New in Zoho Sheet: Repeat Action, Insert Cut Rows and Hyperlink

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We have been regularly adding new functionality to Zoho Sheet. Here are 3 more cool features that are now available:

F4 – Repeat Last Action:

Are you tired of doing the same action repeatedly on your spreadsheet – actions such as deleting the blank rows or applying the same style? If yes, then you will love this functionality. Using the keyboard shortcut F4, you can quickly repeat the last action performed, such as applying cell styles, formats, row/column operations, etc., on a different set of cells.

Insert Cut / Copied Rows and Columns:

Have you felt the need to move (or copy) your rows or columns around? You can now easily do it by doing a ‘Cut’ followed by ‘Insert Cut Rows Above’.

Hyperlink Enhancements:

Our ‘Insert Hyperlink’ functionality now lets you create a hyperlink to a cell / cell range / named range / worksheet. You can even create dynamic hyperlinks using the HYPERLINK() function.

To learn more about these new features, head to our discussion forum.

Here is a screen cast video highlighting the usage of these new features.

Save Paper With Online Document Management

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Here are some startling facts I came across online, about paper and its consumption in the US:

  • Every year the U.S. uses nearly 3.7 million tons of paper – that is more than 700 billion sheets
  • A Xerox survey reveals that U.S. office workers print more than 1,000 pages a
    month; the national annual average is 10,000 – 12,000 sheets per worker
  • Other studies by Xerox  reveal that office workers throw away 45 percent of their documents within 24 hours of printing them
  • With all the office paper businesses waste every year a 12-foot high wall of paper from New York to California could be built.
  • It takes one 15-year old tree to produce half a box of paper.
  • 10,000 sheets of paper per year are used by a single US office worker. If a box of paper contains 5,000 sheets and costs $32, that’s $64 and 4 trees per employee. For an office of 100 employees, that’s a whopping $6400 and 400 trees!


From the 
the facts mentioned above you can see that offices use vast quantities of paper, which mostly end up as waste. This is where online document management services such as Zoho Docs can help businesses reduce their usage of paper.

By using document management services such as Zoho Docs, you no longer have to create documents on paper. Instead, you can create, store and share your documents online. This not only leads to reduced paper consumption but increases the efficiency at work, saves time, money, and resources.

So, how would your business benefit going the paperless route, by using online document management ?

Save time: Reduce time spent on searching for a document from hours to minutes

Save Office Space: Reduce file cabinet and storage space in your office, making your work environment clutter-free.

Access anytime anywhere: 
Store all your files online and access them from anywhere

Get Quicker access to information: Get all your documents organized in one place and retrieve the required document with ease

Safety and Security: Set access privileges for documents so only the people you want to share the document with get to access it. You no longer have to worry about a document getting lost or misplaced. And lastly…

Go Green:  Reduce the amount of paper you use. The less paper we use, the less trees are cut down, which would be a step in saving our fast diminishing natural environment.

Zoho Docs is helping businesses save paper and go green by offering online document management. We would like to know if there is anything that you’ve done or you would suggest to “save paper”?

How a Cancelled Project at StorageTek Led to Zoho CRM

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I have never shared this story in public before, but I wanted to do this after reading Hank Williams’ post (via Hacker News) on race in Silicon Valley. My post is not about race, but it is somewhat related, as you will see below.

First a bit of history. In 2003, our company’s only business was network management software. Our main product at that time was Web NMS, which continues to be a successful and profitable division for us to this day, but at that time, it was the only product line we had. Zoho was not yet born, in fact, we had not even conceived of the name yet. Web NMS had many large equipment vendors as customers, and among them was StorageTek, a multi-billion dollar back-up & recovery products company, which was later acquired by Sun. After a comprehensive evaluation over several months, StorageTek chose our Web NMS product to build remote monitoring capability into their storage equipment, and they also wanted us to set up a team to customize the Web NMS so it could talk to their equipment and provide the specialized reports needed. This project began in 2003, and it was going smoothly. We had a team of about 10 engineers working on this project. We had reached a stage of trial deployment in a few customer sites.

That was when they had a big management change at StorageTek. The Vice President in charge of this project was replaced with a new person. One of the first things the new VP noted was that Web NMS came from an Indian company. Just on that basis, he instructed his purchasing people to terminate the contract immediately and award the contract to another company. The purchasing person, who shared the reason behind the termination with us, felt it was a massive waste of resources, but he was overruled. In fact, because the termination was for no fault on our side, they paid for all the deliverables, even though they were not going to use any of them.

