Workbooks News

Feb 17,2015 by cheryl.nichols@workbooks.com
Reading, England, (17th February 2015) - Car Benefit Solutions (CBS), a leading provider of car benefit schemes has selected Workbooks cloud CRM system to roll out across its business. Workbooks CRM was selected after a market comparison and was shortlisted and selected over Maximiser, Sugar and Gold-Vision systems.
 
Martin Greenhalgh, Business Analyst of CBS commented: “We were using a home grown system, email and spreadsheets , but found this limiting and increasingly administration heavy, particularly when we wanted to pull sales data and reports.” 
 
Martin continued: “We identified a need to create a central source of customer data which was easily accessible to the Sales and Marketing teams and this in turn would provide opportunities for cross and up selling. We sought a system that was easy to use, affordable and where we felt we could gain a business partnership instead of a technical supplier. With Workbooks we feel we have the best solution for all of these needs."
 
Ian Moyse, Workbooks Sales Director commented: “We are proud at our high selection rate against such other CRM systems and that leading firms such as CBS select us after considerable diligence and comparison.”
 
 

About Car Benefit Solutions (CBS)

 
CBS was formed in 2002 by the current Management Team who believe that customers are best served by having car benefit arrangements specifically designed to meet their objectives rather than having to take a vanilla product.
 
In addition to ensuring that employees have the right tool for the job where appropriate, the car benefit is seen by many as the most important element of their remuneration package after salary and is a key differentiator for recruitment and retention purposes. It is therefore essential that your car benefit is designed and delivered to meet your corporate needs.
The CBS Management Team were integral to the development and implementation of the first Employee Car Ownership Schemes (ECOS) in the 1990's with some of the largest corporate fleets in the UK.
 

About Workbooks

 
Workbooks.com delivers world-class CRM and business applications to the mid-market, at an affordable price and with functionality that transforms business. Unlike traditional CRM solutions, Workbooks.com extends beyond sales, marketing and customer support to include order management, order fulfilment, invoicing and supplier management. This business functionality is delivered out-of-the-box at a price which is typically 50-70% less than enterprise solutions such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and Netsuite. 
 
Our customer base spans many industry sectors including Finance, Professional Services, Insurance, Not-for-profit organisations, IT, Telecommunications, Construction, Transport & Logistics and Manufacturing. We pride ourselves on providing outstanding levels of customer commitment and customer service to all our customers. As a UK based company, with our engineering team working alongside our support team, we are on hand to respond quickly and efficiently to any questions that may arise.
 
For more information visit www.workbooks.com.
 
 
Workbooks Contact:
Cheryl Nichols
Senior Marketing Executive
0118 3030 100
 
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Feb 13,2015 by cheryl.nichols@workbooks.com
In the last decade, cloud innovation and new development strategies have brought a significant increase in customer relationship management (CRM) software to the market. As a buyer, it’s easy to be lured in by marketing language, the promises a vendor makes, the reputation they have, or the way their product makes you feel.
 
But CRM software is a critical investment that customer-facing organizations can’t afford to take lightly. An uninformed, un-curated purchase will inevitably lead to buyer’s remorse. As recently as 2013, CRM initiatives have suffered from 63 percent fail rates, and hasty software buying accounts for a large part of that.
 
It’s important to dig deeper than the product website and determine how your relationship with a software provider will actually play out, from setup and installation to the availability of future updates and support. This information (and more) is spelled out in the software contract - yes, the one that many businesses don’t fully read. 
 
Not only should you thoroughly read the contract, but you should also decide which points aren’t working in your favor and try to negotiate them. Believe it or not, most CRM providers are willing to negotiate, but only if you make your needs known. 
You can start by paying specific attention to these three key areas:
 

Fee Schedules

 
Whether you’re looking at cloud-based software (sold on a recurring subscription) or on-premise software (requires a larger up-front purchase), pricing is always more complicated than meets the eye. The fine-print pricing and fees information will be detailed in the contract. Comb through it and identify hidden charges or penalties and the conditions that can trigger them, both to help you minimize total cost of ownership and to determine if any are unfair. Common examples include early termination fees and data migration fees. 
 

