Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Customize Your Suite

Many of you know that you can customize many aspects of StudioCloud. Well the developers just released an update to StudioCloud that allows you to customize your Basic/Professional Suite even more. You can now upload your own image to use as the background of your Suite. If you login to the Basic/Professional Suite and go to the Settings section. There is a new button on the tab labeled "Select Background". The button is labeled "Select Custom Background" and it will have you select an image to upload and use.

There are some restrictions on what you can upload. The image must be smaller than 1 MB (1024 KB). In addition, the size of the image that you can upload is also dependant on your internet speed.

StudioCloud, It's Just That Easy!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Small Changes to Address Book

It has been brought to our attention that many StudioCloud users are storing large amounts of information in the notes section for their clients. This can result in each row in the client list taking up a lot of space and making it difficult to find the client they are looking for. As a result, the developers have moved the notes section into a popup. Now in the third column from the left there is a little magnifying class. When you click that magnifying glass it will popup the notes for that customer.

Monday, April 28, 2008

View Your Contacts Anytime, Anywhere

The StudioCloud Mobile development team is at it again. Just a few days ago I wrote about the extended abilities of the calendar in the StudioCloud Mobile interface. Well last night the developers released the latest installment of StudioCloud Mobile, the address book. You can now access your StudioCloud address book anytime, anywhere through the StudioCloud Mobile interface. Once you have logged in to StudioCloud Mobile, the link, that was previously labeled "Coming Soon", is now active. When you click on the link it gives you a break down of your address book according to the first letter in your contact's last name. You can click on any of the characters to find the contact you are looking for and view all of the information you have saved in StudioCloud.

StudioCloud, It's Just That Easy!

Updates to the Online Gallery

The developers have been working hard to make the StudioCloud Online Gallery even better. Recently they have introduced several new features, variable slideshow speed, the ability to save favorites, and additional confirmations for your customers.

Back on April 9th Tara blogged about the ability to set the slideshow speed. Well the developers have taken this feature one step further. Previously you could select slow, medium or fast speeds. Now you can select a custom speed and specify the number of seconds that each picture is viewed in the slideshow.

The StudioCloud Online Gallery has had a place for your customers to place their favorites for quite some time. But they could never save their favorites so they could come back and view them later or share them with their friends and family. Well now they can! Your customers can select a group of favorites and save them so that they can come back and view them later or they can share their favorites with Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa. Also after you upload the pictures to an online gallery you, the photographer, can login and create a group of favorites for your customers to see.

The final addition helps to provide your customers with a sense of security. After they have placed an order a popup message will be displayed that tells them what invoice number their order was assigned. This will help them to know what to reference if they have any questions for you. Secondly, a simple email is sent to your customers that gives them a summary of what they purchase. These two additions will make them feel more comfortable with their purchase.

These are three of great new features that have been added to an already incredible product. And just think you haven't had to pay any additional money to take advantage of them.

StudioCloud, It's Just That Easy!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Introducing Employee Time Tracking

Last night's update included the latest StudioCloud feature, employee time tracking. Employee time tracking is a Professional Suite feature and is not available in the Basic Suite. However, the Professional Suite is currently in beta and everyone can try out the Professional Suite.

So here is how it works. In the Professional Suite go to the Employees section and find the Settings tab. On the Settings tab click the button that reads "Change Pay Period Settings". This will bring up a popup where you can select the first day of the current pay period and the length of your pay period. So for example your current pay period might run from April 19th to May 2nd. This means you would set the first day of the pay period to April 19th and the length of the pay period to 14 days. Then click the button that reads "Save Pay Period Settings." This is the first step in setting up employee time tracking. Now if you go to the tab that is labeled "Time Cards" you can enter and edit time cards for your employees and print out a time card report for the pay period.

This section of the Professional Suite is meant as a management tool. To allow your employees to record their hours worked we have created a easy to use application called the StudioCloud Time Card which can be downloaded and installed from our support page. At the very bottom of the page you will see a link to download the Time Card program. Once you have installed the StudioCloud Time Card program your employees can quickly login and clock in/out.

It is important to know that this is the first release of this feature and although we have tried very hard to remove any bugs from the program you may still encounter a few. Please be patient as we improve this feature and work out the kinks.

As always we love to get your feedback on what works and doesn't work for your studio.

StudioCloud, It's Just That Easy!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

StudioCloud Bookkeeping

In last night's update there was a change to the bookkeeping section of the Basic and Professional Suites. In the bookkeeping section there is a tab named "Income/Expense Tracking". Previously this tab listed all of your bookkeeping entries in one table. However, we realize that you need to see specific information on a per account basis. As a result, the developers updated this area last night. When you first login you will not see any entries in the table on the "Income/Expense Tracking" tab. But you will see a drop-down box labeled "Account:" That drop-down box contains a list of all of your accounts. When you select an account in the drop-down box the bookkeeping entries that have been associated with that account will appear.

One final note, there are occasions when some bookkeeping entries have not been assigned to an account. As a result there is one option in the drop-down box that is labeled "Unspecified." Selecting this option will show you all of the bookkeeping entries that have not been associated with an account.

