Product Updates

Preparing for the New Volunteer Scheduling Update

Our team is currently putting the finishing touches in place for our new volunteer scheduling update we’ve been building. Our goal was to simplify and speed up the scheduling of volunteers.

Here’s a quick demo of the new volunteer scheduling update:

Schedule Volunteers

Some cool new features:

  • Users will be able to schedule multiple volunteers at once over multiple departments.
  • Users will see live updates of other users scheduling on the same service.
  • Better filtering and sorting of volunteers.
  • Ability to set a default volunteer status (Confirmed or Unconfirmed) on a department level.
  • Ability to choose the default service times for positions when scheduling on a specific service type.

Configuration Options Now Available

We plan to roll out the new update in the coming weeks. Being able to set default volunteer status and service times will be a huge time saver for some of our customers. This will change the current process of “Choose Volunteer -> Configure Options -> Schedule Volunteer” to a new process that removes the middle step because the “Configure Options” (setting volunteer status, contact options and times) will be configurable within Service Types and Departments.

We figured it would be handy for you to be able to configure these default settings now prior to launching the new update.  Today we have released these new settings so you can jump in and get your account prepare for when we release the new volunteer scheduling update.

Here are some more details on the configuration options.

Default Volunteer Status

In the current version of Elvanto, you can configure the default volunteer status to be confirmed or unconfirmed within settings. This applied to every department.

We have now added a new option when editing a department so that volunteer status can now be individually configured on a per-department basis. When editing a department you can set the status as well as whether you want volunteers to be marked as needing to be contacted.

Default Service Times for Service Type Departments

We have also added in the ability to set default service times for positions within a service type. For instance, you may have volunteers on certain positions who need to be onsite early for the set-up time. Other volunteers on different positions might only need to be there at a rehearsal time. Rather than having to uncheck times when scheduling each volunteer, you can now set defaults.

When on the ‘Departments’ tab of a service type, you will now see a little clock icon next to each department and position…

When you click this, you can choose whether all times are to be clicked…

Or you can customize those times…

You can choose for sub-department and positions to inherit times if a department or sub-department all have the same times…

Stayed tuned…

Jump on in and get your account ready. We’ll be releasing the new volunteer scheduling update soon 🙂 Can’t wait! Let us know what you think of the new design.

Upcoming EU & US Database Maintenance

UPDATE 3/4: US Database maintenance was also a complete success. As per usual, we’ll keep an eye on the servers to make sure all is well 🙂

UPDATE 27/3: EU Database maintenance was a complete success. We’ll keep an eye on the servers in case any sneaky issues pop up 🙂

We will be performing database maintenance on both our EU and US databases to improve performance, stability and security for our customers.

We have blocked a window to perform the maintenance and tests. During the times listed below, our US and EU customers will not have access to their account. We do not expect it to take the full durations specified below, but be sure to follow our Twitter for progress updates.

Any questions or concerns please reach our to our support team.

Have a great week!

Ben

EU Database

Date: Tuesday, 27th March 2018
Time: 5:00 AM till 6:30 AM (UTC time)
Duration:
 1 hour and 30 minutes
Affected Customers: Customers on our EU server (elvanto.eu)

US Database

Date: Tuesday, 3rd April 2018
Time: 10:00 PM till 11:30 PM (PDT time)
Duration:
1 hour and 30 minutes
Affected Customers: Customers on our US server (elvanto.net)

Elvanto in 2018

Hi Elvanto users! It’s Ben here the founder of Elvanto! We’ve had a massive start to the year and I wanted to stop, reflect and take a moment to share about Elvanto in 2018.

2017 was a great year for Elvanto. A lot went on behind the scenes, unknowingly to our users. We improved security, how we write code, our infrastructure, how we prioritize our backlog and how we approach development.

At the same time, we released a bunch of updates. Here are some of the bigger ones:

  • Group messages
  • Event registration
  • Member directory redesign
  • Service reporting overhaul
  • Occasion messages
  • Volunteer swap and replace
  • New media player
  • Chord chart enhancements
  • Department non-conflicts

I’m excited about 2018. This year we really want to build on the solid foundation we have laid over the past 7 years. There is a lot of functionality in Elvanto and we want to go back and improve key areas. We want them to be simpler. Easier to use. Better to navigate. Fewer clicks. Modernize the UI.

I’ve been talking to customers over the past year and I’m hearing things like our Mobile App needs more features, the need for a Music Stand type app, improvements to make service planning easier, simpler navigation and improve access for volunteers who perform tasks like reporting on attendance, updating their groups and so on. The list goes on.

I’m so thankful that people that take the time share with us because it helps us improve.

This year we want to take said features and more to the next level. Rather than overhauling whole areas all at once which takes a long time, we are going to hit small areas, here and there meaning you receive the value quicker and see things progressing.

Oh, and we just released version 2 of our Mobile App

Android users can gain access to this right now and iOS users will have it in their hands soon!

To allow us to really push hard on the Mobile App this year, we needed a new baseline built into it. So that’s what we did with version 2. Behind the scenes, we have been developing version 2 of our API (it’s not yet public but we are working on it) which version 2 of our Mobile App is based off. This, plus the fact we have overhauled our code will really allow us to bring value to you much faster.

For those who missed our previous blog posts, although version 2 is more of a platform update that will allow us to develop it faster, we’ve added a few new features too. These include volunteer swap/replace, a media player and we also improved the user interface here and there.

Wrapping Up

As I said earlier, I’m excited about 2018. I look forward to adding more value, quicker in 2018.

What would you like to see from Elvanto in 2018?

P.S. We also have just put together a short video sharing some of our story and our heart. Check it out!

Chrome 63 and Dymo

We have been informed that there may be issues with the Chrome version 63 and the Dymo software. At this point in time, we have been unable to replicate or troubleshoot these issues ourselves so we are not sure how widespread the issue is.

We have been given these instructions from Dymo on how to work around this issue for the time being if you are being affected. We expect that sometime in the near future Dymo will have a new version of their software out to fix any issues.

If you are not using Chrome, or you are using version 62 or earlier, you should be unaffected by this issue. If you are using Chrome 63 and are not experiencing the issue, all should be well but keep an eye on it leading up to check-in time. It would be worth having a backup plan in place.

Elvanto + GDPR – Our Commitment to Europe!

In May 2018 a new regulation in Europe is coming into effect to help unify data protection. This is called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If you’re storing the personal data of EU citizens, this applies to you.

These new privacy laws, although a bit overwhelming at first are an exciting step towards better privacy. I hope that these laws are taken up by other countries in the future.

To show our commitment to our EU customers, we started storing their data in Dublin, Ireland back in 2014. Europe is an important part of Elvanto’s customer base and we are excited to continue to serve this part of the world. When we heard about the GDPR and the need to either comply or stop servicing customers storing EU citizens data, we were 100% on board to ensure we comply.

We are still working to be ready for the May 2018 deadline. We have created a GDPR page on our website that shares information about what we are doing. We’ll keep this page updated over time. You will also want to subscribe to our GDPR mailing list for future updates.

The GDPR affects companies who process the personal data of EU citizens (in this case, Elvanto) and also those who control that data (that’s our customers). I encourage any of our customers affected to look into the GDPR to ensure you have the right processes in place to comply. We’ll do our best to help as we learn more from our own findings.

Have a great week!

Ben