Connect With Your Colleagues On-the-Go With the Zoho People iPhone App

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Consider this scenario. You are away from your desk and you urgently need to reach out to one of your colleagues. That person not being a frequent contact, you do not have the phone number. Now you have to get back to your desk to pull out that information.

“Human resources are like natural resources; they’re often buried deep. You have to go looking for them, they’re not just lying around on the surface”

said Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally renowned educationalist. This reminds us about the importance of the need for people in an organization to reach out to each other. This is exactly what the iPhone App for Zoho People is meant for.

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Business Owner, Professional, Executive? 5 Ways You Can Improve Your LinkedIn Game

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I’ve been on LinkedIn almost since its early days. To be honest, at first I didn’t see a lot of value in it, so I just created my profile and left it alone. Then, about 6 years ago, Paul -a colleague of mine at the time- pushed me to be more proactive with it (and with networking in general). I took that advice to heart – and it has paid off.

Now it’s 2013 and I’m amazed when I see young (and old!) professionals who have a gazillion friends on Facebook, but don’t have a decent LinkedIn profile. In fact, this post was inspired partly by one of my colleagues on my team that, to my dismay, barely had a LinkedIn profile. And she’s in sales. C’mon! If you’ve got more friends in Facebook than connections on LinkedIn, you’re doing it wrong. Whether you are a professional just starting your career, a seasoned executive, a freelancer or a business owner, you need to step-up your LinkedIn game. Today.

The multiple uses of LinkedIn
What people don’t realize about LinkedIn is that it is a big resource for a lot of work-related situations. While traditional resumes are not dead yet, LinkedIn has been encroaching on that territory for some time now. But having your resume online is not the only reason you want to use LinkedIn. There are multiple other situations in which it is quite useful: Read more

What Businesses Can Learn from Arcade Fire

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bandThe first time I heard the name Arcade Fire was in February 2011 at the 53rd Grammy Awards. The indie-rock band not only performed, but also shocked a good portion of the country when it brought home the coveted Grammy for Album of the Year.

Many “long-time fans” were quick to tell me and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences we were late to the party, but there were a lot of people who had the same thought — who the heck is Arcade Fire?

No matter the level of “hipsterness” they once had — or still claim to have — the band has gone on to have major success in album sales while selling out shows and tours around the world. However, Arcade Fire recently made headlines for something other than awards or their music.

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Sync Your Files Between Your Computer And the Cloud With the New Zoho Docs For Desktop

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We are thrilled to unveil Zoho Docs for Desktop, the service that syncs your files to the cloud, makes them incredibly easy to share with anyone you want and lets you access your documents anywhere you are.

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Painless File Sync And Backup

Syncing files between Zoho Docs and your desktop is fast and easy. If you have multiple computers, your files will be replicated across all of them, in addition to living in Zoho Docs. They are always available wherever you are. Plus, syncing requires no effort from your side – just set it up and forget it. Zoho Docs for Desktop is a great way for you to always have your most important documents backed up.

Easy Collaboration Across Your Team and Across The World

Zoho Docs for Desktop extends the boundaries of collaboration by letting you easily share files -even large ones- with anyone inside or outside your company. When you share a file with someone, they can access it with just their web browser or, if they install Zoho Docs for Desktop, they will always have the latest version of the shared files available in their computer.

Choose Only The Files You Need With Selective Sync

With Zoho Docs selective sync, you can choose to sync only the most important or recent project folders you need while on the go. Each one of your computers can have a different set of folders synced based on your priorities. This is great for our users who own laptop with flash drives that while lighter and faster, provide less storage.

No WiFi On Your Plane? Work Offline!

While you’re on the plane, you can still edit, create and delete files in your Zoho Docs folder in your computer. They will automatically sync to the cloud when you go online. You still need to stay connected to access documents created using the Zoho Docs online editors, but you can easily get to them from your desktop folder.

