Zoho Outage on Sep 26, 2013

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We experienced an outage yesterday, September 26, that affected all Zoho services. The outage started around 2:32 pm, PST. This was due to the network disturbance caused by a misbehaving access switch in our primary datacenter LAN. This switch actually has redundancy built in. The switch was losing packets, but didn’t fail fully, and so the backup switch didn’t take over.

Our team took the troublesome switch off the network, and had the backup switch take over. Most of the Zoho services including Zoho CRM which were hosted in a different network were up within the first hour. Actual downtime of Zoho CRM and other services was 52 minutes. Zoho Mail, which was hosted in the same network as the failed switch, was the most affected, and it took around three hours to restore full service.

We are still analyzing the root cause of this issue, and we will post our observations, corrective actions, as we get more insights into the events that led to the outage.

Any downtime is painful, and we are investing in both infrastructure and R&D to avoid downtime. We apologize for letting you down yesterday.

Zoho Services Experiencing Network Connectivity Problems

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Our main data center is experiencing some network connectivity issues. Our services are currently down for most of our customers. Our data center and network teams are currently working at the problem. We will update this blog as we know more.

*** Update 16:10 PST
Most of our services are back, the team is still working to restore access to the remaining few.

****Update 18:45 PST
All services have been restored. However, you might experience some delay in fetching email.

Rodrigo

Zoho ContactManager: A Better Way to Organize and Share Business Contacts, Tasks, Notes, Emails and More.

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We’re excited to introduce Zoho ContactManager, a complete contact management tool for your team to organize and share business contacts, tasks, notes, emails and more. We know small businesses and teams struggle to keep everyone and everything in the same place – and ContactManager is our answer to that.

From sales, to purchasing, to business development, to legal and beyond – in every corner of the organization there’s always a team that works closely with shared contacts and needs to keep track of all interactions, deadlines and to-dos. We built ContactManager for those people.

All there is to know, do and share – all in a single place
With Zoho ContactManager, you and your team can share contacts and everything that might be associated with them – tasks, comments, notes, history – all in one place. Team members can also choose to share the email communications they have with other people, thus giving everyone access to information without clogging their inbox. This unique email sharing works regardless of what email software or provider you are using – and works even if you are sending emails from your mobile phone. Sharing permissions keep sensitive conversations private.
unified-view-contact
Follow-Up and Get Things Done
Following up with a particular contact or completing a task becomes easier as not only you get automatic reminders, but you also have all you need to complete the task in a single place. In addition, many business tasks are repetitive – a real estate contract always follows certain steps, a purchasing process follows a standard procedure and a sale always follows the same stages. Task templates allow you to capture the steps you need to follow in different cases, so you never forget to follow-up and you don’t waste time setting each step manually.

zoho-contactmanager-iphone-appEven while on the go
Our apps for iPhone and Android phones let you do everything from adding contact information to managing your tasks and keeping track of recent activity with feeds, Stay updated anywhere, anytime! In addition, our Card scanner App, which allows you to quickly scan and extract contact info from business cards, now allows you to save the information directly to ContactManager.
We have also integrated Zoho ContactManager with Google Apps (will be ready in the Marketplace soon).

 

So – how much is it? Well, here’s the deal: You can sign-up for it and try it out for 30 days for free, no-credit-card required. We’re sure you’re going to like it. At the end of the 30 days you decide how much you want to pay for it. That’s right, you name your own price. But, hurry up, this is just an introductory promotion.

Join our webinar to learn more about Zoho ContactManager 

Sign up today and try it out for yourself, or come take a peek at the new Zoho ContactManager on Wednesday, October 3 at 9:00am PST.We will be available to answer all your questions on how Zoho ContactManager can serve your team.

 

Case Study: Quick Deployment of a Big Data Reporting Solution

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There are a lot many businesses who have on-premise, legacy software systems being used for many years. While such software might have served those businesses well over the years, moving to the latest technology always brings in more benefits.

wwex-logoTake the case of Worldwide Express, a global logistics company and an authorized reseller of UPS. Worldwide Express handles millions of shipments for more than 30,000 customers worldwide. Read more

Introducing Doc Scanner for iPhone

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Very often, we come across a printed article or a document that makes us wish it were available in electronic format. We end up taking a photo of it and saving the image, but the content itself remains un-editable.

