The Affino SaaS Service evolved at an incredible pace in 2107, with the fastest rollout of responsive design modules yet. We completed the full Affino transition to Responsive Design for all the display side Affino elements with the final major Affino 7.5 release in December. Affino 8 is also well underway and due to be released in January 2018.
All aspects of Affino evolved over the course of the year, with every single key area seeing major updates. This means that the Affino service has become consistently faster, more responsive, smoother, easier to use, and faster for launching sites, brands and new commercial offerings.
The biggest overall evolution has been the completion of the responsive frontend across all of Affino’s modules, this was a major milestone and five years in the making, with many front end interfaces going through ten or more iterations over the years. The second biggest area was the release of the new events platform featuring updated directories, new seminar and awards modules, as well as the greatly improved customer on-boarding automation which allows for never seen before event based customer on-boarding workflows.
Publishing saw the introduction of a host of great usability improvements which make publishing dynamic articles that much easier with great new support for simple image alignment, charts, tables, block quotes and button styling within every article. We’ve also introduced the new featured article type, greatly improved related content, and launched a new generation site search.
Promotion sees a new generation ad server which closes the gap greatly on the best of breed ad serving platforms, and extends it with Affino’s great prioritisation and personalisation capabilities. The Social and CRM capabilities leapt forward with an entirely new generation social platform and some great CRM usability improvements including the new HR modules, and an entirely new generation of import and export tools which have transformed the ability to get customer and audience data into and out of Affino.
On the Commercial side almost every aspect has leapt forward over the past few months with the new product listing, product search, and product drill-down. We also launched the new mobile optimised Checkout at the end of the year alongside the currency selector and improved shopping basket. Support for Service Credits on the responsive checkout also sees the introduction of paid for content entry, starting with jobs (and coming to directory entries).
Added together there were seven releases over the course of 2017, including four major ones. We addressed 1,333 different user stories officially and hundreds of others along the way, and set Affino up for a great 2018 with the upcoming Affino 8 introduction, followed by the new GDPR services, customer self service modules, enhanced analytics, and much more.
For a more complete list of the highlights see below.
- Affino 7.5 Completion
- Affino 8
- Responsive Design
- Responsive Channels
- Wrap up transition from classic to responsive channels
- Responsive Design Elements
- Wrap up transition from classic to responsive DE’s
- Object Designer
- Not the new one we hoped for, but a great number of improvements in the current one.
- v7 and v8 Rollouts
- Completed the update for all earlier responsive elements to the latest v7 and v8 generation display frameworks.
- Events Update
- Major updates to events throughout the year. This is the part of Affino that evolved the most in 2017 with updates coming in every single release over the course of the year.
- New generation advanced events, event listing and new Events Listing DE for quickly adding, managing, and presenting events in the most effective manner possible.
- New responsive listing and detail for directories, which can showcase both galleries and documents as well as core company information and stand numbers for show directories.
- Powerful new seminars showcasing seminar and theatre sponsors, speakers and attendees (to a selected audience). Great mobile optimised search with personal agendas, and great audience profiling.
- Contact Capture
- Affino introduced comprehensive contact capture on sales. Making it possible to designate how many contacts to capture with each sale, particularly useful for event related sales.
- These contacts can then be quickly mapped onto existing user accounts or new ones created, and assigned to conversion events (for sales and marketing automation) or added to contact lists.
- Auto Assigned Accounts
- Contacts can now be auto-assigned to accounts when registering and double confirming against an account email domain. When coupled with the contact capture and auto-assigning of subscriptions it all adds up to a sleek event onboarding process.
- Event Sponsor Management
- New event sponsor management to facilitate sponsor management and logistics.
- New Awards platform with full commercial awards entry, management and judging through a mobile optimised web app.
- New Awards sponsor management tracking all activity from logos through to seating and presenters
- Exceptional Awards intel allowing for the full lifecycle tracking of awards prospects, from the receipt of the initial notices, to landing on the site, browsing categories and then capturing each stage. The insight report then lets you view, sort, and manage this data to maximise your awards engagement.
- New generation recruitment platform with ‘send me jobs like this’ functionality, recruiter listings with associated jobs, consultant listing with associated jobs, improved job drill down, the ability for users to purchase and post their own jobs and much more.
