General

iMIS Gets the Thumbs Up in Australia and New Zealand

A recent survey of iMIS customers in Australia and New Zealand found that 87% of respondents gave iMIS the thumbs up answering that they were satisfied with their iMIS software solution.

More than 220 not for profit organisations using iMIS were surveyed by independent agency BMS Telecorp on behalf of ASI during May.

The annual survey’s focus was to look at customers’ use of iMIS and gauge the level of satisfaction with their iMIS software solution and the level of service and support from ASI and Authorised iMIS Solution Providers.

AirDesk for my home office: Take a look!

I posted earlier about the new AirDesk for Workstations (versus laptops, which they did first and I already use); I'm following up with a few shots of how my home-based office is developing. So far, it's just what I hoped for. It's also working out quite well that I sit facing a bank of windows, so that no glare hits my screen but my fevered brain gets natural light. Here are some photos of how I have it configured:

ASI 'SMART Company' Scholarship Fund Recipients - June 2006 Round

The Fund received applications requesting over $60,000 in funding in our June round and the panel faced some challenging decisions in making the final selections. We are pleased to confirm a total of 12 Scholarships were awarded with a total value of $11,000. A further $9,000 will now be made available for the remainder of 2006 (September and December rounds).

The Scholarship recipients are as follows:

'Spare Change' marketing campaign drops today

Our major campaign to gather prospect email addresses has hit the streets today. More than 10,000 prospects in Australia and New Zealand have been sent this postcard encouraging them to sign up for email contact with ASI (rather than postal mail).

spare change postcard

For each valid email address we receive ASI will give $2 to charity (a customer of course!). We are supporting 6 charities in total, depending on the state or country.

Record June and half year results for ASI Asia-Pacific

I am pleased to announce a great start to the year for the Asia-Pacific team. Revenue for the 6 months to June was up 17% on the same period in 2005. Significantly, this has been achieved with a lower headcount, resulting in a revenue/employee improvement of 27%.

Both services and SUP fees are currently tracking ahead of budget for the year, with license revenues right on budget.

On a cash basis, June itself was a record month, just $3,000 short on hitting our first ever $1 million month. A $1m month is a significant milestone for the growth of the AP business - back to work now to see if we can make this number before the year is out.

Usability paper: Fighting Feature Creep

Paper: “Escaping the design traps of creeping featurism: Introducing a fitness management strategy”

Authors: Dong-Seok Lee et al., Cognitive Systems Engineering Lab, Ohio State U.

[MC: I've summarized here some useful bits of a longer peer-reviewed paper included in the UPA conference.]

What we don't know but should about nonprofits

This Summer's feature article of the Stanford Social Innovation Review is a great read - and great insights into our market

What Business Execs Don’t Know -- but Should -- About Nonprofits
Business leaders play vital roles in the nonprofit sector -- as board members, donors, partners, and even executives. Yet all too often they underestimate the unique challenges of managing nonprofit organizations. In this article, 11 executives who have played leadership roles in both for-profits and nonprofits reveal the critical differences between the two, and suggest ways that business and nonprofit leaders can use this information to create a more effective social sector.

Tip of the Day: Refresh Rates and ClearType

Staring at a monitor all day, or even part of the day, can be very hard on the eyes.

If you're using a CRT display, one of the easiest things you can do to relieve eye-strain is to up your monitor's refresh rate. By default, your monitor is strobing at you 60 times a second. Pushing that up over 70 times a second will ease the strain on your eyes enormously, even if you can't "see" the flicker. To change this in Windows XP, just do the following:

Usability session: Usability of AJAX

Session:  “The Usability of AJAX: A Primer for Usability Professionals and First Hand Account”

Presenter: John Whalen, Ph.D., Human Factors International

What you need to know

AJAX = A (Asynchronous) + JA (JavaScript) + X (XMLHttpRequest)

Usability session: Use Cases as Functional Specifications

Session: “Tales Come True: Use Cases As Functional Specifications”
Presenter: Merryl Gross GE Healthcare

Summary: Functional Specifications may be the most important artifacts in software development (blueprints for what the team is creating), yet they are often hard to maintain and use. Instead, Use Cases, created as a set of wiki pages, can be expanded with UI design descriptions to completely take the place of specifications for a web application. The development team finds use cases much easier to create and maintain, easier to use for test and documentation, and equal to functional specs as a blueprint for creating software.