How Zoho Creator found its way into a Business School Curriculum : A Success Story

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Time and again, businesses from varied backgrounds deploy customized Zoho Creator applications for their varied needs. While it is easy to imagine a few run-of-the-mill applications which can come in handy, the truly creative and innovative use cases that our users come up with never cease to amaze us.

We take pride in showcasing such ingenious Zoho Creator applications built by some of our enthusiastic users. Today we are here with yet another usergroup that has taken the usability of Zoho Creator to an altogether different level.


The Insti:

IIT Kharagpur is one of the most prestigious educational institutions in India. Offering a plethora of courses in graduate, post graduate, management and doctoral studies, being an IIT-ian is every student’s dream. VGSOM is IIT Kharagpur’s B School. It is one of the top ranked B schools in the country. Like any other B School, the students of VGSOM are from varied cultural and educational backgrounds. But one thing that binds them all is the fact that they have worked their way into this premier institution through sheer hard work and are looking to learn as much as they can and step into the corporate world as managers with sharp skills and acumen.


The Coursework:

So far, we’ve come across different educational institutions using Zoho Creator for their data management needs. But IIT Kharagpur went one up and included Zoho Creator as a part of their curriculum. Developing an ERP Zoho Creator application is a part of the final year project for the students of VGSOM. A mandatory part of the curriculum, this seeks to introduce the students to the world of ERPs.



The “deciding” factors:


According to Prof. Prithwis Mukherjee, the man behind the inclusion of Zoho Creator in the curriculum, conventional application development platforms are getting outdated. Students need to get to the heart of the problem without having to first spend time learning the programming languages and then going on to develop custom applications. Zoho Creator being a cloud based solution, customized applications can be developed quickly and easily.

Here’s more from the professor himself, who chanced upon Zoho Creator through a Google Search, and his students who developed different apps on the Zoho Creator platform for their project.

If you thought that was interesting.. take a look at this thread where Professor Mukherjee makes the announcement to his students.
 
Now, that was one way we never imagined Zoho Creator to be used. If you think your story will surprise us, do share your experience with us. And we will tell the world about it right here!

Zoho Projects In Your Pocket: Our Web App is Here

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Your projects don’t stop just because you’re away from your computer. And now, with the new Zoho Projects Web App you can stay connected with your projects and your team wherever you are.

The Zoho Projects Web App allows you to access all of your projects while on the go. You are able to see the Project Stream and see what everyone on the team has been up to – finished tasks, new posts, comments, wiki pages and any other activities from the members of your team.

You can also go in and see the tasks that you have open and update their status, any notes and mark them as finished when you are done. How’s that for giving your team real-time info? And if something new comes up while you are out and about, you can also of course add a new task right from your phone.

Our web app is available starting today – and all you need is a Zoho Projects account (including the Free edition). Once you’ve setup your account just head over to m.zoho.com using your phone’s browser (iPhone or Android), and start getting things done, even while on the go.

Rodrigo

 

Offer Remote Support from your Chromebook

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While we’ve been constantly adding new services to Google Apps Marketplace, we’ve also been stocking up the Chrome Web Store. Today we are glad to announce our latest addition to the Google Chrome Webstore – Zoho Assist.
Zoho Assist provides a simple and straight forward user interface to connect to remote computers anywhere in the world, as long as they are hooked to the internet. Once your customer approves access, control the remote computer as if it’s in front of you. 
With Zoho Assist installed in your Chromebook, you can now view and control any desktop without installing any additional plugin or software. Zoho Assist is built with the latest HTML viewer technology, which enables it to be purely web based, easy to connect and hence it syncs smoothly with your cloud based Chromebook.
Well, to put it short, remote support becomes much more simpler in your Chromebook with Zoho Assist. Do install the app from here and let us know your feedback.. We’re all ears!!

Things you can do on your spreadsheet with Array Formulas

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Did you know you can actually sort data dynamically using Array Formulas? Earlier this week, we introduced the powerful new functionality of Array Formulas. And today we’re highlighting a unique way to sort your data using this functionality. 

Have a look at the two spreadsheets embedded below. The first example shows data gathered from NYSE, including the current stock price, stock price at previous day close, and % change from previous day close, using the Stock Formula for various stock markets like NYSE-100, NASDAQ, etc. The second table in each sheet contains the list of companies sorted in descending order of the price change using Array Formulas:

Similarly, this second example displays matches from a Cricket tournament by taking data from the ‘Match Details’ sheet and making use of Array Formulas:

This is just one way to creatively use Array Formulas. Have you used Array Formulas in a unique way? If so, do share it with us.

Only Happy Subscribers with Zoho’s Feedback Loop Service!

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Everyone
would like to share relevant useful content over email to keep their
subscribers engaged and happy. However, no one likes being branded as a
spammer when they only intended to send genuine emails to their
subscribers. Yet, a lot of people opt to receive their emails and later
mark them as spam. Not good. Now, to tak
e
care of this, Zoho Mail provides a feedback loop service to ESPs and
senders sending emails to Zoho users that helps them stay clean,
maintains IP reputation and improves email deliverability. This can
indeed be a seamless, effortless and simple task.


If you are an ESP or a sender sending emails from your own IP, register
yourself with Zoho’s feedback loop service, and we will show you how to
stay away from unhappy subscribers and how not to bother them, once they have
indicated disinterest in your emails.


You must be thinking, now, how does this work with Zoho?

