Monday, January 19, 2015

UniPhi for the Designer

I started at UniPhi as a Creative Consultant back in August 2014, so I am still quite new, but I wanted to write this blog entry to highlight my first-hand experience of how I’ve managed to utilise UniPhi to simplify my working processes, and improve my efficiencies. The creative world is full of stimulative, imaginative, innovative ideas, (it’s what we do, it’s what we love,) but perhaps the biggest challenge for creative people such as myself is the reliance on technology in order to get things done. Sometimes technology just adds complexity, and delays. Where is the genius behind the control of these ideas...?

To start off, let me take you through the typical processes used by designers such as myself:

1. Idea generation, which involves noting down draft ideas or concepts, and saving those into a folder on a network, or onto a computer hard drive.

2. Sort and prioritise all of these ideas, and then start turning them into reality via the magic of applications such as Photoshop.

3. Save the work in progress file into a folder named 'design'.

4. Send preliminary prototype designs via email to colleagues in order to get feedback- having to change the file size and type so it is not too large for an email.

5. Incorporate the feedback that has been provided into the next iteration of the design. This may involve creating a new design folder, or saving the design as Version2, and version 3, etc....

It doesn’t take long for the design folder to become long and unwieldy, not to mention the numerous interim files that get saved to the desktop. I personally save so many files to my desktop that after 1-2 weeks of design changes, I no longer know what my desktop picture is- all my design change files have dominated the desktop. Not only that, but I had other folders from previous works named 'design1234' and so on. Basically it can become a large and confusing mess. Of course there is also the age old problem of sending the wrong or outdated version of the design.

But then… I found UniPhi! Because UniPhi is so flexible in the way that it can be used, I have managed to create my own processes for managing the creative work that I am doing. For example, I was recently tasked with designing a flyer for the awesome UniPhi mobile app (it’s called OnSite, by the way – read more about it here) and instead of using email to seek feedback and collaborate on my ideas, I used the issues module. UniPhi Issues module is the central reference source for team collaboration via feedback and iterative development. Despite some members of the UniPhi team being based off site, or working out of the office I wasn't alone! I had direct input and assistance from all of my fellow colleagues. All I had to do was assign them all an action to 'give feedback' and hey presto! Here is the result...



How amazing is it to see how much the design evolved from the first to end result. I couldn't have done it without the help of UniPhi!
After a few more weeks using UniPhi, it occurred to me that I could use it to manage my Photoshop files? So I was introduced to version control on the documents module. Basically every time I had a new design or updated it, I would delete the previous one, and load in the new one. This was great because the file was never 'lost', it was simply stored in the previous version of the document. As you can see below, these designs I was working on had 67 versions! That means I must have updated it 67 times- imagine all those unwanted files on my desktop! UniPhi's document module also allow for multi-upload. So, for example, say you need to upload all the photos you need in gif, and your designs in Photoshop files, it's possible to have them all stored, saved, and controlled within the one document!



Look at this beautifully organised document. How refreshing to have this.
I find it so handy to have my files uploaded into UniPhi's document module; when I'm ready to keep designing the current version, I can just upload it from the document, so much easier to find, rather than 67+ docs on a desktop. What a relief!
So all you creative brainiacs can relax now, stop looking for those various files, folder, version, and email and let UniPhi do the hard work.


Friday, January 09, 2015

Keep it simple - Sharing large files

UniPhi’s cloud based document management software provides a solution to the all too familiar issue of sharing or transmitting large files. Many organisations needs to get information from one point to another. Whether this is a technical drawing, a graphical image file, or an installation executable file. Typically email was the default method for sending files, but as covered in this post; email is rarely the best solution. Email can fail for a number of reasons such as; file size, and security restrictions, or by simply not sending the email to the correct recipient - see didn’t you get my email!?

More recently “cloud based” offerings such as DropBox and Google Drive have provided an alternative solution. Unfortunately services such as these are single point solutions, and simply add to the long and growing list of technologies that project team members must rely on.

UniPhi is different as it is a fully integrated management platform, all information is stored within the context of your organisations specific projects, and is also available for re-use. Additionally all information is available to each member of a project team, which allows teams to collaborate in a transparent and efficient way.

