About Hari Murali

Hari Murali is a Product Marketer @ Zoho Mail. The easiest way to start a conversation with him is by leaving a comment on any of his blog posts. He believes that Email will never be dead and tries his best to keep himself up to date about its ever evolving immortal form.

Faster and smoother connection process for Remote Support

Posted by Posted on by

A few weeks back, I had a personal remote support experience with my dad, more specifically helping him out with transliteration in gmail by showing him how it works as I directly controlled his computer’s mouse and keyboard. I had to take this drastic step after about 1 hour of trying to explain how it is done over the phone, continuously countering his ever present ‘I don’t understand computers’ attitude. Prior to this, when I had initiated this remote support effort and directed him to the join web page, he demanded,

 Why do I have to type in my name, email and all that ? Don’t you know it already? Why can’t I just click on something, like it is usually with computers and be done with it.

After such personal experiences that I shared with the team and intently paying attention to requests on improving the user experience in establishing remote connections, we have been vigorously working on making it as simple as possible for your

remote support
needs. Many unhappy feelings were posted to support in writing (some polished, some strikingly straight forward) about having the remote user type in information like their email address at join.zoho.com and delays in the connection process through email invitations.

Well, no more delays, time to get set and go! All that a remote user needs to do now is run the little (just 111kb in size) join executable when they type in

at the browser’s location bar and key in the session id in the little edit box that is as simple as this:

Join Session Box



and that’s it! A progress bar runs for a few seconds…

Remote connection progress

…and the remote connection is complete.

With email invitations or sending session link via chat, the remote user does not even have to key in the session id which is incorporated with the invitation link. Just running the join executable will do. We noticed that people who are already aware of this change, currently using

Zoho Assist
are pleased with this current setup and the remote connection process has become faster and smoother. So, to all those who had reservations with our previous join process, give our new method a try.

This is just an initial effort at improving the overall user experience and more updates are coming up in this regard. Stay tuned! If your thirst for ease-of-use in getting things done online without leaving your seat isn’t yet satisfied, post your comments
on your expectations for a better remote support experience. We are determined to quench it!

Note: This update is effective only with Windows PCs.

Embed Remote Support widget on your web site for a better customer experience

Posted by Posted on by
Rarely will people go through with sensitive transactions and interactions, if they do not feel comfortable and secure about it, because…..

Sensitive Interactions

…..most times it turns out bad. When it comes to something extremely sensitive like Remote Support , where one grants control and access to their computer entirely, customer experience while going through with it really matters. It is normal for average computer users to be paranoid when it comes to remote support, given that even some computer savvy folks are skeptical of online dealings like buying and paying for stuff through net banking etc. One awkward experience with your remote
support service is enough reason for a customer to never return to you
for help!

Think about it, isn’t there always that little
hesitation whenever we are transferred to a third party payment gateway
while shopping online? Sometimes you even quit from going through with it.
Isn’t it true that we feel safer when that payment gateway is built
within the site of the online store though it is the same thing. True,
that the online store is sort of concealing the fact that another
service is involved yet it is simply about making it less complicated
for their customers, since the store is certain about the security of the service they have chosen.

Our Zoho Assist’s Embed Remote Support widget works the same way. Instead of directing your remote users to join a
support session through Zoho Assist’s join session page, you can direct them to
your own site page. All you have
to do is simply copy and paste a couple of lines of text (code) to your
site’s HTML source and you get a session-id box with a join button right on your page. This way your customers’ experience is focused around your business’ service, making it more comfortable, easy and safe in perspective.

Here are a few examples of remote service providers utilizing the Embed feature of Zoho Assist (Click on the images to see the actual site pages). The following image is from One Stop PC computer support:

One Stop Computer Support

Similarly, New Frontier Ventures LLC , has remote support built into their web page:

New Frontier Ventures
Now, compare joining a support session through the above pages to the Zoho Assist join session page. What would make you feel more comfortable? Not many of us like giving our email-ids just because we seek service right? You can avoid that for your clients with the embed widget. We are working on complete re-branding options wherein you can even get rid of the ‘powered by zoho’ tag, create your own organization / company support URL and more (for which you might have to pay a little).

