Tag Archives: mobile technology

40% Off IconCMO Lite

Version 1.2 of the IconCMO Lite App is now available!

Some minor bugs were fixed and a ‘Go to Household’ button was added on the Member Detail screen. The biggest change is the price reduction – you can now purchase the app for only $2.99! If you already have the app, you can install the update for free by following the directions below.

To install the update:

  1. Connect your device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) to the Internet.
  2. On the home screen, tap the “App Store” icon.
  3. On the bottom right corner of the screen, tap the “Updates” tab to display a list of available updates for your apps.
  4. On the right, tap the gray “Update” button.
  5. You will now be prompted to enter a password – this is the same password you use to make App Store purchases.
  6. Tap the “OK” button to download and install the update.

IconCMO Lite is a native iOS (iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch) app from Italic Software, Inc. The app provides pastors, staff, and even church members with the ability to view demographic data from IconCMO on the go – visit www.iconcmo.com for more information or visit the iTunes Store to download the app.


Special Church Management Software Issue of Christian Computing Magazine!

Icon Systems recently had the honor of contributing to another Christian Computing Magazine cover story – you can read the full article here. The 2011 Church Management Software (ChMS) Overview is put together by the magazine’s various ChMS company sponsors. It is an excellent resource for organizations on the market – whether they are purchasing church management software for the first time or simply looking for a better fit.

Make sure to check it out for sure if you participated in our customer feedback survey last month – we included many of your comments! (In case you were wondering – yes, getting quoted in a magazine cover story gives you bragging rights for at least a year so by all means feel free to shamelessly forward the article to everyone in your contact list!)

Unfortunately due to word count restrictions, we could not include all of your fabulous testimonials, but we would sincerely like to thank each person who responded to the survey; every single one of the numerous endorsements and suggestions we received help us continue to deliver affordable, complete church management software solutions to churches everywhere.


Church Software Jargon: Universal App

Definition of Universal Application:

A Universal app is optimized to run on all iOS devices. It’s essentially an iPhone app and an iPad app built as one. (Although iPhone apps can be accessed on the iPad, they tend to be blown-up and distorted.) A Universal app can automatically determine which device it’s running on and provide the best experience for that device. Universal apps can be identified by a “+” symbol next to the price. (Apple)

You can share your apps for free — legally!

Since Italic Software designed IconCMO Lite as a Universal app, one license will cover all of your iOS devices. Not only does the Universal app work on both your iPhone and iPad, but if you purchased an app, you can legally download it on multiple computers and even share with your family without paying for it again. (But if you really want to pay for the app multiple times we won’t stop you!)

Do you own more than one iOS device? Read this:

These steps will work for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch – but for demonstration purposes we will say you purchased IconCMO Lite for your iPhone and also want to install the app on your iPad.

  1. Make sure you are logged into the App Store on your iPad with the same Apple ID (i.e. iTunes Store account) you used to initially purchase the app on your iPhone. * If you use a different Apple ID for your iPad, follow the directions below instead so you will be able to update the app later.
  2. Go to the App Store.
  3. Tap on Purchased from the bottom navigation bar and find IconCMO Lite. * For iPhone or iPod touch, tap Updates from the bottom navigation bar then tap Purchased.
  4. Download the app. You may get a pop-up saying you have already purchased the app and may download again it for free. You will also need to re-enter your Apple ID password.

Do you want to share with other members of your household (e.g. spouse, children)? Read this:

You can share your copy of IconCMO Lite with your family. At least one computer with the latest version of iTunes is needed, but you can authorize your Apple ID on up to five computers. The app can then be installed on any of the iOS devices synced to those computers. Just keep in mind you can sync as many devices as you want to an iTunes library, but you can only sync each device to one iTunes library.

You and your spouse, Jamie, both have iPhones and you want to share an app you purchased with him or her; however, you each have your own Apple IDs and laptops. So total you have two iPhones, two Apple IDs, and two computers.

  1. Go to Jamie’s computer and launch iTunes.
  2. Log Jamie out of iTunes and log in with your own Apple ID.
  3. Under ‘Store’ click ‘Authorize this computer’ and re-enter your password.
  4. Click ‘App Store.’
  5. Click ‘Purchased’ to view a list of apps you have already purchased.
  6. Find the app you want to share and download it.
  7. The app will now show in the Library under ‘Apps.’
  8. Log out of iTunes and log in with Jamie’s Apple ID.
  9. Connect Jamie’s iPhone to the computer and sync it with iTunes. * For detailed instructions on syncing a device, please visit Apple Support.
  10. The app is now installed on Jamie’s phone!

