Nokia-Owned Withings Launches Connected Health Devices in India

Nokia-Owned Withings Launches Connected Health Devices in IndiaNokia-Owned Withings Launches Connected Health Devices in India
French consumer electronics company Withings, which was recently acquired by Finnish telecom giant Nokia, has partnered with Brandeyes Distributors Pvt. Ltd. to launch its smart connected health devices in India, a statement said on Monday.

Starting at Rs. 9,999, Withings devices have been designed to provide users with insight about their health, personalised feedback and coaching to achieve health targets, the company said. The entire range of Withings products for India is available via Amazon India.

The product lineup includes the Activite Pop (Rs. 14,999), Activite Steel (Rs. 17,999), Activite Sapphire (Rs. 34,999), Aura (Rs. 25,999), Body (Rs. 12,499), Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor (Rs. 10,999), Withings Home HD camera (Rs. 19,999), and Pulse Ox (Rs. 9,999) wearable.

The Withings Health Mate application enables users to immediately access all the data relating to their health, including activity, weight, heart and sleep. This free app will be available on all iOS and android devices.

(Also see: Nokia to Buy Health Tracking Firm Withings for $191 Million)

“The app aggregates information from all Withings devices including the scales, blood pressure monitor and smart activity tracker” said Amlan Bhattacharjya, Founder and CEO of Brandeyes.
Body is an affordable Wi-Fi scale that helps users get a full understanding of their body composition and easily achieve their weight goals while Activite is an automatic device that helps users track their physical movements via Connected Movement Technology. It then syncs the info to the app to give an in-depth metrics, personal coaching and more.

Aura is a system that discreetly records your sleeping environment, providing you with a complete understanding of your sleep patterns.

The company is also offering a Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor which, when combined with Health Mate app, automatically takes your blood pressure.

Withings Home HD camera is a state-of-the-art video monitoring and environmental sensing device designed for homes.

Pulse O2 is an activity tracker and works with its companion app, Health Mate. It can not only measure blood oxygen level but also your heart rate.

Tags: India, Internet, Nokia, Smart Devices, Wearables, Withings

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Nokia 216 Dual SIM Feature Phone With Front-Facing Flash Launched at Rs. 2,495

Nokia 216 Dual SIM Feature Phone With Front-Facing Flash Launched at Rs. 2,495Nokia 216 Dual SIM Feature Phone With Front-Facing Flash Launched at Rs. 2,495
HIGHLIGHTS
The Nokia 216 Dual SIM is priced at Rs. 2,495
The device comes with a 2.4-inch QVGA display, up to 32GB of storage
Microsoft is also offering one free Gameloft game every month for a year
Feature phones still exist today and Microsoft is making sure of that. After launching the Nokia 230 Dual SIM in December at Rs. 3,869, Microsoft on Tuesday launched the Nokia 216 Dual SIM in India at a price of Rs. 2,495. The feature phone will be available in the country from October 24.

The Nokia 216 comes with a 2.4-inch QVGA display (240×320 resolution), running on Nokia Series 30+ operating system, with up to 32GB of storage via MicroSD card support. The handset features a VGA camera (0.3-megapixels) with an LED flash module on both the front and back.

Connectivity options include Micro-USB, 3.5mm AV connector, Bluetooth 3.0 with SLAM and HSP/HFP profile. The 216 Dual SIM comes with a smaller 1020mAh battery compared to the 1200mAh found on the 230 Dual SIM. Microsoft claims up to 18 hours of talk time and up to 19 days standby (for Dual SIM) for the Nokia 216.

Microsoft is also offering one free Gameloft game every month for a year and users can enjoy titles like GT Racing and Little Big City. Apps and games are available through the Opera Game Store.
The Nokia 216 Dual SIM measures 118.0×50.02×13.5mm and weighs 83 grams. The device is covered in a polycarbonate shell and will be available in Black, Grey, and Blue colour variants.

The launch of the Nokia 216 from Microsoft is surprising especially after the announcement by the company in May that it would sell its feature phone assets to FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision that’s better known as Foxconn, and HMD Global in the second half of 2016. It is likely that the Nokia 216 Dual SIM will be the last feature phone from Microsoft once the deal is closed.