We are excited to announce a new mobile app, that can help with such documents – Doc Scanner.

This app lets you take a photo of a document and extracts the content as editable text and can be saved as a document (.docx format) in Zoho Docs as well as Google Drive. Of course, if you just want to save it as an image or a PDF file, that’s possible too, with both Zoho Docs as well as Google Drive.

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When you take a photo of a document to extract the content, you have an option to crop the image before the extraction process to ensure better quality. You can also scan multiple pages as part of a single document.

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The app can extract information from documents in multiple languages including English (US & UK), French, German and Spanish.

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Please note that data extraction quality depends on lot of factors (lighting conditions, the angle at which the photo is taken, images in documents) which will have an impact on the extraction quality, so it cannot always be 100% accurate. In cases where we are not too confident about the accuracy of the extracted text, we display it in light gray color allowing you to make necessary corrections.

Text extraction works best while scanning text documents. Documents with lots of images or tables can be saved as images or PDF files.

The goal of the app is to offer an easy way of extracting content from printed material and we hope you’ll find this a valuable addition to the other utility apps on your iPhone.

The app is available for download in the App Store for $4.99.

The android version of the app will follow soon. We look forward to hearing your feedback.

Introducing: Notification Center for Zoho Support

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One of the key influencers of an agent’s response time is the delay in getting notified of developments. We’ve observed this from our own customer service operation.

Suppose an agent is typing a response to a customer. He/She doesn’t really know if another customer has responded on another conversation. This makes customer service very linear and sequential. And, it drags down the efficiency of the entire customer service operation. For a generation of multi-tasking natives, this just isn’t enough at all.

There had to be a better way to solve this and turn things around. So, we took it onto ourselves to do just that. Over the last couple of months, we worked with our own customer service teams to fully understand this problem and solve it the right way.

Notification Center for Zoho Support

Today, we’re really excited to launch that solution, the Notification Center. Read more

Zoho Sponsoring Europe “Road Trip” with ZAPP* Partners

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Europe Road Show logo

Taking Zoho Vision first to Paris, Toulouse, Amsterdam and London

We are very pleased to be a part of a new wave of live Zoho seminars meeting with partners and customers in Europe this Fall…

Starting October 1, in Paris, Zoho Chief Evangelist, Raju Vegesna and myself, Senior Director of Strategic Business Development will be taking the Zoho vision to select venues in Europe (see below). Our main goal is to meet with prospective and existing customers to provide an update on some of the latest product developments at Zoho.

So often, we are stuck behind our desks or rely on third-party accounts to better understand what our partners and customers need and want from their vendors. Or, we attend huge conferences, often leaving without a lot of substance or ‘oversold” on so many vendor’s offerings, we can hardly take it all in.
Our approach is different, we are choosing to co-host small, intimate gatherings for day long presentations. In each city we will cover the following topics:

  • Zoho Vision & Company Roadmap
  • Running your business on Zoho
  • Zoho CRM Latest Developments & Roadmap
  • Why choose Zoho CRM?
  • Customer presentations and case studies
  • Zoho on mobile & social
  • Zoho Pulse, Campaigns and other apps
  • Zoho open Q&A

We are very excited to be launching this new series and hope to expand to more cities later in the year and into 2014.
After our extremely successful Zoholics event held in San Francisco in late May of this year, we felt it was time to share some of what we learned from this experience with our European user base. There are also some new product developments that have come up since, and we are very happy to give Europe a first hand view.

Thanks to our partners ZSphere, Vivasoft, Apora and iDynamics, who have arranged the venues and most of the details, Raju and I already feel very welcome.

if you are interested in attending any of the seminars, please sign up to the event pages here.

Zoho US Team is has also planned a Road Series in November to select cities. Details here.

*ZAPP = Zoho Alliance Partner Program – Zoho’s consulting partners and global reseller network