Just In: New Features in Zoho Writer

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It’s always exciting to bring the What’s New stories to our customers. The newest additions, the most sought-after enhancements, or the upcoming features – they have always made you love the product even more!

Today, I am happy to introduce some new additions to our online document editing tool – Zoho Writer. Because we understand the growing need for collaboration in an organization, we have added a few important features in Zoho Writer to help you work smoothly with your team inside or outside your office.

Here are some new features from the development desk:

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The Sales Pitch: 6 Ways to Turn Off Your Prospects

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When you’re pumped with a lot of information about the product or service you have to sell, and your mind is swimming with images of over-enthusiastic and over-smart sales guys you see in the movies, it’s easy to fall prey to old habits instead of making a smarter, more innovative pitch to your prospects. Sales reps only get one chance to sell – and the words that tumble out of your mouth can make or break a deal. How can you turn your next client meeting or cold call into a positive experience for you and your brand? Here are six big no-no’s you should avoid:

1. ​The Sales Spiel: Stephen Schiffman in his book The 25 Sales Skills: They Don’t Teach at Business School, calls this long monologue by the sales rep, a product dump. A product dump is a nervous sales rep’s attempt to fill the awkward silence and is the most ineffective form of one-way communication with a prospect. A sales rep goes into the spiel mode either when he is new, nervous or when he puts his product over and above the customer. Your product can never trump your customer. The prospect tunes out because this is information he could read off the brochure or on your website. This approach is un-innovative and ineffective.

“Selling is not just show up and throw up!” – Mark Roberge [Tweet this]

The Sales Spiel

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Introducing Zoho SocialShare – The easiest way for brands to share content

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We’re always looking for ways to create and share great content that will engage our audience. Creating good content is an art in itself, but so is curating and sharing content.

Discovering, curating and sharing great content that your audience will find interesting is hard enough as it is. But it doesn’t stop there – when you find good content, you need an easy way to add it to your social sharing pipeline. Meet Zoho SocialShare, the new browser plugin from Zoho Social, designed to help your brand easily curate and share content.

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Convert your blog readers to subscribers with the Zoho Campaigns plugin for WordPress

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You work hard to create, curate and publish the best content for your readers. And while you may succeed in generating an audience for your blog, you know that generating traffic is not the end goal. You’re looking for engagement. One way to take your readership beyond a static blog and into a more engaging, connected customer relationship is to convert them from casual readers into email subscribers.

That’s why we’re happy to announce a simpler way for WordPress users to assemble a fresh band of email subscribers and gain maximum marketing exposure.

With the new Zoho Campaigns plugin, we make it easy to embed a sign-up form onto your WordPress-hosted blog, allowing visitors of your page to sign up to receive your email campaigns. Increase your brand awareness by engaging in multi-channel communication, and boost the success of your marketing efforts by tracking analytics of your subscriber base and email campaign performance.


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Salesforce Acquisition: Nobody Rings a Bell at the Top

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Yesterday rumors broke out that Salesforce is entertaining buyout offers and has hired investment bankers to consider “strategic options”. My first thought? What a great time to sell! My second thought: please don’t jinx it – not when someone is coming up on a $50-$60 billion payday at 10x forward sales. The P/E of course is incalculable since there is no E.

Nobody rings a bell at the top of the market. But we gotta admit – Marc Benioff is the best salesman in software the cloud, ever. Now, I am trying hard not to think of ​Steve Case and AOL and Time-Warner, because this time it ​will be different, of course.

In the past few weeks, BlackRock’s chief Larry Fink released a letter addressed to the CEOs of S&P 500 companies talking about the need for a long-term view. That may not be a good idea, because it is no fun to think about write-downs and kitchen-sink quarters. Only spoilsports talk about a hangover when the party is in full swing.


