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Guest post by Mark Thurman of Credible Systems:

Credible Systems joined the

Zoho Alliance Partner Program
 2 years ago, with Zoho Creator as their main focus, and later expanded their scope to include Zoho CRM, Zoho Reports, & Zoho Projects. Founded in early 2009 by Mark Thurman and Sarah Treanor,

Credible System
 is a consultancy focused on helping organizations of all sizes and types, leverage the growing power of cloud-computing. Their clients range from schools and SME’s to much larger enterprises. Here is how Mark

sees it all:

The Client:

We were approached by a European-wide consultancy to assist them with extending the functionality of Zoho CRM. The client provides a broad range of business consultancy services to blue chip organization across Europe.

The Problem:

Their need was to effectively track the utilization of resources across their various clients and projects. Of course, a spreadsheet solution could have sufficed as a short-term solution. But we had our doubts about it being a scalable, long-term solution, keeping in mind the client’s growing operations. An external third-party solution would cause an additional problem of duplicating all data, inevitably leading to differences between the two sets.

Zoho Creator
 would be a fine solution for such a problem in any case, but its recent integration with Zoho CRM made it the perfect solution.

Zoho Creator, it seems, has something for everybody

The Implementation:

We created a custom database application that allows the user to import opportunity details directly from Zoho CRM, based upon certain criteria. For instance, only those with a status of “Closed Won” are brought into Zoho Creator. Using Deluge script, we then provided methods for 
  • Creating sub-projects for each opportunity 
  • Assign a unique Project ID 
  • Relate the project to specific internal business units for project work and administration 
  • Expose relevant CRM data for the selected opportunity 

And with reports generated from within Zoho Creator, they were able to

  • compare planned and actually delivered values for an opportunity against the estimated Opportunity Value in


  • chart the utilization level for a specific resource, business unit or entire company against a threshold for a


    time period

  • create calendar views of resource


    providing consolidated information at a glance

The Next Step:
We intend to use Zoho Creator for Google Apps, combined with

Zoho CRM’s sync with Google Contacts and Calendar
. By this, we can provide resource utilization calendars within Google Apps, for the data residing in Zoho CRM.

When an Activity is created, we can provide a function to ‘write’ the Activity details to Zoho CRM as an ‘Event’.
  • Create custom calendar views in Zoho CRM for ‘All Events’ and ‘My Events’ 
  • Set up CRM calendar sync with Google Apps calendars 
  • Then ‘All Events’ and ‘My Events’ CRM calendars will be visible on Google Calendar too.
Resource planning using Zoho Creator has allowed them to see how much resource is currently planned against each project, and how much they can possibly expand, thus enabling them to manage available resources effectively.