App-up your business to stay ahead: Zoho


Small is set to be the new big. It has been projected that by 2020, 22% of the country's GDP will come from Small and Medium Enterprises. This is 5% more than what this segment contributes today. To maintain this flux and achieve higher targets, SMEs need a strong, reliable and conducive IT support, vital for a business to thrive.



In any business, from retail to real estate and textile to travel, use of cloud-based apps can help a company cut down IT expenditure by 40%. These apps make data accessible anywhere and anytime, thereby increasing productivity. For SMEs, which are low on capital, cloud-based apps make for smart investment. Business apps help SMEs automate mundane tasks. As a result, there is more time to focus on improving sales. With these apps, it's much easier to spot opportunities, collaborate efficiently and connect better with the customers.

Hyther Nizam, Vice President of Product Management at Zoho shares details Zoho products with Small Enterprise

Zoho is a one-point stop for all IT needs of SMEs. It offers over 30 apps, designed specifically for SMEs, which can help them maximize their potential and become the next big thing. Some of its popular offerings are:

Zoho CRM

Customer Relationship Management is a vital function of any business. Zoho CRM helps streamline sales, marketing, customer support and inventory management under a single system. One of its key features is sales force automation, which helps in lead generation & qualification, sales pipeline analysis, sales stage & probability analysis, competitor analysis, real-time sales forecasting and other useful metrics.

Users can track business opportunities and close more deals in less time. One can also identify bottleneckswell in advance and utilize customer data for cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.

Its 'Territory Management' feature allows grouping of customers under various sections such as geographic locations, industry type and expected revenue. This helps in identifying profit-making regions, better plan resource allocation, and ultimately, exceed sales forecasts.

Apart from standard modules, users can create 'Custom Modules' which can import and export data, configure workflow rules, link with standard reports and generate insightful reports. On the other hand, 'Documents Module' creates a secure, central repository within the CRM, ensuring that all users have access to the latest versions of sales-related collateral.

CRM's Mail Magnet feature scans users’ mailboxes and displays only relevant emails. Users can reply to emails, add follow-up tasks and write important notes from the Mail Magnet panel.

Users can also create web form with the new What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get editor by just dragging and dropping the required fields, set field alignment, mark fields as mandatory and much more. There are also options to upload fields and add captcha to make the form spam-proof. What's more, Zoho CRM can be easily synced with Gmail, Google Docs and other Google products.

The Zoho CRM mobile app enables users to access customer information, receive sales notifications, create tasks, call from the app and log them, find customers nearby and also look for driving directions.

Zoho Sites

Increasingly, websites are becoming face of a company. Even if someone hears about a product through word-of-mouth, the first thing they do before buying is check out the website. Zoho Sites is a drag-and-drop Site builder. Users can create simple, yet beautiful, websites, without typing a single line of code. Websites created on the builder are also automatically optimized for mobile.

The builder also has a slew of stylish themes, whose every element can be customized using the 'Visual Editor'. Options have also been built-in to enable users to add a variety of multimedia content, including Slideshows, Banners, Galleries, Videos and more.

Zoho Sites also provides freedom to revert to earlier 'Page versions', have 'Multiple Authors', instantly create 'Blogs' and 'Custom 404 Pages', include 'Social Buttons' and much more.

Zoho Books

Easy-to-use accounting software is a demand for many SMEs today. Zoho Books is an easy to use andaffordable solution on this context. It helps the users the to raise invoices, track expenses, income, inventory, timesheets and more.

Zoho Books is a cloud-based application which can be managed by multiple team members can to ensure an uninterrupted business. Zoho Books have complete visibility with reports and dashboard, along withautomated mundane tasks like sending invoices and tracking payments. It can be customised according to each business’s unique needs like discounts in invoice, shipping costs, including sales personnel names in bills, etc

For freelancers and businesses which primarily focus on invoicing and managing only incoming cash, there isZoho Invoice. It's is an online invoicing software, ideal for people looking for a free plan.

Zoho Creator

From large enterprises to small businesses and schools to NGOs, all organizations have their unique needs. Zoho Creator, an intuitive drag-and-drop app builder, helps users make their own apps to suit their custom needs. It is a cost-effective and faster do-it-yourself alternative for non-programmers.

Users can access these apps from anywherecreate reports and dashboards, and share it with customers and employees. The apps can be integrated with other services such as payment gateway and SMS services via APIs. Also, the whole app or just a form or report can be published on websites, wiki or blogs.

Zoho Mail

Email is still the core communication tool for businesses and Zoho Mail offers minimalist interface and powerful features geared for professional communication. Zoho likes to keep user interface clean and clutter-free, so much so that even their free email hosting plan is Ad-free. Zoho's Calendar, Tasks, Contacts and Notes applications are integrated within its webmail. It also comes bundled with Zoho Docs.

As Zoho Mail is on cloud, it frees businesses from the pain of manual upgrades and rigorous maintenance. Unlike other popular email services, Zoho Mail supports both multilevel folders and labels, making it simpler to stay organized.

Accessing and working on email while a user is on the move is hassle-free with IMAP/POP access from external email clientspush mail support through MS ActiveSync and mobile apps. Additionally, users canstore email attachments in Zoho Docs or view them without downloading.

While SMEs (10- 50 users) form majority of the customer base, larger businesses, with 100+ users, are also switching to Zoho Mail which enables them to access other Zoho business apps via single sign on (SSO).

Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is a collaboration app which is especially helpful for teams working from different cities or countries on a particular project or event. It helps users to coordinate and keep a track of everything right from simple tasks to complex projects -- all in one place. On Zoho Projects, users can plan, keep a time-track, reportand more.

Zoho Projects lets users view tasks in comparison to what was planned, which helps them see what is on schedule and what is falling behind. Users get alerts on the missed deliverables and can view critical requests.

The mobile app lets users update progress of various tasks from wherever they are. What's more, the app isintegrated with Google Apps, which allows users to sync tasks from Gmail and import files from Google Drive.

Zoho Docs

Zoho Docs is an online office suite to manage documents from a centralized location. It starts with 5GB of free storage space, followed by different affordable packages. It lets users sync documents to their desktop, and even work offline.

Zoho Docs has built-in online editor that allows users to create word documents, presentations and spreadsheets. Users can share files within and outside their organization and still keep the information secured with password policies and security settings.

Zoho Docs is ideal for teams working from across the globe as it offers real-time collaboration features that allows the team to co-create content, review and instantly share ideas. It can also be customized to suit specific IT needs.

There are a number of support apps for Zoho Docs like Zoho ShowMote which lets users control presentations through mobile. Users can use it as clicker, pointer and also jump to any slide, refer to speaker notes, highlight any part of the slide, all using their smartphone.