Wednesday, February 22, 2017

SmartSimple February 2017 Upgrade Highlights

Our Development team has been busy upgrading our platform so that our users have access to even more enhancements and new features.

Our first upgrade of 2017 sees us focusing heavily on the continued evolution of the platform user interface (UI). We’ve made a number of changes to the List and Object Views that will improve usability, and make it easier and more intuitive to navigate.

We’ve also released the next series of enhancements to our exciting new Media Library feature, and added to our platform’s Data Exchange functionality with OData support.

User Interface (UI) Enhancements


Clean List Views and Object Views


We’ve applied a simpler, cleaner look to the List and Object Views to help make navigation more efficient and effective. For those who work in the platform regularly, the first thing you’ll notice is that we’ve shifted a couple of buttons and menus over to the right side of the screen. The Search bar, is now on the right of the screen while the View menu is up in the right-hand corner of the screen. We’ve also moved the List View button down below the tab.


Individual columns in List Views can now be alphabetically sorted with a simple click. Click on column headers to sort by ascending, descending, and back to default.

Efficient Advanced Search options 


You can now edit filters and save your advanced searches faster and directly on the page. In the past when users clicked Advanced Search, it popped up as lightbox that covered the entire view. We’ve now made Advanced Search options appear intuitively underneath the search field.  Add your discrete search criteria quicker and with less interruption than before. 

Enhanced File Uploading


Users will now see only one button which will be used for uploading single and multiple files. Users used to see two file upload buttons, one for uploading single files and one for uploading multiple files. While the change may appear trivial, it’s all a part of SmartSimple’s objective to simplify and deliver a cleaner user interface. 

New Features


Media Library List Views for Custom Field Types


The SmartSimple Media Library, which we introduced in our last upgrade, gets an exciting new feature: list views for custom field types. As the name suggests, users can now create List Views with custom fields, enabling them to build filtered searches that can be saved. 

For example, an arts-funding organization can filter its Media Library for reviewers to only see works of art that are in video format, from a specific geographic area, and are created by artists whose annual income is under a specific threshold. 


Now offering OData support


OData provides clients with the ability to publish their data direct to their communities. With OData support, users are now able to embed data into a Microsoft Excel document so that every time they open up the report, the data is automatically updated with the latest data. This tool will help Foundations save time when reporting outcomes on donor-advised funds.

Learn More on our SmartSimple Wiki 


Stay up to speed on everything you need to know about the February 2017 Upgrade by checking in on our SmartSimple Wiki

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

1 year-in: SmartSimple’s Premium Support team deliver 12 months of dedicated care


It doesn't take much to maintain a partnership when things are going well – but will your solutions provider be there to give you the support you need after they hit the ‘go-live’ button?   

Any good company will listen to their clients and be there for them when things get bumpy, or when their needs change over time.

Our clients were giving us feedback that they wanted a dedicated, flexible support service that provided them with one main point of contact. We listened to what our clients were telling us, and in response launched SmartSimple’s Premium Support Services back in January of last year.


So what is Premium Support?


Premium Support Services is designed to meet the unique and immediate needs of our clients around the world, and their communities.






Biggest benefits of the service?

Every client who joins the service is assigned a Dedicated Support Representative, meaning one point of contact for all their support requests. Our team of representatives have an in-depth working knowledge of their client’s specific system and are on standby from 5AM - 9PM EST, alongside a 24/7 critical support line.

As part of the service, clients can also take advantage of monthly calls with Eric Lauer, Director of Customer Experience, to review system functionality and configuration, and discuss any added training that might be of value.

Over the past 12 months, our team of in-house Dedicated Support Representatives have brought the benefits of Premium Support Services to almost 30 SmartSimple clients across the globe.


Madhulika Sharma, Director of Community Support
Madhulika Sharma, Director of Community Support, envisions even more adoption of Premium Support Services:

"Clients sign up to Premium Support Services because their business needs require fast, convenient assistance. We’ve seen overwhelming demand for the service since it launched last January, and just this quarter, 4 more clients are coming on-board. As the number of clients joining Premium Support Services grows, so will our team - it's all part of our commitment to delivering unrivaled client care, without compromise."



Learn more about Premium Support Services here.

Already a client and want to join up? Please speak with your SmartSimple Account Manager.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New office space underway at SmartSimple Toronto


It’s been a bustling few weeks at SmartSimple HQ as we’ve been expanding our existing office space to make room for our fast growing teams.

SmartSimple headquarters employs over 70 people working across 6 business units. This rapid level of growth in our headcount over recent months is testament to the fact that we continue to deliver some of the most advanced process solutions available today.


SmartSimple's latest intake of new joiners

With almost half of the 4th floor at 111 Peter Street now to our name, great views of the CN Tower isn’t the only good thing to come from weeks of construction. 