New Plans & Pricing

We have introduced new pricing plans for Zoho Docs. Our free plan, with 5 GB of storage space and unlimited users, means that you will now be able to manage as many users as you want without paying a buck! If you are looking for more storage space, you can upgrade your account with a monthly or yearly subscription to plans that offer up to 250 GB and even 1000 GB of storage (that’s 1 TB). Zoho Docs for Desktop can be installed on Windows, Mac and Ubuntu Linux.

Register for a Webinar

We are hosting a webinar on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. PDT. Register here for Zoho Docs webinar.

Before I wrap-up, just wanted to give you a heads up that Zoho Docs online editors got a complete makeover with a much cleaner user interface that our users have already fallen in love with. So, what are you waiting for? Try Zoho Docs now and do share your experience with us, while we continue working on the enhancements.

A Zoho Meet Up is Coming to a City Near You!

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The Zoho Team is thrilled to continue our tour of Meet Ups around the country. After meeting inspiring small business owners last month in Austin, TX, we’re pairing up with several of our Zoho Alliance Partners to host a special event near you.Blog_Meetup

We’ll continue our mission of taking our work “offline” and on the road, by traveling to various cities to meet and greet our loyal users. We want to ensure that you are benefitting from our suite of apps and fulfilling your business potential. With that in mind, we’re bringing along our team of experts and our very own Solution Station to answer all of your technical questions.

And of course, we want to hear from you! By getting the chance to speak with you, we can learn your business story and find out what your needs are. We’ll also get the chance to present some exciting news about Zoho, as well as a few tips and tricks of the trade.

Our next Zoho Meet Up will be in Houston, TX on October 3 at the Norris Conference Center, hosted by our Zoho Alliance Partners, Cornerstone Solutions. We’d love to see you there. To learn more about the event and RSVP, please visit:

https://zohohoustonmeetup.eventbrite.com/

Each of our Meet Ups will have something for everyone: both current users and those new to our products. So if you have a guest, friend or coworker who wants to hear more about Zoho, bring them along!

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Customer Spotlight: Start-up Goes Mobile With Z-CRM

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“We have to get organized!”

Less than a year after starting his own digital marketing and lead generation consultancy, president and founder of Lucid Digital, Mark Gadala- Maria, realized there was a major deficiency.  At this point in time, it hadn’t yet become a major hurdle, however Gadala-Maria knew that if business continued to grow at the rate it had in just a few months since the company’s inception, it would soon be a problem.

“One of our specialties is lead generation for both ourselves and our clients, and at the rate we were acquiring leads, I knew I had to get organized FAST otherwise I would have a disaster on my hands.”

So Gadala-Maria did what any savvy business owner would do – he asked Google for the answer…

The Business

Lucid Digital is a web development, digital marketing and lead generation consultancy based in Miami, Florida.  The company was founded in 2011 by Mark Gadala-Maria who, only one year after completing his undergraduate degree at Florida International University, decided to venture out on his own.

Lucid Digital focuses on creating an online digital presence for any business.

As Gadala-Maria puts it, “Since this company’s inception I have been obsessed with web development and internet marketing of all forms.  While many would say my specialty lies more with Search Engine Marketing because of the years I spent working for one of the biggest SEO companies on the planet, in reality my skill set and underlying focus has been on all forms of Digital Marketing & Application Development, web and otherwise.”

The Challenge: Managing a rapid inflow of leads via mobile 

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As with any new company, the inflow of business and leads was modest soon after Lucid Digital went live.  When the company was receiving just a handful of new leads per day, using email and spreadsheets was a serviceable way to manage these.

However, just a couple of months into business, the volume of leads rapidly increased and Gadala-Maria needed an easy way to organize these leads and make sure they were being accurately tracked.  Additionally, several of Gadala-Maria’s new clients needed the ability to manage leads on-the-go which was virtually impossible without a native mobile application.

Selection Criteria

Mobile Optimized – “Having a mobile app and being mobile optimized was huge for us and probably the biggest consideration.  We have employees in the field that need quick and easy access to CRM on-the-go without having to log on to a computer.  Additionally, we have several clients that we send leads to while they’re in the field so this offers major value to our clients as well.”

