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Taking Customer Feedback to Heart

Kevin Harris is the Senior User Experience designer behind FlashPanel.

To continue improving our cloud management tool, FlashPanel, we take customer feedback to heart.
Most recently, we launched a feature contest to turn customer suggestions into actionable advice. The amount of great suggestions we received was actually pretty overwhelming. We picked two winners and plan to roll out the first feature, Conditional Formatting for Email Signatures, before the end of the year. The second, Calendar Management and Delegation, is on our roadmap for early 2013.

But it doesn’t take a feature contest to get us listening to customer input. We’ve been improving FlashPanel based on user suggestions since we launched in Alpha last Spring. Through wireframe reviews, phone calls, demos and feature suggestions left in our Knowledge Base, we’ve learned so much about what our customers need, and have put this knowledge to good use by constantly tweaking FlashPanel’s design, improving existing features and adding new ones. (If you’re interested in setting up a time to speak with our team, please fill out our feedback form here).

Based on user feedback, we’ve added the following features and 15 others:

Feature: Bulk Edit/Update User Directory

Why it was a problem: Particularly in large organizations with hundreds or thousands of users, updating user information one by one can be extremely time consuming.

What we changed: To give administrators a quick and simple way to update multiple user accounts at the same time, we added Bulk Edit/Update User Directory to FlashPanel just last month.

bulk update users for google apps

Feature: User Provisioning Workflow

Why it was a problem: Just as FlashPanel’s User Deprovisioning Workflow makes the user offboarding process extremely intuitive, our admins were looking for an equally simple workflow for adding new users to their domains.

What we changed: Previously, domain admins would add users to FlashPanel and subsequently add those users to groups, set various email settings and so forth. Now, with the provisioning workflow, FlashPanel will prompt admins to add group memberships, email signatures, subscriptions to the Apps Butler and more either user by user or in bulk.

Admins can also provision users based on a the template of a previously added user, as per another feature suggestion.

provision user in google apps

Feature: Allow End Users to Edit Profile Information

Why it was a problem: In some companies, admins want to give their users the option of editing their own profile and contact information.

What we changed: By adding end user view to FlashPanel, we not only gave non-administrators users the ability to log into FlashPanel and browse directory and training information, but most importantly, end user view gives employees the ability to edit their own rich user profile information (if the super administrator so chooses).

Edit end user contact details for google apps

Feature: Show Google Drive Quota Usage as a Percent of the Total Available Space

Why it was a problem: When the request was submitted, FlashPanel showed Drive quota usage in general, not as a percent of total space per that user, which lacked context (since users may have different quota allowances based on the Drive space allocated to each user).

What we changed: In October, we changed how Drive quota usage is displayed to show percent of Drive quota usage as a percent of total space available for each individual user, helping not only the customer who requested the feature, but our entire user base along the way.

show google drive quota information

What’s next?

As we approach the end of this year, we’re taking a long, hard look at FlashPanel’s user interface. The tool has so many features, it can sometimes be difficult to discover each and every one. Over the coming weeks, myself and the rest of the FlashPanel dev team will be spending a considerable amount of time tweaking FlashPanel’s UI to make it easier to use for our millions of customers around the world.

As always, if you have any suggestions for FlashPanel, please submit them to our Knowledge Base here and for a run through of recent product updates and upcoming features, join BetterCloud’s CEO, David Politis, for FlashPanel Live this Thursday.

Below follow 30 additional features we’ve already either added to FlashPanel or have planned on our roadmap.

Added:

  1. Email Quota Report
  2. Set and Enforce IMAP for My Domain
  3. Adding Fields to Domain Directory
  4. Link to Manage Groups in Google Group Manager
  5. Show Additional Contact Information via Apps Butler
  6. Ability to Change Send Mail As Address in FlashPanel
  7. Add User to Multiple Groups
  8. Add Group Removal to Deprovisioning Workflow
  9. Apps Butler Setup /who
  10. Create New Group – Access & Other Settings
  11. Signature Enforcement
  12. Keep the existence of hidden users secret
  13. Create a Group using Organizational Unit
  14. Macro for domain wide prompt to reset password at next login
  15. UI to Allow Self-Edit for Contact Details

Planned:

  1. Conditional Formatting for Email Signatures
  2. Calendar Management and Delegation
  3. Edit Folder Names for Shared Contacts in Mobile Sync
  4. Apps Butler – Send Broadcast based on Groups, OUs
  5. Allow Actions to Apply to Multiple Users
  6. Inactivity Actions
  7. Delegate Admin Tasks by Org Unit
  8. Bulk Update Tags
  9. Sync Schedule – Define Time
  10. Add other organization users to “My Calendars”
  11. Allow users to edit shared contacts without switching access mode
  12. Remove BETA designation for FlashPanel
  13. Mobile Sync schedule automatically every day
  14. Sync Directory Visibility to a Group
  15. Add a filter to display users that are not attached to an org unit