Last Friday night we invited all the sales, office, and tech support staff to attend a dinner and demonstration of the new features in Accordance 9. For many of them, this was their first chance to see what the development staff has been working so hard to produce. Dr. J and I both made long drives to be there as well, even though we had been testing the new features for weeks. After all, we both need to be able to tell you about everything that’s new, and we’ve been around Accordance long enough to know that there would surely be cool little features even we hadn’t discovered yet.

Dinner was delicious, and I enjoyed the chance to catch up with some of the coworkers I don’t get to see every day. After dessert, we settled in for the demo, and I was excited to see how everyone would react to the new stuff.

I’ve never seen Accordance demonstrated without hearing ooohs and ahhhs from the crowd, and our sales staff was no different. They were impressed with the simplicity and convenience of the new Groups feature, the speed and utility of the revamped Search All window, and the aesthetic appeal of all the changes to the program’s interface. But without a doubt, Workspace Zones elicited the loudest reactions. Once they saw how easily you could drag tabs and zones around to arrange your workspace however you like, they got very excited. Zones is the feature I was talking about when I tweeted a few weeks ago: “Testing an upcoming feature that is so freakin’ cool I just want to giggle. Love my job.”

Easy Install was the next feature to be demonstrated. Where zones are flashy and cool, Easy Install is a simple feature that just works. While it didn’t get any ooohs and ahhhs, I saw the sales staff’s eyes light up at the prospect of users being able to download and install new modules without having to mess with shipping disks or entering cryptic unlock codes.

At the end of the evening, we rushed through the powerful new syntax features of Accordance 9. Even so, this was the part of the evening where I learned the most. I’ve been testing and playing with syntax searching for some time now, but I quickly learned that there are several cool syntactical features that had completely slipped by me. I was definitely glad I came.

So you can hear their reactions directly, I asked some of the sales staff to tell me what most impressed them about Accordance 9. Here are their reactions:

What I got out of the meeting was the amount of dedication I saw from those who have put this together. The careful thought and deliberation that was put into this is just amazing and it certainly shows that these people love doing what God has called them to do and to see the knowledge and foresight He gave them to come out with such a great product.

The “search-all” feature blew me away.

—Keith, Tech Support

Seeing the inner workings of version 9 has confirmed why I love working for Accordance. The many hours and dedication the developers have committed to these past several months I know will continue to enhance the Biblical studies needed by students, pastors and scholars.

—Jackie, Seminars and Shows

I think the most impressive new feature is the new zones feature since it will help to organize our studies and make the use of Accordance that much better! From the sales point of view, I also like the new ability to download most of the product we have available via Easy Install.

—Martha, Sales Manager

What about Accordance 9 impressed me most? I would say… the simplicity… the speed… and the flexibility is greater than any previous version.

—Steve, Sales

I was very impressed with version 9: the Easy Install and speed along with the new look. Zones are also very impressive. I love it.

—Margaret, Customer Service

What impresses me the most with version 9 is the “Easy Install” feature. From the perspective of a sales rep, it simplifies the entire process starting from the beginning when the order is placed and ending with the installation of the product.

—Michele, Sales

So there you have it. Everyone inside the company is excited about Accordance 9. We’re confident you’ll be excited too once you get a chance to play with it. It won’t be long now. . .