Consolidation is coming to the cloud; we at Zoho recognized that a long time ago. Our entire strategy has been dictated by our desire to stay independent (as I have explained before), even as consolidation alters the landscape around us.  Even CRM, a very significant industry just by itself, doesn’t make much sense as a stand-alone product. The proof is that Salesforce (hint: their stock ticker is still CRM) has been on an acquisition rampage over the past few years trying to complement its product portfolio and show growth by acquiring revenue.

But even with the more than $3 Billion spent on acquisitions in the past 3 years, and even with their market cap of $40 billion $50 billion dollars, Salesforce finds itself the target of a takeover.

Why do we expect consolidation? Simple – there are too many companies not making money. Why don’t they make money?​ Again, simple – they spend way too much on sales and marketing. Let’s consider a hypothetical combination of Box and Zendesk – both “Post-IPO Non-profits”  as we call them – you could cut the combined sales and marketing spend by half, and that may just be enough for them to turn a profit. That is the classic case for consolidation; a case that looks ​compelling on a spreadsheet – you know, the tool that Box actually doesn’t know how to build.

If only company cultures were modeled as cells in a spreadsheet, where people stay in their neat little boxes and hairy code-bases magically combine to produce beautiful children.

Take the case of Salesforce acquisitions for the past 3 years – here is the extensive list. How many of them have been integrated even at a single sign-on level, let alone at a product level? In fact, to solve that problem, Salesforce recently acquired a single sign-on company.

Winner’s Curse

​When you escape the jinx, there is still the curse – the winner’s curse. Most acquisitions fail and silently get written down or written off entirely – see for example, Zimbra’s acquisition by Yahoo. Salesforce has written down a bunch in the last few years, after overpaying by hundreds of millions of dollars – at least, the money didn’t come out of their profit!

Jinxes and curses? No, we don’t want these to befall our customers. Since consolidation is coming, if you are a customer of cloud companies, it’s time to get used to being traded around.

Except, of course, if you are a Zoho customer. With us, you will not underwrite any acquisition premiums or bloated sales and marketing costs. You will get a broad suite of deeply integrated products that helps you run your business on the cloud. Private and bootstrapped since our founding – we don’t answer to anyone but you. We never will. We aren’t going anywhere.


What You Need to Be a Successful Digital Nomad

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A bright sunny day and clear blue sea greet me as I sit down to write my blog. Sipping a blue mojito, my head is swirling with endless thoughts and ideas waiting to materialize on paper. Caught up in the moment, I suddenly feel a tap on my shoulders. I turn around to find my boss staring at me. What in the world is he doing here?

I blink…

Like when the clock struck 12 and Cinderella’s carriage turned back to a pumpkin, the bright sun turned into a yellow overhead light, the clear blue sea into my laptop screen saver, and the blue mojito into a pen I was chewing. And my boss, well..he was still my boss. Back to reality! I was of course daydreaming about working from my favorite location.

Do you often lapse into such dreams — when writing a code, or designing web pages? If yes, then you, my friend, are looking to be a Digital Nomad! You share the dream with a thousand others to build a location independent career, so you can live and work wherever you want to.

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New Features in Zoho Vault: Tighter Security, Easy Porting, Flexible Management

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For quite a while, we have been continually striving to improve our users’ experience with Zoho Vault, based on all the constructive feedback and feature requests from our customers. That said, we are back again with a couple of new useful updates to Zoho Vault:

Zoho Vault New Features

Tighten security with IP Restrictions
Administrators can now increase security levels in Zoho Vault by imposing restrictions based on the IPs from which their users access Vault. These restrictions can be imposed in two ways:

  • Whitelisting – specifying ​the IPs, only from which the users will be allowed to access Zoho Vault.
  • Blacklisting – specifying the IPs from which access to Zoho Vault will be denied.

When allow/deny IP restrictions are added, it takes effect globally for all users, including admins. But, exceptions can be added by choosing to selectively add/remove restrictions for specific users from Fine-grained Controls section under the Admin tab.

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