There are several features that enhance the way documents are shared in UniPhi. Some of these are:
  • Meta data is automatically captured  
  • Filtering and searching across projects 
  • Version control is automated
  • Users can link documents to issues they're trying to resolve
  • Users are kept informed of changes to the document
  • The final document can be digitally signed off via delegations of authority
Files saved into UniPhi are immediately available from any web browser, or mobile device. As files are saved into UniPhi, your files are stored behind a firewall and accessible via a secure login. All data being transmitted is encrypted meaning you remain safe and secure, no longer worried about an unreliable email system!  








Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Here's to 2014

The end of another calendar year, like most people and businesses, has given us time to reflect on the past 12 months. It has been a watershed year for UniPhi, two years into it's existence as a stand alone business and we managed our biggest achievement to date: Winner for innovation in the 2014 Australian Business Awards. This was such an incredible achievement and in no small part thanks to the continuing support of AECOM. Thanks Barry Laycock and Karen Wood for your sponsorship and management. Working with you has continued to be a pleasure.

We are hoping that next year will continue the recognition of this partnership as our latest app for AECOM, GUIDE (Global Unite Indicative Design Estimator), has garnered interest from Exxon Mobil. A pilot use of GUIDE will commence in January 2015 in London.

Major software developments for the year included:

1) The creation of "N" levels of codes when creating charts of accounts and the ability to customise this code structure per program/project. This was a major request from project managers wanting to import entire cost estimates down to the door knob and rivet.

2) Integration with the major small business accounting systems (MYOB and Xero) via their newly published APIs utilising our soon to be publicly available UniPhi API

3) The focus on our Outlook integration with a "Save As Document" feature to go along with our "Save As Issue" feature. The outlook plugin has been so popular with our end users and led to the expanded functionality. We are now approaching both new and existing clients with the focus on eliminating the INBOX either by utilising outlook integration or by creating a common platform for projects within UniPhi and using the document and issues functionality to share large files or collaborate across geographic and organisational boundaries.

4) The expansion of our mobile app UniPhi OnSite on Android and iOS to include iPhone support to complete the full suite of devices on these two prominent platforms . This app is generating great feedback from end users with one user saying "the mobile app as it stands clearly satisfies our requirement for onsite capture of surveillance records".

None of these features would be as good as they are without the ongoing support and feedback from our clients. Special thanks goes to the team at CBRE and HammersmithDC in Brisbane who have provided wonderful ideas for the product throughout 2014. We'd also like to thank the users at Jacobs both in Queensland and Victoria for feedback and support on various large programs of work that we have continued to support throughout 2014. And finally Davis Langdon's Independent Review team who have helped make the OnSite app a simple and yet powerful tool for their business.

We wish everyone a Happy New Year and look forward to sharing with you another fantastic year.

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.” 
― Edith Lovejoy Pierce 

 Bring on 2015!!!!!








Friday, November 14, 2014

The problem with problems

Here at UniPhi we've had something of a revelation regarding our problem series...

The problem with problems is that they start off with negativity. I mean, the word problem itself doesn't sound very motivating. So lets introduce opportunities for a simpler way of life. On that note the problem series is no more, we will instead focus on the way that UniPhi simplifies your life.

Instead of coming up with solutions to problems, we have decided to come up with inspirational solutions to simplify your life.

Out of simplicity comes efficiency, and time! UniPhi is all about efficiency and time management. Why not spend that extra hour or two on something worthwhile, rather than trying to find that lost email or track down that important piece of paperwork!

So, stayed tuned, UniPhi is here. Let us inspire you to make your life simpler.

http://38.media.tumblr.com/17f7b267d7447a85382579bf6cceaf98/tumblr_nelbhseyl21slhhf0o1_1280.jpg
  "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler"- Albert Einstein


Friday, October 31, 2014

Problem 14 - Where's the Defect?


After a long few months, that big construction job you have been losing sleep over, is now complete.