Product Lifecycle

 
A well-written CRM contract will give you a clear roadmap for your relationship with the product, beginning with installation, allowing for growth or reduction in the middle, and ending with contract completion, renewal, or early termination. If it’s important to your business that initial set up be completed within a certain timeframe, ask that the contract clearly spell out who is responsible and how long it should take. Be wary of language that may trap you in a continuous renewal cycle; it’s almost always better to manually renew, as this keeps the reins in your hands. You’ll also need to know the procedures for adding or removing users, in case the scope of your needs changes. 
 

Data Ownership

 
If the products or services you deliver rely on proprietary customer data, make sure the contract limits data rights and ownership to your company. This is less challenging with on-premise software, since it’s housed on your own servers, but the software-as-a-service model (which has permeated 41 percent of the CRM market) can easily complicate data ownership. A vendor has the right to restrict access to their software in the event of a dispute, but your data should never be held hostage. Make sure you’ll have immediate access to your company’s data at all times. Furthermore, if the vendor has promised compliance with certain industry data regulations, make sure that compliance is guaranteed in the contract. 
 
There are countless other aspects of CRM contracts that will affect your satisfaction with both the product and the vendor. Your safest bet is to carefully read the entire contract—even let other members of your procurement team look it over. Here are few more final considerations/questions to address before you sign:
 
  • Does the vendor charge a data retrieval fee in the event of service cancellation?
  • Does the vendor provide free, regular updates as part of your subscription or license cost?
  • Is the vendor willing to provide a service level agreement?
  • Have you conducted a software demo or free trial before committing to purchase?
Although contract negotiation can sometimes make blood boil on both sides of the conversation, it doesn’t have to be a battle. Think of the contract as a treaty—an agreement that will define and preserve your relationship with the software provider so you can spend more energy managing relationships with customers. 
 

Author

 
Aleks Peterson
Technology Analyst
Technology Advice
Connect on LinkedIn
 
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Feb 04,2015 by cheryl.nichols@workbooks.com

Reading, England, (4th February 2015) – Workbooks.com is pleased to announce that we have become a 2015 Hi-Visibility sponsor for the Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA). James Obermayer, SLMA founder, commented: “Workbooks.com is one of the fastest growing providers of web-based customer relationship management (CRM) and business applications.  Its applications are designed for small-to-mid-size organizations and are delivered via Software-as-a-Service.  The company, and its director of sales Ian Moyse, has been a champion for sales lead management best practices and we welcome them into the worldwide SLMA family.” 

Moyse commented: “As a cloud CRM solution, we are inherently in the business of helping customers improve their sales effectiveness and managing all aspects of leads, from creation to tracking and KPI (key performance indicator) reporting. Partnering with SLMA makes total sense as the lead membership organization focused in this area. We are pleased to contribute thought-leading content to the SLMA, and welcome members to take advantage of a free demo or trial of our service to find out why we won CRM of the Year in 2013 and 2014, and are rated #1CRM for customer satisfaction.”

About Workbooks

Workbooks delivers award-winning CRM and business applications to the mid-market, at an affordable price and with functionality that transforms business.

Unlike traditional CRM solutions, Workbooks.com extends beyond sales, marketing and customer support to include order management, order fulfilment, invoicing and supplier management. This business functionality is delivered out-of-the-box at a price that is typically 50-70% less than enterprise solutions such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and NetSuite.  For more information, visit www.workbooks.com.

About the SLMA

The mission of the Sales Lead Management Association is to help companies become successful in the critical business process of managing sales leads.  The SLMA has 8,454 worldwide members and offers a membership directory, member-to-member discounts, and a website with 300-plus articles from 60 industry authors. 

