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Our Updated Road Map Is Exciting

Technology Road Map Symbolism

 

"Technical Road Maps Are Never Done"

 

The calendar year has rolled over to 2016 and our latest quarterly general meeting has completed.  

 

It is safe to say that our entire team is so overwhelmingly enthusiastic about our next set of technical objectives, that they are bursting to spill the beans.

 

"I Want To Spill The Beans Too"

 

But I can't....not yet.  Let's just say that our technical accomplishments of the past are about to give the REM team the tools to jump even farther ahead of our competition!

 

Stay tuned for more details....

 

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We Can Play Just As Hard As We Work!

By the time you read this post, we've probably already selected a winner for our Holiday Greeting Card Music Puzzle but you still might have fun taking a look at what our team accomplished over a few Friday afternoon Creative Jam Sessions!

 

Our core culture revolves around a few guiding principles and it takes a lot of our effort to fulfill those objectives to a standard that makes us feel proud.

 

We often counter balance that hard work with some sort of activity that helps us stretch our legs (often literally) but in this case figuratively with a project that didn't have many business rules to adhere too.

 

Our Team Had Fun Creating Everything From Scratch

 

  • Sean Sanderson was able to create a festive back drop and establish his trademark typography.
  • Sean McParland created the random and wacky bobble head routines.
  • Ryan created the physics based snow fall.
  • Christine created the bobble people.
  • I added the music and the puzzle sequence.
  • Jill, Shauna & Rob provided feedback and collected customer praise!

 

It's cliche to say, but still true: a team that plays together stays together.  Thank you everyone for your kind words and feedback and I can't wait to see what happens in our next goofy project.

 

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White Glove Services - Coming Soon

REM has always provided our customers with a higher degree of attention than our competition.  It is our number one value proposition put towards the "Customer Success Comes First" guiding principle.

 

Our existing customers already enjoy 150+ hours each month of free access to our live humans, located in Kitchener, Ontario, to solve business challenges, improve website aesthetics, and rank higher in Google searches.

 

They already trust our account facing team leaders, Laura and Jillian,  to help take great business ideas and make them successful digital strategies, and REM has been working hard to extend that concept to our other leaders!

 

If the title of the post wasn't a clear enough spoiler, REM is quickly creating our next fantastic customer success centred offering:

 

REM White Glove Services

 

The idea has been matured enough to finally give this teaser post and I can share some of the initial details to get you thinking about reaching the next plateau of excellence with REM.

 

Start Thinking:

  • Direct access to accomplished graphic designers - You Bet

  • Direct access to SEO strategists - No Problem

  • Bigger cloud storage repositories - Bingo

Come back in a few weeks to get the complete picture.  You'll enjoy the new opportunities to advance beyond your competitors!

 

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So.... What do you think of the new site?

Our new site has been happily humming along since we launched it a month or so ago.

 

This site launch was in conjunction with the launch of WebWiz@rd 4.0 and we couldn't be happier with the results!

 

We've added some great new sections to the site that are really interesting reads if you want to go deeper into collaborative psyche.

 

The star of the show is still WebWiz@rd.  Everything on our site is powered by the fantastic tool set found in our content management system

 

 

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Quick Link to the Image Editor

I’m going to start by saying that I love WebWiz@rd 4.0.0!

 

There are a number of wonderful updates that have been made to WebWiz@rd with the recent launch of our updated CMS, and over the coming weeks I'm going to blog about some of my favourite changes.

 

A number of our updates decrease the amount of time it takes our clients to manage their websites.  This was obviously an important consideration when determining how our updates would take shape, because we understand that although our clients want their sites to look and function amazingly, they don't always have a great deal of time to maintain their sites.

 

One of the new features that I really appreciate is the addition of a new icon and link within the File Manager.  At the top of each image, there is a new icon which if clicked, loads the image directly into the Image Editor and of course directs the user to the Image Editor as well.

 

Nice.

 

(Oh my goodness, what a cute puppy!)

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WebWiz@rd 4 - Alpha Testing Has Started

 

 

Our latest and greatest version of our WebWiz@rd content management system has just entered the exciting phase of Alpha testing.

 

The first live site to use the technology will of course be ours, and will be launched within the next few weeks!

 

A more exciting update will follow after our site launch.

 

 

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Two New Promotions & A Lot More

 

We had another great quarterly meeting in October and I was able to finally announce a lot of the new and exciting things we have planned for REM in 2015.

