Multiple Zoho Products Win the Trust of Secure Link Services

Posted by Posted on by
1

We are quite excited to present Mr. Julian Weber, Managing Director of the software development firm –

Secure Link Services Ltd
. In this post, he shares his experience about how Zoho became his go-to software vendor for ALL his business needs.


A little about Secure Link Services

Secure Link Services is a software development firm with offices in Zurich, Switzerland and Dhaka, Bangladesh. Launched in December 2010, we currently have 15 full time employees and extend our team with more than 10 contractors, partners and other third-party collaborators. Our mission is to deliver superior quality, speed and reliability in software development, and we intend to set market-leading standards in the globalized markets of information technology.


Secure Link Services’ Challenge

When we chose the software to underpin our operations, we had to take a number of factors into account. First, we considered price and usability. We are a startup company, so our administrative requirements are limited to the industry standard and every franc, taka and dollar counts. Another related consideration was, whether to buy the applications and run them on our own or whether to rent the applications and let someone else run them in a software-as-a-service model.

In addition to price, the other factors included 1) how to best support employees in Switzerland and Bangladesh, many of whom are constantly traveling and 2) how responsive vendors are to customer support issues, including fixing and upgrading their software.


Zoho Solution

The first Zoho application we used was


Zoho Projects
.

For two and a half years, I had been using Basecamp, but it was expensive and I didn’t like the UI. So I switched to Zoho Projects and found it to be one of the greatest tools for both admin projects and engineering related ones. My initial experience with Zoho encouraged us to adopt Zoho applications for other administrative purposes, and today we use Zoho Books, Zoho CRM and Zoho People as well as Zoho Projects.

Zoho Projects – As a startup, we had to create a lot of operating documents from scratch – our code of conduct, employee manuals, things of that nature. So within Zoho Projects, we created a project for each document and assigned tasks to the administrative teams. This way, we were able to report on the progress of each document, track who was doing what, and identify and address any problem areas. We do the same thing to maintain the code and content of our website, write a brochure, and perform just about any other administrative task. We even use Zoho Projects to manage marketing campaigns that go beyond the scope of Zoho CRM in terms of detailed planning, execution and management.








Zoho CRM

I  had been using Salesforce in another organization before, but Zoho CRM seems to be more flexible and definitely is more affordable. What you find in Zoho CRM is almost the same functionality as in Salesforce and it follows the Dominant Design in the CRM market.

Right now, we use contacts, accounts and leads exclusively, but we have assessed various other functionalities which we will soon use, as our marketing activities grow.



Zoho Books

This is really outstanding. We evaluated a number of online accounting applications in addition to Zoho Books, but we really like the processes behind Zoho Books. It’s very easy to use, very intuitive, e.g., the “Money In” and “Money Out” tabs in the UI.

The usability from complex bank transactions, creditcard handling to automated invoicing and estimating is really strong. We also like the support of multiple currencies in Zoho Books, and the customizable document templates are nice. Additionally, the reports give us a clear picture of our finances, taxes, and our business overall.


Zoho People
 
– We use Zoho People to keep track of information on our employees and
our third-party contractors. For employees, we track details related to
demographics, employment history, performance assessment, salary data,
emergency contacts, and other information. And we use Zoho People to
provide monthly salary, allowance and expense reports. We fully
customized Zoho People by adding our own approval workflows and custom
fields so we can adapt to the conditions of the Bangladeshi
jurisdiction.


Zoho’s Impact

The decision to work in the cloud with Zoho was initially motivated by cost and accessibility. But over time, working online with Zoho has proven to be a superior, long-term approach for us. In addition to the savings advantage, Zoho gives us software that’s easy to use and, if we want to modify it, easy to customize. The applications are updated constantly, not every year or couple of years. And as we grow, all we have to do is create an account for new employees, and they have access to the full Zoho suite.

Another area in which we are seeing a big impact is administrative efficiencies. Here, Zoho Books and Zoho People stand out most significantly.

By using Zoho Books, we save roughly 40 percent of a full-time employee. We’ve basically cut our accounting time in half, particularly the time it took to track expenses, receipts and other records. Likewise, Zoho People saves another 25 percent of a full-time employee, largely because of its self-service aspect.




If you too would like to share your Zoho success story,


connect with us on

Facebook
 and

Twitter
.




Just in: Recurring Expenses in Zoho Invoice & Zoho Books

Posted by Posted on by
11

In our most recent update we moved in “Recurring Expenses”, into your go-to invoicing software Zoho Invoice and your ever-so reliable accounting
software Zoho Books. With this addition, you can save yourself from the
hassle of recording recurring expenses over and over again. Read on as
we give you a heads up on this useful feature.

