How businesses can benefit from Zoho

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Albert F. Case, Jr., at TechSpend makes some good points regarding businesses using web-based software. From his article,

I’ve read a lot about Google’s online spreadsheet and Zoho’s ZohoWriter and related products. I’ve also heard a lot of “Who needs it?” That attitude amazes me. During my “informal” survey of a few dozen Excel users I know exactly 0% used pivot tables and charts! Sure, I know people (like me) who do – but the reality is most don’t. Just like most people using Microsoft Office don’t do much more than write reports in Word, send Email in Outlook and do simple spreadsheets in Excel. Now, at $200 to $400 per person, how many thousands of dollars are spent for licenses of Microsoft Office in a company that has 1,000 or 2,000 or 5,000 PCs?

He goes on with how a web-based spreadsheet application (like Zoho Sheet) can help a company.

Think of the creative new applications of an online, sharable spreadsheet. A spreadsheet Wiki! The company home phone list can be instantly updated. Prospect lists can be shared. Budgets can be tinkered with in group fashion. I can think of hundreds of uses for this technology in the average corporation.

And, he has this to say about Zoho CRM :

Zoho has some paid applications as well – such as ZohoCRM. $12 per month per user! Whither goest Oracle/Siebel from here? This could be a real challenge to hosted CRM leader Salesforce.com.

Great thoughts, Albert! Like you, we believe more & more people have started realizing the endless possibilities that affordable (and often times free) web-based software like Zoho is creating for businesses around the world.

Zoho for lawyers

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Robert J. Ambrogi in the ‘Law Technology News‘ column at law.com has a nice article on how Web 2.0 can help lawyers. He writes,

Why use the Web as your platform instead of your desktop? For lawyers, the strongest reason is collaboration. Lawyers working jointly on a project — whether across town or across continents — derive enormous value from being able to work together in a platform- and location-neutral environment.

About the online Office suites, he has this to say :

Several companies now offer suites of office tools comparable to those you would buy for your desktop. They combine word processing, spreadsheets and graphical presentation applications.

One such suite is ThinkFree, which allows you to create Microsoft Office-compatible documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

Another, Zoho Office Suite, goes a step beyond ThinkFree. In addition to document, spreadsheet and presentation tools, it offers a “Virtual Office” of group e-mail, group and individual calendaring, document-sharing and instant messaging. Zoho’s word processor and other office tools are free. Its Virtual Office is free for up to 10 users, then priced starting at $295 a year.

Thanks, Robert!

Techlearning recommends Zoho Writer

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Barbara Bray in the PDQ (Professional Development QuickTips) column at techLEARNING writes about using Zoho Writer as a free web based word processor. From the article :

Have you ever worked on a computer that didn’t have a word processor? How about using a Web-based word processor? Zoho Writer’s “Online Word Processor” provides all the tools you need to write and Email your document to yourself or save it in your online document folder.

Zoho Writer not only lets you create your own documents but also allows you to share your document to collaborate with others. You give permission for your friends to read only or read and write on your document.

Thanks Barbara & techLEARNING!

Sales Presentation using Zoho Show

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Here is the sample sales presentation which embeds charts from Zoho Sheet & forms from Zoho Creator. Please fill your feedback in the form embedded in the presentation after seeing the presentation.

http://www.zohoshow.com/public/mani/Sales_Presentation
Steps followed ( Just 5 simple steps to follow ) :

1. Create chart using Zoho Sheet.
2. On mouse over in chart, you can see “Publish” option. Click on that to publish your chart.
3. A HTML code snippet will be given in the popup. Copy that HTML code snippet in Zoho Sheet
4. In Zoho Show slide, click on “Insert HTML” toolbar button ( <> ). In the popup, paste the HTML code snippet copied from Zoho Sheet.
5. Close the popup & you will see the chart embedded in your Presentation.

You can follow similar steps in Zoho Creator to embed the form in your presentation.

Try using Zoho Show for your next presentation & share your experience with us.

Zoho Writer recommended at the School Library Journal

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Chris Harris, in the August issue of the School Library Journal writes,

Save a document with your desktop word processor and there it sits. Sure, you can move it around using the Sneaker-Net on a USB flash drive or e-mail the document, but there are serious limitations. Save a document using Zoho Writer and it is available wherever you can access the Web. You can share the document with read-only or read/write permissions with a simple e-mail invitation. Or you can make the document public and allow anyone to read what you have written. The options don’t stop there; you can also automatically post it to a blog, export it to a PDF file, or even save it in the standard DOC format for use in Microsoft Word.

So the next time you are collaborating on a project with a teacher down the hall, a librarian across the district, or a national committee, why not try Zoho Writer? Or if your school discourages students from bringing documents from home to school on storage drives, why not introduce students to an online word processor?

The whole article is available here. Thanks, Chris!

Export Data: More Options. Useful Options.

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“I want to bookmark this view”
“I want to download the records too”
“I want to take away few records, less is good for me.”
“What if my view is private, can I still send a permalink to my friend?”

When someone gets so many varieties of questions for a particular feature. All one have to do is provide answers carefully and present them neatly on the screen. This will make feature evolve by itself into something more than a novelty.

This time in Zoho Creator, ‘Export Data’ was the luckiest feature to get such questions. We analyzed each user requirement carefully and started to enhance the feature. Our challenge was to present all the options in a simple n straight forward way. The end result is what you see here below.

Zoho Creator- Export Data

Its just the same easy to use interface which we had earlier, but with few useful options added.

More Export Options-
Apart from the existing export formats – Spreadsheet, HTML, PDF, CSV and TSV. You can see RSS Feed and JSON Feed added to the list.

Download or Get Public Link-
Now you got two options to export your data, either download in various formats or use ‘public link’ (permalink) for bookmarking.

I will just give you an example how useful ‘public link’ can be. If you want to export records as pdf and send it your friends. You might straightaway download the pdf document and send it, right? But what if new record gets added to the view sometime later? This will not get reflected in the copy you sent to your friend. So, in this case instead of downloading the data, you can make use of the ‘Public Link’ url. The view accessed through the ‘Public Link’ url will always be up-to-date.

Export only filtered and searched records.
You can export only few records which you have limited by searching or filtering, easily now. Whenever you have filtered/searched records in the view, Zoho Creator automatically provides you option to either download ‘All Records’ or ‘Filtered Records’.

Zoho Creator - Export Filtered/Searched Records

Get Permalinks for the Private View
When you have made your view as private and wanted to have a permalink. Just ‘Enable Private Permalinks’ to get a ‘Private Link’ for the respective export formats.

Export Data - Private permalink
Another useful mention is that you can disable this “private permalink’ anytime you want to. Zoho Creator generates different encrypted url each time you enable it.

Try them and share your thoughts with us.
~Roughic