The Akkroo 2018 Product Roundup, Looking Ahead To 2019

2018 has been a significant year of product development and upgrades for us here at Akkroo. As we approach the end of the year, we wanted to share a summary of the what we’ve improved and what new functionality we delivered in last 12 months.

Launch of the Akkroo app for Android

By far, the single most requested feature in the last few years had been to launch an Android version of our trusted Akkroo for iOS app. In July, we relaunched the Akkroo app for both the mobile and tablet versions of both operating systems.

Editing leads, without leaving the app

Before January, you were restricted to viewing the last 10 leads you collected in the app, and you couldn’t make changes to the content of any of them. That all changed in the first major update of 2018. Across both Android and iOS, all users can update or edit the leads they’ve already collected.

What’s more is we’ve got plenty more improvements planned in this space for 2019…

Greater range of support of badge scan providers

We’re always trying to increase the number of providers we can partner with, and in 2018 we broadened our ability to do this. With the assistance of an event organiser, we can support badge scanning for contact details at any show who can provide the right technology for us to plug into.

All new check-in tools, especially for customers running events with a known list of guests

We replaced the old guest list functionality with a new attendance status, and we added the ability to pre-load lists of contacts or leads ahead of an event.

Personalised username and passcodes

Greater accountability has been one of the most frequent requests we have heard, and in 2018, we delivered this. App users are now able to switch between different accounts without a full re-install of the app, and security has been improved as a consequence of the change. App users can now also recover forgotten passcodes, which removes friction from the administration of large sales teams and in the heat of live events.

Lead editing, right inside the dashboard

All new for 2018, dashboard users can review a full history of changes to a lead, including the handling of duplicate leads, and we’ve added the ability to make modifications to lead data before an export.

All new “event creation” page

The changes simplified the options for setting up brand new events in the dashboard.

Visual refresh of the Akkroo app experience

The app for iOS and Android has been updated to work on a very broad range of mobile and tablet screen sizes, and a fresh new look throughout brought the app right up to date.

Compliance with GDPR

We updated how we process all business cards transcriptions to make it a more accountable service, and bring it in line with the changes in EU law in May. We also improved our own processes for more smoothly processing stored data when it comes to it’s “end of life”.

Full app engine rewrite, preparaing for the future

The app technology we have used in the past was not going to get us much further, so we replaced a lot of the stuff under the hood, and have chosen to deliver our new applications using industry standard React Native.

All-new Help Centre and in-app support experience launched

We started to produce better support video content to enhance the support experience, which you’ll find inside our support articles online.

A setup guide inside the app, helping first-time users get started

The additions ensure new users have device permissions set correctly after installation, and provide useful advice for getting the most out of the app.

Other highlights include…

  • With the introduction of Android, we retired our old legacy app for iOS and legacy web app
  • Changing how we handle duplicates to work more sensibly inside the dashboard and app
  • Starting to request app user feedback after each event, to measure how we’re doing in realtime
  • The removal of hundreds of bugs
  • Investment in better user experience
  • Improvements to the API to provide additional lead information
  • Better “design for failure“ scenarios, including a raft of improved status messages and error displays throughout the app experience

Growth

The year has clearly delivered huge value to customers, however it hasn’t been without its challenges. Our business and customer growth has been phenomenal and we’ve really felt the impact of having those extra customers at times — a nice problem to have!

As a consequence of lessons learned in 2018, we’re spending time focusing on tooling for the future right now, with a significant roadmap of work in the wings for 2019.

Deployment & resource challenges

We had to reorganise our whole production team to ensure we could continue to deliver across the existing platforms, plus launch and support the thousands of new devices by supporting Android. It’s been tough at times, and we haven’t always had the ideal setup at the right time, however we are as ever, committed to getting this right and addressing the remaining challenges.

In an effort to deploy our team most effectively, we had to made tough calls to remove a number of customer features that were relatively low usage, or didn’t quite hit the mark in their existing form. We felt we shouldn’t spend too much time rebuilding the same thing where there was significant room for improvement, and so we had to make some compromises to make this happen. We know this caused pain for a small number of customers, however we continue to work towards replacing lost functionality where appropriate as we continue to solve the B2B event lead capture problem.

Badge scan challenges

The landscape for open badge scan integrations in Europe is still developing, and in the US, it is still very fragmented, so we’re tackling these challenges on a case by case basis. Sometimes it’s simply not possible to get a badge scan setup at specific events, but the landscape is changing slowly and we’re optimistic that in time we will provide a great solution no matter the circumstances around badge usage at events.

Into 2019…

We spent 2018 laying a lot of foundations, and in 2019 we will deliver a raft of exciting new product developments on this groundwork.

We’ve been working on significant improvements to the app user experience, making it easier to start that essential relationship between a business and prospective customer on the show floor. We’re really looking forward to shipping the first of that functionality in the months ahead.

Because we are pioneers in the Event Lead Capture space, it does often take us time to investigate and craft great solutions to the challenges our customers encounter daily. We always appreciate the patience and assistance of the businesses who place their trust in us as customers, and who accompany us on this journey. Ultimately we couldn’t do it without them, as we try to develop a truly great solution which helps extract real, measurable value from all events.

As one final note, we’re always looking for talented people to join our growing product and engineering teams. If you are someone – or know someone – who might be interested in a career at Akkroo, please take a look at our jobs page.

In the meanwhile, have a great holiday, and I wish you every success with your events in 2019!

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