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On this blog we will cover stories from all around the Exact ecosystem.

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Edgar Wieringa

I enjoy building software that supports your business' goals and people love to use. Hobbies: cooking, food, travelling, reading and running. Follow my work on http://twitter.com/edjewie

iPhone app: Why couldn’t I use it last wednesday?

Written by Edgar Wieringa on . Posted in Exact Online

This post is here to inform you and offer you my apologies. Last Wednesday (May 11) we had a serious technical incident with one of our webservers, with the result that using Exact Online for iPhone could give you errors. It could happen that you would get an error on trying ny of it’s function. As I said a serious issue which we highly regret.

At the same time there was an update for Exact Online for iPhone released in the App Store and I would like to stress that the update and the issue were totally not related. The issue with the webserver has been uniquely identified and also solved. We hope you experience that everything is up-and-running again with the app and hope you continue using it.

Thank you,

Edgar Wieringa
Principal Product Management

Exact Online for your iPhone

Written by Edgar Wieringa on . Posted in Exact Online

Exact Online doesn’t have an mobile app yet and believe me I would have loved for it to be there already. Yet the last months we have done a lot of work in the background to make it possible to deliver rocking mobile apps on top of Exact Online. So now can really get it going. Rocking, so looking cool and offering things that make your life and running your business easier. And we start with iPhone as the first supported device.

In the presentation below I have tried to catch our ideas in a picture and in words, hoping this gives you an image of what we would like to deliver. The slide contains plans and more on the lsit as we can deliver at short notice, no commitments yet but I hope you take the opportunity in sharing your ideas in reply to ours. Happy viewing!

Pro’s and cons of the new Exact Online menu system

Written by Edgar Wieringa on . Posted in Exact Online

For some time now Exact Online has offered an alternative navigation structure to the standard ‘panel menu’ – the so called ‘tab menu’. The tab menu was introduced to make Exact Online more easily accessible and help simplify your lives.

We have recently been testing this new menu with a range of new and existing users. One of our team members went to visit customers with a bunch of research questions and a video camera. We then watched and listened carefully to see whether our intentions for the new system had been realized.

The video did provide us with some really useful insight. Sadly part of this was the realization that we hadn’t yet managed to reach all the goals we set for ourselves. Following the new information we received, we set to work again to try and remedy the issues raised by the users we studied. The results of this have been available since yesterday – the newly updated tab menu. Improvements include increased contrast in the tabs and more options made directly available within the tabs themselves.

With the original introduction now done some time ago and the addition of the latest refinements based on our research, we also wanted to offer the menu directly to all new users. As we believe it encourages more effective use of the product, new people joining us will now see the tab menu when they start using Exact Online.

Unfortunately, there has also been a downside to this. Due to unforeseen circumstances we didn’t only offer it to our new users, but also to some of our existing customers as well. They unexpectedly saw the menu change, from the panel to the new tab style without warning. This was clearly not our intention and I would like to apologize sincerely here for this mistake. We solved it within a couple of hours but undoubtedly still caused annoyance and maybe even irritation. As such, we’re working hard again on a new structural solution to support offering the tab menu as standard to people joining the product.

For those of you who inadvertently discovered they preferred the new menu over the panel style, you can still choose to use it by adjusting your user settings.

For the image the credits go to HipChicklette (Jen), taken from flickr.

Towards one box for searching

Written by Edgar Wieringa on . Posted in Exact Synergy

In an earlier post I already touched indirectly on one of the projects we are doing; it is what I tend to call ‘Simply Synergy’. We aim to make parts of Synergy more goal-oriented, more modern and more recognizable within your business process. What you can think of – as just one example – is to request for a day off via a simple page which also instantly shows you your remaining number of days. So the possibility to request time off and instantly seeing your balance; we are convinced that is what would help you in the process of asking time off.

One of the parts of this research project is to move from individual boxes for searching documents, accounts items etcetera; towards one place where all the searches can be reached. Hold your horses however. Not one search across all entities (yet), but a simpler way to find what you need. One of the things I am personally enthusiastic about is that it will not only offer you suggestions based on what you typed but it will also open up your history of recently used data. Since a pictures says more than a thousand words, just take a look on some screenshots.

For those of you who have read between the lines, this is not yet a final deliverable nor is it planned for a certain date. Our intentions are however clear; to make Exact Synergy simpler to use and better connected to business processes. So enjoy the sharing but do not yet see this as an end deliverable available in your environment end of this month :-). I also tried to keep this post simple, so it leaves lot’s of room for interpretation on what you will get. For instance think of a first deliverable where the focus can be on the employee self service functionality.

Image credit for the header image: Davydutchy (from Flickr).

Easily upload a set of files

Written by Edgar Wieringa on . Posted in Exact Synergy

In this short post I just want to share on one of the less well-known features of Exact Synergy; the possibilty to upload a set of files into seperate documents or a single document. Or so called bulk upload. Not so well known but really easy for instance to upload a set of pictures from a project meeting.

Now with all these camera phones this is usually a lot easier than to have the notes typed out, and as an image paints a …. you do not loose the creative thoughts.

Last night I was looking for inspiration to come to a simple and easy to use, one search box for Synergy, via the bulk upload I uploaded the screenshots into a single project document. Perhaps the bulk upload is also of help to you!? Leave me a reply on scenarios you use it for (or if you have some inspiration on the one search box 🙂 )

Are you interested in using this? You will find it in the Document menu via ‘Entry – Bulk upload’, the wizard will assist you comfortably. Your Synergy version should be at least 240 to find the bulk upload in your Synergy menu.

