Available from the Google Apps Marketplace, Zoho has introduced contextual integration of its CRM, project and invoicing applications within Gmail messages.
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Zoho has announced new "contextual gadgets" that enable users to access several of its applications directly from within Gmail, to improve user productivity. Zoho provides online productivity, collaboration and business applications intended for small and medium size businesses and consumers.
According to Zoho, the new Zoho Invoice Contextual Gadget, Zoho Projects Contextual Gadget and Zoho CRM Contextual Gadget add appropriate buttons and other objects to the Gmail browser window, allowing users to view and act on relevant invoice, project and CRM information while reading their Gmail messages.
"Contextual integration makes life easier for the user," said Raju Vegesna, evangelist at Zoho. "Instead of hopping from browser tab to browser tab as they move through a workflow, everything needed to get the job done is presented in a single browser tab."
According to Zoho, the Zoho Contextual Gadgets for Gmail "take advantage of a new Gmail API, which lets third-party applications intelligently display relevant information to users as they read their Gmail messages. Users can then interact with the data from within the Gmail UI."
Examples of what Zoho claims these contextual gadgets can do include:
-- Display CRM information within relevant Gmail messages using Zoho CRM Contextual Gadget for Gmail. This enables users to perform CRM functions such as adding the email sender to Zoho CRM as a contact or a lead; view existing tasks, notes and potentials; assign tasks, add notes, and create a new potential.
-- Present project-related information within relevant Gmail messages with Zoho Projects Contextual Gadget for Gmail. This allows users to view information and perform tasks such as create a project in Zoho Projects; transform a Gmail message into an actionable task in Zoho Projects; assign a task to any team member; convert an idea sent via Gmail into a forum post and brainstorm with the project team.
-- Display invoicing information within relevant Gmail messages using Zoho Invoice Contextual Gadget for Gmail. This lets users see customer-related information including organization details including billing and shipping addresses, phone numbers and contacts; email history, including all emails sent from the user's Zoho Invoice account; and payment history and unpaid invoices.
According to Vegesna, Zoho has already done contextual integration among several its own applications, like Zoho Mail, Zoho Writer, Zoho CRM and Zoho Projects, for instance. "The contextual integrations for Gmail are our first cross-vendor efforts and open the doors to similar integrations with other third-party applications."
Zoho CRM Contextual Gadget for Gmail, Zoho Invoice Contextual Gadget for Gmail, and Zoho Projects Contextual Gadget for Gmail are all available now, free, and can be installed from the Google Apps Marketplace.
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