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Launching Scriptura Engage Web Designer

Unlock your Business Users!

 

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Rapid Time to Market is Table Stakes for Digital Innovation

The digital world is moving fast (and faster every day). If it comes to innovations, tomorrow is always too late. They were due for release yesterday! To better support our customers in their digital journey, we have changed our release schedule. With this new schedule, we will  release software more frequently, reducing the time-to-market of new features significantly.
 
Until now, the release date of a new version of our on-premise product was determined by its scope. Consequently, the time to complete the release varied based on the size of the scope. Also, as you might expect, the scope of a release tends to fluctuate, which is just fine in an agile environment, but this has the disadvantage that release dates become unclear and that they tend to shift to later dates. This makes the planning of migration projects hard for customers. Another side effect is that different stakeholders put a lot of pressure on the product team to get a specific feature in the next release, because it is unclear when following releases will become available.
 
To overcome these concerns, we have decided that the release frequency is more important than the scope of a release. As a result, we will release Scriptura Engage with a fixed frequency. Every 3 months (in January, April, July and October), a new release will be made available. The scope will be more focused on a smaller set of features and it might happen that a feature won’t make it in a specific release, but the release dates are clearly defined and will give the stakeholders perspective of when to expect that feature. These time-based releases also facilitate faster collection of feedback on new features. This gives us the opportunity to iterate more quickly, resulting in more valuable software. For those customers that require stability and don’t want to use new functionalities right away, we will provide a long term stable release (LTS) every year.
 
To highlight this change, we will also align the version numbers of our products with this new release schedule. The new version numbering will contain the year and month of the release. With that in mind, Scriptura Engage 8.1 is also known as Scriptura Engage 17.02, which indicates that it has been released in February 2017. This year you can expect the following releases: Scriptura Engage 17.07 in July and Scriptura Engage 17.10 in October.
 
All changes in the release schedule are documented in the Software Release Policy, that can be found in the protected part of our website. This policy becomes effective with the release of Scriptura Engage 8.1 also known as Scriptura Engage 17.02.
 
 
 
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Scriptura Engage 8.1 (aka 17.02) released

Today, we are very pleased to announce release 8.1 of Scriptura Engage, our enterprise customer communication platform.
 
New in this release:
  • With smart data routing, flexible configuration of the output production and end-to-end tracking of the process, the Composition Service adds transparency, efficiency, performance and recoverability to the batch output process.
  • Time dependent variations of resources, called variants, allow for efficient inclusion
    of different legal clauses or promotions in a template, based on the date of output generation.
  • With the introduction of the Email Proofing and Email Link Rewriting & Tracking cloud
    services, designing quality emails has become much easier.
  • The Resource Server has a new backend, based on an included distributed, high
    performance NoSQL store, called Apache Cassandra. Consequently, the performance and the robustness of the Resource Server are significantly increased, mainly as an effect of removing the dependency on unreliable network storage and less performant relational databases.
  • All server process (Process Server, Resource Server, Management Server and Front End
    Server) now have an extensible framework to verify their status and in-depth health.
  • All server processes are now capable of being shut down in a graceful manner.
  • A wide range of new Document Flow steps are made available to be used in your output processes.
Since compatibility with the existing enterprise infrastructure is important and as software evolves quickly, the list of supported operating systems, databases and browsers has been
updated.
 
With this new release, we also changed our Software Release Policy. Thanks to this policy, an increased software release frequency will accelerate the introduction of new features significantly.
 
Scriptura Engage 8.1 (also known as Scriptura Engage 17.02) has a lot to offer and is ready to be downloaded from our website today. More information and details can be found in the What’s New in Scriptura Engage 8.1 brochure.
 
We invite you to upgrade today! If you need assistance to understand the impact of an upgrade in your specific environment or you want us to help you migrate your Scriptura Engage software, please feel free to contact us!
 
 
 
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Customer says Thank You for being in Control

It has become almost a platitude to say that the Customer should come first. Yet, it is not less true than the first time this was pronounced. No doubt about it. Everyone agrees. The question we really should ask ourselves is who today’s Customer is. Some find him arrogant, aggressive and superficial. I find that shocking and would define him rather as an independent, assertive, experience-oriented traveler. This 21st century behavior has as a consequence that he is constantly in interaction, yet, difficult to be found and engaged. The last thing he wants is a company disrupting his journey. He would say: “If you want me to buy your solution, show me how reachable, predictable and flexible you are, and leave me alone.” What he actually is saying: “Give me the comfort I need and I’ll be loyal to you.”

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Services' view on Customer Satisfaction

Every professional service organization is aware that customer satisfaction is important to differentiate from the competition.

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An exit-strategy for PDF forms

Google recently decided to phase out support for NPAPI-plugins in Chrome. This has some serious consequences if your organization still depends on fillable PDF forms. I’ll explain why in this blog post!

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What are the requirements of document composition?

On the LinkedIn Group "Document Composition Professionals", a question was posted: "What are the minimum requirements that are needed in a Document Composition tool?"

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How User Personas make our software even better

It's true, usability has become a commodity. Consumers are spoiled with outstanding user experiences of websites and mobile apps such as Facebook, YouTube and Amazon. It is easy to understand that in their professional life, those consumers will demand the same standards for the business software they use.

At Scriptura Engage, we are convinced that the usability of our software will determine our success. Although our solutions are often praised for their usability, some time ago we decided to go a step further. As such, we now start applying the user-centered design practice of User Personas.

Business Software & UX

Business software legs behind if it comes to user experience. This is caused by a number of factors:

  • business software has a more complex objective,
  • business software is customized,
  • business software is installed on-premises, making usage statistics hard to collect,
  • business software replacement is costly,
  • the user is in most cases not the buyer,
  • the user is harder to find.

Although some of those factors are valid reasons why it is hard to improve usability, it should be no excuse to ignore the usability aspect of business software. There are many ways to work on usability. At Scriptura Engage we recently started with the creation of User Personas as part of an initiative to bring the software closer to our users.

Personas

For those not familiar with user-centric product design, User Personas are fictional characters that represent the different user types that use your product in more or less the same way. As an illustration: for the design of communications in Scriptura Engage we have defined 4 personas that include information about the skills, tasks and needs of the represented users. One of them, Jason, is included as an example.

 

 

Benefits

The exercise of defining those personas is interesting and gives you insights in how users are actually using your software. But the real benefits of personas lie in their usage in product development.

Mindset

Defining and publishing user personas is not a once-off exercise, but a new way of thinking. This way, you show the whole organization that you want to put the user in the center.

Communication

User personas, in combination with user stories (descriptions of functionality in terms of the type of user, what they want and why they want it in a non-technical manner) makes that marketing, sales, analysts, developers and designers can communicate efficiently about features and their targeted users.

Empathy

Personas put a face on the otherwise abstract user, making it easier for a designer and developer to empathize with and think like the user, resulting in functionalities that a type of user really needs.

Focus

When you see the world from your user’s perspective determining what is useful and what is not becomes a lot easier. Personas help us to define who the software is being created for and also who not to focus on. Having a clear target is important.

Conclusion

Usability in business software gets more and more attention as users are demanding the same experience as the websites and mobile apps they use (in their personal life). It is not a shame that developers don’t always know what is best for the user. User personas are created with the purpose to represent the real users and can provide answers and direction.

Call to Action

To define the User Personas, our UX experts (coached by a consultant of Studio Dott, an all-round creative and design firm) have conducted (and are still conducting) a number of interviews with our users. We are currently in the process of defining User Personas for the management, integration and administration of Scriptura Engage.

If you believe you have valuable input, do let me know!

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