All-In-One Field Service Management Software by Aptora –

FAQ for Total Office Manager Next Gen


Aptora’s Total Office Manager® is undergoing a complete rewrite. We are calling the next generation of Total Office Manager – Total Office Manager Next Gen.

There have been some misconceptions about the Total Office Manager Next Gen software, the reasons for creating it, and how we will be releasing it. Hopefully this FAQ will clear up some of the misconceptions. Please feel free to contact Aptora if you still have any questions. We would love to talk with you more about it.

  1. Q: Why did Aptora create a totally new version of Total Office Manager? Why not just keep improving the program you already sell?

A: Aptora sold the first copy of Total Office Manager in 2004. It is used by some of the largest HVAC companies in America. The features and workflow have been perfected and finetuned over those nineteen years. We didn’t need to redesign the software, we needed to rebuild what we already have. The technology that has served our clients so well has become outdated. Adding new features and bug fixing has become inefficient. Total Office Manager Next Gen is built for rapid accurate development. That means Aptora can deliver more features in less time.

  1. Q: When will Total Office Manager Next Gen be available for current customers?

A: We are scheduled to begin releasing the software on April 1st, 2024. Companies that use our hosting service will begin receiving notices first. This will be a “phased rollout”. We will not be making the update available to all hosted companies at the same time. It will take several months for all companies to receive the update. We have not determined a release date for our on-premises (self-hosted) companies.

  1. Q: How much will we have to pay to upgrade?

A: If you have had continuous service agreement coverage for Total Office Manager, there will be no charge for Total Office Manager Next Gen. You must not let your service agreement expire. You will have the same features you have already paid for. Aptora will offer additional software systems and capabilities that take users far beyond what they currently have for a reasonable fee. This is no different than when we released our text reminder and notification system. We have a small fee for each text sent and received. We will have more information about availability and pricing later.

  1. Q: Will Aptora have to perform a data migration from our existing Total Office Manager program?

A: No migration will be needed. Both programs use the same database. We have made many architectural improvements to the database. Total Office Manager Next Gen will make those changes to your database without you knowing anything about the process.

  1. Q: How long will it take to learn the new Total Office Manager Next Gen software?

A: Somewhere between no time and very little time. We rewrote the program; we did not change the way you use it. Total Office Manager is a proven highly refined software program that did not need to be redesigned, it needed to be modernized. Total Office Manager Next Gen and Total Office Manager have the same forms, same reports, and the same features. Even the labels have the same words as before. The right-click menus are the same. Your workflow will remain the same. Our existing help files will barely need to be modified.

  1. Q: Why would we want to buy or learn the software now? Why wouldn’t we just wait until the new program comes out?

A: You will pay a lot more for Total Office Manager Next Gen than you would for Total Office Manager. Best of all, when Total Office Manager Next Gen is released, you will get it for free and you will keep paying the cheaper fees. Everything you learn about Total Office Manager will apply directly to Total Office Manager Next Gen. The new version will use the same database as the current version so there is no migration or loss of data. You will not need to learn new software. You will benefit from the giant head start you will have from investing in Total Office Manager now. There is no reason to wait, but there are plenty of reasons not to wait.

  1. Q: How will accessing Total Office Manager Next Gen be different than Total Office Manager?

Total Office Manager Next Gen is a true 100% webapp. The system will not use an RDP Connection. You will access it with a browser. Users’ login via an Employee Portal and there will be two-factor authentication. Once logged in, all software programs and systems that you have a license and authorization to access will be available without logging in again.

  1. Q: What new features will be included in Total Office Manager Next Gen?

Total Office Manager Next Gen has been built for speed. It will handle an extremely large number of records and transactions with ease. It will be much faster. Forms will open and close almost instantly. Searching for records will be faster than ever. We have made dozens of enhancements and improvements that were not possible with the older technology we used. Total Office Manager Next Gen features a cutting-edge API, and we are using the latest technology for data security. There is an Employee Portal that features single sign-on. This gives each user access to all the systems and features that are authorized to access without the need for logging into each We have a complete list of new features below.

  1. Q: Will we still be able to maintain multiple company files and switch between them?

A WebApp typically does not allow you to maintain separate company files for different businesses or for training, but we will. Our users love this feature and we have worked hard to make sure we include it.

  1. Q: How can we get a complete list of changes and new features in Total Office Manager Next Gen?

Here is a link to a more complete list of new features and improvements. Please keep in mind that this is not a complete list. We will update this list as more features become available. In the same document, we are also provide you with a software development roadmap that expresses our vision for the future of Total Office Manager Next Gen.

  • Please Note: Our staff will not be able to give you a timeline or additional details. We do not want to create any misunderstandings. We will update this document as more information becomes available.
  • Be sure to attend our regular Total Office Manager Next Gen Reveal event. That’s your opportunity to see this new program demonstrated and explained.
  1. Q: What changes and improvements have been made to software security?

