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Reducing email bulk… automatically

April 27, 2010 11:53 pm, Published by

We have created what we consider to be a really clever system that allows for;

  • Orders containing multiple registrants
  • Orders containing multiple courses
  • Someone placing an order on behalf of someone else
  • Course registration not being ‘confirmed’ until the order is approved

These features provide some great flexibly and in a number of cases reduce a significant amount of administration. For example, allowing multiple registrations on an order can mean that instead of needing to produce and track a single invoice for each registration, they can all be combined onto the one invoice.  

Part of supporting this is having an ‘order contact’ for each order; a person who receives all communications relating to the order.  For example, when an order is submitted, they receive the ‘tax invoice’.   The order contact also receives an ‘order approval’ email when the order is approved while the registrants each receive the ‘course instructions’

There’s a flip side to this however – when an order is for a single registrant and it is the registrant themselves who has placed the order then they can potential receive the following multiple confirmation email for the various stages of the process. People have told us this was a bit of a pain and we’ve listened and have some great news.

We’ve made some changes and now the system is clever enough to know when this situation exists and will automatically reduce email quantity.

We have also added this enhancement across other parts of the system.  For example, order cancelations.  Instead of  sending an ‘order cancelation’ and a ‘registration cancellation’, the system just sends  ‘registration cancellation’ if the person who placed the order is the registrant themselves.

This can seem complex to get your head around, but there is some really clever stuff going on.  In fact, in most cases what seam really simple is in fact only simple to the user  because  there has been a lot of thought and extra development gone in to make it that way.

Sometimes It’s the Simplest Things….

April 23, 2010 7:28 am, Published by

We had an email the other day from a customer who was having difficulty navigating through LearningSource. It seemed the person wanted to copy the text from course A to course B but was loathe to lose the work they’d done already in course A.

Well there is a way around this and it’s easy and elegant. Modern web browsers (Internet Explorer 8, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome) have a multiple tab feature – that is multiple web pages can be open simultaneously within the browser by adopting a “tabbed” approach. It’s an incredibly simple, yet incredibly useful tool. So.. how do you do it?

First of all make sure you’ve got a modern browser (honestly – to get the best out of the internet you should be running the latest version anyway). Once you’ve done that the rest is easy.

Firstly right click your mouse while hovering over the icon of the link you want to open:

image001

Next select “Open link in new tab”:

image002

Magically you’ll now have two tabs open – the original one with all the work you’ve entered so far, plus the new one you just selected – you can switch between the two tabs quickly and easily by clicking them.

Sometimes the simplest things can make a big difference!

Rolling Out the Features

April 14, 2010 3:44 am, Published by

A theme that we return to often on this blog is that of our Software as a Service (SaaS) model allowing us to roll out features far more rapidly and frequently than is the case with traditional installed software. A case in point was our release that enables organisations using LearningSource to schedule multi-session courses and also to add terms and conditions within course descriptions.

Our customers have told us that multi session courses are very useful because the functionality gives them a lot of flexibility when scheduling courses that are disjointed for some reasons – for example by holidays or because they have multiple sessions over differing periods of time.

Here’s a real world example of this being important – a provider may have a course that runs for 5 weeks, and has 2 modules per week, which is then split up by a two week holiday in the middle of the programme. Traditionally this would require scheduling a lot of independent courses which would take extra time and be frustrating for whoever had the fun task of data entry. With our multi session courses this can be handled by a simple dialogue box (see screenshot below)

example_multi_dialogue

Again it’s another example of us rolling out improvements and refinements frequently and, even more importantly,taking the burden of managing upgrades away from our customers.

We’ve got a lot more of this sort of stuff coming – be sure to check back in frequently (or even better subscribe to the blog) to keep up to date.