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

Posts Tagged ‘customer feedback’

Exact Globe product update 401 in Controlled Release

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

On behalf of the Product Management team, I am pleased to announce that Exact Globe product update 401 is in controlled release. This new product update is planned to be generally available at the end of May 2011.

 A large group of customers are already lined up to participate in the controlled release and start using it. On top of that all of Exacts partners/resellers are able to download the 401 product update as well.

With our users’ needs in mind, we have added in this product update new functionalities that are important to our customers’ operation and will facilitate their business. Among others, we have enhanced Exact Globe with the following features:

  • Central Master Data Management for Items is in extended controlled release
  • B2B E-commerce Portal that facilitates wholesale trade and manufacturing companies in their need for optimizing electronic ordering process in a Business-to-business  environment 
  • Handling of bounced and refunded collections in cash flow management
  • For the Dutch customers of Exact Globe we introduce Rabobank Online. This solution offers online integration and automatic exchange of local bank payment files, bank collection files and bank statements with the help of the Exact Online platform.
  • To better support manufacturing companies several improvements in production order entry, BOM and logistics have been implemented

Moreover in this product update we have further extended and improved support legal as well as banking requirements.

Based on direct customer feedback, we continuously improve our products. In this product update you will find among others the following enhancements: 

  • Multilingual unit description supported in logistics
  • Ability to fulfill Sales orders in combination with underpaid pre-payment invoices
  • Update purchase prices based on sales prices

Additionally, the Word merge functionality in Exact Globe is now fully supported with MS Word 2010 thanks to the Content Controls solution.

More about this product update soon!

Picture credits

Synergy 244 user feedback

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Synergy

Last Monday, 18/10/2010, the feedback button in the Synergy 244 update went live, and we sure did notice that. When we checked the mailbox that morning, we were happily surprised with all the feedback we got from you. People actually took the time to look at what we did and told us what they liked and what could need improvements. As much as we would love to answer all the emails individually, just like how you took the time to write us an email, it’s too much work, hence this blog post. We hope you guys understand.

As for the people who didn’t know yet, a redesign of Synergy is currently in the works and we encourage everyone to give us feedback on it, before we roll it out. It is currently still under development, so some things may not work a 100% and/or are missing, but a large part of it does work.

Before moving on to the feedback, we would like to thank everyone for the feedback, and please keep it coming. We love reading what you guys think of the new Synergy and it helps to keep us motivated and inspires us on how to improve it further.

So for the feedback, we’ll try to answer most of the things that came in below. First of all, we got a lot of people mentioning that there’s no easy way to access the ‘Planning’. This is true and it will be placed in the ‘Personal’ menu. We understand this is a commonly used  item and should be placed more visible as opposed to as it is now (‘My profile > ‘Monitor’ > ‘Planning’).

We also received a lot of feedback mentioning the search. A lot of people mentioned that they’d rather see this: See one search box, that searches everything (like Windows search or Spotlight search on a Mac). This is not (yet) made due to technical and time restrictions. And as much as we would love to see it ourselves, this would take some time to develop and it was scoped out of the project. I can’t say anything about this in the future, except for the fact that we would also want to see this happening, so we will definitely keep this in mind!

Some people also mentioned that they would like to customize their homepage, as a lot of the users who tested this have other functions they use on a daily basis, and the ‘Self- Service’ widget does not suit them. We’ll will try to give a little more background on this subject. What you see now is what we designed for the people with a ‘Self-Service’ license only. This is a group of people who have limited access to the functions of Synergy and only need a few things when they log in, which are the items you find in the widget. The initial design was focused on building a ‘Home’ screen with the ‘Self-Service’ user in mind, hence the fact that when you log in, you see this screen and it is the default ‘Home’ for everyone, while 244 is in development phase. The idea for the future is, of course, to offer a customizable ‘Home’ page for everyone, as well as dashboards or cockpits (whichever term you prefer) tailored to the different kind of people have. This is under development now, and should be there soon.

Other mentions are a quick way to find either ‘Favorites’ or ‘History’. Currently these 2 menus are quite hidden, but I can assure you that the next product update will provide an easy way to access both these menus, I will have to ask you to wait, yet again, but this will surely be there in the coming months.

