What You Can Learn from Google, Zappos and AIG to Improve the Candidate Experience

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I hear you all in the backseat. Your eager voices echoing like children on a family road trip to Mount Rushmore or Washington D.C.

“Are we there, yet?”

No, not yet. But I promise we’re getting…closer.

I know our last stop in the realm of bad candidate experiences was difficult at times, but it was crucial in order to overhaul and reshape the candidate experience.

So with Bad Candidate Experience-ville fixed in our rear view mirror, let’s set our sights toward a new horizon, one dotted with the shiny skyscrapers worth gasping over — the companies whose candidate experiences are at the heart of their success. Simply said, now that we know what a good candidate experience is not, it’s time to learn what a good candidate experience is.

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Zoho: Largest software provider in Google Apps Marketplace

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With 11 Zoho Apps integrated with Google Apps and thousands of companies with tens of thousands of users using our integrated suites, Zoho becomes the largest software provider in Google Apps Marketplace. 

Last month we said we will launch five new integrations with Google Apps. So we did – Zoho Creator, Meeting, Discussions, Wiki & Reports. These five apps join our long list of previously integrated apps – Zoho CRM, Projects, Invoice, Books, Recruit & Creator HelpDesk

These integrations are not just sign-on level integrations. They go deep. An app like CRM, for example, integrates with various Google modules like Contacts, Calendar, Docs, Mail, Sites, Spreadsheets and user provisioning apart from various open social and gmail contextual gadgets. Apart from the breadth of our portfolio, we also bring in the depth in integration as well.

For over a year, we have been stressing the importance of contextual integrations and have been focusing our efforts on both external and internal integrations. This will continue to be a key focus this year as well as next year for Zoho. We’d like to see application boundaries disappear as the data flows freely between the apps. 

Given the number of apps we offer, the possible number of integrations increase. We prioritize based on your requests. If you’d like to see any specific integrations, please drop us a line.

Zoho… one of Google’s 7 “worst enemies”?

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Channel Insider just released an article detailing Google’s Worst Enemies – a list of the top 7 enemies Google has.

The article lists the 6 usual suspects you’d expect: Amazon in the e-books category; Apple and RIM (Blackberry) for phones; Microsoft (search, apps, phone); Mozilla, the makers of Firefox (a browser that competes with Google’s Chrome); And finally (and probably the biggest one) Facebook, who competes with Google in the social space, but most importantly, for online ad dollars.

Now… guess who rounds up the 7 “worst enemies”?

First, we’re flattered to have been put with in such illustrious company. So, thanks for that, Channel Insider team!

That aside, we do want to clarify how we compete and collaborate with Google.

We do compete with Google to an extent. They offer Gmail for businesses – we offer a great business-focused hosted e-mail solution. We started offering an online office suite, and Google followed suit with their Writely acquisition. Needless to say, we like our offerings better!

But that’s about it. Other than those two products, we collaborate with Google in multiple ways and whenever possible. We collaborate with Google far and wide – with their Enterprise division, with the Chrome OS folks and in some other areas.

For example:
When all is said and done, we view ourselves more as a Google partner than a competitor. We love when a customer wants to sign-up for Zoho Mail, our Zoho productivity suite and use Zoho CRM. But if a customers wants to use Google Apps, and sign up for for Zoho CRM for Google Apps, that is perfectly fine with us as well. We’re adding more and more of our products to the Google Apps Marketplace. Right now we have a total of 6 Zoho products in the Google Apps Marketplace (including Zoho Books, Zoho CRM, Zoho Projects and Zoho Invoice) and that is only going to increase going forward. 

That’s the nature of the evolving technology industry these days… even Microsoft and Google are, ahem, “collaborating” on search results!
Now, seriously – it’s not so black-and-white and it might sometimes seem from a distance. Sure, if a customer asks us whether they should sign-up with Z Mail or Gmail, well, we’re going to give them our own, biased, point of view. And I’m sure Google does exactly the same. But when you put that in context of all the things we do, you start seeing the big picture.

And that’s not unique to Google, that’s just part of who we are as a company. We recognize customers have choices, and that it is just impossible that 100% of them will chose to go 100% Zoho, for each and every one of their apps. Likewise, we also integrate some of our products with other leading players in the industry. For example, we released a Quickbooks add-on for our Zoho CRM product, right before we launched our own online accounting solution, Zoho Books.

So… no, I don’t think we’re one of Google’s “worst 7 enemies”. Rather than defining ourselves as enemies, we like to think of ourselves as a business’ best online friend!


