Menlo Innovation headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Photo by Elise Hu/NPR
The modern workplace is at it again. Every day there’s a story about another company throwing conventional office rules out the window — no dress code, work from home, bring your dog, cat, parakeet, or python to the office — and blazing the trail toward a new way of thinking. This time, the traditional hierarchy of a company is in question.
No managers. No team leaders. No bosses.
If you’re a small business owner, this concept isn’t that unusual. In fact, most small business owners open their own place for just this reason. But can it work on a larger scale with 50 or more employees outside of Sir Thomas Malory’s Camelot or Alexandre Dumas’ 17th century France? Can a group of people govern themselves in an office environment with a “Round Table,” or “all for one, one for all,” mantra?
It’s time for another installment in our ongoing series, “Small Business Stories You Might Have Missed.” At Zoho, we hope this series is helping you stay in touch with small business news and also giving you helpful tips to improve the state of your own business.
This week, we will be looking at everything from how good writing can improve your business’ online presence to the importance of embracing new technology.
Want to learn more about how you can better reach your audience in 2013 and the future? We have an article for that too.
So grab your laptop or tablet and a cup of coffee, and enjoy!
Zoho now has more than 8 million registered users, and we are growing at a very healthy rate. Keeping pace with this growth means we need to scale up our infrastructure periodically. We are planning one such infrastructure upgrade in our primary data center on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 between 10 am PDT and 10 pm PDT. We have planned it in such a way that there is a minimal disruption of service during the scheduled maintenance period.
By now you know that recruiting an ideal candidate for your company is more than just looking at his or her resumé and cover letter, or calling a few references. You have to bring the candidate in for a face-to-face meeting and interview.
That’s because finding the right fit for your company isn’t just a list of qualifications, degrees and experience. It’s about finding a personality that fits your company’s culture and goals. You have to get a feel for how they interact with other people in a professional environment.
Unique personalities are what makes the human race so diverse and every relationship or interaction exciting. So when you start looking at resumés and cover letters, it’s important to know you will run into many different types of candidates from shy and sensitive types to extroverts. That is why it is crucial to know about the different types of job candidates you could potentially interview so you ask the right questions and get the best person for the job.
By Ashley Verrill
Recently, I called Zoho evangelist Raju Vegesna to get his advice for a research project I was working on. Self-service channels are becoming increasingly popular, and I wanted to find out the average value customer service organizations get from their self-service channels.
With the help of Raju and other experts, I identified a set of variables I would measure in combination to ultimately determine the total value of self-service. The resulting equation, calculates the issues companies solve each month through self-service channels that don’t involve an employee; then how much that same level of service would have cost had the customer called, emailed or chatted a CSR. Here’s what we came up with:
While you are busy calculating and assigning the sales target for your team, it is always helpful to go back and analyze what brought more deals to a closure. As you ponder over it, you may come across a lot of questions.
What is the average time taken for leads to complete the sales cycle?
In a month, how many leads are being converted to customers?
Who are the Star Performers in your sales team?
What are the regions that generate more business?
It is possible that you are not quite sure of the answers to these questions that you ask yourself on a regular basis… Accurate numbers are required. So what do you do now? Of course! You pull a variety of reports with the required filters to get the information that you need. But do these reports provide insights to effectively manage your sales process and sales team!
Let me help you out at this point… Read more
At Zoho we take privacy and security of your data very seriously.
However, privacy is not just a matter of software engineering. A few customers have asked us what the recently leaked US government surveillance programs mean for us as a company and for you, our customers. Our data centers are based in the United States, and we do a sizable chunk of our business here as well. We are, therefore, subject to US law. We do not make the laws, but we are bound by them – whether we agree with them or not.
We would love to be able to guarantee the privacy of your data against any government intervention. However, realistically that is not possible. Companies like Google and Verizon have also found themselves having to comply with over-reaching requests. Choosing not to comply is not an option given the way the current laws and programs work. Customers might want to consider the fact that the US government can do as it pleases – with your data whether it is stored in the cloud, or sitting inside your own company walls.
It is our view that the federal programs that have come to light (and others that we might not know of yet) are too far-reaching. We hope that with the intense pressure that the current administration is facing from media and the general public, these programs will be modified to allow for better due process and increased transparency.
Meanwhile, we continue to focus on the elements of privacy and security that we are able to influence and control. The technical safeguards that we work on are meant to protect you against hacking attempts, and also to keep Zoho itself out of your data. In matters of privacy, it is worth highlighting that Zoho remains the only major email service provider that never displays any ads. In fact, there are no ads inside any of our products. We don’t have an incentive to look inside your data ourselves. While Google has gone on record to say you can’t expect privacy from Google itself, we can assure you that we guarantee your privacy, at least from Zoho itself, if not from the Government.
So far we have not faced any situation that has presented us with these conflicts, but we do not assume we will never face it. This is not a technology issue, this is a political and constitutional issue. We just thought we would let you know about the current environment that companies like us face.