Increasingly, we’re seeing more leading multinationals look to us to deliver process solutions that are fit to manage their unique corporate giving needs. In the past year alone, we’ve taken on some of the most complex process challenges facing global businesses.

These include: advising The Coca-Cola Foundation on a granting solution to manage the 6,000 applications they receive each year globally, and track annual foundation giving worth USD $80 million; working with Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota on a corporate giving platform that’s significantly cut administration time, freeing up days’ worth of work.


Cameron McLean, SmartSimple President, comments on the recent expansion saying:

"It’s been a hectic few weeks, but we’re pleased we finally got there. Investing in our people and growing our teams is our way of ensuring we deliver the same personalized, unrivaled client care that we're known for. It's a hallmark of our promise to the clients we serve."



About SmartSimple 

Over 250 clients in more than 192 countries use SmartSimple to create greater efficiencies in their processes - including seven of the Fortune 100, state agencies across seven states and some of the largest federal agencies in the U.S.

To discover more about our vision for the future, read this short interview with Mike & Keith, SmartSimple Co-Founders.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Meet Mike & Keith: Interview with SmartSimple Co-Founders

We sat down with Mike Reid & Keith Yau to talk about where SmartSimple came from and where it's going.

Left-Right: Mike Reid & Keith Yau


1. What does SmartSimple stand for?

SmartSimple is a ‘bootstrap’ business, meaning we don’t take outside investment. Instead, we’ve made our way up in this industry by investing our time and money in our people and our technology. It’s this idea of ‘pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps’ and our belief in what we do that’s got us where we are today. Now 15 years in operation, SmartSimple serves over 250 clients - with client retention at 99%.

As Co-Founders we stand for experience. Having lived and breathed technology for over 30 years (with more than a few gray hairs to show for it), we take comfort in the Irish saying “the old dog for the long road”.

2. What’s your motivation?

Our products improve the quality of people’s lives. As a result of automation, our clients have more time to make important decisions. While others may try to tie clients down, we empower people to get what they want out of our platform. That’s what underpins everything we do.

3. SmartSimple serves 7 of the top Fortune 100 – what do clients look for?

Innovation. Empowering their communities through innovation - without associated risk - is a top focus for clients. That’s why they look to long-term stability and compliance with the highest standards in the industry as a guide. We drive innovation by listening to our clients and developing solutions that maximize return for as many of our clients as possible. 

Stability. Clients aren't distracted by the array of pop-up solutions on the market - they want a process solutions expert that’s in it for the long haul. They share our belief in a clean balance sheet and recognize our authenticity as a business. SmartSimple is 100% owned and operated by us as Co-Founders; we don’t have outside influencers looking over our shoulder - that counts for a lot. Our priority is our clients’ success.

Compliance. Top-tier corporations expect nothing but the highest standards in business protection. Accreditations like SOC 2 (most recognized security standard in the cloud), and others set the bar high, underscoring the investment we’ve made to keep our clients’ data safe. It’s this commitment to security that all our clients can be assured of.

4. What sets SmartSimple apart?

Organizations come to us for the technology and stay for the relationship. We take care of our clients and we’re here for them when things get tough or their needs change over time. It’s this trust and integrity that’s testament to the dedication of our people.

5. What’s to come?

We’re on the cusp of a time of change - it’s a generational shift to the cloud and we’ve been in the cloud long enough to know our way around it. Being ready for it, through developing our people and advancing our technology is what will distinguish SmartSimple as the standard against which all other business process solutions are measured.


Interested in finding out more? Discover what we do and how we do it here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Supporting our Community for the Holidays


It’s hard to believe another year is almost over and we’re into the festive frenzy of the holiday season once again. While we all look forward to making merry with friends and family, we also like to make some time to share our good fortune with others.

This season, SmartSimple has been collecting food, toiletries and winter accessories like hats and mitts for the Red Door Family Shelter. In this way, we could provide support to several families at once who need extra support at this time of year. The shelter provides temporary housing, counseling services, child care and a food bank to more than 500 families each year, including women fleeing from violence, those who have been evicted, refugees and young mothers who have nowhere else to turn.

The Toronto team will also be volunteering at the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club, packing food hampers to be distributed to less fortunate families in the community.
Community Support for SmartSimple users during the Holidays
Our Community Support team will be available to help you over the holidays. Please note that on Friday, December 16, Community Support will be unavailable after 5:00 PM EST.