Nokia 216 Dual SIM Nokia 216 Dual SIM
KEY SPECS
NEWS
Display
2.40-inch
Processor

Front Camera
0.3-megapixel
Resolution
240×320 pixels
RAM

OS
Series 30
Storage

Rear Camera
0.3-megapixel
Battery capacity
1020mAh
See full Nokia 216 Dual SIM specifications
Also See
Flipkart
Nokia 215 (Black)
Rs. 2,370
Flipkart
Nokia 230 Dual SIM (Dark Silver)
Rs. 4,300
Amazon
Nokia Lumia 1020 (Black, 32GB)
Rs. 18,900
Tags: Microsoft, Nokia, Nokia 216 Dual SIM, Feature Phone, Mobiles

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Nokia Cuts Price of Ozo Virtual Reality Camera

Nokia Cuts Price of Ozo Virtual Reality Camera

Nokia has cut the price of its Ozo virtual reality camera by 25 percent from its initial launch price, the Finnish company said on Thursday.

Nokia, whose main business is now telecoms network equipment, started selling the camera earlier this year as the first device to be produced for its digital media business, one of its new hopes for future growth.
Having launched the device at $60,000 in the United States and Europe, Nokia has now priced it at $45,000, saying it was also taking the camera to the Chinese market next month.

The spherical camera features eight sensors and microphones and is designed for making 3D movies and games that can be watched and played with virtual reality headsets.

Nokia said the virtual reality market was developing quickly and the new price reflected that.
Last year, GoPro introduced a VR camera system using Google’s software, while several other technology companies such as Facebook and Samsung have also announced new products.

Nokia, known for its once-dominant phone business which it sold to Microsoft in 2014, is also bringing its name back to the handset market after a new company backed by its former executives teamed up with Foxconn to buy the rights to the brand.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Cameras, Wearable, Nokia, Nokia Ozo, VR, VR Camera, Virtual Reality

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10 Small But Essential Ways to Boost Your Business

Giving your business a boost doesn’t have to be difficult or incredibly time consuming. In fact, there are some essential elements of building successful businesses that can sometimes get overlooked. These suggestions from members of our small business community include some small but important things you can do to boost your business right away.

Include These Essential Features of a Small Business Website

Your small business website serves as the online face of your business. And it can also provide any number of important functions. While each small business website should be different, there are some essential elements that can make them great, like the ones outlined in this post on Techlofy by Prince Kumar.

Entice Customers to Binge Watch Your Product Videos

Videos can really enhance your product pages with additional information, views and storytelling elements. But for them to really work, you need to get customers to actually watch them. This post on the Kissmetrics blog by Shayla Price includes some tips for getting people to binge watch your product videos.

Find a Fundable Startup Market Opportunity

There’s a lot that goes into finding a great startup opportunity. But one of the essential elements of any idea is its ability to get funded. Martin Zwilling of Startup Professionals Musings explains more in this post about finding fundable startup opportunities. And BizSugar members discuss the post further here.

Use a Digital Marketing Strategy to Increase Marketing Impact

A digital marketing strategy can help you keep all of your online and mobile marketing goals organized so that you’ll be better equipped to actually reach them. For that reason, Erik Newton of the BrightEdge blogsuggests that using a digital marketing strategy can increase your marketing impact overall.

Achieve the Ideal State of Marketing

Marketing is an essential part of running any successful business. The actual activities that go into marketing can vary from business to business. But there are some elements you can include to find the ideal state of marketing for your business. Scott Rayden discusses the idea in this Marketing Land post.

Get Mind-Blowing Traffic From Pinterest

Pinterest has been steadily gaining popularity among consumers for a few years now. And that popularity means that it can be a great tool for businesses looking to attract online consumers. This Mostly Blogging post by Janice Wald includes some thoughts on the potential power of Pinterest. And the BizSugar community also weighs in here.

Learn How to Write Effective Web Content

Communicating with your customers online is becoming increasingly important. And content marketing can help you get those messages out effectively. But you need to understand how to write content that’s actually effective first. Jireh Gibson shares some tips in this Media Shower post.