Some other comments were on the ‘To do’ list or what used to be an overview of the ‘Workflow’ menu. We’ll try to elaborate on this a little more. For new users (and even old users) the term ‘workflow’ is not something that would trigger anything and puzzles people. We changed this term to ‘to do’, since it’s composed of things that require the users action (most of the time) e.g. approving, rejecting, processing, etc. This is still your old list which was found under ‘My workflow’, only with a different name.

One more things was on customizing the colors. This is something we want to offer in the form of different themes users can choose. We will offer this, but we first want to work on the fundamentals of the product first, and the cosmetics will come later. Since the product is still in development phase, we will work on other parts first, before we are going to work on the themes, but this (like the others before) is something we will do in a future release.

This is it for now, we hope answered most of your request/questions here. If there’s anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact us again through: ux@exact.com or comment on this post. As we said before, we love hearing what you guys think of it, so keep the feedback coming!

Do you get the most out of Exact Online?

Written by Lucie van Velze on . Posted in Exact Online

After talking with some of our customers, it became apparent that of all the people who ‘use’ Exact Online, there are certainly some who do not fully ‘make use’ of it. While the product still suits the original purpose for which it was purchased – namely online book keeping – some users are not taking full advantage of its wide range of functionality. So, in an effort to try and help our users get the most possible from their investment, here’s a short reminder of what else Exact Online can do for you!

More than financial administration, Exact Online;

  • Offers insight into your company, creating overviews and summaries to help analyze not only your financial, but your sales activities as well.
  • Becomes the information storage hub for your customer base, giving you easy access to all your contact’s phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
  • Allows you to create invoices and send them to your customers quickly and easily.
  • Offers detailed historical reporting for important information like customer activity or item sales.
  • And will soon be the place where it really all comes together! The functionality will be extending even further this year, offering integration with Payroll, Logistics management and Time entry.

Just think of all the potentially useful data stored in Exact Online ready for you to use. If you’re one of our users who feels they might not be making the most of it, why do you think that is? Do you miss something that would help you to use it more effectively? If you have any suggestions or comments, please do let us know. It’s our aim to continue developing and improving wherever possible, input from our users is essential in making that happen. So please do get in touch!

In the meantime, just to give you some extra things to think about, here are a few little tips and tricks that might help you to experience something more from Exact Online:

  • Remember that you can directly e-mail from within Exact Online. In the account card, clicking on the e-mail address will create an e-mail in your mail program.
  • When printing an Invoice ‘Final’, you can specify the output – how you want the invoice to be created. It’s possible to select e-mail, the invoice being sent by e-mail as an attachment, in turn saving postage costs. A document version of each invoice will still be created in your administration and can be found in the account card.
  • Remember that the search functionality within EOL is both powerful and flexible – making it easy to dive into your information precisely where you need to. Use the customize link in the upper right corner of the screen to adjust the filters in the search pages.
  • Once you’ve collected the overview that’s most useful, you can also easily export it to excel for further analysis, again using one of the buttons in the upper right corner.

Good luck! Perhaps there’s something you particularly like in EOL that makes a real difference to how you use it? If so, let us know and we’ll spread the word!

Feedback on enabling OCS Presence within Synergy Enterprise

Written by Martin Ortgiess on . Posted in Exact Synergy

 For the upcoming new product update 242 of Exact Synergy Enterprise we will, amongst others, deliver the integration of Office Communication Server (OCS) within Synergy Enterprise. The goal is to enable OCS presence within Synergy Enterprise in order to enhance collaboration and improve Synergy Enterprise as the central information point.

You might recognize OCS presence as the icon in Windows Messenger showing whether a person is available or not, like:  aa-iconMartin Ortgiess.

From here, you can start up a communication via instant message, call, LiveMeeting or other methods based on the presence of that person. Starting a conversation is only one click away:

aa_screen1

Communication methods OCS presence

Note that the communication methods available are dependent of the OCS implementation.

Presence within Synergy Enterprise is not new. This functionality is available since the beginning of the product. Every Synergy Enterprise user will recognize this iconmonitor. It shows how long ago the user has logged into Synergy Enterprise.

