Monday, December 31, 2012

SmartSimple’s Top 10 Posts from 2012

It’s been quite an eventful year for the SmartSimple team. In the spirit of New Year’s Eve, we’ve assembled our top 10 blog posts – in no particular order – to highlight our biggest announcements and articles of 2012.

10. What is SmartSimple's UTA?
The most ubiquitous part of any SmartSimple system, the UTA is a flexible and powerful information gathering tool. We explain the basic working parts of a UTA and how you can use it to your advantage.

9. SmartSimple's Real 360° CRM
Our 360° suites enable our clients to capture and manage important information. For our clients in the grants industry, we provide a handy walk-through of applicant and organizational profiles.

8. More Than Just Software - Our First Live Video!

One of our resolutions for the year was to broaden our web presence, and our first live YouTube video was a huge step toward that. It was only a preview of things to come!

7. Smart Ways to Do Good for the Holidays 

Our most recent post provides you with a beginner’s guide to donating and volunteering during the holidays. We’ve also shed light on the philanthropic efforts of Jays Care, Canadian Tire Jumpstart and the Canadian Cancer Society.

6. SmartSimple CN Tower Climb in Support of WWF

Back in April, SmartSimple successfully participated (1,776 steps later!) in Toronto’s CN Tower climb to show our support for the World Wildlife Foundation. For information on how you or your work team can join, click here.

5. Four Things You Don’t Want in a GMS Vendor 

Researching potential grants management system vendors can raise a few red flags. We’ve pinned down the four biggest warning signs of a GMS vendor you’d definitely want to avoid.

4. SmartSimple Debuts RMS360° at the Informative 2012 ARMA Conference 

SmartSimple attended numerous industry events in 2012, but one of our most memorable involved our RMS360° debut at the ARMA (Association of Records Managers and Administrators) conference in Chicago.

3. Rotary Foundation Selects SmartSimple for Grants Management 

Considering the international scope and stature of the Rotary Foundation, we were beyond pleased to announce they had selected our GMS360° solution for their new grant model.

2. SmartSimple Announces First South African Partner Cornastone 

2012 was a year of many ‘firsts’ for SmartSimple. This particular first – an implementation partnership with South African company Cornastone – introduced us to a broader international audience.

1. Video: Web Forms

As a part of our series of online training videos (which you can find on our official YouTube account), our latest upload not only details the uses of web forms in SmartSimple, it introduces a new, exciting video format.

Friday, December 21, 2012

SmartSimple's Holiday Office Hours


SmartSimple’s Support hours for next week and New Years Day will be as follows:

Christmas Eve (Dec 24)8am - 6pm
Christmas Day (Dec 25)Closed
Boxing Day (Dec 26)8am - 6pm
Thursday Dec. 27th8am - 6pm
Friday Dec. 28th8am - 6pm
New Years Eve (Dec 31)8am - 6pm
New Years Day (Jan 1)Closed


For more information or to check out future SmartSimple events, enjoy our Event & Training Calendar.

Please have a safe and happy holiday!

Smart Ways to Do Good for the Holidays

Philanthropy is an essential part of the holiday season, a fact that we’re reminded of every winter when the bells of volunteers in Santa hats ring through our streets.

If you’re interested in doing good this season (and for more reasons than landing on the Nice list), we’ve compiled a few helpful hints and links to kick off your charitable ways.

Donations in Lieu of Gifts

One fantastic way of giving back for the holidays is to make charitable donations on behalf of your family and friends. Consider their hobbies and passions. What do they have vested interests in? Sports, recreation, youth, shelter for the homeless?

When researching charities, be sure to confirm their statuses at http://www.charityrank.ca, http://www.charitywatch.org or http://www.charityguide.org.

Not sure how to get the ball rolling? Here are a few charitable organizations to start:

Canadian Tire Jumpstart

Until December 31st, you can head to your local Canadian Tire retail store to receive one of three Jumpstart gift card holders or a holiday cutout in exchange for a $2 donation. Click here to learn more about their holiday fundraiser.

Jays Care Foundation

The charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays provides children and youth access to programs that encourage physical activity. Choices for community support include donations, sponsoring a night in the Jays Care club house, and online auctions for Blue Jays memorabilia.

Canadian Cancer Society

As the largest charitable funder of cancer research in the country, the Canadian Cancer Society is always looking for volunteers and donations in every province. To learn how to make a donation or join their team of volunteers, click here.

To learn more about how SmartSimple and our partners contribute to the community, please visit the SmartSimple website or contact us.

Monday, December 17, 2012

'Twas the Night of the SmartSimple Holiday Party

SmartSimple celebrated the season in style this past Friday. While our day-to-day lives revolve around software and functionality, that doesn't mean we can't appreciate some seasonal good cheer.

Festivities began in our Toronto office. Our first game involved a terribly cute collage of babies who, as luck would have it, all grew up to work at SmartSimple. Who's who?

The SmartSimple team attempts to match fellow staff with their baby photos.


After another Guess Who-style game in which we matched staff to their interests, iPhone cases and facial hair, it was time to hightail it to the glamorous Bar Italia for dinner and drinks.



While we were sharing the second floor with a family party that seemed to be invoking Mob Wives for its central theme, a merry good time was had by all!

Monday, December 10, 2012

SmartSimple’s Grants and Research Data Sources

As an integral part of our GMS360° and RMS360° platforms, we provide our grants and research funding clients with access to third party government data. This data confirms or denies their status as a charity, non-profit, or educational institution. Additionally, this data can verify whether or not they appear on any watch lists.

