Bulk Question Import into Question Banks – Zoho Challenge

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It has been more than a month since we wrote about any thing new in Zoho Challenge. However, our friends and fans out there have made sure that it was not quiet on the media front. In the past 6 weeks, Zoho Challenge was covered in several blogs, newspapers and was also mentioned in

BBC’s WebScape
program and just yesterday at

Teacher Boot Camp
.  Not only that, in the period, the volume of users using Zoho Challenge has almost tripled – of course without any strain on the

service’s availability
Consistent with serious usage, we have received lot of feedback and feature requests from our users. We have been continuously adding power to Zoho Challenge and the precious feedback we received from users like you have helped us refine and fine tune the product significantly. Over the next few weeks, we will unveil each of these features and enhancements done to Zoho Challenge.
To begin with, we have answered the oft repeated query – “How do I import questions into question banks“? Zoho Challenge now supports a “bulk question import” feature. Using this feature, you can now import CSV or MS Excel (xls) files containing your questions directly into the question bank of your choice.

You can upload about 1,000 questions at a time. This feature is available in all our

paid plans
. Stay tuned to this space for more announcements.

Zoho Recruit integrates Zoho CRM: Managing candidates and clients in a single place

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Today we are pleased to announce the availability of Zoho Recruit’s integration with Zoho CRM. Most of Zoho Recruit customers are small recruiting agencies, where the recruiter might in fact be the “sales” guy too. With this integration, you can go from selling to doing what you love the most in no time. And for bigger customers where sales and recruiting are two different people, this helps facilitate the handover process.

Zoho CRM helps you identify and acquire your customers – from creating leads to converting them to business opportunities and finally to signing them – and getting paid!  Once the right Clients and Client contacts are identified for the organization, the recruitment process is handled by Zoho Recruit.

Before, you had to export your clients and client contacts from Zoho CRM into Zoho Recruit as a file and then import them into Zoho Recruit, and then repeat that every so often… which was no fun. Now, you can easily import them with just one click: Import from Zoho CRM. And that’s not all – you can also schedule a regular import so your Zoho Recruit data is always up to date with the latest clients and contacts. Maintaining a complete history of activities with notes relating to clients and client contacts in both Zoho CRM and Zoho Recruit just became dead-simple!

Zoho Recruit + Zoho CRM is available now – and it is completely free for those already using any plan of Zoho Recruit and any plan of Zoho CRM – including the FREE ones. Neat, isn’t it? And if you’re not already a Zoho CRM customer, you can start using it today (with your same Zoho Recruit username and password of course!) – it’s free for up to three users, so a lot of our customers will find it quite handy.

We hope you find Zoho CRM integration with Zoho Recruit helpful as you use Zoho Recruit.​ If you’ve got feedback on this, please share it with us be leaving a comment, or email us at support@zohorecruit.com.

Online Payment Gateway Usage Statistics

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Zoho’s tagline. As a corollary to this, the Zoho Invoice team is fanatical that small businesses invoice.online and get paid.online. When your invoicing software was released, it was integrated with PayPal and we quickly added Authorize.net and Google Checkout to our repertoire. With that, we completed the troika of payment gateways to provide our customers a complete online invoicing experience. It is over two years since our customers have been accepting electronic payments and it is time to introspect and to gain interesting insights into to which payment gateway most of our customers turn to. So let’s talk some real numbers.

Payment gateways – How they stack up against each other?

Unsurprisingly, PayPal leads the pack as it is well entrenched in the market  and in the last one year we saw a lot of small businesses outside the United States where it is the only option available using Zoho Invoice. Furthermore, PayPal standard (their only offering we support currently) is pretty easy to setup. Arguably, PayPal has played the role of an anchor tenant here. However, viewing this infographic in binary (one gateway wins, everyone else loses) would smack of short sightedness. We have observed a similar pattern of growth for payments via all three gateways and customers have shared similar experiences  across the spectrum. 

Let me add a caveat. The above statistics should not influence your decision to choose a payment gateway. There are factors beyond mere popularity like the location of your business, your average and median invoice amount, the number of invoices, etc. that should be considered before zeroing on a payment gateway. We will throw light on all these and more in forthcoming posts.

That is pretty much what we have for now. T
his is just a teaser and watch this space for more posts where we demystify online payments, share some interesting trends accompanied by evidential reports and of course help you choose the best way to get paid. 

Until then, Happy Invoicing :)

Invoice Template Gallery

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little marketing trick many small businesses often forget….. Invoices!
Your invoices are the most effective marketing ideas and they are
proven to actually work. Invoices are repeated point of contact with
your customers, so up selling becomes easy because your customers are
already happy with you and they may fancy the idea of buying from you
again. Your invoice ought to be enthralling in its appearance,
engaging in its content and credible in terms of  figures.

Zoho Invoice

can do all of that for you.

Free Invoice Template
to you for the very first time, a

template gallery for contemporary
templates within your Zoho Invoice account.  Now you won’t need to look
any further for some cool template designs. We have them

classified, chiseled out and ready to use.

kept the gallery simple for starters. We picked up a classic invoice
template, tossed in some chic background, splashed in some colors and
gave it a stroke of “Good Luck” with our wand and Voila! we had three
contemporary templates – each of a different style. One of them classy
, another a beautiful pastel and the other a retro silhouette.

do plan to spoil you for choices very soon with a host of interesting
additions. So take a plunge into our template gallery and come out with
a template of your choice.

Visit the gallery now!