Customer experience is of top priority. Make your remote support service easy, secure and comfortable for your clients, try Zoho Assist now! 

An extensive write-up about Zoho CRM on financial-planning.com

Posted by Posted on by
Financial PlanningIt is always great to know that your service is sought-after, used,
reviewed and recommended by other users, businesses and people. And
when we came across the detailed write-up and recommendation to ‘Take a
look at Zoho CRM’ in a recent article titled ‘Special Report: Your Practice Management Questions Answered ‘ on financial-planning.com, we
were thrilled.

‘Financial Planning’ is dedicated to the
needs of independent financial planners, whose primary concerns include
building relationships with clients and
their practice, that is building and managing their business, mainly
client’s portfolios. Thus, addressing Customer Relationship Management is
essential as in any form of Business.

The extensive part about Zoho CRM comes as a response to one of the questions (located around the middle of page 5) the article addresses which is How can I start using CRM software, cheap?’. It provides a good perspective
to any Business interested in using a CRM, to get an idea if Zoho
CRM would suffice for managing their customer interactions and relations. Here is an excerpt from the article:

 As you may have gathered, both the Professional and Enterprise editions
of Zoho CRM offer a great deal of value. There are plenty of fields, a
great deal of functionality and very good granular security. What sets
Zoho apart from some of its competitors, however, is the breadth of its
offering. While the Zoho CRM Professional edition is very robust and a
great value for the money, it becomes substantially more effective when
used in combination with other Zoho offerings. To give you just one
example, combining Zoho CRM with Zoho email and Zoho Docs gives you
robust CRM, integrated email that includes email storage, plus an
integrated online entry-level document management solution at an
unbeatable price. Add Zoho Business (email hosting plus an Office
suite) and you have a fully functional online set of productivity
applications, including calendaring functionality.

Joel BruckensteinMany
thanks to Joel P. Bruckenstein , CFP, publisher, Virtual Office News for
that wonderful write-up about Zoho CRM. It is not easy to get feedback or even small comments from users and it is hard to know where we stand from the
outside without them. We hope we see more such reviews in the future so
that we can improve on our drawbacks and continue to work towards
providing excellent, affordable CRM .

Build a reputation that is priceless with Online Meetings and Web Conferencing for a 'price, less'

Posted by Posted on by

Consider this. Your strenuous efforts to get your business uphill have stirred ample interest in your work. It is the internet generation (Web 2.0 – tweets, social networks, wikis, YouTube) and there is this demand for immediacy. From product and service demonstrations to delivering your work, everything needs to happen instantly….that is right now!

This being the case you have scheduled an appointment with a promising prospect living in a different state. Unaware of other online possibilities, you explore your options for air tickets and find out that it will cost you about $400 round trip at a minimum, excluding other miscellaneous expenses. You tend to wonder if this would be worth it. A feeling of awkwardness between balancing costs and reaching out to every prospect seeps in. Not good.

Now, consider this other possibility. You don’t explore options for air tickets. Rather, you sit at the comfort of your office or home with your computer, trigger your web browser and share your computer screen with the prospect (located anywhere in the world with internet access) using Zoho Meeting. Then, you start your presentation, interact and collaborate in real-time through text or voice chat. Your impressed prospect is now interested in turning a customer. Good.

Also, you can have people ‘click in’ (walk in) and meet with you from any place (linked to the World Wide Web). This, through a little meeting box embedded on your web page. We had previously told you about how you can get such a feature on your web site.

Embed Meeting      
In all, the ease and effectiveness of online meetings and web conferencing is irrefutable. And how much will it cost you? Well, you will be surprised to know how ‘price, less’ Zoho Meeting is, considering what some people have said about their ‘meet now’ experience in various blogs and articles:

I confess to being a big Zoho fan — the combined quality and range of
their online offerings is probably unequalled….The [Zoho Meeting]
interface is stylish and compact, not to mention intuitive….I think
that this will be an invaluable addition to many workplaces, not to
mention a winner with web workers.

says this blogger who has spent 15 years in and around capital markets.

 I urge you to check out Zoho Meeting
and see how easy it is to collaborate with others. Don’t forget to also
check out their other online products (many of them free too) like Zoho Writer (for word processing), Zoho Sheet (for spreadsheets), Zoho Show (for presentations), and many others.

says this blog posted by Michael Hayslip who has spent 11 years as a system administrator in a Fortune 500 company.

