PleaseTech blog

We aim to provide useful, pertinent and sometimes fun insights into the world of document collaboration and the workings of a technology company

PleaseReview continues to be a product that stands alone in its functionality and power...

Posted by Sarah Holden on 26. November 2013 13:56

Half of the PleaseTech marketing team.


An article featuring a recent independent evaluation of PleaseReview has just been published by DM Magazine, a UK publication specializing in document and enterprise content management technologies. The article covers the product's newest enhancements following its major v5.0 release and also the strategy behind its development. In my opinion, it make for good reading, and so have included it verbatim here!

Written by Dave Tyler, Editor, Document Manager Magazine

We first looked at PleaseReview a couple of years ago, at which time it was already on its way to becoming established as a unique and powerful tool: whether reviewing or co-authoring documents within a department, across the enterprise (inside or outside the firewall) or with customers, partners and suppliers, PleaseReview expedites the process within its secure, structured and controlled environment. .

The product is now effectively the de facto standard 'tool for the job' in the Life Sciences marketplace. The company claims that what it describes as 'document-centric collaboration' is set to grow steadily over the next few years, driven by a combination of tightened economic strictures and an increased need for better collaboration.

The newest version of PleaseReview, v5.0 boasts a significantly enhanced interface, with a far cleaner look and feel that fits neatly into the current Windows environment - including tight integration with SharePoint 2007/2010/2013. Support for mobile users has been present since 2011, but the new version also includes a useful offline mode, which enables users to review documents while on a plane, for instance, using a zero-footprint client that works as well on tablets as on laptops.

PleaseTech has a clear strategy for the development of this product which they describe as 'Beyond Review', a key element of which is to better support enterprise rollout. The enhanced mobile/flight mode is part of this, as is the excellent SharePoint integration and improved user interface. Users are now presented with a window that looks much more like a Word document (which is of course the office tool that most will be using on a regular basis). Other minor but thoughtful enhancements include a countdown timer to remind users of when a document needs to be reviewed by, and nicely modernised toolbars that suit the current Windows user experience.

Another important innovation is the introduction of Feedback management, allowing the capture of high level feedback on a document (or document sets): this gives a whole new level of functionality to those who utilise PleaseReview on bids, proposals and similar documents. The reporting capabilities of the software have often been a key selling point according to PleaseTech, and the Feedback improvements can only help their cause, as well as helping them address their desire to move across the enterprise.

Another enterprise-class enhancement is in the configurability of the product itself. Intuitive administrator menus allow for the setup of different views and capabilities for different levels of user. For example, casual users can have a more simplified interface than regular users. There have also been improvements to ReviewZones which control who can comment where in Word documents. Less senior staff might only be able to view and comment on specific paragraphs that are relevant to their business unit, for instance, while project managers are given far more control and wider access.

Version 5 is a major step forward from the software we looked at just a couple of years ago in terms of configurability, user interface and reporting and management. V5.1, promised for early 2014, is intended to take PleaseTech's stated aim of 'Beyond Review' even further, with more specialist review tools and unique functionality. 
More info: www.pleasetech.com 


VERDICT
PleaseReview continues to be a product that stands alone in its functionality and power, while broadening its appeal to additional market sectors and presenting itself as an enterprise-ready tool - mobile enhancements are a particularly nice touch.

 

 

That which is measured, improves

Posted by Nick Angell on 8. November 2013 09:55


Back in the summer, we decided to implement a new online support system to further improve our customer service offering. A key requirement was to provide 24 hour access as our clients operate in different time zones.

Having reviewed upwards of 10 different options over a three month period, we landed upon SysAid.  One of the key features of SysAid is that it gives our customers the opportunity to answer questions, or rectify problems themselves via for example, FAQs and an online knowledge base.

By empowering the customer, we have given them the tools to, in some cases, fix the issue themselves before even needing to raise the incident.  If they are unable to find a fix, the system points them to the information they need to send us in order for the query to be resolved quickly and efficiently, cutting out “email tennis” and saving valuable time.

Now it’s nice when I get in in the morning to see that when an incident was raised during the night, the supporting information (screenshots, log files) is already included, as well as the customer setting the urgency of the incident (so helping me prioritise internally).

Our knowledge base (FAQ) now has some 30+ articles, which given the technical nature of the support calls, is a good number.  They’ll always be a limit to the number of article simply because the incidents we encounter the most relate to document corruptions and environmental issues. 

But the purpose of these articles is to get the maximum information from the start of the incident, so the question is how do we make sure we’re asking for, or providing the client with the right information?

What we’re trying to do is monitor our direct email questions, spot trends and create articles based on these. SysAid enables us to tag each article, prompting the end user so that when logging an incident, they’re pointed towards any articles which match the incident criteria.

The knowledge base articles also record page views, which gives us some useful information on which articles are proving the most useful.

The news feed is also an area I like, from informing clients of a server/network outage to simply letting them know a patch has been released for PleaseReview.

This system is still in its infancy, but is an area I feel will only improve our customer service offering to the end user. Bottom line = if you’re happy, my CEO is happy. 

The SharePoint dichotomy

Posted by Sarah Holden on 18. October 2013 10:37

Half of the PleaseTech marketing team.