This vital information is gathered from the following sources:

OFAC 
The Office of Foreign Asset Control acts as a watch list. Any organizations or individuals included on this list are prohibited from receiving any funding. This list is updated on a monthly basis.

IRS 
The IRS maintains two databases: Pub78 and the Business Master File.

Pub78 contains all non-revoked non-profit organizations that are required to report to the IRS. Organization types that may be eligible for grants and donations, but are not present on this database, can be found here.

The Business Master File contains all exempt organizations. Both databases are updated on a monthly basis.

CRA 
SmartSimple draws monthly data from two CRA data sources. The first includes the most recent publically available T3010 Registered Charity Information Returns. The second database consists of charities according to their current status. Both are updated monthly.

Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey Data 
This annually updated database contains all public elementary and secondary schools in the United States.

For more information about the data sources used for our grants and research funding clients, take a look at our Wiki page.

Friday, November 30, 2012

November 2012 SmartSimple Upgrade

You may have noticed a few recent changes to your SmartSimple interface. As part of our new series of monthly upgrades, we’ve introduced several key features and benefits for November 2012.

For a visual walkthrough of these changes, enjoy our new November 2012 Upgrade General Overview training video:



Search Options 

Several tweaks and additions have been added under search options including:

  • A filter list based on records of a status, template or type
  • List view now defaults to previously used search criteria
  • Basic search allows searches based on type

Contact Records

A new middle name standard field has now been added under contact records. You can enable it by clicking User/Contact Standard Field Settings under Global Settings, then selecting the Middle Name link.

You can now add a “Save Draft” button to contact and company records. This ability can be accessed through a Manager permission.

Prefix/Suffix standard fields are now available as drop-down boxes. Simply go to Global Settings, then Contact Settings, and check off Enable Prefix Combo Box.

Miscellaneous

Under user settings, you will find drop down menu for time zones. System administrators can now select a default time zone for their users.

In any level 1 template, you may have noticed a new Duplicate Check Settings tab. This allows you to define fields to be compared with existing records, organizations or users for duplicates.

The Level 1 Branch standard field can be configured to allow external companies as well as internal companies.

For a more technical-oriented look at our November 2012 upgrade, please consult our Upgrades wiki page or view our Nov 2012 Technical Overview training video below:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Power of SmartSimple’s Custom Fields

Your SmartSimple system is more powerful than you think. Take, for instance, the flexibility of our custom fields. So what's a custom field? Well, it’s a unit of data that you attach to an object such as a contact, role, company, or activity type.

Want to know more about how custom fields can benefit your UTAs? Keep reading.

Types of Custom Fields 
Custom fields are essential for the completion of a Level One entity (such as a project or case). SmartSimple supports over 50 types; they can be as simple or as complex as you need them to be.

Simple custom fields include:

  • Check boxes 
  • Website or email address links 
  • Text or system objects 
  • Contact search fields 

If you want to significantly enhance functionality, more complex custom fields are available, including:

  • File upload boxes 
  • Password text protection 
  • XML data 
  • Microsoft Word Merge 

Adding Custom Fields to Level Ones 
You can create your own custom fields and add them to Level Ones such as grant applications, roles, contacts and activities.

Click the Settings tab of your UTA and you’ll find the Custom Fields link. Select from the list of custom fields you wish to attach, then save. The fields you select will now be associated with all Level One items created in that application.

For additional information, we at SmartSimple have created a special "interactive" deck of playing cards. Each card represents a different custom field - forty cards in all. Click below for an informative and entertaining way to educate yourself regarding our many available fields.

Custom Field Flash

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

SmartSimple Announces First South African Partner Cornastone

SmartSimple Software is delighted to announce our new implementation partnership agreement with Cornastone. With them, we’re able to extend the reach of our product to a brand new client base in South Africa. We’re pleased to be working with an organisation that shares our values and commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction.

Cornastone’s implementation expertise and our product excellence will greatly benefit South African organisations in the grants and research marketplace.

Please visit the Cornastone website to learn more about this exciting new collaboration.

Monday, November 12, 2012

SmartSimple Announces New Asset Sharing Module

More and more universities and research facilities across the UK are implementing asset and equipment sharing services as a result of changes in equipment funding from Research Councils UK (RCUK). SmartSimple is keeping in step with this trend by developing an asset sharing module for our research management system RMS360°.

Key benefits of asset and equipment sharing include:

  • Increase of work efficiency and effectiveness within research management
  • Easier, quicker access to equipment
  • Encourages collaboration to fully exploit equipment across the UK research industry
  • A more intuitive exchange of knowledge and ideas with multiple research teams

SmartSimple is activity seeking UK-based universities to implement this module with. Please contact Joe Briggs at jbriggs@smartsimple.com to learn more.

For more information about RMS360º, please click here.

SmartSimple Announces New Project Costing Module

SmartSimple is excited to announce that we are currently developing a module for RMS360º. This project costing and financial management module will allow research organisations to determine the full costs of projects as well as the cost to the funder.

Other benefits and features of our upcoming module include:
  • Management of internal authorisation of grant application costs 
  • Personalised templates to support rule changes in framework 
  • Formulate estimates and costs associated with your projects 
  • Support for multiple funders/sponsors on the same project 
  • Full immediate real-time integration with all other RMAS lots

We are currently looking for UK-based research organisations in need of a dynamic and effective way to manage their project costs Please contact Joe Briggs at jbriggs@smartsimple.com to learn more.

