Well I’m delighted to be formally announcing what is in PleaseReview v5.0.
We initially announced the ‘high level’ plans last year and showcased some of the key features at the recent FOSE conference in Washington, DC and at the APMP Bid and Proposal conference in Atlanta. We will also have v5.0 with us on the booth at the DIA conference in Boston next week. We're booth #304 - please drop by if you're going. For more details visit the DIA website.
So, PleaseReview v5.0 provides the following enhancements:
- A modernized user interface;
- ‘High level’ feedback capability;
- Flight mode (an additional cost option) to provide offline, zero footprint review capability with HTML5 (i.e. modern) browsers;
- A customizable review experience designed to suite varying levels of reviewer sophistication with the introduction of User Types;
- Revised, simplified licensing;
- Various other enhancements, upgrades and fixes.
We always value client feedback and most of these enhancements are being introduced as a direct result of such user feedback. Several are intended to be ‘first steps’ to be further developed in future releases.
Clearly the standout feature is Flight Mode. The ability to review Word documents offline on a tablet and automatically upload and consolidate your comments and changes into the main review surely has to be a winner. We believe that PleaseReview is globally unique and this simply takes it a step further.
So diving into the detail ………
Modernized, Enhanced User Interface
The review interface has been ‘refreshed’ with new, larger, modern icons, the introduction of a count-down timer and, for Word documents, a ‘paper-like’ look & feel with page breaks.
Existing PleaseReview v4 users will recognize the overall environment and will feel ‘at home’ but will also notice numerous little improvements such as the selected paragraph being identified in the document and a complete rationalization of the options available. In addition to Reviewers, Authors also benefit from enhancements designed to minimize their need to click!
We’ve introduced a new feature called a ‘Feedback Document’. This is designed to enable the capture of ‘high level’ feedback on a document or document set. So now it’s possible to ask questions such as; ‘please rate the quality of the writing’; ‘what are the strengths of the document set’; ‘please identify the major risks’; etc.
This feedback capability is the first stage of our new ‘Beyond Review’ strategy. The idea being that now they have an efficient way for multiple people to mark-up and comment on documents, it’s time to leverage PleaseReview to provide business process benefits beyond simple document review. There will be further developments in this area.
The feedback functionality has been driven by requirements for color team reviews in the proposals industry. From understanding what's needed to getting something that works are two very different things but, even if I do say so myself, its implementation is extremely clever and it is very easy to configure.
The feedback functionality also makes it possible to use PleaseReview simply as a brainstorming tool. So PleaseReview can be used to capture the thoughts of participants on a topic rather than as a review process.
These days it’s all about the mobile worker. Last year we introduce our iPad module and have had the Offline Review Client (OLC) for a long time. But it’s not been possible to review offline on a tablet – until now.
So, imagine: You are at the gate reviewing a Word document on your iPad. The flight is called, you click into PleaseReview’s Flight Mode and select which reviews you want to work on during the flight. Whilst you board they are downloading. When the plane doors close and you need to flick your iPad into Flight Mode you have the selected reviews available for offline review. No apps, no installs – it’s all in the browser.
Whilst you're reviewing offline you will be able to see all the comments and changes made by your colleagues to the moment you downloaded the review. When you are next connected, upload your comments and changes. It’s that simple.
The only requirement is a browser which supports HTML5. So Flight Mode works with most devices, be it a Windows laptop, Macbook, iPad or Android tablet.
We think this is pretty cool. We hope you do as well!
As part of our focus on facilitating enterprise rollouts, we are introducing the ability to specify User Types in PleaseReview. This allows control over the review interface with the provision of different functionality to different types of user.
So casual users can have a simplified interface (with reduced available functionality) whilst more sophisticated users can have a fully featured interface.
This makes it easy to use PleaseReview throughout the organization even by less confident users. Expect further enterprise rollout features in future releases.
I think everyone I know agrees that software licensing is anything but simple. The basic problem is balancing flexible licensing which meets client requirements with the inherent complexity of the process.
Our previous licensing was very flexible was becoming rather cumbersome- for example, a user taking advantage of all the features offered by PleaseReview used three different licenses! This was difficult to explain to prospective clients. So we have simplified it.
We now have a simple hierarchical model of Power User, Enhanced User and Standard User which still provides the flexibility needed.
There have been a wide range of other enhancements and minor fixes designed to make life easier for our clients. If you’d like a webinar to go over the enhancements just let us know.
We have already started thinking about v5.1 and I’m over in Malaysia with the development team in early July to scope that out and bounce ideas around. Onward and upward!