Customer Spotlight: Migrating from Salesforce to Z-CRM Saves Young Company Huge Money

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“It all started with Jim Cramer.”

For those of you unfamiliar with Jim Cramer, he is a popular American television personality, former hedge fund manager, and host of CNBC’s Mad Money.

As Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. (ICT) founder and CEO Bob Joseph tells the story, “Years ago, I was watching Mad Money and he was pushing Sales Force’s CRM solution.  I knew we were at the point in our company growth where we needed a good CRM solution and one that could accommodate our growth.  So, from Cramer’s recommendation we began our customer relationship management with Sales Force.”

Soon however, Joseph realized that Cramer’s recommendation was not suitable for ICT…

The Business

Bob Joseph - Founder and CEO

Bob Joseph – Founder and CEO

ICT is a global training company committed to working collaboratively with regional, national, and international clients to provide a broad range of performance improvement training services geared specifically at helping individuals and organizations to work effectively with Indigenous Peoples.

Based out of Vancouver, BC, and started in 2002, ICT goes to great lengths to help the Canadian government work with indigenous peoples to improve all aspects of operation.

The Challenge: Switching from Salesforce to a More Affordable, Simpler CRM Solution

Per Cramer’s recommendation, Joseph decided to incorporate Salesforce into ICT as their CRM solution.  However, five months into implementation, he found that Salesforce was creating a huge cost and time burden for the amount of use and functionality they were receiving.

“At that point, we were like a ‘Mom and Pop’ shop, and the cost of Salesforce was exorbitant for us and the complexity was causing us to waste too much time.”

Joseph knew he had two options:  either stick with Salesforce, go through the pains of learning how to use it, and simply eat the cost hoping that in the end the monetary and time investment would be worth it, or try a lower cost, easier to learn CRM solution without sacrificing any of the functionality.

Joseph decided it was time for ICT to make a change.

Competitive Analysis of CRM Solutions

ICT looked at several CRM solutions before finally selecting Zoho CRM.

“We looked at several CRM solutions including Sales Force and Trigger. When we found Zoho, we noticed the reviews were stellar, it had all of the functionality we needed and more, and it was free to sign up!”

Joseph had some definite “must haves” when searching for a CRM replacement.

“I knew that Salesforce was costing me way too much money, but I also knew I needed a full-featured CRM that could easily and quickly track customers through the entire sales process including ongoing customer support.”

Soon after signing up for Zoho CRM, Joseph realized that he had found a solution for ICT.

“Zoho had all of the functionality of Sales Force at a fraction of the cost. We signed on for free, started working with it, and realized that this is the solution for us.”

Implementing Zoho CRM

Prior to implementing CRM, ICT had several databases, calendars, and other data that was not shared.

“Data sharing was a huge problem for us!  My business partner and I would make phone calls, then later in the day would get together for coffee and realize we’d called some of the same people. When we started with Salesforce, this problem disappeared but now we were spending several extra hours having to navigate through complicated windows.  We eliminated one problem, but started another!”

However, when Joseph switched ICT over to Zoho CRM, both problems were alleviated.

Joseph found learning Zoho CRM very simple and intuitive and was able to have his entire database migrated over within a day.  After just a few days, Joseph felt incredibly comfortable navigating through Zoho CRM and using the majority of its features.

“It was just so intuitive and easy.  Now we were saving a ton of time while working together collaboratively, and the results showed immediately!  We were able to connect with noticeably more customers while delivering an improved service experience.”

“We actually use Zoho Projects to manage projects and connect that to CRM to have one cohesive dashboard.  It’s very easy for us now to navigate between customers and projects.

Life After Implementing Zoho CRM

As ICT became comfortable with Zoho CRM, they discovered some features that they hadn’t previously been familiar with but ended up being “real timesavers.”

“Zoho CRM really helped us with its data deduplication feature which in Salesforce costs several hundred dollars but Zoho provides for free.  Google app integration has also been huge.  We integrate Zoho Campaigns, CRM, and incorporate it with some of our Google apps to make one cohesive solution.”

Joseph has also found a lot of value in the Zoho CRM social media integration.

“We definitely use the Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter integration a lot and it has proven to be a valuable tool for us.”

What You Like to Say to Other Customers about CRM Solutions?

“I would say get Zoho right away!  It integrates so easily with everything, makes life so much easier, and is easy to learn.  It has all the tools that every other CRM solution has, but at a fraction of the price and is so much easier to learn.”

