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

Looking back at 2013 and forward to 2014

Posted by David Cornwell on 7. January 2014 10:07

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


I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year. Welcome to 2014. 

As is traditional, the first part of my January blog is somewhat repetitive as I say that the previous year was yet another successful one for PleaseTech with revenue growth, new clients and some great product enhancements! 

2013 revenue growth over 2012 was approximately 10%. Whilst that figure may seem disappointing in light of previous growth figures, it masks a much higher underlying sales growth reflected by our annual recurring revenue being up 25%. 2013 brought us a total of 21 new corporate clients.

We remain profitable and continue to retain a healthy cash balance. Given that we now employ more people and have further recruiting plans (meaning ever increasing projected overheads), this remains an excellent position to be in.

With approximately 80% of 2013 sales, the trend of Life Sciences being our largest sector continues and, once again, North America is our largest market accounting for 66% of all sales. This is a slight decrease from previous years following an increase in business with European customers.

In terms of product, 2013 saw the release of PleaseReview v5.0. Key enhancements included:

— An enhanced user interface

— The feedback capability which can be used both to capture high level feedback on a document set and thoughts and ideas to help with team brainstorming

— Flight mode. It's now possible to review Word documents offline on your tablet (Android and iPad) and then upload to the master review when back online

— User types to control the functionality available to reviewers according to the level of sophistication required

— Simplified licensing to take into account added product capabilities. 

From a customer service point of view, we continue to get excellent feedback on our support. For example, a recent customer commented: “Sadly, the sense of true customer service is lost on many vendors we do business with; we are happy to see that PleaseTech ‘gets it’.”

2013 was the year we 'landed' on the industry analysts radar and were recognized as thought leaders in the document review and collaboration space. Ovum, Info-Tech, Osterman Research and the Bloor Group all covered us and, to top it off, there was the Gartner 'Cool Vendor' award. I'm sure that our continuing understanding of the critical and ubiquitous business process of document review and how PleaseReview responds to this will continue to attract the analysts' attention.

As we continue to develop partner relations, we released a PleaseReview integration with Oracle WebCenter Content and achieved Oracle Gold Partner status. Work on other integrations and partnerships has been a constant theme of 2013 and continues into the new year.

So, looking back I think we can be proud of what we achieved in 2013. 

What can we expect in 2014?

Well, from our perspective the answer is: more of the same.  We will continue to work hard and deliver excellent software. 

There is increased optimism about the global economy which can only be a good thing. Given the high reliance we have on US dollar denominated sales, the volatility in the dollar/sterling exchange rate over the last 12 months remains a business risk that we need to manage, but isn't a threat to the fundamentals of our business.

We will continue to expand our presence in Life Sciences by working with new and existing partners, but 2014 should also bring to fruition the work we have been doing on some exciting new opportunities in new market sectors with new partners. Watch out for announcements over the course of the year.

We have PleaseReview v5.1 coming towards the end of its development phase with the test phase starting shortly. I’ll be devoting a whole blog post to v5.1 later in January so watch this space. Work has already started on v6.0 and we have no shortage of ideas and requests for enhancements. 2014 will also see further development of PleaseCompose.

So, from a business perspective, it’s ‘steady as she goes’ or in other words ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. 

From a personal perspective a year wouldn’t be the same without a physical challenge or two. Nothing major is planned yet but in the meantime I have signed up for the South Wales Three Peaks Trial Platinum walk at the end of March which is a 17 mile walk with a total ascent of 5,000 feet.

That will keep me focused for now!

 

A medical writer's perspective of PleaseReview

Posted by Sarah Holden on 16. December 2013 12:09

Half of the PleaseTech marketing team.


Recently we attended a conference for medical writers. Whilst there, we were visited by a medical writer who works for a US biopharmaceutical company. She is a regular user of our collaborative review and co-authoring solution, PleaseReview. It is gratifying to hear first-hand how PleaseReview helps with what can otherwise be an arduous task. From her point of view, working with others on the many documents regularly produced within both the clinical and regulatory groups means the task of consolidating everyone’s changes into one copy is a major activity- requiring time, patience and great people skills! PleaseReview has made this much easier- she no longer has to play referee, reviewers no longer operate in a vacuum and the time gained equates to significant cost savings.

We have written up a short case study detailing her experience to elaborate the benefits medical writers can expect, so if interested, please take a look

On another note, as we approach the end of the year, we continue on the theme of our Christmas countdown. Today, we celebrate the  newly expanded PleaseTech blog which is a continuation of the blog started by out CEO, Dave Cornwell, but now includes contributions from other team members and guest bloggers as well as being easy to find at www.blog.pleasetech.com.

 

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.

 

 

PleaseTech announces PleaseReview integration with Oracle WebCenter Content

Posted by Sarah Holden on 14. November 2013 16:09

Half of the PleaseTech marketing team.


We are very pleased to announce that after lots of hard work we can safely say that PleaseReview™ now brings its specialist collaborative review and co-authoring capabilities within reach of Oracle® WebCenter Content customers.

Following on from our earlier announcement that we had achieved Oracle PartnerNetwork gold level partner status, we have successfully completed PleaseReview's integration with Oracle's WebCenter Content ECM platform. This extends our current partner portfolio with other leading document and content management systems, and more integrations are underway.

PleaseReview is a natural fit with Oracle WebCenter Content as it brings its specialist collaborative review and co-authoring capabilities to those organizations who chose Oracle's ECM platform to help lower costs, reduce risks and improve business productivity. Indeed, as PleaseReview is proven to deliver significant cost and time savings and is easy to use, the ROI becomes quickly obvious. 

Additionally, as PleaseReview seamlessly accesses Oracle WebCenter Content's document repository, users can easily locate and participate in reviews from their WebCenter Content interface. Simultaneous access to the review, control over who can do what to where, comment and change reconciliation, automated consolidation of proposed changes and comments, owner management and control and comprehensive reporting are some of the features  they will benefit from.

For more information, please visit our website, read the news release or contact us.

 

 

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. 

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