Zoho Wins Google Apps Install contest!

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We’ve been continuously adding new features and strengthening our 



Integration with Google Apps
. Last month we’d released

Zoho contextual gadgets integration for GMail
and

Zoho CRM – Google Sites integration
.


The result of all our hard work is now beginning to show up
:) We’ve won a contest run by Google to identify the application vendors
that drive the most installs in the Apps marketplace in one week. 






Thanks to everyone who installed our apps and made Zoho 


a winner in the Google Apps marketplace!


Here it is from the

horse’s mouth
:



Thanks to everyone who participated in the first Marketing Test Kitchen initiative: “
Add to Apps” button. Overall, it was a huge success. The number of vendors using “Add to Apps” buttons grew significantly, causing a large increase in installs driven by button traffic. Before kicking off the second Apps Ecosystem Marketing Test Kitchen initiative, we want to recognize the winners of the first one.


Congratulations to the 6 winners, who will get additional exposure on the featured and notable section of the Marketplace front page:



Outrigh




Producteev




Insync




Mavenlink




Zoho
and 



Manymoon


Established vendors such as Manymoon and Zoho improved performance of existing buttons and newer folks like Outright and Producteev added buttons to capture new business.




We’re also working on bringing out our other business apps in Google Apps marketplace. If you’d like to see any specific app integrated, please drop us a line. You can get started by installing Zoho apps from



Google Apps Marketplace
. You can also take a look at our



Zoho for Google Apps
page for more details on the integration! 


Special thanks to Google team for their continuous support and congrats to other winners!

Zoho CRM, Invoice & Projects Integration With Gmail Contextual Gadgets

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For a while now, we have been stressing the importance of ‘contextual information integration’ where the focus is on user’s data and context and not the application. To demonstrate this, we have integrated several Zoho Apps and users have reaped the benefits of such integration.

Today, we are expanding this to a third party app – Gmail. Earlier this year, along with Google Apps Marketplace, Google announced Contextual Gadgets for Gmail enabling third party applications to integrate into an email message in Gmail. This falls inline with our approach to contextual integration, so we decided to integrate our Business Apps into Gmail through Gmail Contextual Gadgets.

So, what does this mean to you as a user?

When you receive an email from your customer in Gmail, our CRM Gadget can display the customer information (pulled from Zoho CRM) along with the notes, contact info etc within the email. Similarly, the Invoice gadget can display information like overdue or unpaid Invoices from that customer, all without leaving that email message.

This is just the beginning. There are ​​​​​​​​​many other things you can do through these contextual gadgets. Here are a few …


Zoho CRM


  • With a click, you can search to see if the sender exists in your CRM system
  • From the email, you can add the sender to Zoho CRM as a Contact or a Lead
  • You can add a Potential to a Contact or update it right from the email message
  • If the sender is already present in your CRM database, you can view existing details within the email message
  • You can Add/View Tasks or Notes to the sender within the email message

Additional information about this is

available here
.




Zoho Invoice

Zoho​​​ Invoice integrates tightly with Google Apps through the contextual gadget and offers this functionality.

  • If the sender is present in the system, his information is pulled from Zoho Invoice and displayed within the email
  • Email History: All emails sent from Zoho Invoice to this user are listed within the gadget
  • You can see all unpaid invoices with status as ‘Unpaid’ or ‘Open’ for the sender
  • You can view the payments received from the sender within the gadget

Additional information about this is

available here
.


Zoho Projects

We talked about our Zoho Projects contextual gadget

here
.​​​​

As you see, the possibilities of contextual integration are endless. This is just the beginning. We will be rolling out additional functionality to these gadgets moving forward, and of course, additional Zoho Apps will make their way into Google Apps Marketplace. If you’d like to see any specific app integrated, please drop us a line.

As always, we can’t wait to hear your feedback.

PS: We’d like to thank Google team for their continuous support. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Zoho Launches Business Apps on Google Apps Marketplace

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Today, Google announced the availability of Google Apps Marketplace where vendors like Zoho can sell applications complementing Google Apps. More information on this announcement is available here and here. Zoho is one of Google’s launch partners for Google Apps Marketplace as we integrate two of our business applications – Zoho CRM & Zoho Projects with Google Apps.

Let us directly dive into the meat of the announcement. Starting today, Google Apps users will be able to add Zoho CRM & Zoho Projects into Google Apps. While we have had some integrations earlier, this time, we take this couple of steps further integrating our Apps at the application and data levels with Google Apps extended APIs.

