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HyperOffice: 2010 in Retrospect

2010 was a pivotal year for HyperOffice. Not only did we find ourselves right in the eye of the convergence of multiple market trends, but HyperOffice grew and matured as a product more than ever before in its history. Our efforts did not go unnoticed, as our brand is stronger than ever, and rubbed shoulders with the biggest names in the industry, backed as they are by astronomical marketing budgets.

The Market

2010 will be looked back upon as the year when cloud computing finally went main stream. It was great to see our vision of more than 10 years – the ability to access business applications over the internet without expensive infrastructure – finding not only wide acceptability, but wide adoption as well. Vendors have shifted from selling the model to arguing for the superiority of their cloud products over others.

Apart from the mega success of cloud computing, we found ourselves plonk in the middle of two sub trends in the larger growth of the cloud.

Cloud collaboration was one of the main areas of growth in cloud computing. Studies from Sandhill, Forrester, MarketResearch.com, AMI all found collaboration as one of the fastest growing SaaS segments in 2010 and beyond. This is understandable as collaboration software caters to a supra trend afoot in business today – increasingly distributed teams which need to work together and coordinate effort. As insightfully observed by the editor of CloudAve “cloud has the necessary DNA for collaboration”, since it allows people anywhere to contribute to a shared system.

Another trend in evidence was the convergence of messaging and collaboration software. HyperOffice has been offering integrated business email and collaboration tools since before 2005. Companies have found that having their messaging and collaboration solutions in separate silos is expensive and inefficient. Integrated solutions are a counterweight against the temptation to use email for everything, and great synergies arise from data of different types – documents, emails, tasks, contacts, discussions – being able to freely interact in a unified system. Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 from industry heavyweights have validated this approach. HyperOffice however offers the best solution with a laser focus towards SMBs.

The Product

Without doubt, 2010 proved to be the year when HyperOffice evolved and grew more than ever before in its more than 10 year history.

Late in 2009 we released the beta version of the biggest ever overhaul of our HyperOffice Collaboration Suite, rebuilding it ground up in AJAX. Over early 2010, we put the beta through months of rigorous testing, made hundreds of enhancements and thousands of bug fixes, before finally making it widely available. Apart from a completely redesigned modern interface and more tightly integrated features, our users get countless new features like full text search, color coded calendars, database applications and web forms, wikis, drag and drop publisher and more.

Keeping with the mobility revolution, push messaging was a natural extension to HyperOffice’s capabilities. Although HyperOffice was already optimized and available on mobile browsers, we increasingly found users wanting solutions which leveraged their mobile phone’s native mail, calendar and address book applications. Moreover, most solutions in the market work only with single devices, or require expensive server based implementations. To fill this gap, HyperSynch was born, a mobile messaging add-on to HyperOffice which allows users to push, sync and share mail, contacts, calendars and tasks across mobile platforms including iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Nokia, Android and more.

Since the mega upgrade, HyperOffice has undergone four upgrade cycles implementing more than a 100 customer requested enhancements. Most notably, we bolstered our project management features. HyperOffice is now a full blown project management solution with sophisticated project management features like task dependencies and interactive Gantt charts to handle complex projects. New features like the ability to convert email to tasks demonstrate the benefits of having integrated messaging and collaboration and tools.

The Brand

HyperOffice’s developments have caught the attention of end users and tech experts alike, and our brand is stronger than ever. HyperOffice is one of the most well recognized names in a jam packed online collaboration market. Our developments kept making it to leading publications such as NY Times, ZDNet, GigaOM, Entrepreneur.com, CMS Wire, eWeek, Information Week, MSP Mentor, PC Magazine, PC Today, Information Today, Small Biz Mag and more.

Can HyperOffice out simplify Google Apps?” asked Christopher Dawson of ZDNet. PC Magazine listed HyperOffice as one of the “Top 10 Apps that can make you productive”. “HyperOffice to Take on Google Apps, Microsoft Web Apps?” was CMSWire’s reaction to our mega upgrade. HyperOffice was compared to MS SharePoint in Entrepreneur.com’s “Collaboration or aggravation?

HyperOffice was reviewed by Edward Mendelson, an eminent software reviewer for PC Mag, known for his rigorous analysis of solutions. We were more than glad with his comments – “Overall, I was deeply impressed by HyperOffice’s depth of features, tight integration of all its elements, sleek appearance, and crack support team that was admirably responsive in both acknowledging the problems I discovered, and in many cases, fixing them almost as fast as I reported them.”, and that some of our key messaging points were echoed in his review – “Bottom Line – (HyperOffice is) A fully hosted alternative to building your own Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint servers.”

