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Category : Certified Zoho Consultants

Zoho Updates June 2021

Zoho Updates, New Features, and Issues | June 2021

Welcome back to your Zoho Updates June 2021. Lots of action the past month across Zoho applications. In this digest you’ll find information on Zoho’s pricing updates, the application that’s changed its name, and some great new enhancements to CRM and Zoho finance applications.

Keep reading for the What’s New, Zoho Updates June 2021. 

General Zoho Ecosystem Updates

** Important information from Zoho regarding price changes can be found here. If you have questions about this change or wish to schedule a consultation to discuss, please contact us using the form at the end of this article.

About the Zoho changes to MarketingHub: “Effective May 21, 2021, we are renaming Zoho MarketingHub to Zoho Marketing Automation. This change will not affect any features or functionality of the product. You can continue to use the product as you usually do.” Learn more 

New Features from Zoho

Zoho CRM

  • Zoho announced the release of SalesIQ 2.0! If you haven’t already seen it, the release features a new user interface, and features for: Codeless bot, Resources, Answer bot, B2B Relationship, Profanity library, and several others. Take a look here.

 

Zoho Books & Inventory

  • Zoho finance including Books and Inventory teams shared a handful of updates this month, most notable is that now you can record payments while creating an invoice.
    • For example, if you received a payment before issuing their invoice, you don’t have to create a draft invoice and record a payment for it later. Simply mark the “I have received the payment” option while creating the invoice, it automatically creates a payment. Invoices are created as a “Paid” status, and the payment for it is created with the “Invoice Date.” This option is available if your user role allows “Customer Payments”, and if Sales Approval is disabled.
    • To enable: Go to Invoices > Create an invoice and select the customer > Scroll down and mark the “I have received the payment” option.
  • They have also added a new template called “Retail-Premium” found in the Retail category in templates. This template accommodates almost all the information that can be included on other templates, and fits it in a compact design between 3 and 4 inches wide.

 

ZOHO UPDATESApplication Updates from Zoho

Zoho CRM 

Zoho CRM updates and improvements this month include the following:

  • You can now use a scheduled action to automatically create a record through a workflow rule. (This was previously an instance action only.)
  • You’ll now find a common holiday list that is applied to all users in an organization. This is called “Business Holidays.”

Zoho Creator

  • This month Zoho Creator team shared, “We have rolled out a set of default character length for form fields. This will help in effectively using the available space. For instance, you might have fields with large values that contain too many characters. These can be substituted with values of fewer characters. This in turn facilitates the form to include more fields. Users will be able to modify the default length for Single Line, Email, Dropdown, and Radio button fields.”
  • Blueprints are now available in Creator. This allows you to replicate your business processes online and enjoy the benefits of streamlining process management. Why is that important? Zoho says it best, “The blueprint enables you to customize every detail of every process you design in your Creator application.”

Zoho Books

  • Advanced Search in Zoho Books introduces filtering options, and now also includes Zia Search so you can search for “any information across different Zoho apps from within Zoho Books.” See all new updates from Books.

 

Zoho BugsIssues Notices from Zoho

 Zoho Creator

Creator bug fixes recently implemented include: timezone in audit export and admin username in account setup.

 

Need more answers or have a question we didn’t answer here?  If you have questions or would like to connect with one of our consultants, schedule below. We’re also available by phone, just call our offices at (888) 207-4111.

 

Connect with a Consultant

 

ERP Implementation for Manufacturing

How to Implement a Manufacturing ERP Software That Works For You

Does your organization use manufacturing ERP software like Oracle, Sage100, or Netsuite? If not, or it’s time for a change, this article is for you.

You already know that manufacturing requires precision in almost every single case. Without your attention to precision, parts from the manufacturing floor will lack quality. Then, your supply chain will be disrupted, and eventually your end customers downstream and profits will suffer. 

For this very reason, it’s quite likely that your manufacturing operation uses and benefits from some type of process management – maybe you’re even using a manufacturing ERP software to keep operations in line.   

 

But if your process is currently a little soft or ambiguous, consider the losses in productivity and margin that are mounting with every passing day.

Is it time to reign in operations and get control of your business?

We’re here to help you understand how Zoho ERP solutions can be the keystone to smoothly and successfully capturing the details of your manufacturing and/or distribution business. Furthermore, we want to show you how to take advantage of the data you’ll have with a Zoho implementation fit for manufacturing and distribution organizations.

In this article we’ll break down the process of working with ZBrains to implement a software solution that can give organizational visibility, and foster success. Let’s take a closer look at the ‘what,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how’ of the importance of Manufacturing ERP software.

 

What function does Manufacturing ERP software serve?

Keeping operations running smoothly is just one aspect of an ERP, but from the top down, you could say it’s a foremost consideration. This organizational efficiency coupled with the ability to keep your fingers on the pulse of your most important KPI’s is where the true power of ERP software is recognized.

“Manufacturing ERP refers to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and systems used to plan, manage and deliver specific functionalities that support manufacturers and manufacturing business operations.”   – qad.com

 

[caption id="attachment_4950" align="alignright" width="450"]ERP software supports precision in manufacturing Manufacturing requires precision. Without it, product quality suffers, supply chain is disrupted, and customers downstream and profits suffer. [/caption]

What is Business Process Management?

To start – and this is probably already a known for you if you’re in the manufacturing industry – we’re sharing a high-level definition of business process management:

“The Association of Business Process Management Professionals defines BPM as:

Business process management (BPM) is a disciplined approach to identify, design, execute, document, measure, monitor, and control both automated and non-automated business processes to achieve consistent, targeted results aligned with an organization’s strategic goals.” – wikipedia 


What types of problems can good business processes solve?

