Archive for the ‘Product Update’ Category

Guess what’s coming soon…? Be Social (and productive) at work!

The moment of social business is here

It is a great moment in the history of social collaboration. The idea itself is not new. Much has been written over the last 2 years about what enterprise software can learn from the principles of “social” design of popular consumer tools like FaceBook and Twitter – the impact on user adoption, on information access, on time saving, on productivity, and indeed, on the fundamental structure of organizations.

There are also scores of solutions in the market which specialize in “social collaboration” – Yammer, Chatter, Podio, SocialText and so on.

However, the last 2 years can be best described as the early beginnings of the social business movement.  Experts were just starting to flirt with the idea and its implications, and only a handful of bold companies were implementing and experimenting with this new approach. Over the last 2 years, the movement has matured, gained strength, and is now at a cusp. Although not yet close to mainstream adoption, the approach has been tried, vetted, and oozes promise.

The shortcomings of social collaboration solutions today

However, “social collaboration” software today suffers from various shortcomings. Although they claim to be more than “Facebook for business”, most current social collaboration tools offer little more than thin networking and social messaging (or wall messaging) capabilities. This approach may be great for fostering cross organizational connections and communication, but is apparently not suited for structured business needs (project management, document management, scheduling). Other social collaboration tools see themselves as “glue”, where third party applications can be plugged on top of their social layer. However, the integration in this case is limited at best (because of the divergent agendas of the social collaboration vendor and third party), and importantly, the plugged-on applications have no inter-integration. In a true collaboration solution, every piece interacts with other pieces.

The problem of current social collaboration solutions, in our view, is a lack of collaboration depth.

On the other hand, traditional collaboration software providers like Google Apps (Google Plus is NOT a social collaboration app!) and Office 365, by virtue of their size, and their user bases and positions to defend, are understandably slow and cautious in making bold changes. For this reason they have not entered the social collaboration market in a bold way (Office 365 has some basic networking features).

Guess what’s coming soon?

At HyperOffice, we have the nimbleness of a startup, and more than 10 years of experience of developing collaboration software for SMBs. We have the goods to create a social collaboration software with substance.

And we are going to.

We are within weeks of launching new social capabilities to our HyperOffice Collaboration Suite.

While we are not revealing much at this point, the best way to describe the new features is that structured collaboration needs of businesses have been combined with the open, democratic design of social media tools. The following graphic is a good conceptual depiction:

If you want to be informed when we launch, please visit the following page, and reserve your spot on our invitation list. Don’t miss out!

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Feb 2011 Upgrade – The HyperOffice secret!

Many of our clients have taken notice that our updates and upgrades have been coming more frequently with vigor and purpose, and now it’s time to share the secret to what’s behind HyperOffice’s steady and rapid growth. Our clients! We’ve come to the conclusion that HyperOffice is chock-full of unique clients that are not afraid to chime in with ideas and requests and it’s been helping us deliver the most versatile, complete, and customizable solution in the cloud today.

With the launch of our new feedback system ( http://feedback.hyperoffice.com ) we’ve seen clients submit over 400 votes on enhancement requests that THEY want to see in THEIR product. These clients drive HyperOffice to be the best collaboration suite available today. Our most recent release addresses 90% of submitted product bugs and implements some of our most client requested usability enhancements. Take a look at some of our most popular requests below.

1. Immediate training and webinar assistance during the trial through our new webinar button

2. Meeting rescheduling behaviors have been revamped

3. Icon consistency across all sections for a more intuitive experience

4. Enhanced user interface notifications

5. Improved user profile loading system to enhance overall speed

6. Overall speed of site publisher has been increased

7. Personal Desktop administration has been enhanced specifically the Group News and Company Announcements sections

8. Task notification emails now include specific change content

9. Global company signatures have been added for companywide announcements and confidentiality tags

These are only a handful of the implemented requests we’ve received and we are always eager to hear what our clients have to say and give them what they want.

October 2010 Upgrade – Project Management on Steroids and More

The latest release of HyperOffice implements more than 25 customer requested enhancements, with a major focus on delivering a more robust online project management tool including task dependencies, interactive Gantt charts, and more. Here is a list of the most popular updates. It brings users an alternative to project management tools like BaseCamp, which may bring robust project features, but lag in other collaboration areas.

