Database for Project Management

The “Tasks” feature of the AMS-Connect software is a great resource for collaboration amongst employees who require the need to communicate regularly, share notes, coordinate tasks, and track the statuses of projects they are working on as a team. This feature is also useful for creating basic workflows for project management, but often projects need a more customized approach when it comes to tracking progress and development.

This is where the flexible “Database” feature comes in. Unlike the “Tasks” feature which provides pre-set fields, the Database feature allows you to create custom-defined fields which can be tailored to the specific needs of your project. This powerful tool allows our customers the option to create their own customized databases for project management, collaboration, tracking, intranet functionality, etc.

Additionally, with the permission capabilities for views, you have the ability to create workflows complete with notifications when items are ready to be moved from one user to the next. When a user finishes their portion of a task within the Database feature, you can set the Database to automatically set the task to the next user in the workflow. Automatic email notifications can also be created, notifying the new user of this workflow change.

For example: your office is working on a client project that requires detailed management such as due date and milestone tracking, documenting the dates of communication with the client (e.g., the dates correspondence is mailed), fields for taking notes, automatic view permission changing, and the ability to upload and share documents pertaining to the project. With the database feature, you can customize these fields and permission sets to create a project management system that is completely tailored to your organization’s needs, or more specifically to the needs of that particular client or project.

In a recent update to the AMS-Connect software, a number of updates were released that enhance the usability and functionality of the “Database” feature. These updates include: sortable view lists; key field designation; and document folder relocation.

Continually updated to ensure maximum efficiency and custom features for end users, the database feature of the AMS-Connect software allows you to completely customize your database for ease of use and productivity. Contact us today if you need help setting up a customized database or to see if this tailored resource is what your company needs to take project management to the next level.

Project and Task Collaboration

Project management is a part of the day-to-day activities of many organizations. With multiple individuals working on a project at any given time, there is often a need to consolidate conversations, notes, documents, and project statuses to ensure that everyone is on the same page and kept in the loop with current progress.

A client of the AMS-Connect software has a number of employees who work remotely. Having utilized the application for other uses in the past, they were curious if their software possessed an option for project collaboration. Utilizing the “Tasks” feature, the client created a workspace in which ongoing projects (tasks) were created with permission sets to allow specific users access to certain projects.

By implementing this tool, employees were able to communicate regularly, input notes, coordinate future tasks, and track the status of their progress. They created their own project management tool and document management system, allowing remote employees and clients the ability to access, share, and discuss all aspects of the project, while maintaining high standards of security and auditing.

While useful for basic workflows and project management, some projects require a more customized approach, with specific fields in which to track data and progress. For this purpose, the “Database” feature of the AMS-Connect software allows the client to create a completely tailored project management tool for tracking and collaboration. In our next post, we will discuss how this feature can be further developed to create a more customized tool for project management.

Custom Client Connection

We recently discussed the aspect of branding and how the AMS Connect software can help you establish and present your brand through our customized extranet site, resulting in the successful management of your business and providing a connection with your clients that is uniquely yours. Not only is the AMS Connect software completely brandable and customizable in this regard, it also allows you the opportunity to develop solid relationships with your clients and customers.

Strong client connections mean security. AMS Connect understands the need for your customers to feel like their data is safeguarded and protected by you. From an end-user perspective, your customers can relax feeling that when they retrieve or upload documents, or work on tasks utilizing our project management feature, they have never left software outside of the control of your organization.

This brandable and customizable aspect of our software provides you with a site that is under your complete control.  From login credentials to the look and usability of the site, you can be the administrator of your own site.  Unlike many file and collaboration sites, AMS Connect is branded to you rather than branded to whoever the site provider is.  AMS Connect also gives you full power to manage the site rather than handing over risky security protocols to a faceless organization with unreadable end-user agreements.

AMS Connect’s top priority is your data security as well as the reliability of your customized site.  All of this provides your clients with the security of knowing that you are working directly with them rather than with or through an unknown or potentially risky document sharing space.