To learn more about Indigenous Corporate Training Inc, click here.

The 7 Project Manager Personalities: Which One Are You?

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With the myriad of project management resources available today to ensure organized and successful project completion, one could argue that the need for a personal touch is obsolete. However, as cloud computing and mobile apps have expanded our horizons for task completion, team work is now more important than ever to connect all the dots. Most importantly, the role of Project Manager – including his/her inherent abilities and personality traits – significantly affects the overall momentum of a project.

Maybe you fulfill the role of Project Manager (PM), or maybe you work with one on a regular basis. Do you notice a connection between the PM’s personality traits and the outcome of a project? Maybe your PM is a “Strategist” type that envisions every detail of a project and therefore actively ensures each team member is doing his/her part. Having a clear grasp of a PM’s personality type, specifically how he/she communicates and interacts with others, can be very helpful in getting tasks done in a timely and satisfactory way.

So we’ve put together an infographic of the 7 Project Manager Personality Types, detailing the essential characteristics of each. Whether you or your PM is the type of “Micro-Manager” or “Mentor”, keeping an eye out for these particular traits will ease interpersonal relationships like no online or mobile app can.

We’d love to hear your thoughts: Can you relate to any of these Personality Types? Have we missed any? Let us know in the comments!

Zoho Projects 4.0 Preview Is Here: New, Easier and Faster

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It’s been over a year since we started working on the new version of Zoho Projects and are very excited about it. We believe the new Projects 4.0 is the best version our customers have ever experienced.

We recently opened this new version in preview mode for a few of our customers and we are thrilled to share some of the things they had to say about it so far:

When developing Zoho Projects 4.0, we had 3 clear goals in mind:

  • Fastest Tool. All in One Page. 

    Your projects move fast. Zoho Projects moves faster. It loads in a flash, giving you a complete view of events as they happen.

  • See What’s Ahead Feeds keeps your finger on the pulse of every project. Plan for upcoming events/tasks, be alerted to missed deliverable, view critical requests and more.
  • Helps to do things you do everydayWant to know what your fellow team members are doing (or not)? Our new Follow feature lets you track individual progress and to-do’s—so you can effectively manage work.

Today we’re opening the  Zoho Project 4.0 Preview version to everyone. Please give it a try and let us know what you think, via this short survey, by email at or via Twitter at @zoho using #ZP4.

Remember, this is still in preview mode while we iron out the kinks. You can continue using the current version right now. We’re going to closely monitor usage and feedback – we’ll let you know when the new version becomes permanent.

Email your files to Dropbox via Zoho Projects

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Last week we announced Dropbox integration in Zoho Projects. On this front today we’re listing out the possible ways to sync files in Dropbox via Zoho Projects.

Here’s how it works :


Email files and sync it with Dropbox
In Zoho Projects, every folder is associated with an email address. Just copy this email address compose a mail along with an attachment and click send.That’s it, your file is uploaded in Zoho Projects. And if this folder is configured for syncing with your Dropbox presto…your file is now available in your Dropbox account.

Push files from Zoho / Google Docs into Dropbox
Upload files from your Zoho or Google Docs into a folder that is already synced with your Dropbox account. This way your files are automatically pushed from Zoho or Google Docs into your Dropbox from anywhere.

Isn’t it cool ? Try and let us know your views.

Share from Dropbox and simplify your work in Zoho

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Zoho Projects 4.0 is keeping our developers busy working on some amazing stuff. While rest of us get to see the latest Projects News feed or the Task Details page interface shared with us in the team portal for feed backs.

The other day while working from home, I discovered few issues in Projects News feed interface and had to follow a sequence to share a feedback : Take a screenshot of the error, save it in a folder, login to Zoho Projects and upload the image files. In addition, syncing files with every machine be it a laptop or desktop was becoming very difficult across different computers.

That’s yesterday. Enter Dropbox integration in Zoho Projects, whether working from office or home all my files are now up-to-date and intact. I created a folder Projects 4.0 on Dropbox and synced this with Projects 4.0 folder of team portal. Now whenever I drop a file in my Dropbox account from home or work it is instantly shared through my Zoho Projects account with the team. I don’t have to manually upload files anymore and I am happy with the change.

Zoho Projects Dropbox Integration Zoho Projects Dropbox integration has made file sharing super simple for me. The best part is : once configured everything happens without any intervention, allowing me to focus on whatever I am working on. So now I can easily share files from anywhere and always have everything I need with total control. There is a structure, clarity and it’s uber cool.

