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Multinational Pharmaceutical Firm Roche Streamlines Site Inspections with AppSheet-Powered Apps

Paper-based processes often lead to mistakes, data getting lost in spreadsheets, and general inefficiency. But the fact is that’s the way many organizations still work. However, there is a better way. And QREW Technologies can help get you there. QREW enables organizations to optimize their operations by using custom-built mobile apps instead of paper-based systems. And we use the AppSheet platform to do it. Why AppSheet I discovered AppSheet three years ago. With AppSheet I was able to build mobile apps quickly, without having to work through the glitches I found in other no-code products. The AppSheet platform allows organizations to build, test, and deploy solutions quickly, in a fraction of the time when compared with other development platforms. AppSheet is also great because it supports mobile “out-of-the-box” and is accessible offline. It integrates with barcode scanning, mobile cameras, NFC, and geotagging – must-haves for many customers and hard to achieve with competing platforms. In addition to its great platform, AppSheet has a strong team and very responsive customer service. That really blew me away. That’s why I wanted to get involved with AppSheet and joined its partner program. For nearly two years, I worked as an AppSheet development partner. Then I took it to the next level. In November of 2017, I brought in some colleagues and turned my AppSheet consulting work into a formal enterprise. QREW works with SMBs, or departments within large organizations, to solve operational problems with easy to use tools, like AppSheet. Here are a few examples of the work we do. Nonprofit LiveBeyond Digitizes Medical Information LiveBeyond does medical and humanitarian work in Haiti. QREW built – and AppSheet technology powers – its electronic medical record, school nutrition research, and maternal health apps. The EMR app helps hospital staff and volunteers accurately calculate and record the body mass index of clinic patients, catalogue medical history, track diagnoses, and prescribe medication. This data is safely stored and can be used to produce epidemiological reports and gain insights on how to improve the health of the community at large. Nutrition is also the focus of LiveBeyond’s school app. This app tracks diet, BMI, and other factors for a longitudinal study about malnutrition in Haiti. And with the maternal health app, workers can easily record the size, weight, and vital statistics of babies, fetuses, and mothers. The ultimate goal here is to reduce infant mortality. All these apps allow for more accurate and efficient data intake and record keeping, so hospital workers can see more patients, and the people of Haiti have better healthcare experiences. Multinational Roche Operationalizes Inspections Pharmaceutical firm Roche is using an AppSheet-powered app to access whether various sites are suitable for its lab equipment. Such site inspections require field engineers to run through a long checklist of factors. The app QREW built for this program enables site visitors to get through those lists accurately and efficiently. The company can also use the app to keep approved installations on schedule and streamline communications. Roche’s internal IT team could’ve built this app. But AppSheet and QREW went from design specs to fully functional app in a few weeks instead of the many months it would’ve otherwise taken. SMBs Take On the Digital Transformation Challenge QREW solutions based on AppSheet’s platform are also at work at an array of other businesses across the country: from an apple orchard and shop in Wisconsin to a law firm in Michigan to a cabinet company in Pennsylvania. Sacia Orchards uses AppSheet apps to manage the intake of apples, report data, facilitate the fulfillment of orders, and track what shipments came from where. That way, Sacia can get shipments out more efficiently. And if an apple distributor reports a problem (like a listeria outbreak), the company can quickly and easily identify where in the warehouse the apples were located. Having that information can mean the difference between testing the entire warehouse for contamination or just part of it. Seva Law Firm, meanwhile, uses an AppSheet app we created for case management. It had previously used a spreadsheet and Dropbox account for that purpose. The new solution allows the firm to create and track case workflow more easily. It also reduces by 50 to 75 percent the time the firm’s 20 lawyers spend on document generation. As for the AppSheet app we built for Your Remodeling Guys, that enables it to generate customer bids for kitchen carpentry more quickly. Workers in the field simply input the measurements, and the app instantly creates a quote. Fast & Final Thoughts These are just a few examples of how organizations are using the technology around them – like smartphones and web apps – to be more efficient and effective. And with AppSheet, organizations can get their apps running far faster and more affordably than they ever could using in-house IT resources or other no-code platforms. Stefan Quartemont is president and co-founder of QREW Technologies out of College Station, Texas.  

