PSA provider Vorex stresses simplicity in Winter 2015 release

Brand new features include Outlook Calendar integration and Quickbooks Online integration, with integration of more accounting software on the roadmap.

Dallas-based professional services automation () provider Vorex has announced its “Vorex Winter 2015” release. Vorex, which targets the SMB space with its cloud-based platform, emphasizes simplicity and ease of use in its solution, and the latest new and enhanced features follow that theme.

“This is a major release for us, with a lot of cool features people have asked for that they either don’t see in other products, or which they find hard to use because they are too convoluted,” said Stuart Selbst, Vorex’s SVP.

Vorex’s sweet spot is the S segment of the SMB, and their solution is priced for that space, although because they are cloud-based they can scale to larger customers if required. They came out of the project management space originally, and have been adding additional functionality in each release, including billing and invoicing, , and service desk support. They provide major releases every quarter, with updates once a month.

The CRM has been enhanced significantly in this release.

“Before, you could only track current clients, and now you can track clients, prospects, opportunities and service desk tickets,” Selbst said. “We will continue to enhance the CRM to make it more of a client resource management tool. We want to be the Salesforce of the PSA world. Salesforce is expensive, so by providing it in our PSA offering, we are giving our customers an option.”

The employee HR Profiles has also been enhanced to keep track of individual skills, skill categories and education levels.

“This makes it easier to assign the right person to a ticket,” Selbst said. “This is another innovative way to expand the functionality of a PSA product, to use it to enhance your staff. Our HR feature is particularly detailed while still being simple.”

The Online Project Management Dashboard has been upgraded as well, placing rich graphics, statistics and intuitive charts in a single location, to enable a quick and holistic overview of overall business as well as individual projects and client accounts.

“Budgeting for your projects is easier to see now,” Selbst said.

The email parser for service tickets has also been improved, something that was actually part of the monthly update two weeks ago. The client can email IT, whether it be internal or an , and open a ticket, at any number of specialized email addresses which can be set up.

Other enhancements to existing features include a cleaner user interface in service desk ticketing, with new reports added, as well as an improved communication portal with clients to indicate when new releases are coming.

The brand new features start with Quickbooks Online integration, to allow customers to transfer billable time into Quickbooks with ease directly from Vorex, creating invoices that map to tracked time.

“This is something that has been asked for a great deal,” Selbst said. “We are also building out with a few other accounting software vendors in our long term road map for 2015. Our integration with other vendors isn’t just ad hoc stuff. We work with the other company to make sure the APIs work properly, which is why it takes us a little bit longer.”

The other significant new addition is Outlook Calendar integration, allowing Outlook users to directly schedule projects, tasks, to-dos and appointments from Vorex, as well as allocate resources according to existing schedules.

“This is another feature people have been asking for,” Selbst said. “It’s something we didn’t have at the very beginning because we came out of project management, and this is typical of the kind of functionality we have been adding. Our emphasis has been on making it simple, so people would use it, and that takes some development time. It looks like the Outlook Calendar, so people won’t get confused.”

Vorex, which began selling direct, has been building a channel component into their model, with both reselling and referral partners. Partners are mainly MSPs, but also include some VARs.

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