Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays from the SmartSimple Team!

Trees are trimmed, presents wrapped, cookies good to go! While our team is getting ready to celebrating with our families, we haven't forgotten our SmartSimple community needs us, too!

This holiday season, we’re offering the following hours from our Support Desk to serve you through this merry season.
Holiday Support Hours:
Monday, December 22
8 am - 9 pm EST (Regular Hours)
Tuesday, December 23
8 am - 9 pm EST (Regular Hours)
Wednesday, December 24
8 am - 5 pm EST
Thursday, December 25
Closed
Friday, December 26
8 am - 5 pm EST
Monday, December 29
8 am - 9 pm EST (Regular Hours)
Tuesday, December 30
8 am - 9 pm EST (Regular Hours)
Wednesday, December 31
8 am - 5 pm EST
Thursday, January 1
Closed
Friday, January 2
8 am - 9 pm EST (Regular Hours)

Please note, our critical@smartsimple.com email is monitored during the holidays, and help is always available in the event of any system or server outages that may occur on days our offices are closed.

Please don't hesitate to contact us at 
support@smartsimple.com, visit our main website for more news and updates, or call us at 1-866-239-0991 ext. 1.

Have a safe, healthy and happy holiday season and a joyous New Year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SmartSimple Shares the Holiday Spirit!

Bright lights, festive music and glittering parties abound at this time of year. But for many families, the holiday season brings more stress than joy. It’s hard to think about buying presents for your children when you’re not sure if you can both pay rent and put food on the table.
 
Fortunately, there are organizations like Holiday Helpers and their Adopt-a-Family program, and once again, SmartSimple is taking part by providing a traditional Christmas to a family in need.

“It’s been such a rewarding experience for us, being able to give an entire family not just presents but the entire holiday experience,” says Sarah Jane Nicholson, Relationship Manager at SmartSimple and coordinator of the Adopt-a-Family initiative. “We get a wish list from the parents for every member of the family, so we know we’re giving them and their children what they really want. It’s so much more personal than just providing the necessities. We get to give the fun stuff too!”

Goodies baked and donated by the SmartSimple bake sale.
Since 1996, Holiday Helpers has been sponsoring low income families in the Greater Toronto Area. They are referred to the program through other not-for-profit partners, and receive a tree and decorations, presents and a gift certificate to purchase groceries for a traditional dinner with all the trimmings. To date, Holiday Helpers have made the season merry and bright for hundreds of families.

 “This year we’ve adopted a family of seven – two adults and five children. One of the kids has special needs, so some extra care was required in purchasing their gifts,” continues Sarah.

To ensure there was enough money to provide everything the family wanted and needed, Sarah Jane set a very ambitious fundraising goal of $1,500. “Holiday Helpers suggests a budget of about $100 per person, but I wanted to be able to spend a bit more and get as many of the items on the family wish list as possible,” she adds.

The whole SmartSimple team got on board to help. “Everyone was so generous with donations! We also held a couple of draws for various items – including an extra vacation day – and a huge bake sale at the Toronto office with all the goodies prepared by our staff,” says Sarah.
Just some of the gifts purchased for our adopted family!

With the funds in hand, it was time to go shopping! “I found it so rewarding to go and buy gifts for our adopted family, and everyone in the office was excited to watch the piles of presents grow!” says Sarah. All the parcels were then handed off to Holiday Helper volunteers to deliver in time for Christmas. “It’s such a rewarding feeling,” concludes Sarah, “knowing we’ve given a family who would normally be unable to enjoy the season, not just gifts, but the entire festive experience.”

You can learn all about Holiday Helpers and their Adopt-a-Family initiative on their website.

From everyone here at SmartSimple, a happy, healthy and joyous holiday season to you and yours! Be sure to keep an eye on our website and blog for upcoming webinars, events and upgrades in 2015.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2014 Wrap-up – Highlights of SmartSimple’s Upgrades

As 2014 draws to a close and the New Year approaches, the SmartSimple team wanted to share our favorite new features from this past year. While it’s not easy to narrow down the best of the best, we think the following five are worth an honorable mention:

Arcadia X
Arcadia X Before
In May, SmartSimple brought you Arcadia X, the next generation of our Arcadia interface and our alternative to an icon-based portal. Arcadia X gives System Administrators a new way to build personalized, role-based portals with features like tab-based navigation, list views, enhanced filtering and searching options. Change permissions, add portals, lock down, grant access and reassign as you see fit – it’s all up to you!
Arcadia X After


We did a little tweaking of the interface in November, making it even more intuitive by moving the menu tabs to the top of the page and grouping them.