  • You send an email to a Zoho user on behalf of your customer/user
  • Recipient marks your email as spam
  • You receive a notification with a report in ARF (Abuse Reporting Format)


Below is the typical work flow of the Zoho feedback loop service.


Benefits using Zoho’s feedback loop service:

  1. Maintains IP reputation
  2. Improves email deliverability
  3. Improves overall quality of user subscription


Zoho’s feedback loop service helps
ESPs and other senders stay clean by reporting whenever their emails
to Zoho users are marked spam. We report complaints to users (email
senders) with a “copy of the message” to help senders identify &
relieve unhappy subscribers.


Unhappy
subscribers can be a major cause for high spam complaint rates.
Often, users are mistaken during a sign up process and end up marking
your email as spam. We here at Zoho can help you avoid these hiccups.


It
makes utmost sense to keep you and your organization registered and
safe, in order to avoid being blocked by an ISP. What’s more, Zoho’s feedback loop service is free! I definitely want to safeguard my
organization’s IP reputation, wouldn’t you?

Refer here to find answers to some basic questions.

Get started by clicking https://fbl.zoho.com.


(NOTE: Due to some issues, the link above may not function for some users. We are working on fixing this! UPDATE: It’s fixed now.)

Increase the Efficiency of your Customer Support with Zoho PhoneBridge

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Tired of frantically trying to look up the most recent request sent by a customer (who is on hold!)? Well, we have a solution for you, Zoho Support’s latest feature – Zoho PhoneBridge. 

This feature connects your telephone system (PBX) with your Zoho Support account.  You can receive notifications about incoming calls and outgoing calls. When you receive a call, key details about the customer appear in a popup on your screen. You can view the customer’s name, e-mail ID, telephone number and 4 of the recent open requests belonging to them.
Key Features
The key features of Zoho PhoneBridge include the following:
  • Manage your incoming and outgoing calls
  • Click-to-dial
  • View the details of a contact or account when you receive or make a call

  • Associate calls with tickets
  • Enter the time spent on each call automatically
  • Generate reports to view the amount of time spent, by support representatives, on each call
  • Create multiple Zoho PhoneBridge groups to enable better customer support
Supported PBX Systems
The PBX systems that we currently support are:
  • Asterisk 1.4
  • Elastix 1.6
  • Trixbox 2.6

This document explains how to enable the PhoneBridge feature in Zoho Support.

We would like to hear what you think about our new feature. Write to us at support@zohosupport.com or post a comment below. 

How we took Zoho CRM’s UI from “The Worst” to “S-U-P-E-R-B!”

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In Quick – out quick, nobody gets hurt” – That captures what we set out to do with our new CRM. Thanks, Gary, for noticing it.

But we must admit that was not always the case. Our old UI was pretty bad. Why? And most importantly – why and how did we fix it?

Well, traditionally we focused on the MANAGEMENT side of Sales. We were making CRM Administrators and VPs of Sales happy.  Their goal is to automate the entire sales process and also get insight into their sales funnel! With our features around Customization, Role Based Security, Workflow Management, Web Forms, Reports and Dashboards and so on, that was very easy to do.

For example, this is the kind of feedback we were getting from THAT audience.

 @sarahschaeff: Loving the flexibility & functionality in @zohocrm
So we were making sales execs and CRM admins happy. But what about the daily users?

The WORST UI! That’s what Meaghan said. We needed to hear that. Thanks again, Meaghan. We took that to heart.

By talking with our users, sales & marketing folks – the people who cannot live without a CRM system on a day-to-day basis – we learned what should have been obvious since the beginning: they want to sell more and spend very little time inside their CRM. To be more productive is all they wanted. Consider your typical sales rep. Their focus is to qualify more leads, close more deals and meet the monthly sales targets. They don’t like spending time inside the CRM system and updating status.

So then we asked ourselves questions like:

How do Sales people behave inside a CRM system?
- What do they expect a CRM system to offer?

- What are their CRM usage patterns?

And then we understood. We needed to provide a balance between Automation and Productivity. Our feature set was good enough to automate any business, but we had to re-design the user interface of Zoho CRM for easier navigation and data access. It should be a CRM system that helps Sales Reps to focus more on managing their customer relationships and less on CRMing.

After 9 months of iteration and iteration, the outcome of our efforts is almost ready:   

So we were, understandably so, elated when we saw Gary’s tweet. We think we’re on the right track.

Here are some of the highlights of the new design:

An new, organized setup.
The Setup page is better organized with all links grouped under relevant headings. It’s easier to find what you are looking for and there’s no more scrolling.

The Business Card View. Goodbye Scrolling!
When clicking a contact, you’ll find the basic information at the top of the page. So, if you have a call with a contact, you do not have to hunt for details like the phone number or the account name. It’s right where you can see it.



Faster access to customer conversations
Right below the Business Card view is the Notes section – which you can get to quickly during a call. And we made it easier for sales reps to enter notes. And from our very own, internal experience, usage of notes inside CRM sky-rocketed.

Those are just three examples of the many changes we made.

The public launch of the New Zoho CRM is not very far away. Meanwhile, you can start working on the new CRM, right now. We’re still fixing some details – so please let us know your feedback. Please take into account that you’ll be accessing your live DATA but with a different UI. Any changes that you make will be reflected on your “other” account – it’s just the same data, just looking at it through a different – and hopefully better – window.

Check out our new CRM today. Head over to


Stay tuned for more!