September 2012 News

1 September 2012

It's been a few months since our last update, so we have a lot of exciting news to share with you. This includes the release of version 12 of AccuTrack & AccuSQL, a new feedback system that allows you to VOTE on features you want to see in future releases, new software training webinars, new IT Service for academic centers, new support staff members, new Accudemia release and Student Guides, new event tracking software, and much more!

Please make sure to read through this important information. Here is an index of the topics:


 

Version 12 of AccuTrack & AccuSQL Released

We are delighted to announce the release of AccuTrack & AccuSQL version 12. This release is the product of over one year of development work. We added features most requested by users. These include some major changes and updates.

If you have an active Platinum Plus subscription you qualify for a free upgrade to version 12. Your current version 11 or 10 database can be updated to work with the latest version. This means you can continue to work with version 12 without losing any data.

To download the version 12 upgrade software, simply fill out the request form here.

Version 12 offers many new improvements. Click here for a list of the new features.


 

NEW USER FEEDBACK SYSTEM

We are changing the way new features are selected for future releases. In the past, we collected numerous feature requests from users and then selected the ones that seemed to be of the most interest to our users. This meant that we decided on the most important features. We are improving this system to enable users to decide which features are most important. To implement this change, we set up a new feedback web site. Here is how it works:

  1. Each user will get 10 votes.
  2. Users can vote on existing feature requests or create their own requests.
  3. Users can give from 1 to 3 votes to their most important requests.
  4. Requests with the highest number of votes will be implemented in the next major release of the software.

The feedback system is already up and running here:

http://accu.uservoice.com/

To control SPAM and unwanted postings, the feedback system requires registration. To register, all you need to do is email me and I will open your account so you can start reviewing current requests and voting for features.

We hope you will take advantage of this new system so you can shape future releases of the software.


 

Software Training Webinars

We are delighted to see great interest in our complimentary online training webinars. Each webinar focuses on certain features of the software and is about one hour long. So far we have conducted webinars on the following topics:

  • Using Report Features: Report viewer, Picking filter options, Setting up groups, Adding to favorites, Memorizing reports, Scheduling reports, Customizing reports, Custom Query Generator, and more.
  • All About Sign-ins: Setting up semesters, Basic time in/time out logging, Activity selection, Activity and tutor selection, Registered and global activities, Intake system, and more.
  • Appointment Scheduling: Configuration Settings, Ways to schedule, Appt. viewers, Rooms, Email confirmations, Email reminders, No shows/Cancellations, AccuSL scheduling, and Appt. reports.
  • Collecting Information from Students and Tutors: Session notes, Activity feedback, Tutor evaluation, Survey manager, Using weighted data, Feedback reports, and Seminars.

Wish you had attended one of the above? Don't worry, we plan to repeat these webinars in the future. Also, you can view a video of the recorded sessions on Engineerica's YouTube Channel.

Don't miss upcoming webinars including:

  • What's New in Version 12
  • Communication Made Easy: How to send text messages, email, and pop up notifications to your students and staff.
  • Making your voice heard: Sending feature requests and submitting support requests.
  • Taking Advantage of Profiles: How to set up, collect, and use student profile data.
  • Customizing your Software: Making the most of the available options.
  • Controlling Access: How to assign various roles to your staff and students.
  • A Look Under the Hood: Tips on how the software works.
  • Hidden Features: Useful features that you might have missed!
  • Proving the Value of your Services: Program Assessments
  • Data Import: how to get data into your software (including automated imports)

To register for webinars, visit click here. Keep checking the site for new webinar announcements.


 

Reader's Choice Award

University Business is conducting its first Top
100 Reader's Choice award. We would love it if you nominate AccuTrack, AccuSQL, Accudemia, or AccuLite for this award. All you need to do is fill out a short nomination form. This should take a couple of minutes at most.

Update: Form is no longer available.

The deadline for reader nominations is September 12, 2012. Since this will only take a minute, you might want to do this now. To help you with the form, here are the answers to the first two questions:

1) Company (whose product you are nominating):
Engineerica Systems, Inc.

2) Product you are nominating:
(select the one you are using:) AccuTrack, AccuSQL, Accudemia, or AccuLite

Thanks in advance for your nomination!