Installing and Accessing Zoho Apps

If you are the domain admin for Google Apps, you’ll now have an option to add Zoho Apps to your domain through Google Apps Marketplace. Once the domain admin adds a Zoho application to their domain, all users within the domain will have access to the Zoho Application through Google universal navigation.

Selecting the application in Google universal navigation opens the Zoho application in a new browser tab. When you access the application for the first time, we ask you to choose a Zoho username (one time only). Once done, you’ll be logged into Zoho automatically and redirected to the appropriate Zoho Application where you can start using the app.

Integration with Google Apps – Application and Data

In the first version, Zoho CRM & Projects are integrated with Google Apps. There are several integration points with Google products. Here are some highlights…

When you add a Zoho application to a domain, all the apps will be accessible from Google universal navigation and users will automatically be signed into Zoho applications.

  • In Zoho CRM for Google Apps, we let Google Apps domain admin choose the users he wants to provide access to Zoho CRM. Instead of creating users from scratch in Zoho CRM, you can now import users from Google Apps
  • Zoho CRM allows users to import contacts from Google Apps Contacts
  • If you have our Zoho Mail Add-on enabled in Zoho CRM, you can POP your email from Google Apps to Zoho CRM. These emails show up in the CRM system automatically for each contact. Emails sent from Zoho CRM will also show up in Gmail in Google Apps. This is a unique integration of its kind between Zoho CRM & Google’s GMail.
  • Zoho CRM & Projects integrate with Google Apps Calendar. Google Apps users will now be able to subscribe/view their CRM & Projects events right within Google Calendar
  • Zoho Projects and all modules in Zoho CRM let you attach documents directly from Google Apps
  • We also have multiple OpenSocial gadgets for CRM & Projects which can be embedded in Gmail, Google Sites and other apps that accept OpenSocial embeds

These bullet points won’t do justice to the tight integration we have with Google Apps. Here is a video & a Zoho Show presentation that explains this integration in detail between Zoho CRM and Google Apps.

At Zoho, we have a broad set of apps – over 20 Online Business, Productivity & Collaboration Apps. Yes, we compete with Google Apps, but we have more apps that can complement Google Apps than the apps we compete in. We always made it easier for Google users to try Zoho Apps starting with Google Sign-in followed by Google Apps Sign-in and recent integration with Google DocsWe understand the realities of the market and we have a good overlap in customers using Zoho Business Apps and Google Apps. 

With this integration, we welcome Google Apps users to try our complementary business applications. We will continue to improve our integration with Google Apps and you’ll find additional Zoho Business Apps available in Google Apps Marketplace moving forward.

We would like to thank Google Apps Marketplace team for providing us the opportunity to be a launch partner and providing us early access to the APIs. We hope this integration will be mutually beneficial and more importantly useful for our customers. As always, we are looking forward to your feedback.

Links

Announcing Zoho Projects for Google Apps

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Some
time ago, a Zoho Projects customer from Australia -who happens to use
Google Apps as his e-mail solution- wanted us to provide an integration
between Zoho Projects and Google Apps so that he could use both
seamlessly. His main concern was that his employees use Google Apps
everyday for email and intranet information, so he wanted to have the
Zoho Projects information easily accessible there
.

After
checking with other customers, that seemed like a good scenario for us
to implement, but at the same time we were busy giving our users a
better way to organize their projects and making project management
more social with Zoho Projects 2.0. But even the core Zoho Projects
team was busy, our IAM  (Identity Access Management) team who is
responsible for Single Sign On within Zoho & other federated logins
took this up – and provided our support for signing-in with a Google
Apps account. This really made creating
Zoho Projects for Google Apps a lot easier. That is one reason why having small teams distributed works better than having one central team.


Ok, so what is the integration with Google Apps you are talking about

Zoho
Projects for Google Apps allows customers to enjoy the functionality of
Zoho Projects while at the same time having an integrated experience
with their Google Apps account. Currently, Zoho Projects for Google
Apps includes:

Single Sign-on with Google Apps
Customers
can now login to Zoho Projects with the same username and password they
use for Google Apps – no need to keep track of a separate account
.


Upload documents from Google Docs
Upload
Google Docs documents to your project in Zoho Projects. This way your
documents stored in Google Docs can be shared with all the members in
your project. Of course, you can still continue to attach documents
from Zoho Docs and directly from your personal desktop
.


