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Business Engineering

A2Z’s Expert Take on Zoho’s Q1 Updates

by | Zoho News and Updates

Welcome to A2Z Cloud’s analysis of Zoho’s first-quarter updates for 2024.

Zoho continues to evolve its suite of applications, introducing features that promise to redefine business efficiency. This quarter, significant upgrades span from CRM functionalities designed to streamline customer interactions to advanced tools in analytics that offer deeper insights into your business metrics.

Join us as our experts from A2Z dive into the latest developments, illustrating how they can benefit your business operations and drive strategic growth.

Sales Automation in Zoho CRM

The A2Z Angle – Advice from Zoho CRM Expert & A2Z Cloud Business Engineer, Jake Holland  

“The introduction of more field options within Zoho CRM always piques my interest, and the latest addition of Rich Text Boxes is no exception. This new feature improves the way we interact with CRM data. Rich Text Boxes enable you to highlight critical points and improve the readability of extensive text, which is crucial in a data-dense environment like a CRM.

One of the most impactful applications of Rich Text Boxes is in email customisation, allowing you to craft more personalised and engaging emails. The Rich Text Box can serve as the core of an email template, where specific, dynamic content is inserted, leaving only the generic information static. This capability was previously challenging to achieve with standard text fields.

However, we must also be mindful of its implications on data management and reporting. The convenience of storing unique, extensive information in Rich Text Boxes comes with a caveat—this data cannot be easily leveraged in filtering and reporting. This highlights the importance of strategic field usage in CRM systems. It’s crucial to balance the need for detailed, rich-text data with the requirements of data analysis and reporting.

It’s important for CRM professionals to stay ahead of the curve and adopt these new features but if you’re exploring implementing them, you should also consider the best practices for their use, ensuring they contribute positively to your business goals.”

Jake Holland, Zoho Developer, A2Z Cloud

Jake’s notable Zoho CRM updates

No-Code Customisation with Kiosk Studio

Zoho CRM introduced Kiosk Studio, a no-code tool that allows for the creation and embedding of custom functionalities across the CRM, streamlining operations for users, customers, and vendors.

Sharepoint for CRM Marketplace Extension

New extension improvements such as Sharepoint for CRM have been added to Zoho CRM, broadening its integrability and functionality.

CPQ  

CPQ is Zoho CRM’s built-in solution for custom quote management. It has been in public early access, but is now available to all users.

Enhancements to Zoho CRM’s finance suite integrations  :

Zoho Subscriptions integration updates:

  • Zoho Subscriptions is now seamlessly integrated as a dedicated module within CRM, offering direct access and management capabilities.

  • Reporting functionalities for Zoho Subscriptions data have been enhanced to provide deeper insights.

Zoho Books integration improvements:

  • CRM now fully recognises and applies all user-level permissions from Zoho Books, except admin-specific permissions.

  • The new “Integration Users” role enables CRM users to manage the Estimates module in Zoho Books—including create, edit, and view functionalities—and grants view access to other modules without the need for additional licenses.

Public launch of Voice of the Customer (VoC)  

Voice of the Customer (VoC) in Zoho CRM provides you actionable insights derived from customer feedback and interactions across multiple channels. VoC was previously available in early access and it is now available publicly to all users.

Rich text support for multi-line fields 

Rich text support is now available for multi-line fields in Zoho CRM, bringing enhanced formatting capabilities like font styles, colors, and highlighting. This feature boosts readability and visual appeal with expanded character options, a comprehensive text editor, and an enlarged text box. Tailored for Enterprise and Ultimate edition users, it enriches multi-line fields in various modules, with some limitations in views, subforms, and the mobile app.

Check out all the latest releases from Q1 for Zoho CRM here 

Finance Automation in Zoho Books

The A2Z Angle – Words of wisdom from Zoho Books Expert, Tiffany Stephenson

“The Enhanced Item Search feature and the automatic Data backup function are exciting additions. The ability to locate items using any keyword simplifies the search process, saving valuable time and reducing frustration. The automatic data backup is another highlight. This feature not only safeguards valuable business data but also ensures that businesses remain compliant with data protection regulations. 

Another significant addition is the implementation of the New VAT Treatment. It’s crucial to ensure that your VAT settings and treatment are correctly configured, particularly when dealing with customers from diverse regions.

The recent updates reflect Zoho’s understanding of the critical nature of data in business operations and their proactive approach to addressing potential data loss scenarios.”

Tiffany Stephenson, Zoho Consultant, A2Z Cloud

Tiff’s notable Zoho Books updates

WhatsApp Integration

Integrate with WhatsApp to send notifications of payments and sales transactions directly to your customers. You will be able to customise payment and sales templates and use them to initiate conversations with your customers from your Zoho Books organisation.

