Product Blog

Archive for 2008

‘Clients’ and ‘Leads’ become ‘Organisations’

Written by admin on Monday, November 24th, 2008

As part of today’s new release of our award winning simple CRM for small businesses – Tactile CRM, we made one major change that should make our lives a lot easier, and keep things easy to use for people using Tactile CRM.

We’ve merged the ‘Clients’ and ‘Leads’ tabs to become ‘Organisations’.

New Organisations

Previously Tactile CRM had the concept of clients and leads. When we built the system we made a concious decision to seperate out clients (companies/organisations you actually work with/sell to) and leads (companies/organisations you are talking with, but don’t yet work with, or would like to work with).

This decision was based upon our work with companies building bespoke web software systems to enable their CRM systems. Traditionally the work was with larger corporates and this distinction was needed to help keep their systems neat and tidy. We thought this would be a great concept to bring to Tactile CRM, however we were wrong.

Analysing the database and our user stats we can now see that most people don’t use the ‘Leads’ functionality, and with the addition of the new tag features, it isn’t really needed. We also tended to get a reasonable number of support requests asking what the difference between Clients and Leads, or Leads and Opportunities were.

Tactile CRM version 2 now has the ‘Organisations’ tab which has all the ‘Clients’ and ‘Leads’ together – for users that did use the Leads tab, we have automatically tagged all the ‘Leads’ with the tag ‘Lead’. If you don’t want this tag, you can use the new tag features to easily remove it.

We hope that you find this new feature useful, and would love to hear any comments or feedback that you may have.

New tag features

Written by admin on Monday, November 24th, 2008

Today is a big day for Tactile CRM, our small business contact and sales management system – we have just released Version 2.

After listening to our users feedback we have implemented a lot of new features around Tags. The new features are available via the ‘Tags’ tab and allow you to easily view all items with a specific tag (see the screenshot below) as well as being able to rename/merge tags, delete a tag, delete all items with a specific tag (if you are an admin), and search across all items (organisations, people, opportunities, and activities) with a specific tag as well as being able to drill down on specific tag combinations:

Lots of Tagged Items

We’ve also added a new tag cloud so that you can easily see the most popular tags and drill down on them – a bigger text-size means the tag is used on more items (organisations/people/opportunities/activities).

Spot any pre-release new features in Tactile CRM?

We hope that you find this new feature useful, and would love to hear any comments or feedback that you may have.

Version 2 – out now!

Written by admin on Monday, November 24th, 2008

The team behind Tactile CRM – the easy to use contact and sales management system for small businesses, are pleased to announce version 2 of our award winning CRM software.

Tactile CRM Tags

We’ve spent a while tinkering under the hood and adding some great new features that our users have requested, and we hope you’ll agree it’s been worth the wait. There are some big changes and updates this time – so, a drum roll please for our new version:

  • We’ve merged ‘Clients’ and ‘Leads’ to give ‘Organisations’
  • Added new Tag options
  • Added a new tag cloud to easily find everything you have tagged in Tactile CRM and to give a more powerful search
  • Added the ability to rename, merge and delete tags
  • Added the ability to delete everything with a certain tag
  • Updated the quick search to show ‘Recently Viewed’ items at the top
  • Increased the number of opportunities on the ‘Micro’ and ‘SME’ plans, and the number of contacts on the ‘Micro’ plan too
  • Hidden disabled users from the list of users you can assign items to
  • Added the ability to delete configurable data

Help us – Nominate Tactile CRM for the Crunchies 2008!

Written by admin on Monday, November 24th, 2008

We’ve nominated ourselves for the Crunchies 2008! If you are feeling in a helpful mood, we’d love for you to help us out by nominating Tactile CRM in any, or all of the following categories:

User Interface Degradation – discuss

Written by admin on Thursday, November 20th, 2008

I’m currently playing with some potential new interface tweaks for Tactile CRM, our easy to use CRM/contact and sales management system for small businesses – these aren’t definite and are an internal work in progress.

One factor that needs to be considered is how the interface works across browsers. The current tweaks use rounded course to add a bit of ‘eye candy’, however these only work in Safari and Firefox using their built in rounded corners support in CSS. Internet Explorer doesn’t currently support this.

Spot any pre-release new features in Tactile CRM?

So the question is, how far should we as designers go towards making things pixel perfect across all browsers?

My thoughts are as followers – functionally we should make the UI work across all browsers we support (IE6/7/safari/firefox/opera), but let the UI degrade to square corners when not available.

I think it’s important to carry on support IE6 (see the Huddle blog post) and let the users deal with an upgrade for the latest and greatest features when they feel the need – we can better spend our time on new features.