For more information about RMS360º, please click here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Some Associations for Research Insitutions

Here at SmartSimple, we’re more than just a vendor. Getting involved at the community level is an integral part of our company, and we strive to provide invaluable resources for all our clients.

An important aspect of the research community has always been the collaborative nature of its organizations across North America. We’ve compiled a helpful list of research organizations who strive to empower and advance the nature of the research industry.


CASRAI





The Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information is a non-profit organization that develops standards for the research community. They aim to simplify the research life-cycle across the entire industry by maintaining a common data dictionary.

CASRAI continually examines and advances the best practices for data exchange between interlinked organizations including research teams, institutions, and funding agencies.

Their first annual international conference, ReConnect12, was held in October under the unifying theme of research impact measurement.

Society of Research Administrators




This non-profit society oversees nearly 4,000 members in research administration for sectors that include hospitals, universities, non-profits and the federal government. As a community, they directly engage members with events and chapter meetings held in various US locations.

Their annual conference, the SRA International Meeting, continues to be a draw for its enlightening keynote speeches, session topics and ample networking opportunities.

NCURA








The National Council of University Research Administrators seeks to foster a respected and collegial community surrounding those in research administration. They provide education and professional development programs to advance the field and share both experience and knowledge.

CAURA 





Unlike the other organizations and societies on this list, the Canadian Association of University Research Administrators is – you guessed it – based in Canada. In addition to providing a national voice for the industry, CAURA offers professional consultation on various Canadian research issues such as intellectual property, publications, research infrastructure and more.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

SmartSimple’s Fall Open House


On Wednesday, October 24, we here at SmartSimple opened our office doors to welcome clients, colleagues and collaborators. We spent the day discussing important company news, unveiling new software features, and exchanging ideas in open group conversations.

For those who were unable to attend or are interested in a rundown of the sessions we hosted, we've compiled helpful briefings of each discussion to bring you up to speed.


Our engaged audience. (Don't mind the cobwebs - they're only Halloween decorations.)
Opening words by Michael Reid

Company co-founder Michael Reid detailed the eye-opening history of SmartSimple, from its humble beginnings as a lean startup to its current standing as an international company with 40+ employees across Toronto and Dublin.

As a humourous way to illustrate just how far SmartSimple has come, Michael unveiled the very first server the company used. A rusty relic, compared to today's technology!

Arcadia: SmartSimple’s Next Generation Interface

Next, we showcased an exciting new way for our clients to interact with SmartSimple. Our preview of Arcadia showcased the updated design (including drop-down menus) and new features such as the Tool Tab and Level 0 items. Arcadia represents a simpler, quicker interface that will be a snap to read and interact with, especially on mobile devices.

Check out our website to learn more about Arcadia.

Medical Claims Management Discussion

For the rest of the day, the meetings split into industry-specific discussion groups. For the medical and insurance sector, there was much talk about the updates to HCAI and how SmartSimple will be accommodating them in a forthcoming update.

There was also an overview of a new feature: booking transportation and translation services. Want to know how this can benefit your practice? Just click on the link above for our training video.

Research Management Discussion

We were joined by clients from the University of Guelph and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) for an open dialogue about the ongoing changes in the research industry, and how it relates back to management software.

The many points of discussion included:

  • SmartSimple’s dedication to making implementation more effective.
  • CASRAI, an organization dedicated to setting common research standards.  
  • Researcher preference toward performing reports quarterly versus annually.
  • Accessibility by way of research reports being described in plain language without overly technical terms.

Friday, October 12, 2012

What is SmartSimple's UTA?

As a frequent user of SmartSimple, you may have come across the term ‘UTA’ multiple times. Chances are you use several UTAs as part of your customised system. But what does it mean, and what makes it integral to your SmartSimple experience?

UTA stands for Universal Tracking Application, which is a customisable application used by SmartSimple as a powerful information gathering tool. They can be used in a variety of ways, including case management, grants management, programs management, helpdesk applications and contract tracking.

Level 1

Each basic UTA consists of an entity, which is something that is being tracked. In SmartSimple terminology, the thing to be tracked is called the Level 1 entity. For example, this can be a project or a case.

Once you define the Level 1 entity, you can create any number of activities associated with it. The Level 1 entity defines how the application should be structured.

You can create different types of Level 1 entities with our Level 1 Templates. In each template you can define your own set of custom fields. This feature allows you to track information common to all items and specific information for certain types of items.

Level 2

When you need to track the activities and time associated with the Level 1 entity, you will need to enable Level 2 in your UTA. The tracking of Level 1 activities are known as Level 2 items.

Level 3

The final activity level is enabled when you need to track different activities at Level 2. You can create any number of Level 3 items for a single Level 2 item.

For more information about UTAs and how they enhance your SmartSimple interface, read our comprehensive Wiki guide.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Getting Started with SmartSimple Relationship Management

Managing your organization’s companies, departments and users can be tricky. That’s why SmartSimple offers a built-in Relationship Management program: to help you organize the hierarchical structure of your staff and contacts.




Setting up New Branches

Under the Organization menu, click Internal Users to display the hierarchy of users within your company. Enter a new branch by selecting the New Branch tab and filling out the information. The system will check for duplicates, at which point you’ll be asked whether you want to merge with an existing branch or create an entirely new one based on the information you wrote. 