Until we spin out something from our magic weave,

happy invoicing

Easy Ways to Kill Spam in Your Online Community

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In our earlier blog posts, we spoke about various features that help in
tailoring your online community for a better user engagement and
branding. Once you popularize your forum, the first thing that hits you
is spam. If not effectively prevented, unwanted comments and irrelevant
responses can drive users away and suck your time up. Zoho Discussions
has powerful spam detection and moderation features that we will explore
in this blog post.

Spam Engine: To stop spamming right at the door, Zoho Discussions has a built-in spam
engine, which automatically detects and stops most of the irrelevant
content. This content is labeled and pushed to a moderation queue where
designated forum and portal moderators can approve or reject these
Captcha: Another form of
spamming is repetitive posting of valid content. Zoho Discussions
provides a way to cut this down by adding captcha option for guest
posts. For those, who are new to this term, CAPTCHA is an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”.
When a guest (non-registered user) is trying to post a topic, he/she
will be allowed to publish only two posts and for the third, the user
will be provided with a captcha option, which they need to fill-in
before publishing the topic.
Community Flagging: Keeping the
community area clean from spam is not only a moderator’s job. The entire
community can pitch in too! Registered members can flag a topic or
response as inappropriate and send it to the moderation queue. An
administrator or moderator can then choose to approve the flagged posts
or delete them from the discussions board with one click.
Exhaustive Moderation Panel:  To
make your online community easy to maintain, it is important to provide
your moderators with the necessary tools allowing them to moderate
quickly and efficiently. Zoho Discussions makes this easy with an
exhaustive moderation panel where topics and responses that require
moderators’ approval are displayed. Now, as a moderator you may approve
or delete the posts by checking its content.
Block Users: Other than managing
topics, it is also important to protect your discussions board from
unwanted users. With Zoho Discussions, you can block abusive users from
posting topics and responses so that they will no longer be able to
interact with you and other members of your online community. You can
then unblock them as and when required.
Post and User Moderation: Apart from these, Zoho Discussions also offers
fine grained control by allowing you to moderate individual topics and
users. When you use these techniques then all posts and responses posted
by the moderated user or on the moderated topic will require additional
approval by a moderator before getting published.

In addition to forum and user moderation, Zoho Discussions provides
you with topic management tools – like the ability to edit, delete,
lock, unlock, moderate and move posts. Thus Zoho Discussions gives you
complete control over the posts, users and forums and helping you
make your end user experience more productive. You can also read more about the moderation options here.

Subscribe to Zoho Discussions today and set up a spam-free online community for your business.

Happy Discussing!

Reporting & Task Scheduling – Now live at Zoho Creator

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Our users trust their business with us – some of their critical data is taken care of by our software and we understand the seriousness. So it’s only logical that we take good care of them, their needs and requests. It’s always two way ain’t it? Rolling out some stunning new additions to our long list of boast worthy features at regular intervals, is one way to make sure this goodwill stays around. Today, we are delighted to unveil, the latest enhancements that have been added to your favorite online database software. Some new features, some integrations, some tiny alterations that you may have missed. Here is a quick run through on what’s new at Zoho Creator. 

Zoho Creator Reports:

Piling up data just doesn’t make any sense. Representing your data visually using charts and then trying to understand them is a lot easier than just staring at rows and rows of data. Generate stunning reports, charts and pivot tables from the data that you’ve so painstakingly accumulated.. and lo and behold! The fruits of your labor are surely sweet and yeah colorful and informative too. Try out Zoho Creator Reports, where we have integrated our Reporting tool – Zoho Reports and added sanity to the mayhem of the heaps of data.

Not only can you collect data using the detailed forms that you have created, you can now transform the data into meaningful charts. It’s not longer like trying to find a needle in a haystack.. Whip up reports to suit your exact need with just the data you need. You can share the reports.. embed them in your website and do a lot more with them. Give it  a try.. 

You can learn more about Zoho Creator Reports from our

Reports page

. As always, the tech specs

are here


Zoho Creator Scheduler:

Missing an appointment or a pay by date can become increasingly frustrating over a period of time. Here is a magic wand that’s going to make your life a lot easier, than it is at the moment. The Scheduler at Zoho Creator helps you schedule tasks to be executed at specific times for exactly the period of time that you want them to, with absolutely no intervention from you!  So write the logic, save it and forget it. The tasks will be executed as and when it’s time for them to fire! 

It is like programming Roger Federer to win 20 Grand Slams on the trot and then take rest and make way for younger and nosier guns to take over. Choose from 3 different types of schedules and run berserk with joy when you realize those pesky tasks that you kept forgetting are no longer a problem.

The Scheduler page

will give you more insight into the actual feature itself and then there is

our help page

to assist you with putting one in place.

Apart from announcing these shiny new features, we thought it might be a good idea to give you a heads up on a couple of other awesome additions to the Zoho Creator repertoire that were added recently.

Zoho CRM Integration: 

A first cut of the long requested and much eagerly awaited integration is now here.. Access your CRM contacts right from your custom application in Zoho Creator.. Or go ahead and create new contacts in CRM from Zoho Creator. We’ve introduced 2 new tasks in Deluge Script for this very purpose.. More details on it



Zoho Invoice Integration:

The CRM integration milestone was closely followed by the Zoho Invoice nexus, there by adding yet another novelty to our wonderful service. You can create drafts and invoices at Zoho Invoice using the Deluge tasks created for this very purpose. Read more about this step



That is quite a lot of punch to pack in a single post. Our efforts to please our loyal users will continue and will only get bigger and better from here .. Play around with these new features and let us know what you think of them..