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Announcements

Solomon Branding Pack

We're pleased to announce that we have launched a new pack that allows our customers to wrap their brand around the Solomon interface.

As well as being able to replace the Solomon logo, we can now update login pages, accent colours and the Timeline. Here is a gallery of screenshots from Sheffield BID:

Many thanks to the Sheffield BID team for allowing us to share the wonderful work they have been doing, curating local information into their dashboards. Using existing Solomon features, they have created a members-only website experience. Thanks to the branding pack, that experience fits seamlessly into the BID's visual identity and offer.

The branding pack is available to existing and new customers, for a one-off charge of £500.

If you would like to place an order, please contact Leonard Carey today.

GDPR: making our customers "compliant by default"

A huge thanks to Rebecca, our Privacy Sheriff.

A huge thanks to Rebecca, our Privacy Sheriff.

Since May of this year, our self-titled "Privacy Sheriff", Rebecca, has been cracking the whip on our efforts to understand and prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect on 25th May 2018.

We've undertaken an information audit (an ongoing process), identified steps that we must take as an organisation to protect our data and that of own data subjects, and have made ourselves battle-ready. We have a few feet to cover before May but we're proud to report that Solomon, as an organisation, will meet all the demands of the new data protection laws.

That work covers our role as a Data Processor; a party who acts on data on behalf of our customers. But what about our customers, as owners of the data held in Solomon; what the Information Commissioner calls Data Controllers

On the one hand, our BID customers are in a good position because they have a "legitimate interests" in processing much of the data they hold. Going a step further, we would argue that there is a "legal obligation" to hold liable party information, to ensure a Ballot/Renewal is legitimate. When it comes to some other points of data that is personally identifiable - personal information about individuals the BID team communicate with day-to-day - GDRP includes some new rights for data subjects that BIDs, as Data Controllers, must take account of.

Today we are announcing that we plan to spend the first few months of 2018 adding some new features to Solomon that will provide tools to address these new rights, and to make all our customers "compliant by default."

Undertaking this work will mean pressing pause on the development of some new features but this is a major shift in the law that affects all BIDs, regardless of size and shape, and we what to do everything we can to help.

Three key areas require our attention:

  1. Consent and the right to unsubscribe: every data subject must give consent for their data to be processed, including email addresses used for electronic communication. Data Controllers must receive "positive, freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous" consent for their data to be processed. Controllers need to say how long they will hold data for, what they will do with the data, have clear procedures for deleting the data once any deadline passes, and outline the subject's rights. We want Solomon to incorporate a set of tools for managing consents.

  2. The right to access: upon request, any data subject can ask a Data Controller to provide, free of charge and in a commonly used electronic format, copies of any data held about that subject. We want Solomon to incorporate a "one-click" solution for our customers.

  3. The right to be forgotten: every data subject has the right to request that the Controller erase any personal data held concerning them. We want Solomon to incorporate tools that allow you to flag personally identifiable data, and destroy it on-demand. 

GDPR represents the biggest change in data protection rules in two decades. Delivering these new features will require a huge amount of effort from our team but it's essential to us that Solomon customers are compliant by default.

Say hello to Solomon V2

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One of the three big challenges LeedsBID gave our team back in January 2017 when our journey into BID Land began was, "create a giant spreadsheet in the cloud."

With only a month to deliver something the team in Leeds could use to start organising their data, we had to be practical and pick something that already existed to work with. After some pretty intensive research we settled on AirTable; a new kid on the block and a spreadsheet-database hybrid with some awesome superpowers. For over a year, AirTable did the job but as more BIDs joined Solomon, and the volume of data they collected began to swell, cracks appeared. By the end of December 2016, we decided "enough is enough" and began planning something that would eventually replace AirTable, native to the Solomon platform and accessible within the same interface as our other great features. We decided to call it Directory

We also had a backlog of feature requests and suggested improvements that we wanted to deliver along side the launch of the Directory. 

In January 2017, our team of four engineers (Nate, Ste, Michal and Jack) and one designer (Joel) started work on what became our biggest development project so far. For nine months, they have poured everything they've got into their work and the result is Solomon V2, which we are pleased to be launching today.

It would be too much to list all the improvements we're rolling with V2, so I'm going to summarise some of the major changes:


New Layout

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We pride ourselves on Solomon's usability and the new and better-organised layout makes it easier than ever for users to find their way around. 


Timeline

The ultimate transparency tool: add activities to each business's timeline, giving them visibility on all the value you are adding.


Directory

Total control of your data, right inside Solomon. Manage, tag, sort, filter and export your data on-demand. Log everything you do to benefit your members. 


Votes and Ballot Insights

Our new Vote records mean you can track voting intentions and the Ballot Insights report helps you to forecast the outcome.


What next?

You'd think that, after nine-months working at full steam, we'd be ready for a long break. Wrong answer! We've got loads of ideas for great new features and we're diving right back in.

We're ALWAYS open to new ideas! Please use the live chat facility to feedback your suggestions and feature requests.

We'll spend the next fortnight reviewing all the options, and listening to our customers' priorities. After that, we will be publishing a public roadmap detailing what we're working on and when you should expect to see new features landing. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter (below) for the latest news.