How to Build a Powerful Demo App – Robust Test Data is Key

While building sample apps with AppSheet is pretty easy, finding test data to drive the app can be a tedious process. Picture this: You are one day away from presenting a mobile app solution to your client. They are looking for a solution to manage their customer interactions for their business, an independent car dealership located in West Seattle. Your task: Build a demo app that addresses their specific needs. Creating the app is easy but to really showcase its power, you need a robust data set. Otherwise, it’s hard for clients or potential users to understand how it changes their business processes for the better. In other words, good test data sets lead to powerful sample apps. When it comes to “creating” data, you have 2 options: Build your own. You can pop an energy drink, take a sip, and type "Fake addresses" on Google Search. Before you know it, you've spent 4 hours creating fake customer names and addresses on a spreadsheet for a sample app. Let a data generator build it for you. With test data generators, you can quickly (in minutes rather than hours) create a sample data set that you can use to test app functionality, as well as identify bugs. What's a good test generator to use? Mockaroo. Mockaroo is a simple, user-friendly data generator that can provide small or large volumes of realistic looking data. It allows you to quickly build test data based on your own specifications. No coding is required (sounds familiar, right?). Example: Build a Sample App with Mockaroo Test Data in 3 Easy Steps Remember the car dealership in West Seattle? Let's build a realistic customer schema for the dealership on Mockaroo. Select the Data Types. There are more than 130 different data types on Mockaroo, ranging from Chinese first names to LinkedIn skills to dummy Image URLs.   Let's pick the First Name, Last Name, Street Address, City, State, Email Address, Date, Car Make, Car Model, and Car Model Year data type for the customer management app. Done? One step down, two more to go! Choose an appropriate Format. With Mockaroo, you can define the number of rows you'd like to generate as well as the format of the schema. There are numerous data formats ranging from CSV, JSON, SQL, to a simple Excel spreadsheet. For this app, let's import 500 number of rows into an Excel spreadsheet.  Finally, take a sip of your energy drink, and click on the green "Download Data" button. (One second later...)  And there you have it! 500 rows of car-related customer data. Build your App. Now that you’ve got the hard part out of the way, import the test data schema into AppSheet and you have a robust sample app! Impress Your Clients or Users with Mockaroo Within less than 5 minutes, you have a functional customer management app to present to clients or users. Your sample app is filled with realistic looking data that keeps all stakeholders engaged. Building app prototypes for clients or users has never been easier. With test data generators like Mockaroo, you can easily demonstrate the power of AppSheet features to stakeholders. Ready to close another deal? Try Mockaroo today. Other blogs you might find useful: How to Build an App to Manage Your Event, How to Create an App for Your Business, How to Improve Company Communication Using a Mobile App, Mobile Sales: How to Organize Your Info on Just One App Stay tuned to Features, Tips & Webinars for more new features and tips of making powerful apps.

Five Sources for Sales and Marketing Wisdom

We can easily feel encumbered with day-to-day tasks going to market-- finding prospects, sending sales letters, qualifying leads, measuring success, arguing about the right background color of the sales slide deck. While most of these activities are unavoidable in achieving your goals, it's also important to continue cultivating inspiration and re-learning the big picture of why and how to do certain things.  I have several sources of inspiration for sales and marketing wisdom, which I curate in Feedly, Index.co, and Flipboard. These tools allow me to easily spend some time every day learning about what others are doing in sales and marketing. My sources mix is a combination of deeper articles on marketing and marketing strategy, combined with practical information on sales and marketing execution.  Here are my five favorite sources. Feel free to share yours!   1. Hubspot Sales Blog Hubspot is an inbound marketing and sales tool that lets you automate and produce content to attract users. We actually use the platform at AppSheet, but one of our favorite things about Hubspot is its large collection of content on sales and marketing. We check their blogs almost every day for tidbits of wisdom.  Recent Hubspot articles we liked at AppSheet: 3 Sales Strategies to Be Assertive Without Appearing Aggressive 23 Better Alternatives to the "Just Checking In" Email How to Overcome 18 Common Buyer Objections [Infographic] While you're checking their Sales blog, you might as well spend some time in Hubspot's Marketing Blog.   2. Moz Blog Moz is an expert authority in the inbound and SEO marketing industry. The company is also based out of Seattle! One of its best resources is the Whiteboard Friday series-- a weekly video where a Moz expert will walk you through different aspects of a digital strategy. A great resource for any growing company. Check our these Whiteboard Friday videos: Discovering Which Sites Your Target Audience Visits Overcoming Objections on Your Landing Pages Content Marketing Tips for B2B Organizations   3. Gartner Digital Marketing Blog Gartner is well known for deep content for Information Technology. At first glance it would seem that most of Gartner's content is for large enterprises. But its Digital Marketing Blog contains valuable information for organizations of all sizes. I really liked these recent posts from Gartner: 10 (More) Myths Martech Vendors Want You To Believe Don’t Let Process Overtake Purpose in Marketing Content Isn’t King–Customer Experience Is   4. Medium  Medium is a large and fast-growing self publishing network of blogs. It concentrates on valuable and shareable user content and you can find almost anything on it. The leading topics are usually tech startups and the startup experience-- but there are great posts for marketing and salespeople as well. A core feature of Medium is that it allows for interaction with the writers, so it's a great place for debating ideas and growing your network. Try these stories out: The Two Types of Product Virality The Content Manifesto Selecting a Social Media Marketing Strategy is Easy 5. HBR on Marketing The Harvard Business Review is one of the foremost publications on business strategy and management consultants really like this publication. There's a lot of goodness in their content. Some of it sits behind a paywall, but their stories feature valuable, high-level ideas that will certainly help you see your business from a different perspective.  Their articles seem to be heavy on jargon, but very good overall: What Lilly Pulitzer Learned About Marketing to Millennials Content Marketers Need to Act Like Publishers Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and IT What are your favorite blogs and sites for sales and marketing innovation and wisdom? Feel free to share. I'm always looking for new places to check out!