Levels of SLMA Sponsorship

There are four levels of sponsorship for the Sales Lead Management Association; the Hi-Visibility Sponsorship is just one option.  Starting at $750 annually, SLMA sponsorship offers significant exposure of 50,000 to 140,000 impressions per year to companies interested in reaching the sales lead management community.

The SLMALive Channel: Live Programming and Podcasts

The SLMALive Radio Channel produces marketing and sales shows for at-work listeners, and the weekly SLMA Radio program. SLMA internet radio has interviewed 348 executives on 249 programs.  Podcast replays of SLMA Radio and programs on the SLMALive Channel number in the thousands each month. For more information about SLMA, call Jim Obermayer at (360) 933-1259.

Workbooks Contact:

Cheryl Nichols

Senior Marketing Executive

0118 3030 100

marketing@workbooks.com

SLMA Media Contact:
Sue Campanale
(360) 933-1259

0118 3030 100

scampanale@salesleadmgmtassn.com

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Feb 04,2015 by cheryl.nichols@workbooks.com
I recently came across this blog post which suggested you should build your own CRM system and frankly I just thought it was just daft advice, so I’d like to offer a different opinion. 
 
It’s also a question which occasionally comes up from prospective customers, especially those who already developed their own in-house application and are looking for the pros and cons of ‘build versus buy’.
 
So is it a good idea? On the face of it, adding a few fields to your existing application to give your sales team some CRM functionality can’t be that complex right? “Surely, we just need some fields to track activities, the value of potential sales and maybe some notes. In principle that sounds fairly simple, so why would I invest in a commercial CRM?”
 
You might think ‘we don’t need all the features that a commercial CRM platform offers’ but you would be surprised how quickly your users will demand new functionality especially if they’ve used commercial CRM systems before.
 
Let’s take a step back and ask: Why are you investing in CRM in the first place? Typically it’s for the following reasons:
 
  • Increasing revenues, by improving sales and marketing execution;
  • Reducing operational costs, by streamlining business processes;
  • Improving your customer services;
  • Tracking key performance indicators, so you can measure progress and make better business decisions.
 
If you really want to deliver these benefits you need to deliver a solution which enables your staff to be more effective, not less. Let’s look at some of the common requirements we see from clients in nearly all implementations:
 
  • Email Integration: We want to be able to send emails from Outlook (or Gmail) and have these stored in CRM, and it would be nice if we could synchronise contacts, meetings and tasks. By the way, we are moving from Outlook 2007 to Office365, so you need to support all these environments.
  • Email Marketing: We want to send marketing emails to all our prospects and customers; it would be good if we could integrate our CRM with an email marketing tool. Actually it would be cool if the data synchronised automatically and opt-outs were managed correctly. Thinking about it, can we track open/clicks and bounces in the CRM so the sales executives know which people to follow-up?
  • Import Tools: We need to import lists of contacts from Excel, so we need an import tool that the marketing folks can use, that doesn’t require them to write SQL. Also, can your import tool manage duplicates? 
  • Reporting: We would really like to report on the CRM data, so do you have a reporting engine, which can be used by non-technical people? What about charts, some of our users want pictures? It would also be nice if we can export the data to Excel, but I need some security controls on that, because I don’t want a salesperson downloading our entire customer base.
  • Quoting: The sales executives say they would be much more productive if they could generate quotes directly from the CRM, can you do this?
 
Hopefully you get the idea. Once you begin to look at how you can really improve the effectiveness of your business, the ‘basic’ CRM requirement quickly becomes much more complex. Developing even these basic features is very expensive, not to mention the fact that your developers are unlikely to be CRM experts.
 
If you’re still not convinced you shouldn’t develop your own, then think about some of the more advanced features you are likely to want: 
 
  • A Mobile App for people on the road;
  • Workflows to automate common tasks;
  • Multi-currency and Exchange rates;
  • Order Processing & Invoicing;
  • Advanced Security rules;
  • Dashboards;
  • Social Media Integration.
 
Lastly, you should know we have invested $10m (£6m GBP) in developing our core CRM platform at Workbooks. So choosing a commercial CRM solution and integrating it into your in-house application will not only be a lot less expensive, but will deliver a better outcome. 
 
