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Posts Tagged ‘product development’

iCarol Innovators – Your Voice Matters

At iCarol we believe that our customers are also some of our best innovators. From the very start, helpline volunteers created iCarol and we’ve continued that tradition of users driving product development as the years go by. Many of the features you use in iCarol every day grew from a “light bulb moment” had by one of your peers. This community development approach drives our future product development. After all, no one knows your business or what type of tool or enhancement could improve your work like you do.

iCarol Usergroup Summit at the AIRS Conference

Our conference appearances throughout the year provide opportunities for iCarol usergroup sessions where iCarol users can discuss our software, provide feedback, and hear about our development plans, often referred to as our “Product Roadmap.” Prior to the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) conference in May we hold an iCarol Usergroup Summit where we offer trainings by AIRS Certified iCarol staff, as well as a traditional usergroup meeting.

This past spring, we asked for the AIRS Usergroup Summit attendees’ help on voting and prioritizing identified enhancements that should be first in line for development. Attendees received a firsthand look at how hard it is for us to decide where to focus our efforts. They took their task seriously, and graciously provided valuable feedback. You’ll be seeing the results of their efforts soon as these new developments start to be released in your iCarol system. As always, watch the iCarol blog and the Dashboard in your iCarol system for details.

Following the Summit one attendee described iCarol as, “Not just a vendor but a partner” in their organization’s mission. This is absolutely our goal as we work with all of our clients as we believe deeply in helping you to affect positive change in your communities. We’re happy to share that 100% of Summit attendees described themselves as Satisfied or Very Satisfied overall with the material presented at AIRS iCarol Usergroup Summit, and 100% of the group found the individual session content relevant to their everyday work. We think it’s a great event that you should attend next year, but you don’t have to take our word for it – 91% of attendees said they are likely to recommend attendance to others. We’ll be announcing future AIRS iCarol Usergroup Summit plans in 2018 so stay tuned!

Advisory Boards and Focus Groups

In an effort to keep client discussions going not just when we see you at conferences but throughout the year, we’ve recently kicked off a new and exciting venture — creating two separate iCarol Advisory boards, one to represent Crisis Centers/Helplines, and one to represent Information and Referral organizations. Each iCarol Advisory Board will ensure representation of industry voices in our development process through virtual meetings year round. Goals include providing iCarol with guidance on their industry’s evolving needs, providing feedback on existing and future software development, and validating that iCarol’s strategy and development plans meet the needs of the industry being served.

In addition to the iCarol Customer Advisory Boards, we are also hosting more focus groups than ever before. Focus groups are made up of individuals to discuss a particular challenge or development approach we are considering. Focus groups give the iCarol Product Development team the opportunity to discuss challenges our clients experience and potential solutions.

Want to get involved in an iCarol Advisory Board or Focus Groups? Participants are identified and invited through their participation on the iCarol Ideas Portal, from the cases they submit, feedback from surveys or ways in which their iCarol systems are configured.

Annual Customer Survey

It’s important to provide organization leaders and management staff across our client pool with the opportunity to share feedback covering all areas of iCarol, from our customer service to the use of the product itself, and to that end we just wrapped our annual Customer Survey a few weeks ago. We’re busy compiling and analyzing those results now so we can internally discuss how this feedback will drive us in the months ahead. We truly value the time you took to complete this survey and we will share results and action plans coming from that survey in the months ahead.

iCarol Ideas Portal

And finally, we just celebrated about 7 months of having the iCarol Ideas Portal available. This has proven to be an effective way of both receiving and prioritizing client ideas, and communicating about these ideas and their progress towards implementation. You may have caught our recent blog sharing some notable stats on the portal’s usage and just how much this method of client involvement has impacted your iCarol system already. If you haven’t, you can check that out here.

We hope, with these various methods through which we receive feedback and ideas, that you feel like a part of our iCarol Community where your voices are heard and opinions are acknowledged. Your role in our product development is an integral part of what we do and we look forward to continuing that tradition in both familiar and new and exciting ways.

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Upcoming iCarol Enhancements

We’re working on several enhancements in our labs you should expect to see shortly:

Internal Messaging – Soon, folks with logins will be able to to send short, typed messages to each other. See here for details. Administrators will be able to choose to have this enabled in your system. It’ll be off by default when we launch it, so you can decide when to introduce this new feature to your team. Keep an eye on the Dashboard for details shortly.training-support

Integrated Messaging – Folks who use instant messaging or text messaging will enjoy an improved workflow once we launch enhancements to that feature. We expect it to go into the internal testing phase in late November, and into client testing after that. Please let me know if you’d like to participate in that testing. We recognize this improvement will require plenty of advance notice, details, and training materials before we make this available, and we’ll be sure to provide those. The improved workflow comes directly from requests clients have made — we always appreciate your feedback and are happy to deliver.Keyboard and screen in use

Call Report Editing Tools – We’ve always prided ourselves on our speedy response to making changes to your call report forms, but we’re working on a nifty way to improve upon that. How does an immediate turnaround sound? Yes, soon we’ll introduce a tool that gives Administrators greatly expanded abilities to edit aspects of your call report forms yourselves. That’s in client testing now, and we’re busy preparing training videos and help articles in preparation for an imminent release.

Also thanks to all who joined us for our webinar on October 6, where we talked about these enhancements and a few others we have in store for you, as well as the new processes we have in place to better serve you. Please join us for the next webinar — we’ll announce it on the Dashboard and will send emails out to all Admins.

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iCarol Webinar: 2014 Enhancement Review and Future Plans

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It’s been quite a year so far at iCarol. Our team continues to grow and we’ve added on new features, enhancements, and capabilities to our software. We have some really great things planned for the remainder of 2014, as well as some exciting projects on the horizon. We’ve also made strides this year in how we plan, implement, and communicate all of this to our clients. We hope you’ll join us for a webinar on October 6 at 1pm EST to learn about all this and more.

In this webinar we’ll review:

  • Our 2014 Growth Strategy
  • Completed 2014 Enhancements
  • Development Process
  • Change Control Process
  • Product Development Process
  • In-flight Projects
  • Projects on the horizon
  • 2015 iCarol Goals

If you’re an Administrator in iCarol, in your Dashboard view, you can also view enhancements and changes in the “Announcements, Tips, and Tricks” and “Release History and Future Plans” sections, but this webinar will delve deeper than these sections, as the iCarol experts behind them explain how to use them at your center!

We think this webinar will be most beneficial and interesting to current iCarol clients who are Program Managers or Directors and use iCarol at an Administrator security level, or those who are considering purchasing iCarol for their helpline. That said, all are welcome to attend. We hope you’ll join us on October 6!

Click here to Register

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