Archive for Zoho

Zoho Reaches 50 Million Business Users And Announces WorkDrive Document Management System

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2019 by itnerd

Zoho Corporation announced today that they’ve hit 50 million business users. This news comes at a time when Zoho is growing considerably. The company now has 10 data centers around the globe, which support more than 45 different applications that help businesses located in more than 180 countries. With the recent launch of Catalyst, Zoho continues to be a major player in the developer space as well, offering no-code, low-code, and pro-code applications. As more and more people around the world turn to Zoho for their business needs, the company is redoubling its efforts to provide the best, most unified platform, services, and applications in the industry.

With this in mind, Zoho has rearchitected its document management system from the ground up, optimizing it for teams and businesses. WorkDrive now provides the underlying document management across all Zoho business applications, allowing for unified search, single storage, contextual integration, as well as many other vertically integrated capabilities. Businesses seek to go beyond storage today and need enterprise-grade solutions in areas like multi-level security, compliance, and audit control. The unit of work is no longer the individual, but the team. Sharing and collaboration must be implicit in workflows and business processes, rather than be patched onto solutions that originated as consumer and single-person models. WorkDrive is integrated into the platform, services, and applications layers of the Zoho technology stack and incorporates capabilities like virus detection, encryption, image processing, and other AI tools in the proper business context.

Zoho is also announcing its revamped Workplace suite of productivity applications, which includes Cliq, Notebook, Connect, Writer, Sheet, Show, Showtime, Mail, Meeting, and WorkDrive. Among other new capabilities, Workplace now features an integrated app dashboard that houses customizable widgets that display information from each of the nine apps included in the suite. Here are some of the key features of WorkDrive and the revamped Workplace suite:

WorkDrive for Better Team Management and Collaboration

  • WorkDrive comes with a built-in Zoho Office suite (Writer, Sheet, and Show).
  • WorkDrive introduces Team Folders, a shared workplace with role-based member permissions for cross-team collaboration and storage.
  • WorkDrive deploys virus scanning, encryption, and WAN acceleration at the platform level, thereby strengthening all Zoho services and applications built on top of it.
  • WorkDrive introduces image, video, and document conversion services.
  • WorkDrive is integrated with Zia, Zoho’s AI assistant, providing unified search as well as OCR in applications such as Zoho Notebook.
  • WorkDrive provides administrators advanced analytics, data administration, and granular access controls.
  • WorkDrive has an advanced external file-sharing feature, allowing users to collaborate with external stakeholders while maintaining control of the files.
  • External users who have edit permission can add files to a shared folder or edit shared Zoho Office Suite files.
  • WorkDrive brings businesses advanced team management capabilities, allowing administrators to manage settings at the team and Team Folder levels.

A New Workplace for a New Workforce  

  • Zoho Sheet is integrated with Zia, Zoho’s AI assistant, giving customers automatic insight into their data, data cleansing, and even the ability to scan data tables within images and convert them into spreadsheets.
  • Zoho Cliq allows users to build bots, custom message actions, commands, and schedulers that connect with other workplace tools to centralize and consolidate data.
  • Zoho Writer gives business users the power to create documents with fillable fields. They can publish those documents as a web form to collect responses or generate merged documents (docx/PDF). Users can deliver the merged documents via email or send the filled document for signature.
  • Zoho ShowTime offers on-demand training with ticketing and course completion certificates, allowing trainers to reach customers across time zones and provide flexible learning.
  • Zoho Mail features email retention and eDiscovery whereby admins can retain organization-wide emails for a specified period and easily search across those retained emails and retrieve relevant information.
  • Zoho Notebook is enhanced by Zia, Zoho’s AI assistant. Users can employ the Ask Zia feature to save content to Notebook, search for notes, set reminders, and share notes with voice commands.
  • Zoho Meeting has added new moderator controls, including the ability to lock meetings, switch presenters, and mute or remove participants.

Pricing & Availability

WorkDrive is available starting at $2 per user/month. Zoho Workplace is available starting at $3 per user/month.

 

Canada Helps To Power Zoho To A Rapid Rate Of Adoption

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2019 by itnerd

Today, Zoho Corporation celebrates the strong adoption of its Zoho platform in Canada. The announcement was made at Zoho’s user conference, Zoholics Canada, which welcomed more than 400 customers across the country to Toronto for two days of keynotes, educational sessions, and 1:1 briefings with senior Zoho executives.