Zoho – Chrome Notebook Promotion

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The tag line under the Zoho logo says “Work. Online”. This is because we believe you can be more productive in getting your work done using online tools like Zoho. Infact, we run Zoho on Zoho AppsWhen Google announced Chrome OS, we were excited about hassle free computing on the cloud. We have been playing with Chrome notebook and we loved it

Today, we are excited to announce a joint promotion with Google. If you love Zoho Apps and use them all the time, you will probably enjoy a Chrome notebook as much as we did. So we are giving away some Cr-48 notebooks to Zoho users through a special promotion that starts today and lasts for a week.

How to Apply

This promotion is available in several Zoho Apps – Zoho Writer, Creator, Books & Invoice. After you visit one of these apps through Chrome Web Store, you might see a banner on the top with an ‘Apply Now’ link. Click it to apply! Selected users will receive a Cr-48.

Update: Here is the blog post from Google on this promotion.

Zoho CRM in 2010

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In 2010, we focused primarily on integrations and I talked about some

integrations here

. Zoho CRM, one of our most popular apps, is no exception. We made several enhancements and integrated with internal as well as external apps.

Here are few integration highlights…


many more


Here is a video that recaps the year 2010.

2011 is going to be even more exciting. We thank you all for your continued support.

Zoho Apps on Chrome Web Store

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For users looking to use Zoho Apps on Chrome OS, we started adding our apps to Chrome Web Store. For now, three Zoho Apps are listed in Chrome Web Store – Zoho Writer, Sheet & Show

Once  you install the apps, you will see them listed under the Apps section with our new product icons.

We plan to include all Zoho Apps in Chrome Web Store. What are the apps you want to see immediately?

Announcing Zoho extensions for Google Chrome: Search with Google, View with Zoho and more

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At Zoho we like Google Chrome quite a bit. It is a fast browser and it’s handling of Javacript makes it a good fit for web applications that push the limits – and that’s exactly what we do with our apps. So a few weeks ago, when a friend called to ask if Zoho would be interested to take part in the public launch of the Chrome Extensions, we were happy to join. In addition, it is worthwhile noting that almost 10% of our users get to Zoho with a Chrome browser – that’s notable for a young browser. And that’s growing quickly. While Firefox growth has kind of stabilized, Internet Explorer continues to loose ground and now is the second most-used browser.

So today we are releasing not one, but two Zoho extensions for Google Chrome.

Zoho Companion for Google Chrome

This Zoho extension for Google Chrome keeps you connected to Zoho regardless of the site you are in, and it also enhances your Google web searching experience by allowing you to quickly view documents, spreadsheets, presentation and PDFs you might come across in your searches. For example, in your Google searches you might come across a search result like this:

So you know that’s an Excel file. But you either don’t have Excel in your computer or simply don’t want to go through the hassle of downloading the file and waiting for Excel to open it. When you install the Zoho Companion for Google Chrome, you can easily view this file using Zoho when you mouse over the link and click on view in Zoho:

That will open up that document/spreadsheet/presentation in Zoho, where you can more easily and quickly view it.

Beyond that, Zoho Companion for Google Chrome also allows you to quickly view using Zoho any local files you may have (not only the ones you find on the web), keep an eye on the documents other people share with you in Zoho Writer, Zoho  Sheet and Zoho Show, as well as displaying how many e-mails you have, regardless what page you are in.

Yeah… that’s 925 unread e-mails for me… wish me luck!

Zoho Notebook Companion for Google Chrome

The Zoho Notebook Companion for Google Chrome, as you’d expect, is specific to Zoho Notebook. It allows you to seamlessly browse the web and make clippings of the pages you visit and take notes. You can automatically take a screenshot of the page you are visiting, which is then automatically uploaded on the background to your Zoho Notebook account:

You can of course just grab part of the text of the page as well, or just jot down your random thoughts -directly to Zoho Notebook- with this addon:

This is just the first version that we developed in a short time to get them ready for the launch. You should see more functionality being included in them. And of course, if there’s anything in particular that you’d like to see, please do let us know in the comments below. We’ll take those into account. Keep in mind that currently not all Zoho applications support Chrome to the full extent that we want them to. We are working on that too!

We hope you’ll like these two Google Chrome add-ons and invite you to try them. You can find them in the Google Chrome Extensions gallery. We of course want to thank the Google Chrome team for inviting us to be part of this launch and for their assistance in getting us up to speed and helping us with questions.