Shared Tasks

Task Dependencies – Task dependencies now allow users to create project management workflows based on standard task relationships: Start-to-Start, Start-to-Finish, Finish-to-Start, and Finish-to-Finish. This allows users to reflect real life corporate projects, which are a network of interdependent tasks. Create complex relationships between tasks, such as, “task 1 cannot begin till task 2 is completed”, “task 1 cannot begin till task 2 has begun”, “task 1 cannot finish till task 2 has finished” and so on.

Interactive Gantt Charts: The new interactive Gantt Chart, offering drag, drop, and re-size features on tasks, allow users to arrange tasks and set task durations right from the Gantt Chart console.

Timesaver – Added ability to duplicate tasks to save time on common tasks

Timesaver/Feature enhancement – Users will now be notified as to which part of a shared task is changed by underlining the changed fields inside of the notification email

Timesaver/Feature enhancement – Added and improved recurring tasks and projects, which now appear as a new tab in task edit window.

Contacts

Timesaver – Contacts will now be associated with whichever category they are created from

Timesaver – Group admins are now able to purge/delete all group contacts

Timesaver – Added ability to copy contacts using the right-click copy menu.

Mail

Usability – In the business email module, we have increased the limits on To/CC/BCC fields to 100 recipients, 100 recipients, and 50 recipients respectively allowing users to send out mass emails. However the aggregate number of recipients in all fields (To, CC, and BCC) may not exceed 200 addressees.

Timesaver – Improved folder creation system by allowing creation of a folder within a parent folder based on your location inside of the folder structure.

Documents

Timesaver – You can now edit folder/file names in shared documents inline from the web interface

Settings

Ease of Use – Time zone selection is simpler with fewer choices based entirely on your GMT adjustment.

Timesaver/Automation – Added ability to set default reminders for events inside of personal settings

Feature Enhancement – Portal administrators now have the ability to unlock user accounts whose accounts have had 10 failed log-in attempts within one hour

August 2010 Upgrade

We’ve been busy this summer rolling out our second update since releasing the modern AJAX interface. Most product improvements and fixes have been reported by our users. You, as our clients, are a major part of the development process and the feedback guarantees the best collaboration suite on the planet. Here are some of the highlights in this upgrade.

Email

1. Convert an email to a task directly from the mail module. Simply click the task icon beside the email subject, and add it to your personal to-do task list, or move it into the project management system.

This small feature will drive big improvements in solving your overstuffed inbox problem. No more hunting for to-dos and team tasks in your inbox. No more missed tasks. Not only does this clear your in-box, but you get additional management tools your inbox doesn’t offer such as progress tracking, status updates, task priorities, assign and notify, etc.

2. Preview attachments. A “preview” button beside your attachment let’s you take a quick look at the attachment before you send it. This will help you when you need to make doubly sure that you are sending out the right file and the right version.

Project Management

1. Subscribe to a project. If you are part of a project you want to keep top of, or simply want to track a project you are interested in, simply click on “subscribe”. You will be notified of all changes to the project including the addition of new tasks and changes to tasks already contained within the project.

2. Task assignees are now notified when a task is completed. Whenever the status of a task is changed to “complete”, everyone who was assigned to the task will be automatically notified, and they can heave a sigh of relief.

Contacts

1. Copy text directly from the contacts screen using the keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste.

2. The issue in contact management where all categories were not listed has been corrected.

3. When modifying the headers in the contacts module, you may now view up to 10 columns at once.

Personal Desktop

1. Improved the personal desktop settings area. The screens are more intuitive and settings easier to manage.

2. You can now filter and adjust what tasks are seen on your personal desktop. You can view all tasks assigned to you in every group for example. Simply click the “Modify Desktop” button at the top right hand corner of the personal desktop if this is permitted by your administrator. Then click the settings gear icon located near the title of the tasks component.

Site Publisher

1. System templates. You get to choose from a number of pre-built templates whenever you want to design a new homepage in Publisher. We have built templates for a number of contexts – landing page, navigation page, informational page etc. – which can just start adding your logo and content to.

Forums

1. Fixed bug that limited the number of posts

General

1. The print button is now working in all sections

Mobile collaboration comes to growing businesses

logo“Exchange for the rest of us” was the slogan used to announce MobileMe to the world. It allows users to push email, calendars and contacts to their iPhone without expensive MS Exchange installed on their servers. A relief indeed.

But a few questions arise.

