Softools Newsletter No. 17

2018 is proving to be the most exciting year in IT for the last ten years.  We talk about this as the ‘perfect storm’ with four major industry disconnects happening concurrently – all enabled through technology:  1) Corporate and Public Sector adoption of a cloud-first strategy, 2) the emergence of Enterprise Application Platforms (EAP) as the solution to ‘Shadow-IT’, 3) the Internet of Things (IOT) where all parts of the business can be connected real-time, and 4) Progressive Web Applications (PWA) that can work off-line and on any device.

In this months newsletter we cover a variety of topics including a new project with a globally recognised car company, our new relationship with OE consultancy Simpler, Industry 4.0 and Internet of Things discussion and an insight into the benefits of transitioning to an Enterprise Application Platform. We also have a whole host of New Features including a bar code scanner, draw box and self-registration with verification codes among others. 

**STOP PRESS** Sign up for our 1-hour webinar mid-june showcasing Softools v.18 and Softools App Studio v.18

Top Stories

Project with a global car company focused on optimisation of the dealer network.
We are helping dealers to improve levels of performance by enabling them to consistenly apply best practices to their operations via a structured assessment and action planning process. If a dealer is falling short on a particular process the solution automatically offers solutions and guidance to improve. The solution has been rolled out in Europe across more than 300 dealers and has been optimised for Sales Area Managers to use on smartphones and tablets whilst in areas of low bandwidth and offline. The original brief was to provide a native app however using the Softools Progressive Web App (PWA) design we could deliver a superior solution in half the time.  “The Softools deployment solution was the only IT project in the last three years to deliver in-full, on time and in-budget”

GDPR update – have you done your assessment?  If not we have an app
In preparation for GDPR we have pulled together an app to assess your company's readiness and to highlight any areas of non-compliance. The questions have been pulled from the ICO's website and the app can easily be copied across to your own site or that of your clients'. Please let us know if you are interested and we can arrange a demo. We also work closely with our channel partner, Graphite Partners to offer general advice on GDPR.

Started working with Simpler – an industry leader in OE consulting, coaching and solutions
We have started working with Simpler – a sector leader in Operational Excellence.  They work from mid-tier companies to FTSE 100 corporations to deliver transformation programs that are digitally enabled.  Softools offers the ability to capture Simpler best practices and IP in the form of apps running on a secure and scalable platform that supports internal ways-of-working and significantly enhances enduring client outcomes.

Hot Topics

IOT and Industry 4.0 solutions.  
We are working with Lineview – a leading provider of line automation systems to deliver a state of the art Industry 4.0 solution that will provide real-time visibility and control for the worlds largest bottling company.  IOT or the Internet of Things is becoming one of the hottest topics in 2018, and offers companies the opportunity to transform operational performance and financial outcomes.   At the core of any solution will be a number of apps – running on a single platform, that links to data feeds from all parts of the business.  We look forward to working closely with LineView to deliver some of the world’s most advanced solutions.  Please contact us below to find out more.
 

This year is the year of the EAP - Enterprise Application Platform

What will technology leaders be doing this year?  Whilst the answer will vary from sector to sector, it is clear that it will not be the same as last year.  An EAP - Enterprise Application Platform offers the solution to allow business users to create applications and centralise all processes in one area to manage and share data effectively. We are already seeing the emergence of new value chains that involve companies working together in fundamentally different ways and using emerging digital technologies that will have a profound impact across all aspects of the business. 

Gary Hamel said in 2000 that “those that live by the sword will be shot by those that don’t”.  As we enter 2018, this statement will be truer than ever - those that fail to adopt new technologies and ways-of-working will be left behind by those that do!

Excerpt from our White Paper: The Tech Agenda 2018
Whilst there are a number of concerns to be addressed, leading businesses talk about focusing on four key inter-connected challenges; A: Digital Eco-system, B: Optimised Business Processes, C: Elimination of Shadow IT, and D: Performance Transformation – removal of non-core Excel (spreadsheet) applications. With a common approach across the enterprise, teams will then learn from the past and learn from each other – something that is inherently difficult to achieve with current IT solutions.

Hot App

Working with Curo / EPG to deliver solutions for Value Evidence Tracking for major drugs
Last year our long term channel partner Curo was acquired by Envision Pharma Group -  a global leading technology and scientific communication company operating in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device sector. In partnership with them both we have created a Value Evidence Tracker for use during the development and trials of new products, this tracker forms part of an overall suite of apps that manage the overall drug development process from ideation through to in-market registration and re-imbursement. Some of EPGs clients include Pfizer, GSK and Nutricia.

Partner of the Month

De-Risk
DeRisk continue to be the global thought leaders in assumption based risk management and over the past few months we have been working with PA Consulting to assess and mitigate program risk at CargoLogicAir (a new British cargo airline). For more information please contact Keith Baxter below or visit their website: de-risk.com

New Features

New String and Numeric Expressions
New numeric functions have been enabled within the expression builder to allow number based functions such as Square root, Log, Truncate - See the support.Softools.net support area for more details

New field type: Bar-code scanner
A new Bar Code scanner field type has been enabled. This is an extension of a text field , where a mobile user can use a mobile device camera to read a barcode to fill the text field.

New field type: Signature/Draw box
A new field type called "Draw" has been enabled which allows mobile and touch enabled devices to write in a an area. This forms a picture which is then saved, but common users are simple sketches and signature blocks or sign offs.

Self-registration with time-out sign up code access
Options to allow self registration of users with a given code has been enabled. This will allow the setup of one or many special codes, with expiry dates to allow different levels of access and use of a Softools site. Especially useful for allowing users to try systems for a limited period, or to give access to a small set of apps and data for users who self register.

Advanced Export to Word enables the inclusion of in-app charts in the list report
The export to Microsoft Word functionality has been extended to allow list reports to include lower level detail such as record specific charts. This would allow a complete list of records to be shown with charts displaying detailed information on each chart.

All of these features are live and ready to be used on your site and in your apps.
Need some help getting started? No problem, drop us a note here: