Why is Connective developing 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.
The Mercury new platform will be built upon the foundations of Mercury 5 - retaining and enhancing the core functionality, whilst introducing new features and integrations in a new suite of complementary applications.
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 applications that introduce new functionality into the Mercury suite.
The new Mercury suite of applications consists of:
- Apps (beta)
- Admin (beta)
- CRM (beta)
- Research (beta)
- Analytics (development)
- Commissions (beta)
- Customer Centre (beta)
- DocCentre (beta)
See here for a more detailed overview
What does "pre-release" mean?
In the context of software development, "pre-release" refers to a prototype version of the software which a group of users are given access to before the final version is released. Simply put, a pre-release is not the final version of the software, but is quite close. Usually the feature set is largely finalised, with only fine tuning and (hopefully) minor bug fixes remaining before the release version.
What is a beta?
A beta version of an application is 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.
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.
When will the final "Release" version of the Mercury platform be available?
That's a difficult question – the short answer is "When it's ready".
Developing software is a difficult process, and there's a lot of moving parts. Depending on the size and complexity of the application being built, the length of the development life-cycle can differ.
We currently have 6 applications in beta; Apps, CRM, Research, Commissions, Customer Centre and DocCentre. Admin and Analytics are well into development and work on the new Compliance app will begin shortly.
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 did we get right, what works well, and what needs a little (or a lot) of fine tuning.
Yes. The Mercury Beta apps use the same backend as Mercury 5. Meaning you are using your actual, "live" production data when you use one of our beta applications and, so everything that you do in a beta application will impact Mercury 5.
Will new Mercury have a Kanban?
Yes. The CRM application has a Kanban board for Opportunities which allows you to track the status of your opportunities visually, whilst still maintaining the workflows and status changes you have already set up.
Will my existing workflows (tasks/statuses) still work in the new Mercury platform?
Yes. Your workflows, tasks, statuses etc. will all be used in the new Mercury apps.
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.
Can I use new Mercury 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 applications whenever you like. Everything that you do in any of the beta applications will be reflected in Mercury 5 - though some of the new features and functionality will be specific to the new applications.
Why aren't my merge documents downloading in the new platform?
The very first time you use merge documents in the CRM the popup blocker may prevent the document from loading. If you opt to allow popups then you should be able to use the merge templates after that.