- What if you wanted to use a device other than iPhone and allow employees to be able to push corporate email, calendars, contacts or tasks to whichever device they already had, say, a BlackBerry, an iPhone, Windows Mobile, Nokia or any other?

- What if you wanted to go beyond accessing and synching personal information, and actually allow your teams to be able to share contacts, calendars and tasks on their mobile phone?

- What if you wanted to synch your mobile with your Outlook account, with or without Exchange?

These aren’t questions MobileMe can answer. Not quite “Exchange for the rest of us” then?

HyperSynch – True Mobile Collaboration for Growing Businesses

Today, we announced the beta launch of HyperSynch, a service added to the HyperOffice Collaboration Suite for no extra cost, which allows users to push, synch and share mail, calendars, contacts and tasks across multiple mobiles, PC and Macs.

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HyperSynch is uniquely positioned to empower teams in growing businesses to use their mobile phones as business tools, for the following reasons: -

Bring your own mobile
– HyperSynch can push and synch emails, calendars, contacts and tasks for almost every major mobile phone platform including iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Nokia, Android, Java phones etc. You don’t need to force employees to buy a particular phone, or even procure special business purpose phones.  In all likelihood, HyperSynch will work with the mobile phone everyone already has.

Completely online
– Unlike expensive mobility software like BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) or MS Exchange, which require dedicated hardware, HyperSynch is completely web based – no servers to set up or software to download and install. Exchange and BES for the rest of us?

MobileWe! – Not only can you synchronize personal mail, contacts, calendars and tasks on your mobile phone, you can even share this information with your team! Any edits you make to shared contacts, will be reflected on your teams mobile phones in seconds; set up a group event, and everyone in your team will know, and so on.

Outlook Synchronization – HyperSync also lets you keep your mobile in sync with your Outlook mail, contacts, calendars, tasks and notes. No MS Exchange needed!

Battery Friendly – Regular IMAP/POP3 mobile mail sucks battery life right out of your mobile phone, when it queries the mail server every few minutes. HyperSynch puts the energy-onus on the server, as information is pushed only when it is updated.

Mobile Collaboration – Since HyperSynch is built into HyperOffice, you also get the benefit of HyperOffice’s award winning online collaboration software features – document storage and sharing, intranet/extranet workspaces, polls, forums, web forms etc. You can access these features right on your mobile browser, in addition to any PC or Mac browser.

See a video demo of what HyperSynch can do for you

Collaboration Software Upped a Notch – All New HyperOffice Now Available

Think we have been adding new features to HyperOffice at a blinding pace (wikis, full document search, publisher, HyperBase) in recent times? Brace yourself.

This Monday, we made available to all customers a re-invigorated, super-charged, eye-candy, ease-enhanced, all-new AJAX version of HyperOffice. This rollout is the culmination of a two year long project incorporating R&D with worldwide HyperOffice users, your invaluable feedback, 10 years of experience working with growing businesses, as well as the latest technological developments and market changes.

The New Look Calendar

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The new version brings a gorgeous re-done interface, new features, more robust existing features, and scores of subtle changes and enhancements across the suite.

It is pertinent to mention that there is more to the new HyperOffice than meets the eye. Beyond apparent feature and cosmetic changes, the back-end sees profound changes as well. The front end is now build in AJAX, the back-end has been shifted to cutting edge Java technology and we have effected far reaching architectural changes.

Apart from giving our users much greater speed and application responsiveness and more tightly integrated features, the new architecture allows us great flexibility and nimbleness to build out the HyperOffice collaboration software platform. This will allow us to quickly add features and functions in response to your feedback and market changes.

Late last year, we had announced a private beta of the new HyperOffice, where a select group of customers and HyperOffice employees tested it rigorously over a period of 10 weeks, fleshed out the bugs and helped streamline the upgraded suite.

We were pleasantly surprised, and the news made a big splash with the media, attracting coverage from mainstream publications like NYTimes, eWeek, ComputerWorld, Cmswire, InfoToday, SmallBusinessComputing and more.

And now, dear customer, the new HyperOffice is ready for you to give a spin.

For those of you who don’t want to jump right into it, the “Change Style” button on the top right allows you to keep using the old version, which has now been rechristened “classic” flavor HyperOffice.

We hope to make the new HyperOffice available to the general public very soon, so keep tuned!

Enough rambling. How about you take a first hand peek at the new HyperOffice yourself below.