Now, more than ever, ‘collaboration’ is the buzz word of the day as key analysts and other thought leaders extoll its virtues.  Ben Hecht in the Harvard Business Review recently wrote that ‘collaboration is the new competition’ and going one step further, Gartner point out ‘IT leaders have opportunities to deliver business value in the area collaboration’.

SharePoint is perhaps one of the most prolific ‘collaborative platforms.  Eighteen months ago we published a whitepaper entitledDocument Review and SharePoint Document Collaboration', which asked SharePoint customers what they thought about its collaborative capabilities and whether being known as the ‘business collaboration platform’ lived up to its reputation with regard to the collaborative authoring and review process.

It found that whilst respondents were broadly satisfied with their document review solutions, further questioning revealed many issues.  Whilst the term collaboration was widely used, in reality expectations were low. This demonstrated that in the SharePoint community, education was still required.

So we decided to ask since this research, and three years on from the launch of SharePoint 2010, how have user expectations evolved as the platform has become more prolific?  What is the reality of document collaboration in the workplace?  Is there still a mismatch between what SharePoint users need and what they have?  Have opinions on SharePoint’s collaborative capabilities changed?

We surveyed 276 companies in order to find out the answers to these questions.

Ultimately, are businesses deriving value from their collaborative tools?

Want to know what we found out?  Sign up to a 30 minute webinar, hosted by PleaseTech CEO Dave Cornwell on Tuesday October 22nd.

Simply click this link.

 

 

 

 

Reflections on Oracle OpenWorld

Posted by David Cornwell on 27. September 2013 09:24

Founder/CEO of PleaseTech Ltd - collaborative document review and co-authoring for the enterprise.


I’m sitting in the lounge at SFO en route home after my first ever Oracle OpenWorld. We had a booth in Moscone West – the Applications Hall. So, as a show veteran, what are my impressions?

Firstly, it’s the size of the whole event. It’s certainly the largest I’ve ever attended. I’m not sure what the final attendance figures are but the figures being bandied around are 60,000 people. I suspect that is all attendees including delegates, booth staff, Oracle staff and conference organisers but, whatever the numbers; it’s an awful lot of people.

It’s only when I ventured from our hall to the main event area (where the keynotes and the ‘Technology hall’ was located across the road, you realize the scale of the whole thing.  It’s a major logistical challenge and I thought the whole event was extremely well organized – congratulations to Oracle and the event organizers.

Secondly, the sheer number of Oracle products and breadth they cover is almost beyond comprehension. Trying to get my mind around what the various exhibiting companies were promoting was a mission impossible. So much was so far outside of my experience I had no idea!

The question then is how do you differentiate yourself? How do identify yourself in the noise and bring attention to yourself to the delegates whom may be potentially interested in your offerings – assuming that only a percentage are interested? The key is ‘simple messages’. If anything our booth wording was a case of ‘too much information’.  We just needed to get the message ‘Document Collaboration’ across.

However, on the subject of simple messages, many people did suggest that their document collaboration needs were taken care of via SharePoint.  So, Microsoft has had a lot of success with its simple message that SharePoint is the ‘document collaboration platform’.  So our challenge is to come up with an equally simple message of why you need PleaseReview if you have SharePoint!

Thirdly, whilst we were at the event to promote our new Oracle WebCenter Content integration, there was a high degree of interest in our Documentum, Open Text and SharePoint integrations. Initially this surprised me. However, when you do the rational analysis, the simple fact is that the attendees represent some of the biggest companies in the world and they have large corporate systems, which include the aforementioned Documentum, Open Text and SharePoint systems.  So, opportunities outside WebCenter Content were an unexpected and, of course, much welcomed outcome.

As usual for these big events we ran a document collaboration survey from the booth and had over 400 participants. Results will help us in our marketing and be published.  We learnt a bit about survey length and what attracts people to complete surveys. Hint: never refer to it as a survey. Ask them if they want to win the prize – who doesn’t - and then once they start they normally complete.

Finally, I’ve learnt that going to the Oracle Appreciation Event party/concert on the Wednesday night is not something I plan to do again. Bussing 50,000+ people to Treasure Island through the rush hour traffic (1 hr 45 mins from standing in line for the bus) is non-trivial. Then, when you are there, there is a long line for food, drink, the rest rooms, etc.  OK, so Maroon 5, were good (but I suspect they play to a more animated audience normally) but I’m afraid I decided to forgo the pleasure of The Black Peas and head back. Now if it had been The Black Eyed Peas it may have been a different story.

Last word: Special thanks also need to go to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who skipped his final keynote speech on Tuesday to attend the America's cup (congratulations Larry on a great win I’m sure they couldn’t have done it without you) giving attendees more time to experience the document collaboration benefits of PleaseReview.

 

 

PleaseTech at Oracle OpenWorld

Posted by John Tanner on 26. September 2013 16:30

Our PleaseTech integration expert


As Oracle OpenWorld virgins our pre-show expectations were high, especially considering the sheer size of the event; and as proceedings draw to a close we certainly haven't been disappointed.  The four days have provided an excellent forum to share PleaseTech's products to a diverse range of business partners.  Most surprising has been the interest we have received in our integrations with non-Oracle document management solutions from Microsoft SharePoint to Documentum.

Special thanks also need to go to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who skipped his final keynote speech on Tuesday to attend the America's cup, giving attendees more time to experience the document collaboration benefits of PleaseReview.

 

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