Nurture Email Leads in Your Digital Marketing Funnel

Once you gather leads from your website or opt-in forms, you need to have a plan for actually converting those leads into customers. Nurturing leads is a huge part of that, as Mike Gingerich discusses in this post. He also offers tips for how to actually craft your emails.

Get Started With Facebook Instant Articles

Facebook has become such a huge part of how many businesses interact with their customers. So new or changing features like Facebook Instant Articles can have a big impact. In this post, Rebekah Radiceexplains Facebook Instant Articles and how they can help small businesses. You can also see discussionabout the post over on BizSugar.

Take a Weekend Business Break

Hard work is an essential ingredient for any small business. But working hard constantly without ever taking any breaks can be draining and ultimately hurt your business in the long run. In this CorpNet post, Nellie Akalp challenges entrepreneurs to take a break over the long weekend, and explains why that is important.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: [email protected]

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UPS Announces U.S. Ground and Air Rate Increases of 4.9 Percent

The 4.9 Percent September 2016 UPS Rate Increase Affects Both Ground and Air Shipping Rates

The United Parcel Service (UPS) announced last week that it would increase its rates for US air and ground shipping services by 4.9 percent. International shipping rates will also go up by the same percentage.

In a press release announcing the increase, UPS (NYSE:UPS) said it’s continuing to invest in “speed, scope and coverage of our transportation network. Rate increases will support ongoing expansion and capabilities enhancements, while UPS strives to maintain the high service levels customers expect.”

The price of shipping products has kept on increasing over the past decade, with the price of the major carriers UPS and FedEx having grown by 79.2 percent. Air shipping prices has also grown by 95.5 percent in the last decade.

UPS in particular has raised its shipping prices by an average of 5 percent annually. The average revenue per package delivered in the U.S. in recent years has also stalled.

Following UPS’ increase, FedEx is also expected to announce its new shipping rate later in the month. Going by history, they will also probably increase their shipping rates somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 percent.

While these increases might not really affect the big players like Amazon since they have the capacity to negotiate for better rates, individuals and small businesses will definitely feel the pinch.

However, even with the increase, UPS will still probably remain one of the best shipping options for businesses especially since the company introduced next day shipping to 117 countries across the globe. The company also expanded its reach in March to another 12,680 Zip Codes to reach 94 percent of ZIP codes and 98 percent of businesses in the United States.

Of course with delivery rates climbing for almost everyone, one option to make your products more appealing would be to offer free shipping. Though you’ll be covering an added cost, you may make that up in earnings with customers looking for a break in the midst of increasing shipping rates.

The new rates will only take effect starting December 26, 2016. UPS however says that UPS Freight 4.9 percent general rate increase will be effective starting September 19, 2016

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What Can This Chinese Automobile Manufacturer Teach Your Small Business?

Chinese Automobile Manufacturer GAC Motors Poised to Innovate the Chinese Auto Industry

Chinese auto manufacturer GAC Motors recently completed a Phase II production facility that is going to revolutionize the way they manufacture their vehicles. With this new facility, the company plans to rapidly increase its production, expand its business, and all he while work toward environmental preservation — something manufacturers aren’t exactly known for.

So what can this Chinese automobile manufacturer teach small business?  As one of the biggest leaders in their industry, GAC Motors provides a great example of an innovative company focused  not just on rapid growth but also sustainability.

Who Is GAC Motors?

GAC Motors is one of the most prominent Chinese automobile manufacturers. It’s also one of the fastest-growing companies in the world. GAC Motors focuses on building high-quality automobiles for a number of different markets including Asia and the Middle East. The company also plans to enter the American market soon.

Over the past few years, they have focused on aggressive growth. They just made it into the Fortune Global 500 for the 4th year in a row. Currently, the auto maker is focused on expanding its production capacity.

GAC Motors believes completion of its new Phase II production facility will supercharge its automobile production. The new facility will be able to manufacture 150,000 vehicles per year — a game changer in the car manufacturing industry. The completion of the factory marks a new start for the up and coming GAC.