It’s clear even in this short definition how an accurate, and smartly implemented business process is important. However, now you consider the phases – identify, design, execute, document, measure, monitor, and control – apply them to the departments responsible for each facet in your own organization, and ask:

  • Are you sharing data between departments? Or is it siloed?
  • How many software systems are you using currently? 
  • Is the handoff from one department or process to another seamless?
  • Is some of your information getting lost or not considered at a global level?
  • Can your software solution help you make the most of your available resources?

 

If you’re considering the progress you could make by implementing solutions for any of the above questions, you’re right on track. 

 

What are the Benefits Of Standardized Processes?
Here are 8 of them. 

1) Increased productivity is a given. 

Imagine a solution that could speed up order times, allowing you to fulfill faster. Or what if resources spent less time with double-data entry. What would this do to your org’s productivity factor?

2) Standardization equals quality control. 

Standardization makes your business planning more straightforward. Furthermore, the extrapolated benefits include a more streamlined training/onboarding process.

[caption id="attachment_4949" align="alignleft" width="450"]Zoho ERP fosters internal collaboration Transparency in your organization help your teams identify best-in-class best practices, remove redundancies, and share expertise across departments more easily.[/caption]

3) Make internal collaboration simpler.

When an ERP helps to eliminate siloed information, your teams can begin to collaborate on a deeper level. Transparency in your organization helps your teams identify best-in-class best practices, remove redundancies, and share expertise across departments more easily. 

4) You can reduce costs. 

Insight into your manufacturing and distribution data can help you identify and eliminate redundancy, and find areas of material and labor waste.

5) Did you realize you can also gain insight into your customer through analyzing your business processes?  

Find the places where processes might require modifications to better support your customers. As a result, they are more satisfied and you have created return business. And for most businesses, it’s less expensive to keep the customer you have than it is to find a new one.

6) It can help you adapt to changing times.

You don’t have to operate your business on gut feeling, but instead rely on instinct and data together! Plan your changes, implement them, and use metrics you’ve captured to measure the results. Then with the data in mind, create incremental changes toward improvement! All of this is possible with the right manufacturing ERP.

7) Stay ahead of your competition. 

When you are spending less time chasing processes, and more time working, you actually gain productive time. With more productive time, you can focus on the innovations that move your business ahead of your competition. 

8) Utilize a single source of truth for compliance, security, and safety. 

Speaking to many of the points above, standardized processes help in business operations beyond the manufacturing process, and Zoho can help tie everything together with a single source of truth. Solutions from Zoho take pride in security protocols for their softwares, but this translates to your business overall.

Now, if you’ve made it this far, you’re likely a serious candidate for Zoho’s manufacturing ERP solution. And maybe you’re also convinced that ZBrains is the certified Zoho Partner to assist in your implementation. Let’s keep the conversation going!

 

What is a ZBrains Business Process Analysis for Manufacturing and Distribution ERP solutions from Zoho?

 

Let’s talk about how an engagement with ZBrains begins – with a Business Process Analysis. We take all the reasoning and research described above, and have applied those same principles to our own assessments. Here’s what that looks like:

 

This is a BPA with ZBrains

The BPA, or business process analysis, is integral to all ZBrains consulting projects. Just like any other planning effort, it ensures a successful implementation that fits with your business processes.

You also know that the best way to solve a problem is to first fully understand the way a business runs. We start this by analyzing expectations and performance gaps in your business process. Next, we examine your business from the perspective of the world at large. Then, our experts determine what is working, what is not.  Finally, we decide which methods need to be introduced to change the fabric of your company.

We sit with your team to thoroughly review your sales, marketing, operations, and accounting processes to make sure we understand all requirements and current systems. The goal here is to consolidate your business operations into a centralized platform with Zoho as the hub. 

After the BPA, you receive expert recommendations on changes, augmentations or implementations required to meet your goals. We share a timeline, goals, and outline targets. You receive a strategy that can be executed with precision to create a successful business plan for the upcoming quarters and beyond.

 

This is how we work with Manufacturers and Distributors

Many of our clients are in manufacturing and distribution industries, and our speciality is small to medium businesses, just like yours. Here’s what a Business Process Analysis with ZBrains looks like for you:

We often work with a single champion, normally a President, Vice President, or other C-level representative of the company. And when we begin our intake sessions of a BPA, it’s of the utmost importance to bring in – and hear from – everyone in the organization who will be using the new manufacturing ERP software from Zoho. That includes: Sales and Estimating teams, Production, Inventory Management representatives, and Finance. 

The reason is to ensure that we get a global perspective of the business, and we find that this also encourages user adoption later on!

 

What information do we gather during a BPA?

During these sessions with each department or team representative, we collect a lot of detailed information about their processes. Discussions with your teams will often include the following:

[caption id="attachment_4951" align="alignright" width="450"]ZBrains BPA for manufacturing ERP Business process analysis is integral to all ZBrains consulting projects, and ensures a successful implementation that fits with your business processes.[/caption]

Sales and Estimating

We ask about your sales process. Then, we look at how your quotes or estimates are created and shared. How are you handling new leads, and how is existing business addressed? How do you measure success? And finally, what are the important KPI’s here?

Production

How do you procure goods? Are you purchasing or manufacturing parts? Do you have composite items and  a need for CPQ? What does is your current process for handling bill of materials, work orders,  and routing? How are you handling time tracking? We also get into your potential needs for planning capacity, batch/lot tracking, and on site maintenance, to name a few.

