Announcing Zoho Sync: Push Mail And Mobile Sync Service

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Zoho Sync for Mobile Devices

We made a new year resolution to keep our services in tune with the ever evolving world, especially with respect to the rapidly growing smartphone and tablet segment. Today, we are glad to announce the release of Zoho Sync for mobile devices. You can now get automatic notifications PUSHed to your mobile phone or tablet when new emails arrive and your device’s local mail, contacts and calendar applications will sync with the web client in real time.

Zoho Sync for Mobile Devices

What’s neat is that this 2-way synchronization happens over-the-air, in the background (provided an internet connection is available) and once turned on, does not require any further manual intervention. So wherever you are, however occupied you might be doing other things, your mobile device will be up-to-date with the latest messages, event updates and contact information.

Zoho Sync functions using your mobile device’s Microsoft Exchange® ActiveSync® (EAS) account support and does not require any additional software. Since almost all the latest IOS, Android and Windows mobile devices support EAS, you can easily enable Zoho Sync on most mobile devices that run on these popular platforms. If you want to sync only mail, only mail and calendar but not contacts and so on, you can specify your options in your device’s EAS account settings.

ZSync Exchange Account Setup     ZSync Automatic Notification

So how is using Zoho Sync better compared to the typical IMAP setup? Let’s see:

  • Instead of your mobile device having to check (poll) for updates at regular intervals, notifications are pushed from the server to the device. This improves battery life.
  • You’ll receive automatic notifications on your phone the instant a new email arrives.
  • You’ll receive automatic notifications about new calendar events and event updates the instant the changes are made.
  • Email, calendar and contacts related actions you perform on your mobile will automatically reflect on your web client and vice versa. For example, when you read an email on your mobile, it is marked as read when you log in to the web client later on.

During our in-house tests, the syncing was smooth on the iPhone, iPad and Windows mobile devices. However, we did experience issues with certain models of Android phones. This is because of limitations induced by the customized Android versions shipped by the individual mobile makers and we are continuously working on overcoming them.

So go ahead and set up Zoho Sync on your mobile device and let it tell you that ‘You’ve got mail!’, as soon as it arrives. Be warned that once you turn on push notifications, your phone could be buzzing continuously and you might get addicted to checking mail. And do make sure you back up data before setting up the EAS account because existing data might be removed.

And please help us by sparing a few minutes in providing feedback about how this worked for you.

Has your phone started dinging yet? Coz…. you’ve got mail!

Update (26th June, 2012): Zoho Sync support is now available in all plans. Previously it was open only to users in organizations with their email hosted under the Zoho Mail Standard 15GB plan. Please request the administrator of your organization to go to the Control Panel and ensure that Zoho Sync is enabled for users. This is explained in the list of Zoho Mail feature updates made on Feb 06, 2012.

New in Zoho Sheet: Format Painter, Vertical Merge and Goal Seek

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We are glad to introduce the following new features in Zoho Sheet and we believe you will find these really useful.

Format Painter:
Copy formats and styles of one or more cells and apply them to other cells. This helps you in formatting your spreadsheet the way you want in no time.

Vertical Merge:
Merge cells across was already available. Now you can merge cells down as well. Go ahead and layout your spreadsheet the way you want.

Goal Seek:
Find the exact input value which will generate the desired result of a formula. More power to analyzing your data.

Chart Enhancements:
New options in Charts are now available – Set first row/column as labels and Legend position settings.

Here is a slideshow with screenshots depicting these features in action.

Zoho Sheet Screenshots

Learn more about these features on our discussion forum and post your feedback and suggestions.

Get your bugs off other bug trackers and into Zoho

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Here’s a piece of exciting news! Get your bugs off other bug trackers and into Zoho with the brand new Import Bugs option. We’d work hard to make your migration from other bug tracking services quick and hassle free into Zoho. While this is a great feature, we request you to take care of few things before you start the Import.

Few points to ponder :

  • Only CSV file format supported and must be UTF-8(Unicode) encoded
  • Supported date formats: DD/MMM/YYYY, DD/MM/YYYY, DD-MM-YYYY, MM/DD/YYYY, MM-DD-YYYY in CSV file
  • It is recommended that you test the import with a sample test file before your actual import.

Well, log into Zoho BugTracker, go to bug settings and import your bugs right from other bug trackers as a CSV file in quick steps. We’ve also put a user guide to help you get started at Import Bugs.

Bug Settings wears a new look and feel
Peep into the Bugs tab and you’ll spot a refreshing Bug Settings view along with an array of good looking icons. In addition to import bugs, we have also added couple of exciting new features like Fields and Email Settings.

