Productivity/collaboration solutions provider Zoho is adding updates to its CRM tool that make the solution more collaborative and social. New features include a document library, email filter and mobile location awareness capability.

The document library, provided by a new documents module, is a central repository within the CRM environment. Users can create folders and manage their accessibility through role-based security capabilities. Files can be uploaded and created in multiple formats and also emailed directly from the repository. The library is integrated with Zoho Office to allow viewing and editing of documents, and version control allows all users to see the same, most recently updated versions of files.


Zoho Document Library

The MailMagnet email filtering tool scans user inboxes to select emails from users’ CRM module contact and lead lists. Users are automatically notified of important emails and can reply to emails, add follow-up tasks and write notes from the MailMagnet panel. In addition to ZohoMail, MailMagnet works with email services including Gmail, Google Apps and Microsoft Exchange.

A new mobile location awareness feature in Zoho CRM for iPhone, iPad and Android apps provides an instant view of nearby customers and prospects and displays their location on a map.

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 Zoho Chases Salesforce

According to IDG News Service, with the latest updates to its CRM suite Zoho is becoming a “credible alternative to for customers with five to 50 employees.” IDG notes that Zoho “continues to flesh out the feature set of its cloud-based CRM,” as these updates follow upgrades in 2012, including an overhauled user interface, integration with LinkedIn and a social network-like feature called Pulse.

Zoho Provides Link between CRM, Business Intelligence

In addition to the upgrades cited by IDG, Zoho also made a significant and telling improvement to its CRM tool last June by linking it with business intelligence features. As reported by CMSWire, Zoho gave its CRM users an analytics option other than third-party plug-ins by linking the solution to Zoho Reports, which comes with 70 pre-packaged reports, allowing users to create any number of ad hoc reports. Users can also share and embed, schedule and print their reports.

Interestingly, the analytical upgrade also included collaborative features, and the new MailMagnet tool performs analysis of email to allow more intelligent selection of what messages to read and respond to. And of course the mobile location awareness application adds intelligence to the everyday activities of salespeople. By opening up its CRM solution while also making it smarter, Zoho is aiming for the leading edge of CRM technology, which is always a good place to be.

The document library, along with free storage, is available immediately for all Zoho CRM paid users. MailMagnet for Zoho CRM is available immediately for free to existing users with the Mail add-on enabled and Zoho CRM mobile update with location awareness is available for free for all users of the Zoho CRM Mobile Edition.