As one of the oldest players and thought leaders in the SaaS collaboration market, the opinions of our leaders were frequently sought by analysts and experts. Shahab Kaviani, our Executive Vice President Marketing and Product Marketing was one of the panelists in Small Business Tech Magazines nation wide SMB Tech Tour. Phil Wainwright, one of the leading minds on SaaS, interviewed Shahab for his podcast series on ebizQ. Shahab was also interviewed by Laurie McCabe of the SMB Group, as by Peter Radinski and Rich Tehrani from TMCNet.

HyperOffice was also one of the solutions covered by SMB Group’s study “Moving Beyond Email: The Era of SMB Online Collaboration Suites” along with eminent names like Google Apps, Microsoft BPOS, IBM LotusLive, VMWare’s Zimbra and more.

In Conclusion

The ultimate test of any solution are its users. The SaaS game is not only about getting new users, but keeping and satisfying current users. We believe we did a great job of that this year, by making an effort to provide them great service in addition to great technology.

2010 was a year of great satisfaction, a testimony to everyone’s effort in development, service, marketing, sales and administration. But our eyes are now firmly focused towards the future. We’ve got all the right cards – experience, technology, and brand – and when the cloud surge takes place in 2011, we want to ride it right at the crest.



HyperOffice featured in SMB Group Study: Moving Beyond Email – The Era of SMB Online Collaboration Suites

SMB Group, a premier consultancy group which specializes in analyzing and researching the SMB market, recently released its study “Moving Beyond Email—The Era of SMB Online Collaboration Suites”.

The SMB Group brings deep expertise in how latest technology trends impact how SMBs operate and compete. The study follows the increasing importance of distributed collaboration in SMBs, and the consequent increase in use of collaboration technology. According to Laurie McCabe, co author of the report: –

“Until recently, most small and medium businesses (SMBs) could get along just fine with a few tools such as email, calendars, document sharing, and the good old telephone. But today, many SMBs are finding that they need more effective collaboration tools to share knowledge, streamline processes, and keep everyone in the organization “on the same page”. They need to make information easier to find, share, and use as well as to connect with the right people at the right time—on any device”

As Laurie points out, email is no longer the collaboration tool of choice, and workers have moved their many of their collaboration activities to other tools. But it is not an either or situation, as email continues to be important, as most of us can testify. Keeping in mind this close relationship in mind, we had started offering integrated email and collaboration tools. In the past couple of years Google and Microsoft have also entered the arena with Google Apps and Microsoft BPOS, making the “communication and collaboration” space well defined.

An SMB Group survey found that a quarter of SMBs intend to invest in collaboration software in the coming 12 months. And the online, or “software as a service” model for collaboration solutions is ideal for SMBs because it has been designed for their specific needs and budgets.

Recently, have been numerous reports on the SaaS market by Forrester, Gartner, McKinsey, IDG and AMI on the SaaS market in general, but none deals with the online collaboration market in such detail.

The study brings more than abstract, high level information of the kind that SMBs find particularly hard to digest. The report brings a detailed assessment of the top 8 players in the online collaboration suite category. We are more than pleased that HyperOffice has been featured in a lineup that includes names like Google, Microsoft and IBM.

The intuitive “SMB Readiness Grid” compares the eight vendors in terms of their marketing strategies, solution capabilities, service offerings, and differentiation for the SMB market.

In addition, the report also brings interviews of SMB customers who have used these suites.

The purpose of the grid is not just a feature assessment of the suites, but their fit for the SMB market. We believe HyperOffice will stand out in this respect because Microsoft BPOS and Google Apps are more focused towards the more profitable enterprise segment, while our bread and butter comes from SMBs, around whom we have developed our solutions.

Journalists interested the SMB market will find bountiful insights in this research, and of course, SMBs will find it immensely useful is devising their collaboration strategy. You can download the research abstract here, and find further details on how to purchase the report.

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

Make way for the all-new HyperOffice Collaboration Suite!

As you know, we announced the general availability of the all-new HyperOffice on the 20th of May. This announcement official ended a 6-month beta involving rigorous testing by thousands of our users, resulting in hundreds of bug fixes and enhancements.

The beta was steered by a “Product Development Committee” comprised of in-house experts and HyperOffice users. We made frequent trips to customer sites and conducted detailed customer interviews to get the new version just right.

As you know, the online collaboration market keeps growing like there is no stopping. New participants are entering the fray every passing day, Microsoft just launched its new collaborative range of products – SharePoint and Office 2010, even as Google and Microsoft fiercely wage the collaboration battle.

Being a pioneer in the online collaboration domain, we plan to ride this wave at its crest. The all-new HyperOffice has generated a lot of excitement in the market, and the whos-who in tech media had great things to say about the product. With our experience and depth of understanding of the market, our laser focus on small businesses, and a supercharged HyperOffice Collaboration Suite, we are hoping this will be a critical point in our company’s growth.

Here’s what the media had to say:-

Christopher Dawson from ZDnet, one of the world’s top authorities on Google Apps and online collaboration wrote in Can HyperOffice out-simplify Google Apps?

HyperOffice takes the relative simplicity of Google Apps and provides a turnkey SaaS solution”

David Roe from CMSWire wrote in his article HyperOffice to Take on Google Apps, Microsoft Web Apps?

While the release will give small companies the ability to collaborate with inexpensive and accessible tools, the release should also stir up the already turbulent and cloud app invested waters which Google and Microsoft (news, site) (with its upcoming Web Apps release) have been fighting in for months.

Matthew Weinberger of mspmentor.com wrote in his article HyperOffice Launches New Version of Cloud Collaboration Suite

I had the chance to take the new version of HyperOffice for a spin and came away intrigued – it feels almost like a desktop operating system in the browser window, and for the most part it had the responsiveness to match.

HyperOffice Nudges Google, IBM Aside with Cloud Apps for SMBs wrote Clint Boulton from eWeek in Dec when we had launched our beta.

HyperOffice launches new beta to take on Google Apps wrote Chris Kanaracus of IDG back in Dec.

It is great to see our vision resonate with the market. As Christopher Dawson said “there are many ways to skin the cat” (meaning many ways to serve the online collaboration market) and we hope to continue bringing a very distinct and compelling approach to this “skinning”.

Veteran Saas Collaboration Software Suite releases biggest upgrade ever

Today marks a major milestone in our company history, as we release a modern interface built with on AJAX. This release is a culmination of more than a few years of feedback from hundreds of thousands of our customers. As of today our flagship product, HyperOffice Collaboration Suite has two versions available simultaneously, referred to as the Classic version and the Modern version.  We expect that some of our customers have become accustomed to the Classic version and may not need the additional features which the new version affords, and will continue to support the classic version for the foreseeable future.

So what’s new? Here are some highlights, or you can check out this video.

– Modern Intuitive Design and User Interface

– New Color Calendar System

– Simple Customization and Branding

– Easier Administration and Onboarding

– Robust Project Management System

– New Wiki and Site Publisher

What did we do differently this time?

Since our humble beginnings in 1998, the way teams collaborate has undergone many transformations. As our target customers, small businesses and distributed teams, began to embrace new ways to work, we added new capabilities to our core messaging and collaboration suite. For example wikis became popular, and we added group wikis, people wanted more sophisticated project management tools,  so we beefed that up, road warriors wanted calendars and emails pushed to their mobile devices, so we rolled out HyperSynch, web conferencing became the norm, in comes HyperMeeting.

As you can imagine when you make so many improvements incrementally things may not gel as well as they could. 3 years ago we took a fresh look at our product and began planning for these developments. Along the way we proactively collected feedback from our customers on improvements which needed to be made. With today’s version, you will notice a fully integrated suite of collaboration and messaging tools that fit together elegantly , while being the most comprehensive in the market and simple to use.

Once we re-architected HyperOffice from the ground up, we interviewed customers, went on a many road trips to meet our clients in person.  We also stood up a Product Development Committee which is exclusively made up of customers who we meet with on a regular basis. They help us prioritize our roadmap, get specific feedback on features, designs, etc. Lastly, we spent 6 months in beta on the new version.

So here we are. A new and improved collaboration suite from one of the first SaaS companies in the market, laser focused on collaboration software and meeting the unique needs of the small medium sized businesses.  We thank our loyal customers tremendously for believing in our product, our company, and being so innovative to embrace the cloud before the tipping point as cloud computing moves into the masses.

We are proud to make such significant improvement without having to charge our customers a dollar more for all the new features or move to the new version. I think this is one of the most incredible things about the SaaS model.  It just gets better over time – for free!

Over the summer you will see more improvements aimed at helping customers adopt our product easier with usability improvements and adding customer requested features every couple months.

