It’s not often you get to have a say in how the software you use is designed and developed but that’s exactly what some of our most curious and enthusiastic XPLAN users are doing through IRESS Labs.
The refreshed interface and simpler menu structure you’re seeing in the latest releases of XPLAN is a direct result of their insights and collaboration. So too is the new opportunities management functionality that can give you a better view and greater control of your business pipeline.
Users from more than 50 firms are getting involved in the development of XPLAN and they’re really excited about what’s to come. Here they share why. (If you haven’t heard about IRESS Labs, I explain all in my earlier blog.)
The increasing importance technology has in his business is what made Chris Ball, Operations and Development Manager at RSM Financial Services Australia want to be involved in IRESS Labs. He says “I’ve been an active contributor of suggestions and requests to IRESS, which have always been well received. IRESS Labs seemed like an opportunity to be a couple of steps closer to the team who are delivering the solution we rely on."
Melissa Coffey, IT Manager for FYG Planners, agrees: "Being able to quickly and efficiently capture and organise client data into information to form financial advice, without having any concerns about data integrity, is incredibly important to our business. Labs seemed like an ideal way to retain all that we had already invested into XPLAN and contribute to its development towards our vision of what we want its future to be."
"We can retain all that we have invested into XPLAN and contribute to its development towards our vision of what we want its future to be."
For users, one of the best things about IRESS Labs is getting new functionality as soon as it's available, without having to wait for scheduled releases.
Brett Billington, Director and Adviser at Up Wealth Management, feels that since being involved in Labs they have "a greater level of optimism on where the software is headed." He says: "User input can only improve future version releases and get improvements into our hands sooner”.
Andrew Bourne, Advice Technology Consultant at Practice Dynamix agrees, “I can already see changes in XPLAN that have been made based on the feedback and discussions I was involved in - and that’s very positive”.
IRESS Labs is about making XPLAN more efficient, intuitive and delightful. But what does this actually mean?
To Andrew ‘efficient’ means “as few clicks as possible to get the job done; the technology reduces friction, streamlines processes and does much of the heavy lifting for you”.
For Melissa ‘intuitive’ is “being able to navigate from one function to another, without having to consciously think about the meaning of icons, the placement of menu links, or the purpose and output of each function”.
And ‘delightful’ to Andrew means “a well-presented, contemporary visual interface that's easy to understand and clearly presents information and, on a more practical level, as a user you’re absolutely delighted when the software is running properly”.
"XPLAN is such a big and integrated part of our business, to have a hand in where it's going and work directly with the developers is great."
I'll leave Brett to sum up: “Hearing and seeing what IRESS is doing, and the pipeline of co-designed functionality that is coming to make our lives easier, there’s nothing more exciting. XPLAN is such a big and integrated part of our business, to have a hand in where it's going and work directly with the developers is great. Anyone given the opportunity to get involved should absolutely do so”.
With a series of developments across XPLAN CRM, Advice and Portfolio modules planned for the rest of 2018 and into 2019 it’s an exciting time to get involved in IRESS Labs. So, what’s coming up?
To have a say on the design and development of these and other aspects of XPLAN, talk to your IRESS account executive about IRESS Labs.
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