May 15, 2020

Going Zoho – Part 3

Welcome to the third blog in our series ‘Going Zoho’ where we unpack how we have transformed the operational processes at Ardento using Zoho software.

Its been a while since our previous posts on this topic so please jump across to the past articles for a catch up.

For a quick re-cap its worth mentioning Ardento have been a Zoho partner for over 5 years. Our team works with businesses across Australia to help them find success with Zoho software through implementation support, customisation and integration. During our time as a Zoho partner we have also implemented over 20 Zoho applications in our own business. These applications stretch across all facets of our business operations. From sales, marketing, customer care, internal operations and finance.

Better Software Development

One of the more recent Zoho applications to be used at Ardento is Zoho Sprints. Sprints labels itself as Agile project management software, in contrast to Zoho Projects which is classified as more traditional waterfall project management.

A large part of what we deliver to our customers at Ardento are cloud integration and customization solutions. Our in house software development team is in charge of delivering these highly technical solutions to our customers. To assist in the management of these projects the development team uses Zoho Sprints to build out development ‘Sprints’ which are collections of smaller tasks to be completed by a developer or team of developers. The Agile methodology allows for short bursts of effort to be made towards a common goal. It promotes flexibility and allows for easily adopted changes throughout the development life cycle.

A point worth making here is that Zoho Sprints is not just useful to software developers, Agile project management can be useful for any business that is working on large or complex projects and is looking for a way to break the process down into manageable deliverables while promoting flexibility.

Our team also use Zoho Projects as a tool to bridge the communication between our consulting and development teams as there is often a need for our consultants to request various development items for their clients, such as scripting for Zoho systems. Zoho Projects allows the consulting team the ability to create development tasks for our developers and then keep up to date as they progress through the development schedule.

Ultimately both Zoho Sprints and Zoho Projects are about team collaboration and creating visibility for all stakeholders that are involved in more complex and larger projects. When used correctly these system reduce mistakes and keep timelines on track.

Dare To Change Email Host

Probably one of the most intimidating shifts we decided to make an Ardento was to move our email hosting away from GMail and adopt Zoho Mail. As much as email can be frustrating and inefficient at times it is still a huge part of the way our team communicates and we rely on it every day.

Because email is so deeply ingrained in daily operations established businesses are terrified of moving to a different email host. There are so many things to consider!

Migrating inboxes!

Learning and new email system!

Will my folders and rules be deleted??

The good news is a lot of these hurdles are made a little less daunting thanks to some excellent migration tools provided by Zoho. Especially if you are moving from Gmail or Office 365. Learn more about the process here

Once the migration process was complete our team could enjoy some of the amazing features that Zoho Mail offers! Its goes without saying that Zoho Mail provides excellent integrated features with other Zoho applications. Within the Zoho Mail user interface sits a side panel where you are access dozens of extensions that are connected to your other Zoho apps. Lookup a CRM contact? No problem! Create a Zoho Desk ticket? Easy! Find a password in Zoho Vault? Just a click away! Learn more about the full list of Zoho Mail extensions here

Another feature of Zoho Mail is called Streams. This feature aims at removing the endless forwarding and reply chains that occur between internal teams on email. Specially a customer email that gets forwarded around between team members for comment and input. Streams lets your team comment and share specific email items without the need for forwarding. Think of it like a comment thread on Facebook, but instead of the thread being attached to a post on your news feed, the thread is attached to an email in your inbox. More about Streams here

Small Wins

Zoho has many applications which can be a complete game changer for business and this blog series has highlighted how, at Ardento, we have embedded these applications into the critical areas of our business.

However, it is also worth mentioning that there are many Zoho applications that are super useful and very easy to implement and yet they don’t need to be game changers or completely transform your business to be valuable.

Implementing these smaller, simple apps might save you some subscription dollars as well.

Here are a few we have implemented at Ardento.

  • Zoho Survey – A great application for creating online surveys
  • Zoho Vault – Password management solution, great alternative to LastPass
  • Zoho Forms – A simple online form builder
  • Zoho Social – A complete social media management
  • Zoho SalesIQ – A Web and ChatBot tool

All of these applications are available as part of the Zoho One suite.

Stay tuned for future posts about our own going Zoho journey at Ardento.

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