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

Company.com launches to help small businesses collaborate online via social networking to save money and boost productivity.

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While social networking has been all the hype lately, it’s not clear/proven how small businesses will put it to work for them. New companies sprout up daily claiming to be experts to help you leverage social networking in your small businesses. Typically they focus on building a message, report, widget, video that will get passed around and people will hear about your business. Others advise you on how to protect you reputation in communities and use communities like LinkedIn to find leads and insert yourself in relevant discussions online.

How many communities can one possibly be active in? There’s no shortage of online communities; Salesforce.com has Chatter, Google just put out Buzz, LinkedIn is my favorite so far, and of course Facebook.

We come back to the question, how can businesses put social networking to work for them. I think Company.com has the answer. What they do different is structure the conversations and match up people so business owners and management can find conversations around their toughest problems. They do this by creating communities with experts they have vetted who contribute with solid advice. I’ve sifted through and have been impressed so far.

Company.com wants to be there for you from cradle to crave, by helping you find information around every step of the small business cycle i.e. how to raise finances, technology advice, how to streamline operations, advice on business strategy, and more.

They are backed by a very experienced management team – In my opinion the single biggest factor to the success of new business ventures. They also bring that human touch to helping businesses save money by vetting vendors, side-by-side comparisons, negotiating the best deal for their members- you- the small business owner. Not just another ad-based non-discriminating aggregator like business.com

They want to “help businesses make money and save money.” We’ll, we’re all for that.
At HyperOffice “ Our mission is to empower growing organizations with technology traditionally available only to large enterprises, and help them achieve business growth, competitive advantage and success.”

You can see why we decided to get behind Company.com and help small businesses compete with more effective and lower cost collaboration software. I hope you’ll check them out, and I look forward to watching them become a household name.

Google Apps Learns Business Collaboration Lessons We Learnt Years Ago

A small company issuing such a statement for tech behemoth Google, may seem delusional on the face of it. But it’s happened before, for Google, a master of search and consumer markets, cannot be everything for everyone. Its not timeline1uncommon for it to learn lessons from companies that serve niche markets, and indeed, create new niches. The hotbed of dreams that the internet is, the best ideas come most often from small companies. A few examples are YouTube, aquired by Google; Orkut, which followed MySpace; Goog.gl, which followed tiny.url etc.

The story we are talking about right now is that of Google Apps, Google’s participant in the red-hot online collaboration market, with Google mega-tonne weight behind it (remember the “Going Google” advertising blitz?).

The Google Apps Story – Head in the Clouds or Clouded Vision?

Google Apps started out in 2006 as a bundle of productivity tools (GMail, Google Talk, Google Docs, Google Calendar etc). It was a proponent of the “purely online” model of where all productivity and collaboration software would lie on google-cloudthe Internet, and be freed from local desktops. This is indeed a visionary approach, because productivity tools available on the “cloud” are universally accessible from any Internet connected computer. This allows everyone on the team to work together on a common platform and common information without being tied to their local computers – an approach immensely suitable for collaboration.

Also an approach divorced from realities of business environment.

What has happened since is a gradual concession on Google’s part to business realities, and a growing awareness of business needs. This is understandable, as Google has traditionally excelled in consumer markets, which account for all of its major successes (Google Search, GMail, Google Talk, Picasa, Orkut).

Why Experience Matters

HyperOffice, on the other hand, has been serving the growing business markets since 1998, when the first incarnation of HyperOffice was born.  We may not have Google’s resources, but organizational learning is not merely a matter of shoveling in the bucks. Over 10 years in business we have done thousands and thousands of implementations across industries, faced and resolved countless operational matters, received feedback from users on a daily basis, built our solutions bit by bit around real operational needs, learnt how to promote adoption within our users’ companies, and learnt how to smoothly transition customers into fully empowered users.

Google Apps has tried to make up for this by roping in channel partners. But most of these partners lack our depth of experience, and indeed there is a divergence of interests, as consultants share Google Apps time with other profitable solutions, and the intermediate level creates a disconnect between what end users want and what Google develops.

We Beat Em’ to It

Office 2007 Support

In June 2009, Google added support for Office 2007, where docx, xlxs or other 2007 files could be imported and converted into Google Docs’ online formats. This reflected a concession on Google’s part that MS Office was vastly popular with businesses, a fact it couldn’t ignore. But it felt that business users would be happy, as long as they could convert MS Office into Google Docs, and work on Google Docs. However, fidelity between MS Office and Google Docs remains an issue as importing MS Word into Google Docs invariably results in messed up formatting.