Total Office Manager Next Gen is protected by a hardened proprietary Authorization Service. It provides a single sign-on experience for all apps. We also provide 2-factor authentication. When you log in, Total Office Manager Next Gen contacts the authorization service and requests a security token. If you provide the correct username and password, you are issued the token. That token is used to access all software services Aptora provides. End-to-end encryption using OAuth 2.0 (pronounced oh-auth2) and OpenID Connect, assures you are protected with the best possible technology.

  1. Q: What can we do with the API Aptora has been talking so much about? How will that help my company?

An API, or Application Programming Interface, allows you to connect existing software to Total Office Manager Next Gen. An API acts like a bridge between software programs. Using our API, someone can design their own timesheet in Excel and still seamlessly connect it to our ERP, fetching and updating data automatically without manual entry. It’s like having a special adapter that lets two different gadgets work together smoothly.

  • An API is like a waiter in a restaurant. You, the customer, give your order to the waiter (the API) . The waiter then goes to the kitchen (Total Office Manager Next Gen) to get your food (the data or functionality you requested). Once the food is ready, the waiter brings it back to you. In this way, the API communicates your requests to the system and returns the system’s responses to you, without you needing to know all the details of what’s happening in the kitchen.
  • Now, you might think, “I’m not a tech person; why should I care?” Here’s the beauty: you don’t need to be! But if ever there comes a time when you have a unique business need or a creative idea, having the API means you have the power to make it happen. It’s like having a universal remote’s instruction manual. You might not need it today, but it’s invaluable when the day comes.
  • In essence, with our API-first approach to Total Office Manager Next Gen development, we’re giving you the potential to ‘have it your way’ with your business software. Whether you want to use that potential now, or in the future, it’s always there for you.
  1. Q: How will Aptora Mobile II® work with Total Office Manager Next Gen?

There will not be many differences except we will continue to improve AMII. The email and texting system will also be replaced. We will also be replacing the Chat system. Remember that you can use the entire Total Office Manager Next Generation in the field too.

  1. Q: Will Aptora still offer a self-hosted (on-premises) version?

Yes. We will offer both options.

Feature List and Roadmap
Total Office Manager Next Generation


Partial Feature List

Introduction

This is our best effort to try and provide a feature list useful roadmap for software development as it relates to Total Office Manager – Next Gen. This information is subject to change. We are not able to provide exact details of how things will work or a precise description of capabilities. Software development is fluid in nature. Our commitment is to provide our clients with a modernized software system that does what it currently does, faster, better, and more reliably.

Where to Get More Information

Please read our Total Office Manager – Next Gen frequently asked questions page.

Please Note: Our staff will not be able to give you a timeline or additional details. We do not want to create any misunderstandings. We will update this document as more information becomes available.

Be sure to attend our regular TOM Next Generation Reveal event. That’s your opportunity to see this new program demonstrated and explained.

Newest and Most Modern Accounting System in the USA

Aptora 360° is the name for our entire suite of field service business management software programs. Total Office Manager will become Total Office Manager – Next Gen. We believe it will be the newest full enterprise level ERP accounting system in the USA. We know of no company in the USA that is building an enterprise level ERP accounting system. There seems to be very little interest in building accounting software. Everyone builds to interface with QuickBooks and others generic software programs like them.

Total Office Manager Next Gen Features

Most of these features came straight from our Feature Request system at support.aptora.com. Thank you for your feedback.