All times are listed as EST (Eastern Standard Time):

DATE
HOURS
Monday, December 19th
8 am – 9 pm (Regular Hours)
Tuesday, December 20th
8 am – 9 pm (Regular Hours)
Wednesday, December 21st
8 am – 9 pm (Regular Hours)
Thursday, December 22nd
8 am – 9 pm (Regular Hours)
Friday, December 23rd
8 am – 6 pm
Monday, December 26th
Critical Support Only
Tuesday, December 27th
9 am – 5 pm
Wednesday, December 28th
8 am – 9 pm (Regular Hours)
Thursday, December 29th
8 am – 9 pm (Regular Hours)
Friday, December 30th
8 am – 6 pm
Monday, January 2nd
Critical Support Only

As always we will monitor calls to our 501 Critical Line at 866.239.0991 x 501, and emails to critical@smartsimple.com.

From our families to yours, have a very happy holiday season and a safe and healthy New Year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

SmartSimple selected for AWS Public Sector Partner Program


We're proud to announce that we have been officially selected by Amazon Web Services (AWS) as inaugural partners in their new Public Sector Partner Program.

Formally launched at the recent AWS annual user conference, the program recognizes and connects service providers who deliver expert solutions to public sector clients. Ultimately, AWS’s goal is to connect their clients with the right partner that can meet the unique requirements often found with public sector organizations. Only 400 partners worldwide have been selected to join the program.
SmartSimple delivers mission-critical solutions to over 250 clients that include government, education and nonprofit agencies around the world. That’s involved collecting millions of online applications across thousands of application processes.


Michael Reid, SmartSimple Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, comments on our participation in the program:


“Having access to the services of the world’s most trusted cloud service provider has enabled us to offer best-in-class cybersecurity, giving our clients’ peace of mind.”
“Working with the AWS team has been a truly collaborative experience. They’ve opened doors for us, shared unique growth opportunities and industry-leading tools. AWS has been a great partner, and they’ve been integral to helping us power our solutions as we continue to grow. SmartSimple became an AWS Advanced Technology Partner more than 2 years ago. Since then we’ve been awarded statuses as an AWS SaaS Partner, Government Competency Partner, and are now honored to be recognized as a Public Sector Partner.”
Businesses and organizations, large and small, use SmartSimple to simplify and optimize their everyday processes, because our clients want to make an impact – not face the chore of managing redundant, inefficient, manual processes.

Being part of this new program puts SmartSimple in a stronger position to empower even more organizations in the public sector.


Transform the way your organization collects, reviews, and allocates granting with GMS360° - rated by Idealware as one of the highest ranking grants management systems.

Supercharge the way you track every dollar from funding source to grant with Revere - designed specifically for U.S. state agencies.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Why process automation is the new black

There’s a lot of talk about process automation - why?
Process automation drives the success of every organization by ensuring the constant movement of workflow. It’s part of your everyday whether you realize it or not. Take your pay stub - the entire process of working out your salary, calculating tax deductions, adding benefits and direct debiting your pay into your account - is process automation hard at work.
 
So why is the granting sector still relying on Post-it notes and spreadsheets to track funding calls and payment schedules?
First, let's back up and explain what we mean by 'business process’. Every organization is driven by processes - even grantmaking. You may not use the term ‘process’, but look close enough and you’ll find a set of processes in everything you do - just think of how you manage grant applications. The question is - are your processes automated - and should they be?   
Why should grantmakers care?
Repetitive, manual tasks aren’t fun. They’re time consuming and cumbersome. That’s why organizations look to automation to simplify crusty processes in need of a good shake up.  
Process automation saves you time and ensures accuracy. It can be applied to any number of processes involving any number of people.

What’s more - automation lets us focus on more important things. By 2025, experts predict automation will take over a third of our roles - and interestingly, 55% of employees feel positively about that, according to a recent study by ADP.
When it comes down to it, a grants management system is really a process automation tool tailored to a grantmaker's key processes. Listening to grantmakers, they tell us that granting can sometimes seem less about impact, and more about staying on top of paper trails. With lots of moving parts, the core functions of managing applications has plenty of opportunities for automation - from tackling heavy admin tasks, to routing the right information to the right people at the right time.
An automated future
It’s only a matter of time before all foundations - with big purse strings and little ones - will be using some form of process automation tool. Never slow to spot efficiency-savings, the private sector has been replacing sluggish processes with automated end-to-end alternatives for years.
Ready for an automation makeover?   
Keep in mind that most great process automation solutions will give you the flexibility to streamline your process without having to adapt it to the tool you’re using. Flexibility is a key value that we hang our hat on at SmartSimple, and it’s something we’re (quietly) proud to brag about.
But don’t take our word for it - have a look at the 2016 ‘Consumer’s Guide to Grants Management Systems’ by Idealware for some independent advice. In it, we came out on top in terms of the flexibility we offer, and came second overall.
To review the findings in more detail, have a look at this infographic we created to summarize the results of the report.