Zoho was a platinum sponsor at this year’s CRM Evolution Conference, held in New York on August 10. The event brought together many CRM users and vendors, and although CRM was the focus of most discussions, we were looking forward to hearing about Zoho apps too.
And so, we were happy to hear from Charlie Isaacs, a Zoho Creator enthusiast. In addition to working with Alcatel-Lucent, Charlie also works as a social media strategist for Genesys Lab.
When asked about how Zoho Creator simplified his requirement, Charlie had something unique to tell us: he prototypes using Zoho Creator.
Listen to Charlie explain how he does it:
Whenever Charlie gets a new idea for a project, he prefers to use a prototype to propose his plan. He says, and we agree, that a prototype is almost always more compelling than a 20-page document. Charlie takes advantage of Zoho Creator as he builds form-based solutions. The advantage Zoho Creator has over MySQL, he says, is that MySQL doesn’t allow the association of a form on the front-end.
There is always Oracle and MySQL, but to get something up and running, Zoho Creator is there for me.
In addition to prototyping, Charlie also spoke about an interesting mobile application that he uses to read QR codes, which are looked up in a Zoho Creator database. Based on the information returned, like UPC codes, Charlie then dynamically constructs the menu on the handheld application.
Thank you, Charlie, for sharing with us two very new use-cases of Zoho Creator. We’re glad to hear that it only takes an hour with Zoho Creator to complete the prototypes, versus 8 to 10 hours without it.
began our journey in 1996 as ‘Advent Network Management Inc’ and
reinvented ourselves to become ‘AdventNet Inc’ and most recently ‘Zoho
Corp‘. We started offering products in a niche market (Web NMS), built a profitable business, re-invested in engineering to enter a larger market (ManageEngine), built a successful division and then entered the Business, Productivity & Collaboration market (Zoho). All along, we built this company with no external funding. We bootstrapped ourselves into a profitable business with over 1500 employees across 3 divisions.
During these 15 years, we have seen several economic bubbles and busts, several companies come and go, many companies acquired, but we stayed true to our goal of building a long-term business. In other words, unlike many companies you see here in silicon valley with a ’built-to-flip’ model, we have built a business with long term culture.
“We built this business to run it, not run away from it”
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our customers, employees, partners, well wishers and the entire Zoho ecosystem for continued support. We will continue to innovate and we are going to be around.
Our Google Apps users have been thrilled with the Google Calendar and Contacts sync with Zoho CRM! This excitement has also trickled down to other Zoho CRM users, and comes to us in the form of repeated requests for extending this to all other users.
Once again, we heard you loud and clear! And today we are glad to announce that we are extending this feature to all our Professional and Enterprise plan users.
Zoho CRM for Google makes it easier for your business to collaborate, communicate and share information, all in one centralized place. If you are using Zoho CRM with your Google email address, your Calendar and Contacts are all conveniently available in the same place.
At Zoho, we want to make sure you get the most out of your user experience, so please let us know how you like this additional feature. Feel free to drop us a line if there are other enhancements you’d like to see. We love hearing from you!
Bernt Ruetzel is literally building a small business. It’s a rental home in Italy, an old rustic home called Bogata Roggio. As he’s waiting for permits to start building, Ruetzel has launched a website and began engaging with prospective customers.
The challenge: Initiate customer relations before business begins operations. Add custom fields specific to the needs of his customers.
How discovered Zoho: Stumbled on Zoho at his large company that wanted to use a CRM solution just for their department. He began playing around with it and realized it would be perfect to use for his small business.
Competitive analysis of CRM tools: He looked at and compared many CRM products including Salesforce.com. He feels that all the CRM systems are the same. What differentiates them is how easily can you customize the product for your specific business needs.
Unique use case of Zoho CRM: In Germany, school holidays change depending on what region of the country you live in. By asking a prospective customer their address and if they have kids, he can determine when they have free time to take a vacation. This allows him to better time his holiday requests and offers.
Advice for others: Ruetzel says users of CRM solutions need to spend more time upfront thinking about what you want to do rather than immediately implementing. It’s important to understand the entire process from getting a prospect, to sending an offering, getting pre-payment, final payment, follow up, and ultimately feeding those tips back into the system so he can improve his business process.
How do you want to follow with your customers? What are the steps you need to take? These will inform you as to what fields you’ll need to add to customize your CRM system, Ruetzel said.
Listen to the whole interview with Bernd Ruetzel here.
So you’ve moved your business onto the cloud, subscribed for a Google Apps account and provided your employees the benefits of interacting with customers on the web. But how do you manage the plethora of daily customer e-mails and support tickets? Tracking these discussions (who replies to whom and when) can quickly become a nightmare.