View your project milestones in Google Calendar

Keeping
track of your projects milestones is now even easier. You can have your
milestones, tasks and meetings from your Zoho Projects appear
automatically on your Google Calendar
.

Get Zoho Projects inside Gmail, iGoogle and Google Sites
Finally,
you can also get your Project Stream (the latest activity happening
around your project) inside iGoogle or a Google Sites page by embedding
the Zoho Projects gadget.
This makes the whole experience smooth – Zoho Projects updates come to you.



How easy is it to use Zoho Projects into Google Apps ?

Short version: it’s dead easy.
Long
version: Here is a short video which explains the different
possibilities for Google Apps customers to manage their project in Zoho
Projects – all it takes is to login with our Google Apps credentials
and off you go.

This
is just the beginning of this integration – users like you will surely
come up with new integration scenarios that we should throw in here. We
keep our ears wide open to listen to our customers and improve our
products accordingly. So please pour your ideas on making this even better
.


Wait… are you still competing with Google Apps?

Sure!
The Zoho suite of services now comprises more than 20 different
Software-as-a-Service products. Some of them are bound to overlap
with other someone’s products. So yeah, 4 of them do overlap with
products included in Google Apps. And we continue to compete in that
arena (for the record, we do think ours are better, and other people
seem to agree – check the recent
award from Infoworld). Some people might call it coopetition.
Anyway – in  the end, customers and their needs come first – and we
have a track record of allowing other competitors to integrate with our
products, so we do the same
. And of course, our goal is to reach as many customers as possible and offer then great products at affordable prices.

Other similar products from Zoho will come to Google Apps customers in the future. Stay tuned!

New Gadget for Zoho Invoice

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In the last post for Zoho Gadgets, we promised having gadgets for the Zoho business apps. First in line is Zoho Invoice. Zoho Invoice is now available as a gadget and this can be embedded wherever you want – Zoho Business’ Dashboard, iGoogle, Facebook, Orkut, any Open Social XML compatible site or any web app/page where you can embed an iframe.

You can view a list of your latest invoices and estimates. You can add new invoices too.

You can view an invoice in detail. Also possible is editing, printing and seeing the invoice as pdf.

The Zoho Invoice gadget embedded in an iGoogle page

The Zoho Invoice gadget as part of the Zoho Business Desktop (Dashboard)

Hope you like this new Zoho Invoice gadget. Try it out. More importantly, do let us know what more functionality you would like to see in this gadget.

New in Zoho Gadgets : Links, Notes and more

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We are delighted to announce a couple of new additions to Zoho Gadgets – Notes and Links. The Links gadget makes it easy for you to bookmark your favorite and oft visited URLs. And the Notes gadget allows you to jot down quick notes. These gadgets are in sync with the Links and Notes modules in Zoho Business/Personal.

The gadgets can be added in iGoogle, Facebook, Orkut or any web page that either supports OpenSocial XML or lets you embed an iframe.

         

The aggregated page of Zoho Business/Personal’s ‘Desktop’ tab now makes use of Zoho Gadgets too.
This allows you to arrange the different Zoho gadgets through easy drag and drop. And makes it easy for the power Zoho user in you to use the various Zoho apps all at a single page.

Try the new Zoho Gadgets and let us know your comments. Coming up next are the business-centric gadgets like Zoho CRM, Projects and Invoice. Stay tuned.

Zoho Calculator?!

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Well, it’s not a new product from Zoho. At Zoho we have a tradition of fun Saturdays. A lot of our products sprung roots from some fun project initiated on these days. A few Saturdays
back, some of our developers in the Zoho Gadgets and Sheet teams wanted to develop a Windows-like calculator for Linux . And then they stumbled on the idea
of throwing more power at the simple calculator. Yes – you got it
right! We now have our own Zoho Sheet as a quick web based calculator. The power added to a simple calculator is mind blowing. Go
on! Do your calculations at a breeze on the web – and if your throw
away calculation is important enough, save it back as a sheet in Zoho
Sheet.

Other than the ‘Export as xls’, keyboard shortcuts and support for more than 300 functions, the biggest
advantage with this spreadsheet gadget is that it doesn’t require a Zoho login. Anyone can use it on the fly. Make it part of your
iGoogle start page and see how handy it is. Get the spreadsheet gadget from here.