Where OCS presence is based on information from Microsoft  Exchange Server, usage of keyboard and other devices, the current Exact Synergy presence is based only on the last action of a user in Exact Synergy Enterprise. Where OCS presence has multiple statuses of presence, current presence is logged in not longer than hour ago, or logged in longer than hour ago.

aa_screen2

OCS statuses of presence

Enabling OCS presence within Synergy Enterprise is a setting. Activating this setting will directly show OCS presence of users within Synergy Enterprise. OCS presence will not only be available on those places where the monitor was shown, but also in other screens like the resource card and in the requests. By enabling OCS presence, the old ‘monitor’ will not be available anymore.

aa_screen3 Example of OCS presence of resource card in Synergy Enterprise

Via this post I hope to get more feedback on especially this part. Should the current presence indicator (presented by monitor) remain available when OCS presence is activated? With OCS presence much more functionality is offered. The field on the resource card, showing the last action of the user remains available.

Surprising first feedback on new search functionality

Written by Edgar Wieringa on . Posted in Exact Synergy

Crafting out our new solutions is always an exciting process. It starts with the first idea – whether it is based on market input, a concrete customer case or new technology – goes into customer validation, involves design, building and finally it is there. Although we always try to keep the customer focus – we can only build good software if it really meets your needs – a certain part of it is happening ‘behind closed doors’. About two months before we release a new product update to the market we get people in from different parts of the Exact Software organization and its ecosystem and we ask them what they think of the new product update. We brief them on the highlights, supply them with all release notes and focus areas and then they have a go at the software. Product managers desperately looking at their eyes to see what makes them tick.

Colleagues and customers involved come from all parts of the organization and from all over the globe. Customer Support in China, pre-sales from the US and consultant from The Netherlands. Viewing it from these different angles is important and sometimes leads to surprises. For example: we have adjusted our search functionality for Exact Synergy Enterprise so that it now can find <Jiří> just by typing <Jiri>. So, the search now also excludes the diacritics. We used the word ‘transliteration’ for this in our release documentation. We realized that it had a broader meaning, but we thought we scoped it clearly in the other parts of the documentation. The question from China however was: can I now find  <收件人> just by typing <shoujianren>? Indeed Google does have this functionality, but this is a step we have not yet made. ‘Searching=Finding’ will however keep on having our focus.

Photo credit: Desirée Delgado

The new Synergy design. What has been done with your feedback so far

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Synergy

Last October, Sie-Hang Cheung posted an article with the title ‘Synergy 244 user feedback’. The article is about the first feedback we have received via the feedback button in the preview version of Exact Synergy Enterprise, product update 244. Over the last weeks we got lots more feedback from you. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your time and effort. Your feedback is very valuable.

We have used your feedback and the results from user research for the further development of the new design of Synergy Enterprise. We have not only built new functionality and screens, we have also made some good improvements like moving the vertical Communication menu to the top menu bar and a the positioning and behaviour of the Options menu. The user interface looks slightly different from the design which we introduced in product update 244. The interface that we are going to introduce in product update 245 has a solid foundation for further expansion.

I can imagine that you are interested in what you can expect in the next product update. In this post I will give you the highlights of the new design.

Finish Employee Self Service functionality

In product update 244 two self-service functionalities are missing: Medical leave and Expense claims. This functionality will be available. In both screens you will be guided through a wizard, as you know from the Personal time off page.

Person, Account and Project

All cards have the same look-and-feel and layout, which allows you to quickly find your way on the page. The cards are divided into a business card with contact information, a ‘More’ section with general information and tabs. The information on the tabs is arranged by subject. The order of the tabs can easily be changed via drag-and-drop.

Recent contacts

At the right top menu a Recent contacts menu is added. This menu shows an overview of recently contacted employees. It allows you to quickly navigate to one of the employee cards so you do not have to search.

As in the previous product update, the software that we deliver in product update 245 will also be a preview version. We are continuing to further develop this design.

Your feedback is always welcome! Please do not hesitate to contact us through ux@exact.com or comment on this post.

Feedback results: Come out, Come out, wherever you are!

