What’s Cooking in the CARDWATCH Kitchen for 2016?


At CARDWATCH we are continuously enhancing our software to give our customers the tool sets to improve their business process, performance and bottom line not to mention deliver better service to Residents. While most of the time these are incremental improvements, every three to four years we pull the trigger on a major new release that will be the platform for dynamic feature rich improvements and functionality moving into the future. 2016 is just such a year!

Powered by Progress logoStarting in late 2014, our development team began work to migrate our application databases up to Progress version 11 and we began deploying CARDWATCH v11 for new customers in mid 2015 (for those who do not know what Progress is, it is the underlying platform and database that CARDWATCH runs on). Version 11 gives us the ability to begin development on a number of exciting projects which will become part of the standard offering to all customers as well as some powerful upgrade options for customers who want more from their CARDWATCH system. From an improved user interface, better reporting and dashboards to the automation of software updates, our customers are in for a truly new user experience.

Dashboards

dashboardWhen you drive your car, you count on your dashboard for critical driving information to help you get to your destination safely (and without a speeding ticket). Imagine if CARDWATCH had a dashboard that, when you sat in the drivers seat you could get an instant picture of key business performance indicators at a glance. By early 2016, we plan to make that a reality! CARDWATCH back office users will be able to view a set of standard graphical dashboards to see data pictures that are important to their role like sales by location, number of meals by plan, top item sales, total revenues by payment type and more. For power users, upgrade options will be available to build your own reports or to automatically publish these dashboards for viewing on a web browser or mobile device so you can keep tabs on your business performance from wherever you are, whenever you want.  ETA: Q1 2017

Reporting

While CARDWATCH has a great library of reports, they are all “hard-coded” which means flexibility of output and ability to make changes is limited. With our planned new reporting module, not only will all our reports be available to save to to PDF, Excel, Word or HTML, but also have the ability to apply lots more filters to see the data and relationships you want to see rather than “canned: output of what we think you want to see.  On-screen output will be in color and much more graphically appealing (including charts and graph options) which will make them easier to read and understand. Options to save your report settings so you don’t have to set them next time you log in.   Some reports will also have the ability to drill down with a single click to see what detailed data makes up a summary amount in the report.  Optional upgrades for the “Report Designer”  module will allow you to build your own custom reports, look at data not covered in other reports and data mine to your heart’s content!  Our goal is to give you access to more of your data in an easier, less intimidating format to give you the power to run your business without getting bogged down by the system itself.  ETA: Q1 2017

For the techies out there who are equally interested in the technology behind some of our coming developments… to achieve the dashboards and new reporting capabilities, we are integrating DataPA into the CARDWATCH application.  DataPA supports a native connection to our Progress databases making for a richer and better-performing report tool.

Software Updates…Automated!

At last we’ll be automating the CARDWATCH software update process!   Yes.. I can hear a few IT people from our larger customer sites cheering!  This will substantially reduce administrative burden for IT staff as updates will be installed automatically on the server and client machines with administrative controls to set this as an automatic or to approve each update before installing.  For our smaller clients who often did not bother to update their software or did not have the in-house resources to do so, this will ensure your team is using the most up-to-date version at all times without the need for IT resources to assist.  ETA:  Q2 2016 (Beta)

Mobile & Cloud

new dashboard for CARDWATCHWith the release of Progress version 11.4 comes the new Progress Pacific platform that will enable us to start developing interfaces for popular mobile devices as well as the ability to take some of CARDWATCH’s functionality into the cloud for anywhere access to the CARDWATCH applications.  The introduction of a new rapid development tool called RollBase will facilitate with the creation of both desktop and mobile apps that build upon our existing business logic and data sources but allow us to use them in innovative ways.  Planned development for a tablet based POS interface for mobile POS as well as an integrated Reservations and Table Management module are just a couple of the planned projects under Progress Pacific in the coming year.

It’s About Time!

Many of our users have been waiting for the release of some of these capabilities since we released version 10. Regrettably many of the enhancements we expected in Progress version 10 did not become reality until Progress version 11 was released just recently. Prior to that, it would have been necessary to integrate expensive 3rd party licenses that most of our client base would not have the budget for.  While some of the planned enhancements will require an additional fee module for “pro” functionality, standard functionality that will please 90% of our customers will not cost an extra dollar!  More features and better performance for the same investment…that’s a good thing!

In the CARDWATCH kitchen, everyone’s a critic…

We are always looking for feedback from our customers about what works for you, what doesn’t, what can be improved or changed as well as features or functionality you’d like to see in the future. There’s no better time than during a the development of a major new release to turn your ideas into reality!  While it is always difficult to balance feature requests with development priorities and cannot always build everything we’d like to as quickly as we’d like, we ARE listening! Indeed most of the functionality that is CARDWATCH today came from ideas and requirements of our senior living customers. 

Please reach out to your CARDWATCH representative today and let us know what you are thinking.