Billings Pro 1.0 Released!

Product Updates / August 30, 2010 / Alykhan Jetha

I’m extremely proud to announce that Billings Pro is now available for you to try and buy.

When we set out to build Billings Pro, we wanted to do something different. We wanted to build a system that gave people a fully native multi-user app, yet provided them the flexibility of moving anywhere, without worrying about connectivity.

There is a paradox happening. The world is getting more connected, but the quality of these connections is dropping. It used to be that if you had a network connection (wired), you knew it was a solid connection, nowadays not so much. For example – when was the last time you had a really good Internet connection at a hotel? The majority of hotels give you internet access, but I think, on average, the dial-up modems of yesterday were faster. In the last five hotels I’ve been too, all had Internet connections, but only one of those five had an acceptable, workable, consistent connection. It’s sad. 3G networks are not much better. In fact the variance there is even more drastic.

Our customers (the decision makers at least) are nomadic. They travel from one hotel to another, from one Starbucks to another, and from one client to another. These fragile networks affect them in a big way.

Traditionally, if you’re building a *native* multi-user app, you’d use the classic client-server architecture. This doesn’t work well on fragile networks. Nowadays, it’s all about web apps. But guess what? Those are equally terrible on fragile networks. And contrary to popular belief, even with all these newfangled video conference capabilities, business travel for executives is on the rise. Mobility is on the rise.

To solve this issue, we’ve leveraged our acclaimed 4th generation offline sync technology and combined it with our Apple Design Award winning Billings 3 interface to make Billings Pro. We think it’s the best system of its kind. Not only is this great for business travelers, it’s equally great for people that move about in a city or move about just to get the creative juices flowing.

And just to make sure we’ve covered the true road warrior, we have a feature rich, native iPhone application based on the award winning Billings Touch. Tracking time, mileage, expenses, and collecting payments on the road has never been easier. Billings Pro Touch uses our proven mobile synchronization technology over EDGE, 3G and WiFi. We submitted Billings Pro Touch to the App Store for approval last week. We hope it’ll be approved soon.

Along with this, we noticed that collecting billable time from staff was a real difficulty for our potential customers. These workers use a variety of operating systems so we built a simple and intuitive web-based app called Timecard for tracking time, mileage and expenses. We’ve purposely kept this app very simple. There is no financial data in it, no complex choices, so the learning curve is shallow. The same app works both in modern desktop browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox) and in modern mobile browsers (Safari, Android, BlackBerry OS 6 (Torch)). IE 8 support will come in an update.

billings pro icon set
Now you may think you need to get a networking expert to setup the Billings Pro system. Not so. We’ve built another phenomenal system called “Switchboard”. It facilitates networking if you have compliant hardware. You create a switchboard account during setup and then use that switchboard account name along with your Billings Pro credentials and automatically Billings Pro Mac, Billings Pro Touch and Timecard will find your server if it is reachable. Switchboard automatically handles things like your IP address changing.

For version 1, you get all of this for a one-time fee of US $199.95 per user. No monthlies, no yearlies. You can upgrade from Billings 3 for US $174.95 per user. For temporary users, we have a monthly per user “pay as you go” option for US $24.95 as well. Prices vary slightly in some regions.

You can try the entire Billings Pro system with no limitations for free for 30 days.

Finally, I’d like to thank the Marketcircle team and the beta testers. Birthing a new product takes a tremendous amount of energy. It’s not easy but they came through with flying colours.

So without further ado, check out Billings Pro.

Here is the official press release.

Until next time…

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