 

Two of our finest employees, Ryan Covert and Sean Sanderson were both promoted in appreciation of their talents and their commitment to REM.

 

That was to make room for the next round of new employees!!!!! Yeah!!! We're growin' again!

 

I also demonstrated our newest round of wicked WebWiz@rd updates that will be launched February 2015 which has our mobile content delivery platform integrated.

 

That's not all either. I outlined our next phase in making our obsession with customer satisfaction an even more prominent part of our service offerings next year.

 

I mean, it was high fives and smiles for 4 hours straight!

 

2015 is shaping up to be the most energetic and exciting year for all of us at REM and as things develop I'll make sure to keep everyone in loop!

 

HIGH FIVE!

 

Image courtesy Public Domain Pictures

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Responsive WYSIWYG CMS - And You Said It Couldn't Be Done!

 

One of the biggest strategic decisions I've had to make at REM in the last 6 months was whether to pioneer a new responsive framework for customers that wanted true WYSIWYG editor capabilities or to strip many of my favourite WebWiz@rd features to give customers a set of tools that more closely resembled our biggest rivals in the CMS space.

 

I've poured over hundreds of case studies, white papers, debates and discussions regarding the many benefits of responsive design, but most of discussions discounted what I think to be one of the most important parts of a CMS which is to make content creation and manipulation SIMPLE TO PERFORM but POWERFUL IN RESULTS!

 

When I submit to random debates that my customers want to use tables to layout their content and my customers don't want their pictures to scale under all scenarios and my customers don't want 3MB page files to download onto mobile devices I get the same response, "Tell your customer they are wrong because reasons, and teach them to be right because reasons".

 

Long story short, as a customer focused company, REM offers guidance and advice but never forces our customers into situations that make them feel uncomfortable.  That's not our job.  Our job is to make a fantastic set of tools that put our customers in control of creating great looking content.

 

Going back to my first paragraph though, I ultimately decided that the newly emerging tools and frameworks out in the wild were not appropriate for the segment of users that need more control over their content layout and style.  So for the last month I have been designing a perfect hybrid solution that allows our customers the ability to fully - as in FULLY - control their content position, size, style etc... for big screens and mobile devices alike!

 

After putting in the leg work to prove that my technology and approach works, it almost appears that the other framework makers were more interested in philosophical and theoretical perfection and didn't take into account the power that had been removed from the end users of the CMS.

 

Anyway - I can't wait to reveal some of this stuff.... 

 

 

Photo provided by George Hodan

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New Mobile Code Foundation Started

 

Well... I'm not really allowed to talk about too much on the mobile front, but I can say that code has been started and we have a working model of our new mobile design tools!  

 

We're in the pre-alpha stage here folks... but man am I excited.  This next iteration is so exciting that Ryan and I had to fork our code base to keep our playground separate from all non-essential staff!  I'll leak out more information as it becomes available.

 

Keep Calm and Code On.

 

Photo provided by Ian L

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3.0.1 to 3.4.2 a Year of WebWiz@rd 3.X - Part 5 of 5

We're celebrating our first official year of WebWiz@rd 3 here at REM and I thought it would be a great time to share some of my experience and thoughts related to it.

 

Now for part 5, the Final Few & The Future!

 

The Final Few

 

We're down to the last remaining customers, and happily moving them to our latest and greatest platform!

 

By the time you read this, McCordick Glove and Safety will be moved into WebWiz@rd 3 along with their bilingual database of products, that number in the thousands.

 

One thing that strikes me as noteworthy about this migration is how future friendly our original design turned out to be when we created the site over 3 years ago!  Their customized quoting system, database of product SKUs, search features and French & English content will all be converted with the same consistency of quality that we've seen with our hundreds of other customers.  It will take a bit longer due to the quantity of data and pages, but not due to architectural problems in the code.

 

We strive to keep every websites relevant for the long haul and with McCordick Glove, we fulfilled that obligation once again.

 

The Future

 

So what is to come, now that most customers have been migrated to our newest platform?  Mobile domination, for REM and for REM's customers.  We've been building mobile platforms and moving our customers onto them as quickly as we've been asked.  Now we won't wait to be asked. We've seen the shift in mobile prevalence and we have a strategy that has been well tested and ready for roll out.  

 

I can't wait to start filling in those details in the year to come!

 

 

Photo Courtesy: Larisa Koshkina

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Todd Hannigan
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