Zoho  has introduced updates to its Zoho One  operating system designed to corral a variety of necessary small business functions under one digital roof. The changes include a brand new app and three new platform services simplifying communications. Integration with third party and custom Zoho apps is central.
It’s a combined move streamlining SMB operations from sales to finance, BI to marketing and even HR on one technology platform.
Small Business Trends spoke with Taylor Backman, Evangelist at Zoho, about the updates and what they mean for small businesses.
He started describing one of the main thrusts behind the move.
“Zoho One is democratizing software for growing business,” he said. “It’s making enterprise grade tools available to everyone.”
Music to the small business owners’ ears. These updates are another way IT is leveling the playing field.
He set the new changes up this way:
“An operating system needs the kind of digital plumbing that ties everything together.”
Zoho One Updates
Three new services help to accomplish this goal.
Connecting a small business phone system to all the applications you use can be a hassle. Typically, they need to be hooked up one by one because the service from the phone providers can be siloed.
It can be a drain on the very thing that’s always in short supply for a small business. Time.
The solution is PhoneBridge offered in Zoho One.
“This is a single access point for the telephony and PBX systems,” Backman says. Here’s why small business owners need to pay attention.
You can make phone calls from Zoho apps. Call clients and have important information pop up in windows while you’re speaking. There’s no need to toggle around.
“The big game changer here is you can accept calls across all of these different applications.”
Get useful info from Zoho CRM, Mail, Recruit and more than 20 other apps. All without being in the app specifically.
Single Sign On
This feature is all about bringing third-party applications in for use in your Zoho account. Single Sign-On currently supports about 50 applications. It’s another way the updates are making your day to day operations more seamless.
Security isn’t a problem either. YubiKey authentication has been added on to the multifactor options that are already supported. It’s another way these upgrades strive for simplicity.
This allows you to sign in to these third party apps from one central location, Zoho One. A big change for the way you deal with signing into apps. It’s another big time saver.
“This is a big deal because there are plenty of applications that businesses really like using,” Backman says. “Some really like using Microsoft. Others wouldn’t want to leave G-Suite. We encourage that.”
With this Zoho update they don’t need to choose between them.
Custom App Management and Provisioning
This “digital plumbing that ties everything together,” goes even further. Zoho One already supports over 45 company apps. Now they are making room for custom apps made through Zoho Creator and external ones through the Zoho Marketplace.
The new Admin Panel allows small business owners to turn the information taps on as needed to see activity and app usage. Whether the apps are third party or from Zoho.
Zoho offers another nod to the small business owner who spends more time chasing business than sorting through IT.
No coding skills? No problem with this app that’s offered as part of these updates. It’s easy to use with a drag and drop interface. Orchestly covers critical SMB functions like purchase approvals, content publishing and even onboarding to name a few.
Finally, Backman points out another advantage to streamlining your business with these updates.
“Anytime you can simplify things you‘re making them more secure. That’s because there’s less points for them to go wrong,” he says.
All the updates and Orchestly are free with Zoho One, which costs $30 per employee or $75 per users.