Live Blog: TOPS User Conference Orlando

    Posted by Andrea Drennen, CMCA on October 22, 2014

    TOPS User Conference in Orlando

    We are live blogging from Orlando at the 2013 TOPS User Conference! Keep checking back throughout the day for the latest info from the event!

    Good morning everyone! I am sitting here at a round table in the front of the main ballroom in the convention center at the Caribe Royale in Orlando. As you can see from the link, the venue is stunning. Complementing the fantastic location is the fantastic turnout of TOPS Users that have come out for the conference. And everywhere you look you can see the blue shirts of the TOPS team members who are getting to know everyone. (We have 22 TOPS employees here at the conference today!) Right now everyone is enjoying a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, bagels, and pastries while we wait for the opening ceremonies.

    Opening ceremonies have begun! Mike Hardy introduced all of the TOPS Employees who are in attendance, then shared with us some of the more unusual laws in Florida to demonstrate that its not only the HOA laws in Florida that are a bit unusual! For example, it's illegal to sing in public in your bathing suit or shower naked in Florida. (Not even 9:30 am and already I've broken the law!)

    Today, TOPS celebrates our 28th year of business! over 28 years, we have expanded to three offices, and have experienced a double digit growth over the past 5 years. This shows that TOPS is a stable technology partner for Condominium and HOA management companies, now and into the future.

    Mike Hardy is speaking about the products that have been released from TOPS in the past 16 months - and, holy guacamole is it a lot - sometimes when you live close to the eye of the storm it's easy to lose track of how far it has traveled. Here's the list:

    • Released TOPS Hosted in the cloud
    • Released TOPS Go! for Android
      How many recent innovations have been designed for Managers? So many of the innovations over the past decades, such as bank lockbox, check scanning, even community websites are designed to save time for the accounting department. But managers are still using a yellow legal pad to perform their everyday job. It's time to implement a change that saves managers 30 minutes to 2 hours every inspection.
    • Released TOPS Go! for iOS (Apple) devices
    • Released the TOPS CAM Blog
    • New Website rollout
    • Formation of the TOPS User Group on LinkedIn
    • Inside TOPS: Accounts Payable
      • Invoice Scanning (scanned and uploaded to TOPS Website)
      • New Vendor History
      • New Vendor Reports
      • New Check Formats
      • Ability to Email Vendors (and store a history of vendor communications)
    • Inside TOPS: Accounts Receivable
      • Increased Miscellaneous charge accounts
      • Released Auto Bank Reconciliation for AAFS (currently working to release BB&T and CAB auto bank reconciliation)
    • Inside TOPS: Global Module
      • Added Email Address global Search
      • New Bank Owner Validation (help banks find owners off check data even if no coupon was included with payment)
      • More reports added to Global Reports menu (check out the global vendor assignments report to view how vendors have been assigned to work orders across your entire portfolio.)
    • Inside TOPS: TOPS iMail
      • Unsubscribe options for homeowners
      • Multi-Line signatures per user
      • Verification of email addresses
    • Inside TOPS: Online Services
      • Added AP Invoice to upload for Online Payment Approval
      • Improved the speed and reliability of TOPS Internet Backup Service
      • Added Hold Payments to Online Payments function
    • Inside TOPS: New Form Letter Program
      • Documents stored in .DOC format
      • Preview letters before printing
      • Added Headers and Footers
      • Generate different types of letters at the same time
      • Choose how you wish to output letters (print, email or...)
      • Outsourcing options for letters - create certified mail and outsource it electronically - save hours in your mail room!

    Whew! That is quite a mouthful of new features! Jeff Hardy did a great job explaining what all of that is and how it works together. If you are looking to implement some of these features, give your account representative a call or an email to find out how to implement it.

    Moving forward to what's in the pipeline! We have two big items in the works that are coming to you RIGHT AWAY!

    • New Customer Care Center with Customer Portal
      • Manage Support Tickets - Create, comment, search and close existing support tickets
      • Manage Your Account - Add, remove, assign rights to users in your company
    • Scheduled Release for Q4
      • Calendar/Scheduler:
        • Allow scheduled jobs to run without user being physically logged in to the system
        • Add new job type to rebuild Access Data
        • Add new job type to perform file maintenance
      • TOPS Launcher
        • Single method of maintaining/updating both TOPS Pro and TOPS iQ
        • Updates respect Users & Passwords security
        • Respects User Logins
        • Allows authorized users to choose to proceed with an update or cancel
      • TOPS Go! synch will use 'Last Modified Date' to insure faster synchronization
      • Additional banks for Auto Bank Rec
        • BB&T (scheduled for release this quarter)
        • Mutual of Omaha (CABank) (scheduled for release early 2014)
        • Union Bank(scheduled for release early 2014)
        • Association Capital Bank (scheduled for release early 2014)
    • TOPS iQ Launches Today!!! (October 22nd)
      • Same core functionality of TOPS Professional, but re-engineered to provide a foundation for the future
      • Built on a SQL database structure
      • Systematically replacing legacy code from the ground up
        • Phased release over the next 24 months
        • Runs concurrently with TOPS Professional
      • Goal is to create a product that lasts for the next 10 to 15 years
      • Initially available in the cloud. TOPS Hosted clients can deploy iQ for free today
      • On-premise (installed) version will be made available in the future. (You will need a SQL server for on-premise - 2008 R2 minimum)

    Image Credit: Rog01 via flickr