2016 Ends with a Bang!
2016 has been a great year for Akumina – one where we have worked so closely with our customers and partners to redefine what is possible for delivering transformative employee experiences.
The hard work of our talented team has paid off because this year InterChange was ranked by leading research firms as a top ‘digital workplace’ software platform from both StichDX and ClearBox Consulting.
The hard work doesn’t stop there; our engineering team has been very busy rolling out new capabilities month over month for our customers and partners, helping them stay ahead of the competition and drive engaging employee experiences.
We wanted to take a moment to share with you some of those new capabilities that we’ve recently launched and highlight some additional functionality that’s due to roll out as 2017 approaches.
Below is a summary of the new changes to look out for:
We’ve created a fundamental change to our widget framework resulting in increased flexibility related to how widgets are created, edited and displayed on sites. This was achieved by separating the management of a widget’s functionality and the presentation or display of widget data.
By separating the widget’s base functionality and the “view” that is used to display its data on the site, a single widget can serve many purposes by merely changing the “view” of the data. This provides users powerful tools for displaying content from Office 365. Each widget, whether it’s an image gallery, quick list or calendar widget, can have multiple “views” that control the display of the content.
This saves developer’s time from having to create new widgets to simply display content in different contexts and designers are now free to create new views using the available data without having to deal with editing the widget core code.
Authorized users can simply change the view or properties of any widget directly on the page without putting the entire page in edit mode with in-context editing. In-context editing can be quickly turned on and off on any page by simply accessing a widget in the lower left corner designed to serve common functions including in-context editing and cache refresh.
This provides business users greater control in choosing how to display content that provides the best and most intuitive experience based on their personalized preference.
For example, a non-technical user can easily modify a widget to change the display preferences such as how many events are listed on their dashboard to what type of icon is displayed or users can simply pick from a list of pre-configured views/designs to change the way data is displayed in a matter of seconds.
Users can easily activate in-context editing by clicking the “edit” button which is quickly accessible via a new access point on the lower left hand screen that was built to house commonly used functions for authorized users including “widget edit” and “cache refresh”.
Once the page is in edit mode, widgets that are editable are clearly defined with a green highlighted box as users hoover over the widgets.
Our AppManager continues to be a true differentiator within InterChange. The InterChange AppManager includes pre-built task specific apps that allow employees to quickly access & interact with data from Office 365, SharePoint, Azure and third party enterprise business systems (SAP, Concur, Salesforce, and etc.) to get their job done. This create a user-interface experience that is as easy for business users to understand as an app on their smart-phone and keeps users focused on their job rather than learning multiple, backend business systems.
The newest apps within our AppManager include the Widget Manager App and the View Manager App.
The Widget Manager App is a new management app that allows developers to create new widgets, manage existing widget properties and controls as well as assign views to widgets all in a single interface right from the InterChange platform.
Widget Manager App runs inside the InterChange AppManager allowing users to change the view and properties of a widget running inside of Office365
The View Manager App allows developers and designers to make modifications to the HTML mark up of any of the Digital Workplace controls as well as add new views quickly and easily. This allows modifications to quickly and easily be completed directly within the AppManager of InterChange without having to navigate to the HTML files stored in SharePoint.
This allows for rapid changes to markup, with a low skill level and learning curve, reducing the cost of changes over the pre-implementation and post-implementation phases of a project.
Within the View Manager App, users can locate all associated views for all the Digital Workplace controls and make modifications to the HTML markup directly from the InterChange AppManager.
We continue to add on-going functionality and enhancements to InterChange’s 50+ widgets, giving our customers ways to add value to their end users to create intuitive experiences and drive engagement.
The Site Creator technology framework that allows site functionality (apps and widgets) to be tested in a developer environment and then deploy that functionality from within the InterChange AppManager.
The Site Creator App supports automation and the creation of a master page, new page layouts, content within a page as well as deploying lists and list content. This allows developers to clone a version of their site and re-use it multiple times. Site Creator is an especially powerful tool for our partners looking to deploy new sites for their customers in a repeatable/predictable manner.
We’ve made multiple enhancements and added new functionality recently to our Site Creator App including:
The Site Creator App now includes the ability to create new sites, make edits to existing sites right from the AppManager. Configuration options are also now streamlined into a consolidated management screen instead of multiple locations (as in previous versions).
As 2017 quickly approaches, we have many more features coming in the pipeline. We will provide an in-depth announcement as the new features are available, but look forward to a fully re-imagined approach to multi-lingual support, new features and enhancements for creating collaboration spaces, new SDKs for custom integrations with third party systems, drag and drop capabilities for widget management and additional functionality and customization for end users, allowing for even more personalized experiences and ease of deployment options.
We hope you have some insight into all of the new technology capabilities we’ve added just late this year that have our customers and partners raving over what is possible with our framework. We look forward to your feedback and rolling out more exciting features and functionality next year, stay tuned!