Inventory Management

We go into detail about your inventory management processes including current and desired states. Do you have multiple warehouses, mobile warehouses? How are you handling order fulfillment? What about installation or service components?

Finance

We’ll drill down to completely understand what information is required from your front office to back office. We include review of documents for customers, all the way through to which data is required in order to  generate executive reports. 

Other Integrations

During consultation, we’ll also ask about your current integrations to determine compatibility and to see if any new integrations could benefit your business processes. Some of the Zoho integrations commonly used by manufacturing and distribution organizations include: ShipStation, TaxJar, Avalara, QuickBooks (Online and Desktop), and Xero for example. 

 

Establishing Budget and Timeline for Manufacturing and Distribution ERP Software Implementation

[caption id="attachment_4952" align="alignleft" width="450"]Zoho ERP for manufacturing SMB Zoho is built and designed for SMB (Small and Medium-Sized Businesses). Lower total cost of ownership and an accessible startup cost make it a clear choice.[/caption]

A large business who is taking on system implementation for major softwares, can often anticipate a six-figure implementation cost, along with another five figures for service costs. And that’s because these softwares are incredibly robust, and very powerful enterprise tools. We understand that for a small or medium business like yours, this is simply out of the question. These projects can be extremely cost prohibitive, and the solutions themselves are more often than not complete overkill in terms of your needs.

  • Not to say you don’t deserve a solution that is also robust in functionality and nuanced for your business, because you do! For SMB’s like you, Zoho is a great solution. 
  • It’s less expensive to implement and has a lower total cost of ownership.
  • Zoho applications are built to suit your business through customization using rapid development platforms like Zoho Creator.
  • Zoho is accessible. They built and designed it with the SMB in mind. Need a custom field? A new report? Drag and drop functions make it easy to use and customize for yourself, all with enterprise functionality. 

In our industry, it’s known that a large portion of technology projects have a low user adoption. Users become bogged down because the projects are overly complicated. When you can build your system to address nuances of your business  – and consider user feedback in the build – you get better user adoption and a higher chance of success. For this reason, and many of the points discussed above, your budget and timeline will depend on the complexity of your requirements and depth of need. 

 

This is why we utilize the Business Process Analysis. Hopefully, this in depth look at business process management and manufacturing ERP softwares has been useful. If you’re interested in the next steps or have any questions, our Zoho Certified Consultants are ready to help – just get in touch!

 

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Zoho Monthly Updates from ZBrains

Zoho Updates, New Features, and Issues | May 2021

It’s been another busy month at ZBrains, and a number of Zoho updates May 2021 along with new features were shared with us from Zoho Corp. We’ve done our best to condense it all to the need-to-know basics.

Most notably this month, beginning May 1, 2021, all functions that use authtokens while making calls to other Zoho services will fail. (More details in the article below.) Hopefully, you’re already prepared, but remember that the ZBrains team is here to support you – just let us know how we can help.

Keep reading for the What’s New, Zoho Updates May 2021. 

 

New Features from Zoho

Zoho CRM

  1. “Automatic transitions in blueprint: Use automatic transition to prevent delays and discontinuity of a process. The automatic transition will ensure that records move to the destination state after a specified Wait time has elapsed.”
  2. “Blueprints now supports widgets: Perform custom actions, such as locating an address on a map, blocking a date on a calendar and more via Blueprint using Widgets. Widgets can be used in the During Transition settings.”
  3. “Multi-user and multi-select lookup fields supported in blueprints: During Transition you can use multi-select lookup fields as well as multi-user fields. These fields can be mandated but cannot be validated.”

 

Zoho Books

This month, we’ve seen two notable improvements in Zoho Books that now allow you to do the following: 

  1. Beyond invoices, now you can execute an advanced search for all transactions.
  2. In the Banking modules, you are now able to add comments and view transaction history

 

Zoho Inventory

The Zoho Inventory team shared some great news for online sellers and drop shippers with the new third party billing feature for UPS users. It’s available for all editions and all subscription plans. The Zoho team says, “This feature is targeted at drop-shippers who work with other vendors to supply goods to end customers.”

 

ZOHO UPDATESApplication Updates from Zoho

General Zoho Ecosystem Updates

We’ve shared about the OAuth authentication upgrade, and deprecation of authtokens across all Zoho systems the past few months. Beginning May 1, 2021, all functions that use authtokens while making calls to other Zoho services will fail.

If you’ve noticed system issues, and require support, please contact us. You can schedule any time that works for you here Connect with a Consultant

What is OAuth2.0? This industry-standard protocol specification that enables third-party applications (clients) to gain delegated access to protected resources in Zoho via an API. 

OAuth 2.0 is a benefit for these reasons and more:

    •  Increased security and easier user/credentials management,
    • Improvement to industry standard protocol for easier communications between Zoho apps,
    • Access tokens expire, limiting data exposure in the instance of a security breach.

 

Zoho CRM 

Two alternate solutions provided for CRM Plug-in for Microsoft Office are:

 

Zoho BugsIssues Notices from Zoho

 Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator has published messages about a few improvements and fixes this month, including to the iOS app.

    1. “The record owner property that was previously available in the user’s field properties section is now moved to form properties. You can find it in Form Properties under Role Hierarchy section. Added user will be the default setting for record owner. The dropdown list will display the list of user fields for you to select from.”source 
    2. The iOS v 2.5.2 of customer portal quick filter in maps is repaired, in addition there have been some overall performance improvements and minor fixes for version 5.26.13 of Creator iOS app.

 

Finding what you need in these updates?  Or are you looking for something additional? Drop a line in the comments to let us know what info helps you most! 