Interface Design

Written by Jake on Friday, November 7th, 2008

We’ve recently been working on some exciting new features for Tactile CRM, which we doing final testing on and hope to release this month. Watch this space.

Whilst Team Tactile have been working on the underlying code, we’ve also been contemplating some interface changes. Now we don’t mess around with mockups in Photoshop, with some of the excellent plugins available for Firefox, including the Web Developer Tool Bar, Firebug, and Stylish, we can quickly and easily work on the interface and see how it actual works in the browser, so we can have some user testing thrown in for free.

One thing we’ve been thinking about is moving to a fixed width design. Mocking this up with the plugins in the browser took about half an hour and the result is below. This may never make it into production, but we’d love your feedback as to which you prefer.

Potential New Tactile Layout

As displays get bigger, presenting text in a fluid layout becomes more of a challenge as it has a tendency to spread out onto a single line. Working with a fixed width also gives us more potential when working on reporting/graphs.

The screenshot below is the current layout for comparision.

Current Tactile Layout

What are your thoughts, and which do you prefer?

FOWA, it's a wrap

Written by Jake on Monday, October 13th, 2008

First of all a big thanks to Stewart at Sun Startup Essentials for our stand at FOWA – it meant we increased our presence from myself, to a total of four of us each day. Not only that – we saw a significant increase in coverage of our Tactile CRM product online, via popular blogs such as Paul Carr, Iain Wallace, a decent amount of Twitter traffic, and a video interview by Dennis Howlett.

We met a lot of people interested in Tactile CRM, and the general consensus was that an API would be really useful; we caught up with the Soocial guys and would love to put something together with their product when we have our API in place, and many more.

As always Ben from Redcat Co was on-hand to take my blog photo for the day (see below)!

Jake at FOWA

Highlights for me where Andy from Huddle, talking about life outside Silicon Valley, and Jason Calacanis with Tom Nixon talking about work/life balance.

New York, New York, so good they took 21

Written by Jake on Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

I wrote a guest post on the Sun Startup Essentials Blog about the recent Digital Mission to New York that Tactile CRM took part in.

We’re off to FOWA thanks to SSE!

Written by admin on Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Is that too many acronyms for a Tuesday morning? If so, allow me to translate – ‘We’re off to Future of Web Apps thanks to Sun Startup Essentials‘.

We’re part of the excellent Startup Essentials program from Sun designed specifically to help startups get off the ground rapidly and at lower cost. We’ve taken advantage of some of the excellent discounts on hardware, and are going to be looking into to their expertise when it comes to some nifty hardware/software configuration/optimisation too.

We’ve won a stand to exhibit Tactile CRM at FOWA London next week and are now busy planning what to do on the stand. Our neighbouring stand, Fav.or.it have an awesome Lego Death Star to build, and I am hearing rumours of some beach and hawian shirt action from Stewart at Sun. So what do we have?

We’re still planning at the moment, but needless to say Denver the Tactile CRM dragon will be making a reappearance, we’ll have some beer, a demo of Tactile CRM, and more. So watch this space!

Tactile CRM helps bring the Harvest Festival into the 21st Century

Written by admin on Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Coventry based Tactile CRM are helping to bring the traditional Harvest Festival into the 21st Century by sponsoring this week’s brand new ‘Harvest Twestival‘.

‘Harvest Twestival’ is collecting food and money for The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields, to help the homeless. Following the tradtional Harvest Festival format of collecting tins of food, it’s being brought into the 21st century by being organised via the social networking site Twitter to bring together people from all over the country to help support this worthy cause.

Jake Stride – Managing Director, said “We’re really pleased to be involved in the World’s first ever Harvest Twestival and hope more people are able to leverage the Internet, and the friends they make online to try and make a difference to those less fortunate than themselves.”.

IMG_1185

On Thursday 25 September, over 200 people who know each other through Twitter.com will descend on Doon, an exclusive venue in Trafalgar Square, for Harvest Twestival, a tweet-up with a social conscience.

The event will bring together fun people, fresh ideas and a few surprises for what promises to be an unforgettable event. All profits from the night will be donated to The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields, a community centre based in Trafalgar Square that works with homeless people.

Amanda Rose, one of the organisers of Harvest Twestival, said “We’re expecting the who’s who of the UK Twitter scene to attend. Social tweet ups like this are a great way to meet the faces behind those avatars while raising lots of money for a fantastic cause.”

The event is sponsored by UnLtd World, Huddle, Diffusion PR, Tactile CRM, Winston & Strawn LLP and Just Giving.

To find out more about Harvest Twestival, go to the official event website at www.twestival.com or follow @harvesttwest on Twitter. For more information on The Connection at St-Martins-In-The-Fields, go to www.connection-at-stmartins.org.uk.