|This week we have released Loan Performer 8.12.06
||From the Loan Performer Users Community
|Finally you may say. Yes it has taken long. However We find ourselves almost constantly working on 3 different versions at a time. It is not because we like it, but because we want to serve you better. For instance we are working on 8.14 with new features that require structural changes in the database. But at the same time, some clients come with urgent issues that need immediate solutions. We cannot give them 8.14, that is not ready or ask them to wait untill it is, that would take too long. So we take the last version, 8.12.06 beta and correct the problem they are facing and make that available as the next 8.12.06 beta. Then there are others who need new features with structural database changes who cannot wait till 8.14. We have put these in 8.13, actually 8.13.B because we already released 8.13.A. Version 8.13 is in fact only available for 3 clients. When 8.14 comes out all fixes and features of 8.12.06 and 8.13 A and B will be included. So yes, 8.12.06 has taken long, but it is because we could not tell you to just wait till 8.14 comes out. The full list of 8.12.06 issues is now available at: www.loanperformer.com.
||Loan Performer continues to gain more market share in Uganda and around the world. This month, Unit Trust of Tanzania (UTT) a microfinance institution in the United Republic of Tanzania joined the Loan Performer users’ community. UTT is a project from the Ministry of Finance of Tanzania and counts 5 branches. The Project of implementing Loan Performer at UTT was done by Ms. Joyce Kirungi. The project was slated for 17 days, 12 days were allocated for end user training and 5 days for installing Loan Performer, configuring the database and assisting users during the first data entry. A total of 11 staff was trained. All did a test of proficiency in Loan Performer and were qualified for a certificate. More information on UTT is available via their website www.utt-tz.org.
|Using Loan Performer with a POS device
||Test Version 8.12.06 on the WAN
|One of our clients in Ethiopia (Buussaa Gonofa) wants to work with Point of Sale (POS) Devices. In the morning, before the credit officer goes out into the field s/he export the data of a particular group from the Loan Performer database to a POS device. S/he then goes to visit the group. The group members deposit certain amounts and make loan repayments. These are entered on the POS device and the device prints receipts. In the afternoon the credit officer goes back to the office, connects the POS device via a USB port to his/her computer and uploads the deposits and repayment to the Loan Performer database.
So far we have created the menu items for exporting and importing data via the POS device. The supplier of the POS device - Visiontek - is currently working on the creation of the export file based on the amounts received. Start of June we are going to test the functionality with the client in Ethiopia. We have created a special Loan Performer version for this, version 8.13.B. This version will only be available to 2 clients. Once the testing is done, we shall integrate everything in LPF8.15 and we hope others will be interested as well.
From Loan Performer Version 8.12.06 onwards you can implement Loan Performer in a Wide Area Network. You dont need to run Loan Performer from the browser, you can still start up the traditional way and the interface is the same as you are used to. But at login you specify a web address where your database is hosted and that's it! Once you are inside, it is like you are running Loan Performer locally. You can now send your credit officers with a laptop into the field, give them a USB Modem and let them enter transactions remotely. Or you can connect your branch offices and have the update a single database. It offers enormous possibilities.
Try it out
We welcome you to take a test drive. We have put a demo database on our server and we invite you to log in. What should you do to test?
1. You need to download and install Loan Performer 8.12.06.
2. Run the file soapsdk.exe located in C:\LPF812\External Files\SMS Banking.
3. You then need to open the LPF.INI file in the Loan Performer folder and change the contents to (just copy and paste):
4. Save the file and start LPF. As we are many, we cannot all use the default user 'Performer' with password 'LPF' to login. So we created 10 user accounts called User1, User2, User3 etc with passwords that are the same as the user names. So if you cannot login in as User1, try User2 with password ‘User2’ etc untill you get access. Note that we are all branch managers, but we have not made the Configuration screens available for you.
5. If LPF asks you whether you want to update the Lookup folder answer affirmative.
|From the HR Desk
In our efforts to improve on the quality of our Product and Services, the company has recruited 2 more professional Software Programmers this month. This increases the number of programmers in the Technical Department to 11 members (out of a total of 30). They are to start work on the conversion of Foxpro reports to Telerik as Foxpro is being phased out. There is a total of about 600 report files that need to be converted, so there is a lot of work. With this and also the combined effort of all departments at CCS, we believe that we shall be able to develop Products and Services of high quality with innovation, dedication, reliability and integrity to satisfy the needs and expectations of our increasing customer- base worldwide.
|Next Training Opportunities
We have every first Monday of the month a training session of 12 days (2 weeks, Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 17:00 hrs) in Loan Performer version 8. Next training starts Monday 3 June 2013. This takes place at our office in Kampala. Costs are 750$ per participant and includes lunch. At the end of the training the participants have to pass a test and a certificate will be issued. Use this link to download the training schedule.
If Kampala is too far, we can do an e-training via the internet. The full training takes 12 sessions of 4 hours at a cost of USD 150 per session. We can also tune these trainings to your needs and make them more efficient for you. Contact us if you need more information.
|Did you know?
In this section we highlight some of the less known features in Version 8.
If in Loan Performer 8.12.06 on the last page of the loan application you click on the 'Notes' button and fill out the fields, the bottom of the Loan Ledger Card will show you this:
Last months we have been trying to improve on our Agile programming methodology. Agile programming is different from the Waterfall methodology in the sense that it goes through short programming cycles (2 - 3 weeks) and more or less at any time you should be able to come out with a new release. At the beginning of the project (the next version) we have a planning meeting where we try to plan what items are going to be part of this release and when they will be worked on. We then start implementing with daily scrum meetings where everybody informs each other what was done and what problems were encountered. Testers and programmers work hand in hand so that issues are solved before they are even being tested. At the end of the project we evaluate what went well and what not.
However we have seen that the theory is nice and that you can plan what you want but if everyday you get new issues, planning becomes difficult. In practice planned releases tend to be postponed because of 'feature creep' (there are many stakeholders who claim that x, y and z should also be fixed in this version). Trying to accomodate urgent issues means more or less that the work gets never done and that a few clients benefit while the majority has to wait. We do our best but keeping everybody happy is not easy. But as Aristotle said: “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”