Every business
would incur basic recurring expenses on a monthly basis like expenses on
rentals, commuting charges, office maintenance charges, your Zoho Invoice and Zoho Books subscriptions, etc. This is going to be a whiff of fresh air for those of you who have been recording these periodical expenses.
Simply set up a recurring expense and the expense will automatically be
created after the specified period of time. The period of time could be
days, weeks, month or even years. In addition to this, while setting up
the expense you can categorize the type of expenses; select if the
expense is to be incurred forever or if it would end after a specific
date; mark it as billable; if marked billable you can even select the
customer who is to be associated with the expense.

You can skim through our help section for more information on working with recurring expenses.

We
are going to sign off and let you try this feature. But we won’t be
away for too long. We will be back soon with a very interesting addition
to talk about. Until then, enjoy accounting and invoicing with Zoho.

Cloudcamper picks Zoho Projects for Cloud based Collaboration

Posted by Posted on by
1


Cloudcamper
 provides cloud computing solutions and online software to small and medium business as well as to divisions within larger enterprises. The company is a reseller for both Zoho and Google Apps. Cloudcamper has its main office in Oostende, Belgium as well as five remote offices, each staffed by one of the company’s five partners.


The distributed nature of Cloudcamper skill sets, mirrors the distributed nature of the company’s work force. However, when a client needs a cloud solution that requires the talents of several Cloudcamper partners, the company has to act as a single, unified organization.

To that end, the company needed a way to coordinate the activities of its partners and its contract developers working on any given client project.

 The Zoho Solution
 For Cloudcamper, Zoho Projects provides cloud-based collaboration that supports the company’s structure and work style.

“If we didn’t use

Zoho Projects
, our job would be hard. We’d have to use
a shared spreadsheet or something to get an overview of all our
projects,” says Philip Debaere, managing partner at Cloudcamper. “Now, we open Zoho Projects and in one view, we
see all our open projects and their status. And the integration of the
other Zoho applications means that, for instance, I can send a project
to a customer in Zoho CRM and pull an invoice from Zoho Projects in Zoho
Invoice. Those features are really strong and well executed.”

Cloudcamper relies on Zoho Projects to track the time, partners and contract developers spend on tasks. Debaere and his partners review these time logs to calculate the profitability of projects and to uncover problems in project delivery. The information may be used to adjust prices to more accurately reflect time investments.

The Zoho Projects Gmail Contextual Gadget keeps Cloudcamper users in their Gmail user interface but lets them create a project, transform an email into an actionable task, assign tasks, and more.


Read more
 on how Cloudcamper benefited from using Zoho Projects.


Want to add Zoho Projects to your Google Apps? Click the button below.


Receive Partial Payments Online

Posted by Posted on by
11

Peep into your Zoho Invoice or Zoho Books account and you’ll spot our
brand new addition, “Online Partial Payments”. Earlier, we had the option
to record partial payments manually for invoices, we’ve extended that further to
online payments as well.

Most often in businesses, by mutual
consent from both the seller and the buyer, the payment is accepted in
installments. If your business works this way, then you have some real
good news here. To keep up with your customers’ installment payments could be
rather difficult. With the introduction of partial payments, this issue would never resurface again.

Send an invoice out to the
customer, choose the option to let the customer make partial payments
for that invoice. As the customer pays, the amount due for the
invoice is deducted and closed eventually; when the customer pays up the
entire amount due for that invoice.

Get to know more about this feature from our help section.

Enjoy receiving payments, while we get back with another feature to rant about. Until then enjoy invoicing and accounting with us. Follow us on Twitter for quick updates.

Just Launched: Zoho BugTracker (with GitHub Integration!)

Posted by Posted on by
3
About a year ago we added bug tracking functionality to Zoho Projects to help software teams easily submit, track and fix bugs. 

Fast forward to now, and we’re pretty happy with the uptake it has gotten among customers. Many people have tried it, used it and purchased it. Many people also shared with us their feedback and how we could better tailor it to meet their needs. We were frequently asked to have bug tracking as a separate, stand-alone product, decoupled from the rest of Zoho Projects – and to make it even more affordable.

So we took those requests to heart and today we’re launching Zoho BugTracker, a standalone product that helps teams fix bugs fast.
Zoho BugTracker has all of the now-familiar features. For example, it makes submitting a bug report dead-simple. You can even attach screenshots or documents of the offending behavior for the team to analyze. BugTracker also allows teams to easily organize bugs and automatically change severity, priority or other data based on certain rules. And all of that is customizable to fit what you want to track.