Users & Groups

The relationship manager supports an unlimited number of contacts, which you can enter manually or by exporting from your Microsoft Outlook account.

Creating groups for your users greatly simplifies how you manage your contacts. Simply select Roles & Permissions under the Configuration menu and click User Groups to get started.

Setting Permissions

SmartSimple also allows you to set the permissions of users individually or in bulk. Their roles and groups control what they can see and access when they log into SmartSimple.

Users do not have access to SmartSimple until you set their user type, access type and password. To do this, simply click on the user and select Settings, then Roles & Access. From here you can set login restrictions, role types and user password.

Portals

After you’ve set up a new user, configure their Portal to simplify how they see the interface once they log on. Select the Roles & Permissions link under the Configuration menu and go to User Roles. From there, select the Portal icon next to the user you wish to set up. Add shortcuts and customize the design according to their role and how they will use the SmartSimple software.

For more of SmartSimple’s online training videos, check out our Wiki page.

Book Transportation & Translation Services Using SmartSimple


If your company requires you to contact and book third party transportation and interpretation services, SmartSimple has the solution for you. We've made the easy step-by-step process even easier with our online video guide:






Transportation Services

A drop-down list of service providers will be made available to you upon completion of the claimant’s information and referral sources. From there, you will be able to fill out trip information, appointment details, duration of transportation, and billing.

Translation Services

Under the Interpretation drop-down list, you will find a selection of available translation service providers. Upon choosing your service, you will be able to customize details such as gender of interpreter, language, special needs, wheelchair accessibility, and billing.

You will receive a confirmation number after successfully submitting your request for either type of service to your selected provider.

For more of SmartSimple’s online training videos, check out our Wiki page.

If you would like to make these services available from your SmartSimple system, please contact our support desk at 416-591-1668 ext 1 or email us at info@smartsimple.com.

Introducing SmartSimple’s Online Training Videos

You have questions, we have answers. Here at SmartSimple, we’re excited to introduce our online training videos to better help you understand our services. Whether you want a quick overview of our latest update, or the best tips and tricks to set up a new program, our videos cover all bases.

Want to get started? Check out our comprehensive video guides now:

SmartSimple’s Cloud Calendar




Learn how to manage your online calendar by changing your calendar type, adding events and tasks, and associating different contacts and users.

Getting Started with SmartSimple Relationship Management



Maintain users for your business with our easy organizational hierarchy tool. Structure your organization by company, branch and division, as well as your staff by department and role. You can also associate external contacts with your company.

Booking Transportation and Translation Services with SmartSimple



If your business needs to access transportation and translation services, you may book them directly from your SmartSimple system. Select your service provider and coordinate details such as duration, wheelchair accessibility, billing and more.

Integrating SmartSimple with MS Outlook


Want your Microsoft Outlook account and your SmartSimple account to work in harmony? Download our easy-to-use plugin and synchronize your contacts, calendars and events/appointments across both platforms.  
  
Browse the rest of SmartSimple’s videos on our Wiki page or our official YouTube account.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

We are delighted to invite you to our Fall SmartSimple Open House


Join us on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 to learn about new features, opportunities for collaboration with SmartSimple partners and ways to enhance your SmartSimple experience. We will be hosting 8 concurrent sessions, running from 9:30am-4:00pm at our office location (111 Peter St.). Feel free to join us for the full day or for the sessions that peak your interest. There will also be prizes and raffles for attendees who participate in the Open House!

Please note that all sessions are first come, first served and run for one hour. Please visit the events calendar on our website to learn more about the sessions and to register. Your last day to register is Monday October 15, 2012. Please feel free to bring along any colleagues whom you think might benefit.

If you have any questions, please contact us at 416-591-1668 x100.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

SmartSimple Links Up with CASRAI at Reconnect12


SmartSimple is excited to attend CASRAI’s first annual Reconnect conference, taking place form October 10-12 at the Delta Centre-Ville in Montreal We look forward to learning from some of the top minds in the research community.

What is Reconnect12?

The theme for Reconnect12 is Occupy Impact. Speakers will be addressing a growing issue within the research community: impact measurement. What is the impact of a system this wide and diverse, and how can it be improved? While the main purpose of Reconnect12 is to tackle the difficult issue of impact measurement, it also offers an opportunity for CASRAI’s peers and colleagues to reconnect, hence the name. This two-day conference will be attended by researchers, scholars, evaluation officers, and other stakeholders with an interest in finding informed solutions to these impact issues. Who is CASRAI? CASRAI is the Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information. In other words, they’re a non-profit organization that develops standards for diverse research organizations to work together (interoperability). CASRAI works to ensure that the research community benefits from the standardization of research data. This saves researchers time, and draws a clearer picture as to how research impacts on society.

Who are Reconnect12’s keynote speakers?
  • Claire Donovan, PhD. Presentation: Moral Panic & the Impact Agenda
  • Chad Gaffield, PhD. Presentation: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • Cameron Neylon, Advocacy Dir. Presentation: Impact - I do not think it means what you think it means

What will SmartSimple be speaking about? 