What’s special about Fields ?
Previously we did not allow you to rename the fields like severity, module. But after this update, you can customize it as per your need for example – you can change the “Severity” name to “Priority“. Furthermore, we’ve consolidated the default and custom fields all in one place under Fields view.

Here’s a picture of the refreshing new Bug Settings view with Fields

Custom Fields

Configure mail forwarding with Email Settings
Configure and automatically fetch your emails from your custom domains mydomain/Gmail Mail as bugs in Zoho Bug Tracker with the new Email Settings.

For Example,  if you wish to track your mails from from zilluminc@gmail.com in BugTracker you must configure your email server to forward a copy of your Bug emails to this forwarding email address zillum_erp3@pop.zohoprojects.com in your Gmail.

The syntax followed is <portalname_projectstring>@pop.zohoprojects.com

Your Benefit : Before, only project members can submit bugs in Zoho BugTracker but now any user can file a bug by sending an email to your domain email issues@zilluminc.com

Learn more about how to configure mail forwarding in custom domains at Email Settings.

Note: Field Renaming and Bugs Import are available for all the plans. Email settings feature and Custom Fields are available for Enterprise ($599 yearly and $80 monthly) customers of both Zoho Projects and Zoho BugTracker. See Plans and Pricing

If you haven’t tried Zoho BugTracker yet, this is the best time to give it a try and we’re curious to hear your feedback on how the migration of your bugs went about as comments here.

Record advance or multiple invoice payments at one go!

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As the new year unfolds, Zoho Invoice and Zoho Books brings glad news to one and all especially those weary folks troubled by monotonous work.

Our developers had been elbow deep in some amazing coding this past few weeks and now we bring to you a revised and revamped customer payment feature. You can now record advance payment and record payment for multiple invoices all from a single screen.

Let’s say your customer makes a one-time payment for three different invoices. How would you show this in your Zoho Invoice account? Click on the video below to unravel the secret.

Whoa…was it that simple? Yes it is. Not just in Zoho Invoice, but it is possible even in Zoho Books along with some crucial accounting principles taken care of in the background.

Was something missing with the old invoice payment method?

 Effective as it was, the old process was time consuming because you could add payment only to individual invoices. With the new additions, payment received from a customer for multiple invoices is possible from one single screen.

Did you know advance payment received is not actually your income…yet?​

 Companies need to record advance payment received from customer as ‘unearned’ revenue and not earned revenue as the service is not yet delivered. If the amount is recorded as sale/income, you will get a bloated figure in the financial statement which is not the accurate picture of your business’ performance.

Let’s see how this is smoothly tackled in Zoho Books.

Joggle your memory and from the video you’ll recollect that an advance payment of $200 is recorded for Jane’s next project. Our super cognitive accounting software will reflect the amount in the cash flow statement as ‘Unearned Revenue’. Cash Flow when recording Advance Payment​At the time of Jane’s next invoice payment, you decide to use the excess payment available. From the remaining balance of $200, you use $100. The Cash Flow will now reflect as belowCash Flow after recording Advance Payment

Cool isn’t it!​

Do visit our help page for more information on Advance Payment and Multiple Invoice Payment.

Now we are onto our next work item with great gusto and in the meantime, please drop us your feedback in the comment section.

You asked, We listened. More control over your CRM

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@headhunter: @zoho ROCKS … new CRM GUI is just simply STUNNING….Would  have to be one of the best web apps I have EVER seen – EVER – Usability PLUS!

This was one of the responses to the public launch of our new UI.

It has been just a month since we launched the new look of Zoho CRM and the response we received was encouraging. The whole idea of the change was to make all our customers more productive at work.

Most of you liked the change. But, not everyone’s tastes are the same. We understand. A few of you who were still accustomed to the old UI felt that you were missing some functionality.

You asked, we listened and here are the updates that we have made…

Reflect your priorities. Customize Business Card View

For Sales Reps who just want to focus on selling and not on data entry, the business card view gives instant access to customer information. As a user, you could also change the fields – so, if you prefer to see the contact’s mobile number instead of the email id, you could set it from a list.

While this is very helpful, some of our users also asked for an option to change the priorities of the fields. For example, here’s a comment we received in our forums:
The problem with the business card view is that it does not reflect my priorities, but someone else’s. When I click through on a contact, I do not want to see my own name. Nor would I have chosen the items you have chosen…”

We now have that option. You can not only select the fields but also change their order. There’s more. In case you feel that you do not want to see the instant information, you can hide it too.

How do you benefit from this? More customer information on the screen and minimal scrolling. Less scrolling means you can get to your information faster.

Do not want the Quick Actions? Hide It.