 

If you have questions or would like to connect with one of our consultants, schedule below. We’re also available by phone, just call our offices at (888) 207-4111.

 

Connect with a Consultant

 

Learn about Zoho Support from ZBrains

What You Should Know About Zoho Support Plans

When you decide to invest in Zoho support, whether that’s an ongoing, monthly support contract or hourly support agreement, your business gets timely, professional service for software updates, break/fixes, bug fixes, new feature development, and a lot more. From right-the-first-time answers for ‘quick questions’ to assistance with long-term Zoho ecosystem planning and support to meet your business goals, we’re talking today about all the things you should know about software support plans from ZBrains.

What is software support?

Zoho support plans typically take one of two forms; long term support and incident-based help. We like this simple definition as a starting point:

“Software support services are generally technical support or break/fix services that are delivered for specific software products. These services include revenue derived from long-term technical-support contracts or pay-as-you-go, incident-based support. Software support services typically include remote troubleshooting capabilities, installation (implementation) assistance and basic usability assistance.” 

gartner.com

It’s easy to see the scenarios in your business where a support plan for Zoho CRM, Zoho One, or your custom Zoho solution could come in handy; however, have you considered all the possible ways that investing in Zoho Support can benefit your organization?

 

What do Zoho support services at ZBrains include?

 

[caption id="attachment_4906" align="alignleft" width="400"] If you are already using Zoho, ask yourself if now is the time to start using your support plan to further your business initiatives.[/caption]

1) New product implementation services

If you are already using Zoho, ask yourself if any of these scenarios sound familiar:

    • Is now the time for phase 2 or phase 3 of diminishing siloed data in your organization? You can implement those solutions through your support plan. 
    • Is it time to reduce double data entry by integrating your CRM and financial software solution?

    • Or perhaps you need to cut down on double data entry from your e-commerce solution? We offer a full range of 3rd party integrations, and can even build a custom integration to suit your needs! We integrate Zoho and Shopify as one example.

2) Zoho product updates

Maybe you have an associate or in-house resource who’s in charge of keeping IT solutions operating seamlessly, but Zoho or your customized Zoho application like FieldTech is just a little outside their wheelhouse. Stay on top of update installations and just email or call the ZBrains Support Team whenever you need help in this area. We’ll help you keep running smoothly through every, numerous, Zoho update!

3) Proactive, not just reactive services

We believe proactive planning is one of the greatest functions of any ongoing support plan. We like to plan quarterly sessions with our clients. This ensures that we know your current business goals. Then your Zoho ecosystem is charged and ready to take on success! Your business won’t miss a beat.

Because we’re a Certified Zoho Partner, we have great insight to what’s coming up  from Zoho that you could potentially use, too. This takes the guesswork out of what you ‘could do’ and helps maximize the value of your Zoho purchase.

And don’t forget, you’re getting a personalized level of support in any situation. 

4) Support for custom applications

Maybe you’re using a custom application that doesn’t work well with Zoho, or you’ve already optimized for your custom needs with a  Zoho Solution. Support services can help you keep them always running optimally. 

Whether we built it, or are inheriting a solution built by others, our support team can solve complex problems in applications that might not be working optimally for you now.

5) Product or feature implementation 

Current ZBrains clients know this because they’ve been through the Business Process Analysis with us. And because we use this process with each client, we understand your business, we know your business, and we can advise on best practices of how a Zoho feature can be applied to what you do and how. 

 

Software support contract pricing with ZBrains

[caption id="attachment_4904" align="alignleft" width="400"] Why would you want hourly support and a monthly support plan from ZBrains? Having control over your costs is just the start![/caption]

We make it really easy with two options, an hourly support contract, or a monthly one. We offer these options to give you the best solution for your business. 

 

Many clients opt for both and here’s why:

Their monthly plan gives them access for break-and-fix when they don’t have a dedicated in-house resource, and then they use the ad hoc hourly service to optimize, take advantage of new features, or plan future initiatives.

Let’s talk about the benefits to each, and you’ll see how they can fold together for the best coverage and control of expenses.

 


Hourly Zoho Support Plans

At ZBrains, our hourly support contracts include the availability of consulting services for your projects that require additional Zoho customization, integrations with other software systems, even our proprietary integrations for software like QuickBooks!

We recommend this service for experienced Zoho users. Also, for businesses that already have a dedicated resource for Zoho needs, but might need occasional assistance with highly technical aspects of Zoho. Additionally, we recommend this for very small businesses with  simplified systems that are not heavily customized. You can use hourly support as needed. Support hours are sold in blocks of 8 hours, and expire one year from purchase. With your Zoho Support Hours from ZBrains, you can:

    • Dedicate some of your hours to education/training to stay on top of the ever-changing and improving Zoho experience.
    • Use your hours for quarterly planning and support your business growth plan.
    • Earmark some of your hours to new implementations and take them bit by bit for better user adoption.
    • Plan to use some hours to break fixes. Now, your teams aren’t left hanging when something isn’t working quite right.

You can be proactive with hourly support! It gives dedicated time toward understanding and implementing best practices, and lets your optimizations become incremental instead of large projects that need more time. Take time now, and complete more, smaller work items over time, and next thing you know, you’re more agile.

 


Monthly Zoho Support Plans

We recommend this plan for clients with no in-house resources, highly customized solutions, and/or who have a lot of Zoho-to-Zoho integrations. 

    • The greatest benefit to investing in monthly support is stability: you control and anticipate the expense of break-and-fix service, and ensure your Zoho system is always primed for peak performance with no surprises. 