 

New General IT Support Services

Do you need help installing software or troubleshooting computer problems? If so, we have good news for you: we are now offering general IT and computer support services!

Here are some of the reasons we decided to offer these services:

  1. Some of our clients are 'on their own' when it comes to installing software and maintaining their computers. These clients are in great need for assistance in setting up and maintaining their computer systems.
  2. Some of our clients do not have the expertise needed to set up systems needed to support their business applications. For example, to use AccuSQL, clients need to install and set up Microsoft SQL Server, and for AccuSilverLight, users need to set up a web server.
  3. Some of our clients are undeserved by low-quality high-priced third-party services: For example, a tutoring center coordinator hired a "consultant" to install a web server. The consultant must not have known much about this as it took him very long time to get this task done. The task was not done well and the consultant still billed the center over $2,000 for it! We want to spare our customers such nightmares!

Here are examples of services we offer via the new IT Support Services:

  1. Installing and setting up Microsoft SQL Server and other software.
  2. Setting up web servers.
  3. Troubleshooting computer and network issues.
  4. Advice on hardware and software purchases.
  5. Data processing (e.g. preparing import files).
  6. Writing scripts and applications to automate manual processes.
  7. And more.

All services are performed remotely by our highly skilled and experienced support staff. The services can be performed under an annual contract or on per-job basis. Contact us with your needs for a complimentary no-obligation quote.


 

New Conference & Event Tracking Software

We are delighted to announce a new system for tracking attendance at conference and events: Conference Tracker. This easy-to-use system reports on the attendance to your conference sessions and can even generate and distribute customized attendance certificates.

Conference Tracker is web-based software hosted on the Amazon cloud, so there is nothing to install - all you need is a web browser. You can access the system to set up your conference and retrieve your attendance reports from anywhere at any time.

To track attendance at your conference, simply follow these steps:

  1. Enter basic information about your conference like its title and dates.
  2. Enter your attendees' list or import it from an electronic list.
  3. Enter your conference sessions.
  4. Print name tags / conference badges with barcodes (either using Conference Tracker or via your own software).
  5. Using Apple's device (e.g. iPod touch) camera, scan the barcode on the name tag of each attendee to record their attendance.
  6. Log-in to your Conference Tracker account to review the attendance data and to generate attendance reports.
  7. If you like, use the built-in Certificate Designer to design your own attendance certificate and have Conference Tracker generate the certificates and deliver them via email. If you prefer, you can print the certificates and mail them out yourself.

That's it! Save yourself the hassles of manually tracking the attendance at your next conference by using Conference Tracker. It's simple, accurate, and it will save you a lot of time.

For more information on this system, please visit its website at http://www.newsite.engineerica.com/conferencetracker. You can sign up there for a complimentary tour and consultation.


 

New Support Staff & Resources

We are delighted to announce the addition of two members to our support team. Nicholas Armstrong just started this week. He has strong background in computer support. A few months ago, we added David Foster back on the support team. David has extensive experience with AccuTrack and AccuSQL.

With this addition, we now have 8 dedicated staff members on board who can answer your support questions.

In addition to the extra staff, we have switched to a new support ticketing system that helps us track your support requests. Currently the ticketing system is only used internally by our support staff. However, we will open it up soon so users can start their own support tickets online and check their status.

As mentioned above, we also expanded the our support delivery methods to include live webinars, instructional videos posted on YouTube, online blogs, and more. We also started a new feedback system to allow users to select future features.

Our goal is to provide you with the best possible service, and we are constantly perfecting this goal. Let me know what you think of our efforts.


 

Accudemia's Support Resources

Did you know that the average response time for Accudemia's support questions is only 22 minutes? In most cases, this is the only response needed as it contains an instant resolution to the question.

We are proud of the top-notch support provided by the Accudemia team. The excellent service is one of the the reasons that Accudemia's user base more than doubled in 2011.

In addition to direct assistance, we offer the following support resources to Accudemia users:

(1) Accudemia Official Blog: The place for excellent "how to" guides on the new features of Accudemia. This blog is written by Accudemia's senior developers and it contains valuable insight into the software that will help you make the most out of it. To visit the Accudemia Blog, click here.

(2) Accudemia Knowledge Base (KB): The questions and answers in the KB are taken directly from selected support questions received from Accudemia users. The KB has some valuable information to all users. To visit the KB, click here.