 

Find out how your business can move with the times and evolve its sales processes using online CRM to increase leads. Click on the button below to download the full eBook.

 

 
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Jan 30,2015 by cheryl.nichols@workbooks.com
By integrating sales and marketing data, both teams can benefit from deeper customer insights - helping everyone become more productive. 
 
Using Marketing CRM techniques sounds as though it oversteps the traditional boundary between sales and marketing. However, sales and marketing alignment brings benefits to the business as a whole which cannot be ignored.
 
Here are just a few of those benefits…

 

Improved Data Sharing

  • Two-way data flow thanks to sales and marketing alignment ensures everyone understands your customers, regardless of pipeline set-up. 
  • Shared data in an integrated sales and marketing CRM system prevents the creation of “silos” – data that is kept within business units, inaccessible, unshared and frequently inaccurate. 
  • Data sharing between sales and marketing business units paves the way for greater data access across the business. 
 
“It’s the integration of marketing automation with CRM which creates a complete revenue picture and process.” – Debbie Qaqish, destinationcrm.com

 

Better Understanding of Customers

  • Integrated sales and marketing CRM systems provide lead return functionality, allowing the sales team to return a lead to the marketing department for further nurturing. 
  • Customer segmentation based on preferences and purchase history can create finely tuned marketing campaigns. 
  • Historical records of preferences, purchases and communications allow for personalised service offerings in future. 
  • Tailored services foster better relationships with customers, helping to create greater brand loyalty.
 
“The primary reason driving our company to integrate sales and marketing efforts is to have marketing determine who our target customers should be so we can empower and direct our sales team to focus their attention on those opportunities.” – Curtis fisher, CEO, ProContent.

 

Enhanced Automation Capabilities

  • Knowing and understanding customers allows for the creation of automated pipeline triggers and moves prospects along the sales pipeline.
  • Automating sales and marketing functions frees staff to focus on activities which require a human touch.
  • Automating sales and marketing functions often prevents leads from going cold and potential sales being lost.
 
“36% of best-in-class companies use sales automation technologies, but the industry average is just 27%.” – Sales and Marketing Alignment: The New Power Couple, Aberdeen Group.

 

Takeaways: What do you get from closer integration?

Closer integration between departments allows your business to share knowledge and experience to provide a better service to customers, new or existing. Keeping customers happy is crucial if you are to generate repeat business. Combining sales and marketing CRM also has a demonstrable positive effect on your company’s bottom line:
 
“Best-in-class businesses that integrate sales and marketing function noted a 20% average growth in annual company revenue. The industry average was just 7% average growth. The worst performing third of business recorded a 4% average decline in annual revenue.” – Sales and Marketing Alignment, Aberdeen Group.
 

 

Find out how you can align your marketing and sales teams with Marketing Automation & CRM. Download our eBook now. 

Download Now

 

 

 

 
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Jan 20,2015 by cheryl.nichols@workbooks.com

When we say closed-loop we mean tracking sales back to the marketing initiative that created them, thus ‘closing the loop’. To really prove the ROI of your lead sources you need to be able to track every lead, customer and investment back to its origination.

There are 4 steps to closed-loop marketing:

  • Visitor arrives on your site
  • Visitor browses your site
  • Visitor converts into a lead
  • Lead becomes customer.

Let’s look into each of these steps in more detail.

Visitor arrives on your site

The best way to close the loop is to direct all lead traffic through your site. When a visitor arrives at your site a cookie is set which refers to their lead source. As this lead moves through your sales cycle the cookie monitors the interactions and you can track the lead back to its original source whether that is email campaigns, organic search, referral traffic, direct traffic, or social media etc.  You can analyse the reports to see the value of your sources and improve ones that are underperforming. A tracking URL is used which is created through your marketing automation tool and a unique token is added to the URL showing the campaign source. 