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Synergy

After publication of the blog “Saving time: Come out, Come out, wherever you are!” I got a lot of feedback on the article and functionality which could be divided into two groups. The ones that where extremely positive about the provided functionality and the ones that had some doubts and presented me with a more critical view on the feature. After examining the feedback and contacting some of you to discuss your views it was clear we missed out on the advanced user of Exact Synergy Enterprise with this feature. These users for example remember accounts by number, location and all sorts of other properties but never seem to view the card itself. Meaning it wouldn’t show up in the recently used view nor in the “my” view since they are not the manager of the account. This principle also applied to the other browsers we adjusted.

After the feedback round we concluded that we needed to react to these findings fast and update the functionality so we can support these advanced users in their daily work. In cooperation with you, our users, we decided to upgrade the functionality the following way:

  • Setting the default value of the find-in box to the “all” view.
  • Performing an immediate search after the find-in box is changed by the user; this will eliminate the need for an extra button click to get the documents in the selected view.
  • Retaining the last selected find-in value for every individual search browser and individual user.

We are confident that the made changes are satisfactory for all our types of users. The changes will be available upon general availability of product update 244.

Happy finding!

Thank you for the feedback! We highly appreciate it! 

Photographer: healingdream

The release planning 2010 for Exact Globe, Exact Synergy and Exact Synergy Enterprise

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

Our release planning for 2010 can be found in the illustrations below. As you can see, a lot of product updates are planned for next year: approximately 1 product update every quarter for each product line.

If you are interested in the contents of these product updates, and we hope you do, please keep an eye on this blog. Here we will share our ideas, experiences and news about all planned new and improved functionality.

And what is even more important: we hope that you are also willing to share your opinions and suggestions with us. In the end, you will be working with our solutions and therefore it is extremely important for us that we know exactly what you need. This blog is one of the channels we use to gather your input, so please make yourself heard.

Release planning Globe Synergy 2010 extern


Please keep in mind that this is a planning that might be subject to change.

Photo credit: doug88888

Context prevents misunderstandings

Written by Edgar Wieringa on . Posted in Exact Synergy

The difficulty with software seems to be that it is never ready. It is soft, intangible and the possibilities are unlimited. One can ask for the world, but everyone’s world is different. To make sure software is great, it should be designed keeping its users goals in mind. Designing for goals in a given context makes it a lot easier to design it the right way.

Last week I saw another example of this, it may look simple but I belief it is a small example of a bigger truth. In our product there are a set of searchboxes on the left -hand side to quickly jump to, for instance, an item code. Let’s say you are looking for more information on the item SYN0000 (it is one of the products you sell). You got the code in an e-mail from a colleague and you want to look it up in Exact Synergy Enterprise. So double click it, please try.

If you do this in Windows it will help (??) you by also selecting the trailing space behind it. Our product used to search for the item code including that space, hence it found nothing. So it was decided (as a reaction to customer feedback) to support you by ignoring that space. Now my actual story starts, it is not about how to solve this problem best, but about what happened after the change (cutting off the space at the end).

During one of our feedback rounds with customer stakeholders it was found out that an undocumented feature of our product now was broken. The search allowed you to enter only a space (‘ ‘) and if you would search, then you would get all items in result. By removing the space, as was requested earlier, it searched for nothing now. So a report was entered to fix this. Without any reason why: just fix it. It was first rejected. I can partly understand why: who would like to search for everything? That is not ‘searching’ but just ‘data browsing’ for which we have nice overviews with much more convient options. Which customer would like to walk-through all item data in a search? It was more work to re-introduce this and it looked like there were better alternatives; so the report was rejected.

Only then the context came in, as quite some customers seemed to have discovered this feature to easily see everything, and were quite content with it. People used it for instance to walk-through the documents created during that day within the company. So, to stay informed about all the work their colleagues were doing, searching in this way helping them to be informed and serve their customers better. With the context it was crystal clear this needed to be supported.

Adding context has two great benefits: it creates clarity and helps people to understand the real issue. And secondly and as least as important: we learn more about the actual usage of software. And that is essential to make people benefit from it even more.

Photo credit: emagic