(3) Accudemia Frequently Asked Questions: Contains some common questions. To visit the FAQ, click here and here.

(4) Accudemia Documentation: This is where you will find the user's manuals and other docs. Click here to visit.

(5) iAccu: Use an Apple iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to capture visits for Accudemia, click here for more information.

(6) Accudemia Programming Information: If you want to interface Accudemia directly to your student management system, you will be interested in the technical information here.

(7) Support Forum: If you prefer the online support forum, you can use it by clicking here.

(8) Website: And of course, to visit the Accudemia's website, click here.


 

Accudemia Student Guides - Download

Our support staff created new guides that can be shared with your students so they learn how to get started with the basic functions of Accudemia. The guides show students how to schedule appointments, changing their password, and so on. Click here to view and download these guides.


 

Accudemia Version 4.9

On 9/6/12 version 4.9 of Accudemia was released. This version offers many enhancements that were requested by Accudemia users. Here is a list of enhancements since version 4.5

  • Enabled profile import using Accudemia Data Exchange (ADX).
  • Improved subject area search in some grids and search boxes by enabling subtext matches.
  • Improved validations in ADX to prevent invalid data from being imported.
  • Tardiness can be manually edited when using class attendance.
  • Now when found multiple classes at the same time in the same classroom, users can choose if they want to sign students in to a single class based on their enrollment.
  • Tutor schedule performance has been increased.
  • Destination schedules selection control has been replaced by a grid when copying a tutor schedule.
  • Appointments wizard performance has been increased.
  • Performance has been increased on the person editing screen.
  • My Center attendance report can now be filtered by service when logged-in as tutor.
  • Tutor schedule copy operation has been added.
  • New validation to prevent users from canceling appointments starting less than x minutes ahead was added.
  • New setting for specifying the default screen for making appointments has been added.
  • Performance related changes have been introduced for handling courses and services in tutor schedule.
  • Import performance has been increased.
  • All report filters now show an image while loading.
  • A brand new screen for scheduling appointments has been created. This new screen looks like the Daily Viewer but lets you click on any slot you want in order to create your appointment. You can find it in Appointments->New by date.
  • A new setting has been added in order to prevent students from making appointments in some specified center.
  • And more!

For details on using the new features, please visit the Accudemia Blog.


 

Sunset Announcement for Version 10

With the release of AccuTrack & AccuSQL version 12, we are announcing the end-of-life for version 10 of these applications. This means the following:

  1. No new updates (maintenance or otherwise) to version 10 will be released.
  2. Support via phone, email, and online for version 10 has now ended.
  3. Support via the online support forum for version 10 will continue. However, this support is limited to answering questions. No other assistance would be provided (e.g. no checking of customer's installation or database). Note that support on the forum is handled on a non-priority basis, and fast responses are not guaranteed.
  4. We will no longer provide version 10 software (e.g. replacement installation CDs).

Because of the above limitations, we recommend that all remaining version 10 users upgrade to version 11 or 12 ASAP. If you are an active Platinum Plus subscriber, then you qualify for a complimentary upgrade to version 12. If you are not an active Platinum Plus subscriber, you can upgrade by paying the upgrade fee. Note that the upgrade fees are going to increase when we update our website with version 12 information. To get the best upgrade credit, you should get an upgrade quote ASAP.


 

Sunset Announcement for WebLink

It's been over eleven years since the first release of AccuTrack WebLink in April 2001. The WebLink software was created as an add-on to AccuTrack to give students the ability to schedule their appointments from home. Throughout the years, we improved the software and added other functions including workshop/seminar registration. Many AccuTrack and AccuSQL users deployed the WebLink software.

Technology has much improved since we first developed WebLink, so our engineers used state-of-the-art technology from Microsoft® called Silverlight to develop a replacement for WebLink. The new software is called AccuSL ('SL' is a tribute to SilverLight). AccuSL does e
verything WebLink does but in a much improved environment that gives users richer, deeper interactivity. AccuSL also offers additional capabilities and is much easier to deploy than WebLink.

As announced previously, support WebLink ended on July 31, 2012. As a result, we recommend that all WebLink users move to AccuSL ASAP.


 

Contact Me

If you have any questions about our products or services, or if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear from you. Here is my contact information: