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Updated Roadmap. New User Interface Live Date

WORK[etc]'s latest product roadmap highlights what we've built so far and where we are headed with our business management platform in 2013.
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This will be the fourth product road map we’ve made public.

If you are new to WORK[etc], then please take a quick scan through the previous roadmaps (January 2011, September 2011 and January 2012).

IMPORTANT NOTE: We will be going live with the new interface on Monday 13th August. What this means is that all accounts will be using the new interface design and updated to version 3. If you are part of the beta (a huge thank you btw) you won’t notice any changes.

Reading those early road maps will give you absolute confidence that we’re committed to building something great here. To make your businesses (and ours) better.

Our road-map is public because we believe in transparency. It is, what it is.

For the three hundred plus customers that have joined us since the last road map in January we always call this a fluid roadmap. Fluid because it is guaranteed to change. Some projects run ahead of schedule. Some crash head first into unexpected road blocks. New opportunities open up and every now and then a customer presents an idea so compelling it just has to be built immediately.

The road map should never be read as a promise either, it should only ever be considered as a direction in product development we’re gainfully pursuing. I still get the odd email that starts off “back in January you promised…” and I’ve learned to ignore these now as they are usually from people who type IN ALL CAPITALS and have an unhealthy obsession with exclamation marks (I’m sure you know the personality type I’m talking about…)

Roadmap for 2012 – Second Half

A lot of releases (Outlook Add-in, Quickbooks) although fully complete have not been able to be released due to the new design update. And although it does look like a lot of stuff all happening at once, it is important to remember we have more than tripled the size of our internal/external development team in 2012.

ProjectWhere it’s at today:Expect to see it around:Why it is important
New User Interface DesignPublic BetaAugust
(progressive upgrades on all accounts from August 1st)
As much as the phrase annoys me, this really is a game-changer for WORK[etc]. I’ll admit I was a little skeptical of the impact good design might have – who cares what it looks like, as long as it works right? WRONG! – but have since done a full 360 on my thinking.The new WORK[etc] interface is such a pleasure to use that I actually want to do more work. And the fact that fully 1 out of 3 customers have thrown their hands up for the beta is more assurance we’ve made the right move.THIS WILL BE LIVE ON ALL ACCOUNTS FROM MONDAY 13TH AUGUST…
Custom Status for Support CasesPublic BetaAugust
(it is attached to the UI update)
Custom statuses let you better define and customize a process for support cases.For example, in you might want to implement a review-process and nominate one of your team that responsibility. So in addition to the standard “new”, “open”, “replied” and “closed’ status, you could set a custom status called “Quality Review” and assign that Status to a particular member.
Project TypesPublic BetaAugust
(it is attached to the UI update)
Project types help you systematize your projects through creating a classification system to quickly identify what stage your project is at (regardless of activity).For example, your project might consist of a whole lot of sub-projects and tasks all involving people or workgroups. Using Project Types you can assign a stage to activity, such as “Research”, “Production” or “Review”.This little enhancement may at first seem inconsequential, but in reality is the critical first step on the way to building out the ultimate resource allocation and project planning tool.

We need the standardization of information this brings in order to accurately present resource utilization across projects and the entire organization.

Salesforce Integration Pt 1Coding / QAAugustStage 1 is basic syncing of contacts and leads between Salesforce and WORK[etc]. If there is a positive response from customers we will continue building a deeper level of integration. We’re definitely working on something cool here, but don’t want to say too much for now.
Dashboard v2.0CodingAugustThis is the long-awaited and much-anticipated dashboard 2.0 which has always been dependent on the new UX upgrade. The first stage of the new dashboard includes report-styled widgets that can be easily resized and drag ‘n dropped on screen.Click on this thumbnail for a preview of the new widget design:
Company Message Board, Ping Reminders, Consolidated UpdatesCodingAugustWe’re adapting the activity stream from projects for use as an internal company messaging system.Basically like a continuously flowing company conversation with the ability to mute conversations that are not of interest and to ping other people to ensure they’ve seen important messages.And then we get really clever by making it easy to include a WORK[etc] object into that conversation stream. This becomes really useful when you need a colleague to quickly look at something. Instead of firing off an email or connecting on Skype, you can send an in-app ping to get their attention.
Outlook Add-inInternal BetaAugust
(public beta)
This takes the wildly successful WORK[etc] Gmail gadget and makes the same (and more!) functionality available in Outlook; take any email and attach it to a project, create a new sales lead and more.It also allows syncing of Outlook Contacts and Calendars with WORK[etc].This is fully completed (and I’ve been testing it out  for a few weeks now). But we haven’t been able to release it as it requires a tool called “Contacts Conflict Resolution” (read below)

Read more about the Outlook Addin

Quickbooks OnlineInternal BetaAugust
(public beta)
This has been completed for a while, but wasn’t able to be rolled out as it shared a lot of its code- base with changes that are part of the new design.If you’re previously signed up for QB Online beta, you’ll get an invite before August 1st.The QB Desktop is still posing issues for us… desktop software is definitely not our skillset. We may only be able to release this as a “unsupported add-on” and encourage everyone to upgrade to online-enabled editions of Quickbooks.
Contacts Conflict ResolutionInternal BetaAugust
(public beta)
Contact Conflict Resolution (we definitely need to think of a snappier name) saves you from a major screw-up when someone in your team imports contacts from an old file just as you’ve sync’d up your latest Google contacts and someone else in your organization has sync’d up their own Outlook contacts.The tool saves your behind by catching all the potential contact errors and presents them on a single screen. You can then go through each contact record and select which source is correct and make contact changes on the fly.This is 99% built and just waiting on the new UX release. It is also the tool that allows safe 2-way sync of Google Contacts (so we can take that out of beta too!)

Maybe Contact Safety-net or Contact Cleaner is a better name…

iPhone App v2.0CodingSeptemberComplete rebuild of the iPhone app to be 100% native, utilise device caching for better performance, support for new higher resolution screens and addition of sales leads. This is already well underway.
Android App v2.0Codingmid-SeptemberComplete rebuild of the Android app to be 100% native, utilize device caching for better performance support for new higher resolution screens and addition of sales leads. Development is roughly 4 weeks behind the iOS app.
Email Bonanza(Drip Marketing / Lead Nurturing / Trigger Emails / one screen for all email.)ScopingOctober – NovemberThis will be way more powerful than the drip marketing you’ve seen in other applications because of the simple fact that inside of WORK[etc] you are doing more than just sales-oriented activities.The opportunity here is to integrate “triggers” into all the all the WORK[etc] tools.For example, you might choose to automatically trigger a project update email to your client whenever the project stage is updated. Or you might want to trigger a whole series of emails, with time delays, whenever someone completes your online form.

And then as a safety-net, we’re going to give the option to “auto send” or to queue for approval.

Part of this project also includes a single screen where admins (and others with the right permissions) can view every single email in-and-out of WORK[etc].

Resource Utilization, Project PlanningScoping / MockupsOctober – NovemberThis is an “enterprise-strength” addition to the project management software that will facilitate an organization-wide view of “who is working on what, and how busy they are” as well as providing evidence-based planning. So instead of guesstimating how long a particular project type may take, you’ll be able to quickly view metrics for similar projects your team has completed in the past. All this stuff relates directly back to the “Custom Project Types” we’ve just implimented as part of the UI re-design.
Customer Portal 2.0Scoping / MockupsOctoberMore functionality inside of the customer portal, more obvious “sharing” between WORK[etc] and your customers. Ability to customize the look and logo, ability to mask the domain to your web site.
On-going UX Project / Deeper links between objectsOngoingOngoingThis covers a whole range of smaller projects and updates including:- unified template store for all email- more obvious work flow from Sales-> Quotes -> Delivery

– refinements to the current email newsletter tool

– an “hour-bank” allowing customers to pre-pay for time and receive statements showing allocation

– redesign of product catalog and basic inventory

– inclusion of approvals system alongside purchase order management (this is actually a big one and probably deserves a dedicated mention – see here)

– Option of “simple’ tasks, basically 1-line tasks that sit outside of any project context

– Social media integration, but more than just links to Facebook or Linkedin; rather the ability to create email triggers based off events.

– Contractor pricing for WORK[etc]. This means your contractors can log directly into your main WORK[etc] account for an hourly-fee rather than a monthly fee.

Work with WORK[etc]

We’re currently on the look out for two new roles at WORK[etc].

  • Writer who is handy with Video.  We’re looking for someone who can help us tell the stories that come out of WORK[etc] and from our customers.  I’m thinking this might be suitable for a journalist student as it requires quite a lot of digging to find the story and uncover an engaging angle.  Read more.
  • Customer Support (USA).  Work from home, semi-flexible hours.  Help WORK[etc] customers get more out of the product and be there to unstick people when they get stuck.  The role is a fairly unique mix of technical support and business advice delivered via email, phone and video.  Sound like you?
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