Customer portal

The latest version (21.6.0) adds customer portal.

This is early peek at the concept. The idea is that customers will be able to view Manager from their point of view. At the moment, they can view their invoices, orders, quotes, credit notes and delivery notes.

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cool!

i personally like it…will this be available to suppliers too?

@lubos won’t this be a problem if a 3rd party somehow gets a copy of the dedicated link for the customers? other people can also see their records with just this link right? would it be possible to add authentication / credentials prior to gaining access to such information?

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@lubos thank you! Very useful and the link is solidly built. The use of business- and customer codes rather than the business- and customer names also makes it difficult if at all possible to hack. I hope similar to @marofrancia that it will be implemented for suppliers too.

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@lubos This is of great interest to me as I was actually planning to develop something like this on my Heldpesk system for my clients. However, you have just saved me the cost of implementing this. I might see if I can embed this into my CRM so they only have to login to the helpdesk.

So thank you for this new feature. Very much appreciated. Did not know that you were working on this. I think that this will be of value to a lot of Manager users as a customer portal has become pretty much standard now.

A few questions:

Would it be possible for Manager itself to add IP Restrictions. Currently I am using IIS Manager for this, but this is not user friendly (as in knowing what IP address is for what client/site). I would imagine that Caddy etc may not support IP restrictions?

Currently, the clients can view. I assume that they will have edit permissions at some point in time. No client will ever need to edit the invoices, quotes, sales order, delivery notes and credit notes for any reason that I can think of. But I can see value in allowing clients to upload their purchase order somewhere to confirm acceptance of a quote. Just not sure where they would upload it? I would like some way for the clients to confirm acceptance/rejection of the quote on Manager Customer Portal, but also to send me their Purchase Order. I would obviously need notification of that.

The sales order is not supposed to be seen by the clients as it’s an internal form? So why can they see the Orders tab in the Portal? Or will this be for the clients purchase orders and separate from sales orders?

Will the portal have functionality to email clients that their invoice is overdue or to remind them to approve/reject a quote? I would like to automate this as it would save time and for some reason doesn’t make clients feel I am nagging them if the process is automatic. This would really enhance the value of the customer portal as people so often request a quote and then you have to keep chasing them up on this.

Filter Search - Clients can then search for an invoice or quote regarding a monitor for example?

authentication - I also second the need for authentication to the customer portal. With so much hacking etc, security is paramount.

Branding Manager itself - Is there any possibility to theme Manager itself, so when the client logs onto the customer portal Manager could display the company brand colours instead of grey and white?

Looking forward to seeing how this progresses. I am very impressed.

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3 posts were split to a new topic: Customer portal internal error

The plan right now is to make customer portal useful in read-only mode. Later we can add ability for clients to approve/decline quotes, create orders and update their details.

When customer sends you their purchase order, you create it as a sales order in Manager. It makes sense for client to see this order in customer portal.

Password protection can be added in the future.

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I would use a decent boundary firewall for that function, such as pfSense or similar products from OPNSense, Cisco, SonicWall, Fortinet.

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Very interesting and welcome idea. It will also be great if customer can view his statement from reports.

Weldone @lubos

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Yes it’s one of Managers positive leap. I experimented it very nice.
*It will be better if it contain a notification of days since the date of invoice
*If the link can be made shorter enabling users to share over social media easily.

Cheers lubos

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@lubos I just downloaded the fixed version. It works. Great. But all text is still in English. When I view an invoice all text in the view is also still in English. Can you please put it in the translation table so that the translations teams can do their job.
Kind regards,

Hennie.

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I have now managed to get into the portal as I also had the problem with the error bug affecting my machine.

I fully understand that the plan right now is to make the portal read only at this point. I am just recommending a direction for the portal which would really make the portal work for the end customer.

Are you planning to add a field to the sales quote and sales order for client’s purchase order? To me this would be the logical place for it. The sales quote so that the client could approve the quote and because the sales order won’t exist until the client sends their PO.

I might consider something like this as I have other software running on the server with the same problem.

