Friday, November 17, 2006

New VIC CRM Release!

The latest release of VIC CRM has been posted to OpenNTF.org. This release includes the following features:
  • Imports Notes addressbooks
  • Fixes calendar synchronization bugs
  • Enables email notifications for journal entries
  • Improved invoicing
  • Improved inbound letters and faxes
  • Automatic spellchecking
  • Ability to create journal entries from the Phone Dialer
  • Print action added to journal entries.
  • Adds department field to Contact documents
  • New views for Sales database
  • Opportunities database changed to "Projects"
  • New "GoVIC.exe" launcher prevents problems with the Welcome page if Notes crashes.
  • Includes an updated VIC User Guide
  • Multiple additional bug fixes
If I have to say so myself, this is the best release so far. It takes care of outstanding bugs and clears the way for new functionality. Expect accelerated development on the Sales and Projects databases for the next release.

Have fun!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

New VIC Release Scheduled | Also, crm-on-air 3.0

The next version of VIC CRM is scheduled for release on November 18th, 2006. This version will consist of bug fixes which greatly enhance the stability and usability of the product; and prepares the system for the addition of important project management and sales database features.

The most welcome change for many users will be the improved integration with the Notes calendar. Changes to the VIC journal entries will be synchronized with the calendar, and the automatic email notification feature is now operational. European users will be able to utilize the Sales database, as it now respects Windows' and Notes' international settings for currency. And for those with a modem, VIC can act as your automatic speed dialer, using the Windows phone dialer or something more streamlined, like Phone Dialer Pro.



Also, I think this is a good time to remind you that the folks at SolutionPlanet have released version 3.0 of crm-on-air. Read about it here. This release has built in support for VIC CRM, enabling you access VIC organizations and people from your mobile phone or PDA. Visit them at http://www.solutionplanet.com

Friday, November 03, 2006

VIC CRM Tip: Automatically Categorize your Journal Entries

One of the nice things about VIC is the ability to categorize your documents. If you're not familiar with this, it's a bit like the "labels" used by GMail. You can list multiple categories within a VIC document, and then you can view your documents by category. The document will appear in the categorized list under each category to which it's attached.

Confused? Don't be. If you've said that a document is a member of the categories "Sales Calls" and "CRM", when you list by category, that same call will appear under each. This allows you to view your data however you want. The only "annoying" thing is that on a busy day it's easy to forget to select the categories whenever you create a JournalEntry (phone call, email, meeting, etc.). So, while categories are extremely useful, how can they be made more convenient?

The simple answer is that you can choose to automatically categorize documents. Whenever you create a JournalEntry and assign it to a document from the Index, the JournalEntry can inherit the categories from the Person or Organization. So categorize your contacts and you automatically categorize your correspondence! Great! Here's how to implement it:

First, you'll need to go to the FieldMaps in the configuration database. On the Navigator, select the "Goto" tab, then Configuration. Then Select the "Local" tab, then Field Maps. Simple.

In VIC, If you have a document selected and try to create another document, VIC checks this list to see if the two types of documents are listed here in the FieldMaps list. The documents here have names like "Organization_to_JournalEntry". If you relate an Organization to a JournalEntry, then the fields listed in this document are copied from the Organization document to the JournalEntry document. Not only simple, but obvious, right?

So, what we want to do here is edit the FieldMaps that control the documents you want to auto-categorize. As it so happens, "Organization_to_JournalEntry" is one of them. Others include:
Organization_to_Memo
Organization_to_Letter
Organization_to_Fax
Contact_to_JournalEntry
Contact_to_Memo
Contact_to_Letter
Contact_to_Fax
You'll want to edit each of these. The change is minor. You'll just add the word "Categories" to the bottom of each list. Make absolutely sure that you keep the same number of lines in the Source Fields list and the Destination Fields list or you'll get an error when creating a document. Also, don't leave blank lines at the bottom of the list.

Do this for each FieldMap where you'd like to auto-categorize.

Remember that your documents have Alternate Category fields as well. Use "Categories" to auto-categorize, and then use "Alternate Categories" for "one-shot" categories, and you get the best of both worlds.

Categories are a powerful and flexible way of managing and reporting on your customer correspondence. Auto-categorization makes this feature as easy as it is powerful. This is one more great reason for choosing VIC CRM.