Release Note: Messenger – Easter 2015

Messenger has a new look!

We've made Messenger even easier to use by introducing a new look and way of using Messenger that we call 'Tiles'. When you log in to Messenger after April 13th 2015 you will have the option of using the whole new look and feel instead of the version that you may be used to. This update took place over the Easter holidays, and is the result of customer requests and user feedback on the look, feel, usability and demand for further simplification.

We really hope you like it and would appreciate your feedback; why not use the feedback link once you have logged in!

M5Tiles_Home

 

This video provides a quick overview of the changes.

 

Tiles

To experience the latest functionality you will need to be using an up to date version of one of the browsers below;

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 10+
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Apple Safari

Don’t worry if you haven't got one of these or aren't sure what you are using, we have set up a page for you to help check your browser and provide advice on what to do if you have an older version (such as Internet Explorer 8). Please visit groupcall.com/browserupgrade to find out more. If your browser doesn't support the new features,  you can still use the system with the current interface.

How do I send a message after the update?

We have made sending message easier by introducing step-by-step wizards that help you through each stage.

They’re nice and quick and really simple!

The enhancements include...

Easy to use 'sliders' to make message options easy to select.WizardSendVia At a glance summary of message options as you progress through each wizard.WizardSummary Improved review screen confirms all options and message text allowing you to know exactly what you are sending and to whom right before you send it!WizardConfirmAndSend

Quick Messages

Currently featuring the following wizards;

WholeSchool_Recipients"Whole School Alert"

Useful in scenarios such as snow closure or other such messages that apply to the whole school.

Instead of selecting the groups to which the message should go, we give you quick access to a list of recipient types (parents, staff, students etc) allowing you to quickly toggle the red and green sliders to include the most relevant sets of recipients.

WizardChooseTemplate2"Email All Parents"

Quickly send an email to all families in as little as 5 clicks!

WizardGroup"Group Message"

All groups, including those from your MIS (such as year groups, registration groups, custom MIS groups etc) and saved groups that you have added to Messenger, are searchable from the very first screen of the wizard.

WizardIndividual"Individual Message"

Giving you immediate access to contact individual parents and students for those situations where you only need to send a specific message to specific set of people not grouped in the MIS or Messenger.

 

 eCards

eCardWizardThumbnailWe've included eCards in the available wizards too giving you much easier access to choose which image you'd like to use as the background to your card. You can see all available templates as thumbnails which will open as a full screen preview when clicked on meaning its far simpler to choose the right image!

 

Advanced Messaging

Can I bypass the wizards?

Of course; if you prefer the older interface or would simply like more control over the options to which you have access you can use the ‘Advanced Messaging’ screens. This gives you access to advanced functionality such as granular filtering of groups and fine control over things like Message Formats such as Letters.

You'll notice that we have given this area of Messenger a bit of a facelift too, making some aesthetic enhancements to make better use of the screen, make it easier to use and to just make it look nicer!

TilesAdvanced

 

Template Manager

Just like the message library that you may be used to, we have included the all new template manager. This is an enhancement to the message library and lets you create and manage your own templates, using tokens like Student Name etc, and save them to be associated with one or more wizards.

You can access the Template Manager from the Tools M5_ToolsIcon menu at any time you need to add or edit a message template as opposed to the old method of having to do that as part of sending a message.

 

Create and Edit templates.TemplateManager_Edit Link Templates to show in wizards.TemplateManager_Link

 

Message Type Selection

When using the Advanced Messaging we've streamlined the selection of message types - Broadcast, Open and Closed are now displayed as tabs to the left of the message compose box with easier access to any templates or options as required.

Advanced_Broadcast Advanced_Open Advanced_ClosedWithOptions

Mobile Friendly

We've made the new look Messenger work on mobile devices including smartphones and tablets that have an up to date Internet browser. You will see the new look Messenger optimised for the size of your screen however, some of the admin features, such as Message History and Account Configuration, are not available on small screens.

M5Tiles_Phone_Devices2 M5Tiles_TabletDevices
Show me which features are available on each device type
FeatureDesktopTabletMobile
Wizards
User Preferences
Incoming
History
Tweet
Advanced Messaging
Tools
Account Settings
Usage Reports
SMS Usage
Manage Users
Manage Contacts
Omissions
Templates
Data Sync

 

PDF_TimetableStudent Timetables

If your school subscribes to the new Messenger Enhanced Service you'll be able to send Student Timetables by email as a PDF from Messenger. The Enhanced Service requires an additional piece of software to be installed on your school server so that the timetable data can be retrieved from your MIS. Please note that in this first release we only support SIMS timetables.

 

The Groupcall App

Included in the new version of Messenger is support for our upcoming Groupcall Xpressions app. The Groupcall Xpressions app is a newly enhanced service designed to improve parental involvement allowing parents to receive and view information pushed directly to their mobile phones (Apple iOS, Android) keeping them updated on a wide range of events in near real time.

Using Groupcall Messenger, schools can send FREE messages (known as Push Notifications) to parents who have the Groupcall Xpressions app on their smartphone. They will see these messages as a notification on their phone, and will need to open the Groupcall Xpressions app to read the message.

Messages could be general, such as alerting to a school closure, or personal, such as informing parents of an absence from school. Once read the messages will remain in the Groupcall Xpressions app Inbox, together with list of all school communications whether sent by email or SMS, allowing parents to re-visit messages in one easy access location.