Customer Story: How Mogl Built a Business and a Charity with Zoho

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Southern California based start-up Mogl gives cash back to consumers for eating out and has seen sales soar since incorporating Zoho products into their business. In addition they donate a portion of every customer transaction to charity.

Watch how Mogl uses Zoho CRM, Creator, and Reports to operate lean while experiencing rapid growth.

5 Things to Remember about your Company’s Mobile Marketing Strategy

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Technology is a great enabler. For me as a marketer, it’s fascinating how technology is changing the way we look at marketing, more so for mobile marketing. Mobile usage continues to grow across the globe. By 2017, mobile devices will make up 87 percent of the total sales of Internet-enabled technology. Right now, in 2015, more and more companies are beginning to realize the potential mobile marketing has to grow their business over the Internet.

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Salesforce Acquisition: Nobody Rings a Bell at the Top

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Yesterday rumors broke out that Salesforce is entertaining buyout offers and has hired investment bankers to consider “strategic options”. My first thought? What a great time to sell! My second thought: please don’t jinx it – not when someone is coming up on a $50-$60 billion payday at 10x forward sales. The P/E of course is incalculable since there is no E.

Nobody rings a bell at the top of the market. But we gotta admit – Marc Benioff is the best salesman in software the cloud, ever. Now, I am trying hard not to think of ​Steve Case and AOL and Time-Warner, because this time it ​will be different, of course.

In the past few weeks, BlackRock’s chief Larry Fink released a letter addressed to the CEOs of S&P 500 companies talking about the need for a long-term view. That may not be a good idea, because it is no fun to think about write-downs and kitchen-sink quarters. Only spoilsports talk about a hangover when the party is in full swing.

Consolidation

Consolidation is coming to the cloud; we at Zoho recognized that a long time ago. Our entire strategy has been dictated by our desire to stay independent (as I have explained before), even as consolidation alters the landscape around us.  Even CRM, a very significant industry just by itself, doesn’t make much sense as a stand-alone product. The proof is that Salesforce (hint: their stock ticker is still CRM) has been on an acquisition rampage over the past few years trying to complement its product portfolio and show growth by acquiring revenue.

But even with the more than $3 Billion spent on acquisitions in the past 3 years, and even with their market cap of $40 billion $50 billion dollars, Salesforce finds itself the target of a takeover.

Why do we expect consolidation? Simple – there are too many companies not making money. Why don’t they make money?​ Again, simple – they spend way too much on sales and marketing. Let’s consider a hypothetical combination of Box and Zendesk – both “Post-IPO Non-profits”  as we call them – you could cut the combined sales and marketing spend by half, and that may just be enough for them to turn a profit. That is the classic case for consolidation; a case that looks ​compelling on a spreadsheet – you know, the tool that Box actually doesn’t know how to build.

If only company cultures were modeled as cells in a spreadsheet, where people stay in their neat little boxes and hairy code-bases magically combine to produce beautiful children.

Take the case of Salesforce acquisitions for the past 3 years – here is the extensive list. How many of them have been integrated even at a single sign-on level, let alone at a product level? In fact, to solve that problem, Salesforce recently acquired a single sign-on company.

Winner’s Curse

​When you escape the jinx, there is still the curse – the winner’s curse. Most acquisitions fail and silently get written down or written off entirely – see for example, Zimbra’s acquisition by Yahoo. Salesforce has written down a bunch in the last few years, after overpaying by hundreds of millions of dollars – at least, the money didn’t come out of their profit!

Jinxes and curses? No, we don’t want these to befall our customers. Since consolidation is coming, if you are a customer of cloud companies, it’s time to get used to being traded around.

Except, of course, if you are a Zoho customer. With us, you will not underwrite any acquisition premiums or bloated sales and marketing costs. You will get a broad suite of deeply integrated products that helps you run your business on the cloud. Private and bootstrapped since our founding – we don’t answer to anyone but you. We never will. We aren’t going anywhere.

Sridhar

​Happy employees make for a happy company

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It’s a lovely Monday morning, but you are feeling gloomy as you enter your office, making a mental list of things that have to be done. You greet your colleagues, who are equally preoccupied, with a nod. Then one of your peers smiles at you, and you find yourself smiling back. That’s all it takes – a smile – to make you smile back and relax for a bit.

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A smile is also a great stress-buster, like laughter, and that’s one reason why you should smile in your office, especially if you are having a stressful day. It’s as important to be happy at your workplace as in your personal life and here’s why: Read more

5 Ways to Know a Company’s Work Culture (Without Asking)

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I’m surprised when my friends tell me they know nothing about the culture of a company they are about to join. ‘It pays well, and I like my job title. That’s all that matters.’ ​Does it, really? These are important factors, for sure, but if you can’t be happy where you work, you won’t stick around for long.

Happiness is subjective, of course. What makes me happy, may not matter to you. I feel happy when I am doing the kind of work that satisfies my creative needs, in a workplace where I can see myself learning and growing as a person and in my career. ​This is greatly influenced by the company’s culture.

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How can you determine what a company’s work culture is before taking the plunge and accepting the job offer?

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What I learned from working remotely with cross-cultural teams

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For about six years now, I’ve been working in a cross-cultural environment. Our teams are split across offices in India and the US, with the majority of our development efforts based out of India.

I work remotely out of New Delhi, whereas most of our India teams work from Chennai. To give you an idea of how far these two places are:

In this unique situation, I’ve had the opportunity to work with teams across different locations and time zones. These differences no longer come in the way of teamwork and collaboration. In fact, they ​help us evolve and adapt our own business apps to make this combination work – no matter where you are and what time zone you’re working in, you’re always connected and in sync with other people.

What could get in the way though, are cultural differences.

It’s usually good practice to mix people from different cultures. Everyone brings in their own cultural perspective to the table, and people get to learn from each other.

But it’s tricky for people from different cultures to work together, especially when they’re not all working at the same time, under the same roof.

Tricky, yes. Impossible, no.

Here are a few things that can make it possible: Read more