Introducing Zoho Docs for iPad

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Zoho Docs, our Online Document Management application is now available on iPad (

iTunes link
). The 2.0 version of the application is now a universal app that works on iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch. Similar to the iPhone version, the iPad app lets you view your documents, spreadsheets, presentations etc within the app.
We have also made a few enhancements to the iPhone version. The look is crisp with added support for Retina display. We have also added options to share files with different permissions within the app.
We do have several more enhancements planned. Keep watching this space!

WSJ: “India Graduates Millions But Too Few Are Fit to Hire” – Yes, But …..

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Wall Street Journal has a story India Graduates Millions But Too Few Are Fit to Hire. It reports the travails of the customer support firm 24/7 Customer:

 India projects an image of a nation churning out hundreds of thousands of students every year who are well educated, a looming threat to the better-paid middle-class workers of the West. Their abilities in math have been cited by President Barack Obama as a reason why the U.S. is facing competitive challenges.

Yet 24/7 Customer’s experience tells a very different story. Its increasing difficulty finding competent employees in India has forced the company to expand its search to the Philippines and Nicaragua. Most of its 8,000 employees are now based outside of India.

In the nation that made offshoring a household word, 24/7 finds itself so short of talent that it is having to offshore.

“With India’s population size, it should be so much easier to find employees,” says S. Nagarajan, founder of the company. “Instead, we’re scouring every nook and cranny.”

This issue is very familiar to us at Zoho, and I have blogged about this in How We Recruit: On Formal Credentials vs Experienced Based Education. Unlike most companies, we do not start out with the assumption that all of the colleges actually impart an education. That may sound overly harsh or pessimistic, but actually assuming that colleges do not impart an education is liberating, because then you keep your expectations very very low. You learn to devise recruitment and training systems that are tailored for this reality, rather than rely on the paper credentials doled out by various educational institutions. The path to profit in business is to a solve a problem, and I look at educating employees through experience as one of the entrepreneurial challenges to be faced head on, particularly in the context of a developing country like India.

More broadly, even in countries with a highly sophisticated and developed educational infrastructure like the US, much of the real education in highly skilled jobs, particularly in high technology, actually happen on the job. I remember my own experience as a freshly-minted PhD in Electrical Engineering from Princeton, being humbled by how much I had to learn on the job in Qualcomm before I became productive. Much of that learning came from people who were much less credentialed than I was, people who had the benefit of years of experience to guide me. I learned an important lesson on that first job that has stayed with me: never to value someone just based on their impressive paper qualifications. I believe I am not the first to discover this lesson on the job. If that is the case, why do companies rely on a college degree to such an extent in the US?

Ultimately, an impressive college credential from a good college serves to a prospective employer as an extended IQ test, a sort of legal signaling device. In the US, colleges are allowed to base their recruitment on SAT scores (essentially an IQ test), but employers could get in legal trouble if they were to conduct any such tests. So knowing that a college is rigorous in its admission standards is a way to signal prospective employers that the graduates from that college are already vetted. I believe that college credentials as a requirement for most jobs would vanish, if employers were allowed to perform the tests that colleges routinely require of their students.

In a country like India, where so many of the colleges are new, no such signaling mechanism operates right now. So a college degree is essentially worthless as a signaling device, as so many employers in India are finding out. Such being the case, why even rely on the college degree? Why don’t employers take the matter into their own hands, and start imparting training as part of their recruitment effort? Those questions are what led us to create our own training program, which we call Zoho University, to come into being. Today, over 10% of our employees have come from this program, and we expect this ratio to go up to 30% in the next few years, as we expand our program.

So I agree with the thrust of the WSJ article that most graduates coming out of India’s colleges (aka degree mills) are not fit to hire, but I contend that it is the employers that can and should solve the problem. Expecting anything else is a misreading of the actual ground reality of how education and skills are actually acquired. 

Zoho Meeting for Google Apps

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Following the success of

Zoho Reports
,

Discussions
 and

Wiki
 in Google Apps marketplace, we’re happy to present to you ”

Zoho Meeting for Google Apps
” this week. Zoho Meeting, the easiest way to host web meetings instantly, is now available in Google Apps marketplace.

With

Zoho Meeting
, you can meet with your team members, clients and partners from around the world. Not just for one-on-one meetings, you can also provide remote support and even have multiple participants for a meeting.

Zoho Meeting for Google Apps brings you:


  1. SSO

    : Install Zoho Meeting in your account and access the service from Google’s universal navigation bar.

  2. Users/Contacts

    : All users in your Google Apps domain can be invited to a meeting.

  3. Calendar

    : You can mark your Google Calendar with the meeting appointments that you set up using Zoho Meeting.

To understand more about Zoho Meeting for Google Apps, do take a look at the below video.

And this presentation –

We promised 5 more apps, one each week.

4 of them are in
 and 1 more to go. What’s it going to be next week? Take a guess :-)

Vana Workforce Intelligence Launched

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Vana Workforce
, a leading provider of on-demand human capital management solutions and a Zoho Partner, announced the launch of
Vana Workforce Intelligence last week. Built on top of Zoho Reports, Vana Workforce Intelligence represents a breakthrough in the marketplace as the first and only workforce analytic, planning, and reporting solution specifically designed for the needs of small and medium enterprises.

