Messenger v5 Release Notes

Messenger 1510.1 Release Note

Exam Timetable, Forms and Surveys have arrived for Messenger!

We continually improve Messenger based on your feedback – thank you for taking the time to send it in.

In this update, we have focused on three specific elements:

  • Performance Improvements,
  • Exam Timetables*,
  • Forms & Surveys** via our partner ParentPaperwork.

*Exam Timetables requires the Messenger Enhanced Subscription.
** ParentPaperwork Forms & Surveys requires an additional subscription.

Exam Timetables

ExamTimetable_SampleNewly available is the ability to send Exam Timetables to parents and students, pulling information from your school MIS. Exam Timetables are personalised to the individual student and schools have capacity to customise the template (for example to include your school logo). The Exam Timetables feature is available in preview only initially and is currently only available for SIMS customers.

Forms and Surveys from ParentPaperwork

MobileSizedForm_DeviceEmail Also newly available is the ability to create, manage and send forms and surveys to parents electronically and collate the responses. Groupcall have partnered with ParentPaperwork to embed this service directly into Messenger. Drastically cutting the printing and postage costs for school trip authorisation, meal choice forms, parental contact detail forms and more, as well as increase coverage and response rates. ParentPaperwork Forms & Surveys is available in preview only initially and will support all MIS.

We have also made many improvements to the behind the scenes technology of Messenger...

This all helps to make the platform faster, more responsive and better prepared for future increases in demand.

Translations in Xpressions

For customers using Xpressions, we have fixed an issue where translated messages were not being ‘translated’ when sent to Xpressions.

Bounced Emails

We have fixed an issue from the previous release relating to bounced email; now you can successfully identify the specific email address that bounces when a contact has several email addresses.


You don’t need to do anything but it may be up to a week before any new features become available and early adopter schools will be engaged directly. If your school wishes to upgrade your Messenger subscription to have Exam Timetables please contact sales@groupcall.com.

We have also included various minor bug fixes, visual enhancements and other updates to improve your Messenger preview experience.

Like it? Hate it? Either way tell us about it using the feedback tile on the home screen or contact us on Facebook or Twitter.

Messenger 1509 Release Note

The new term is fully upon us, so here are some updates to help you out!

We continually improve Messenger based on your feedback – thank you for taking the time to send it in. This update contains mostly performance enhancements, bug fixes and tweaks to improve your experience with Messenger, with a couple of new features added too.

PreviewMessagesPreview Messages

You can now preview the individual messages each contact will receive, when using Advanced Messaging. On the final screen before sending the message, you will find a ‘Preview Messages’ which will open a window to view/scroll through the contact names and the messages they will receive, including substituted ‘tokens’.

Email formatting will also be displayed.

New User Wizard

We have improved the security behind the User Creation Wizard.

All new user accounts are required to have a mobile number supplied for the individual. This is then used to verify the account user on initial sign in, by confirmation of the last 4 digits of the stored number. Having a mobile number stored for users improves future account and security procedures.

Please note that this is also required when adding users ‘manually’ in Manage Users.

Incoming Messages

We have received considerable feedback regarding flagging when an incoming message has been actioned, for example in response to an absence from school. So, we have added a column to the incoming messages table to date stamp when a write-back to the MIS has occurred, giving a clear indication of what messages have and have not been actioned in a busy school office. See more about this functionality here under the 2 Incoming Messages sections.

In addition to this, the message loading performance has improved within the Incoming Messages area of Messenger.

Searching

We have improved the search feature throughout Messenger to better cater for sub-divisions of groups, such as searching for Year 10 FSM students (a sub-division of all FSM students).

Accessibility

We have improved the colours and contrast of the Wizard screens based on feedback from our user community.

Security

We have improved the user permissions facilities to better serve new partner products and integrations as they come on board.

Other Fixes

We have also included various minor bug fixes, visual enhancements and other updates to improve your Messenger preview experience.

Like it? Hate it? Either way tell us about it using the feedback tile on the home screen or contact us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Messenger 1508.1 Release Note

The Summer Holidays may be here, but we haven’t taken a break from giving you more new features!

We continually improve Messenger based on your feedback – thank you for taking the time to send it in.

