it has no plans to float any time soon.