Tech Talk: The Self Service Revolution

By: Don Sherwood

At ACD, we strive to delight our customers through personalization. We recognize that every customer is unique, and they want their experience with our applications to be tailored to fit their unique requirements. We work hard to meet those requirements by offering custom programming services for an added cost.

As we continue to add more customers to our system, this process becomes more difficult to sustain, causing us to expend much more of our limited programming resources on fulfilling the increasing numbers of personalization requests, instead of keeping them focused on the development of new products and features.

With an increasing number of personalized items built into the application code, the challenge of ensuring that those items are not in conflict with other items has become increasingly more difficult.

The solution to this challenge is to build capabilities into our applications by which our customers can configure these items for themselves.

Email Confirmation Editor

The first of these self-service improvements to our applications are already working live in production – the Email Confirmation Editor.


The Email Confirmation Editor allows a customer (or the Partner Center Support team) to create and edit a library of email templates and specify the conditions for which each template will be sent to the donor upon pledge completion. The content and conditions can be easily created and adjusted at will, allowing our customers to make changes immediately in CallsWithoutWalls, rather than waiting weeks for expensive custom programming to be completed. The benefits both to our customers, and to our development teams is clear, and although additional capabilities are still being added to it, this feature is already beginning to generate a lot of excitement.

But email confirmations are just the beginning of the self-service revolution. Development teams are also working on creating a report builder tool, by which a customer will be able to modify the layout and fields in their reports and downloads and even configure scheduled distribution options for those reports to send them to email or FTP endpoints on a schedule of their choosing. Also planned is enabling a customer to personalize and manage the field mapping from their scripts to their CRM systems, like Allegiance or Salesforce.

With these and other personalization controls put into the hands of customers, ACD will be able to configure and launch new customers more rapidly and focus more of its development resources on creating the features and products that provide the greatest value to all. At the same time, ACD will be providing a better experience for its existing customers, allowing them to configure their experience exactly how they want, and without waiting for custom programming.

Let the revolution begin!

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