Both of these options help with reaching your business goals in a measured manner. They keep you aligned with a budget, and keep you on top of the game in terms of your Zoho ecosystem and business operations. Still unsure what the best approach is? Our team is always here to talk through it with you – just let us know!

 


 

ZBrains makes Zoho support straightforward and accessible

Zoho Support, Zoho CRM Support, and more are all just an email away. At ZBrains, our Zoho Certified Consultants and Developers are US-based, and with a simple email to our Support team, your ticket (via Zoho Desk, of course!) gets routed directly to the person or people who can help. 

We hope this article has been helpful in understanding what Zoho Support with ZBrains can do for your organization. If you’re already on a plan and have questions – let us know. Or if you’re new to Zoho Support from ZBrains – get in touch today!

 

GET ZOHO SUPPORT FROM ZBRAINS

 

What's new at Zoho April 2021

Zoho Updates, New Features, and Issues | April 2021

The past month marked 25 years of Zoho! Did you realize they’ve been around this long? Founder, Sridhar Vembu posted a great retrospective sharing “25 Years of Zoho,” the story of how Zoho grew these past many years. Don’t miss the video at the end featuring some of Zoho’s longest employees, and maybe some familiar faces. Congratulations, Zoho Corp, on 25 years! 


On to what’s new – in the past month, Zoho Creator team has shared a number of updates, bug fixes, and improvements including Zoho Creator On Premise solution. We also saw a Zoho CRM release for V2.

Keep reading for the What’s New, Zoho Updates April 2021. 

 

New Features from Zoho

Zoho Creator

  • Zoho Creator On-premise has been released. It shares many similarities with the cloud version, allowing you to manage data, create reports, track events, collaborate, and more. It also boasts security in terms of data privacy compliance.
  • You can learn about the differences between on-premise vs cloud instances of Zoho  Creator in this article. 
  • In response to the release of Microsoft Power BI Desktop version 2, Zoho Creator will be upgrading the connector to this version.

 

ZOHO UPDATESApplication Updates from Zoho

Zoho CRM 

  • Seven new APIs have been released in Zoho CRM version 2.1. This includes: pipeline, assignment rules, send mail, download fields’ attachments in a module, records’ count in a module, wizards, and templates for email and inventory.
  • Additionally, there are updates to existing APIs for records, blueprints, tags and more. 
  • Get all of the details for Zoho CRM V2.1 updates here

 

Zoho Creator Updates

  • You can now publish to multiple clients and remain unaffected by gaps in versions.
  • Changes to Creator’s Account Setup module include:
    • A new section for integrations to be used in managing Zoho Directory and Connections. 
    • A Marketplace section is now included where custom apps and extensions are featured.
    • General settings is the new location for Workspace management.
  • Creator applications listed under Backup and Restore module now use the app name instead of the app link. 

 

Zoho BugsIssues Notices from Zoho

Zoho Creator

  • The Creator Android version 6.4.0 fixed a few bugs and improved applications stability. 
  • Version 6.4.1 of Creator Android also had multiple bug fixes to enhance the overall application performance.
  • Many additional bug fix details are available on the Creator release notes

 

Are these updates helpful for you?  Want to see something more or different? Let us know in the comments!

 


 

If you have any questions or would like to schedule assistance around any of these updates please contact our consultants or call our offices at (888) 207-4111.

 

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Zoho Project planning

How a ZBrains Zoho Project Comes to Life

When you’re in the process of researching partners for your next Zoho project, CRM implementation, or Zoho integration, it’s important to understand how your selected partner works. You’ll want to understand how much involvement is required from you and your team, and what to expect at each stage. ZBrains believes in transparency and partnership throughout our project process, working with you and your team from the start to ensure good outcomes. We want to be sure that your business can meet its goals again and again with the help of systems from Zoho, and this method has proven successful.

Let’s dive into the process, and don’t miss the infographic outline at the end of this article!

The ZBrains Business Process Analysis and Project Approach

Zoho project meetingFirst, we start with our Business Process Analysis [BPA]. We will sit with your team, and over several hours we review your business process together. This includes your wants and needs, and current systems. This gives us the best view of how you are currently working and what opportunities exist to do better.

With this information the ZBrains team spends a few more hours on our own analyzing what we’ve learned to determine the best Zoho solutions and an implementation approach that suits your business.

When you’ve reviewed and accepted the project proposal, we’ll start the work. Here’s how a ZBrains Zoho project comes to life!

 

• Zoho Project Specification

“Measure twice, cut once” applies here because before anything is built, we make a spec doc based on all your input and our findings during the BPA. It houses all the details that our developers will use going forward.

• ZBrains Implementation Blueprint

Next, we build a draft, or a sort of blueprint of your Zoho implementation. This includes all of the inputs, or places to house the data you need your system to capture in order to effectively operate your business.

Once the inputs are in place, ZBrains begins to build all of the outputs you need. This includes reports, documents, pages, and the rest of the things you require to communicate the work that your Zoho system does.

ZBrains Implementation Process

• Project Integration

Then it’s time to put all of the pieces together! We create all of the wiring needed to integrate your solution, including workflow automation and business logic.

The integration part of your solution is where you gain efficiencies and can potentially simplify or automate rote work.

• Zoho Project Implementation

When your build is complete, next up is implementation:

  • We work through user acceptance testing (UAT) to ensure that your requirements are met.
  • Your team gets involved with training, so they’re ready to use the new system.
  • Your experience will uncover needs and inform change management, so we can get everything just right.
  • When that is set, ZBrains migrates your up-to-date data to the new system.
  • We plan a launch, and your Zoho system goes live!

