Just In: Zoho Meeting HTML Viewer!

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Any online meeting or web meeting will be a painless experience only if joining the meeting is easy and simple. Zoho Meeting, our simple and secure online meeting provider, has made joining a meeting much simpler now, with our new HTML viewer. A viewer is a web page or plugin, with which one can join an online meeting. Zoho Meeting has been offering three viewers, based on Java, ActiveX and Flash for the participants so far. Our Flash-based viewer was developed to do away the installation. But again, it depends on the flash plugin. Hence, we started exploring the latest html technology to get rid of even such minimal dependencies. Thus, we created the new HTML viewer.

This new HTML viewer neither requires any installation nor is dependent on any plugin. Just a single click to join a meeting leads you to the viewer and within seconds you will be inside the meeting.

The HTML viewer is

  • secure, supports corporate proxies and firewalls as the data transmission happens entirely through web browser
  • robust and increases the screen refresh rate i.e., the speed of the desktop sharing
  • browser-friendly, as html talks in the browser’s native language, which is not the case with plugins.
  • user friendly, as participants can request control to the host desktop seamlessly.
  • supported by Google Chrome (1+), Mozilla Firefox (3.0+), Internet Explorer (9+), Safari (3+) and Opera (9.5+).

Do check out our Live Demo to see this viewer in action. Also, check the step-by-step guide to enable HTML viewer for your meeting participants.

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New: BugTracker Integrates with GitHub version control system

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The biggest challenge for every software developer is to get rid of the bugs. It’s not about coding, it’s about removing those weeds (the bugs) before they ruin the lawn (your software). This constant editing process is what makes a software great. For this, you need a bug tracker integrated with an efficient source control system to host your codes in one place and is accessible from anywhere.

Today we’re launching this extra piece of functionality: the

GitHub Integration
.


Here’s what you get:

With this new integration, you can link your GitHub repository in Zoho BugTracker using service hooks. Henceforth, codes checked-in in GitHub automatically gets displayed as

changesets

in BugTracker. Also, while commiting changes in GitHub for a specified bug ID will be linked to that particular bug in BugTracker.


Github
 is definitely one of the fast, efficient and distributed online web hosting sites you can find all over the internet. It takes less than a minute to push code up to GitHub and to start collaborating quickly with your team.

So, how do you get started? Easy! Here’s your link - GitHub Integration. You can also learn more at the GitHub User Guide.

You may wonder, whether it is reliable to host codes in the cloud. Well, managing your code, building and testing it in the cloud has clear advantages. Here’re our reasons :

  • Speed and faster time to market – get access to the infrastructure and tools quickly with minimal hassle

  • Easy to learn and set up – quickly learn to set up an online source repository within few hours

  • Reliable – keeps your code available, secure, and backed up. This way you’re less likely to lose your data.

  • Collaborative – distributed source control allows users to communicate directly without affecting the central server

We’re offering the Github integration for

Premium and Enterprise customers

for both monthly ($35 and $80 - Zoho Projects, $60 and $80 – Bug Tracker) and annual plans ($299 and $599) of Zoho BugTracker and Zoho Projects (Bugs Module). And of course for existing Value Pack 3 customers of Zoho Projects.

Here’s a short video explaining the Zoho BugTracker – GitHub integration.

Just login at

Zoho BugTracker
, connect with your GitHub repository, make commits, fork the code and of course fix bugs fast!

For latest product updates, join us at

Facebook
 |

Twitter
.

Automate your Sales Quotes with Socket App for Zoho CRM

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This is a guest post by Michael Walsh of Deversus Software Inc.

Socket, an

Online Quoting Software as a Service
 that recently launched to the public, now integrates seamlessly with Zoho CRM. Socket allows your employees and customers to share the same simple, automated quoting system to save time and receive more leads with automatically calculated, generated, and e-mailed PDF quotes.