Dropbox integration is available for all paid Enterprise and Premium customers of Zoho Projects. See Plans and Pricing. Also you can get to know more about this integration at Configure Dropbox in Zoho Projects

How about you? What are the benefits you find with the new Dropbox integration in Zoho Projects?

Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Zoho Projects in Your Pocket : Our Native App for iPhone

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A mobile phone is the first thing you pick up in the morning, and the last thing you put away while you’re going to sleep. You browse with it, connect with your family, friends and interact with those that matter most on it. But that’s not all, it stays with you and keeps up with you where ever you are.

On this front, we recently made an announcement of Zoho Projects Native App for iPhone at our Zoholics event. With this update, we’re making it easier than ever to connect from anywhere and get your work done faster so your productivity never skips a beat – even if you’re in an airplane.

For Example, you can quickly get to know who is working on what in a project, check off your tasks when they’re done and manage timesheets from anywhere. Need to share an important detail? No worries, just pick your mobile, tap and share it with the team and voilà… your update is posted even when you are away on a travel.

Here is a list of all the cool things you can do with your iPhone :

  • Create, assign and close tasks effortlessly right from within your mobile
  • Keep in touch more easily with latest project activities on the fly
  • Access your timesheets to log time in a few easy taps…it’s all at your fingertips
  • Knock off your tasks and task list when you’re done even outside your office
  • Use iPhone to record voice as task notes without breaking your train of thoughts

You’re just a few steps away from activating the iPhone Mobile App for Zoho Projects. Click to Activate iPhone Mobile App and learn more about this at iPhone User Guide.

In addition, visit the iTunes or App Store and download the Zoho Projects Native App for your mobile and start accessing Zoho Projects right away. Mobile edition is available for all paid plans and starts at $3 per user/month or $30 per user/year.

A quick note: When you install Zoho Projects on your iPhone, 15 days free trial is automatically enabled for your portal.

We’d love to hear a lot from you as comments below or share your views with our Zoho Mobile team at

Creating Better Experience in Zoho Projects

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We evaluated the existing user interface, sketched out different designs, discussed the merits and demerits of each to have a flexible user interface that is easy to use. After an extensive design journey with many iterations,
finally arrived at the new version which we’ve shipped. We are very happy with the outcome and believe it simplifies your use of Zoho Projects.

Ease of use
This goal is obvious, but what exactly does ease of use mean in the context of a task entry ?

As an example, for regular task entry, one very important aspect of “ease of use” is that to enter or edit a task requires very few clicks. This is something done over and over each day and any extra click quickly turns into an annoyance for the user. That is why the new contextual pop-ups are designed to keep the number of clicks to a minimum in Zoho Projects.
Our contextual pop-ups offer a powerful and an easy way to enter tasks, create events in calendar, log meetings, associate documents/forums and do more right from the same page in matter of few seconds.
Here goes the snapshot showing a contextual pop-up implemented in task details view

Contextual Pop-ups in Zoho Projects

Let me walk through the important changes implemented in Zoho Projects with focus on simplicity and ease of use :

Customize your columns in task view

Are there certain columns in task view that you don’t need to see each time you log in? For this, use the new Customize Columns
feature to choose the columns you’d like to hide. Simply click the new ‘Customize Columns’ link and select the columns you’d like to hide and you’re done.
Easily distinguish attached files in tasks

Before, there is no way to differentiate tasks with associated files or forums from the rest. Now, the newly introduced notes with attachment icon quickly helps you to distinguish the tasks with associated files/forums from others at the blink of an eye.

Gain more visibility with gantt charts

Great that you can drag and edit gantt charts, but should be able to drag into the next month rather than stop at the end of the current month. With this update, comes the custom period which allows you to view and edit tasks beyond current month. Isn’t it cool? Best of all, gain deep insights about the project progress with all tasks (open/closed) chart view.
Allocate tasks from resource charts

Want to allocate a task right from the resource chart view? Just click on a grey bar against a particular team member’s view and a contextual pop-up gets displayed. With this, enter umpteen tasks right from the resource charts and save your time.

Learn more about other features from What’s New

We see that we did most things right. But as always, we realize that there is room for improvement.

And remember, every time you send a feedback, you’re triggering us to work towards making your experience the best with Zoho Projects.

Log into Zoho’s Project Management Software
, play around and share your views about the new changes as comments here or mail us at