As we march on through to 2018, I thought it would be worth just putting together my thoughts on what has evolved at Prima, and where we go next.
Over the course of 2017 we have migrated our customer base from either local databases or our Fasthost cloud server environment, to our Microsoft Azure SQL database platform. This provides the cloud infrastructure for the future we need to deliver a fast, secure and reliable product to our users.
Prima Cloud has continued in 2017 with the fast rate of development, delivering 9 customer releases which totalled nearly 300 new features and updates. For me, the advances in Prima Cloud’s automation functionality must be the most significant improvement. The ability to gain real efficiencies by allowing the system to take care of repetitive admin tasks is a huge benefit to any business, and it still surprises me that many of our users do not wish to take advantage of this. Automation many areas of Prima Cloud, from catalogue importing to sales & purchasing, and now includes CRM; Prima can connect automatically to your email marketing tools.
We have continued to develop our integration with other leading third-party cloud packages including QuickBooks, Xero and recently SageONE, offering choice to customers for an accountancy solution. Whilst developing our own reporting suite significantly, we’ve also integrated Sale-I and Vecta in to the product, again providing options for users.
PrimaGO has progressed enormously in 2017. Halfway through the year we decided that we needed to bring more resource in to the web development team so that we could drive the store forward at speed in which web technologies demand. You now have a completely new (constantly improving) control panel for you to customise your store. The functionality is very much that of leading eCommerce platforms, we feel as a B2B solution is a great option for our customers, not to mention the full integration with Prima Cloud.
Our PrimaEDGE product was released earlier in the year enabling customers to have a professional, modern and updated company website which can showcase all of your services and solutions. We found that many of our customers don’t have the resource to generate this in house, and it’s actually proving to be really popular, especially when you see the company branding pass through seamlessly to your PrimaGO store.
One of the biggest changes to our services in 2017 was the introduction of our Onboarding Manager to handle the transition of new customers to Prima. We understand from experience that the process of switching systems means reaching certain milestones to ensure the project is on track, and also the communication of the progress is vital to the smooth transition. There is no doubt the process is improving all the time and a real positive for our new customers. On the back of this, we’ve also grown our training team, allowing us to provide more sessions to our users.
In November we hit a significant numerical milestone with 10,000 views of our YouTube webinars. The popularity of these short, helpful videos has really developed the way we can distribute training content. The live sessions on Fridays at 14:00 are still receiving good engagement, and we plan to improve these further over the coming months.
We introduced an Account Manager service to our SupportPLUS package so we can work more closely with our customers investing in regular training, to help drive growth and efficiencies through Prima.
The content on PrimaHelp has been added to on a weekly basis, and we’ve actually opened up the site(no login required to view help docs) this month to make the content even more accessible. In 2017 we added the Enhancements forum so customers can share and give feedback on what they would like to see in the product. It’s been great to see customer engagement here, and the top enhancements are already back with the development team!
Our Twitter @primahelp has sent out hundreds of daily hints and tips this year and continues to be an excellent, handy account to follow for any Prima user.
In 2017 we’ve added to our range of catalogue files available through Prima to help our customers explore opportunities in furniture and technology, for example. We now offer one of the most extensive catalogue databases in the industry. Here’s our latest list of Prima Data Catalogues
Our social media strategy in 2017 has seen us engage with customers and suppliers more than ever before. We love to share what we’re up, be it site visits or trade shows, product updates or help and advice. Find and follow us for 2018 on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and now Instagram.
2018 and beyond
The team at Prima are really excited about the year ahead. From a product development perspective, we will continue to deliver via our regular releases, relevant automation functionality. We will also push forward with the program of third party integration with other cloud products, such as the recently added Print Audit.
We’ll go mobile with the release of the Prima POD app to bring real-time signature capture for your delivery manifests.
From a service perspective, we are committed to publishing regular online content to help maximise the return on investment. We aim to host training workshops throughout the year including an CRM & Marketing day focusing on social selling and growing sales within your customer base.
Of course we’ll keep you updated every step of the way, just make sure you subscribe to our newsletter 🙂
Thank you for all of your feedback and support in 2017!