Visitor browses your site

When a visitor browses your site the cookie tracks the behaviours of your visitors e.g. the pages they view or the content they are interested in. This behaviour analysis helps sales to tailor their follow up later down the line. All of the hard work of behaviour analysis can be done for you using a marketing automation tool.

Visitor converts into a lead

You have directed your incoming traffic to a landing page with a lead-capture form. This lead-capture form typically asks the visitor to provide contact information e.g. their name, company information and contact details etc. Once the form is submitted the visitor is converted into a lead and you collect their information, growing your lead database.

Lead becomes a customer

Which of your marketing channels provided you with the most customers? How can you optimise your marketing channels? Closed-loop marketing allows you to answer these question and determine the value of your lead sources.

To close the loop you need to look at your sales and track them back to their marketing initiative. The best way to do this is to integrate your marketing tool with your CRM. The purpose of a CRM is to synchronize the activities from your sales, marketing and customer support teams. The purpose of a marketing automation tool is to record your marketing data and learn from the analytics to improve your campaigns and lead conversions. To close the loop you need the two systems to interact, otherwise you just have 2 separate databases. Integration allows the two tools to talk to each other so when a deal is closed as won in the CRM a trigger updates the record in the marketing automation tool. Therefore you can trace the sale back to its marketing initiative.

Understanding your sites conversions allows you to identify your most influential pages and content. You can replicate success an improve underperformance. You can implement assignment rules, lead scoring and lead nurturing campaigns that increase the ROI of your marketing initiatives. Integrating marketing automation and CRM helps to align your sales and marketing teams rather than them working as separate entities.

 

 

Find out how you can align your marketing and sales teams with Marketing Automation & CRM. Download our eBook now. 

Download Now

 

 

 

 

 

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Jan 20,2015 by cheryl.nichols@workbooks.com

Annual Managed Services Provider (MSP) List Honors Top Executives, Entrepreneurs & Experts

Reading, England, (19th January 2015) - Ian Moyse, Sales Director at Workbooks, has been honored with a listing in the MSPMentor top 250 list for 2014.

In the seventh-annual MSPmentor 250 list, honoring the world’s top managed services provider (MSP) executives, entrepreneurs and experts, Ian was listed alongside a wealth of others from around the world.

The list is based on the MSPMentor annual global survey plus daily coverage of the managed services market.

Ian was selected for Nine Lives Media’s sixth annual MSPmentor 250. The global list identifies the world’s leading Managed Services Provider (MSP) executives, entrepreneurs, experts, coaches and community leaders. You can see the entire list at: http://www.mspmentor.net/top250.

Ian Moyse, Sales Director of Workbooks commented: “It is pleasing to be recognised by peers in the sector and to be elected to this prestigious list once again. It also demonstrates the reach the cloud allows for us as a British CRM vendor, as our customer growth increasingly comes from around the world, especially the USA.”

Amy Katz, president of Nine Lives Media commented: “We congratulate Ian Moyse on this distinguished honor and thank our readership community for submitting the nomination.” (www.penton.com).

The MSPmentor 250 report is based on a global survey of MSPmentor site readers conducted during 2014. The MSPmentor editorial staff, led by the Managing Editor, also weighed in with nominations, based on the team’s daily coverage of the managed services market. The resulting MSPmentor 250 and Locked in the NOC coverage represents MSP experts across business, technology, sales, marketing, community development, coaching and more.

 

About Workbooks

Workbooks.com delivers world-class CRM and business applications to the mid-market, at an affordable price and with functionality that transforms business. Unlike traditional CRM solutions, Workbooks.com extends beyond sales, marketing and customer support to include order management, order fulfilment, invoicing and supplier management. This business functionality is delivered out-of-the-box at a price which is typically 50-70% less than enterprise solutions such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and Netsuite. For more information visit www.workbooks.com.

 

About Nine Lives Media

MSPmentor is the ultimate guide to managed services and the leading global destination for managed service providers. It is one of the digital properties of Penton Technology.   Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton, defines emerging IT media markets and disrupts established IT media markets. The company’s IT channel-centric online communities include MSPmentor (www.MSPmentor.net), The VAR Guy (www.TheVARguy.com) and Talkin’ Cloud (www.TalkinCloud.com).  

