We've decided to publish a new blog post for the three main customer facing features that we've just released, to help you fully understand how these features impact and benefit your client sites. We'll also link to documents that describing how to use these features. (tutorials, FAQs etc).

Introducing Akismet for SPAM protection

In the previous months we've noticed an increase in SPAM related (primarily) to blog comments - and we'd like to thank our partners for making it clear to us that this was dramatically impacting most of the sites hosted on BC. Our first thought was that we need to update our current CAPTCHA engine. But we soon realized that any site owner who owns a blog doesn't really need a wall between the blog and the commenters - and CAPTCHA is usually such a wall - no one wants to insert a security code just to express an opinion. This is why we decided that we need something else. And that something is Akismet: the de facto SPAM protection solution for blogs - easy to manage and use, smart (it learns quickly which comments are SPAM and which are not) and reliable (55 billion SPAM messages is impressive). We've extended Akismet for all types of comments on BC (web pages, products, catalogues, web apps, etc). For web forms alone we are still investigating if Akismet is the right solution, as people tend to feel more secure if CAPTCHA is involved when filling out a form (whether we are talking about a donation form, a payment form or just a contact form).

Advantages

  • Easy to configure and to understand - see how to enable and manage Akismet here
  • Easy to manage SPAM and it can be correlated with manual SPAM moderation as well
  • Better for the visitors of a blog: they will not have to fill in any CAPTCHA field just to express their opinions

How it impacts business owners

  • All site owners or partners will have to manually enable Akismet on their websites. We haven't enabled it by default
  • In the beginning, Akismet may not be 100% accurate- a few SPAM comments may leak through as valid comments. Don't worry, all you need to do is train Akismet. That is, you should mark all these comments as SPAM manually. Once Akismet becomes experienced enough (this shouldn't take more than a few days, if any), you will have a strong SPAM engine in place
  • Any site owner / Partner can have enabled both Akismet and manual moderation enabled (in case there's a desire not to display comments from a specific user)

Other documents

Next

  • In Business Catalyst any comment is associated with a CRM entry. We will offer a way to delete all the associated CRM entries if the customer is the author of a comment considered SPAM
  • CRM bulk deletion functionality

Complying to the European and UK cookie legislation

This regulation was designed to protect online privacy by making consumers aware of how information about them is collected and stored by websites, and also to help them choose whether or not they want it to happen.
It started as a directive adopted by all EU countries in May 2011. At the same time, the UK updated its Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations based on this directive. Recent changes in this directive, together with deep investigation from the Adobe legal department revealed that it will suffice for a site owner or Partner to allow the visitors to disable tracking and other performance cookies. Hence, we've provided a module that will enable any site owner or Partner to offer this functionality to site visitors.

We've divided the cookies in two categories: Strictly Necessary Cookies and Performance & Tracking Cookies. Basically, the former category contains all the cookies that make the site functional (ie. the shopping cart, secure zones etc), whereas the latter category contains all the cookies related to tracking and analytics. We are not providing any mechanism for enabling/disabling third party cookies. Click here to see a detailed description of all the cookies available on your website. Disabling will only be available for Performance and Tracking Cookies.

Advantages

  • Out of the box module that the site owner/Partner can enable on a page of a website and link to from any menu entry
  • 100% customizable - our module can be easily customized and styled
  • 100% compliant with the EU and UK legislations

How it will impact the business owners

  • The site owner / Partner should enable this module on a web page and then link that to that page from a navigation menu. Here's a step by step tutorial on how to do this
  • By enabling this feature the site owner may not be able to track usage statistics if visitors decide to disable the Performance and Tracking cookies

Introducing an improved tax rounding engine

As announced last week, we have improved the algorithm that calculates the value of sales taxes. This invoice calculation now respects best practices in the industry, fixing error propagation and including intelligent rounding for 2 decimals.

Advantages

  • Correct calculation of taxes applied to more than one purchased product
  • Best accounting and industry practices are respected

How it will impact the business owners

  • To enable the improved tax rounding engine on existing sites, please follow this guide
  • The improved tax rounding engine is enabled by default for all new Business Catalyst sites
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A week ago we returned from a very productive trip to the Adobe San Francisco office, where we met both our SVP, as well as a couple of very influential partners – Brent and Jason. One action item that we took from that trip was to make sure we very clearly and openly state what is our strategy and roadmap to the whole Business Catalyst partner community.