Changes to StudioCloud Mobile

We would like to thank everyone for their feedback on StudioCloud Mobile. We are working hard to provide you with a viable solution for mobile devices. In last night's update the next step in the mobile calendar arrived. Previously you were only able to see your sessions and appointments for the current day. Obviously this isn't as helpful as a mobile calendar should be. As a result, the developers have been working hard to allow you to see more information. Now when you first login to StudioCloud Mobile you will see not only today's appointments and sessions but all of the appointments and sessions for the next six days. Moreover, you can now move forward and backward seven days at a time and view even more information.

There is still more to come for StudioCloud Mobile but we are taking one step at a time. Check back here often for the latest updates.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Changes to Overview Graph

One of the changes in last night's update was to the graph that appears in the Overview section of the Basic and Professional Suites. There have been many questions regarding the graph and it was decided that the information it displayed was simply not intuitive enough. The graph now displays two columns that are labeled Sales and Income. The Sales column is calculated by summing the totals of all of your invoices from the first of the month until now. The Income column is calculated by summing the total payments received on Invoices from the first of the month until now.

If you have any questions about the changes to the graph, please let us know through the Feedback section of any of the StudioCloud products.

Reminders and Taxes

There have been several new features added in recent updates to StudioCloud products. Two of those updates are for appointment reminders and invoice taxes.

As you all know you can have StudioCloud send out automatic email messages to your customers to remind them of upcoming appointments. You can now have StudioCloud send your studio a summary of all the reminders that were sent out each day. If you go into the Calendar section of the Basic or Professional Suite there is a tab labeled "Calendar Settings". On that tab is a checkbox that reads "Send a summary of email reminders to my studio email address" If you click that checkbox and then click the button that reads "Update Calendar Settings" you have enabled this feature. This means that every day any appointment reminders are sent to your customers, you will receive an email with a summary of the customers that were contacted that night.

Another of the latest features is a change to invoice taxes. There are some states and many countries around the world that have complicated tax systems. As such, StudioCloud has given you the ability to define three different taxes and customize the name and percentage rate for each. These three taxes are additive, meaning that each one is added to each invoice. If you only use one tax then there aren’t any changes that you need to make. You can continue using StudioCloud products the way you have in the past. However, if you have a more complex tax system, then StudioCloud’s advanced taxes are for you.

Another change related to the invoice tax system is the "Tax Status" of products and services. You can now classify each product and service as either "Tax Exempt" or "Standard". Standard is just a way of saying that the product or service should be taxed normally. If you specify an item as Tax Exempt then each time it is added to an invoice its amount will not be included when calculating the taxes.

On the Settings tab in the Point of Sale section for the Basic/Professional suites you can update your invoice tax settings. If you click the checkbox that is labeled "Enable Tax Status Option" then you can change the "Tax Status" of a product or service in an invoice as you are creating or editing. One of the most important features related to "Tax Status" is reporting. A new report has been added that prints out all of the products and services that you have sold that have been categorized as "Tax Exempt".

One thing to note about "Tax Status" is that there is a third category called "Zero Tax". For all intents and purposes, this is the same as "Tax Exempt"; however, some places do have two different classifications. If you are not familiar with "Zero Tax" then you probably do not need to worry about it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Online Gallery & Workflow Updates

You now have the option of adding music to your Online Galleries and can set the slideshow speed.

A new version of the beta Workflow Manager has also been released that has most bugs fixed. Please let us know if you run into any problems.

StudioCloud, It's Just That Easy!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Feature Updates

1) A change to printing and emailing invoices
a. After you click print or email it will pop up a box with various options. If you click email, one of those options is to modify the email address you want to send it to
b. To print an invoice with notes you click print/email and click the box that asks about notes
c. You can print your entire packages information in the invoice or just the basic package info

2) When you add a new client from any of the create/edit calendar session windows it automatically adds the client to the list for the session you are scheduling.

3) Track Organizations
a. Under Clients there is a tab Organizations where you can track different organizations and the individual clients that are associated with that organization. For example, you can assign seniors to the high school they attend. This will allow you to run reports in the CRM (coming soon) to track your most profitable school, send out targeted mail/email campaigns, and find the average sale per school.

StudioCloud, It's Just That Easy!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Congratulations WPPI Winners!

Congratulations to Shauna Stansell of Visionyard Studios Photography in Phoenix, AZ. She is the winner of the IPod Touch from the WPPI drawing.

Also, Congratulations to Bob Beaver of Village Studio of Hunterdon in High Bridge, NJ who is the winner of the 2 year subscription to StudioCloud's products.

Thank you to everyone who participated. We look forward to seeing you next January in Phoenix at Imaging USA and then in February in Vegas at MGM for WPPI.

Take care!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New Offline Reader

The Offline Reader has been updated to work with the Professional Suite and has a new interface. For those of you not currently using the Offlline Reader you can download it at This will allow you to access all of your data when you do not have an internet connection. Make sure you frequently open the program so that all of your data can refresh.

Keep your eye out for the On-Location product coming soon. This product looks just like your Basic/Professional Suite but is on your desktop. You can take it anywhere without internet access and then when you get internet access it will sync your information with your online suite.

StudioCloud, It's Just That Easy!