How to Package Your AppSheet Services

As an AppSheet Partner, you can offer a wide range of services to your customers. Those services depend on your business strategy. AppSheet can be a great product-attach to your existing productivity offerings with Office 365, Google Apps, or Smartsheet. Additionally, AppSheet can be the core delivery method for mobile solutions for clients that need several mobile applications connected to their existing infrastructure. Regardless of the scope of your business, when you are an AppSheet partner, there are three core offerings you can package and offer to your clients: App Creation and Implementation, Training, and Support.  In this post, we'll show you different ways to package and promote those services.    1. App Creation and Implementation Services AppSheet makes it easy for you to develop core solutions that can be easily transformed to business-specific scenarios, significantly reducing the time to produce and go live with an application. When you have a core structure of the app pre-built, you can offer packaged services by the hour based on application complexity and additional services.  Some packaging ideas: Prototyping offer: Produce an app within a 5, 10, or 15-hour time line. The app should be 80% of the expected result by the client. Deployment offer: Once the app is ready, include a deployment package that can include hourly services which can include account provisioning, installing the AppSheet apps on devices, and setting up app launchers across an organization.  Education: Of course, you can make an AppSheet app that shows how to make the app you just built!  2. Training You can certainly get started by building an app for an organization; however, there are opportunities in offering training packages to all of the potential app creators out there. Training can evolve from "101 intro to AppSheet" to more advanced app implementations that include pre-formatted apps that the organization can use for specific scenarios. This multiplying effect carries tons of growth potential. You can become a trusted adviser in mobility strategy, provide general guidance on app creation, and expand your offering and products, including new opportunities for cloud productivity software.  Some packaging ideas: AppSheet bootcamp: Train a core group of people on AppSheet app creation through a two or three-day seminar.  Online training: Offer online training hours delivered through webinar platforms to a specific organization.  In-person workshops: For local customers, leading workshops and charging per-attendee is a great way to get clients started with AppSheet and then grow a strong client relationship. 3. Support and Troubleshooting After apps are deployed and everyone is comfortable capturing and viewing data with AppSheet apps, there are further opportunities to provide support services to your clients. Support and troubleshooting services can be packaged as additional consulting hours to implement new AppSheet features, expand capabilities, maintain and manage spreadsheets, or provide first-level support when something happens with the app. (Not to worry, the AppSheet team will still provide general technical support to all customers and partners). Some packaging ideas: App upgrades: Add consulting hours on a monthly basis to implement new features to the apps you have deployed to your customers. On-demand support: Let your client buy support "credits" from you. This way, they'll consume support hours on an as-needed basis. Establish a reasonable Service Level Agreement (SLA) and keep the client updated on how they are consuming those credits. App review and optimization: The name sounds fancy, but as an advanced AppSheet user, you can identify application patterns that could improve the performance of any AppSheet app. Some of your clients may need you to conduct app reviews and provide guidance on better data implementation, formulas, etc.  Next Steps: Include AppSheet in your packaged offerings either as a core solution or as a product-attach to your productivity offerings. Packaging the offers will help you quickly engage with clients and provide a clear understanding of how they'll benefit from your services.  If you want to start the process to become an AppSheet Partner click the button below:  

Join Us for Next Week's Live Partner Webinar

We're excited to kick off our first Live Partner Webinar. Join us to learn more about the program and to get additional AppSheet updates and news. Date: Thursday, March 17 Time: 10 am PST During the hour, we'll go through the following and more: Feature updates and roadmap Business update and resources Live Q&A with AppSheet's CEO, Praveen Seshadri   Are you interested in becoming an AppSheet Partner? We want to hear from you. Click here for more information. 

Use the Collaboration Tool to Provide Ongoing Support on AppSheet Apps

As an AppSheet Partner, providing ongoing support and upgrades to apps that remain under the account of your customer is a key offering in your portfolio. In th past, after the initial app transfer, updating the apps required either new transfers or new versions of the app to deploy.  Today, we are happy to announce a collaboration option that will enable partners to remain as an editor or viewers of their clients' apps.  The Collaborate tab is available under the Share tab in the editor. This tab also lets you invite and manage users of the app.    Use the collaborator with your clients to: Provide app troubleshooting: During testing and after deployment, access the app to make tweaks to improve performance. Introduce new features to the app: AppSheet releases feature updates on a weekly basis. Sometimes a new feature opens the door to more app usage and opportunities with the client.  Manage users: An added service while managing the app is to onboard and remove users that are authorized to use the app.  Review app audit history: Access the usage logs of the app to track sync errors, data uploads, or manage PII policy for your clients.  The collaboration feature is available as part of AppSheet's Pro plan. Find it under the Advanced Editor> Share>Collaborate tab.