Zoho’s momentum is a result of Canadian companies rejecting the complex and expensive software platforms offered today in favour of Zoho One, the all-in-one, unified operating system that is designed from the ground up to run an entire organization—from sales and marketing to finance and HR to operations, and more. Since its launch two years ago, Zoho One has evolved to include over 45 applications with built-in services including AI, business intelligence, messaging, search, and more—all at the same cost to customers.

Globally, Zoho has surpassed 50 Million users in over 180 countries. Key Canadian highlights include:

  • 20,000 paid customers, and tens of thousands of customers on Zoho’s free-tier offering
  • 40% year-over-year revenue growth
  • 40% partner contribution to revenue in 2019
  • 46% partner year-over-year revenue growth
  • 100% year-over-year growth of Zoho One, Zoho’s fastest growing product in Canada
  • 100% year-over-year growth of Zoho One sold by channel partners

Zoho is the operating system for business—a single online platform capable of running an entire business. With 45+ apps in nearly every major business category, including sales, marketing, customer support, accounting and back office operations, and an array of productivity and collaboration tools, Zoho is one of the world’s most prolific software companies.

 

Zoho Opens Up Its Infrastructure and Launches Catalyst

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 17, 2019 by itnerd

Zoho Corporation, a global, privately held company that offers the most comprehensive suite of business software applications in the industry, today announced the release of Catalyst, the company’s visionary full-stack serverless platform for developers. Catalyst is a simple to use yet extremely powerful offering that allows developers to create and run microservices and applications. Catalyst gives developers access to the same underlying services and frameworks that power Zoho’s 45+ applications used by more than 45 million users around the world.

As a technology company, Zoho has built and vertically integrated all of the layers of its tech stack, from applications to app infrastructure to operating systems to network infrastructure all the way down to data centers. It has been a decades-long investment in technology, and now this reliable, scalable, and secure infrastructure—and all that it promises—is being opened up to developer.

Catalyst has already empowered developers to build services and applications, including a bug-filing bridge application, an app used to import users into a CRM, a microservice for lead distribution, a data-cleansing microservice, and more. Here are some of the key features of Catalyst:

Back-End as a Service

  • Catalyst provides scalable storage for both structured and unstructured data via easy-to-use relational databases and file stores.
  • Listeners enable developers to monitor Catalyst’s databases and file stores for changes in real time, while schedulers allow for the execution of functions at set-time intervals.

Function as a Service

  • Over the past 13 years, more than 26 million functions have been built and executed on Zoho’s infrastructure by more than 200,000 developers. The expertise we’ve gained in this time is today being exposed to developers as Function as a Service.
  • Powerful server-side functions can be created in Catalyst by developers in their preferred programming languages, including Java, Node.js, and Python.
  • In addition to using the services provided by Zoho, developers can build their own microservices by utilizing Catalyst’s functions and persistent data stores.

Microservices

  • Zoho is exposing some of the same functionality it uses to support its own apps and services as microservices in Catalyst. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and object detection are currently available, with more services such as anomaly detection and prediction analysis on the way.
  • In the coming months, Zoho will expose business-oriented services such as grammar and diction checking (powered by Zoho Writer) and document previews (powered by Zoho Docs). Zoho will expose more microservices through the platform.
  • Developers can use Catalyst to access other out-of-the-box services including sign-up and authentication, push notifications, search indexing, and emailing.

Tools By Developers, For Developers

  • Catalyst’s unified interface drives developer productivity by enabling them to access all necessary tools from a single location.
  • Catalyst provides web and mobile SDKs and APIs for developers to easily build serverless applications.
  • Catalyst provides powerful command-line tools that enable developers to build, test, and deploy.
  • Developers can simply create multiple sandbox environments to test their application before taking it to production.
  • Developers are able to host their web applications within Catalyst as well as manage distribution via built-in Mobile Device Management (MDM).
  • Catalyst comes with extensive performance monitoring and metrics for tracking usage in real time.

Pricing & Availability

Catalyst is available upon request at catalyst.zoho.com. As with all things Zoho, Catalyst will be priced aggressively.

 

Zoho One Offers Incredible Value With Process Automation, Telephony, Single Sign-On, and BlockChain Capabilities

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 12, 2019 by itnerd

Today Zoho unveiled the next generation of Zoho One, the operating system for businesses that is designed to run an entire organization—from sales and marketing, finance and HR, operations and business intelligence, and more—all on a unified technology platform. Zoho One now boasts a new business workflow management application, Orchestly, that lets customers effortlessly create, manage, and optimize their business processes through an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. In the two years since its launch, Zoho One has seen considerable growth and now serves more than 20,000 customers who make Zoho One the operating system for their business. With three new services added to the operating system, one new application tying together every corner of business operations, and several updates, Zoho One continues to pack unmatched value.