Enhanced Item Search

Use the enhanced Item Search feature to find items in the item table of a transaction using any keywords in any order. For instance, if you have an item names ‘Zylker One 2024’, you can find it in the item table by using keywords like ‘one’ or ‘Zylker 2024’ in the search. For better search results, you can also include keywords from the item name and SKU fields.

Schedule Automatic Data Backup

You can now schedule automatic backups for your Zoho Books data every 15 or 30 days. Additionally, you have the option to manually initiate a backup if it hasn’t been done in the last 15 days. To configure this feature, click ‘Schedule Backup’ on the Data Backup page under Settings.

Check out all the latest releases for Zoho Books in Q1 here

Data Analytics

The A2Z Angle – Insights from Business Analytics Expert, Nazneen Syed

“The Zoho Analytics team has rolled out several exciting updates recently, among which the highlight is the Data Storytelling feature – Zia Insights in Zoho Show. The fusion of AI-generated narratives is a step towards making data felt and understood. It’s about transforming raw data into compelling stories that resonate on a human level.

Equally significant, the Advanced Analytics Connector for Pipedrive is a testament to the integration capabilities that Zoho continuously strives for. This connector facilitates a comprehensive understanding of the sales pipeline, enhancing strategic planning and operational efficiency.

The update also introduced various formatting improvements, including a Workspace-level currency setting. This feature standardises currency symbols across all reports and dashboards, simplifying the data analysis process by eliminating the need for manual adjustments.”

Nazneen Syed, Zoho Developer, A2Z Cloud

Nazneen’s notable Zoho Analytics updates

Data Storytelling – Advanced Data Presentations in Zoho Show

Advanced Slideshow is a powerful data storytelling feature that enables you to craft immersive presentation blending visualisations created in Zoho Analytics. Along with visualisations add narrative elements – text, infographics, videos, and shapes – in your presentations to create a compelling analytical story.

Power BI in Portal

You can now embed Power BI reports to create unified portals for your organisation’s business needs. Having a unified portal improves collaboration, promotes centralised accessibility, and makes it easy for C-level executives to make robust business decisions.

Check out all the latest releases for Zoho Analytics in Q1 here

Customer Service in Zoho Desk

The A2Z Angle – An Expert’s Take With Gurpreet Kaur

“The ability to Schedule Email Responses and the introduction of Customised Support Plans particularly stand out for their potential to significantly enhance the efficiency and customisation of support services.

Notably, the Custom Modules feature is another win for businesses with specific operational needs. This level of customisation enables us to extend Zoho Desk’s functionality to fit unique business models.

Lastly, the Enhanced Security Measures, including field encryption, bolster data protection and align with our focus on safeguarding client information. These updates demonstrate Zoho Desk’s commitment to innovation, security, and user-centric design, principles that A2Z shares in our quest to deliver exceptional service and support to our clients.”

Gurpreet Kaur, Zoho Developer, A2Z Cloud

Gurpreet’s notable Zoho Desk updates

Create custom modules to meet unique business requirements

Build custom modules to store business-specific datasets, such as students, bookings, patients, etc. to align with operational processes. These custom modules can integrate with core Desk modules using lookup fields and offer benefits like field customisation, workflow automation, access control, and more.

View activity history in audit logs

Admins can get an overview of all activities that have been performed in the Desk account using the audit log. Actions are displayed in chronological order and detail the user who performed the action, when it was performed, and more. Admins can also track activities performed in Automation and custom modules in the audit log.

Schedule email responses for a ticket

Agents can compose a reply and schedule it to be sent at an appropriate time, reducing the hassle of setting reminders and ensuring that recipients receive responses at the right times.

Check out all the latest releases for Zoho Desk in Q1 here

Wrapping up

As we reflect on the latest releases from Zoho, it’s clear they are setting the bar for enterprise software solutions. Zoho has adeptly addressed the immediate challenges businesses face while also anticipating future needs. This proactive approach is essential for businesses aiming to maintain a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

With Zoho’s updates, companies are well-positioned to transform vast amounts of data into actionable insights and engage with their customers through personalised interactions more effectively. The incorporation of AI technologies enhances operational efficiency and decision-making capabilities, enabling businesses to adapt quickly and intelligently to new opportunities and challenges.

As a globally-leading Zoho partner, A2Z Cloud is uniquely equipped to help your business navigate the expansive Zoho suite. Our in-house expertise ensures that you can fully capitalise on Zoho’s latest innovations, aligning technology with your strategic goals to foster success and growth.

Ready to take full advantage of Zoho’s newest capabilities?

Contact A2Z Cloud today to explore how these updates can be tailored to your needs, ensuring you maximise the benefits of Zoho’s innovative solutions. Let us help you transform your business with smarter tools designed for your success.

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