Socket lets you easily create your own Items (products/services), specify their pricing, and bundle them together in Quote Forms, which represent what your quotes will contain. You can easily plug the Quote Forms you create directly into your own website to allow customers to build their own instant quotes. Once set up, Socket handles all of the heavy lifting in creating, e-mailing, and tracking your quotes.


Key features of Socket to Zoho CRM integration:

  • Accounts, Contacts, Potentials, and Cases are automatically pushed from Socket to Zoho CRM
  • Note is automatically created in Zoho CRM with a link to the PDF quote in Socket
  • Tracking of Stage History with standard value mapping (defaults to Proposal/Price Quote)
  • Potentials are automatically assigned to Zoho CRM users matching the e-mail address of the sales person in Socket

With the Zoho CRM integration, Accounts, Contacts, Potentials, and Cases are automatically created each time a quote is created in Socket. This means that every time one of your salespeople creates a quote in Socket, or a customer creates a quote via your website, the customer and quote information is automatically funnelled into Zoho CRM for you to keep track of.

Socket’s quoting software also integrates with payment gateways such as PayPal to give your customers the option to pay for their quote online.


Key benefits:

  • Reduce your time spent on the quoting process by 90%.
  • Use your existing Zoho CRM account to keep track of your sales leads. No channel interruptions.
  • Quotes are automatically calculated and generated, which eliminates human error and maintains consistency.
  • Receive more leads through your website with instant online quotes that customers create themselves.
  • Sell online using your own payment gateway.

You can try Socket for free for 30 days via the

Socket website
.

- Michael

Zoho Challenge: Export Questions from Question Bank

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Zoho Challenge users have this oft repeated query, “How do I export my questions from Zoho Challenge?” We have addressed this by introducing the “Export Questions from Question Bank” feature. Using this option, you can export all your questions as a CSV file and Zoho Challenge will send you an email, with the exported questions as an attachment. 





The above feature also solves the other requirement that Zoho Challenge users typically have – copying bulk questions from one question bank to another. For this, you can export your questions from one question bank and import them back into the other question bank.

Note:

  • Import/Export feature is available from the Standard plan.


  • You can import/export about 1,000 questions at a time. 
Try the new Export Question Bank feature in Zoho Challenge.

Learning how to get more out of your CRM system every week

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Dave_Monk_small

Dave Monk is the CEO of the IT consulting firm ArcSource. His company’s CRM system has evolved over time. First being completely in his head, to a homegrown system for tracking clients’ technical needs, to a full-blown CRM solution for current and prospective clients.

Business: ArcSource is a 12-year-old IT support and consulting business. They act as the IT department for a couple of hundred companies that are too small to have their own IT department.

The challenge: For five years Monk’s firm failed at managing new project opportunities or tracking customers throughout their life cycle. All they had done was build some homegrown stuff to track certain client information, such as technical specs, that were necessary for doing their job. After that, they had nothing.

“When we started everything was being tracked in my head. Which soon proved to be a non-scalable system,” Monk admitted.

How discovered Zoho: Prior to 2007, Monk didn’t even know there were tools to track sales prospects or there was a term CRM – Customer Relationship Management.

He initially implemented Salesforce in 2008, but switched to Zoho at the beginning of 2011. Monk did an exhaustive comparison of the features between Salesforce and Zoho, and came to the conclusion that the two were matched in terms of features. What they didn’t match on was cost. It was the reason Monk left Salesforce. The super high costs were far too prohibitive for him to get his whole staff to use it. Zoho CRM was about 1/5th to 1/6th the cost of Salesforce.

Monk wishes he had gone to Zoho sooner because now he’s getting more people using the CRM system in an intimate way. Because of the high price of Salesforce, he simply couldn’t afford to get everyone in his company using the product.

It wasn’t too hard to exit Salesforce and bring data over thanks to some templates provided by Zoho. Ultimately, Monk thought Zoho’s performance was much faster than Salesforce especially in the ability to edit records. With Zoho you don’t actually go into the edit mode for the whole record if you just want to make a simple change.