This blog post is about these concepts, explaining them in the simplest fashion possible.

Business Catalyst Mission

Our mission is to enable online businesses, not websites through a vibrant partner network.

Value Proposition

All in one as key differentiator, both for you as partners as well as for the business owners.

For you it’s the one stop shop that enables you to meet all your customers’ demands, allowing you to grow to be a successful agency, and for the business owners it’s the one place where you go to manage and grow your online business.

Business Catalyst Strategies

  • Treat our partners as real partners, not simply resellers of our solution.
  • Invest in the all-in-one aspect of business catalyst as main differentiator.
  • Reinventing Business Catalyst into a great platform that enables you to make your customers successful online, allowing the right engineering team velocity, scalability and elasticity.

All in one, explained

It's all about integration. It's not about how well the e-mail marketing side of Business Catalyst compares to our competitors (feature-by-feature comparison), it's all about how we can take advantage of the fact that our system offers e-commerce, analytics, CRM and CMS next to e-mail marketing, and how we can combine ALL these to make the world's best e-mail marketing tool by taking advantage of these integrations.

It’s about workflows that will enable partners to sell the integrated solution and all in one vision to business owners.

Tactics / Roadmap

September 2012

Better e-mail marketing/CMS integration, start working towards the platform vision.

  • Enable better integration between e-mail marketing and CMS and e-commerce, by allowing CMS content to be reused in e-mail marketing campaigns.
  • Start executing towards our platform vision, by improving the extensibility of the list layouts on web apps and e-commerce modules.

November/December 2012

Better e-mail marketing/CRM integration; advance e-commerce.

  • Better integration between e-mail marketing and CRM, by enabling things like list exclusions.
  • Expand e-commerce stock capabilities to product attributes.

February / March 2013

Better e-commerce integration; continue working towards the platform vision.

  • Enable better flexibility for e-commerce by enabling liquid in a production-ready fashion.
  • Better e-commerce reporting.

May/June 2013

Platform reinvention.

  • Enable flexibility for our webapps by enabling liquid and web apps API enabling partners to further extend Business Catalyst to SBO needs.
  • Enhance webapps up to a point where an average BC partner will be able to recreate and enrich most existing BC modules (blogs, photo galleries, etc) using web apps.
  • Enable webapps import/export to fuel an ecosystem of partners helping each other.

If you want to learn more about our strategy and focus for the near term, please attend our September 24th partner conference in San Jose, where the BC team members will be present, and more than open to get into more details.

- Bogdan

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Listen: The BC Podcast - Episode 4

News

We're happy to bring you the fourth episode of the BC Podcast!

If you'd like to subscribe to the BC Podcast each month, you can find us on the iTunes store here or by simply searching "BC Podcast" from iTunes.

Listen to the podcast:

Simply click the play button below to stream the podcast via your browser.

player

Alternatively, you can download the podcast in .mp3 format for offline listening.

In this month's episode:

  • Meet BC Partner - Pretty Pollution
    • Meet owners Brett Stockley and Jill McMahon
    • Learn about their history with Business Catalyst
    • Hear their best practices for selling the solution
    • Listen to the full interview here
  • A handy sales tip from Business Catalyst's Erin Murray
  • Learn about our upcoming system update
    • Intelligent connection handling for Customer Service Ticketing
    • A new and improved export tool for Products and Web App items
  • A HTML brain-teaser - do you know the answer? Post it in the comments section and we'll reveal the correct answer in next month's episode.

Related Links

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News

We're happy to bring you a holiday season special episode of the Business Catalyst podcast!

If you'd like to subscribe to the BC Podcast each month, you can find us on the iTunes store here or by simply searching "BC Podcast" from iTunes itself.

Listen to the podcast:

Simply click the play button below to stream the podcast via your browser.

player

Alternatively, you can download the podcast in .mp3 format for offline listening.

In this month's episode:

  • Meet Product Manager Eddy Chan -
    • Learn what he does at Business Catalyst
    • Hear an update on the future of the platform
    • Get the latest on cool new features coming in the next system release
  • A quick sales tip from Business Catalyst's Erin Murray
  • Brush up on some emerging web technologies over the holiday season
    • HTML5
    • CSS3
    • jQuery
  • A HTML brain-teaser - do you know the answer? Post it in the comments section and we'll reveal the correct answer in next month's episode.

Related Links

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