Zoho CRM gets a significant upgrade, including integration with LinkedIn, bidirectional synchronization with Google Calendar, a Twitter-like follow feature and other perks.
a provider of Web-based software for collaboration and enterprise applications,
has upgraded its customer relationship management (CRM) software with Google
Calendar synchronization, integration with business social network LinkedIn
(NASDAQ:LNKD) and other features to boost user productivity.
Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) commands the lion's share of large CRM installations
in the cloud, Zoho is the scrappy underdog punching the market leader from
below. Zoho CRM enjoys 5.5 million users, spanning 25,000 business customers, most of which are in the
small to medium size range.
so, Zoho Evangelist Raju Vegnesa claimed Zoho is poaching 10 customers from
Salesforce.com a day, thanks to its integration with Google Apps collaboration
software and low cost compared with Salesforce.com. Zoho CRM costs $12 per user
per month for the professional version and $25 per user per month for its
new Zoho CRM boasts a new user interface, which users may compare to the old
. Note that while the exiting UI has a busy left-hand rail
for the home and contact screens, the new UI moves a lot of that functionality
to the top tool menu.
said the redesign is intended to help users boost their productivity at a time
when information is abundant and time is precious. To wit, Zoho also added a
new Pulse module that lets users follow specific deals, contacts or accounts
just as they might follow contacts on Twitter or Google+.
Pulse, which is available for professional and enterprise edition users, a CEO
could follow a deal that could have an impact on his quarterly results.
Following that deal will keep him updated on the deal's evolution.
rapid access to information Pulse enables is crucial to business leaders. Of
course, such a feature could also produce a lot of noise if a CEO is following
a lot of accounts, deals or contacts. That's why Pulse provides rules that
users may set to control information they receive alerts to.
CRM also now allows users to link a contact's profile with their LinkedIn
profile, a no-brainer feature that should have been available when Zoho
launched CRM a few years ago.
integration will help users keep tabs on business and professional activity,
even allowing them to send direct LinkedIn messages without leaving Zoho CRM.
Users may also search for another user's profile. LinkedIn integration is
available now for all users.
the CRM app now supports bidirectional synchronization with Google Calendar,
which means changes users make to the Calendar app will show up in Zoho CRM if
they are made from Google Apps-and vice versa. Google Calendar sync is
available for paid users.
users of its enterprise edition of CRM, Zoho has integrated its drag-and-drop
Zoho Creator app development tool to let users build custom apps that appear
inside the CRM application and access data from the CRM system.
said that a user might build a custom travel app that appears within the CRM
and can rake in information from various modules within the CRM. This
integration is available for enterprise edition users only.
has come a long way in the last several years, hacking at the knees of
Salesforce.com and Google Apps simply by targeting smaller businesses looking
to move their collaboration and business software online.
surprising is that the company has not been acquired by SAP (NYSE:SAP), Oracle
(NASDAQ:ORCL) or some other enterprise giant looking to gain a broad swath of
technology to better compete with Google and Salesforce.com in cloud computing
course, mergers and acquisitions in the cloud have heated up of late, with Oracle
Technologies and SAP
, so Zoho could be targeted in 2012.