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Do bumblebees swim or fly? 

3…2…1… Launch!

We at BumbleBee are really excited! We officially launched, from the “beta” version of our software, to “Version 1.0”. The beta phase has allowed us to get an initial version of the product in the hands of a few customers, let them use it to support their business, and then use their feedback to improve the version for a wider launch.

What We Heard

Our beta customers have been great! They have used the software and have not been shy about providing quality feedback about what they love, and what they want to see next. In general, we heard that customers…

  • love the ease-of-use and simplicity of the software (even for computer novices), and the fact that they don’t have to install anything
  • love instant access to information, including our global search capability to quickly find any family
  • want to do more with BumbleBee, not just tracking applications at waitlists, but also interested and enrolled families
  • need to manage information by day of week, since most centers are not exclusively full-time
  • love the reporting they have, but are always hungry for more ways to view information
  • want to see into the future, including projections of enrollment levels or openings
  • want flexibility, as each center’s needs are unique

What We’ve Done

Based on this feedback, we decided to restructure the navigation of BumbleBee to lay the foundation for great things ahead. Here are some of the new things to look out for:

Reworked Top-Level Navigation: Change starts at the top… of the screen. Customers can do more to quickly navigate from any page to: switch locations (if they have more than one), easily get to child information, perform global search, add new families, find reports and more.

Interested -> Applied -> Enrolled: BumbleBee is now completely organized around managing each stage of a family. Specialized screens support activities related to managing interested families (those that have called, emailed, inquired, taken a tour, etc.), applied families (those that have decided to formally apply for a spot), and enrolled children (those that are currently attending). Within that there are tools to manage offers, and other related sub-steps.

Action-oriented Dashboards: Each location now has a re-worked dashboard that is designed to support actions, like filling openings, managing offers, approving applications, or recording interest.

Sort, Search and Filter, Oh My!: Information is more interactive than before. When looking at a waitlist or classroom, you now have options to sort by any column, search for specific text, or intelligently filter your information.

Managing Days, not Just Children: Nearly every screen, from the dashboards to the classroom listings, now bring days of the week to the foreground. Do you need to quickly find someone interested in only Friday care? No problem!

Streamlined Interest Form: We’ve added a super-quick, minimal form to let you capture contact information, so that BumbleBee can act as your center’s “parent rolodex.” (Do they still make those?) Want to jot down a name, phone number and a couple of quick notes when someone calls in? We’ve got it covered.

What’s Next?

Version 1.0 is not the end of change, but really the beginning. So far, we’ve been making updates every week or two, and continue to add new features at a similar pace going forward. What is so fun about web-based software is that we can get a suggestion from a customer, develop it, and roll it out to the world without waiting for a formal release cycle, or without requiring our customers to call tech support. Here are some things that you may discover are part of BumbleBee in the coming weeks and months:

  • Reports, Reports, Reports: We will be giving you more reports, and more ways to customize and tailor those.
  • Classroom Builders: Many customers use spreadsheets or whiteboards to visualize transitions and new additions to and from classrooms. We want to replicate that experience with an intuitive interface to juggle all those decisions.
  • Projected Openings: We’ll be adding places to put planned transition or exit dates, so that we can see “into the crystal ball” and give you a timeline for when openings will become available in each classroom.
  • Marketing/Interest Management: With the basic ability to enter and track interested families, we will build on that to support outreach to those families in order to build demand.
  • More Form Customization: BumbleBee already has some flexible custom fields, but we’re going to do more, allowing more types of customization, and also provide the ability to see which fields are visible to parents, and which are not.
  • Re-enrollment Support: Some of our customers spend a great deal of time and energy on “re-enrollment” – collecting data from parents on which children will be sticking around for the next school year.
  • … and more! We have some other things in the queue, but we also want to hear from you. What would make your life easier?
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