Highrise view - how word gets around

Every now and again, you're reminded of how far-and-wide the Wiliam blog is read.

A few years back, one of our senior devs, Guy MacArthur, was full of praise for Highrise CRM, and he wrote about it here. Now, Guy has since moved on, though his legacy will remain with us forever, and it seems his words of wisdom still touch audiences across the globe. Just this morning, for example, I came across an email from French app developer Bilog (Versailles) who have obviously been doing their research on Highrise CRM. They have been working collaboratively with Highrise HQ to develop an app called CRMtask, which is a mobile extension of the Highrise CRM functionality. You can download it from the Highrise extras page. Basically CRMtask is available on iPhone and it allows you to easily access and browse your Highrise CRM contacts, and therefore view all notes and email exchanges (history) with your clients, before you make the next call. You can see all your tasks, with context given. It is clever enough to have a note ready, to save to your client's record, just as soon as you hang up a call.

I'm not here to necessarily spruik the new app, though it sounds fantastic. But I thought it was interesting that the app developer took the time to write to Wiliam, outlining their product and share their experience with us. Truth be told, Wiliam does not necessarily specialise in CRM integrations, nor do we build mobile apps (though we have designed the UX and interface for quite a few). But we have integrated with CRMs in the past (Highrise is one, obviously) just like we've worked with numerous other services and applications, hooking in via APIs, such as RESTful or SOAP web services. It is what we do on a daily basis, and do very well.

This isn't the first time we've been approached by a reader of our blog, or the subject of one! About a year ago, I was personally full of praise for Rejoiner, and wrote a blog about how you didn't necessarily even need a traditional shopping cart on your website, to benefit from cart abandonment practices. A purchase funnel on its own is good enough, even if it doesn't retain state (i.e. store orders or items for when a customer returns to complete a purchase at a later date). In this case, the article ended up being shared all the way back to the CEO of Rejoiner, Mike Arsenault who kindly sent me a hand-written note thanking me for the fantastic write-up, which lent a lot of credibility to their product. Nobody gets hand-written notes in the post these days. I was chuffed.

Nobody gets hand-written notes in the post these days. I was chuffed.

One final example worth mentioning was our 'blog of the year' back in 2014. One of our developers Jason Deacon wrote a short but worthy piece on how to decouple Umbraco from the front-end. In a nutshell, this was a move to enhance performance (speed) and involved building an MVC .net application that did not connect to a database to serve its users content (like a traditional content managed website does). Instead, content was read from the Umbraco.config which was basically an XML file rendered out as a perfect snapshot of the content in the CMS / DB of a second site (which could be content managed using Umbraco) at the time. By setting up a scheduled task (for example) to copy the Umbraco.config file from the traditional CMS site, to a location on the second site containing the MVC application designed to purely read this and bypass Umbraco and the DB, we saw mindblowing performance improvements.

So clever was this solution, Jason's blog was picked up by Umbraco developers and published in communities and forums the world over. It was the most read blog (in terms of visitors) for the whole year.

The take out from this, is that we keep writing blogs, and we enjoy it, because we know that people read and appreciate the efforts we go to. Though it is a work requirement that everybody at the Wiliam office contributes the occasional article, the reality is that sometimes, it can be a challenge to keep up. Everybody is so busy these days and there is certainly no shortage of design and development work coming through Wiliam. Perhaps, ironically, this is due to all the leads generated by our blog!