Over the summer holidays we have continued to enhance Messenger to give you more features and tools to make communication that much easier. If you have not opened Messenger in a while, you may see several update notifications showcasing all the work we have done including;

Attachments now available in Wizards

Attachments_WizardsYou can now attach documents and files from within wizards when sending emails as well as when using the Advanced Message tools. We have provided simple drag 'n' drop functionality to upload your attachments as well as the more traditional file select method. When you have uploaded a a file, a helpful status bar shows you how much of the total 2mb file size you have used.

Replies forwarded to individual email address (Optional)

A number of customers have requested the ability to be able to route incoming replies to the mail boxes of the staff that sent the message in the first place.

The feature actually has always been here, but we have provided an option in Settings to allow a school to switch this on (it is off by default). See this page for full detail.

User Profiles

We have provided a number of ‘Profiles’ which group user permissions and features together into common requirements. This makes user creation using the Add New User wizard much simpler! Have a look at the information dedicated to User Roles in Messenger for more detail.

Identify failed email addresses

A common problem for schools is when an email address of a parent no longer works or perhaps was incorrectly entered. If a parent has several email addresses, Messenger will now identify the specific email address that is failing to receive your messages, letting you know what details to update.

Contacts with multiple email addresses will be shown on multiple lines in the history detail for a given message. Any emails that failed will show as having a status of "Bounce" or "Dropped". Multiple attempts are made to send messages however, so this could take some time to update. We recommend periodically checking for bad data and updating your MIS.

Combined Wizard

Search Absences/Lates: We have been delivering features to allow schools to search for absences or latest based on a variety of search criteria and different ways to display this. We have now combined these features (formally Unresolved Absences, Search Absences & Persistent Absences) into one flexible Wizard.

New User Wizard

We have modified the process for the new user wizard to send an email to the new user, with their username and invite them to create a new password themselves. This makes the process easier and more secure for the administrator.

Improvements to Attendance Notes Write-back

We released this feature previously and it was very well received. Based on some feedback, we have modified this feature so that in the case of non-English replies that are translated (using another new feature!), both the original and translated text is written back to your MIS* (where available). In addition, we have added new information panels in the conversation timeline to show that information has been written back to the MIS.

Xpressions 2-Way Messaging

Parents can now reply! Following the successful pilot of the Xpressions app in schools last term (Summer 2015), we have quickly followed this up with allowing parents to not just receive messages on the app, but also to reply to them (where an Open/Closed messages type has been used and the school is using Incoming within Messenger). Message replies will be labelled as coming from the Xpressions app and will display in the Incoming & Message History sections of Messenger.

Switch to Advanced Messaging

A common request we receive is the ability to use the Wizards but to do something slightly more complex with the message, such as alter the recipients. All ‘Quick Message’ Wizards now have an option on the Summary Page to ‘Switch to Advanced Messaging’ to give you the full range of tools whilst remembering the content and options you have already chosen!

Brand New Wizard - Search Absences/Lates

This wizard gives you flexibility to search for specific types of absences in a given date range and send communications based on who the search finds. Options include Authorised and Unauthorised Absences, Lates and Illness plus Unresolved Absences (this was formally Unresolved Absences Wizard).

Brand New Wizard - Persistent Absence/Late

This wizard is similar to the Search Absences/Lates Wizard, except you can also specify a persistence % range to target specific individuals and groups of students who are persistently absent or late during specific periods of the year. The results will also show you the % occurrence for each student.

Available with the Search Absences/Late Wizard is an enhanced set of ‘tokens’ including one to list the occurrences of absences and lates within email messages.

New option added in Message History to resend messages as Letters

This new functionality copies all the selected recipients, message content and sending options to Advanced Messaging, letting you edit if needed but allows you to create the letter in just 3 clicks.

Minor Features:

Message History Export - The type of message sent (SMS or Email) is now specified when loaded in a spreadsheet.

Messaging History filtering using the summary options now filters individually, giving you quick access to the recipients you require.

Modifications to the Timetable Wizard have also been made based on feedback from users, to correct the look and feel of timetables if contains a non-school day, and other performance improvements.

Some features require an automated update to your MIS integration.  You don’t need to do anything but it may be up to a week before they become available to you.

We have also included various minor bug fixes, visual enhancements and other updates to improve your Messenger preview experience.

Like it? Hate it? Either way tell us about it using the feedback tile on the home screen or contact us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

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Previous Release Notes:

2015

2014

2013

2012