New HyperOffice Video

Wikis Part of Free Upgrade to HyperOffice Collaboration Sofware

The Wiki Phenomena

wiki-blog-11We are all familiar with Wikipedia, and have come across it often as we search the internet. It is the largest encyclopedia ever compiled by man – more than 7 times Britannica, the largest traditional encyclopedia.

The incredible thing about Wikipedia is that its content is entirely contributed collaboratively by volunteers – lay users like you and me. The reason why volunteers participate is the incredible simplicity of the underlying “wiki software” ( “wiki” is Hawaiian for “quick”). The site is comprised of web pages anyone can make changes to, as simply as typing into Text Pad. As soon changes are saved, they are available to everyone across the globe. Talk about simple collaboration!

And it is exactly this fact that has lead to its gargantuan growth to the greatest repository in just 6 years.

Wikis and Your Business

The Wikipedia success story certainly has great lessons and applications for businesses – especially small businesses. Collaboration is the heart and soul of successful business in today’s age – to be able to work together effectively in a network of employees, teams, partners, vendors and customers. Wiki software allows companies to do this with incredible ease – as simply as getting on a collaborative group wiki web page, adding content, and saving it to be instantly available to everyone else in the group.

Of course, company wikis need to have more structure and policy controls than a public wiki like Wikipedia. Only group members have access to a group wiki, and there should be tools to track the collaboration process.

HyperOffice Wikis are here – Completely Free Upgrade!

In our constant attempt to bring you cutting edge collaboration software technology, and bring you the best solutions in the market – we have added wikis to our range of collaboration features. HyperOffice wikis bring wiki software molded perfectly for your small business context. And in HyperOffice tradition, this upgrade is available to all users without any additional cost. Here are some of the things you can do: -

-    In the spirit of our theme for 2010, “no geeks required”, HyperOffice wikis are an incredibly simple way to work together. Just access your group wiki, add text, images, links to other company wiki pages, files or formatting, as simply as working with a word processor like MS Word.

-    Create highly customized group wikis with branding, html code, and collaboration modules.

-    Create unlimited group wikis sites for internal or external groups with as many interlinked wiki pages as you like.

-    Create policy controls around group wikis. Manage access permissions, and define role based access level.

-    Track collaboration by automatically recording the history of changes to your wiki pages, and who made changes.

-    Choose to get notified whenever changes are made to any wiki page.

HyperOffice wiki screenshot

wiki-blog

Demystifying the Software Release Process

There is an old joke in the software business that likens developers with artists that produce their work in excess purely for the love of creating. This often results in a highly developed application that falls a bit behind scheduled release.

As many of you may know, we are in the process of releasing the most significant update to our system in over ten years. Since the software release process is unique to our industry you may only know this through technical jargon like “Beta” and “Alpha”, you may ask what this really means or why is this process in place?

Currently we are using the new HyperOffice system with our staff internally, and we love it! In fact, we are eagerly awaiting the green light from development to open it up for public beta- meaning that you will soon be able to use the beta version as well.

cal

A view of the new calendar system in AJAX

The unique characteristic in software development is that it exists in a market that is rapidly evolving.  Being “in the cloud” we are able to quickly release updates and feature without any system downtime or installs on our client’s computers. This allows us to release the new version in phases. Many of you may already notice a few minor advancements rolling through from this release.

underconstruction1Why is the process important?

By conducting our testing in real-world environments, we are able to identify potential vulnerability, and quickly resolve it to ensure that our users never experience a compromise of data. We review all feedback and make adjustments accordingly; this creates an application that is designed by the users of the system.

- Better Security and Stability
- More Features and functionality
- Simpler and More Intuitive User Interface

This not only makes our product feature rich and extremely stable, but it also is keeps it fast- which is very important when you are in the cloud.

What do the phases such as “Beta/Alpha” actually mean?

Simply put, these are steps in the release lifecycle. Without getting too technical, it all starts with the pre-alpha version, which contains all of the intended functionality of the final version, but precedes any extensive testing. The subsequent phases are Alpha (developed for an extensive private testing group), Private Beta (in which a limited release may be made available), Public Beta (a wider beta community) and finally full release.

Now, it is true that there are a number of other phases that are often thrown into the mix- this is a high level view.

You can help! And benefit too!

There are two ways we want you to get involved in this process. You may be involved in one of the other, or even both!

HyperOffice Product Development Committee: This is a group of HyperOffice clients that play an important part in the ongoing development and enhancement of our product. On average the commitment is about 1 hour a month, but in return, our development team hears your requests directly.