Quick Actions – these are the basic actions you can take from a record’s detail page. For example, if you want to add a task related to a contact, it’s easy to do so right from the contact’s detail page itself.

This is a time-saver! But it is not necessary that you’d want to use these links always. Like this comment we received: “These ‘Quick Actions’ to the right of the new business card also have no useful function for me. Sorry to be so negative, but this is the truth. I just don’t use them...”.

You can now choose to hide the Quick Actions from a record’s detail page and work the way you want to.

Wide Screen? No problems now!

Previously, we had set a fixed width of the page. Customers who are using wide screens or high resolution monitors told us that this wasn’t pleasing to the eye. “We rely heavily on the wide screen view for all of our data to be visible and this new UI does not scale automatically…“, was a comment we received.

With the latest update, you can choose the layout that you prefer. Fixed or Wide Screen, Zoho CRM fits your screen just the way you want it!

Sticky Recent Items

In our new interface, we changed the Recent Items list to a drop-down at the top menu bar. It could be clicked and used whenever needed. But then, you could not keep those items in view always.

This is another option we have provided now. You can pin the Recent Items list to your screen while you navigate within your account. You can always close it once you are done.

Let your CRM match your company’s image

A cleaner, clutter-free look. This is what we achieved with the colors that we had selected for the new UI. Color preferences can vary, of course. For example, we received a comment like this: “But if I could “skin” my UI to match my company colors, I’d feel a little more in control of what changes were coming my way…

Zoho CRM already had the ability to add your company’s logo to your account. And now, with custom themes, you can set the colors for your tabs and also choose a different background. Your account will look unique and match your company’s brand image.

We understand that every user has different work patterns. Thank you very much for your feedback and we hope that you like these updates.

Any other ideas? Let us know in the comments below.

- Sharanya R

Zoho Invoice simplifies a law firm’s billing process

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law firm invoicingWe are aware of the fact that Zoho Invoice has helped a lot of small businesses, freelancers and service providers to streamline their invoicing process. Here is an example of a full service law firm, HMLC that is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The law firm that has a multi-lingual team of attorneys and consultants has benefited by using Zoho Invoice. HMLC has several branches across three continents. The firm efficiently and accurately sends numerous estimates and invoices every month using our invoice software. A few weeks back we had a discussion with Eric Alksibati, a senior lawyer with HMLC and a specialist in commercial and corporate law.


HMLC was previously using a local invoice software in Dubai. Over time they felt it was inefficient as they had to fix numerous errors at the time of creating an invoice and the result was they were unable to send out invoices on time. The law firm first used Zoho Creator and then discovered Zoho Invoice. Now it has been using our invoice software for so many years and our software facilitates to organize the law firm’s time management and client billing needs.

Billing clients on time is vital to any law firm. With Zoho Invoice we send quotes and invoices to our clients on time and get paid fast. To be honest, it’s very easy to use, great software. I highly recommend Zoho Invoice to anyone. – Eric Alksibati

 

Generating client invoices from billable time records and accurately billing its customers on time ensures that the law firm gets paid on time. Click here to read more on the law firm’s success story

 

New in Zoho Creator: Searchable Lookup, Exposed Formula Field and Flexible Custom Actions

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There has been plenty of activity going on at Zoho Creator lately; regarding Forms, Views, and everything database. The changes they bring are intended to achieve greater convenience in terms of usability, and it comes as a result of increasing responsiveness and customization. To name a few,

Searchable lookup:

You know Look-up fields. That list which you use to pick values from fields on other forms? It just got better. If you are looking up tens of records, then it wouldn’t make a big difference, but if you have tens of thousands of records, then you’d have known how long the browser takes to load them all.

Searchable Lookup fieldsNot any more, no matter how many records you have. We’ve given it auto-complete feature. In addition to the pick-list, you can also type the value. As you type, it automatically suggests the possible entries you are looking for, leaving out the rest. That way, you don’t have to scroll through the entire list to pick the last value.

Exposed Formula fields:

Formula fields are primarily to perform calculations using the values entered into other fields. And, they were hidden on forms. But now, we’ve made it optional to display formula fields to users. As and when users fill up a form, they can see the value of the formula field change instantly. The formula field shown below will add the values entered into the three number fields. Try?

Custom actions, custom place:

Though you reordered columns on views to the desired order, the Custom Action button always remained the last one. Previously, it could not be reordered. With 3 or 4 columns, it is not a big task, but if you have 70 columns on your view, then every time you need to execute a custom action, you had to scroll all the way to the last. Now, you can place it first one on the View, and execute them easily. You reorder it just as you do any other column; drag-&-drop.

custom actionWhile you check these out, I’ll go fetch the other things to be declared open. Stay tuned.