Here at Commusoft we’re delighted and very excited to announce that after four years, 225,000 man hours and some very tired developers the largest upgrade to the Commusoft job management software is now available. It’s been designed from the ground up to be simpler, easier to use and more powerful, helping service companies to communicate more effectively with both their customers and their engineers. In the process we have improved on hundreds of existing features and introduced many new ones.
Up until now the updates that we have made to the software have been relatively skin deep, for example to change the appearance of the application or to improve the user interface or usability. We’ve previously rearranged whole modules, replaced the database, back-end code and business logic, but we’ve never completely rewritten everything!
We've created a brilliant short video which explains why we went to such lengths to design, build this huge upgrade and what it means for you.
It all started 4 years ago, we were asked yet again by a client to implement a feature which we knew just wasn’t possible with the database and system as it was. After a few days of investigation, discussion and work we realised we needed a large change to our technology in order to continue to stay competitive and to provide our clients with the right sort of software to help them grow and become more efficient.
A week later I sat with our client service team. We analysed all our support calls and realised we had seen an increase in calls as new users joined the system and required constant help making growth harder and harder for Commusoft. Clients regularly rang and emailed about the same sort of queries. This was frustrating for both our team and our clients.
I soon realised what we needed was a new, fresh outlook.
It was exciting, we had a chance to introduce new technology, new procedures, faster development times and expand our business into different markets. So we started to brain storm to see what the perfect job management software would look like.
We spent the next 6 months keeping a record and closely analysing every client call. We looked at which areas of the system triggered most questions, we looked back at all and every feature request and we started to compile a document called ‘Features we’d like to see’. This soon became our ‘bible’, we referred back to it for everything and soon, it became the starting point for the Commusoft's new design.
So what is Commusoft v4?
It is a completely redesigned, reengineered Commusoft job management software system. It has a brand new database, brand new user interface and its built using more modern HTML5 technologies. It’s still web based, but it is more robust and provides us with a fantastic platform to expand the software and our integrations. It has a massive number of new features packed into a faster, simpler to use application. It has a new iPhone, iPad, Android phone and Android tablet (yes Android tablet!) application designed to not only be used by engineers, but by office staff, owners and directors.
What new features does it have and how will it help me managing my jobs better?
The whole system is new. We’ve used all our experience in the last 9 years to build a more flexible more user friendly system. Key new features though include: a new more user friendly diary, better invoicing, massively improved estimating with online portals for clients to ‘accept’ estimates online, task management to better track jobs and improved job costing. We've worked with a number of clients over the last 4 years to make sure we were building the best, most user-friendly enterprise grade job management system possible.
We had a few key goals when re-designing the whole system.
Firstly, we wanted to resolve a number of obvious frustrations for clients. Mobile syncing, the ability to raise more than one invoice against a job, better search and many more little gripes.
Secondly, we wanted to build the most beautiful most user friendly job management system in the world. This was important to us as we understand that people want to use simple, beautiful software. Gone are the days of clunky software systems with cluttered screens full of buttons, links and information.
As a team it was critical for us to not only build an incredibly feature-rich system which really solved clients problems, but a piece of software people enjoyed using and something that people would feel proud showing off.
I’m worried that Commusoft will change, will I still get support? Will the system be just as easy to use?
We realise change is hard. We’ve spent the last 18 months tracking the way users interact with Commusoft, talking to clients and working with user interface experts to build the best, most intuitive design possible. While we have changed the look and feel of the application, the basics are all still there. You still create customers, agents and companies. You will still create jobs and invoice them. None of the fundamentals have changed. We’ve simply worked to simplify the application, reduce the learning curve associated with using Commusoft and improved your access to support.
We are still going to be providing you with the same amazing support and service, in fact we are intending to improve the way we support our clients. We have built an amazing new knowledge base with thousands of articles, videos and screen shots explaining everything there is to know about Commusoft.
When do I get to start using Commusoft v4?
We’ll be opening up a BETA (user testing) where we will allow some clients to start using the application at the end of May. A BETA is used to help us to stabilise the application. Although we've spent a huge amount of time testing the new system and we've already had a handful of clients use the software, we want to make this as smooth and simple for clients to migrate to the new upgraded version of Commusoft as possible.
If you are interested in seeing what the upgrade will look like and how it 'll effect your business, watch our webinar.
Will I be forced to use the new Commusoft job management software?
Not in the short term no. We are committed to our existing clients and realise we cannot expect users to just make the switch with no experience of the new system. We will provide clients that want to move across the ability to do so, automatically converting their database to the new system for free. Those who aren’t yet sure don’t worry, we will not be forcing you to move. We will however encourage all users to move across in their own time. We will be providing a number of tools/experiences to help train you on Commusoft v4.
Will it cost me anymore?
The simple answer is no. We want to improve our clients businesses by providing this huge upgrade for free. We will grandfather all existing clients pricing, meaning you'll pay the same as you're paying now. There will be an option to add additional new features in the future which you don't have now like After Sales Care, Stock Control and additional Online Portals. These are brand new and weren't part of the system you're currently using. If you'd like to use these features then you'll need to change over to our new pricing plans. To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you over some information.
What if I don’t like it?
We’d be incredibly surprised if you didn’t. However, if there is something that you feel doesn’t work as well, or as smoothly as the previous version let us know. Although we’ve made every effort to include every feature of the previous version in our design, we realise that it is possible we have missed something, in this case, just let us know.
Will you provide training?
Yes, we will provide extensive training both online and offline. We will be holding regular webinars introducing the Commusoft v4 system, explaining how it works and how you should use it. These webinars will cover every aspect of the system and will give you the opportunity to ask any questions about the new software.
Now although Commusoft has always been dedicated to providing web based training, we are for the first time going to provide offline training. We will be holding a number of meetings in our central London office for clients to come and visit us, speak to our team and learn about the new upgrade.
What are the plans for the future?
Commusoft has invested heavily in its future. We’ve reengineered hundreds of features, built new modules and improved the existing system beyond belief. This new version encompasses every serious feature request we’ve received without “bloating” the system or making it too complex. Our current plans are to spend time working with clients to fine tune this new system, analysing where we can improve the application, making small tweaks and changes to the design. Our long term goals are to continue to build out the application while looking at new industries and new countries in which to launch Commusoft.
Commusoft will be holding a webinar on the 10th May at 13:00 for anyone interested in learning more. If you're interested in finding out how the new and improved Commusoft software system can improve your business, sign up to the webinar.