 

The good news is that after implementation, you’re not left on your own. ZBrains stays connected for support and post-care so that your Zoho implementation is successful for the long haul!

Connect with a Consultant

 


 

Click to download a pdf
Zoho Project Implementation Process
Zoho Updates March 2021

Zoho Updates, New Features, and Issues | March 2021

Have you noticed the continued improvements and user interface changes in Zoho CRM lately? There have been more in the past month to make small tasks simpler and more straightforward, and there have been continued improvements to security in the app.  Zoho Creator also had a few bug fixes and Zoho Updates March 2021 that we note below. 

Is there other information would you like to see about Zoho each month? Let us know in the comments.

Here are your What’s New, Zoho Updates March 2021. 

 

New Features from Zoho

Zoho CRM

  • Enjoy a few new feature perks in the Zoho CRM Module views. These UI improvements allow you to expand or collapse the smart filter in both Kanban and list views. You can also select whether to wrap or clip text within fields. Lastly, the “create and import record” buttons are grouped together in a dropdown-style button.
  • CRM improvements for remote work management were released in February. If you’re not already using Zoho Cliq and Zoho Meeting, or have a subscription to them, the bundle is available and will allow your teams to: “Share a record, report, dashboard, send workflow notification and activity reminders. Conduct online meetings with your team or clients from CRM meetings. Use audio or video conferencing and screen sharing features to give live demonstrations and quickly resolve support issues. Read more about Zoho Meetings.” Take a look at it here or contact us anytime to get your subscription started!
  • When adding multiple currencies, system-defined fields for Currency and Exchange Rate can be removed if needed. You can learn more about managing multiple currencies in Zoho CRM here.

 

ZOHO UPDATESApplication Updates from Zoho

Zoho CRM

  • Continued security improvements to Zoho CRM include introduction of the feature to configure which IP’s are allowed to access CRM. This means you can ensure your data in Zoho CRM is not accessed only from secure networks. This Security Policy can be applied to individual users, specific roles, or to a group. Find it in Zoho CRM Setup> Zoho Directory > Security Policies > Allowed IP’s.
  • CRM allows you to now edit a portal tab for your customers. Select from modules and layouts that you want your portal user to access, then define their level of access and permissions. Now your clients can enter information into their CRM records! Learn more about that set up or contact us anytime for support.

Zoho Creator Updates

  • Introducing Mobile SDK “We are introducing the Zoho Creator Software Development Kit for your Android and iOS apps. This will equip you to build custom Android and iOS apps with multiple features and functionalities. You will also be able to design your app’s UI with autonomy, wherein you can incorporate your organization’s internal style guide. Please refer to our Android and iOS help guides for more details.” 
  • Once again, Zoho Creator V1 integration deprecation is pushed out. You’ll have a bit more time through the month of March to complete these updates. This is a great time to schedule your migration support, if you still need it. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for support.

 

Zoho IssuesIssues Notices from Zoho

 Zoho Creator

  • Zoho Creator app updates this month for both Android and iOS. Be sure to update if you’re using these. iOS Update 5.26.7 of Creator fixed a bug related to adding records from the previous version of Zoho Creator. There are some nice updates in Version 6.3.7 of the Creator Android app, including the ability to switch between workspaces, and file upload now allows up to 50 MB making work on the mobile app even easier.
  • Effective February 16, 2021 WorldPay support as a connection in Zoho Creator has been deprecated.
  • Additionally, fixes are now in place for subform field columns in detail view of report. Version 3.4.6 of Customer Portal app fixes bugs related to feedback logs in Zoho Creator.

 

Are these updates helpful for you?  Want to see something more or different? Let us know in the comments!

 


 

If you have any questions or would like to schedule assistance around any of these updates please contact our consultants or call our offices at (888) 207-4111.

 

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Read about Zoho Updates for February 2021

Zoho Updates, New Features, and Issues | February 2021

This month’s updates section includes some very important changes in Zoho CRM and Zoho Finance applications like Zoho Books, Zoho Expense, Zoho Inventory, Zoho Invoice, and Zoho Subscriptions. We recommend taking a look to see if your system could be impacted, and as always – we’re here to support and answer any questions you may have. 

What other updates or information would you like to see each month? Let us know in the comments.

Here are your What’s New, Zoho Updates February 2021. 

 

New Features from Zoho

Zoho CRM

  • CRM Products is seeing some nice enhancements and now you can customize the Product Line Item in Inventory module. What does this mean for you? First off, the release of this feature will be in phases, so you may already see it available. When it is available to you, you can now add or remove fields, modify field properties, change existing formula expressions, and inset aggregate and formula fields. Lastly, the number of fields that can be added has increased to 10 for subforms and aggregate fields.
    If you have any questions about this change, or are interested in taking full advantage of Products in your Zoho CRM, our Zoho Certified Consultants are ready to help.

 

ZOHO UPDATESApplication Updates from Zoho

 

Zoho CRM

  • UPDATE 2/12/21: Zoho Corp has decided to “postpone the inclusion of the integration tasks in API credits to May 31, 2021.”  And  API Limit notifications will be sent to admins when the APIs’ daily limit reaches 80, 90, and 100%. 
  • Changes to integration tasks beginning February 15th, 2021 include that these tasks will begin to consume API credits on that date. First announced three months ago, you can view more information here
  • If you have reached the API credit limit for your organization, Zoho CRM will send an email with the subject “Attention: Your API credit limit reached 100%.” Zoho subject matter experts anticipate that the existing “API limit” will be sufficient for most users. However, if your system has many integrations, especially those using third party applications, you may wish to take a deeper look and see if any optimization is available to improve and avoid additional API call charges. Contact us any time.