- We also updated message campaigns to better send out job highlights
- Featured Articles
- New article type in a highly contemporary style, with a core narrow column, profile sidebar, in-article ads and related content, powerful chart and table support, and easy navigation between articles.
- Auto Assigned Subscriptions
- Affino is able to auto assign corporate subscriptions to new registrants, for instant onboarding.
- Responsive Tables
- Added support for responsive tables using DataTables. This is an exceptional framework for displaying responsive tables with mobile optimisation, sorting, paging and search.
- Related Content
- New generation Related Content DE to best present related content across devices
- Site Search
- New generation site search with both greatly improved search, and much better presentation of content.
- Section Feature Scroller
- New showcase design element for presenting highlights of the latest articles. Also added other highlight DE’s including Prime Related Carousel DE.
- Campaign (Stats)
- New responsive campaign stats screen with enhanced statistics and client-side mobile access.
- Campaign Server
- New generation campaign server, with greatly improved targeting capabilities. It is now possible to target by Channel, and AND / OR topic combinations at the same time. Affino also estimates campaign reach up-front based on previous campaigns, and auto-balances the campaign to speed up / slow down over and under performing campaigns.
- Bounce Lists
- Improved bounce lists and bounce list management
- Message Campaigns
- Greatly improved scalability and speed of message campaigns, up to 10x faster.
- Improved message layouts, and added the ability to send content from multiple sections simultaneously on the automated messages, e.g. latest news, jobs and reports in one message.
Social & CRM
- New responsive forums for discussion and client forums and collaboration spaces.
- This was a major undertaking given the depth of capabilities of the new collaboration spaces, and the multiple types of forums which can be run.
- Absence Management
- New enterprise absence management, including holidays and sickness, fully mobile optimised for on-site team members with extensive management workflows.
- New team skills management platform for managing skill matrices and talent development. Fully responsive and mobile optimised with advanced management workflows.
- Further refined the timesheets
- On Page Feedback
- New DE, notifications and message centre for on page feedback
- Public Profile
- New generation public profile with powerful management sidebar for user’s profiles and messaging.
- Contacts DE
- New DE for showcasing all contacts from the CRM. Allows you to dynamically present any individual or group whether it is by select or sort, through to any user classification in dynamic contact lists.
- New responsive invites for users to invite other on-site members to connect.
- Comments Queue
- Updated comments queue that allows you to see all comment history irrespective of moderation.
- Imports & Exports
- New generation import / export engine for contacts, accounts, catalogue items, and orders
- New Contact List and Conversion Event imports
- Team Time (alpha)
- New responsive version of Team Time, will be great for on-the-go workers.
- Contact Lists
- New Topic / Interest lead topic lists which dynamically populate depending on users’ interests.
- Media Library
- New Media Listing (with search) and Detail templates as well as enhanced Media Listing DE for greatly improved media listings and presentation.
- New responsive version or the checkout, great mobile optimised experience.
- Product Search
- New responsive version of the product search.
- Product Drill-down
- New responsive version of the product drill down with a new single template approach to allow for great mobile experience.
- Improved the product presentation including an always-on-screen buy bar
- Pro Forma Orders
- Updates to improve auditing and history of Pro Forma invoices and messaging, with numerous enhancements for managing and filtering pro formas
- Pro Forma Orders can be tracked across contacts as well as accounts, and the option to create directly from both.
- Order Import
- New Order Import for importing orders and the associated order line items.
- Orders / Order Line Items / Sales Report
- We made numerous enhancements across the board for orders and sales reporting which have considerably simplified reporting and management for a number of scenarios.
- Currency Selector DE
- New currency selector for multi-currency sites
- Service Credits
- Added support for service credits to the ecommerce store and my account. This means that it is now possible to sell online interactions beyond subscriptions, starting with the ability purchase a job listing.
- App Bar
- Extended responsive app bar with Design management, and support for a lot more content types
- Simplified Articles
- We made it much simpler to align images and select their size, add block quotes (so you don’t need to use panels to highlight content), and add buttons by simply selecting the button style on links.
- Hundreds of incremental usability updates throughout Affino for a smoother and more intuitive experience.
- Human Detection
- Stats were improved across the board with the introduction of Human Detection on top of the existing Bot Detection