Teams can keep tabs on the bugs and their progress. Reports and dashboards make it easy for team members to focus on what’s important for them. And just like in Zoho Projects, Zoho BugTracker displays the stream of the most recent activities and progress in the team.

But that’s not all. With this latest update, we’re also adding one very cool thing: GitHub integration. With it, you can link a GitHub repository to your Zoho BugTracker space. Code checked-in in Github, will be displayed as a changeset in BugTracker. If, while commiting the changes in Github you specified a bug ID, it will also be linked to that particular bug in your database. The GitHub integration should be up in about a week.
Express edition for Bug Tracker starts at $40 per month for an unlimited number of users. Includes submitting bugs through email, customer workflows, notifications, custom views and much more. You can upgrade to other plans to get business rules, custom fields and other very nice features. 
You can signup and start using Zoho BugTracker today at: www.zoho.com/bugtracker. Here’s to fixing bugs fast!

Zoho Recruit features Custom View and Bulk Update

Posted by Posted on by
2
At Zoho Recruit, over the last few weeks we’ve been working on two new features – Custom View and Bulk Update. Today we are happy to announce the availability of both these features.

Custom View

Zoho Recruit’s Custom View helps you to filter data with multiple criteria and save it for future reference. For instance, lets assume these two scenarios that you often get requirements from your clients/department heads:

1. Candidates who are located in Newyork with 5 years of experience with Java
2. Candidates Age (no:of:days since the candidate is created/updated in Zoho Recruit)

In such cases, instead of keying in the details everytime into the Advanced search, you can quickly create a custom view by specifying these criteria, which will list all the related candidates. The custom view that is created is automatically saved, so you can quickly refer to it whenever required. And not only that, the custom view content is automatically updated each time when you open to find the details.

 


Zoho Recruit allows you to create multiple custom views, providing the edit, delete and clone options along with it. 
Let’s also take a look at the other options available in Custom View:

Displaying Custom Views
You can choose to display each custom view either in Gird or Summary with the required fields.

Specifying Criteria
Zoho Recruit allows you to create custom views with multiple criteria by specifying the field name, condition and value. You can also define the criteria using the AND OR combinations. The Criteria pattern helps you get a glimpse of the custom view result for the defined criteria.

Sharing Custom Views
Zoho Recruit provides three different custom view sharing options, which helps you to define the users accessibility. 
  1. Allow all users to access the custom view 
  2. Keep the custom view private to yourself
  3. Share the Custom view to users individually or based on the roles 

Bulk Update

The bulk update feature enables you to simultaneously update information to a group of candidates, job openings, clients and client contacts. 


For example, lets say you want to associate multiple tags for a group of candidates. To perform this action, previously you had to associate only one tag at a time for a group of candidates, but now with bulk update you can associate multiple tags for a selected group of candidates in one go. 


Apart from this you can also perform the Bulk Update action for 
  • Publishing and un-publishing job openings
  • Changing clients primary contact
  • Removal of tags
  • Changing the owner
  • Changing the candidate source and many more.  

Try these new features and let us know what you think!

Accounting for Bad Debts

Posted by Posted on by
9

In any business, customer is king. When an invoice
is sent out to our customers, we always predict that the customer is
going to pay us back. There are times when we know that the payment
isn’t going to come through, like when the customer goes out of
business or has a rough patch.
It is a good practice to write off the amount due, when it is unlikely that customer is going to pay us back. Hence, we included “Write Off” to Zoho Books and Zoho Invoice recently. 

The
process behind writing off an invoice is simple. Let’s see how this
works with an example. Consider that Mark, your customer has an
outstanding balance of $500 from a single invoice. Mark has gone out of
business and he’s told you he wouldn’t be able to pay up. Your reports
keep including the balance due from Mark on all important reports.


Now
all you do is simply go to the “Invoice Details” page and click the
Write Off option. Once the invoice is written off, the balance due for
Mark shows up as $0 and your reports give you the actual figures.
Besides this, when
an invoice is written off, the amount is
recorded as an expense. Hence your profit and loss figures are accurate
and you wouldn’t need to go through the rigmarole of transferring
balances etc
.



In Zoho Books, the amount written off from an invoice is added on to the Bad Debts account.

This
is a neat little way to deal with bad debts, which we hope our customers must seldom use.
We will be back with loads of product updates in the coming weeks.
Until then, keep up with what’s cooking with us via Twitter and
Facebook. We are quite the social junkies these days.