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Building the Next Release of WORK[etc] CRM System

We're giving WORK[etc] a fresh makeover!  This is the first of many sneak previews of how we are building a better WORK[etc] and, with it, helping you to grow your business faster.

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I’ve purposely been quiet so far this year on saying too much about our plans for the next release of the WORK[etc] CRM system. This is about to change. Starting with this post we’ll regularly be releasing sneak previews of what we’re working on, as we’re working on it.

New Menu System

The first big, big change is a new menu system.

Over the years we’ve grown out the work modules available as part of WORK[etc]. As we’ve added customers we’ve gained better insight into what is important and what eventually becomes basically invisible to the user over time.  Building on this, the new menu system will bring core tools such as projects, support, and sales right to the very front, with what is important to the actual user now only ever being one-click away.

Here is how it is looking:

menu_1_blog

Immediately you’ll notice that we’re updating WORK[etc]’s interface toward more of an iOS7 / Metro-inspired flat work space.  This will apply not only to the main menu, but to the entire web application.  If you’ve been using the new Customer Portal, then you already have a feel for the new style. 

Next up we’ve introduced a new section called “Messaging” which will enable a centralized view of all emails, discussions, notes, and email campaigns. Messaging items will still show underneath their attached project, support case, contact, or sales lead. This extra view, from within the menu, will help people who work across different divisions.

The new menu also introduces a color-coding system for each type of core activity and makes more of your frequently accessed activities available from within the menu itself.  For example, if you want to quickly view a list of People tagged with the custom tag “Priority 1 Client”, right now you have to go off and create a SmartList report.  With the new menu system, we introduce access to frequently used tags right into the menu system itself:

menu3

Want to see more of the new menu system? We’re currently previewing each of the main screens as a special challenge available to WORK[etc] Insiders.

SmartViews

You’ll notice from the design above that we now put Smartviews right at the front of every screen. Smartviews combine and replace our existing SmartList and Saved Filters concepts and bring the data that is important to you right up front. This tool is what really sets WORK[etc] apart from every other product in the market place.

The old SmartList tool allowed you to create a list of data items based on the entirety of your database. Saved Filters, on the other hand, allowed you to take a subset of data in an activity stream and show only those items for a certain employee or an activity type. Conceptually, both actions are identical. Not only did we confuse some people with what approach to use, we also (unintentionally) buried this powerful tool deep down in the old menu system.

In the example below you can see how an actual SmartView is now accessible from within the menu system. In this release we also make it possible to create a SmartView and publish it through to other people in your team (notice the little padlock icon to indicate a shared SmartView):

menu4

What Else Will This Release Include?

We’re still pulling together the final details, but this very first release is all about modernizing the User Interface and streamlining all its aspects, solving a few feature oversights, and then putting in place the foundations to release some of the bigger features we’ve had scoped out for a while now.

If you tweet, share, like (or whatever!) this post I’ll answer the questions I can right now, in the comments below.

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