This is where
Zoho Support comes in. As a full-fledged, web-based help desk service, Zoho Support can ease your process of managing customer needs and add value to all of your hard work! So today, we here at Zoho are excited to announce our latest addition to the Google Apps Marketplace: Zoho Support.
The Google Apps and Zoho Support Integration now lets you:
Single sign on
for users to access Zoho Support directly from the universal navigation bar in Google Apps
Apple’s revenue now is at a run rate of over $100 billion dollars, a good deal higher than that of Microsoft. Apple’s profits also well exceed Microsoft’s profits. Yet, Apple has only about 50% of the headcount of Microsoft. These things were utterly
just 5 years ago. One way to visualize this is to imagine Yahoo overtaking Google in the search market and in terms of overall revenue & profits (Google does about 6 times the revenue of Yahoo), and multiply that difficulty by 10-fold, because Yahoo actually still makes money, but Apple was losing a lot of money when Steve Jobs came back in 1996.
I assumed that Apple grew steadily from when Jobs came back. I was wrong. Here is the revenue trajectory of Apple all the way going back to 1981. Focus on the years after 1997.
Notice the crisis in 96-97-98 when he came back – that was a stomach churning drop in revenue, which explains why he came back. But notice that
after he came back, in 2002, Apple still had less revenue than in 1997 (in fact, it was less than they had as far back as1989!). During those 5 years between 1997-2002, revenue first went up, and then went down again during the recession in 2001-2. Even worse, Apple was again losing money in 2001, a full 4 years after he came back. Why is that relevant? Any normal person would have found it very hard to keep the spirit and motivation up at that time. Apple’s greatest years were ahead of them, but only one person would have possibly believed it – Steve Jobs. No one else, in 2002, would have believed Apple’s best days were ahead. From only 2005, did Apple really achieve that big burst of growth, and within just 6 years Apple has overtaken Microsoft.
Also notice the extreme variation in growth. Even after the iPod arrived, Apple’s growth rates has dipped as low as 14% and has gone as high as 68% (until 2011, when it scaled new highs). In the 2009 bust, Apple dipped to only 14% year-over-year growth. Yet, in 2011, driven by the boom in iPad, Apple is exceeding 80% growth without meaningfully adding any headcount. This is the track record Jobs has piled up. I don’t know it will ever be equalled in this industry again.
Today, we are pleased to share the story of how Ah Cacao Real Chocolate simplified their recruitment process with Zoho Recruit. Rohan Barnett, General Manager at Ah Cacao, describes how they were able to overcome recruitment-related challenges with our Applicant Tracking System.
About Ah Cacao
Ah Cacao Real Chocolate, founded in 2003, offers a complete chocolate experience for both the mind and body. Their chocolates are handmade by skilled artisans with the finest Mexican cacao and natural ingredients that create a heavenly taste and a true ancient Mayan experience.
Ah Cacao’s Challenge
Within the 35-person company, Ah Cacao employs only one person to manage the administrative work across three retail stores and a wholesale business. And for a growing company with no human resource employees, this can be a challenge and requires appropriate technology to keep things running smoothly. In the past, Ah Cacao used Google Docs to receive employment applications, but this presented three specific problems:
1. Candidate information was hard to read in a spreadsheet.
2. Replying to candidates and keeping track of their statuses was laborious and error prone.
3. Candidate photos had to be requested individually by e-mail, another laborious process.
“As the general manager,” Barnett explains, “I just didn’t have the time to continue contacting candidates by e-mail. That’s when I went online in search of an automated solution and came across Zoho Recruit. Today, about five people access the information in Zoho Recruit. We use the job openings feature to post current openings on our website. We also use this URL in our job announcements, and it is the only medium by which we accept applications.“
After switching to Zoho Recruit, retrieving and organizing employment applications has become easier. After reviewing the applications, Barnett then divides the candidates into three groups to determine the action to take in response:
1. Unqualified/rejected – an e-mail is sent automatically to the candidate.
2. Hireable – we may hire the person in the future, but not right now. An e-mail template is sent.
3.Interview – we use interviewer scheduler to send an invitation, again with an e-mail template that includes a Google Map link to the interview location.
Zoho Recruit Impact
“Zoho Recruit has made the recruiting process much more streamlined and automated. Now, we receive an application and with a few clicks, we can reply to the candidate and update his or her status. This saves us a lot of time and allows us to be more responsive to the candidates, which improves our image as a company,” says Barnett.