Workbooks Contact:

Cheryl Nichols
Senior Marketing Executive
0118 3030 100

marketing@workbooks.com

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Jan 13,2015 by cheryl.nichols@workbooks.com

“We generate leads, but sales do not follow them up!”

“Marketing gives us leads that are not qualified!”

 

Sound familiar? We too experienced this misalignment of sales and marketing and decided to investigate. We arranged a sales and marketing meeting and analysed our sales calls. We found that when sales were following up on the leads that marketing provided they would often hear ‘we are not ready’ or ‘we don’t have budget’. These leads were often ruled out as poor quality, however they may have been legitimate buyers but they were just not ‘sales ready’.

When sales engaged they were still at the researching stage and were not ready for a ‘sales pitch’ yet. We learnt that our customers are almost half way through their sales cycle before they are ready to engage with sales. Although our sales cycle can be quite short the sales cycle for the buyer begins before we become aware of it. There was an invisible pipeline that we were not managing.

Sales were spending  a lot of time drip feeding leads with relevant content which meant that they were spending time on leads that were not ‘hot enough’ instead of focusing on deals that would have a higher conversion rate. The manual nature of this process was an administrative burden. It also meant that we could not track the effectiveness of our content, meaning it was hard to determine the value from our content marketing strategy.

We needed to work out how to manage our invisible pipeline and required a way of nurturing our leads from initial interest through to the point that they were ‘sales ready’ and beyond.

 

The answer turned out to be a simple one; we integrated a marketing automation tool with our CRM. This enabled us to:

Deliver relevant content

We can now deliver content that is relevant to our buyers at their particular stage of the buying cycle. They are provided with the content that they find useful so our prospects are happier.

Nurture our leads

We can nurture our leads with drip campaign emails, landing pages and content and track them through their buying cycle.

Get a holistic view of our leads

We are now able to see how our leads engage with our content and what their interests are. Sales can tailor their follow up approach improving their conversion rate.

Analyse analytics

We can look into our analytics to determine the effectiveness of our content. We can now make changes to our marketing strategy to improve our lead generation activities.

Determine campaign ROI

Closed loop reporting allows us to track a closed deal all the way back to the campaign it originated from.

Score and grade our leads

Marketing automation allows us to score and grade our leads. We can now track lead behaviours and only engage when the leads are ‘sales ready’.  There is also now a consistent definition of what a lead is ready for sales to engage.

Save time and overheads

Marketing is increasingly process driven and the integration has saved a lot of manual administration tasks. Marketing can spend more time on creating new leads and sales can spend more time on converting these leads. 

 

 

Find out how you can align your marketing and sales teams with Marketing Automation & CRM. Download our eBook now. 

Download Now

 

 

 

 

 

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Jan 13,2015 by cheryl.nichols@workbooks.com

Workbooks CRM Honored for Innovation

Reading, England, (13th January 2015) - Workbooks.com announced today that TMC, a global, integrated media company, has named its CRM system as a 2014 Cloud Computing Product of the Year Award winner.

The Cloud Computing Product of the Year Award, presented by Cloud Computing magazine, honors vendors with the most innovative, useful, and beneficial cloud products and services that have been brought to market in the past year.

Ian Moyse, Sales Director at Workbooks commented: “We are pleased to yet again be recognised as delivering a quality, robust cloud service to customers and one that leads against other CRM vendors where we are often radically more cost effective. We have delivered a consistently high availability to customers since inception and continue to be chosen over big name brands for our quality of service, breadth of function and affordability.”

Moyse continued: “Our consistent winning of awards across the globe helps validate to customers that we are the right choice to shortlist when comparing systems such as Salesforce and Microsoft CRM.”

Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC commented: “Recognizing leaders in the advancement of cloud computing, TMC is proud to announce Workbooks CRM as a recipient of the Cloud Computing Product of the Year Award. Workbooks is being honored for their achievement in bringing innovation and excellence to the market, while leveraging the latest technology trends.”     

 

About Workbooks

Workbooks.com delivers world-class CRM and business applications to the mid-market, at an affordable price and with functionality that transforms business. Unlike traditional CRM solutions, Workbooks.com extends beyond sales, marketing and customer support to include order management, order fulfilment, invoicing and supplier management. This business functionality is delivered out-of-the-box at a price which is typically 50-70% less than enterprise solutions such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and Netsuite. For more information visit www.workbooks.com.
 

About TMC

TMC is a global, integrated media company that supports clients' goals by building communities in print, online, and face to face. TMC publishes multiple magazines including Cloud Computing, M2M Evolution, Customer, and Internet Telephony. TMCnet is the leading source of news and articles for the communications and technology industries, and is read by as many as 1.5 million unique visitors monthly. TMC produces a variety of trade events, including ITEXPO, the world's leading business technology event, as well as industry events: Asterisk World; AstriCon; ChannelVision (CVx) Expo; Cloud4SMB Expo; Customer Experience (CX) Hot Trends Symposium; DevCon5 - HTML5 & Mobile App Developer Conference; LatinComm Conference and Expo; M2M Evolution Conference & Expo; Mobile Payment Conference; Software Telco Congress, StartupCamp; Super Wi-Fi & Shared Spectrum Summit; SIP Trunking-Unified Communications Seminars; Wearable Tech Conference & Expo; WebRTC Conference & Expo III; and more. For more information about TMC, visit www.tmcnet.com.

 

Workbooks Contact:
Cheryl Nichols
Senior Marketing Executive
0118 3030 100
marketing@workbooks.com

 

TMC Contact:                                                                        
Rebecca Conyngham
Marketing Manager
203-852-6800, ext. 287
rconyngham@tmcnet.com

 

Jan 12,2015 by Samuel Jefferies
With a New Year comes a new view! We are pleased to announce an update to Workbooks that adds many new features including a Calendar View, for example to view your upcoming Meetings for the week.
 
Please note that Apple's Safari browser for Windows is no longer supported as of this release (Apple discontinued it over two years ago). Support for Mac users accessing Workbooks using Safari will continue as normal.

 

Calendar View

A Calendar View is now available from any grid of data that has a date, or date and time column, including Reports.  From the View menu on the right above the grid, select 'View as Calendar'.  To go back to list view, select 'View as List'.

In a Calendar view, you can choose which date, or date and time column to arrange the records by across the timeline.  You can categorise the records by a column (e.g. 'Assigned to') to colour them. Calendar views can also be filtered and saved, just like normal list views.

You can choose which day of the week the Calendar view presents as the start of the week in Start Preferences.
 
To find out more about the Calendar view, click here.
 

Meeting enhancements

Meetings now have Attendees so you can record who attended your meetings. You can enter a name or an email address for an Attendee.  If the name or email address matches a Person or Sales Lead in Workbooks, then the record is linked to the meeting.  If an email address does not currently match a Person or Sales Lead, then it will be linked up when a record is created. Right-clicking on an Attendee, or clicking on the little down-arrow will offer a range of actions and links to the related records.

Please note:  Workbooks does not send meeting invitations.  You will still need to do this in your preferred calendaring solution like Outlook or Google Calendar.  
 
We have also extended the meeting records to support additional functionality, including recurrence and attendee status.   These have been implemented in this release so we can improve the integration with Outlook and Google Calendar in later releases of Workbooks. 
 
Information on creating Meetings is available in our Knowledge Base here.
 

Email enhancements

The user interface for Email recipients has been redesigned and significantly improved using the new functionality developed for Meeting Attendees.  Now, instead of clicking the 'Add a recipient' button, you can simply start typing a name or an email address into the To, Cc or Bcc fields as shown below:
 

Usability enhancements

Desktop shortcuts

We have added shortcuts to Dashboards and Recent Items to the desktop.  You can now customise which of the standard shortcuts appear on the desktop in the Preferences dialog.  Click here to learn more about the functionality available in your Preferences.