Product Marketing Manager David Resnick will be presenting a session titled Incentivizing Impact – Easy Input, Better Outcomes. The title explains it all: to ensure the best possible outcome, input must be simplified. This presentation will shed light on the social and psychological barriers that may prevent the collection of relevant information to present to stakeholders. David will also discuss the best business practices that will incentivize users to overcome these barriers. Find out more about our presentation and its scheduled time on Reconnect12’s online agenda: http://www.verney.ca/casrai2012/agenda.php 

To learn more about our Research Management System, please visit our page:  http://www.smartsimple.com/research-management-software.html

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SmartSimple's Real 360 CRM


You may have noticed that all of SmartSimple’s product suites are named 360°. The reason is, SmartSimple provides an authentic and holistic approach to tracking and managing what's important to you.

For instance, you can ensure that all information captured in your contacts profile is meaningful to your actual relationships. Grants applicants can upload meeting minutes and financial statements, and you can easily identify those who belong to a given organization (i.e. employer), and those who are associated (i.e. volunteers and board members). In the end, life is simplified because everything you need to capture is done as a by-product of your contact’s interaction with the system.

Further to this, all relevant information is readily available in an integrated system and is online-accessible at any time. And, perhaps the most important aspect of our 360° product line is how an applicant’s profile and organizational profile are accessible at any time from within a grants application, just as one can view and access all relevant applications from a user’s profile.

The below image shows the applicant and organziation attached to a given grant application:
applicant organization-grant


By clicking the applicant’s name in the screen above, we are taken to the profile. Note that a hyperlink to their applications is front and centre.
applicant profile


From the applicant’s profile, we can click into the organization’s profile, and subsequently view all applications associated with that organization.
view applications


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Four Things You Don’t Want in a GMS Vendor


Anyone who has followed the grants management software market over the last few years knows that in today’s marketplace, there are more vendors than you can shake a stick at. While increased options are appealing, they make the challenge of finding the right fit even more burdensome.

When organizations seek out a solution to meet their specific needs, they should be aware of the following warning signs, which show potentially spell danger:

  1. "Sure, we can do anything" – This is a familiar statement from a software vendor who can provide functionality without any real understanding of the intricacies of grants management. Generally speaking, many software vendors produce products with great functionality, and can try to apply them to the grants management space. Unfortunately, they may not be aware of what they don’t know, and in this instance, their customers become guinea pigs. In time, they may realize that removing paper from the process and assigning roles are merely first steps—and considerations need to be made for compliance, eligibility quizzes, multiple statuses, fund integration, and so on.
  2. "Built by grant managers for grant managers" – This declaration is the inverse of the previous, because the area of expertise is grants management, rather than software development. While the downsides of in-house development are plentiful and well-published, there are greater concerns. Firstly, anyone who is familiar with a handful of grant-making organizations knows that differences exist at all stages of the grant-making process. This can include how funds are allocated to grants, eligibility criteria and vetting processes, as well as the use of internal and external reviewers and so forth. Secondly, this situation fits right in with the clichéd ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. How do you mitigate the risks associated with mishandling the technology, especially given the rapid pace of innovation within the software industry?
  3. "We use a CRM/Accounting platform as the base of our GMS" – Initially, there was SaaS (Software as a Service) and more recently introduced is PaaS (Platform as a Service). These terms represent software that is delivered on the cloud, and as with traditional delivery models, this is software designed for specific use. It’s important to understand why exactly the platform was created, as it may limit functionality and flexibility. More importantly, if you’re dealing with a GMS vendor that is using a third party platform, there is a degree removed between you and those who own the technology. Ultimately, this can limit your ability to see requests implemented in upgrade cycles, and it unfortunately affects the sustainability and accountability of the vendor.
  4. "Our solution is perfect for absolutely everyone" – Though we live in a world of endless choice, it’s nearly impossible to locate an option that works for everyone—particularly when dealing with grants management systems. The points of difference across grant-makers include, but are certainly not limited to: size, frequency of payments, focus of grants, areas of operation, funding amounts, etc. Considering this, it’s difficult to imagine a single solution that is right for small foundations, large research institutes, government organizations and everything in between. It’s therefore crucial to seek out a vendor with a segmented product offering that speaks to the needs of a diverse marketplace.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Differences Between Grants and Research Management


When looking at grants management and research management system vendors, one might believe that the differences between grants and research management are strictly semantic.

Both systems are used to manage the funding lifecycle, which begins with the establishment of an award and often ends with a post-award report. Whether an organization uses a very simple approach, or conversely, a very sophisticated method for each type, there are indeed fundamental differences between the two systems.

Integration with academic systems as well as third party databases like Pubmed, are frequently needed in research management systems and not grants management systems.

To learn more about the differences between these two systems, visit our product page: http://www.smartsimple.com/product-guide.html.

Friday, July 20, 2012

SmartSimple Debuts RMS 360° at the Informative 2012 ARMA Conference


Recently, SmartSimple was an attendee and exhibitor at the informative 2012 ARMA Conference in Southhampton, England. ARMA (the professional association for research managers and administrators in the UK) is an indispensable association which encourages professional development and networking in the realm of research administration. Members of the association—who work in universities, funding bodies, the NHS and independent research organizations—came together for the annual conference to network, gain insight about recent developments and exchange pertinent knowledge.

Over 400 colleagues from across the UK and around the globe attended the informative 3-day event, which included plenary presentations, workshop sessions, discussions with sponsors and exhibitors, and a gala dinner. Each event contributed to this year’s theme of ‘Making a Difference’—an appropriate topic, as research continues to be identified as the essential link to rebuilding the economy. The conference provided an opportunity for administrators to discuss the existing challenges and potential solutions facing the research sector’s role in improving the economic situation.