Unique use case of Zoho CRM: Monk takes full advantage of Zoho’s Marketing Campaigns feature which gives him the ability to track results from a specific marketing effort, such as direct mail pieces and email campaigns. For example, in one case he saw that he brought in more than $120,000 from a specific $1,000 direct mail campaign. Prior to using the Marketing Campaigns feature, he had no way to determine ROI.

Advice for others: An analysis of your current sales and marketing process or lack thereof will make it very clear as to what’s missing, said Monk. Putting into place a CRM solution like Zoho has made our business more productive in terms of tracking information, opportunities, and learning, in every possible way.

It’s a learning process though. Take it a day at a time, or a chunk at a time. It’s very easy to use from the get go and to continually use it, Monk explained.

“Don’t let the end goal of a mature product be the barrier to get in the door. Cause you’ll reap benefits from day one,” Monk advises, “Every small business can benefit from a CRM solution no matter what. We’re seeing new opportunities to use the software every week.”

Listen to Dave Monk’s complete interview here.

Dashboard: US Economic Indicators

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Articles about the state of the economy in the media invariably feature one or more graphs. Say how the GDP has fared over the last few quarters or how the inflation has been over the last few years. Various government agencies are involved in publishing these indicators. Sites like http://www.data.govhttp://www.bea.govhttp://www.census.gov etc publish lots of such data regularly. The difficulty here is that you might get overwhelmed with loads of data. You can get lost in searching for what you want across multiple sites. So we thought of putting some of the important indicators all at one place, as a Zoho Reports dashboard.

You can mouse over/click a bar or a point to see the underlying data. Let us know if you would like any other metric to be included in the above dashboard. The whole reporting database is available here.

Zoho Creator and The Playwrights’ Center – The Plot Thickens

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Premise:



 


The Playwrights’ Center focuses on both supporting playwrights and promoting new plays to theaters across the country. Significantly, they offer over $200,000 in fellowships to writers and theater artists each year. They also organize workshops where playwrights can get together with actors and directors to see their script at work, and manage several other programs that help playwrights get connected and build their careers. As they work closely with theaters, actors, directors, and writers, they have an advantage when it comes to advocating for artists and promoting them.




 




Flashback:



 


Way back in 1971, five playwrights were seeking professional assistance and support.

The Playwrights’ Center
 was founded by these five writers to help them secure productions of their plays, and later expanded to offer multiple forms of support and professional assistance. Since then, it has served as a launch-pad for numerous artists and currently serves over 1,100 member playwrights, making it one of the largest and most comprehensive play-writing centers in the country.


 




Lead:



 


Tom Borger is the Communications Associate there, who is responsible for social media coverage, as well as print and electronic communications. He was the person who set

Zoho Creator
 up for the Playwrights’ Center. He spoke to us about why and how they got started.


 




Action:

 

The Playwrights’ Center wanted to track the careers of writers who had benefited from their programs. Knowing where each of their playwrights’ plays had been produced, as well as what honors and awards that playwright had received, would help them promote and advocate for the playwright. The Playwrights’ Center also wanted to measure their own effectiveness. This data would go to funders and donors interested in the impact of the Center’s work.


The extensive documentation
was gratifying to have; there were so many examples, and the message
boards were full of other people’s experiences.



The problem was that they had theaters, productions, awards, and past development to track, in addition to playwrights. Also, a play would often have more than one playwright. When a play was selected, all artists associated with that play needed to be populated in the respective fields, and vice versa. Handling these complex branches of data on spreadsheets was the last thing they wanted to do because it led to multiple versions of the same data. So, Tom decided to build a new database using Zoho Creator.


Credits:


The very few times I ran into snags, I emailed support and heard back
really quickly. That was impressive because all that was for a user who
wasn’t even paying; I was doing all this on a free account.



Tom is now set for the next step; publicizing the applications on their website using a JSON feed. He also suggests that the number of specific scenarios addressed on our

community-forum
 should keep growing in order to guide new users. That, we will do.  


(And, personally, I loved using

Pixlr
for editing the images for this post!)