Sridhar gets interviewed by ‘The Hindu’

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‘The Hindu’, India’s National Newspaper interviewed Sridhar, our CEO. From the interview:

It’s the classic David versus Goliath battle being played out in the 21st century. And it’s no surprise that this battle is being fought on the Web. We are talking of the great race between Web behemoth Google and Zoho, the Chennai-based underdog, to launch a suite of online office apps.

However, Sridhar Vembu, CEO of AdventNet, the company behind Zoho services, doesn’t see it as an all-out battle. “That would imply that there can be only one winner, which I don’t agree with. Business is not like sports in that respect. It is perfectly possible to have a profitable, growing business without ‘winning’ the market in the sense of being number one”

Zoho is part of a new wind blowing across the tech landscape – it’s called software-as-a-service (SaaS). “I believe Web services represent the future of software. There are huge productivity benefits to individuals and businesses in SaaS, which is why it will take off.”

Won’t companies and individuals be worried about privacy and safety issues when it comes to allowing all their sensitive data to be in the hands of a third party provider? “On the contrary, there is nothing more unsafe than critical corporate data being stored in laptops. While there is no such thing as perfect safety, your data is much safer in a professionally managed datacenter than in a relatively poorly managed end-user PC or laptop.”

Does the engineer in him cheer the “less is more” philosophy being practiced by startups that believe software should not do too much? “Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler. For 50 years, all you could do with a phone is to make a call, but now people expect a digital camera, music player and more in their phones.”

“The designer faces the challenging task of integrating all these features in one device, of balancing the need for features against the need to keep the product simple. It is a question of striking the right balance, and that balance itself keeps evolving over time, as customer needs and fashions change.”

Read the whole interview. Thanks to Murali, Ramesh & ‘The Hindu’!

Zoho Projects Update : Additional responsibility for Managers & more

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A limited functionality in Zoho Projects that many of our users have been pointing out : Only the Administrator (the one who sets up the Zoho Projects account) can add new Projects. With the latest update, Managers can add projects too.

The ‘My Home’ page of Zoho Projects added a few niceties. The Administrator and the Managers can now view it based on any other user (to get a bird’s eye view of what an Employee’s project calendar looks like). Task notes can be seen on mouse-over of the ‘Notes’ icon and the task timer can now be updated from the ‘My Home’ page itself.

A task can now be easily copied (upto 6 copies). Documents uploaded can be seen in a list view or a thumbnail view. And the images can be previewed before downloading. Recent forum comments have been made viewable at the right panel of the forums page. Search on files uploaded can now be performed based on tags as well as file extensions (eg., typing .doc will get you all .doc files)

The new features as a Zoho Show slide show above.

Single Sign-off in Zoho

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Today, we have changed the logout behavior of Zoho.

Previously, users logged in to more than one service, have to do logout from each service individually. Clicking the logout link in a service will only close that service’s session and will pose the user with links to logout from other logged-in services. This was to avoid users from getting logged-out from other logged-in services. However, this may lead to a security hole for users sharing desktops (like say, browsing centers, test labs etc).  To overcome this, logging out from a single Zoho service will logout the user from “all” the logged-in services from now on.

Due to this change :

1) Before logging out from a service, user has to ensure that there is no unsaved information in any other services (kept open in other browser sessions).
2) If a user wants to logout from only one service, he can just close that browser tab and continue using other services.

Formatting options in Zoho Planner

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Zoho Planner offers some formatting options. You can put these options to good use while making your To-Dos lists and Notes. Say for example, you can use Bold text for highlighting a particular To Do to convey that it is more important to you than others.

The help page for knowing the various formatting options can be accessed by clicking on the ‘Text Formatting‘ link at the bottom-left of your Zoho Planner page. Also, this Zoho Wiki page helps illustrate the various options as well.

Zoho Show Update : Tags, public pages & more

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Zoho Show underwent an update over the weekend and we added Web 2.0 related social goodness like tag clouds, tag search, listing of public presentations etc.

Previously, presentations declared public in Zoho Show were used mainly for embedding them in blogs or say the public URL was mailed across for friends/colleagues to see. Zoho Show lacked a place where such presentations were exhibited for the whole user community to contribute to & make use of. Not anymore! Click here & you will see all the presentations made public till now. You can see that each presentation has a separate page where you can comment on, get the code for embedding it in your blog/web site, the number of views it has got till now, related presentations based on tags/author, ‘digg it’ & ‘Add to delicious’ icons etc.

Zoho Show enables you to easily add tags to your presentations & search these tags for related presentations as well. And other changes like the modified slide controls with a Play/Pause button & a slider for easier setting of time in between slides are there too. The main features of the update as a Zoho Show slide show below :

This update is just the first of the many to follow and is very much a work in progress. Watch this space for more of Zoho office suite’s updates to come :-)

Blogs on Zoho Projects and CRM

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Doug Caldwell has this to say about Zoho Projects :

I have not had the need or even aware there was this sort of free application available until recently. Once I learned the hierarchy between milestones, task list , and tasks it was very straight forward.

And CRM Blogger writes about Zoho CRM :

For those of you who are looking for a cost-effective online CRM solution, I’d like to introduce Zoho CRM. It’s a powerful on-demand CRM system that is very comparable to salesforce.com without the large price tag.

Thanks!

Inter-application Chat in Zoho

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We recently announced Zoho Chat integration with Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet and Zoho Mail. This means, if you are collaborating with other users on a document or spreadsheet, you can chat with the other users right within these applications (thanks to Zoho Chat).

If you start a chat session in one application, you can now continue the same chat session across applications in Zoho. This works with Zoho Writer, Sheet and Mail currently. Once chat is integrated into other applications, this feature will flow. Here are few screens of the same chat session in different applications.

chatwriter.jpg chatsheet.jpg chatmail.jpg