Simplify Integration
Over the summer, SmartSimple’s GMS360o was the first solution to go live with Simplify.

President Cameron McLean discusses Simplify at the TAG Conference.
Simplify, from GuideStar and the Technology Affinity Group (TAG), focuses on data-sharing and standards-setting in the grants management sector. With Simplify, we’ve eliminated the need to enter anything more than once during the registration process, improving efficiency and eliminating redundancies.

Signority
Another upgrade feature brought you the convenience of online document signing with Signority. With Signority, users can send, sign, and complete approvals right from your SmartSimple system without pens, paper or scans.

Signority also provides an audit trail to ensure your documents are properly tracked, authenticated and stored. Never have to “dig up” a document from another online or hard copy filing system again!

U.S. Census Integration
In 2014, SmartSimple integrated with the U.S. Census online database, providing you with the ability to access the most up-to-date, geographically-relevant data from 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Census data is provided at three different levels: Tract, County and State. Census Tracts are the lowest level of geographic region for which census data can be returned. The data can be referenced in a list view, on a Universal Tracking Application™ record or elsewhere in the system.
Sample of census data in SmartSimple.


Data from the U.S. census can also be used to drive branching logic on SmartSimple workflows or perform other calculations.

Smarter Email Functionality
The November upgrade also gave a boost to SmartSimple’s email feature. Now you can generate unique email addresses for various objects or records, adding the convenience of attaching emails directly to the relevant object or record.
Sample of enhanced email screen view in SmartSimple.

When an external user replies to your email, the system automatically records the activity on the source record so all communications are properly tracked.

If you’d like more information on any of the above features, be sure to check out our SmartSimple Wiki and our YouTube channel.

We’ll be back with our first upgrade of 2015 at the end of January, so stand by for more exciting enhancements! In the meantime, keep an eye on our website for other news, to request a demo or check out upcoming webinars and events.  

Friday, December 5, 2014

SmartSimple now a GSA Supplier to the United States Government

SmartSimple is pleased to announce that we are now a United States Government General Service Agreement (GSA) Advantage supplier.

What is the GSA Advantage?
GSA Advantage is the United States government’s online superstore. Their website provides access to millions of products and services from thousands of contractors and suppliers. Being listed on this site lets all levels of government – from federal to municipal – know that SmartSimple is an authorized supplier. This ensures government agencies can take advantage of pre-negotiated prices while enjoying the security of dealing with a GSA approved source.

What does it mean for SmartSimple?
Being a GSA Advantage supplier means we’re part of a short list of pre-approved companies providing services for any government agency looking for a grants management software solution. It makes us a much more attractive option to potential government clients.

What does it mean for SmartSimple clients?
GSA Advantage status gives SmartSimple an added level of credibility, making it clear to prospective clients – both government and non-government organizations – that we’re a major player and a serious contender in the marketplace. This, along with our standing in the latest Idealware report “A Consumers’ Guide to Grants Management Systems”, lets people know we have a high standard of professional service excellence.

It also shows the level of expertise SmartSimple has in creating software for complex granting organizations. Not just another “body shop,” SmartSimple employees are experts in the fields of not only software and cloud computing, but the management of grants, employee giving and volunteering management, and other not-for-profit activities.

Learn more at GSA Advantage
Visit the GSA Advantage website to learn more about us and other GSA suppliers. Our contract number is GS-35F-458BA.  Look us up!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

SmartSimple 2014 Year in Review Webinars

Join SmartSimple founders Michael Reid and Keith Yau as they recap and showcase their favourite SmartSimple enhancements from the past year, as well as changes to SmartSimple as a company. 

This interactive half hour webinar will highlight what changes we've made to help improve your processes and how you interact with your communities. You'll also have the opportunity to learn and discuss what we did in the past year and hear about our exciting plans for what we have in store for you in 2015.

  • Tuesday, December 9th @ 1pm EST
  • Friday, December 12th @ 10am EST