QuickSchools in Review

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I have been working with QuickSchools for close to 8 years now. The journey has definitely been interesting, as I reflect back on our accomplishments over the years. Here’s what my journey has looked like so far:

Year 1 (2009-2010)

My first day at QuickSchools, we only have a handful of early adopters to our name, and I’m tasked with onboarding these schools. We launch the product in August, and hit the conference trail hard to try and get more customers, all the while looking at the market on what to develop next.

Year 2 (2010-2011)

With the help of our customers, we improve and release new features, like the Student and Parent Portals. We continue to hit the conference trail hard in search of new customers. Around this time, we hone our target market to smaller schools, and my role as Account Manager slowly evolves to Head of Support, which incorporates an element of Product Development (mainly because I spend a lot of time speaking with customers).

Year 3 (2011-2012)

We continue to see growth year-after-year. We open our new office in Sunnyvale CA. We start work on transitioning QuickSchools from Flash to HTML5. And we begin to focus less on conferences and more on online traffic. We transition our website to Weebly, we start split testing, and spend more on online marketing campaigns. We launch our “Teacher of the Year” marketing campaign. More

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QuickSchools Teacher of the Year 2012

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I just want to spread the word. QuickSchools is currently accepting nominations for the 2012 Teacher of the Year. Selected candidates will be showcased on the QuickSchools blog, where you can vote for your favourite teacher. The winning teacher will receive a New iPad (iPad 3).

This is the first time QuickSchools is giving out such an award. And we hope schools will participate. Only schools who subscribe to the QuickSchools service are eligible.

Nominations will close at 11:59pm PST on Sunday April 15, 2012. To put in your nomination, click on the link below to fill in the form:

http://blog.quickschools.com/2012/03/28/quickschools-teacher-of-the-year-award-details/

Selected candidates will be announced the week of April 15. And then voting can commence!  I’ll keep you guys updated…

Why I love working for QuickSchools

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Recently, my wife was having some doubts about the career choice she made to pursue her PhD. She was feeling very down, and very pre-occupied with all the obstacles and difficult experiences, while now in her third year of her program. I’m of the firm belief that when things are good, you only remember the good times, and when things are bad, you only remember the bad times. It’s a part of human nature. And this was one of those moments. My wife was really starting to doubt what all her efforts were for.

And so I suggested to her that she list out all the reasons why she wanted to pursuit her PhD in the first place. It was actually a pretty lengthy process for her, as she soul-searched for most of the day. Her first attempt missed the mark, but by the end of the day, she finally was able to put everything together. And I must say she came up with a pretty comprehensive list. And in my view, this list will help remind her of her long term goals, so she does not get too pre-occupied with the short-term obstacles she will undoubtedly face.

So after watching (and assisting in) that process, I thought it’d be good for me to do the same. I may not be in a rut right now, but it helps to occasionally access and evaluate where I am, so that I do have a long term goal in mind.

So here are my top 10 reasons for my chosen path, to work with QuickSchools (which I have since May 2009): More

An approach to Live Chat

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I recently wrote on the QuickSchools Blog on why QuickSchools doesn’t really have online help files, manuals or documentations. And it’s something we get asked about a lot. And to mitigate this, QuickSchools offers live chat support to all its customers. I thought I’d elaborate on this a little bit here, particularly since I think this approach is quite different from other SaaS companies out there. More

QuickSchools Demos & Tutorials

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So after putting together a few videos to help our friend from Nigeria in a previous post, I decided to make a few more videos to help out the many existing schools that are currently using QuickSchools. It’s all uploaded to YouTube, and organized into a playlist, which is pretty nifty. So here is the playlist, and I’ll be adding more videos to it, hopefully, in the weeks to come. I hope it is useful. More

Simplicity over Power or Access

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One of the philosophies at QuickSchools.com is simplicity, and it’s very apparent from the first time you log in. The screen is smooth and simple, without much clutter. We have big round buttons that guide you. And there aren’t too many available buttons to click on. In fact, if you look closely, some of the functions that you think you may need aren’t even present. For example: How do add classes, or change the names of the grades? How do I set the academic terms? How do I customize the report cards to look like what we’re using right now? When you first sign up, it’s not there.

Now that doesn’t mean that you can’t change the names of the grades. It doesn’t mean that you can’t set academic terms. And it doesn’t mean you can’t customize report cards. In fact, we can do all of the above. There are a few reasons that these functions are hidden, and they contribute to simplicity. More

Screen Capture for Demos

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Yesterday, I attempted to give a demo of QuickSchools to a school in Nigeria from my home in Kingston Ontario. Needless to say, the experience could have been better. The internet connection was slow, to say the least, causing my screen sharing program to appear sluggish, and sometimes frozen, on his end. The phone line wasn’t that great either. And he needed to see what the software could do for his school.

Looking at other SaaS companies out there, the service we’re providing should be as self-service as possible. Or at least, it should move in that direction, so that you cover most of your customer base. Some SaaS companies may or may not choose to invest in providing additional customer service, via live chat and email, for the remaining customer base. But that’s a separate issue. For a SaaS company to be successful, in my opinion, the user should be able to consume the service with little to no interaction with a customer service representative. More

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