Or is it? Issues always arise, even when we think that a job is done, so when these issues do come about, we want them to be resolved in the smoothest and quickest way possible. Now let us look at the common scenario:

1. Contractor goes onsite with the Architect and/ or Project Manager and takes photos of the defects/ issues.

2. These photos then need to be catalogued vigorously into a word document. 
3. When issued to the trade to fix, the tradie needs to try and find the issue. This is both difficult and time consuming. Not only is it not clear where the issue is to the tradie, but now he has to figure out what the issue is. Wouldn't it be great if there was a system to smooth-en this process?

Good news, there is and it's called UniPhi Onsite! 
UniPhi OnSite is a mobile app that links with the UniPhi web application. Accessible through both iOS and Android on both tablet and phone. The app not only streamlines the defects process, but any on-site process by:
1. Automating the linking of a photo to a document (see where's that photo blog post)
2. Automating the linking of the photo to an issue that describes the defect, and has a resolution date, and facilitates conversation through to close out.
3. Automating the capture of meta data to the defect (e.g. the project, location and specification).
UniPhi, and Onsite, mean you no longer need to feel harried through the defects liability period. Instead you can manage this process as successfully as you managed each of the preceding phases of your project since its inception.
 http://uniphi.com.au/images/onsite_iphone_1.jpeg           http://uniphi.com.au/images/onsite_iphone_2.jpeg



                   http://uniphi.com.au/images/onsite_ipad_1.jpeg

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Subscribe to UniPhi and win an iPad or Galaxy tablet!


http://uniphi.com.au/images/onsite_logo.gif  
Win an iPad or Galaxy 
Tablet!*
We're celebrating UniPhi OnSite's first 
birthday by giving away an iPad or 
Galaxy tablet through a raffle! 
So what do I have to do to enter? Simple. Just follow and/or
subscribe to UniPhi by clicking the icons below and you will automatically go in the running of the draw! The more UniPhi
networks you follow or subscribe to, the more entries you will 
have in the draw!

The raffle will be drawn on the 30th of November 2014 where the 
lucky two winners will receive an iPad or Galaxy tablet! 

Tell your friends!

Copy us into a referral and we will give you another entry

Follow us
to enter
http://uniphi.com.au/promotions/twitter.pnghttp://uniphi.com.au/promotions/google_plus.pnghttp://uniphi.com.au/promotions/blogger.pnghttp://uniphi.com.au/promotions/linked_in.pnghttp://uniphi.com.au/promotions/youtube.pnghttp://uniphi.com.au/promotions/email.png
http://uniphi.com.au/promotions/gift.jpg






*Terms and Conditions: To enter you must follow and/ or subscribe to one or more of UniPhi’s networks (as seen on 
the follow buttons above). Each follow, subscription or referral to UniPhi by the one person, will achieve an entry to 
the raffle draw. Offer may be forwarded to friends or family, who are welcome to enter, by following and/ or 
subscribing to UniPhi. Entries close 5pm AEST 29th of November 2014, and raffle will be drawn on 30th of
November 2014. Winners will be contacted on the 30th of November 2014, and announcement of winners will 
be made online on most of the UniPhi social network sites. By entering, you are giving UniPhi permission to use
your name and / or your username on any of the social network site that UniPhi is involved in (refer to above follow 
buttons), for the purpose of announcing the winners. Two names will be randomly drawn from a raffle held at the 
UniPhi HQ, therefore two winners will be announced and contacted of the news. To be fair, the winners do not 
choose between the two prizes, they will be awarded randomly amongst the two prize winners. Offer not valid for 
family or staff members of UniPhi.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Problem 13 - Brand Non - Compliance


http://www.gratisography.com/


In this crazy diverse world of branding, it's no wonder that companies need a tool to ensure consistency.

From head to footer, Microsoft Word will allow the user to tweak the look, feel and style of a document; Microsoft Word is there to dress and impress. But it's not just always about the style, it's how you carry it. Let's go back to branding. With all these different styles, companies or organisations often develop one approved style that all employees are suppose to apply to documents they send out. Here is where the problem comes in, how can we make sure the style is carried out smoothly?
  