HyperOffice Beta Program: We encourage all interested clients to take part in the beta program of the new HyperOffice. This will give you full access to the new version as well as the ability to switch back to the classic version (your current version) at any time.

Click here to sign-up


Collaboration with HyperOffice Got Even Better : Full Document Search, Improved Publisher, More!

In the spirit of keeping our customers in step with the cutting edge of collaboration technology, and making our customer experience ever simpler and more powerful, we added multiple new features to HyperOffice. That’s what software-as-a-service is all about, isn’t it?

The latest up-gradations are the latest in a flurry of activity in recent months (we added HyperBase online database management features to HyperOffice, won the Skype for Business award, and partnered with Tata Communications and Etelos). Whew! Eventful year its been!

So, the new features.

1) Full Document Text Search – HyperOffice online document management features got a boost and finding corporate information just got easier. Now users can search through the entire contents of the documents they have within shared folders. Rather than having to remember the title or author, remembering any word or phrase in a document is good enough for you to find it. In addition, users can avail advanced search feature like searching by author, title, creation date etc. Although this new feature requires considerable computing power, we added it because this is something our customers have been asking for.

This new feature also gives HyperOffice the distinction of being the only online collaboration software in the market to include free full text search for documents without any additional charge.

2) HyperOffice Site Publisher got Turbo Charged! – If you thought creating intranet and extranet workspaces with the HyperOffice Site Publisher was easier before, you just gotta check out the latest version!

We have completely redesigned the Publisher to be easier and more fun to work with. You create completely freeform pages by just dragging and dropping elements wherever you want them to be on the page. All you need to do is drag and drop text boxes, collaboration modules, navigation, images, links, buttons or any other element to any area on the page you choose. No intranet software allows you to create completely customized pages for departments, teams, clients, partners with such ease. This is easier than any full fledged website publisher I have personally ever visited.

publisher-new

Just start dragging and dropping and transform your blank canvas into a group workspace like the following literally within minutes:-

new-publisher

More – In addition, HyperOffice has made changes to site administration tools, which lets the administrator perform their tasks from a central console with ease – add or delete users, specify permissions and roles, create new groups or delegate responsibility. In addition, administrators can easily view site statistics and reports they might need to measure the effectiveness of their portal.

Changes to each user’s admin tools simplifies how each site user manages their personal account and settings.

Online Database Management for Growing Companies is Here!

We recently launched HyperBase, an online database management solution designed specifically for small to medium sized companies. We know, we know. The very mention of the phrase “database management system” sounds forbidding to most small businesses.

HyperBase is an attempt to bring database management from the behind the gilded doors of the IT department, to non expert SMB users.

HyperBase allows companies to simplify collection, storage and organization, and sharing of data with colleagues, customers, partners or vendors. In true SaaS (software-as-a-service) spirit, there is nothing to download or manage, nor any database administration expertise required.

Small businesses are used to managing data by manually entering it into Excel files, using Excel tools to sort and filter it. Data is shared by emailing Excel files back and forth whenever inputs are needed for someone.

Working with data like this is slow and error prone. Moreover Excel files lock data away on a single computer, not leveraging its full potential. Even specialized database software like MS Access lock away data on a single computer.

Not very efficient in an age which demands greater collaboration between teams, partners and customers.

HyperBase is an ideal Microsoft Access alternative, and alternative to ad-hoc data management through Excel and email. Here’s how.

HyperBase users can simplify data collection by quickly creating online forms like contact forms, feedback forms, customer surveys and questionnaires, purchase order forms or any other, by publishing them on a web page.  We are rather proud of our web form designer, which simply lets you drag and drop fields and create a web form within minutes.

The collected data is automatically stored inside the system and users can share it with colleagues and partners around the world on any internet connected PC, Mac or even mobile device.

Users can easily create customized databases and gain insights from data using simple reporting and querying tools.

Importantly, HyperBase users can build database applications, through which they can automate common business tasks like lead tracking and CRM, job applications, order processing, and customer ticketing etc. As data is entered into the system, and flows from one stage to another, reminders are automatically sent out to responsible persons when actions are required by them.

HyperBase in Action

HyperBase is fully integrated with the HyperOffice collaboration suite. HyperBase adds additional power to HyperOffice’s already extensive list of tools, making it one of the most comprehensive online collaboration softwares in the market.