GAC Motor’s Four Fundamental Expansion Principles

According to one of GAC Motor’s spokesmen, the company is following four fundamental principles that govern its expansion efforts. These are the principles that influence the actions the company takes as it continues its rapid growth.

These principles are:

  • An emphasis on product quality.
  • Resource utilization through advanced production mode.
  • Eco-friendly development.
  • Using their results to promote innovation within the auto industry.

GAC Motors believes these guiding principles will help them expand their brand and position them as a leader in their industry. This is especially true when it comes to their environmental efforts.

Not only is their new factory a state-of-the-art way to increase the company’s growth, it will also help manufacture vehicles in a way that is environmentally friendly. By using green and sustainable technologies, the company is in a position to help other auto manufacturers conserve the environment as well.

The Future of Chinese Automobile Manufacturer GAC Motors

GAC Motors plans to reach an annual production capacity of one million vehicles by the year 2020. It also intends to enter the American market, which is something that has been a difficult challenge for Chinese auto manufacturers.

The two main reasons for this is a lack of awareness in the American public and a lack of trust. Americans are used to buying from brands they are already familiar with. These include Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, Chrysler and others. They are not as likely to try something new when it comes to purchasing an automobile.

GAC Motors’ strategy to enter the American market is to make its cars more affordable. The hope is that by making vehicles easier to buy, American consumers will be less hesitant to buy a Chinese car. If the strategy works, it could be a huge opportunity for GAC Motors and even other Chinese auto makers.

GAC Motors Takeaways for Small Businesses

So what can small businesses learn from all this? To be successful in any market, businesses must first focus on quality of products and services. This includes both how you create those products and services and how you market them to your target customers.

To begin with, focus on developing systems that not only allow you to produce products and services of high quality, but also insure this quality is repeatable and sustainable over time. And make it a process that can easily be learned by others so allow you easily increase production when necessary.

Then focus on a marketing approach that gives customers a compelling reason to try your product or service over the competition’s. This could include higher quality, lower cost or something else that makes your product or service stand out.

Finally, focus on giving back to your community and industry.

This could be in the form of sharing resources and expertise with businesses in your industry that offer resources or services complimentary to your own. Or it could include getting involved in your local community with service projects or other activities that will help build your brand.

You don’t need to be a big business to make a big impact. You just need a good plan for how to do it.

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XERO Introduces New HQ Platform for Accounting and Bookkeeping Businesses

Introducing the New Xero HQ Platform for Accounting and Bookkeeping Businesses

Xero (NZE:XRO), a Software as a Service (SaaS) firm that develops cloud-based accounting software for small businesses, recently unveiled Xero HQ — a new open practice platform for accountants and bookkeepers that allows you and your staff to plan out work more efficiently and unlock your small business data and display it in a way that is as useful to you as it is to your customers.

New Xero HQ Platform

According to the online accounting and bookkeeping company, you can now more conveniently find out which clients had GST or VAT due to file, which clients had bank statement lines left un-reconciled, when you were assigned Workpapers, who has tax to pay, who hasn’t paid their tax, and much more with Xero HQ.

You don’t have to dig deep into your clients’ Xero file on a regular basis and painstakingly review each client’s needs manually when planning your work anymore, writes Neill Fraser, a product manager and Partner Specialist at Xero, in a post announcing the new open practice platform on the official Xero blog.

“A lot has changed in the accounting profession in the past decade,” Fraser says. “There’s now better technology, better integration, and for accounting and bookkeeping practices — more opportunity than ever.” The “game-changing” Xero HQ will help you know “what to do and when to do it,” he added.

Key Features of Xero HQ

The New Zealand-based accounting and bookkeeping software company that boasts more than 717,000 subscribers lists the following as key features of Xero HQ:

  • Activity feed – Prioritize your work using the activity feed to see which clients need actions and when. Remove the actions you don’t want to see and setup custom actions for others.
  • Client list – View a list of all of your clients. Create new Xero organizations for clients not already on Xero. Easily search for clients and view all their contact information in one place.
  • Explorer – Drill into your clients based on their industry, apps, or banking partners they use. Gain better insight into how your clients work and use this to help upskill your practice and build better relationships in the Xero ecosystem.
  • Reporting – Xero renowned report templates functionality is still available and will work just the same as it did within My Xero Partner Edition.
  • Advisor Directory – For practice administrators; get leads with great marketing by keeping your listing updated on the Xero Advisor Directory with this improved administrative tool.
  • Staff management – New tools include visibility over your staff’s certification status.