It is Here – The First Android Church Software

Icon Systems has released the first, completely functioning church software that includes membership, contributions, fund accounting, payroll, small groups, attendance, and gifts on the Android Operating System for the tablet market. We felt it important to release the full system for the tablet market and not just a “lite” or “slimmed” down version that only shows only demographic information. Why did we decide to do this for our clients? The iPad with 15 million sold in 11 months is the fastest selling technology hardware device in history – EVER. We believe tablets (Androids, iPads, etc.) will eventually replace the laptop for majority of the population. Secondly, the mobile devices adheres to our motto of Anytime, Anywhere access.

Laptops only were able to get people partially the way to being completely mobile. The tablets will take the user the rest of the way. After we released the iPad version of IconCMO on Aug. 3rd, we received a call on Aug. 17th from Steve Hewitt of CCMag about doing a cover story on mobile computing.

At the time of this writing the Android version of the IconCMO is in Beta testing and getting ready to be put out to our clients! Many people will ask why did we decide to quickly turn and do this for the Android market? There are two reasons. First, Steve mentioned a survey where majority of church leaders and staff prefer the Android tablet over the iPad for its Flash capabilities instead of the iPad. This market trend is different than the rest of the population that uses the iPad. Secondly, companies say they are the leaders in church management software with innovations but most come up short because of the technology they use is outdated for the current technology era.

When technology that is used allows you to release a full Church Management Software (ChMS) solution on an Android tablet in weeks not months or years – this shows innovation, the right technology in the right era, speed of development, agility of management, and the true leaders of the church software industry – Icon Systems. Please read the full article about mobile computing that was published in CCMag. Tell us what you think.


Cloud Computing – Security Myths Explained for Churches.

Cloud computing church management (or cloud based church management) is really a no-brainer for churches. The biggest advantage for the smaller church is; it frees up the time for the minister or other staff that are stretched thin to minister to the community and their members. It allows them to further their mission without worrying about the back-end data. For the larger organization; it saves them the nightly backup headaches, money from hiring an IT staff, and time. At Icon Systems we often hear several reasons why a church won’t move their data to the cloud. One is because of the security of their data. The data security issue is often laughable. When a church compares its current security practices with the safeguards available in the cloud by IT professionals, state of the art data centers, and security consultants at a fraction of the cost, this discussion usually vaporizes.

Often one of the underlying issues is that someone does not want the data taken from the church’s property. This reason is ironic because every security expert would agree that your data should be kept in at least two places which would force the organization to take the data off the premise. Additionally, security experts agree that the data should be a considerable distance apart because of natural catastrophes – IE: 1,000 miles or greater because of floods, hurricanes, or tornadoes. One of the most efficient and effective ways to accomplish this is to send it to the cloud at another location. When you start factoring in the cost of doing this as one organization it simply does not pay, because the organization can not leverage economies of scale like a software company that serves thousands of clients. Economies of scale is also why churches can not hire proficient security consultants in the industry for the servers they have in their data center. Churches are hiring one person to take care of one organization instead of hiring one person to take care of thousands of organizations with the same hardware and software architecture.

Another aspect that is often over looked for on premise computing is the budgets for the infrastructure that houses the servers. The budgets for on premise computing is relentlessly being cut back and one of those repercussions is security. In fact one of the first things to be cut is the security. The opposite is true for companies that are in the business of offering cloud computing solutions. They invest their revenue into state of the art facilities so they can have better hardware, software, security measures, data centers, remote recovery procedures, etc. at their disposal and beat their competition. This is one of the reasons Icon Systems is one of the only software companies that offer 256 bit data encryption the entire time the user is logged in – a feature that other companies charge extra for. The data centers they use are seen as profit centers (how they make their money) and not overhead (loss money with no return) as in other organizations. Cloud computing companies see security as part of their bread and butter because without investing in it they would go bankrupt.

Can cloud computing be scary from the security stand point? – Yes it can be. Understanding where the fear comes from within the organization is job number one. Assessing that fear to see if it is a valid fear or a myth is the next step. If it truly exist then what steps are necessary to minimize the risk? Does the solution provider have the right protocols in place for it? Remember this important rule – cloud computing is just as safe if not safer than on premise computing.

Jay
Technical Sales – Data Conversions – Multisite Strategies
Icon Systems, Inc.

Article by Church Tech Today – Visitation

Lauren always comes up with thought provoking questions within the church. This time it is about visitation. Is it really breaking the ice or the follow up after wards for your organization? Read her latest thoughts on Church Tech Today Website!


Icon Systems Interviewed by Christian Computing Magazine – Steve Hewitt

Recently Steve Hewitt (Editor-in-Chief) of CCMag interviewed Icon Systems in regards to mobile computing in the church industry and how it can help churches in their missions. There is so many technological advantages to using mobile devices that not using them would be a disadvantage for any organization that wants to further their mission. Some of the uses are taking attendance, using it in the mission field, taking prayer notes, posting things to social networks immediately, updating profiles, creating reports on the fly, monitoring the church service through security cameras, child check in, multisite communication, etc. Continue reading the full interview!


%d bloggers like this: