Over the last four years, Kohera has invested a considerable amount of time in developing a business data management tool we call SideOffice, now at major version 6. A deployment-ready version of Kohera's heavily-tested CourseAid system, in addition to those organisations on the Case Studies page, it has seen deployments into business environments for:
SideOffice mainly serves as an excellent labour-saving platform on which to build custom database systems for medium-sized businesses, saving developer time. A few key technical and architectural points:
E-mail archival functionality (with parsing of emails, handling the attachments, and ability of every user to see his/her emails) – currently many users painstakingly cut and paste e-mails into a CRM. This disposes of that requirement by allowing each user to "copy in" (CC) the CRM, so that the whole e-mail thread to that point is stored against the client. A user's “CourseAid” e-mail address uniquely identifies them to the system when they do this, so they can “BCC” CourseAid into a thread (or simply forward the message), so that the e-mail can be preserved.
File list functionality – we can use this to list the files created by a 3rd party system, so that a user can download them easily. The list can be filtered to include only files with a name containing a particular string.
Dynamic menus – we've added much more flexibility to the menu. It is possible to add and remove items from the menu directly through the front-end interface, whether these items are links to favourite pages, bookmarks to external pages and should be limited to only certain levels of user, etc. The button colour can also be specified.
Help and Feedback – there is now a help overlay, which displays on the right-hand side of the screen when opened. We are including helpful advice about how to use each individual page. At the bottom of this overlay is a Give us Feedback button. This allows a user to add a bug report or feature request into their own SideOffice, and we are notified immediately to check it out. In addition, there is much more information about the current state of the user and installation included with each Feedback message, so we can resolve problems more easily.
Settings functionality – we use this extensively now to store default settings used throughout CourseAid and it is a requirement of new features like result Paging mentioned above, where it is used for system preferences like “In the first instance, how many results would you like displayed per page?”. It has made our software development much quicker in some ways, and also means that we can give you direct control of these system parameters and any others we add in future. I'll head you off at the pass and say that, even though you probably don't want this extra control, we can operate it for you and make changes far more quickly than by delving into the code. It's likely that many improvements we'll write for you in the future will depend on this.
Duplicate a record – there are a variety of places in the CRM where a very similar record is required to the one being viewed. An example might be adding the same review or telephone Activity Note to several different Client records. That's now possible: simply view the record you would like to copy and click “Duplicate this record”. You will be taken to a new record created with the same data as the one you were previously viewing and can make your changes then save.
Ad Hoc Queries functionality – imagine being able to run far more complex queries than is possible with the Filters feature you already have, for example, counting Clients in groups (prospective/current, one/two/three/practitioners, etc.) We would design the queries for you and add them to a list where they could be run and modified easily. This is an excellent new feature in use by one company in particular to replace their outdated reporting platform.
Attractive, modern design, which is easy on the eye