Frequently asked questions about Mercury Nexus, the development process and the differences between Mercury Nexus and Mercury 5.
1) Why did Connective develop a new version of Mercury?
Our mission is to support our members in growing and maintaining successful businesses - and a big part of that is technology. Whist Mercury 5 remains a leading technology platform, we understand that as with all things, Mercury must evolve. Mercury Nexus is built upon the foundations of Mercury 5 - retaining and enhancing the core functionality, whilst introducing new features and integrations.
2) What is the new Mercury platform?
We have taken the core functionality of Mercury 5 and split it out into a suite of purpose built applications. Additionally, we have created some brand new functionality into the Mercury platform.
The new Mercury platform consists of:
- Apps (beta)
- CRM (beta)
- Research (beta)
- Commissions (beta)
- Customer Centre (beta)
- Doc Centre (beta)
- Admin (in development)
- Asset Finance (in development)
- Analytics (planned)
- Compliance (planned)
See here for a more detailed overview
3) When will the final "Production" version of Mercury Nexus be available?
Apps, CRM, Research and Commissions are in the final stages of beta testing. With only fine tuning, bug fixes and UX enhancements left to be completed. Admin is in development with most of the core functionality already deployed. Doc Centre and Customer Centre have undergone a major refresh based on the feedback we received from users and have just been made available for beta testing. Once beta testing for the Doc Centre and Customer Centre are complete, Mercury Nexus will be feature complete in terms of its core functionality and will be ready for release into it's production version.
4) When will the other beta applications be released into production?
Depending on the size and complexity of the application's being built, the length of the development lifecycle can differ.
Typically when an application hits the beta phase it is nearing the end of the development phase and is considered almost ready to go out to production – but the beta phase is intended to find out how ready it is. We rely on the feedback of brokers to tell us how close we are – what we got right, and what needs a little (or a lot) of fine tuning.
4) Why is the chat feature no longer available in the new Doc Centre?
Our priority in re-designing the Doc Centre was to improve the user experience by integrating it with the Customer Centre and CRM. Our data indicated that this feature wasn't widely used amongst Doc Centre users. For this initial release we have decided to hold back on this feature and review how/if it could be implemented in a meaningful way. If you would like to see this feature as part of the Doc Centre or have ideas on how it can be improved, please add them to the ideas portal: https://ideas.connective.com.au
Mercury 5 vs Mercury Nexus
1) If I am using a custom template (e.g. Preliminary Assessment) do I need to update it to use Mercury Nexus?
Yes. The financials section of Mercury Nexus has been updated to include a new Living Expenses section - that now sits on the opportunity along with assets and liabilities. This means that if you do not update your custom merge template the merge table on the your template will be looking for a table that does not exist in the new platform.
2) Which Needs Analysis do I use in Mercury Nexus?
In Mercury Nexus the living expenses have been expanded to include the categories found in Apply Online. Because these can now be captured in the Customer Centre, and in turn the CRM there is no need to also capture these in the Needs Analysis. A new version of the Needs Analysis has been created to be specifically used with Mercury Nexus. Whilst the old Needs Analysis title has been updated to indicate it should only be used with Mercury 5:
- If you are using the CRM/Customer Centre in Mercury Nexus, use Master: Needs Analysis - Customer Centre
- If you are using Mercury 5, use Master: Needs Analysis - M5
3) Why aren't my financials the same in Mercury Nexus as they are in Mercury 5?
In order to align the financial data with Apply Online, so that it can be pushed to Apply Online at the time of submitting, we have made some significant changes to the where some sections of the financials sit.
The assets and liabilities remain on the opportunity, so the same data is available in both Mercury 5 and the new platform.
The following sections have been moved to align with Apply Online data capture. Data entered in Mercury 5 will only be available in Mercury 5. Data entered in the new platform is only available in the new platform.
- Living expenses which previously sat on the person now sit on the opportunity
- Employment income type which sat as a separate record now sits within the employment record
- Remaining income types now sit in the other income section on the opportunity
See the following wiki for more detailed information.
4) Am I making changes to my real data when I use Mercury Nexus?
Yes. The new Mercury platform uses the same backend as Mercury 5. Meaning you are using your actual, "live" production data when you use one of the applications. Everything that you do in the new platform (even if it is in beta!) will impact Mercury 5.
5) Will my existing workflows (task templates, statuses, auto-actions..) still work in Mercury Nexus?
Yes. Your workflows, task-templates, statuses etc. will all be used in the new Mercury apps. No need to re-establish any workflows.
As a general rule of thumb, the core functionality of Mercury won’t change. We are improving and refining some existing features, and introducing a number of brand-new features.
A few outdated pieces won't be rebuilt in the new platform, but these are generally bits of legacy functionality which are no longer in common use.
6) Can I use Mercury Nexus and still use Mercury 5 or do I need to switch over entirely?
You can use both. You can switch between Mercury 5 and the new platform whenever you like. Almost everything that you do in the new platform will be reflected in Mercury 5 - though some of the new features and functionality will only be available in the new Mercury platform. (see Q3)
7) Why aren't my merge documents downloading in Mercury Nexus?
The very first time you use merge documents in the CRM the popup blocker may prevent the document from downloading. If you opt to allow popups then you should be able to use the merge templates after that.
The development process
1) What is a beta?
A beta version of an application is a pre-release version that is given out to a group of users to test under "real" conditions.
Beta versions usually follow an alpha or "in-house" version which has been tested for general functionality and to ensure the code does what it is intended to do.
A beta version is usually fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; though some tweaking and redesign to the interface and functionality may occur as a result of the user feedback obtained from the beta testers – that's the purpose of the beta testing phase.
2) Why does software need to go into beta?
To ensure software is fit for purpose the developers usually get the software tested by users under "real" conditions. This beta period allows users to test and take advantage of the new features and functionality before the final release, in exchange for providing feedback on the new software. This allows the development team to gather feedback from the users on the software, fine tune workflows and usability, and potentially add new features or functionality as suggested by users.