ICON is always a really exciting week, and in the years past they’ve gone out of their way to announce big changes to the software. Well, this year definitely gave us a glimpse into what we can expect from the software over the next few months, but they really didn’t lay out a long term product road map like I had hoped they would.
First of all, Terry Hicks spoke from stage – and in case you haven’t heard, Terry is the new Chief Product Officer. I like him. I met him at PartnerCon and I was impressed with his “take-action” mentality. His message at PartnerCon was “Don’t take my word for it. Let me show you results.” That’s something I can get behind. But even if I didn’t like him – it’s hard to argue with the traction that they’ve got in the core product lately. Month after month we’ve been seeing powerful new features and updates roll out (albeit, not without a handful of bugs). Check out the January, February and March updates in case you missed them.
Okay, so to learn about the product (which I figured would be important to everyone…) I had to track down the Product Showcase session, which was held in one of the smaller breakout rooms at the same time as 11 other sessions. There were roughly 100 people in the room during the one I attended (they may have held that session more than once, I’m not sure).
The showcase was exactly that, it was a series of product managers sharing the result of whatever they’d been working on. And for someone like me, it was basically a buffet of deliciousness.
Update #1: The New Email Builder is coming to Campaign Builder
When it is coming: Soon. They didn’t commit to a date, but conversations I had led me to believe we’d start seeing it within the next 6 weeks.
What it does: The new email building environment, which was recently rolled out for broadcasts, will soon be released for the campaign builder.
Why it matters: When they rolled out this new builder I know there was a lot of excitement around it, and many people were disappointed when they realized it was only for the broadcast environment. So, this update will bring that same builder to the rest of the application. This means that you will be able to build uniform and mobile responsive emails across your entire system. Oh yeah, and templates. Did I mention you’ll be able to create and save templates?
Update #2: Physical Credit Card Swipe
When it is coming: TBD or “Soon”
What it does: This is an attachment that you can plug into your mobile device or tablet which will allow you to swipe a credit card, process an order, and trigger automation as a result of a successful payment.
Why it matters: This will be a huge benefit to anyone who does live conferences or events. Now, you’ll be able to create and process orders in real time. No more asking your customer to type in all their information, just swipe the credit card and it pulls the data and runs the payment. They demoed this live during the session and it was pretty slick. You could also add tax or discounts in real time to adjust the order as needed.
Update #3: The New Marketplace
When it is coming: TBD or “Soon”
What it does: This will be a new version of the existing marketplace, but with easier and more intuitive search and navigation.
Why it matters: The current Marketplace is nice, but it can be tough to navigate. Often times you’ll end up searching and you’ll get either 0 search results, or dozens of results. This new marketplace will be easier to operate, and should provide a more customer friendly experience to help you find the tools and solutions you need without the hassle.
Update #4: Infusionsoft Payments are coming to the UK
When is it coming: 3-6 months
What is it: Infusionsoft Payments will be available for customers in the UK.
Why it matters: Infusionsoft Payments is the Merchant Gateway that Infusionsoft announced at ICON last year, and has since been available only in North America (US first, and more recently Canada); but now they’re bringing this payment solution to Infusionsoft Users elsewhere. First up will be the United Kingdom, and I would expect Australia and New Zealand will follow later this year. If you have a merchant gateway that you use and are happy with then this may not be a huge deal for you; but if you’ve had trouble with your gateway, or live in an area where they’re hard to come by, then this could be really big news. I’ve use Infusionsoft Payments since I started Monkeypod and have been thrilled with the experience and the rates.
Update #5: Delight Enhancements
When it is coming: It’s already happening.
What it is: Infusionsoft has recognized that there are some aspects of the platform that just simply aren’t delightful; and recently they’ve been really intentional about addressing these things. My understanding is that we can expect more of this. Infusionsoft wants to make sure that each release that comes out has something in it that customers can see and feel.
Why it matters: This matters because we can all agree that the structure or code base of the software is important, but as a user community it’s also our expectation that this will work as expected without us noticing that it’s being maintained. So, Infusionsoft is making an effort to deploy releases that people can feel and appreciate more easily. This means that hopefully we’ll see more things like the email reporting in the campaign builder, the ability to use internal forms for the quick-add feature, and simple stuff – like being able to clone an order form.
Okay, well, those are the big PRODUCT related announcements from ICON. I wish I had a more specific timeline for when we can expect all of these features to be released; but the reality is that Infusionsoft has been burned in the past by announcing a timeline and being unable to stick to it; so this year their language was unclear about when they’ll be able to deliver these things – and personally, I respect that. They’ll deploy them when they’re ready; and I’ll be thrilled when they do.
If you have questions about any of these, or if you attended a session I missed and want to share something you’re excited about please feel free to comment below! This post was specifically about the Infusionsoft software – you can expect another post in the next week or so recapping the rest of the conference and my favorite sessions and take-aways.