Vana Workforce Intelligence enables organization to have a complete and comprehensive view of your entire workforce to understand the impacts and cause across your organization, from workforce data to benefits, leave, payroll, recruitment, performance, succession, time, financials, sales performance and more. It includes over 80 role-based reports, dashboards and measures in every area of human capital and talent management to analyse the real impact of workforce decisions on business performance. It delivers dashboards for HR Executives, CEO, CFO, Line Managers and Sales Managers, providing them relevant insights for decision making.

Additionally, Vana Workforce Intelligence includes workforce trending and prediction with the ability to create snapshots of data to report and analyze on workforce trends over time and predict workforce future headcount and create workforce planning scenarios for supply and demand forecasts.

        

         

Check it out at
http://www.vanaworkforce.com/intelligence.

If you are an ISV/OEM looking for a reporting/BI partner, check out Zoho Reports’ white label option. You can build your own reporting/BI solution just like Vana.

[Case Study] Pepperstone Financial uses Zoho CRM API for Optimizing Lead Conversions

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“Pepperstone Financial uses the Insert API to integrate with Zoho CRM and has been very pleased with the results”, says Owen Kerr, Director of Pepperstone Financial.

The Zoho CRM API has proven useful to many of our customers – by helping them seamlessly integrate and transfer data between Zoho CRM and third-party applications. And when your CRM system is integrated with other business applications, managing customer information becomes a lot more simpler.

Here’s Pepperstone’s integration story.

Pepperstone Financial, an execution-only Forex brokerage firm, based in Melbourne, Australia, needed a way to reduce data entry and also automate their email marketing and lead tracking process…they found their answer in Zoho CRM.

Pepperstone’s IT team were looking at several CRM solutions including Salesforce, Sugar and Zoho.

Zoho was chosen hands down for its extensive features, pricing and API documentation.

How has

Zoho CRM
 helped Pepperstone?

Effectively this has saved us a great deal of time and energy in the processing of new customer applications.  This is priceless to such a fast growing company.

We have also used the Zoho autoresponders to completely automate the marketing follow-up process freeing up our sales team.

Read the complete case study

here
.

We always love to hear from our Customers. Have you integrated any of your applications with Zoho CRM?
Let us know!
Or, you can also connect with us on Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter.

Cash is King: Cash Flow Statement in Zoho Books

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Real physical cash is what keeps your business running. It helps you pay your employees, make prompt vendor payments, juggle your marketing budget, meet unforeseen emergency expenses etc.

Isn’t it surprising, nay, shocking then to find that many businesses don’t know how much cash they have in their kitty at a given moment of time? And, when accessing this information is difficult, taking adequate action when cash levels fall below a certain threshold isn’t easy either. That could upset the best laid plans of any business.

We wanted businesses regardless of their size, not to get caught unawares but to overcome such a situation. So the team behind Zoho Books, the makers of your favorite

online accounting software
, has come up with a nice

cash flow report
. This report pretty much summarizes everything that has to do with your cash & cash equivalent accounts like checking and savings accounts. It shows you how much cash you have at any given time interval – the money that is coming in due to your day-to-day activities like selling goods or services, the amount that you raised for financing and where you have invested your cash.

The cash flow report tells the ultimate truth. Unlike the ‘Balance Sheet’ or the ‘Profit & Loss Statement’, it remains largely unaffected by accounting idiosyncrasies. We encourage you to make use of 

this report
 and we believe it will help you excel in cash flow management. May your cash registers keep ringing.  Until next time …


Cash Flow Statement in ZohoBooks

We love to hear your views. Write in at support [at] zohobooks [dot] com or drop a comment right here. For latest updates, follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

Introducing ‘Zoho Discussions for Google Apps’

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The last 2 Tuesdays saw

Zoho Reports
 and 

Zoho Wiki
 debuting at the Google Apps Marketplace. The star of this week’s Google Apps Release is Zoho Discussions.

Zoho Discussions is about making decisions from discussions. The members of a community can share ideas, report problems & ask questions, in addition to other discussions from a single point. Zoho Discussions brings everything under one roof to engage the community. 

Last week, we’d introduced 

private communities in Zoho Discussions
. Now, we’re extending this enhancement to Google Apps users as well. With Zoho Discussions’ private community, organizations can bring people together and make decisions quite easily.

Here are the highlights of Zoho Discussions – Google Apps integration,


  • Single Sign-On (SSO)

    : Once Zoho Discussions is installed in your Google Apps domain, your users can start using it conveniently right from the universal navigation bar in Google Apps.


  • Add Google Apps Users

    : The members of Google Apps account will be automatically added as members of the associated Zoho Discussion Portal.


  • Attach Google Docs Documents

    : The users can directly attach a Google document while posting a new topic/response in Zoho Discussions.



  • iGoogle Gadget

    : We also have a Zoho Discussions gadget which can be embedded right inside iGoogle, Gmail or Google Sites. 

Take a quick look at the Zoho Show slideshow below for more details.

With popular clients like

jQuery
 having implemented it, Zoho Discussions is definitely the ace amongst discussion portals. Try it out and do let us know your feedback.