Xero HQ Connects You to Over 500 Accounting Industry Apps

As an open practice platform, Xero HQ will also allow accountants and bookkeepers to connect to the  company’s ecosystem of over 500 apps and integrations, as well as selected Xero Practice App Partners to enable them access to industry apps that they want to use.

Additionally, with the Xero HQ Explorer feature, the company touted as a QuickBooks alternative says accountants, bookkeepers, small businesses and their advisors can also easily see which apps their clients are using, how they relate to the industries they’re in and their banking relationships, and use this information to increase their own knowledge in the apps that matter most to their clients.

“At Xero, we don’t believe you should have to use one software vendor to run your entire business. We also think that working together in partnerships we can deliver a far more efficient and flexible practice solution. Choice is good. Choice allows you to run your business the way you want, without being limited by the product capabilities of a single vendor,” Fraser writes in the announcement.

All Xero partners will have the opportunity to opt-in to the new Xero HQ platform that was reportedly built in response to feedback from Xero’s network of accounting partners and small business owners beginning in November. “In the interim, My Xero Partner Edition will continue to be available as we transition features into the new Xero HQ,” Fraser ads.

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Palo Alto Software Introduces “What If” Feature to Forecast Cash Flow

Palo Alto Introduces “What If” Feature to Provide Cash Flow Forecasts Within LivePlan

The issue of cash flow is one that many small business owners fail to address until, in many cases, it is too late. According to CBInsights, the post-mortem it conducted of 101 failed startups revealed 29 percent didn’t make it because of cash flow related problems.

The new ‘What If’ business modeling feature from Palo Alto’s LivePlan is aimed at avoiding that predicament by helping your small business with forecasting scenarios so you can better understand the financial health of your business.

With ‘What If’, Palo Alto says small business owners will be more accurate when they are considering and preparing for worst/best case scenarios; comparing against competitors by region, size, and industry; managing revenue based on employees, profits and spending; and initiating best practices for financial management.

The need to consider these scenarios periodically is important because it lets you see how you fare against your competition, plan for seasonal rush, as well as how your growth will be affected with the implementation of the JOBS Act in December.

The Benefits of Cash Flow Forecasts

As Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software, explains in a release announcing the new feature, “Quite often, small business owners fail to realize that fast growth — while a ‘best-case scenario’ — creates an increased pressure for cash, and often requires a small business owner to be prepared with additional financing. That’s why we created ‘What If’ scenarios: so owners and advisors can prepare for both the best and worst, to ensure the business stays afloat.”

LivePlan has also added seven new metrics to the benchmarking platform to deliver better insights. Business owners can now compare productivity metrics such as, monthly revenue per employee, monthly net profit per employee and cost of marketing spend compared to industry standards.

When these data points from these metrics are integrated with the ‘What If’ scenario feature, it will give business owners the ability to make informed decisions to keep their company on the right track, while at the same time showing them what they can do if it is not.

The new ‘What if’ is targeted especially at small businesses that cannot afford CPAs and financial advisors on a full time basis to keep track of their financial health.

LivePlan is a business planning and small business management solution with a set of tools that have tried to simplify every step in the business plan process. From idea to business, it helps with pitching your business, testing the numbers, tracking the planning process and more.

It is extremely important to keep in mind, unresolved cash flow problems will eventually result in your inability to stay in business. For small business owners, this is generally caused by lack of financial expertise or experience, because they may not be able to identify problems and more importantly to solve them.

By getting a heads-up of what might take place, you can make informed decisions, whether you do it on your own or with the help of solfware features like “What If” or a professional.

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Build an Ivy League Reputation Like These Top Schools (Watch)

Build an Ivy League Company Reputation Like These Top SchoolsIf you want to attend one of the very best colleges in the country, you should go to Princeton or Harvard — but you probably already knew that.

