Podcast Episode 31 - Rock v7.2, v8 and New Office
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Updates on Spark Development
We have moved! (A little). Spark relocated to a neighboring suite recently, as has happened several times in the last few years. But hopefully this is a suite we can stay in for a while. Look for a video tour to be posted soon.
Rock version 7
v7 is really close to being ready to be pushed out! There are just a few last-minute bugs identified, so we're solving those before we open it to early access. When it does come out, we expect the final version number to be 7.2, so look for that soon. Thanks to the incredible community for testing our beta builds!
Lots of roadshows are coming up, all over the country. These are run and hosted by some of the Rock community churches - they use it and are very familiar for it. If you're looking at Rock and evaluating if Rock is a good fit for you, these free events are for you. We'll introduce you to the software, the community, and set some expectations, and answer any questions you have as well. It's also a great place to connect with the community. rockrms.com/roadshows
We also have registrations open for Rock Master Classes - these are for the people who are functioning as a Rock Database Administrator - the liaison on your staff who works deeply with Rock to meet the needs of your ministers. This class will take you from zero to 60 with Rock in just three days. rockrms.com/masterclass
The yearly conference is where you can come and see the latest of what's going on with Rock - and even the future direction of Rock. This is where you'll want to bring all of the innovators in your church; people who want to know the best way to accomplish new things in Rock. This is where you're going to get the best ideas for moving your ministry forward, based on what you see other churches doing. Bring at least your technical leads to this conference as you have in the past, but we're introducing a lot of new tracks this year, so you'll want to bring anyone who wants to analyze data, work with your web presence, your communication team, etc. Basically, the leads of any ministries who could be benefited by Rock, will definitely get something out of this conference. Early bird registration price is going to go away soon, so register soon!
Like our conference attendance has doubled every year, organizations using and deploying Rock has also been doubling every year. And we're a small core group, so we are looking and evaluating how we can grow our core team as well. We have made some great connections with people who are technically skilled and have a great heart for the Church, so we are in a place where we would love to start making some offers. But we can't do that until we can get our pledges up to a level where we know we can support them. If your church hasn't sent your pledge for 2018 yet, please do so when you can, so we can bolster the core team and start getting new features out to you! rockrms.com/pledge
Another way we have been bringing some funding in, is through our consulting work. This helps us, but also frequently brings new tools into existence that then get made available to all Rock churches. Recent projects have included a National Change of Address block, so you can get your people's contact information updated when they move, some jobs that automate data that changes, and a Family Pre-Registration block. We love our consulting partners, and thank them for their generosity in funding these features and allowing them to come to the community at large. (This is all done through Sparkability Group, so if you think that your church could benefit from a partnership like this, contact us through the partners.
So ... what's up next?
Big features we know of already include: Group History, Volunteer Scheduling, enhanced notes (so you can follow a note type or reply to notes). There are also smaller features that we're pulling from the Black Book that maybe you'll recognize, if you've submitted ideas to us. We'll also be polishing the internal portal a bit. So much of the v8 features are community-driven, so it should be a great update