Contact us today to see how our truly secure and customizable collaboration can help build your brand and relationship with your clients.

Version 6.7 is Coming

We are listening to you and regularly updating our secure extranet software accordingly.  Our goal is to provide our customers the most secure, flexible and usable extranet software in the market.  As part of this goal we are always looking for ways to improve not only the stability and security of the software but also the end-user experience.  To that end we are in the final stages of beta testing of our latest version of the AMS Connect software.  Listed below are some of the major enhancements you can expect to see once you upgrade your site to version 6.7.

  • Drag and drop functionality – This functionality now allows for files to be dragged onto folders or document lists, or within the Add document screen for upload. From Add document, dropped files can also be removed before submitting to remove any inadvertently added.
  • Additional “Display as” options – You are now able to select “Secure PDF” and “Image” within the document profile.
    • Secure PDF option will allow the owner to apply a password to any document that can be converted to PDF (password will be available to users viewing the document).
    • Image option will render the Document as a paged set of images for end users with limited permissions. This feature is an improvement over the former security of Adobe “FlashPaper” and will prevent downloading or copying the text from the document.
  • Document Expiration Date – you now have an optional Retention setting (depending on your Workspace Preference setting) that would allow document to be automatically deleted from the system when that date elapses. Once your workspace is set up you can now select “Document Expires” with a “Document Expiration Date”.

In addition to the above enhancements, AMS Collaborator will be adding a complete update to the notes and discussion features within the AMS Connect software.  Final testing and verification are expected to be completed by February 2017.

AMS Collaborator has scheduled two live demos for the new features at 9:00 AM Pacific Time on Tuesday January 17th and Thursday January 19th.  The live demo is anticipated to take approximately 15 minutes.  Please email info@ams-connect.com if you would like to join one of our demos.

Don’t forget to contact AMS Collaborator to schedule your AMS Connect site for upgrade.

Flexible Security

Flexible security almost sounds like an oxymoron.  How can you provide the flexibility you need while maintaining security?  In our blog post on 10/14/16 (The Balancing Act of Security), we discussed the need to balance security with the usability of software.  AMS Connect is designed to be flexible enough to adapt to your individual security needs; we offer a variety of features that you can adapt to your specific requirements.

  • Dual-Factor Authentication – This feature, when turned on, requires users to verify their identity through a unique code sent via text or email. This feature can also remember (if enabled and the user selects it) a particular computer/browser so that the user only has to authentic once for a designated time frame.
  • Granular Security – Since its inception, AMS Connect was designed to provide security down to the individual item. Meaning that in order for a user to access a specific item in the software, they have to be granted access.  Additionally, if the user doesn’t have any permissions to an item (even a matter/workspace) the user won’t be able to see the item.  This is perhaps the main feature (in addition to custom branding) that makes AMS Connect stand alone, very few if any SaaS collaboration solutions offer this kind of security.
  • Groups – To ease the setup of new users, an administrator can create a group for each matter. For example, under Client A’s workspace you can have a group called “Firm” for those within your organization, a group called Client A Executives for the executives who need high level access to their information, and a group called Client A Admin for the administrative team at Client A.
  • Password Rules – The AMS Connect software allows administrators to set up customized password rules. Do you want a simple 4-digit pin or do you want a 20 character, upper case letter, lower case letter, special character, etc.?  AMS Connect can match to your password requirements, even setting password expiration and preventing repeat passwords (up to a number of your choosing).   Additionally, AMS Connect allows you to set your account lockout fail number (e.g. user inputs wrong password three times, the account is locked).
  • Password Forget – In the event you have users that have a tendency to forget their password, you can turn on a feature that allows the user to have their password reset automatically. The user simply clicks on forget password and inputs their email address (the one in the AMS Connect System) and their user id.  An email is generated to the user with password reset instructions.

There are many other features that are customizable as related to security.  If you need to step up to the best and most flexible security contact us today.