Microsoft’s Oxygen Supply Problem

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Zoho and Google both have offered free office suite for years, and today, Apple announced that their office suite will also be free across all Apple devices.

Given that Microsoft Office has long been the de-facto monopoly, none of our three companies have anything to lose in commoditizing the office suite market. That is the nice thing about facing a monopoly in an adjacent market – every player other than the monopoly would win if they get a non-zero share of a massively shrunk market. If the $20 billion market shrinks to $2 billion, we at Zoho would celebrate it, as long as we can hope to get a share of that shrunken market. In fact, competitors would win even if they don’t get any share of the shrunken market, because it denies the monopoly the ability to use its cash cow to dominate adjacent markets they do have an interest in.

That very same dynamic has played out in the operating system market already. The near-zero revenue share that competitors to Windows had meant that Google and Apple could give away their operating systems (which Apple also announced today!) and not have anything to lose. What Google achieves with the $0 ChromeOS license it charges OEMs (which costs Google exactly $0 in foregone operating system revenue) is that the OEM will now turn around and ask Microsoft for a $0 Windows license.

What OS X, iOS, Android and ChromeOS have collectively achieved is to drive Windows market share to under 25% of all client devices and yet, these alternative operating systems derive near zero revenue in and of themselves.

There is really not much Microsoft can do to fight back to stop the erosion of these core franchises. Their traditional weapons – closing the document format; tying the Office suite closer to Windows – none of these weapons work anymore. Today, for the first time in a couple of decades, Microsoft faces serious competition in Office, from competitors who, for their own reasons, all want to tear down the monopoly. Why do Apple or Google or Zoho all want to commoditize Microsoft Office? Each company has its own reason: Apple wants to add value to its world-class devices, Google wants to extend the reach of its web services, and for Zoho, the Office suite is one part of our broader work-oriented application suite. As I have argued above, underlying these different strategies is a more fundamental reason: why not tear down a market where we face a monopoly? Apple would want to stop Microsoft from being able to leverage the Office franchise and money into tablets and smart phones, Google would want to stop Microsoft from being able to pour money on Bing indefinitely and so on. Bill Gates would know what it means to “cut off the oxygen supply” – after all it was a phrase he invented while finishing off Netscape. Apple and Google recognize, just as we do at Zoho, that the $12+ billion in oxygen (aka operating income) that Microsoft Office contributes to the mothership is now extremely vulnerable.

The Windows and Office monopolies have massively incentivized the broader ecosystem to come up with business models that drive down the value of those core Microsoft franchises to near zero. This is the price Microsoft has paid with its profoundly anti-competitive tactics of the 90s – every single player in the ecosystem, from their once-slavishly-loyal OEMs to would-be competitors all want to see their market shrunk to zero. Microsoft has punished itself more than the Justice Department could ever have done.

Zoho BugTracker comes with a few goodies

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Any programmer worth their job knows that a source control system is crucial for their software development. Source control is something we all should do. But having a good source control system in place makes it easier for you to maintain the codes and avoid irreparable damages to your software program.

Needless to say what Version Control System (VCS) you use makes you feel it is your most reliable and safe system to store your codes.

Today we’re glad to launch the Bitbucket Integration with Zoho BugTracker. The new Bitbucket integration lets you host and manage your Git and Mercurial repositories, see source commits as changesets and link a particular BugId in Bitbucket right from within Zoho BugTracker.

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3 Tips to Make Sales Reps love (and use!) Your CRM

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Let’s face it. Most of your salespeople don’t like using a CRM system. They don’t like the manual data entry that’s involved to update it. They don’t like to spend endless hours doing reports. And most frequently, they complain about their CRM system not being user friendly. But as much as you can blame your CRM software, you can also blame the way it’s been setup, the way it’s been implemented and managed. So how can you make your CRM system friendlier and get your salespeople to embrace it?

Here are 3 tips that can help sales reps get things done better and faster:

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Know your Sales Funnel using Advanced Analytics

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When we published the Gain More Insight Into Sales With 3 Types of CRM Reports post, CRM user Wendy Wright wanted to know, “What % of leads were closed/won in the last month?” (i.e., how to know the total number of leads got, to those that finally got converted to sales)

This is where the Advanced Analytics Add-on for Zoho CRM, powered by Zoho Reports, comes in. It helps CRM users to slice and dice data, and get actionable insights.

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We’re Moving – Zoho California office gets a new address!

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Moving!

Our California office is moving to a new address:
Zoho Corporation
4141 Hacienda Drive
Pleasanton, CA 94588

During the move, there might be some disruption on our existing phone line (+1 925 924 9500) for the Pleasanton office.

Here’s an alternate number where you can reach us, just in case : +1 408 916 9876

Our toll-free support numbers will continue to work, without any disruption.

Have a great weekend!

Meet Zoho Recruit at Recruiting Trends Conference, Las Vegas!

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We are delighted to announce that Zoho Recruit will be exhibiting at the Recruiting Trends Conference, held at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas from 22-25 October 2013. We will be there on Thursday and Friday, the 24th & 25th of October 2013.

ZohoRecruitBlog

We will be available at Booth no.415; so feel free to drop by for a demo and to chat about how Zoho Recruit can fit your recruitment needs and give you a strategic advantage in today’s challenging economic environment.

The Recruiting Trends Conference is a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with industry leaders. Please visit Recruiting Trends Conference website here to know all about the conference and register your details.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Language no bar : Multilingual surveys now available in Zoho Survey

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A common concern for survey researchers is the response rates for their surveys. To bring in high response rates surveys have to reach the right audiences to accomplish this. The convenience of web based surveys and social networking sites can help you reach out to more participants and with the right audiences accessing your surveys, it brings in higher response rates. Zoho Survey’s new features are intelligently incorporated to enable survey creators to reach out to prospective participants easily.

Multilingual surveys

translate

With Zoho Survey’s auto-translate feature there is no need to worry about non-English speakers not participating in your surveys. Your surveys can now be translated in to more than 30 languages! The auto-translate feature converts the survey in the language you select with the help of Google Translate. Save time by creating a survey, use the translate feature and send out your surveys to non-English speaking populations too. With this feature all that your respondents have to do is choose the language in which they want to answer your survey. View Help.

Embed surveys on Facebook
It is always important to promote your online surveys to increase participation and with Zoho Survey you can now embed your surveys right on your Facebook page. Select a page to embed the survey on, making it visible to all the followers of the page. This makes your surveys easily accessible increasing the chances of your followers completing the surveys from Facebook. Reach out to more  people with this feature to get the valuable data that your are looking for.

Print and Export to PDF
If you want to go the traditional way and get your surveys on paper, it’s easy to export your surveys to PDF and print them out. You can hand printouts of the survey either for feedback, to review or answer your surveys if they do not have access to the internet.

Try out the new features in Zoho Survey and tell us what you think.