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Category : Zoho Corporation

Zoho Adds Even More Value with Free Remotely Suite

Zoho Remotely is free until July 2020

zoho remotely

In times of crisis, Zoho really seems to have their finger on the pulse of their customers.  They know well that many of their customers are SMBs.  And by that logic, the coronavirus pandemic likely affects a great number of them.  So, Zoho did what it does best: it added even more value to their customers’ experience with the Emergency Subscription Assistance Program (ESAP).  ESAP allows customers (still, as of this writing) to apply for Zoho licensing forgiveness if their organizations include 25 or fewer users.

But, obviously, not every organization is going to fall into that category, and some are still needing assistance.  To that end, Zoho has made an entire suite of their products free to use through the end of June 2020.  That suite, called Remotely, is made of apps already in the Zoho One suite, but which are designed specifically for remote collaboration.  And, in a time where many now work from home by default, what could be better?

Remotely includes these Zoho apps:

  1. Projects, for collaboration on team projects.
  2. Sprints, specific to remote teams collaborating on software sprints.
  3. Cliq, for sending instant chat messages to colleagues across your organization.
  4. Meeting, for virtual meetings with groups–for sales, support, or otherwise.
  5. Assist, for remote one-on-one support sessions (including mouse control options) with clients.
  6. Lens, similar to Assist but accesses a client’s smartphone’s camera to identify physical (non-software) problems.
  7. Show, for putting together presentations for clients.
  8. Showtime, for giving training content to your clients.
  9. Workdrive, Writer, and Sheet, similar to Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Sheets, except integrated with your Zoho environment–great for storing files related to your clients or projects.

zoho remotely

Chances are your business needs more software than just Zoho Remotely to achieve success.  For example, you’ll notice the suite is noticeably lacking the CRM, help desk, finance platforms, etc.  But, if you would benefit from using even one of these apps in the Remotely suite, it could be worth a look.  You may end up using a combination of a la carte apps plus the Remotely suite.  Or, even Zoho CRM Plus and the Zoho Remotely suite.

If you aren’t sure what to do, let us know when you contact us.

Who benefits most from Zoho Remotely?

Aside from the obvious–that the suite is geared towards teams who work remotely–it seems Zoho Remotely is designed for teams in specific industries, too.  This makes more sense if you consider Remotely has existed in Zoho’s library since long before the recent pandemic.  In fact, Remotely has been around since 2019.

While many of the apps included in Zoho Remotely truly are general-purpose, others are quite specific.  The more general apps include:

  • Projects
  • Cliq
  • Meeting
  • Show
  • Workdrive, Writer, and Sheet

zoho remotely

Projects is a good app for any team needing to collaborate on a project that requires multiple steps or dependencies.  Cliq is Zoho’s equivalent of Slack, making it a great intra-office communication tool.  Meeting is similar to Zoom, meaning virtual conferences are on the table.  Show is like PowerPoint or Google Slides.  Similarly, Workdrive, Writer, and Sheet are similar to their Google Apps counterparts: Drive, Docs, and Sheets, which many businesses already use today.  With the possible exception of Projects, one could argue nearly any organization could benefit from using this combination of apps.

So, what about the more specific apps not included here?

More industry-specific apps in Remotely include:

  • Sprints
  • Assist
  • Lens
  • Showtime

Zoho Sprints is geared towards software development sprints; so, tech companies developing programs or apps would find it useful.  It isn’t uncommon for companies like this to employ a remote workforce anyway, so this app’s inclusion in the suite makes sense.

Zoho Assist is similar to Zoho Meet, except it’s used for one-on-one support sessions rather than team meetings.  It gives the presenter the ability to control a guest’s mouse (with their permission, of course), making it great for technical support cases.  Again, this sort of work is usually done remotely anyway.

zoho remotely

Zoho Lens is somewhat similar to Zoho Assist above, what with its device-controlling attributes.  However, Lens gives the meeting originator access to a participant’s smartphone camera, allowing them to see whatever the camera sees.  This is useful when diagnosing certain mechanical problems–or others where a visual display is important.  Again, this would necessarily be remote work, as the only alternative would be to bring an additional person to the work site.

zoho remotely

Zoho Showtime is like PowerPoint, or Google Slides, except it’s specifically made for showing training content.  In it, you can not only show special training videos, but also administer quizzes and track engagement.  As with the other aforementioned apps, this is necessarily a remote job.  The next-best thing would be to get your staff into a classroom, which is hardly ever feasible in the best of times–and especially not in today’s climate of perpetual social distancing.