Reporting

There are now distinct Capabilities for viewing Reports, and for creating and editing them. You may choose to allow a user to view Reports but not create or edit them, or even remove access to Reporting altogether.

Report Editor

Previously a few of the columns available to select in Reporting were hidden at the bottom of the list under a "More columns..." sub-menu. Following customer feedback we have removed the sub-menu, and the columns within it are now available along with all of the other columns in alphabetical order.

Filters

Clicking the Filters button on a grid when there are criteria defined causes the criteria to be hidden, allowing more space to see the results. Now the Filters button also shows the number of criteria so that it is clearer that they are hidden rather than removed.

The Apply Filters button to the right of the filter criteria now has a label to clarify what it does.
 

IFrame custom field tabs

IFrame custom field tabs are sometimes used to attach a Web Process to a record, enabling the process to make changes to related records, external services or even the record itself.  Previously, changing the record would cause the user's view of the record to become stale, and they would have to reload it.  Now, you can tick the 'Modifies the record' checkbox, causing the record to remind the user to save their changes before going to the tab, and vice-versa reloading the form when returning to the Main tab.
 

Automation enhancements

There are a number of enhancements to the Workbooks API and automation.

Plugins

This release introduces Workbooks Plugins: combinations of scripts and configuration that can extend your Workbooks database with additional features and integrations with third-party services.  We will be working with other services to make their functionality available in Workbooks via Plugins in the near future.

API Reference documentation

The API Reference documentation can now be generated automatically from your database, including all of your custom fields and reports, making developing Workbooks clients much easier.  Go to Start Configuration Automation API Reference.

The documentation index opens in a new browser window, listing all of the record types that Workbooks exposes in the API plus all of your reports.

For convenience, there is also a link to the API Reference for a specific Report from the Automation tab of the Report View in the Report Editor.

More API endpoints

This release introduces a number of new endpoints in the Workbooks API.  You can now develop API clients that interact with:
  • Activity Attendees for Meetings
  • Process Parameters, Scheduled Processes, Web Processes, Integration Processes (see below), On Change Processes and On Change Process Listeners (see below)
  • Scripts, Script Dependencies and Script Parameters
  • Notifications
  • Users

More types of Processes

There are now two more new types of Processes, enabling even more interesting enhancements to Workbooks:
  • On Change Processes enable a Script to be invoked shortly after records of one or more types are created or modified.  The Script runs asynchronously to the user or API client modifying the record, so their response time is improved.
  • Integration Processes enable a web-style Script to present a panel in the Configuration screen, or in the user Preferences screen.  The Script can interact with the user to configure a feature.  We will be using this feature along with Plugins to integrate third-party services in the near future.

Running Scripts from the Script Library

Previously you had to copy a Script from the Script Library to be able to use it in your database. This caused problems when maintaining those Scripts: every copy had to be updated.  Now you can run a Script directly from the Script Library, so if we modify the code or need to address any issues you'll benefit from those enhancements immediately. Responsibility for the maintenance of Scripts you've copied into your database or created yourselves remains with you.

API Key capability restrictions

An API Key allows a client to access Workbooks and perform actions on behalf of a specific user without revealing the user's password.  This release adds capability restrictions, so that you can grant a client access to Workbooks, but only give it a few of the capabilities of the user.
 

Other enhancements

There are over 250 other minor enhancements and bugs fixed across Workbooks in this release, including:
  • People and Organisations now have an Alternate Name field.
  • Start Date and End Date columns have been added to the Line Items grid in Supplier Orders.
  • Button Processes can now be defined to run as a particular user, enabling a script to perform actions that require capabilities that the current user may not have.
  • Logging of Processes has been enhanced to discard detailed debugging information if the process completes successfully. This significantly reduces the space used by logs when processes run regularly and produce a lot of information.
 

 

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