  1. End-to-End, best in the industry API availability with extensive documentation. *
  2. Fast 100% 64-bit architecture
  3. Significantly faster. Built for speed. Improved database design.
  4. Asynchronous Task Execution: Total Office Manager Next Generation now allows tasks to be executed asynchronously. This means that long-running tasks, such as saving data, running reports, data processing, file uploads, or complex calculations, can be performed in the background, without blocking the main application thread. We will include monitoring tools for clients to monitor their own systems.
  5. The UI (user interface) scales smoothly to nearly and screen size and resolution.
  6. You can increase and decrease screen magnification and the UI scales and repositions controls properly.
  7. The UI has a fresh consistent color scheme that is designed to reduce eye strain.
  8. Read only access to forms. You will be able to grant permission to open a form (like a customer or invoice) and restrict the user to view but not edit the information.
  9. Total Office Manager – Next Gen’s help system will utilize advanced artificial intelligence.
  10. Very Secure. End-to-end encryption using reliable https.
  11. Unified Single Sign-on with Two-Factor Authentication.
  12. Database has been optimization with Entity Framework.
  13. Can handle very large amounts of records and data.
  14. A new Centralized Admin area for security, settings, and utilities.
  15. Fast seamless “no touch” software updates. We can provide constant improvements.
  16. Reworked and modernized the integrated email system.
  17. All new integrated texting system. Quickly text from various forms.
  18. The Document Manager has been completely redesigned to function more like Microsoft OneDrive® or Dropbox®. *
  19. Major systems are now modularized. The Sales Opportunity Manager, Reporting system, payroll, and other major systems run as individual applications. They are completely integrated, as they are now. They run in their own memory space for speed, efficiency, and application stability.
  20. Employee Portal with Payroll information and more (more details are coming). *
  21. Automatic Direct Deposit option allows you to skip exporting and uploading NACHA files for payroll. *
  22. Improved payroll tax localization with auto setup by location. *
  23. Manual payroll tax calculator and the ability to manually create a payroll check.
  24. Payroll E-filing. Transmit 1099 and W2 forms. Later we will add 940 and 941 forms.
  25. The ability to send payroll to an employee’s “Pay Card”. This is like a debit card and allows your employee to have super-fast access to their money. Great for millennials. 
  26. Modern custom report building system with advanced capabilities.
  27. We now have an in-app chat system to communicate with coworkers.
  28. The Memorized Transaction feature has been improved. It features a simpler dynamic design and more capability. These now run in the background.
  29. Forms now include “Breadcrumbs” (allowing you to quickly back out to where you came from).
  30. Important live news feed from Aptora.
  31. Reports feature infinite scrolling (called Lazy Load). Large reports may load almost instantly. Additional report pages load only if needed as you scroll. A 1000+ page report might load in 2 to 3 seconds.
  32. We have built a dedicated Report Manager that can be opened independently.
  33. Improved User Defined Fields. They include enhanced masking and new options.
  34. You can share contacts in the various Contacts tabs between Customers, Vendors, Employees, etc.
  35. Totally redesigned timesheet form (you spoke, and we listened).
  36. Timesheet entry lists (see all timesheet entries in a searchable list).
  37. Navigation is faster and we have added breadcrumbs to the forms.
  38. Quick Add a Vendor and others. Add only the minimum info and add details later.
  39. Audit trail will include information about changes made to each field on a form.
  40. Drag rows up and down on invoices and other forms.
  41. Improved filtering on lists (like Excel).
  42. One source code base. Fix a bug in one place and it is fixed everywhere.
  43. Software features and entire systems will be much easier and quicker to add. Example: Outlook or MailChimp integration.
  44. Invoice, Sales, and Estimate sequential numbers are now independent. Total Office Manager currently numbers all three forms as if they were one form.
  45. The Invoice/Sales/Credit/Estimate lists are now two separate lists. Invoices and Credits are on the same list.
  46. State-of-the-art credit card security using tokenization.
  47. Credit card processing speed is much faster, and the process has been streamlined. 
  48. Enhanced search, filter, and export capabilities on all lists (like Excel®).
  49. The export features on reports have been improved with better conversions and direct download for hosted users.
  50. The major lists now include paging. You can select how many items (rows) per page.
  51. Drag and drop item and expense rows (change item order with your mouse).
  52. Microsoft Excel® type column filtering on all lists.
  53. The menu system feature a Mega Menu concept. It is easier to navigate and features full search.
  54. History forms allow customer, vendor, and employee switching (parent selection on all History forms).
  55. You may now switch items on the Item History form.
  56. We have a new report menu search that will locate any report by keyword.
  57. Faster access to reports (from forms). We are adding shortcuts to various forms for related reports. This makes it easier to get to related reports.

*Certain aspects of this feature will be offered for a reasonable fee or as a paid option.

Software Roadmap

The following is a list of things we will be doing after the initial release of Total Office Manager – Next Gen. Please keep in mind that some new features will be offered for a reasonable fee. Not all of them are free. Our staff will not be able to give you a timeline, additional details, or pricing. We will update this as more information becomes available.

  1. Cloud or Private Self-Hosted. We will offer both options. Please Note: We will be releasing updates for our cloud users first and our on-prem users after that.
  2. Total Office Manager – Next Gen will utilize advanced artificial intelligence. Our priority is to build a Support Chatbot that can provide the same quality of answers provided by ChatGPT. We hope to provide automation and other labor-saving tools. This is an emerging technology, so a lot of decisions have yet to be made. We will update everyone on this as more decisions are made.
  3. Item Receipts will no longer be converted to Bills and then deleted. When a Bill is created, the Item Receipt remains but is locked. This allows users to have transaction dates for the Item Receipt and the Bill. This enhances accounting reports by improving our adherence to the matching principle.
  4. Total Office Manager – Next Gen and the Mobile App will become the same software program. We will offer extensive UI (User Interface) options to precisely finetune the system for most any mobile device.
  5. Our mobile app will eventually offer offline capability. If the internet connection is lost, the app will synch up when the connection is regained.
  6. When viewing a record, you will see who is viewing or editing that record.
  7. Total Office Manager – Next Gen, powered by Microsoft Blazor, offers a seamless experience whether you’re at your desk or on the go with a mobile device. It’s fast, adaptable, and built to serve the modern user, ensuring our clients have the best tools at their fingertips no matter where they are.
  8. You will be able to open a form and see who else is in the process of editing that form.
  9. Robust Auditing. Each form will have its own detailed audit trail. You will be able to see who edited each field, what the old value was, and the date/time of each edit.
  10. Employees will be able to get their W2, paycheck stubs, and other information from the Employee Portal.
  11. Tight integration with Microsoft 365.
  12. We will be building API examples for users to use as starting points for their own system solutions.
  13. Ability to offer a multi-language interface.
  14. The ability to schedule report generation with options to email them. There will be a reasonable fee for this.
  15. We will offer a Help-Desk Software option.
  16.  
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