 Zoho Meeting
meets the needs of desktop sharing for small businesses and independent
entrepreneurs. The product is straight-forward and practical.

says this blog by Matt Thommes who is passionate about promoting the effect the web has on our lives.

So you’ve got the coffee, donuts, laser pointer and the infamous whiteboard—all the components of the proverbial think tank.  Zoho Meeting makes it possible to put this type of collaboration online—minus the breakfast fare.

starts this article on biztools, a web site specializing in tools for small businesses.

So, join the club. Create a lasting impression by instantly meeting your customers. Be available to them immediately. Perform demonstrations and provide hands-on training from your web browser by interacting with them in real-time. Easily organize online meetings with a group of people, using diverse equipment, of varying computer skills and from different parts of the world. Do all this for a ‘price, less’, while building a reputation that is priceless. ‘Meet now’ with Zoho Meeting.


Remote Support diaries: Solving the "round and round" problem

Posted by Posted on by

I thought I’ll share with you a recent amusing and interesting remote support experience. It involved helping Juan, a friend of mine in UK and his mother in Mexico, both of us ultimately having to control her PC, miles and oceans away. It is interesting how now-a-days members of a family live and work apart in different ends of the world and have to depend on the internet to be a family. You never know when you might get into a situation to remotely assist one of your closest ones with PC software hiccups.

Anyways, I was text chatting to Juan, currently working in UK and was wondering why he was not getting back with his usually witty rapid responses. On my demand for attention, he then told me that his mother in Mexico was driving him nuts complaining…

 My friend put the talking thing and left. Now, the talking thing is going round and round.

He asked me if I could make anything out of it and I said all I can think of and see is a huge question mark in a cloud on top of my head.

After further discussions about what is “talking thing going round and round” going nowhere, I suggested him to make a remote connection to his mother’s PC in Mexico using Zoho Assist and SEE what she was seeing. He said his mother’s computer ideology is such that the monitor is the internet-email and the other box (CPU) is unnecessary. I assured him that if she knows to check her email that will do to gain remote control of her PC. Skeptical but hopeful, he went and started a remote session from the Zoho web page; typed his mother’s email-id and clicked “Start session“.

Glad to receive any email from her son, his mom opened the email, “clicked on one of those blue things with the hand” (email link) and later on Juan’s request clicked on “Join session” from the web page that opened. In minutes Juan was not only viewing but controlling the mouse and working on his mother’s PC located far away in Mexico. Then he typed “Hahaha….I see now what the talking thing round and round is!” I demanded immediate explanation and he insisted it be a suspense.

After a while though, he said he was not able stop the “talking thing” from going “round and round” and some extra help would be good. Ultimately he invited me to also view his mother’s PC by using the “invite” option in Zoho remote support interface. So, three people in different corners of the world were sharing the desktop of a PC in minutes. No internet settings, firewall tweaking, IP address or such. All from our web browsers.

And so, I too figured out what was going “round and round” repeatedly, while it should be going in. It is absolutely amazing how something simple can seem complicated. In collaboration, we browsed through some message boards online on his mother’s computer and after following instructions on one related forum, we got the talking thing to go in. Juan also explained his mother how to talk through it. If you are intrigued to know what was going “round and round“…..click here to see.                                                                      

Remote support is simple and effective with Zoho Assist. You can connect to anyone, anywhere even through firewalls/proxies, NAT. You can have an IT technician remotely control your PC right from his office. If you are in IT support, you even have features like Remote PC Diagnostics and built-in file transfer to exchange and install updates and patches. You can collaborate with your colleagues, share your desktops and work as a team. Try Zoho Assist next time you are in need to remotely control a PC.

Instant PC Diagnostics with Remote Support

Posted by Posted on by

Did you know that using Remote Support with Zoho Assist, you can now get comprehensive diagnostic information about a remote PC in just a click? Yes, a click on the ‘Diagnostics’ button control instantly unveils ‘Remote PC Diagnostics’ to you.

is a known fact that PC diagnosis is essential to hasten the process of
identifying the root cause of a problem, especially while working on
rectifying technically challenging software issues (that may be
affecting the functioning of other hardware). If you are a computer
support technician, then being able to obtain information about
applications, processes, active drivers, events etc becomes necessary
to troubleshoot issues that demand higher level of research.