Approximately 25 percent of Zoho One customers use more than 25 applications on the platform and more than 50 percent utilize beyond 16 applications; This demonstrates that businesses are embracing the benefits of an all-in-one solution. Zoho One’s momentum is a product of a major shift in customer expectation and rejection of complexity in favor of easy-to-use, all-in-one platforms that deliver immense value. As Zoho One continues to grow with and for its customers, the platform is expanding, reimagining and redefining how technology platforms should be moving forward and setting the tone for the entire industry.

Zoho One launched with a suite of 35 distinct applications. Within two years, it has evolved into a powerful operating system for businesses with over 45 applications, along with several built-in services including AI, Business Intelligence, Messaging, Search, and more. Zoho One is today a customizable, extendable, and integratable platform all at the same cost to customers.

Bold New Operating-System Services

Communications

  • PhoneBridge, Zoho’s telephony platform, which integrates over 50 telephony vendors on one side and several Zoho applications on the other side, is now available within Zoho One.
  • PhoneBridge integration enables telephony in Zoho apps like CRM and Recruit. It allows customers to make calls from Zoho apps, and provides contextual information on incoming calls. Enabling PhoneBridge will give users context for all incoming calls from Zoho CRM, Zoho Recruit, Zoho Mail, and 20+ other apps.

Single Sign-on

  • The new Single Sign-On service from Zoho One allows customers to integrate any third-party applications onto their Zoho account. Zoho Single Sign-On now supports around 50 third-party applications and is growing day-to-day.
  • Not only does Single Sign-On make it more convenient to manage both Zoho and third-party applications, but because Zoho’s SSO works with third-party systems like active directory, it also makes it scalable for mid-to-large sized businesses.
  • Zoho One admins can now enforce YubiKey authentication as an added factor for increased security, on top of existing multi-factor authentications already supported.

App Management and Provisioning

  • Zoho One currently enables provisioning for all 45+ Zoho apps. This is now being extended to custom apps created through Zoho Creator as well as external apps available through Zoho Marketplace.
  • Zoho, third-party, custom, and SSO apps can be provisioned either individually to users or as groups conditionally provisioned with custom criteria.
  • Zoho One’s new Admin Panel with dashboards and reports allows admins to monitor user activity and app usage, enabling them to find and manage underutilized resources. Admins also get extensive reports on user management, sign-in activity, app usage, and account security.

Business Workflow Management

Orchestly

  • With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, Orchestly enables managers with no coding skills to define processes with little effort.
  • Using Orchestly, managers and administrators can automate and run their regular workflows, including cross-departmental workflows such as purchase approvals, content publishing, asset management, and onboarding.
  • In the case of onboarding a new employee, the recruitment, interview, offer submission, and onboarding is handled across the recruiting department, HR department, legal department, and whatever team the applicant is joining. Because so many departments and applications are involved in this process, Orchestly is able to cut across these various teams and applications to create comprehensive workflows and automate complex processes.
  • Onboarding a new employee involves multiple departments, each potentially with their own workflows. Orchestly is able to manage and automate a process that bridges each of those departments and their workflows.

Products and Services Innovations

Zoho Sign

  • The enhanced Zoho Sign now provides an additional level of verification for customers by adopting blockchain-based timestamping through Ethereum, the globally accepted, open-source platform.
  • Whenever a document is signed using Zoho Sign, an Ethereum transaction will happen in the background, to which the hash of the signed document will be added to the transaction notes.

All Levels of Support

  • Zoho One offers free Concierge service, where potential customers can consult with the Zoho team to better understand how Zoho One can help their business.
  • Additionally, Zoho is introducing Jumpstart for Zoho One, helping customers through their initial implementation. All Zoho One customers are provided support, out-of-the-box, but now enterprise customers can request premium support.

Zoho One is the operating system for business. It means more to a customer than just being a suite of 45+ applications. Zoho One is a platform—built on one technology stack—over which an entire business can be run. Zoho One breaks down departmental silos and helps drive smarter decision-making. It can be customized with powerful service options and it grows to fit each business’ needs and goals, leading to shorter time-to-value and overall success.

Pricing

Pricing for Zoho One is $30 per employee or $75 per users. In a world where vendors are nickel-and-diming customers, every new feature, service, and product mentioned in this press release is included in Zoho One for free.