Little confusing?  You’ve got power in your corner

Times are difficult enough these days, and while Zoho means well to add another software choice to its arsenal, some may not have the time to really sit down and analyze whether using it would be a good idea.  (Choosing the wrong software and/or provider seems to be a popular reason system implementations fail, when they do.)

If that sounds like you, just let us know and we’ll be happy to analyze your situation for you, then let you know if you’d benefit from using Remotely.  You don’t have to take a big chance on something like this; leave it to a team of experienced Zoho consultants to lend a hand and put you back in the Zoho power seat.

 

Zoho Aims for Enterprise Businesses

zoho for enterprise businessesZoho Corporation is looking to revamp its image as it grows, adding more partners who service larger businesses.  Historically, Zoho has been known as an inexpensive software option, especially useful for smaller businesses.  However, when enterprise-level customers do come knocking, they’re frequently impressed.

Zoho has done just fine by gathering up smaller businesses, making the relationships “sticky” with suites of apps like Zoho One, and growing with (until recently) hardly any US advertising.  But, Zoho is showing Salesforce isn’t the only game in town for larger businesses.

So, what does this mean for Zoho Corporation, for you (whether part of a small business or a larger one), and for us as Zoho consultants?

No matter what, Zoho still wants to help you

Businesspeople shouldn’t look at this move by Zoho as an eschewing of the company’s roots.  Rather, smaller businesses make up the vast majority of the global market.  And, chances are larger businesses have even more connections to smaller businesses that Zoho can use to its advantage–namely for referrals.  So, no, Zoho won’t likely turn into a one-dimensional company from this move.

zoho for enterprise businesses

Is it better to be big, or small?

The question remains: Is Zoho still better suited for larger businesses, or is it better for smaller ones?  Zoho purposefully paints with a very broad brush, offering software packages suited for both larger and smaller enterprises, with pricing plans to match.

The answer is it doesn’t really matter, and it all depends on your preference–as always.

Zoho purposefully gears themselves towards smaller organizations.  

Their competitive price points make the barrier to entry very low.  As well, Zoho’s plasticity makes it easy for some businesses to turn on an app and start using it in production right away.  And, suites like Zoho One or Zoho CRM Plus provide a whole system of apps for less than their constituent parts combined.  Recent additions like Zoho Remotely and the Emergency Subscription Assistance Program (ESAP) ease small business pains related to working from home, or from the recent COVID-19 outbreak.

zoho for enterprise businesses

Zoho Corporation clearly values their SMB clients greatly.  However, they expect some companies to grow larger as a natural function of their success.

Zoho’s customizability makes it a perfect choice for enterprise-level companies.

Anyone can turn on Zoho CRM and start tracking lead data.  However, many Zoho apps boast a slew of features specific to automating workflow and simplifying processes for large departments.  (Take blueprint, for example, available in Zoho CRM and Zoho Desk too.)  Many Zoho apps can communicate with each other.  Others can also integrate with third-party apps like QuickBooks Desktop or Sage 100 ERP.  Furthermore, Zoho’s platform-as-a-service, Zoho Creator, puts it on par with Salesforce by allowing for creating custom apps and connecting with Zoho CRM.

zoho for enterprise businesses

Clearly Zoho has designed their apps with both small and large companies in mind.  Some businesses may have growth plans that don’t include Zoho.  And, for some, that is to be expected, a natural part of growth.  But, Zoho purposefully designs software to last, and includes “sticky” apps that companies won’t want to stop using after starting to use them!  So, even if some companies actually plan not to use Zoho forever, they sometimes find their plans change due to their users benefiting greatly from using the software.  Again, this is a natural part of growth as a company.

What does this push to enterprise businesses mean for us as Zoho consultants?

As Zoho consultants, our job hasn’t changed.  No matter the size of your business, our job remains to devise the best Zoho solution for you given your business goals.  We’ve done this for one-man shows and we’ve done it for companies with hundreds of users.

