If your organization is looking to implement project management (PM) software, then it's hard to go wrong with Clarizen or Zoho Projects. Both PM platforms are feature-rich, offer good value for your dollar, and integrate well with third-party applications.
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Before making your decision, however, be sure to define your company's goals and preferences. Although these PM tools are both effective, one major difference exists between the two, and several minor differences will impact how you manage your projects. Thankfully, we've created this handy cheat sheet to help you choose the right PM tool for your particular needs.
The most important question you'll ever ask when purchasing software is: How much is this going to cost me? Zoho's free plan lets you manage one project of up to 10 MB of data, which is essentially the size of one large, high-resolution photo. It's totally lacking any of the cooler features you'll find in other free tools, such as invoicing and expenses, Dropbox integration, and timesheet approval. But, if you've got a bit of money to spend, Zoho Projects Express is available for $25 per month and lets you manage 20 projects with up to 10 GB of storage. Zoho Projects Premium lets you manage 50 projects, and gives you 100 GB of space, all for $50 per month. Zoho Projects Enterprise is only $80 per month, and you can manage an unlimited number of projects, an unlimited number of users, with up to 100 GB of storage capacity.
Clarizen, which is focused more on higher-end enterprise users, doesn't offer a free plan at all. The tool comes in two pricey tiers: the Enterprise edition, which costs $60 per user per month, and the Unlimited edition, which costs $80 per user per month. Both plans are feature-rich, letting you manage an unlimited number of projects, and giving you budget tracking, time tracking, expense management, and limited customization. The Enterprise plan gives you access to up to 500 GB of storage space per license, while the Unlimited plan offers an unlimited amount of storage.
It's difficult for us to nominate a winner in this category given how differently both projects are priced. Zoho offers entry-level pricing, which is great for small businesses and departments in large companies that don't want to use the corporate-recommended PM tool. Users can scale up as their needs require, but they won't have access to the storage capacity Clarizen provides, which is a huge knock against it. Clarizen, on the other hand, doesn't offer a free tier or anything remotely close to free, which is a missed opportunity to attract startups and small businesses that are in the process of growing. Having said that, if Zoho users want to add additional storage capacity, they can always pay Zoho for more; it is, however, impossible for anyone to gain access to a free version of Clarizen. Edge: Zoho Projects.
Features and User Interface
Both services offer a remarkable number of apps and features, especially at the highest price tier. Attributes such as custom fields, real-time reports, and customization options are available on both top-level versions of the platforms. Zoho's user interface (UI) is clean and intuitive, with an easy-to-use navigation menu that makes getting started simple and quick. The feed-based UI streams activity from top to bottom, letting you see and share statuses, milestones, and files, among other things. The chat app is located at the bottom of the UI so you can launch a conversation without leaving the home feed.
Clarizen gives you everything you'll need in a PM tool, including the ability to add milestones, a Gantt chart view of a project's tasks, and reports of which tasks are on track and which ones are slipping. Clarizen also comes with an approvals system for timesheets and expenses, which can be directly tied to the applicable task or project. You can share views of almost any module, report, or dashboard with your team members, and, like Zoho, it's got a built-in chat app. Edge: Tie.
Zoho offers a healthy number of integrations with other services, such as Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive. It is also supported by Zapier, which connects more than 500 apps within one designated workflow. A huge benefit to working with it is its exhaustive collection of internal tools, such as Zoho Books, Zoho CRM, and Zoho Invoice. If your company has bought in whole-hog to the Zoho ecosystem, then you'll be able to cross-pollinate your data with absolute ease.
Clarizen's app marketplace is a treasure trove of software that the company and its customers have built to help you expand your PM solution. Extensions such as user analytics, lifecycle reporting, financial highlights, and a theme editor can be directly plugged in from this page. External integrations include plug-ins for Microsoft Excel, Salesforce, Active Directory (AD), and Atlassian Jira. The tool also features an open application programming interface (API) that lets you build any plug-in you'll ever need. Edge: Tie.
If you work for a large organization with a heavy PM workload, then you really can't go wrong with either of these platforms. Both tools offer excellent functionality, usable and intuitive UIs, and integrate well with a host of important internal and third-party apps. Unfortunately, Clarizen intentionally ignores the startup and small business marketplace; its lack of a free plan and its expensive starting price make it accessible to only the midmarket and large enterprises. If your business falls into the latter category, then I suggest you test both systems during their generous free trial periods. However, if your company is an up-and-comer or if your business is small and proud, then Zoho Projects should be your obvious first call. Recommendation: Zoho Projects.