December is traditionally the time to briefly look back on the past year. Both privately and professionally. This year was also largely dominated by Corona, where working from home and periods in which many facilities are (or have been) closed have become normal. This has undoubtedly been a major challenge for everyone. Despite all this, we hope everyone had a successful and healthy year.
Every year we also look back at what we have achieved, what can be improved in SpinOffice CRM and our service, and how we can do even better in the coming year. In this news item we would like to share a number of noteworthy milestones from 2021 with you.
A redesigned Inbox
In 2019 we started the redevelopment process of SpinOffice CRM using Laravel framework, focusing on security, user experience, stability, scalability and ease of integration.
The Home dashboard and Kanban board were launched first, followed by key features such as the Calendar and most recently the Inbox in August. During the year, most of the other screens in the CRM were also given the same look and feel.
The new Contacts section (Contact list and Archive), which is an extremely important part of SpinOffice, is in the process of being rolled out in phases to our customers and free demo users. More information about this will follow shortly.
The launch of the web-based version
It is now even easier to use SpinOffice CRM. Previously you had to install the software once on a local Windows PC or Mac, but since May 2021 it is possible to log in to the web-based version.
How do you log in? That’s very simple! Click on Login at the top of our website, enter your email address and personal password (and your 2 factor authentication code if you have it enabled) and you have direct access to your customer data!
Learn more about the web-based version? Read more here.
Integration with WhatsApp Business
SpinOffice CRM now includes a powerful integration with WhatsApp Business. By means of the WhatsApp API from MessageBird you can now communicate directly with your customers via WhatsApp. Incoming conversations arrive in your inbox, and you can easily start a conversation yourself from the contact card. All WhatsApp conversations are linked and archived as you expect from SpinOffice. Using the same platform, you can also configure your Facebook/Instagram or other similar message providers.
Integration with Xelion VoIP
Since the summer of this year, a smart and user-friendly VoIP integration with telecom provider Xelion has been available. By connecting SpinOffice CRM to Xelion, you can make and receive calls with VolP. It allows you to use existing phone number directly from SpinOffice. Incoming calls are signaled within SpinOffice, phone calls are automatically recognized and linked based on the phone number. On incoming calls, SpinOffice automatically creates a call note. There is an automatic logging and time registration of all conversations and, on request, conversations are recorded and automatically saved with the contact in SpinOffice CRM.
A completely new rights structure
The ability to set permissions per user is crucial to work securely in a shared database. Previously, this was quite complex in SpinOffice and not always logical. That is why it has been modified. We have moved away from the roles and security groups, users now only have rights to features and access to contact types instead of security groups.
Managing the user rights can be found under menu option Administration; User Settings, Rights tab on the left. The user is listed at the top. Any user with the SuperAdmin right is allowed to manage anyone’s user rights.
Within the user settings section, Contact types tab, you can set per user which contact types this user is allowed to see.
Every user can decide with whom to shares the Calendar, Inbox and Kanban-board with.
The new rights structure will be explained in more detail shortly in our support center.
Various security improvements
Security of information and privacy are and remain our most important assets. It is in our greatest interest that you have confidence in the way we handle personal data and all data in the database. We monitor the performance of our database and mail servers on a daily basis and we regularly perform updates for database performance and data security.
A periodic penetration test
An important new part of our internal security protocol is the execution of a periodic pen test. What is a pen test / penetration test? Using various techniques, a pen tester tries to find and exploit vulnerabilities within computer systems or software. The pentester goes in search of vulnerabilities and attacks. In addition, tools are used to shoot at the software. This often reveals various vulnerabilities.
After the pen test was performed by Penetra Cyber Security earlier this year, our software engineers immediately started working on the recommendations and solving the vulnerabilities and to follow best practices in order to avoid other potential vulnerabilities.
The SpinOffice CRM pen test will be performed periodically.
Microsoft 365 and Outlook OAuth 2.0 authentication
Currently, SpinOffice offers the possibility to connect to any email account that allows IMAP, such as Gmail, Hotmail / Outlook, Office 365, AOL mail, Mail.com, Yahoo, Strato or even Microsoft Exchange using the IMAP protocol. We use the email account information and password to connect.
For Microsoft 365 and Outlook accounts it is also possible to connect via authorization standard OAuth 2.0. Applications such as SpinOffice CRM can then access on behalf of a user without necessarily revealing username and password. Instead of storing the username and password for your account, we now use “access tokens” and “refresh tokens” from Microsoft.
The bottom line is that this authorization standard offers ease of use and appropriate security.
Learn more about Microsoft OAuth 2.0 authentication? Read more here.
Looking ahead to 2022
These were some of the main highlights of 2021. In the new year, when the time comes, we will inform you about upcoming new features and improvements within SpinOffice such as, among others:
- The Contact-part (Contact list and Archive)
- Microsoft 365 sync (Contacts and Calendar)
- A new mobile version of SpinOffice CRM
- A new Folder dashboard
- A smart quick mass-mail feature
- Several custom projects for existing customers
- and much more…
We are always looking for new market opportunities. Please feel free to contact us for any integration opportunity, API suggestion or if you have specific software customization needs for your business.
For now, we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a healthy and successful New Year!
– Team SpinOffice