It was sometime in August 2003 that we were notified of the contract termination. It was abrupt – as I remember it, it was on a Thursday we were notified, and they told us we should just stop the project right-away and yes, we could throw away the code. Our team, which was working hard on this project, was devastated. I assembled our team and told them to take the Friday off, and come back fresh Monday. I promised there would be an interesting new challenge awaiting them Monday.

During that year, two threads were running in my mind: how to diversify the company from its dependence on a few large customers like StorageTek, where sales cycles were very long, and decision making was often very political, something we got a perfect demonstration of. Second, I was also thinking about the emerging software-as-a-service market. We were customers of Salesforce, and while I liked their product delivery model, I felt the product itself was massively overpriced. As I analyzed Salesforce, I felt their high price was due to their business model bloat i.e overspending massively on sales and marketing. As a software engineer, I felt we could build a better product and as an entrepreneur, I felt we could cut the bloat in the business model and offer the product at a more affordable price. From my perspective, all this had the added merit that we would target small and mid-sized customers first, which would let us avoid the long sales cycles and the politics. That was just a thought, an idea, without yet a plan of action.

When StorageTek terminated our contract, that thought just crystallized. On Monday morning, I called a meeting and told our team “You are now our on-demand CRM team.” The engineers were incredulous. One of the lead engineers let out “Sridhar, we know nothing about software-as-a-service or about CRM” – I said “Well, you will know soon!”

Today, Zoho CRM is the fastest growing part of the Zoho suite, it is nicely profitable, and it is starting to give Salesforce a run for their money. Zoho CRM also paved the way to our emergence as one of the most comprehensive suite of business applications in the cloud. I guess we should thank StorageTek.

Back to StorageTek – the company they selected to replace us collected a few million dollars and never really delivered on that project. The ultimate irony was that they called us a couple of years later to help them with this project again; needless to add, we declined.

There’s a customer story behind every statistic

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Get your processes in place, and then you can truly take
advantage of CRM.


It was the theme we kept hearing again and again at the CRM
Evolution Conference in New York City earlier this year. If you’re going to compete, you have to
move beyond just operationalizing your process.


One way to truly improve processes is with more and more
analytics. Each analytic has a story behind it. Why is a certain statistic
going up or down or not changing at all? There’s a reason for that. And what
you’re ultimately trying to do is connect those stories to customers, explains Aaron Cano, VP of Marketing, Operations, and Planning for

FreshDirect
, an online grocery store for
fresh produce delivered to your door.

Watch our interview with Cano for more insight on how to
uncover those stories!

Can a cloud-based CRM system reduce “technical debt” of constant upgrading?

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Do you ever get bogged down by your software? Is the management
of the software itself becoming more taxing than actually using it for its
purchased intention?


At the CRM Evolution Conference in New York City, I got a
chance to chat with Alex Eldridge, Director of Project Management for

SofterWare

who has been taxed with the project
of finding a new CRM solution for the company. They are currently using the
desktop-based CRM/contact management solution, Goldmine.


I chatted with Eldridge about his process of what he is
looking for in a CRM solution. He boiled it all down to these four criteria:








  • Reduced complexity
    :
    Systems are currently too difficult to manage. There is a major technical debt
    of upgrading systems.








  • Less burdersome change
    management
    : Changes in browsers and operating systems have become a source
    of failure.








  • Less specialized
    knowledge
    : Instead of locking the understanding of a system into a few
    people’s heads, Eldridge is looking for simpler systems for which development
    can be extended to the end users. He wants them to be empowered to do more on
    their own.





  • Improved quality of data
    :
    Does not want data in different formats where they are out of alignment. Looking to
    create greater synchronicity on data.

If C-L-O-U-D were an acronym, what would it stand for?

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We asked. You answered. Most interesting responses from Facebook and 



Twitter
:




“Collaborate Live On Unsurpassed Development”
Mark Brutus Thurman




“Computing Leveraged Online for Users Devices”
WireSpeed Systems






“Computing Levitated Out of yoUr Desktop





Emil Chackot






“Computer Located OUtside Datacenter”
@skipbogsan




“Come-Lets-Organize-Upload-Distribute / Download” 
@warriorvibhu






And the funniest of them all…


“Children Like Oranges Upside Down”
Jack Kerr








Got any other interesting answers to contribute?  Leave us a comment here.