If Zoho begins to attract more large companies, however, Zoho Corporation will likely begin expanding upon newer apps like MarketingHub. They’ll also probably offer more industry-specific solutions, and improve upon Zoho Creator.  Zoho will probably release those improvements to larger and smaller companies alike.  And this, in turn, makes our job that much easier, as it makes Zoho that much easier to sell.

And, whether Zoho adds functionality to Zoho Creator itself or creates new apps specific to industries like field services, construction, or manufacturing, larger companies have everything to gain.

How Zoho Helps SMBs in Crisis

Who can small businesses turn to in the face of a crisis like the coronavirus?

zoho coronavirus help

Here’s why Zoho is just the software–and the company–to take advantage of.

Even perpetual doomsayers likely could not have predicted the wave of confusion–and businesses forced to close–in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Whether your business was forced to transition to a work-from-home model, or you lost business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or you were simply forced to shut your doors, chances are the virus has affected you in some way.

And, whether or not you even use Zoho software, you’re probably looking for guidance to power it through this troubling time.

Fortunately, Zoho software was practically built for situations like these, even if you didn’t know it already.

How Zoho software positions itself to help businesses

zoho coronavirus help

Zoho is well-known for being an inexpensive business software option.  And, unfortunately, this lends it a bad rap among some circles.  It’s widely known that highly-priced products are seen as more valuable than lower-priced ones, even if that isn’t actually the case.  And, in this case, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

For example, despite Salesforce being a household name, Zoho packs about 95% of the features of Salesforce.  Furthermore, any small gaps can usually be filled by Zoho’s platform-as-a-service, Zoho Creator.  But, the difference in price between Zoho and Salesforce is anything but small.

Zoho’s flagship offering, Zoho One, goes for $35/user/month.  And, that gives you nearly every app (40+) in Zoho’s arsenal.

Compare that with Salesforce’s enterprise-level solution, which comes in at $150/user/month–and that’s just for the CRM!  Add extra apps and the recurring price only rises.  Businesses who have switched from Salesforce to Zoho know all too well about these differences in costs.

Zoho’s Emergency Subscription Assistance Program (ESAP)

zoho coronavirus help

Zoho already prices itself very competitively.  But, the recent coronavirus pandemic has caused Zoho Corporation to take swift action to help its customers even more.  Zoho knows that many of its clientele are small businesses.  And, because of the size of these businesses, statistically the coronavirus outbreak affects them most.  Zoho wants to do everything it can to help keep these customers in business.  After all, small these businesses have been a key to Zoho’s success thus far.  Furthermore, the loss of their business software wouldn’t just mean these companies would move to another platform.  Rather, it could mean the end for some, if not most of them.

For these reasons, Zoho has launched the Emergency Subscription Assistance Program.  This allows any severely affected Zoho customer with 25 or fewer employees to apply for completely free licensing for up to three months.  While ESAP requires an application to receive help, its availability to begin with shows Zoho’s great empathy for its customers.

How about working from home?  Zoho covers you there with Remotely, too.

zoho coronavirus help

Even if coronavirus hasn’t sidelined you completely, you’ve likely shifted at least some operations from an external office to a home office.  Any business can use Zoho CRM Plus if they need a whole suite of apps, but what happens if a business needs to be a little more collaborative than CRM Plus allows?

Zoho Corporation has made their Remotely suite completely free to use through July 1, 2020.  This move will surely help businesses through these troubling times.  Remotely contains these apps, which focus on collaboration or general communication between team members:

  1. Zoho Cliq
  2. Zoho Meeting
  3. Zoho ShowTime
  4. Zoho WorkDrive
  5. Zoho Projects
  6. Zoho Sprints
  7. Zoho Assist
  8. Zoho Lens
  9. Zoho Writer
  10. Zoho Sheet
  11. Zoho Show

What can ZBrains do?

As always, we maintain our full staff of Zoho certified consultants and developers completely on-site to help with any Zoho project.  No matter what you need–from consulting, training, integration, or a custom ERP app–we have the tools to help.

zoho coronavirus help

We don’t often recommend jumping into action, especially if we haven’t already analyzed your Zoho software and helped plan your next moves.  However, if you don’t have time to spare, doing something–anything–may be miles better than doing nothing.  Let us know exactly how you’d like to engage with a Zoho partner, and we’ll do our very best to make that a reality.

As a small business ourselves, we know what you’re going through, and we care about you.  Above all else, stay safe, and we hope to collaborate with you soon.