The two schools were ranked first and second respectively on U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of the top colleges in the nation. And they’ve been in those top spots for years.

The list takes several different factors into account, including grades, test scores and student outcomes. And though there are small changes from year to year, U.S. News & World Report says that those numbers really only change slightly for most of the top schools on the list. So we’re not likely to see any major shakeups anytime soon.

Build Your Own Ivy League Company Reputation

Businesses can also learn something from schools like Princeton and Harvard. Those schools built up great reputations over years and years of consistency. The consistently high admission standards, grades, test scores and positive student outcomes have led to even more acclaim from lists like this one. And since the schools already have such notoriety at this point, they don’t even really need the publicity anymore, though they surely should appreciate the honor.

Your business may not deal in grades and test scores, but if you keep your standards high and remain consistent for years, you may be able to build up a reputation that’s worthy of the Ivy Leagues.

Princeton Photo via Shutterstock

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New Zoho Integration with MailChimp Lets You Send Campaigns to Your Contact List

New Zoho and MailChimp Integration Enables Sending Campaigns to Your Contact List

Business applications provider Zoho has announced the integration of its contact management software ContactManager with the email sending platform MailChimp. The aim is to make it easier for small businesses to send email campaigns to their contacts.

According to Guru Raja Subbaiah, Zoho product manager, who spoke with Small Business Trends via Skype, when integrated, ContactManager will take over many of the functions typically reserved for MailChimp.

Users can import and synchronize email subscribers from MailChimp into ContactManager, generate mailing lists from search results, create email marketing campaigns, see campaign statistics and track contact engagement, all from within the ContactManager interface.

“With this integration, we want to give small business owners an easy way to reach out to their contacts and track campaign results in addition to capturing campaign engagements of each contact, all from a single interface,” Subbaiah says. “All they have to do is connect their MailChimp account with Zoho ContactManager.”

Zoho and MailChimp Integration Benefits

Small businesses that use both ContactManager and MailChimp will be able to benefit from the integration in the following ways:

Synchronize Data on a Continual Basis

ContactManager keeps subscribers and campaigns imported from MailChimp in sync both ways on a consistent basis.

Carry Out Email Campaigns with Greater Ease

“Creating an email campaign usually involves multiple steps, with users navigating back and forth between wizards,” the announcement says. “With this integration, ContactManager makes it easy for users to create campaigns with a simple, single page interface.”

Zoho and MailChimp Integration

Users just have to select the recipient list, add a subject line and body content and hit the “Send” button. They can also choose from pre-defined MailChimp themes and templates, to add aesthetic and branding value.

Track Campaign Statistics

Users can track email campaign statistics from inside ContactManager. Also, because the platform has some CRM capabilities built in, users can see the actions taken by each recipient. (Zoho ContactManager is not a full-blown CRM but compares to platforms such as Highrise, Capsule CRM and Act.)

Zoho and MailChimp Integration - Track Campaign Statistics

For example, when a ContactManager user opens a particular contact’s detail, he can see how that individual responded to all the campaigns sent, giving the user a more objective way to assess the person’s interest.

Zoho and MailChimp Integration - Contact Details

Create and Update Mailing Lists on the Fly

Creating a segmented mailing list often involves several steps. ContactManager’s search feature lets users refine the results quickly and add them directly to an existing MailChimp list or create a list directly within ContactManager.

Team Collaboration

ContactManager users can collaborate with their team members using “Tasks” and “Notes.” They can also call out particular team members using [email protected] to get feedback from those individuals.

Users who send a campaign can create a “Task” and assign other team members to follow up with contacts as needed.

Zoho ContactManager Pricing and Availability

Zoho ContactManager is available in three editions:

  • Free (forever and without ads): one user, 500 contacts and ten deals;
  • Smart: $15 per month — Unlimited users, 10,000 contacts and 1000 deals;
  • Ultra: $25 per month — Unlimited users, unlimited contacts and unlimited deals.

The MailChimp integration is only available on Smart and Ultra plans, however.

A free mobile app is available for Zoho ContactManager, for use on Android and iOS devices.

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