Zoho Finance Applications

  • Updates to improve security across Zoho Finance products will impact Zoho Books, Zoho Expense, Zoho Inventory, Zoho Invoice, and Zoho Subscriptions. Authtokens are being deprecated March 1, 2021 in favor or OAuth 2.0 for the benefits of:
    •  Increased security and easier user/credentials management,
    • Improvement to industry standard protocol for easier communications between Zoho apps,
    • Access tokens expire, limiting data exposure in the instance of a security breach.

If you’re using any of the applications mentioned here, you are potentially impacted. Schedule a support consultation with our team today – just use the contact us button at the end of this article.

Zoho Creator

  • We’ve been talking about changes in Zoho Creator and updates to it for quite some time now. Effective February 3, 2021 the V2 APIs are in place and V1 integration tasks are deprecated. If you’re finding yourself experiencing issues with any custom applications using Zoho Creator, and missed our previous messages, please don’t hesitate to contact us for support.

 

Zoho BugsIssues Notices from Zoho

 Zoho Creator

  • Using Creator iOS app? Be sure you update to 5.25.5, this month rolled out several fixes to minor issues that you might have noticed.

 

Finding the updates helpful?  Let us know in the comments if there’s anything else we can do to help provide you with the latest from Zoho and make your day easier.

 


 

If you have any questions or would like to schedule assistance around any of these updates please contact our consultants or call our offices at (888) 207-4111.

 

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What's New at Zoho January 2021

Zoho Updates, New Features, and Issues | January 2021

Welcome to our first “What’s New” in this new year, Zoho Updates January 2021! We’ve gathered some notable updates, improvements, and fixes from CRM, Creator, and Desk for you from the past month. It’s exciting to see what’s taking shape for Zoho CRM in 2021 – have you already noticed some changes in your environment? What do you think so far? Let us know in the comments.

Here are your What’s New, Zoho Updates January 2021. 

 

New Features from Zoho

Zoho CRM

  • You may have noticed updates this past month to some areas of the Zoho CRM user interface. This includes a visual enhancement on the Setup page, where you’ll now see the page heading and search bar sectioned nicely along the left. Zoho CRM has seen a few visual updates recently, and as we understand, this is just the start for the “UX revamp” they have planned in 2021. What do you think of the improvements so far?
  • The “URL to notify” regarding third-party applications has been increased to 300 characters over its previous 200 character limit when entering a Webhook URL.
  • CRM improvement when integrating Desk, now Products module can be synced, too. In the past only the modules for Accounts and Contacts could be synched.
  • Duplication is now reduced when integrating CRM and Desk. Both primary and secondary email records are checked when performing this action.

Zoho Creator

  • From Zoho Creator, “As announced earlier, we have officially started the Creator 5 upgrade process. We have planned to take this forward in phases and upgrade all Zoho accounts to Creator 5 by February 1st, 2021. As a step in that direction, we have come up with an upgrade wizard that pops up when you sign into your account.” Do you have questions or need help with your upgrade? Contact ZBrains today.

ZOHO UPDATESApplication Updates from Zoho

 

Zoho Desk

  • Learn more about Gamescope for Agents in Zoho Desk! This feature helps to increase engagement and incentivizes the behaviors that benefit users and clients. Keep reading for details on the points, badges, and trophies and how they work in Zoho Desk’s Gamescope.

Additional Critical Notes on Zoho Creator Updates

  • Zoho announced the end-of-life for Creator v1 on February 3, 2021, and will require a migration to Zoho Creator v2. The application will remain compatible until then; however, we strongly recommend scheduling your analysis and migration in advance in order to avoid any interruptions in service.  We suggest getting started as quickly as possible because the timeline for your migration is variable depending on the complexity of your solution. Contact us any time to schedule your migration analysis.

Zoho BugsIssues Notices from Zoho

 Zoho Creator

    • In Creator, this bug fix now loads data in batches as the user scrolls through reports, enhancing the performance of data-heavy lookups in C4.

 

Finding the updates helpful?  Let us know in the comments if there’s anything else we can do to help provide you with the latest from Zoho and make your day easier.

 


 

If you have any questions or would like to schedule assistance around any of these updates please contact our consultants or call our offices at (888) 207-4111.

 

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zoho books overview

Could Zoho Books Improve Your Small Business?

In this rundown of Zoho Books, we’ll define what this application is and what it does. Next, we’ll look at a couple of product reviews. Then, share some common comparisons between Zoho Books and other accounting solutions that are often used by small businesses. If you’re new to Zoho, new to Zoho Books, or just looking for some high-level info to get going, this article is a great place to start. 

What is Zoho Books?

Books is a Zoho accounting solution designed to help businesses with end-to-end accounting and tax compliance. This Zoho accounting software is one of 40+ applications on the integrated Zoho platform and is well-positioned for small and medium businesses.