Mastercard & Zoho Expand Access To Tools To Help Small Business Owners

Posted in Commentary with tags , on July 11, 2019 by itnerd

Mastercard today announced it is expanding its partnership with Zoho to bring small business owners around the world a comprehensive array of products and services to make running their enterprise easier, more efficient and more profitable.

Every business is on a quest to increase efficiency and productivity; for small business owners it can be a matter of survival. With Zoho’s platform, Mastercard is able to offer its small business customers access to a suite of marketing, accounting and CRM tools to automate and digitize time-intensive, paper-based processes. Scaling its existing partnership from India to the rest of the world, Mastercard and Zoho are enabling simpler business operations for SMBs globally.

In fact, small businesses account for nearly 50 percent of the world’s GDP and employ almost two thirds of the global workforce1. Through Mastercard’s financial institution and acquiring partners, small businesses will now have access to various solutions such as enterprise resource planning and finance software, customer relationship management, and marketing solutions, amongst others.

Zoho is a cloud-based platform accessible via website and app and can be delivered via API. Zoho’s technology stack is flexible, taking the heavy lift off the integration process and making bringing solutions to market faster. Mastercard and Zoho shared solutions will be available later this year.

You can also read my review of Zoho here.

 

Review: Zoho

Posted in Products with tags on July 1, 2019 by itnerd

When you think of CRM software that is based on a “software as a service” (or SAAS) model, one company comes to mind. And that is Salesforce. Now that makes sense as they’ve been around forever and pretty much own this market. But another company should pop to mind if you’re looking for CRM software that is on a SAAS model. That company is Zoho. I say that because Zoho offers pretty much everything that any business could need. Be it sales and marketing automation, customer support and a help desk, product configuration and reporting and customer analytics. Not to mention accounting and invoicing among others. But the key thing is that it’s aimed at small to medium business at a price that they can afford.

One thing that’s cool with Zoho is that you get a number of choices when it comes to what you can get for your business:

  • The free edition, which includes just 10 users, comes with sales leads, marketing, and customer support automation with reporting and forecasting tools. You can sign up for that here.
  • The Standard edition includes sales forecasting, customized dashboards, a document library, marketing campaigns, and the ability to send mass email. You are however limited to 100,000 records in terms of the size of the database.
  • The Professional edition includes email integration, social CRM, Google AdWords integration, inventory management, workflow automation, and role-based security, along with an unlimited number of database records.
  • The Enterprise edition adds territory management, custom modules and functions, time-based actions, custom related lists, and multiple currencies.
  • Ultimate takes the Enterprise version and carves out a space for just your business as well as having a handful of other feature for larger businesses.

You can find comparisons of the above tiers here and pricing can be found here.

There are two other tiers that are worth mentioning:

  • Zoho CRM Plus includes all of the features in the Enterprise edition, as well as email marketing, online customer surveys, visitor tracking, and advanced social media marketing and analytics. Pricing starts at $50 a month and you can sign up here here.
  • At the top of the food chain Zoho One. It’s a single license that provides access to every app in Zoho’s portfolio. You can find out pricing here.

A big plus with the Zoho product lineup is Mobile app support that is available across all plans, free and paid. The apps are available for iOS and Android, and even the Apple Watch and from my testing work very, very well. But for me, the thing that stands out are the deep integration of all the apps with each other. Everything is very well integrated and feels like they were built at the same time by the same team. I point that out because it’s main competitor Salesforce doesn’t, or at least no longer has that feel as it feels like certain aspects have been “bolted on” after the fact. A close second in terms of things that stand out is that you have so many features to work with, especially if you pick one of the upper packages. Most business will not utilize all the features that come with Zoho if they pick one of the upper packages, and that’s a good thing because it means that a business is unlikely to grow out of it. There is one other thing that I should point out because it iskind of unique. It is Zia which is Zoho’s AI that your customers can chat with. And because it is context aware, it is highly skilled at finding the right answers from say a knowledgeable of documents for example. But it doesn’t stop there, Zia is available in Zoho’s other apps such as Zoho Writer which is their word processing software so it can offer advice on your writing for example. There are no separate fees for enabling Zia, but some Zia abilities are only available in enterprise-level plans.

The final thing that stands out to me is the most important things that business care about. And that’s price. If you browse through their pricing and compare it to Salesforce, it’s an amazing value seeing as I have heard of companies who have hundreds of people using Salesforce paying as much as $2000 a license a year. This makes Zoho very compelling in my books and well worth a loo if you need CRM software in your business regardless of what size business it is.

Infographic: Research Reveals The Increasing Value Of Accountants For SMBs

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 6, 2019 by itnerd

SMB infographic-01

Source: Zoho