Image credits for the bulk carrier: dioramadays.com.

New setup for the help startpage

Written by Edgar Wieringa on . Posted in Exact Online

For our Dutch Exact Online customers we have just adjusted the layout of the ‘Help startpage’. With the one aim to make the page better usable by offering you less options in a more clear way. Attention grabber is hopefully a big search field where you can type the keywords for the matter you need help with.

There was one change we got upfront some feedback on; the search field doesn’t come with a ‘Go’ or ‘Search’ button. Just an enter after your keywords will do. Although we got this feedback during our internal reviews we feel confident about the clarity of the search box itself. We think the appropriate action to fire the search (hitting the enter key on your keyboard) is obvious and so we could even make the page more clean. What could you do more than hitting enter on your keyboard after you put in your query?

The new help start page offers you:

  • the mentioned search box
  • a list of at the moment frequently asked questions
  • a quick link to the guidance we offer for different processes
  • options to contact us for a question, by phone an to chat instantly
  • a way to retrieve your earlier communication with Exact

We certainly hope you find now easier what you are looking for, when you miss something just let us know via a reply to this post.

Our colors for this season

Written by Edgar Wieringa on . Posted in Exact Online

As you might know Exact Online recently introduced a new menu. Until now it ‘only’ came in one flavor, for one of the coming releases we are thinking of introducing more color schemes. In the following screen shots you see our first ideas, here is your chance to give feedback. How do you like them?

The idea behind more color schemes is to offer you an Exact Online which is closer to the colors you or your company likes. We very much look forward to your feedback, please press ‘Comment’ and let us know your thoughts.

Is this a style you like?

Pretty green

Is this a style you like?

Gray hot

Is this a style you like?

Blue sober

Getting through to people who use our software

Written by Edgar Wieringa on . Posted in Exact Synergy

For about one and a half years we have had this blog up, hoping to engage with as many people as we can. I have written some posts on which I got much feedback. These replies delivered me inspiration, new views and pride that so many people truly care about our products. Thank you for that!

One of the goals I personally had with this blog was to get more in contact with people who actually use our software as part of their professional tasks. So the people who work at or are a company which actively uses our solutions, next to my colleagues or working at a business partner. Not that we don’t interact now via other means with these people, or that they can’t call us or have us over for a good chat. But the ‘social web’ makes it so much easier to quickly engage or start an interaction which leads to so much more.

Although I am quite happy with the replies I got or the ones I read on posts from colleagues, also there is some disappointment. I have the feeling that we are not reaching these people yet. Or at least in a too limited number. Why would they read this?

The Exact product blog is a open platform were various people from various positions at Exact share on themselves, their work and our plans. Input from the blog is directly applied to the products and our view. And every reply get’s a follow-up.

I hope that is simply enough to attract more users to this blog. My request to you is twofold:

  • Could you please help me in promoting this blog
  • And/ or share tips with me on how to better reach these people who use our software in the benefit of their business

This blog is not a marketing tool it is one of the ways we use to get to know you better! Maybe as a third item; when you have topics of which you know users would be more interested in, also these are welcome.

This post should not be misread, the current replies are truly of value. It is just that I am convinced there are more people out there from which I can learn. Thanks for caring and thinking along. Keep your replies coming in, just let’s make the group BIGGER 🙂

For the image the credits go to yushimoto_02 [christian], taken from flickr.

Getting the right customers out

Written by Edgar Wieringa on . Posted in Exact Synergy

One aspect of CRM is to register your customer data in a way. Registering for different purposes. To make sure you can give them a call for instance. When executing marketing campaigns it is important to target the right customers/ people, so the registered data (and level of detail and accuracy) is also crucial here. Exact Synergy offers a set of capabilities to select your customers based on various fields via the advanced search.

For mail merges and e-mail marketing campaigns the current options might not be thorough enough. Off late we are exploring the possibilities to filter data more granular. One thing we for instance are thinking of is to make it possible to tag your accounts and contact persons. Basically this would offer you full flexibility to not only make extensive selections but also gives you the option to let many people in the organization ‘structure’ the data. The tagging could in this case be based on a defined taxonmy (corporate tags).

You could for instance request your account managers to glag the contacts which would be interested (or should be invited 😉) for an upcoming seminar. The solution of tagging is inspired on various talks with customers and business partners. We also would be interested in hearing from you how you solve this. I have for instance heard:

    – linking accounts to a specific project
    – creating ‘marketing’ requests (basically a ‘Yes, invite for this event’ request)
    – searching via Synergy and refinement in Excel

It would be great if you could spent some words in a reply how you do it at your company.

Download a customer file easily

Written by Edgar Wieringa on . Posted in Exact Synergy

Often we receive questions from people that need to take documents from Exact Synergy Enterprise with them, for instance when visiting a customer. To Exact Synergy Enterprise product update 242 we have added a document downloader. Based on all your filter criteria you can easily download a set of documents (including the attached files). So if you are looking for a way to download all 2009 documents from a certain customer, just set the filters right and go ahead.

Exact Synergy Enterprise document downloader screenshot

The document downloader is a small application that you install on your computer. It gives you the full document search to make your selection and do the download. Within your selection you can even make it more specific and you can also use search templates. The document body will be stored as HTML and all attachments in their original format.

The document downloader is part of Exact Synergy Enterprise product update 242, so get subscribed to the controlled release program and try it out yourself. The document downloader is a very usefool tool: it leverages the full advanced documents search and its possibilities are numerous.