In addition to discussion, there was a poster showing which highlighted individual initiatives like equipment sharing and the Research Management and Administration System (RMAS). RMAS is an initiative launched by several UK universities to provide a procurement framework for research management and administrative systems. The project—headed by University of Exeter, University of Kent and University of Sunderland—has estimated that streamlining processes and removing inefficiencies will result in time and cost savings of between 10%-20%.

SmartSimple is proud to be a qualified vendor in 7 of the 9 lots provided by RMAS:
  • Workflow
  • Electronic document management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Academic expertise
  • Proposal management
  • Post award management
  • Outcomes and outputs

As an exhibitor, SmartSimple contributed to the conference by demoing RMS 360°, a full research management system based on the RMAS framework. The platform enables researchers and administrators to manage all of their processes from within a single solution, as SmartSimple is the only platform in 7 Lots to offer an integrated product that ensures all components work together seamlessly.

Because RMS 360° is fully integrated, users benefit from a reduced learning curve, and institutions avoid dealing with complex contracts and expensive fees. The platform also belongs to SmartSimple, allowing clients to provide direct input towards enhancing the underlying technology, and the easily modifiable point-and-click configuration provides a level of authenticity that is unparalleled, especially as it adapts to meeting evolving needs. SmartSimple is also as secure as it is flexible—multiple deployment and hosting options are available (SaaS, dedicated SaaS or internal hosted cloud solutions) and information is always stored in a highly secure and regulated environment.

https://www.arma.ac.uk/
http://www.smartsimple.com/research-management-software.html

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New HCAI Guidelines for submitting OCF-21


The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has issued new HCAI Guidelines for submitting OCF-21. According to the guideline, the OCF-21 invoice must indicate the OCF plan number to which it is associated.

Please see the attached document release by HCAI and the HCAI May 2012 Update Release for a detailed description of changes effective July 1 2012.

HCAI System Unavailability

The HCAI system will be unavailable from 5:01 p.m. (EST) June 29th, 2012 and is expected to resume active status at 8:00 a.m. (EST) July 3rd, 2012.

Every integrating Insurer and Health Care Facility must have all of their transactions successfully processed by 4:59 p.m. (EST) June 29th, 2012 if they are to be processed under the HCAI December 2011 Guideline.

Summary of Changes

  1. HCAI key OCF21B_Plan_Document_Number is no longer in use. This key must be blank at all times. HCAI mapping to this key must be removed.
  2. HCAI Key OCF21B_PreviouslyApprovedGoddsAndServices_PlanNumber must be used to submit the HCAI Document Number (plan number). This field will be a mandatory field. Acceptable values are:
    • A valid OCF 18 HCAI document number
    • Keyword "exempt" - comments can be added to the Invoice Comments field on the invoice to add the reason for using this keyword.
  3. The following HCAI Keys must always be blank:
    1. OCF21B_PreviouslyApprovedGoodsAndServices_Type
    2. OCF21B_PreviouslyApprovedGoodsAndServices_PlanDate
    3. OCF21B_PreviouslyApprovedGoodsAndServices_AmountApproved
    4. OCF21B_PreviouslyApprovedGoodsAndServices_PreviouslyBilled
    5. OCF21B_HCAI_Plan_Document_Number
  4. The Header_ClaimNumber must always be blank or same as on the plan.
  5. The Header_PolicyNumber must either be blank or same as on the plan.

Reason Codes

There will be new reason codes which insurers will apply to line items in the Adjuster Response messages. These new reason codes can be found on page #4 in the attached document.

New Validation Error Messages

There will be new validation error messages. A list of the error messages can be found on page #5 in the attached document.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact SmartSimple Support at support@smartsimple.com or 416-591-1668.

Monday, June 11, 2012

SmartSimple... More than just software - Our first live video!


SmartSimple was founded in 2003 with a vision around what B2B collaboration might look like in the future – the future being about now actually. We certainly got something right but when all is said and done it is our clients who turned our concepts into a viable business – thanks everyone !

As more people around the world have become interested in what we are doing they want to know who we really are so we’ve put together a small video – who we are :)

Take a peep.



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

SmartSimple Software Inc. and Rapid City Transportation Partnership


Healthcare providers and Insurers often find they need Transportation and Interpretation services to provide that extra level of care to their claimants and clients. SmartSimple Inc. is pleased to announce our new partnership with Rapid City Transportation enabling clients using SmartSimple's Claims Management system to arrange for Rapid City's services.

SmartSimple recognizes that scheduling assessments is a difficult process. In addition to the assessment, supplementary services such as patient transportation and interpreting are also often required. Using multiple systems to arrange all of these services is inefficient and simply adds time and costs to your process. Developers at both SmartSimple and Rapid City collaborated to simplify the process, allowing providers to arrange for all services at the same time, through the same familiar system they already know and use!

"We are very pleased to add Rapid City, a leader in their field, to our roster of Value Added Partners. Our clients that have requested this functionality will be thrilled to now have instant access to yet another high quality service provider without leaving their SmartSimple system," said Gary Modlin, Director of Business Development at SmartSimple Software Inc.

By integrating Rapid City's scheduling system into SmartSimple's Claims Management system, customers are one click away from scheduling transportation and interpreting services while, at the same time, managing reschedules and cancellations. Client and case data is securely transmitted to Rapid City. A confirmation is returned to SmartSimple acknowledging the request has been received and is being scheduled.