Cost – “We were a new company with not a lot of money so cost was a major consideration for us.”

Invoicing Integration – “I was really looking to integrate invoicing into my CRM solution so I was looking for something that was capable of integrating invoicing and accounting.“

Competitive Analysis of CRM Solutions

Prior to starting Lucid Digital, Gadala-Maria had used Infusionsoft CRM at his previous company.  Despite his familiarity with Infusionsoft, Gadal-Maria thought it best to go in another direction.

“Although there were a lot of things I liked about Infusionsoft, there were also a lot of things I didn’t, and when it came time for me to pick a CRM, I realized it was too expensive and lacked the capabilities especially those involving mobile that I needed.  Additionally, I wasn’t a big fan of Infusionsoft’s user interface.”

Discovering and Implementing Zoho CRM

“We actually found Zoho CRM with a simple Google search for CRM software!”

Once Gadala-Maria settled on Zoho, he was pleasantly surprised with the ease of implementation into Lucid Digital.

“To be honest, Z-CRM was perfectly easy for me to integrate within the company.  It fit right in and was exactly what we needed.  It was pretty much ‘plug-and-play’ for us.”

Now having used Z-CRM for several months, Gadala-Maria has even more enthusiasm for the software.

“Zoho CRM was not only the most affordable but by far the most efficient for what we do at Lucid Digital.  In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I don’t think there’s any other software out there that can do what you’re doing for us, and certainly not at the same price.”

“I also recently signed up for Zoho Invoice to integrate with CRM and take care of all of our accounting.  We have been using Quickbooks however it’s not the best and the fact that we can integrate the leads directly with the invoices is perfect.  I’m also thinking about adding Zoho Projects and Zoho Campaigns just because it will be so nice to have everything managed in one place.”

Life After Implementation

“For us Zoho CRM has been amazing!  I use it not only for my customers but for my business as well.  In addition to satisfying all of my ‘must-have’ criteria, Z-CRM’s user interface is great.  Very simple and easy to navigate which makes it a pleasure to use on a day-to-day basis.

When asked about his favorite Z-CRM features, Gadal-Maria did hesitate:

“The mobile app is a monster favorite of mine!  I also love the notes options for leads, and  the customizability of the interface.”

What Would You Like to Say to Other Customers about CRM Solutions?

“Right off the bat I would tell anyone looking for a CRM that it has to be Zoho.  The reason I’m such a big fan is because I really haven’t seen anything that is THIS good and businesses need EXACTLY what Zoho offers.  I’m still in the process of integrating other Zoho tools and I’m excited about doing it because I can see how much my business will benefit.

I’m a big tech guy and I’m really into the technical industry, and in my book, Zoho is doing everything right.  I haven’t seen anyone else doing things the way Zoho is doing it and I can’t wait to integrate more Zoho tools.”

To learn more about Lucid Digital, CLICK HERE

Are Small Business Incubators the Future?

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iStock_000021656315XSmallI’ve been to Las Vegas once in my life. A group of friends and I made the trip in November 2009 to celebrate a close friend’s bachelor party. Yes, we had a good time. No, it wasn’t anything like the cliché “Vegas baby Vegas,” experience we’ve come to expect thanks to Hollywood.

Either way, the Vegas strip is an incredible spectacle. People are everywhere. Buildings stretch to the sky like a stack of chips on a heater. Roller coasters weave and duck right above the sidewalks and you can eat your weight at any of the mile-long buffets.

Think about the image you have of Las Vegas. Casinos, hotels, money, expensive food and live shows. Doesn’t exactly describe a mecca or hub for entrepreneurs and small business owners working to establish their product in a city overrun with people in search of nothing but brand names, or who are even aware Las Vegas exists beyond the four-mile-long strip.

As much as the casinos and hotel feed the city’s economy, most people on the strip are not citizens. They are tourists in town for two to five days and then gone faster than Lady Luck at the craps or blackjack table. Local businesses aren’t making money off tourists. They have to appeal to the citizens of Las Vegas in a location that appeals specifically to them. That’s why I found this recent story so fascinating.

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