A lesson HyperOffice learnt 5 years ago. HyperOffice has long learnt that business users, as well as others in their business network, are so used to working with MS Office that they’re just not comfortable shifting to drastically new formats. Since 2005, HyperOffice offers document collaboration features that allow business users to collaborate online on any common file type including different versions of MS Office.

Outlook Synchronization

In June 2009, Google introduced Google Apps Sync, a utility that allows users to sync mail, calendars and contacts (not tasks) between GMail and Microsoft Outlook. Google realized that MS Outlook was so popular with business users that they virtually “lived” in it, and synchronization with it was a must.

We learnt that around 4 years ago. HyperShare was launched by HyperOffice in 2006, which allows users to sync mail, contacts, calendars AND tasks between HyperOffice and Microsoft Outlook.

To-do Lists

In July 2009, Tasks were added to GMail, a rudimentary feature which allows users to manage personal to-do lists.

HyperOffice has had task management features since 2002, where users can manage not just personal to-dos but also team projects and tasks where task timelines can be set, responsibilities be assigned and progress be tracked.

Shared Folders and Batch Uploads

In Oct 2009, Google introduced shared folders and batch uploads for Google Docs users. Shared folders allowed users to share entire folders with specified users, instead of each file individually. Batch uploads saved users the cumbersome process of uploading documents one at a time, and allowed multiple files to be uploaded and converted to Google Docs.

HyperOffice has had shared folders since it launched its document management features in 2005. HyperDrive rests on the users’ desktop like any other desktop folder, and allows users to simply drag and drop multiple files to their online account, and synch documents across computers and with their online folders.

Forums

In Dec 2009, Google added forums to Google Apps, which allows users to have threaded discussions.

HyperOffice has had forums since 2002, when we realized that discussion forums were an efficient way of having and retrieving discussions rather than overwhelming everyone’s inbox with email discussions.

File Storage

In January 2010, file storage capabilities were added to Google Apps can upload and store any file format on their Google Apps account (not just Google formats). A further concession from Google’s “purely online” approach. However, although Google touts that people can now collaboratively work on these files, there are no collaborative features to speak of.

Since 2005, HyperOffice has not only allowed users to store files of any format, but also includes collaboration features like versioning, notifications, permissions, audit trails which allows users to see who made changes, when they were made, revert to earlier versions, keep participants informed when changes take place, manage access etc.

HyperOffice Keeps Upgrading

Even while Google learns important lessons about the needs of businesses, HyperOffice has continued to upgrade its suite, and offers many features that Google hasn’t gotten to yet. Some recent updates – we added simple do-it-yourself database applications and web forms in October, full document search and an incredibly easy to use site publisher in late October, and group wikis in December.

THE Lesson

But our most important lesson, which Google is yet to learn is – business users, especially small businesses are looking for more than just software tools. They want assistance at every step – from being trained to use the software, to having real people who treat their problems at priority, to having business advice about how to best use software tools. They want to be less and less involved in the technical side of software, and simply concentrate on doing their work better. And it is this lesson we have incorporated in our business model.

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 Software is a hit with Virtual Assistants

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Last night the Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce sponsored a webinar event for their members titled Leveraging Collabortive Virtual Office Technology for Virtual Assistants and Solopreneurs, where they invited HyperOffice to present our collaboration software suite. This was the second event we have done together, in response to the tremendous amount of interest we have from the Virtual Assistant community. Seems like the downturn in the economy is leading to greater demand for Virtual Assistants – since small businesses are laying off full-time staff, yet still have to keep up with the demands of trying to grow their business.

One of the common themes during the webinar was business productivity online suites  like HyperOffice help Virtual Assistants save time in trying to service their customers, allowing them to take on more clients in the same amount of time. One time saving trick  Danielle Keister, VACOC Founder and Virtual Assistant expert, shared with the group was creating a virtual drive which can be shared with between Virtual Assistants and their clients.

Danielle demonstrated how  HyperDrive can be setup in a couple minutes to create a central document repository where documents can be stored securely while giving access to clients to view and upload files and documents. As compared to other tools on the market, HyperDrive allows you to store multiple versions of a shared document without the clutter of sifting through multiple files with built in document version controls right from your windows explorer (also available on Mac). HyperOffice welcomes the Virtual Assistant community to try HyperOffice and take advantage of our deep domain expertise on setting up your virtual office to streamline your business using HyperOffice.