UniPhi Documents have their style applied by a style sheet when being rendered to PDF. In addition documents are generated from standard templates. These templates ensure that the document's style cannot be altered in any way, right to the last mm. All documents generated through UniPhi, stick to the same look and feel. The templates also allow for auto generation of content, rather than having to waste time filling in all the details on every document.
Normally, if a company changes it's logo or address, it would take months to change all the documents, but UniPhi's templates allows for this change to occur in 2 minutes, as documents are generated dynamically from a referenced logo. While UniPhi won't let you go nuts with the same tweaks as MS word, it does assure that your brand is apparent and consistent. 

 "Make every detail perfect, and limit the number of details to perfect." - Jack Dorsey

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

UniPhi 11 is coming!

    We're excited to announce that UniPhi 11 is on it's way!


'N' Levels of cost coding is here!
The key new feature of UniPhi 11 is a complete overhaul of the cost tab and the standard charts of accounts which now allow for an unlimited number of coding levels (well 12 but we didn't think anyone would ever have more than that). Included in this is the ability for project managers to drill below the standard chart and capture cost details like individual resources or specific material items.

UniPhi CRM 
UniPhi's core product now has organisation and sites functionality. This key feature now means that the application is a fully fledged CRM as well as a portfolio and project management application. You can track revenue and profitability by organisation and location as well as see all correspondence sent or received to/from a company, location and individual.

Other features include:

Methodology:
- Ability to define multiple project lifecycles

Contracts: 
- Added a "paid" flag to invoices which can be set in the "Completed Claims" panel of the contracts tab and is available in the "Invoice Listing" report in UniPhi

- Excel template for importing deliverables now allows for all heading types, account codes and schedule dates

- Supplier and Principal details are included in all contract document registers

Project custom fields 
- Can now be linked to any the main project filters
-  Now allow "checklists" (now you can be even more organised!)

Reports 
- Added Contact List report to Project reports tab

Watch this space for the announcement of the release!

Monday, September 08, 2014

UniPhi Managing Director to present at AIPM National Conference



We are excited to announce that Mark Heath will be presenting at the AIPM National conference on Monday 13th of October, from 11:30am-12:15pm. The conference will be focusing on a topic dear to our heart- Delivering benefits and value from projects.

A bit of background on the AIPM...

"The Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) is the premier body for project management in Australia. It is the longest serving specialist project management body in Australia."

The event starts off with a bang; happy hour! 

This year young emerging professionals, have the opportunity to take part in an exhibition exposing them to the challenging but very exciting world of Project Management.

But why is this year's event a lot more to look forward to? Mark will be presenting that's why! His presentation will look into how a project manager must broaden their knowledge of as many methods and tools as possible, and apply whichever they think is appropriate, rather than the one size fits all standardization approach, enforced on them by PMO's in many companies.

The AIPM will be another great opportunity for UniPhi to show audiences around the nation, and even international visitors, the importance of an innovation in Project Management!

It's always great to listen to speakers live, you see a number of content posted online, but actually being at an event, watching and listening to presenters, interacting with those around you, forming face to face opinions, really makes events like these memorable. 


"Worry less about sounding professional, and worry more about creating remarkable content, that other humans can relate to"
- Ann Handley

Monday, September 01, 2014

New starters at UniPhi


We have three new starters beginning their UniPhi life last month. +Rajeel Deo, +Sandra Szubert and Javaria Ahmed!

Sandra is our new Creative Consultant, Sandra has experience in graphic design, photography and marketing. She has also done studies in visual communication (design), and has an interest in blog writing. She is excited to bring her creative abilities to the UniPhi team.

Rajeel has joined the team as an Accountant. Raj is a commerce graduate specialising in Accounting and Commercial Law from the University of Sydney. Apart from his field of study, Raj has an interest in motor racing and administering online community forums in the motor racing industry in Fiji. Due to this interest, Raj has also developed his own consulting platform where he provides advice and support to grow Fiji’s motor racing industry.


Javaria has also joined the team as a Software Developer. Javaria has been working as a software developer for the past 8 years. Her skill set includes .Net (desktop and web applications), JAVA (Struts applications) and PHP. She has done her Masters in Computer Science and is interested in android development. 


Welcome to our company guys I hope you enjoy working here!