Looking Backwards and Forwards

Written April 2nd, 2009 by
Categories: CEO's Blog
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With the new quarter already started, let's have a look back at what we've achieved and a look forward at what's planned.

The original theme for Q1 was eInvoice. We had several focus groups on it and completed the module. It roughly consists of Invoice Lists, Open Items and Invoice Display, with some handy details like contacting you about a specific invoice, displaying short pays in the open items list, and downloading the invoice pdf (of course :-). The plan is to go live with it in April on Nordson's service.

But we did a lot more than that:

  • We successfully implemented the core application at Drive Medical and, as I write this, Joe and Matthew are working on finishing our first (osCommerce)catalog implementation.
  • For Drive Medical we developed some goodies which can be implemented at other clients as well:
    • Abandoned cart-email: if a user cancels a cart or logs out with an active cart, we send Customer Services an email with the details
    • Entry of drop-ship addresses: in the case of Drive a simplified version, because their drop shipments have no tax or shipping implications
    • Logging web hold reasons: under specific circumstances orders go on web hold (a delivery block) and we store the reasons in an easy accessible SAP text
  • At Nordson we successfully piloted our digital print catalog (pdf-based "flash catalog", provided by Aglaia Inc.) and will go live with it in April.
  • Also for Nordson we completed the credit card functionality and are waiting to get the last kinks out of it. It is planned to go live beginning of May.
  • We refactored our email-functionality to ensure that e.g. responses to order confirmations end up in your CSR's email account.
  • We provided a user data download capability for administrators (admittedly in order to not have to do it ourselves all the time 🙂
  • We came up with a handy "staged roll-out" capability that allows you to hand-pick pilot customers before opening up a new feature to the rest of the world

Not bad, I think. But I admit, I'm biased 🙂

So what's up in this new quarter, "The Quarter of Languages" ?
Last week our third client joined the club: Blount, who some of you surely are familiar with, because they attended several focus groups. They will require half a dozen languages, so we figured it to be a good time to make the service truly multi-lingual.

There are several known (and hopefully not too many unknown…) issues we'll have to look at:

  • Translation in general: what is the most efficient way to send out the token-files to translators and integrate them into the service again
  • Translation of buttons (and generation of buttons in multiple languages)
  • Unicode compliance (esp. regarding the fact that we deal with multiple sources: user entered, SAP, mysql database. What are the implications e.g. regarding searches ?)
  • And our favorite: are there browser-related issues ?
  • Making help section multilingual
  • Downloads in other languages ?
  • Etc.

Again, plenty to work at. But as usual, I'm sure we'll be able to squeeze in one or the other request from you 🙂