Typically, while performing remote support on customer PCs, the Task Manager and management programs in Administrative Tools
are frequently used for diagnostic purposes. It may be quite tedious
and frustrating if the controller of a remote system has to navigate
and activate them remotely at the client’s end, time and again, having
to access each utility individually at various points of the support

Remote Support with Zoho Assist helps prevent this time draining situation by
aggregating the prime diagnostic information under one simple tabbed
‘Remote PC Diagnostics’ interface.

Using Remote PC Diagnostics

The support technician or the controller of the remote system can launch the Remote PC Diagnostics view, by clicking on the ‘Diagnostics’ button control on the User Interface (UI).

Technician Toolbar

The Remote PC Diagnostics interface contains seven parts:
Dashboard, Processes, Services, Drivers, Applications, Start-up and
Event Viewer. Each tab displays information relative to the actions and
activities on the remote system.

[Click the image below and take a peek at all tabs]

     Remote PC Diagnostics

The Prime Seven


The Dashboard view provides information pertaining to the basic configuration
of the remote system. Information about the System’s CPU, Memory and
Data Drives are categorized and displayed in four sub-sections. The
controller of the remote PC can get a quick idea of the percentage memory, CPU in use,
amount of free space available in each drive etc., from this dashboard
view that is the usual starting point of a support session.


The Processes tab lists all the on-going processes on the remote system
along with the process-id (PID), memory used, the respective percentage
memory, user name and priority. The list can be sorted in ascending or
descending order relative to name alphabets or numerical values by
clicking on the title name of each column. This is mainly useful to
trace the processes consuming the most and least memory.


The Services tab lists all the long-running executables
that perform specific functions and do not require user intervention on
the remote system.  A brief description of the service functions is
displayed along with the path to the service executable, its current
status and startup type. A technician can track how a service was
started and also determine if any unwanted services were started


Drivers tab lists all the hardware and software drivers that are active
in the remote system, in three columns: Name, Display Name and Type.
While the Name column corresponds to the name of the driver file,
Display Name denotes the kind of software or hardware being driven. The
Type column specifies if the driver is part of the kernel or the file
system. This helps a remote controller to assist a client dealing with
driver related issues.


Applications tab shows details of software applications and programs
running on the remote system. It contains Name, Version number,
Publisher and Location (path to the directory) where the application is
executed from. This enables the controller of the remote system to
check for the presence of any spurious applications that may be hindering proper functioning of the system.


The Start-Up tab displays details of all the programs that get initiated when the remote client starts his/her system. Most malware programs make their way into the start-up path in the registry
and keep running in the background without the knowledge of the user.
This being the case, a support technician can track down such unwanted
programs from this tabbed view and also get to know if too many start-up programs are slowing the system down.

Event Viewer

The Event Viewer tab provides a snapshot of significant occurrences on the remote computer
that fall into one of the three severity levels, information, warning
or error. With the Event Viewer, information about hardware, software,
and system components on the remote computer can be obtained, along
with monitoring of security related events. This helps the support
technician to identify and diagnose the source of system problems, or
predict potential ones.

Note: This facility is available currently only for remote PCs running Windows. Work is in progress to support Mac and Linux.

Rapid Remote Support

success of resolving a computer problem through remote assistance
relies heavily on the scope and speed of access to in-depth system
information at the remote customer’s end. Your client may not find it
too comforting to watch you open up his/her task manager, event
manager, administrative tools and such cryptic, unfamiliar stuff you
deal with rather frequently. As an analogy think about a patient forced to watch a surgeon perform his fine cuts, stitches and chat about the insides with his peers…..not good right?

Using Remote Support with Zoho Assist, you can now simply click on the
‘Diagnostics’ button and immediately have access to all the prime
information, otherwise only available through individual access and
activation at the remote PC end. You can get on with performing your technical surgery on the remote PC given the better hold on the
specifics of the problem, sans any paranoid customers.

Try Remote Support with Zoho Assist today, assist your clients effectively and have them impressed with your rapid service.