[caption id="attachment_4653" align="alignright" width="450"]person at computer Even if Zoho Books isn’t the right solution for your accounting team, but you’re still interested in Zoho – remember that it integrates with many other solutions![/caption]

Here are the high points

You can streamline all of your back office duties with Zoho Books and organize all of your transactions in one place. Given this set of features you may want to take a closer look at Zoho Books, we think it’s a real contender. Zoho Books features allow you to:

  • Collect online payments securely and quickly.
  • Keep records of all your invoices, estimates, credit notes, and even recurring invoices in one place.
  • Convert estimates to invoices in just a few clicks.
  • Automatically remind overdue clients with payment reminders.
  • Never lose a minute of billable hours. Monitor and track how labor is spent in your company.
  • Manage inventory and even automate redundant tasks.
  •  Capture and view all financial information related to your asset, liability, revenue, or expense accounts and organize them how you want.
  • Simplify tax season. Generate tax reports in just a few clicks. so you are set when tax season arrives.
  • And this is in addition to standard features including: purchase orders, project accounting, bank reconciliations, and compatibility with government and non-profit accounting needs.
  • Also notable is the transaction limit of 5,000 per month with the most advanced offering of Zoho Books. It’s definitely something to consider as you continue your research. 

If this isn’t the solution for you, or you need a solution with a little more umph, Zoho also integrates well with applications such as Quickbooks. And we’ll take a closer look at some of those a little later in this article. 

But first, let’s look at what folks are saying about Zoho Books. 

 


Zoho Books Reviews

Across the board we think you’ll see that Zoho’s value approach to their solutions, coupled with the in depth integrations between those 40+ solutions, makes it a compelling choice for small and mid-sized businesses. Most notably for those who need visibility to their organization across each platform used. And for those who want to minimize the number of applications needed day to day. 

Additionally, while affordable, Zoho and Zoho Certified Consultants like ZBrains have your support and custom development needs covered. Now, let’s look at what others say about Books:

 

PC Mag’s SMB Accounting solutions review says:

“4.0 EXCELLENT

Zoho Books is an excellent choice for cloud-based small business accounting, offering an exceptional user experience, an attractive price, and a rich set of tools. Larger businesses may want to consider it, too…”

 

Business.com shares this  Zoho Books review:

“The Best Accounting and Invoice-Generating Software

The Verdict

Zoho Books is an intuitive accounting program with full accounts receivable and accounts payable functionality. It’s also very affordable, making it the best accounting software for really small businesses.”

 

What ZBrains Client Said

As with any purchase that has an impact on your business, especially when you’re considering the tools you and your teams will use each day, we encourage you to do more research and find others who have been through the same. Here’s what one of our clients, Lavoro Technologies,   had to say about it when they were going through the comparison process:

Before choosing Zoho they looked at multiple alternatives, including QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Intacct, Sage, and BusinessObjects. The affordability of Zoho was a huge selling point for Lavoro, especially when coupled with its ease of use, as Jim describes, ‘It just makes sense the way that it operates, how you can go from customer to estimate, from customer to invoice, estimate to invoice. [In terms of NetSuite,] I just didn’t see the reason to pay $125 per month per user for aspects of a program that I didn’t see us using.

 

Speaking of comparisons, let’s take a look now at how Zoho Books. Let’s see how it stacks up against a couple of common accounting solutions for small businesses.

 


Product Comparisons

Comparisons between Zoho Books and other solutions like Quickbooks Online are prevalent. If you’ve been considering which software is the right one for your small business, we’ve compared four common solutions with Zoho Books here. Of course, there are many others. We’re happy to answer your questions about them- just let us know!

Let’s dive in.

 

Zoho Books vs Quickbooks Online

Quickbooks Online is positioned as a solution for small businesses. For instance, it shares many similarities in terms of capabilities to Zoho Books. The interfaces for each are relatively simple to understand and use. The shared features include accounts receivable, tax management, banking reconciliation, billing, and invoicing. Where Zoho Books offers a bit more functionality is in project accounting and the ability to do purchase orders. It also handles government and non-profits, where Quickbooks Online does not. 

If you’re already using Quickbooks Online, and are curious about integrating with the rest of Zoho ecosystem, take a look at the Zoho and Quickbooks Online Integration we provide at ZBrains.

Zoho Books vs Quickbooks

Users of Quickbooks also rate it highly. For instance, they cite ease of use and robust features as the benefits of this platform, and we don’t disagree. For a lot of businesses, Quickbooks is a great solution. And just like other versions of this software, it integrates very well with Zoho. This allows for the best of both worlds. Learn a little more about AgilitySync, the platform we use to connect Zoho and QuickBooks in this video.

[caption id="attachment_4654" align="alignright" width="450"] Take your research for a new accounting solution to the full extent. Be sure to compare it against any other options you’re considering.[/caption]

Zoho Books vs FreshBooks

Users will say that Freshbooks is easy to use and affordable. It does allow for the most basic features; however, it doesn’t quite stack up in terms of a well-rounded offering. With FreshBooks, you’ll leave behind key features and capabilities such as:  tax management, purchase orders, and project accounting. We’ve seen these three features are especially important to the majority of our service and project-based clients. 

• Zoho Books vs Sage

Sage products for business accounting have been around for decades. Now, there is little to support an argument for taking up this solution as a small business when other, better solutions are widely available. To learn a little more about why we don’t necessarily recommend this software, read our full Zoho Books and Sage100 comparison here, and our article on transitioning away from Sage100.

Above all, we hope this helps as you continue your research and efforts to find the best accounting solution match for your business. If you’re ready, keep reading for next steps.

 

Your Next Steps

A lot of consultants might suggest you dive right in with a free trial, but at ZBrains we start by having one of our Zoho experts to analyze your company and determine the strengths and weaknesses with a comprehensive business process analysis (BPA). Our process ensures a successful implementation that allows you use the software to your advantage. The result is that your organization enjoys all of the functionality and benefits of the Zoho system.

In summary, if you need help migrating or setting up your integration – for example, mapping custom fields, migrating legacy data, workflow rules, or extra training sessions, we offer our services to you. Give us a call, or use the button below to write to us about your needs!

 

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