"Our partnership with SmartSimple allows us to provide additional options to our clients for booking transportation and translation services with us. Flexibility is one of our core principles, and we are committed to providing the tools and best-in-class processes necessary to help our clients achieve their objectives. Our structure, service methodology and proprietary software have all been designed to add value to the claim management operations of our clients," said Robert Donaldson, President of Rapid City Transportation.

This new feature is available to all SmartSimple clients at no additional cost and will be configured on request for any of our clients. Transportation and Interpreting services are automatically tracked and billed through provider's accounts with Rapid City.

To order the feature, please email SmartSimple Support with Rapid City Feature in the subject line.

About SmartSimple Software Inc.
SmartSimple Software Inc. has provided an innovative process management solution in the insurance, medical, grants, innovation and property management markets for the past seven years. By combining this platform solution with vertical market expertise SmartSimple supports customers ranging from major insurers such as Intact, Aviva and Allstate plus their extensive networks of medical service providers and clinicians. SmartSimple has offices in Toronto, Ontario and Dublin Ireland.

Contact: David Resnick
Director of Marketing
Phone: 416 591 1668 ext. 115
Email: David Resnick
Web: www.smartsimple.com


About Rapid City Transportation
Founded in 1994, Rapid City Transportation is one of Canada's leading independent transportation companies, and operates under a license issued by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Headquartered in Pickering, Ontario, Rapid City offers door-to-door concierge style transportation, translation and travel arrangement services for individuals who require special care and attention. Rapid City has a large fleet of regular sedans, vans, wheelchair accessible vehicles and non-emergency patient transfer vehicles, strategically located across the province of Ontario.

For further information on Rapid City Transportation please refer to www.rapidcitytransport.com

Contact: Donna Fabbro
Vice President, Business Development
Phone: 416.266.1500 ext. 134
Email: Donna Fabbro

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Join us on our Journey to Arcadia - SmartSimple's New User Interface


When our clients talk, we listen and as a result, we are embarking on one of the biggest enhancements to SmartSimple… a new User Interface!

Interface Objectives:
  1. Easier to use
  2. Accessible metrics
  3. Improved experience
  4. Reduced deployment time

Features:
  1. Optimized working space
  2. Simplified configuration
  3. Landing page with status counts hyperlinked to list views for ease of access
  4. Summary section (Aggregates custom fields associated with UTA)
  5. Context based report visibility (See available reports based on role, status and UTA)
  6. UTA tools tab (Invoice, batch update and other UTA actions all in one place)
  7. Quick search (Single field or advanced)
  8. Share and personalize your list views
  9. In-line editing

Learn More
Starting in late May we will be presenting some Web-based information sessions to give our clients a heads up on what is coming. Be sure to register for these exciting events. Click here for screenshots and more info.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

SmartSimple Joins CASRAI


SmartSimple is an enthusiastic supporter of innovation and open standards and as a provider of research management systems to member organizations the company is excited to formally join the Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information (CASRAI) as an implementation associate.

This partnership ensures that SmartSimple is well positioned to support the market’s desire for meaningful common standards and interoperability

David Resnick from SmartSimple notes that: “The value of research is only enhanced through the ability to disseminate findings across communities. In order to do so in a manner that is effective and efficient, technology must act as an enabler and not a barrier. To this end we not only intend to facilitate the implementation of CASRAI amongst our clients, but hope to leverage our international presence to contribute to an open but secure network of researchers, research funders and research institutions”.

We are very pleased to have SmartSimple joining us," says David Baker, CASRAI Executive Director. "The growing interest from a diversity of solutions providers will be key to advancing the standards."

For more information on SmartSimple platform, please visit us on http://www.smartsimple.com/research-management-software.html.

For more information on CASRAI, please visit us on http://casrai.org.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Less than one week to go until SmartSimple’s User Group


We’ve been busy preparing for our first open house format user group and want to let you know that it’s not too late to register.

This time around we’re packing a bunch of sessions into a single day, so you can participate in whatever interests you.

We have some market specific sessions, some technical sessions and opportunities to meet SmartSimple staff and some of our partners. Attendees can expect to learn what’s new and exciting with SmartSimple and will have ample opportunities to provide feedback and engage in some great discussions. Of course it’s also a great opportunity to network with others in your industry.

To register click here http://www.smartsimple.com/calendar

Time Boardroom 1
Suite 405
Boardroom 2
Suite 405
Conference Room
Suite 106
9:30am
10:30am
SmartSimple is there for You - SmartSimple Support New Features Insurer 360º Demonstration
10:30am
11:00am
Break - Networking
11:00am
12:00pm
SmartSimple Technical Discussion Accounting Integration and SmartSimple presented by certified partner Re-Solved Focus Group - What Would You Like to See?
12:00pm
1:30pm
Lunch with the SmartSimple Team
1:30pm
2:30pm
New Features SmartSimple Technical Discussion SmartSimple Partners - FBAnet
2:30pm
3:00pm
Break - Networking
3:00pm
4:00pm
Medical Claims Management Discussion Research Management Discussion Grants Management Discussion

Friday, March 30, 2012

News Release - SmartSimple's Service Provider Integration API


We are releasing our Service Provider Integration API this week! This feature supports our customers in the Medical Claims Management market by providing the ability to automatically schedule third party services, including transportation and interpretation, directly from within a case in SmartSimple.

For customers it means less admin work and faster turnaround when scheduling.For providers it creates the ability to directly integrate their services with the SmartSimple network of insurers and their medical partners.

