At the end of March, we invited resellers and their end users to participate in a survey about our web based call handling/communications portal: the Open Communications Manager. We did this because we have lots of new development work underway which has OCM at the core and need to understand how customers perceive it fits their needs and how they use, and want to use it in future.
We had a great response rate and I’m pleased to report that the feedback we received was tremendously useful. Representing a wide range of different use cases and opinions, the comments were insightful and interesting – and it’s fantastic to see just how many members of our reseller and user community care about our products and development direction. As such, I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who took the time to have their say and shape the future of your OCM.
To add a bit of fun and reward participants for their time, we decided to operate a prize draw – with a Thornton’s “I love chocolate” hamper up for grabs. This morning we selected the winner and our congratulations go to Neil Batchelor of Pink Connect. We hope that he enjoys his prize!
For everyone else, I thought you might like to know about some interesting findings of the survey (the results of which we’ve already passed on to our development team, by the way). Firstly, we wanted to understand how people were really using the OCM. With wide ranging functionality from simply making and receiving calls, to Outlook integration and integrated instant messaging, some of them having been in there for a long time and other introduced relatively recently, we weren’t entirely sure where the focus would be. What we found is that use of the features was fairly well spread:
We also had positive results when we asked whether users used external instant messaging (ie. chat with contacts that don’t belong to their own organisation):
This is something that we’ve just introduced to OCM in version 4.2, so now it’s even easier to chat with external contacts via your ipcortex PBX and it is good to see this feature starting to be adopted by a significant minority of users.
Finally, I thought I’d share some of the qualitative comments we received – together with our initial feedback where appropriate.
“if ICONS were bigger then I think drag and drop would be used more”
“Drag and drop functionality on call transfers is really easy to use.”
It is possible to increase the size of icons and names using standard browser zoom functionality – and using this in combination with increasing the size of each panel means most users can find a configuration they’re comfortable using. We are aware of usability issues with icon sizing and the size of the “target” area when dragging and dropping and changes in this area will feature heavily in our new OCM design work.
“GUI needs a little updating”
“ Functionality-wise it’s brilliant. Just doesn’t look too good.”
“The GUI is well built and works well on various browsers incl tablets. Very happy”
“A little “clunky””
“I think could be enhanced, but the idea of running in a web interface is perfect.”
Comments on the interface design were by far the most common. Rest assured, this has been taken on board. Some incremental enhancements were made in version 4.2, but we are addressing this much more radically in our next-gen OCM project so watch this space!
“Can only have a small number of IM conversations open.”
“IM chats saved centrally so that they can be audited and searched by those with the appropriate roles. For compliance and auditing purposes.”
Both of these are factors that we have already identified as development areas. We’re glad to see that they’re definitely worth pursuing!
“At the moment OCM will only show call logs since it has been opened. It would be nice to be able to have logs stored on the PBX so that when OCM is started you can view all calls for the past couple of days as well as any new calls.”
Call history persistence is now available in 4.2!
“Click hyperlinks from within chat window and retain chat history.”
Now available in 4.2!
“ We definitely need to spend more familiarisation time with OCM as it has been a few releases since we looked at it in any detail.”
We’re looking at better ways to showcase the ever changing functionality the OCM offers – watch this space.
Some other really helpful pieces of feedback included:
“Love the way that this integrates to outlook and the look up that can be done to find contacts”
“The ease of use is great, even a temp receptionist can grasp this very quickly.”
“The ability to drag an unanswered call onto another user without having to answer it.”
“ Its free and every user gets it – what more can you ask for.”
“ don’t use [instant messaging] in order to cut down the number of people trying to get access to me!”
“ I know it is seen as a privacy issue, but the ability to allow certain users to see all phone/user activity. “
Last but not least, we did receive the following anonymous response and we’re really interested to speak more with whoever contributed it.
“your desktop application is “naff” when we looked at other systems [their call manager product] was more windows based and very user friendly if we had realised how bad yours was – before the system was installed – it probably would have made us select another vendor”
If this is you, please get in touch – we’re not upset and would love to speak with you in more depth. Please email email@example.com or give us a call on 01908 276650.
The survey is now closed, but if you’d like to give any additional feedback please feel free to do so in the comments, or indeed pop an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make sure that it gets back to the dev team!
Thanks again to all of you who have been kind enough to give us your feedback!