Hopefully soon you can add the status of quotes, orders and invoices to the customer portal so clients can see payment due dates for invoices as well as what quotes are closed/open.

@lubos could you also add to the customer portal - the Folders tab? Maybe each client would get their own Folder within the folders tab - otherwise I don’t know how the permissions would work?

So we can upload client specific information such as contracts, terms and conditions, SLA, Schedule of Services and anything else relevant to a client?

But introduce a Folders theme similar to what @Ealfardan designed - Adjust themes for folders What he has done for the folders view is brilliant?

What does everyone else think of the default font colours for the tabs in customer portal as opposed to the main Manager area? I think I prefer the black font to the blue font? it looks more modern.

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Invoice status is already displayed, albeit with less detail than in the main program’s display. (Days overdue, for example, are not listed.) But there is an issue here on which other users might have different viewpoints than you. Once you have provided customers with access to their invoices and an indication of status, some users might consider it rude to hammer on the point of how many days overdue an invoice is. They might prefer to handle collection matters personally or according to various factors in the customer relationship. Cultural practices could also come into play. And primary decision-makers at a customer might not be comfortable exposing information so visibility to accounting staff. One just cannot know.

As for sales quotes and sales orders, many users might consider the information you request to be internal marketing or business management information and not want to expose to their customers their proprietary workflow linkages.

Not every business works in the same way or wishes to share the same information with customers. There is a balance to be considered between giving Manager’s users the possibility of sharing information with customers and forcing them to share everything. You apparently have a very open outlook about what you want to share. Others are much more protective, for a variety of reasons.

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Congratulations to the development team.
This Customer Portal is a multi-stage rocket that will put Manager way ahead of alternative packages!

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This is very nice.

Can the customer view the account balances too?

Is this applicable to iCloud version too.

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This is a superb update to Manager. Although primarily for customers, it also brings together useful information for users of Manager

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Hi,

We are in real estate business. We created special account for landlord account “Trust Fund Payable”

It would be more great if you could create for special accounts too.

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No, only completed transaction forms and their information.

Yes. All editions.

I will acknowledge your point regarding days overdue for invoices. An automated reminder seems to be a very effective way of chasing up those customers without making it seem rude or aggressive or personal. So I will concede your point on that. I will withdraw that request.

As for sales quotes and sales orders. I am still not 100% clear on why the developer has exposed sales orders to the end client. This is an internal form which should not be seen by the customer. So my question to you or anyone else who cares to answer, would be why you think it is ok for the sales order to be exposed to the customer?

The direction of the Customer Portal is that I am thinking that clients could approve contracts and quotes electronically. If everything the client needs is on the portal, it is much easier for the client to keep on top of contract renewals and quote approvals as they don’t have to hunt through their emails to find something.

More and more companies are now using electronic vaults where you login and tick a box to approve a quote or digitally sign a contract. This is the future. Thus Quotes need a status so that the customer can see that they have approved the quote. The customer portal is more likely to be used by customers who are businesses rather than the general public I would imagine? Therefore keeping track of quotes approved would be helpful.

I will agree that duplicating the statuses within Manager may not be optimal for the client portal, it will need some thought. But the real value of the customer portal will be when the client can actually do something on the portal such as save invoices to pdf or approve quotes and contracts.

I also agree with various posters about customer statements, balances due etc. The key point of the customer portal should be about helping the business manager/accountant keep on top of their interaction with that supplier.

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Personally, I would not have chosen to expose sales orders either. Based on what the developer has written, he regards their exposure as a way to indicate acceptance of a purchase order. Then again, I would not choose to provide a portal to customers for any accounting transactions. That just isn’t the way I conduct my business. The whole concept seems to be a slippery slope unless it comes with a great deal of tailorability.

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A flag for each transaction indicating if it is published on the portal maybe a solution. The flag default set by form defaults as usual.

Some users may prefer the flag had several states such as

  • Draft
  • Approved
  • Portal

Possibly with separate user permission control
(but is not something I would use)