While we've still got another treat or two in store before Santa comes down the chimney, today we're excited to announce the launch of version 2.0 of our Accelo iOS app! Just in time for the holidays - when you're probably going to appreciate checking in from the beach or alpine bar - this new app packs in almost three times the features of the current app, making it easy to keep track of almost everything in your Accelo account.
While the new app has been completely re-written under the hood (taking advantage of improvements in iOS 8), we're sure you're going to be more excited about the breadth of what you can access in Accelo with this new version:
Sales / Opportunities: Search, filter, list and view - including value, ratings and progress.
Projects: Search, filter, list and view - including budget, usage and key dates.
Tickets / Issues: Search, filter, list and view - including budget, usage and key dates.
Contracts / Retainers: Search, filter, list and view - including renewal info, key dates and detailed usage within each period!
Tasks: Search, filter, list and view - including hours logged, time remaining and key dates.
Timer integration: Better timers which synchronize with the timers in Accelo - now you can use your phone as a "stopwatch" for your work, and know it is in sync with the web app (and vice versa).
In addition to these new features, we've also revamped and improved the Task Board (so you can see what you've got to do in a calendar view - perfect for planning your day/week on your commute) as well as upgrading the client and contact search, filter, list and view screens (so you can easily look up any client and give them a call - perfect for those times you're running late for a meeting).
All of the new modules in our mobile app use a familiar, easy to use mechanism for getting around. Firstly, simply click on the "Modules" navigation link in the bottom right, and choose your module.
From there, you can either perform a fast live search across client names and sales titles, or if you want to see a more nuanced list, you can choose to filter by clicking on the icon in the top right of any list screen.
The filter options make it easy to get a list of just the sales, projects, tickets or retainers that you want to see. If you get too many results (or not enough) it is easy to come back in and refine your filters - just click on the filter link in the top right.
When you choose an item from the list, you'll see the specialized view screen for the item you've clicked on - each module has its own view screens and features.
While our iOS app has had simple timers for a little while now, they suffered one big shortcoming - they didn't sync with the web app, making it harder than it should be to fill in your timesheet.
With this new version, we've fixed that, with newly implemented timers which sync with the timers in the web-app. This way, if you're showing up on site to work with a client, or you'd just prefer to keep your workstation screen clear and use your phone as a sort of supercharged stopwatch, you'll be able to create, start and pause timers in the mobile app and see them sync with the web app like magic.
The sales module makes it easy for anyone - but especially hard working sales teams who are often out and about - to see where any given opportunity is up to. With a specially designed interface to showcase how attractive an opportunity is, and a super easy interface for logging an activity, the Sales Module in our iOS app means you're never blind to what's happening on a sale just because you're away from your desk.
In an update early next week you'll be able to create timers and tasks against a sale, a perfect companion for tracking the time you're spending working on a proposal or when you remember you need to do something after a quick call with a client. In early 2015 we'll be implementing editing, updating the value, and changing the status of a sale from the app.
The sales module is available for any licensed users of Accelo Sales or Accelo ServOps.
The projects module makes it easy to see a snapshot of where any project is up to from the palm of your hand.
With an interface focused on budgets and usage, the projects module helps you get a handle on where your project is up to, in real time.
With an update early next week, we'll be making it easy to create a timer or add a task to a project, ideal for those times when you remember something you need to do while you're out and about. In early 2015 we'll be expanding this screen to show milestones and making it easy to drill into the key phases of your projects.
The projects module is available for any licensed users of Accelo Projects or Accelo ServOps.
The issues & tickets module is designed to make it easy for your team to be responsive and on top of client service activities.
Easy to search, filter and view, this module is great for anyone who's out and about servicing clients, making it easy for them to see issue/ticket details and log work through activities while they're out of the office.
We'll be expanding the functionality of this mobile module in the next couple of months to make it easy to change the status of a ticket/issue (like resolving it!) and create tasks.
The issues & tickets module is available for any licensed users of Accelo Service or Accelo ServOps.
The contracts & retainers module is designed to make it easy for you and your team to keep on top of your highest value, ongoing client work. With real-time reports on usage and budgets, and the ability to see all of the contract periods - or buckets - as well as the details of their usage and work items.
The Contracts module is available for any licensed users of Accelo Retainers or Accelo ServOps.
While we've had the Task Board since our very first version, the experience has been very read-only. While it won't be going live today (we're waiting on an Apple approval), the 2.0.1 version of our app will make it easy for you to change the status of tasks or create activities and timer against them.
When you're viewing a task, you'll be able to click on the "Arrow" in the top right, and bring up the menu of options, which include changing the status of the task - super handy for fill in your timesheet or cleaning up your task list at the end of a long day on your commute home.
When we launched our iOS app earlier this year, we knew that the limits of only being able to see tasks, search for clients & contacts, and logging activities/time was just the start. Similarly, we appreciate that there's a few things that are going to make our mobile app even more insanely helpful.
Here's a few of the things our engineers are working on delivering over the next few months.
While we've all had those times where we'd like to make a little change to something while we're on the road, we're also conscious that the screen size of a mobile device and the keyboard experience doesn't lend itself to lots of data creation - which is why we've focused initially on giving our users a view into everything we could and we'll be adding the more fiddly edit screen in the new couple of months.
Changing status (like resolving an issue or moving a sale along) are obviously important in a product like ours with such a strong focus on business processes. Unfortunately, this focus (and the need for consistency across what are often fairly complex business processes) makes it difficult to shrink the experience down to something that fits in the palm of your hand. This doesn't mean we're giving up - on the contrary, our mobile app dev teams are working on solving this tricky problem now, but we didn't want to wait to give you all these other improvements because we hadn't quite cracked this nut yet. Watch this space for some updates in early 2015.
While you've got the ability to create activities in this version of our mobile app, we don't currently have the ability to see a "stream" of activities against a client, sale, project or other item in the app. We know this is a real shortcoming - being able to scroll back through all previous conversation with a client and anyone on your team before stepping into a meeting would be invaluable - and so we're working on showing you the activities against these objects in the next few months.
We're still firming up the notifications we want to provide in the application - we want them to be valuable real-time insights, not irritating and distracting noise - but we are committed to bringing configurable, intelligent notifications to our iOS app in coming months. Current ideas include a notification when you get that signoff or quote approved, or when a client you're selling to opens an email from you for the first time. We'd love to hear your ideas too - feel free to add them to ideas.accelo.com.
Since we've got so many Android users, we shouldn't forget to mention that our Android app is being upgraded as we speak and we're hoping to have a beta live before Santa arrives. Anyone who's been tracking the Android app world for the last little while will know the newest version of Android (Lollipop) created a whole new user interface called Material Design, which basically meant we had to redo our whole app ;-) The good news is that this work is progressing really smoothly, and we're hoping to announce a beta of version 2.0 of Android by Christmas.