The technical details are all in the SmartSimple wiki http://www.smartsimple.org/wiki/index.php/Service_Provider_Integration but give your account manager a call if you need to walk through what this new functionality can do for you!

Monday, March 19, 2012

SmartSimple CN Tower Climb in Support of WWF


On April 19th, 2012 eleven eager and enthusiastic SmartSimpletons and SmartSimpletons2 are climbing up all 1776 steps of the CN Tower. They are doing this in support of WWF- Canada.

WWF-Canada is part of the global conservation network (World Wildlife Fund). Its mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.

Donations are being accepted online:

SmartSimpletons (Oliver Lo, Mark Bridger, Ciaran Donnelly, Steve Lafortune, David Resnick, Eric Lauer)

SmartSimpletons2 (Chin Chuah, Serkan Bilgi, Lorena Ruizm, Madhulika Sharma, Ioan Williams)

The goal is to raise $250.00 per team member. Thank you in advance for your support.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

SmartSimple is Making More Moves in the International Research Management Market with the RMAS Project.


Shared Services, Open Standards and Collaboration are some of the biggest buzzwords in technology today. Of course every so often buzzwords are given weight when action is taken.

This is certainly the case for the Research Management and Administration System Project (RMAS), an initiative launched by several UK universities to provide a procurement framework for Research Management and Administrative Systems under 9 distinct lots:

  • Lot 1 – Workflow
  • Lot 2 – Electronic Document Management
  • Lot 3 – CRM
  • Lot 4 – Academic Expertise
  • Lot 5– Funding Sourcing Tool
  • Lot 6– Proposal Management
  • Lot 7 – Costing and Financial Management of Projects
  • Lot 8– Post Award Management
  • Lot 9– Outcomes and Outputs


With considerable experience under our belts SmartSimple is excited to be a qualified vendor in 7 of the 9 lots. In addition to assisting research funders and researchers we are particularly excited to assist with the wider adoption of CERIF standards with the introduction of the SmartSimple CERIF adapter.

With this news and our recent relationship with CASRAI we are looking forward to interacting with the international research community and assisting them in getting the most out of every research pound or dollar.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rotary Foundation Selects SmartSimple for Grants Management

The Rotary Foundation selects SmartSimple for grants management under new Future Vision Plan

Background

Through its grants program, The Rotary Foundation – the charitable arm of Rotary International, a global, club-based humanitarian organization – enables Rotary clubs to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through projects that improve health, support education, and alleviate poverty. The Future Vision Plan is The Rotary Foundation’s new grant model to support Rotary clubs in implementing humanitarian and educational projects in the communities they serve, both locally and internationally. The ultimate goal is to use Foundation resources more strategically by supporting projects that will make a greater, more sustainable impact on communities worldwide, affect a significantly larger number of beneficiaries, and enhance Rotary’s public image.

To achieve Future Vision’s goals, Rotary recognized the need for an online grants management software platform to streamline grant-making operations and improve efficiency. The idea was to provide Rotarians positive user experience; the opportunity to submit, monitor, and report on grant applications online in their native languages; greater transparency on the Foundation’s grant activities; and a mechanism to work with their international Rotary partners. Foundation staff would use the system to track and manage all grants more efficiently and effectively to provide improved customer service to all Rotarians and beneficiaries.

Given the geographic and linguistic distribution of Rotarians – 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 clubs in over 200 countries and areas -- and the unique nature of the Foundation’s programs, selecting a system was not an easy process. After a comprehensive review of numerous software providers, Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation ultimately selected SmartSimple as their technology partner.

On Selecting SmartSimple

While the SmartSimple’s GMS 360° system offers all the functionality typically required by grant makers, what makes it unique is its high level of configurability and the number of deployment options available. Clients are empowered to create a system capable of supporting almost any business process. Rotary has elected to have its own operations and technical staff work collaboratively with SmartSimple to improve its business processes and configure the system to support the new grant model workflows. SmartSimple has committed resources to provide support and training for the Rotary team.

The project was initiated in November 2011 and the system is expected to go live in January 2013, with interim launches for specific processes in October 2012. The system will be deployed to Rotarians worldwide and available in nine languages.

“This intuitive and configurable package provides great opportunities for Rotary International and its Rotary Foundation to improve its digital customer service in the Foundation’s programs,” says Peter Markos, Rotary International’s Chief Information Officer. “Rotarians are tech-savvy and have been asking for a more streamlined, paperless environment to reduce the administrative burden and help them focus their efforts on the communities and people they serve. We believe SmartSimple’s solution, along with creative process improvements on the business side, provides significant opportunities now and in the future.”

”We are proud to have been selected by Rotary as their technology partner for such an important project,” said Todd Lapin, Director of Strategic Accounts for SmartSimple. “Rotarians around the globe will be empowered to do even more good in the world through the use of our system.”

About Rotary International

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. Rotary’s top priority is the eradication of the crippling disease polio. There are 1.2 million Rotary members in 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary clubs have been serving communities worldwide for more than a century. The first Rotary club was founded in Chicago in 1905. For more information, visit www.rotary.org

About SmartSimple

Founded in 2003, SmartSimple Software Inc. currently serves over 200 clients in a number of vertical markets. The company is a leading provider of social responsibility solutions, the most prominent of which is the GMS360° series. GMS360° is available in “Essentials” and Enterprise” versions, and like all SmartSimple products offers end users several hosting and configuration options. More information is available at http://www.smartsimple.com/