Winning Ways – British Super Bikes and beyond…

MOTO GP, Bikes and Me

Championship Podium Winner Moto GP

My love of two wheels started at the age of eleven.  My heart was set on racing.. I loved MOTO GP – (I still do) – and by the time I was twenty-one, I was winning British Motor Bike Championships.  It was the start of a successful ten-year career.

They were fantastic days, and the sport itself is a great university for life – what you learn about people, yourself and the culture of sport is priceless.

One of the things that struck me in my early days is that being a good rider, is just not enough – it’s ‘expert knowledge’ that is also key.  But that sort of knowledge is often deemed ‘top secret’ and is not willingly shared- if a team has spent £5000 on a practice day to work on an improvement that gives them the edge, you’re naturally not going to share it around, as that would be giving away the advantage.  But some people in the racing world were very generous of spirit and simply wanted you to succeed; they were prepared to share a life’s work!  I was lucky, as this generosity came my way on more than one occasion…

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Pet Therapy

Having read the blog by our Sales Director, Peter McManus, about music and mood – yes, I’d agree my mood is definitely influenced by what I listen to music-wise, and vice versa.  To get myself into a positive mood and buzzing, I love ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ by Swedish House Mafia… a thumping beat…superb.  (Listen to the track)

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I like the sound of that

Currently sitting in my home office with the rain thrashing against the windows, I’m trying to drown the sound out with some chilled out music.

Given that most of us have mobile devices, we never have to worry about being too far away from our favourite music. There are songs to lift… songs to inspire… and songs we can totally get lost in. And if like me, you consider music to be very important in your life, then you’re most likely playing music whilst reading this post!

I sometimes listen out on the train for the music people are playing through earphones – my observation – the different tracks often mirror their different moods or is it the other way round? Fascinating stuff….


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Upgrade Now – New Improved Help available…(v1.20)

Following Salesforce’s Summer 14 release, we have a new version of Improved Help available for you – Improved Help v1.20.


  • Easier ways for authors to manage ‘Data Driven Help’
  • Ability to help-enable section headings on standard page layouts
  • Ability to use your own custom Visual Force pages in embedded callouts – we call these Content Driven Callouts!
  • Enhanced interactive Help Guides
  • Custom Styling – Highlighting the help created around elements on any page. (See sample graphic below)
  • Summer 15 ready – for when Salesforce disables javascript sidebar components (next year – look out for more information on this topic from us!)
  • Minor bug fixes – Did you spot any and not tell us?

v1.20 Graphic

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Eating our own dog food

If a company is selling you something to improve your business, isn’t it good practice if they’re using their own solutions to improve their own business?  Shouldn’t they be prepared to show you what they’re doing and how they’re doing it?

We believe so!

Bowl Of Dog Food

‘Eating our own dog food’ is at the core of Improved Apps structure and strategy.

We see the need…we put it to the test (for real)… and then we make it available for everyone!  Well, everyone who’s a Salesforce customer anyway.

And we welcome feedback – we’re not standing alone driving innovation and product strategy.  Many of our customers also input their own requirements and needs, which drives us further still…making our solutions even better.  That’s why we’re called Improved Apps!

 So how do we eat our own dog food?

Well for starters, our telesales execs, before they dial, are a click away to get a script and pointers on their approach to assist them in any conversation – whether it’s a first contact…a follow-up call after a trade show…or a chat about an up-coming webinar.  It’s dynamic help – the right help, at the right time – to support our sales team.  If they need marketing collateral, it’s there too – helping them every step of the way of the sales journey.

And our support teams don’t miss out either – all the customers’ key issues are captured and then made available in Salesforce – so no need to check a single email!  What a relief for customer support as well as the customer!

And naturally, helping our team helps us as a business – we’ve seen employee onboarding speeds ramp up. New users come into the business…they know the help is at their fingertips, and if it’s not, they feed it back and we simply embed more of what they need – that way it helps the whole team… that way we’re all hAPPy chAPPies!

Puppy and Treats

So give yourself a treat – don’t just take our word for it – get on one of our demos and we’ll show you how we benefit from our own solutions… Just be ready to be blown away!


Simply log your request here. Thank you.


By Simon Thompson – Customer Success Director @ Improved Apps

A Flash Of Inspiration

It had been one of those weeks. I’m pretty sure we all have them from time to time: deadlines approaching, projects not progressing, to-do list expanding exponentially. The kind of week where your computer locks up every time you finally manage to make that vital, hard won edit to your masterpiece of a planning document or your internet connection goes down in the middle of a particularly important web conference your boss asked you to lead. The week in which you miraculously secure the career-enhancing meeting with the senior VP you’ve been trying to catch for months, only to get delayed en route by some ridiculous office- or transport-based misadventure that is as implausible as your excuses subsequently sound to the exec in question. The kind of working week where you curse the technology of our age for ensnaring us and not liberating us. You know the kind of week I mean.


Added to that, the UK had been “enjoying” a bout of unusually sultry weather. Nothing that would trouble anyone living on the Tropic of Capricorn, you understand, but sufficient to deprive your average Brit of sleep, given ill-prepared Victorian air conditioning (open windows) and a constitution more honed to the demands of light drizzle than sunshine.


Thus it was that when Friday evening finally arrived I was happier than usual to put my computer to bed for the weekend and begin the process of unwinding with a walk. I’m fortunate to live a few streets away from what the locals around here like to think of as “the sea”: the Thames Estuary probably wouldn’t pass muster for those accustomed to drinking in a vista of Pacific rollers – or even the murky swell at Skegness – but there are worse sights to behold on a summer evening. There’s a pleasant stroll to be had along a ridge of high ground that runs parallel to the promenade. It affords the visitor an uninterrupted view of the Kent coast some six miles away, wending its way past power station chimneys and sleek wind turbines before it heads for the more timeless skylines of Whitstable, Reculver and Thanet, where the tired river finally reaches the long-dreamed of North Sea.


When I arrived, the mid-summer sun was setting somewhere behind skeins of formless, grey clouds that spoke of humidity but weren’t quite ready to deliver relief to the thirsty earth. The air was completely still and the sea flat calm. About a mile from the beach, a pair of diminutive sailing dinghies were struggling to make any headway towards the entrance to a small channel that grants safe passage back to the local cockleboat wharves at all states of the tide. Lights on their masts were joined by the dim amber glow of Kent’s sodium street lamps and the intermittent blossoming of traffic signals marking the change from red season to green and back again.


The scene, whilst pretty in its way, was as familiar to me as it surely was to any other local that night – and yet…

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