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February 2014

Community School of Music and Arts Launches a More User-Friendly System

By |February 28th, 2014|

Just in time for the busy summer class and camp registration season, CSMA announced a new online registration system that would “provide a more user-friendly experience for CSMA students, as well as streamline internal processes for CSMA staff. ” We’re proud to welcome Community School of Music and Arts to ASAP!

Founded in 1968, CSMA is Northern California’s largest non-profit provider of arts education programs, and one of only ten such schools its size nationwide. Annually, CSMA directly serves over 20,000 students a year through visual arts and music classes, lessons, camps and community events. Their in-school programs alone reach 10,000+ students in over 30 schools across Silicon Valley.

For many years, CSMA had operated under a homegrown system for registration and data management but that solution had finally reached its last useful update. It was time to upgrade to a system that could handle all of its needs—from Family Accounts to real-time Reporting. Without question, CSMA is a unique client; however, so many community schools face this same decision point in managing their administrative technology that we’ve added what we hope is useful detail and insight into user feedback that prompted such a transition and the benefits gained. […]

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New in ASAP: The Redesigned Events Page

By |February 10th, 2014|

Everyone loves events. Whether they’re seasonal parties or educational talks, events are community experiences. So, this winter, ASAP gave our Events page a serious upgrade, which we’re pleased to introduce today. Our new Events page is faster, sleeker and better than ever.

Here’s how it looks:

So, what’s the difference?

First, the page loads faster! We’ve made an effort to deliver a speedy and extra reliable page, and it’s finally out.

Second, we’ve redesigned the user interface, providing a simpler user experience.
To do this, we divided the page into four basic sections, which are detailed below:

1) Event information is at the top, which includes the event name, event code, schedule, location, capacity and settings […]

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January 2014

New in ASAP: The Redesigned User Account Page

By |January 29th, 2014|

Your customers have always been able to login to their ASAP accounts and view their enrollments, billing history, etc. However, until now the user account page was a little difficult to navigate and it was slower than we wanted it to be.

Several months ago we decided that we could do better, and today we’re proud to unveil our newly redesigned user account page. The first thing you’ll notice is how much less clutter there is on the new page, which makes it easier to see which classes you’re enrolled in. We’re also displaying each family member’s schedule together on the same page now (thanks for that suggestion Susanna!).

In addition we’ve […]

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ASAP Extends Its Platform with API

By |January 23rd, 2014|

One of our goals at ASA in 2013 was to build out integrations with 3rd party applications. To accomplish this, we have built some robust APIs. We already have some clients utilizing the APIs for their own purposes and we have used the APIs to build out integrations with several other software platforms. So we figured now was a good time to officially announce and launch our ASAP API.

[…]

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2013: A TURNAROUND YEAR FOR COMMUNITY EDUCATION

By |January 1st, 2014|

IN RETROSPECT

The ritual of looking back over our shoulder at gains and losses reminds us that the good stuff is rooted in successful small steps. 2013 was that kind of year. Nothing wild and crazy; well…the creative bravado of our summer interns excepted. We improved the product incrementally all year long, and methodically designed and built a brand new feature in high demand — Private Lessons Management. Attracting the attention of prestigious schools and start-up ventures alike, we enrolled a beta set of testers and advisors from the masters themselves—music schools. And debuted to a very generous audience at a national conference on arts education. One step at a time, […]

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June 2013

A Summer Makeover for ASAP Events

By |June 13th, 2013|

 

Event management tools are prone to excess, in my experience. They tend to branch and branch again in anticipation of the seemingly endless details any particular type of event could possibly involve.  Soon the tool itself is a mammoth chore. That’s why this past year our developers have been working toward a more svelte and agile toolbox for events, first separating single-date events from multi-session conferences, and later dramatically shrinking the signup process for users on the go. With several refinements added this spring, we’re now introducing ASAP Events as an independent module in our registration software system.  It’s smart, quick, and elastic.  

Whether you rely on ASAP Events for an […]

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May 2013

Offer Flexible Payment Plans — Give them a week, a month or a year to pay

By |May 28th, 2013|

Payment plans are coming to ASAP. It’s a feature our clients requested because their customers did too.  All the way down the line, adding more flexibility to the core registration management system made sense to us, so we scheduled development for our next release, mid-June.

Meanwhile, you might be wondering, what’s a payment plan?

If you have a kid in college, you probably use a payment plan to spread the total cost of tuition, dorm, meal plan and what-all across twelve months.  Or, in another example, you contract for insurance coverage on your home and car for a year in advance but you pay toward the total due monthly or quarterly or […]

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November 2012

Adult Education: Doing More with Less – 2012 ACSA Conference

By |November 28th, 2012|

The Adult Education Strand at the annual ACSA Conference took place in San Diego in early November. By chance, it was a mere two days after the 2012 presidential election. Normally, this wouldn’t matter much to state education issues. But this year, one of the propositions on the ballot for Californians to decide was to raise taxes on the wealthy and increase the state sales tax under the guise that those revenues would go directly to schools. I’m not here to argue whether schools will actually get that money or whether our state legislators just waste the funds like they habitually do, but instead pass on some thoughts I heard […]

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2012 NRPA Conference

By |November 15th, 2012|

If you want to have some fun, go to the annual NRPA conference. This year it was in Anaheim, CA. Yep, right down the street from Disneyland. And we took advantage of it!  But I digress. Why is it so fun? Because the exhibit hall is chock full of play structures, toys, and gizmos the likes you’ve never seen. Our ASAP booth was next to one of these structures. It was a play structure based on a surf theme towering what seemed like 30-odd feet above the floor. And that one was small compared to some of the others!  No wonder many attendees bring their kids to the show. Product […]

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October 2012

Merchant Accounts… Who can understand the ins and outs?

By |October 22nd, 2012|

Why does every client of ours squirm, fidget, mumble and start cursing under their breath when we bring up merchant accounts? Could it be the sheer complexity and hidden fees and, to put it mildly, outrageous pricing that merchant accounts get away with? I’ve got an MBA and a CFA, so for me, the self-proclaimed Financial Know-it-all at ASA, it only took a few years of in depth work and exposure to finally get a grip on these things. So I don’t expect our clients to know or even want to know all the details about merchant accounts to avoid making mistakes when signing up for one. So what do […]

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