Please note our special holiday hours
- December 24th Christmas Eve: Open 8 am to noon Central Time
- December 25th Christmas Day: Closed
- December 31st New Year’s Eve: Open 8 am to noon Central Time
- January 1st New Year’s Day: Closed
We’ve hired three team members and expanded our facilities! We took over not one, but two office suites adjacent to our existing space. Our expanded office features a conference room, a video recording studio, and workstations to accommodate the additional people.
To celebrate the expansion, we took the first “official” team photo in the company’s two-decade history (we’re not counting pictures taken with point-and-shoot cameras in the nineties.) What can we say? We’re a bunch of geeks who wear jeans to the office every day and keep our heads buried in computer screens. Getting dressed up to take pictures was a big deal!
For more details, read the full press release on
Please note that IconCMO will be unavailable from approximately Midnight to 5:00 AM CST on Wednesday, November 25th. View in your time zone.
We’re always striving to improve IconCMO for you – and that doesn’t just mean improving the user interface and adding to the features list! While not as visible, upgrading the technology and security in the back-end is just as important. Thanks for understanding and planning accordingly!
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend!
I thought it would be nice to put together a post in honor of Thanksgiving. Taking a moment to pause and reflect on what the holiday is really about is refreshing amidst the traveling, football, and shopping chaos. So last week I sent out an email to the entire Icon Systems office asking everyone what they were grateful for.
I fully intended on summarizing everyone’s answers to make the list short and sweet. However, the responses I received from my co-workers were so awesomely heartwarming I couldn’t bring myself to paraphrase their answers.
The photo is a picture I took a few years ago; I was walking through a park in my neighborhood and found a heart-shaped leaf that had fallen on the path.
Another popular customer suggestion has been added to the system! We have added a pop-up calendar to most of the date fields within IconCMO, so now you can just choose a date and click on it. Of course, you still have the option to type in the dates if you wish.
In observance of Memorial Day, the Icon Systems office will be temporarily closed on Monday, May 27th. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, May 28th.
It’s our mission at IconCMO to give you tools that fit the specific needs of your church.
That mission becomes especially challenging when it comes to reports. Church staff often want reports with specific criteria (perhaps a report that includes everyone from a specific town with their cell phone numbers).
We try to accommodate clients as much as we can with our regular reports. Most report windows have somewhere from 10 to 30 different reports you can run, and most reports have filters that allow for you to do some customization.
But, the report lists are getting long enough that it can be hard just looking through them to find what you want, and sometimes clients still can’t get the report they need for a specific purpose.
That’s where custom reports come in.
We need to emphasize the beta here because the Custom Reports window is still in a developmental stage. But it has come a long way since its initial release late last year and is really opening up some exciting possibilities.
It works like this:
1. Go to System: System Tools: Custom Reports.
2. Choose your Data type. Custom Reports has various formats under the categories AR, AP, Contributions, GL, Groups, Membership and Web. (screenshot)
3. Choose your Sort field to define how the report will be sorted (e.g. members’ cities in a – z alphabetical order). (screenshot)
4. Under Fields select what data fields you want to include in the report. (screenshot)
5. Scrolling to the right with the top scroll bar, you can add a Filter (e.g. only including people with last names in the a – j range). (screenshot)
6. Under Search, you can further filter your report by only including lines with a certain name, word or number. For instance, if you type in a certain zip code, only members with that zip code will show up on the report. (screenshot)
The display under your selections lets you see the data you’re producing as you make those selections.
Under File in the upper left of the window, you can save the report you’ve created. Now this doesn’t actually save the report data (the member addresses or such); it saves the fields and filters you’ve chosen. That way, if you come back to print the report later (by going to File and Open), the report will reflect any updates you’ve made to the member or financial information.
Also under File are the options to save or export the report. You can export in three different formats: Excel, XML or JSON.
Let’s say you want a report that lists members that live in the church’s zip code and have a status of Visitor. You want the report to group the members by their city and include their addresses, household phone numbers, and household email addresses.
You can get your report by following these steps:
1. Data – Choose Membership:Directory.
2. Sort – Choose City and set it to A -> Z (or reverse if you prefer).
3. Fields – Check only the boxes in this screenshot.
4. Filter – Choose Status and set both boxes below it to Visitor.
5. Search – Type in the church’s zip code.
You can now go to File to print the report or export it in your desired format.
Maybe you decide that you want to limit the report to just two of the cities in the area. You can export to Excel and then delete the blocks of lines grouped together for the undesired cities.
You may not have access to this new window. Talk to your database’s administrator about getting access to custom reports.
In fact, you administrators may also need to give yourselves access to the window by going to either System: Security: Membership or System: Security: Fund Accounting.
Note that no user will be able to run reports on data that they haven’t been given access to in the other windows. So for instance, if someone hasn’t been given access to view members’ contribution data in the Contributions module, that person won’t be able to run any reports on Contributions in the Custom Reports window.
With Custom Reports, you have the freedom to build your own reports to serve your church’s specific needs.
This tool also greatly reduces the need to create spreadsheets and do all kinds of acrobatic, contortionist procedures on them.
As our custom report window advances, we’re sure it will become an increasingly useful tool and a growing part of our mission to fully serve each and every church.
Try out Custom Reports. Let us know how the reports are working for you, in what situations they are proving especially useful, and what features you would like to see added. Please leave comments on this post and also in the Support Forum (under ‘?help!’ in the upper right of your account screen).
For churches, communicating well with members is crucial, so our member and group emailing features are an important part of our service.
Our recent changes to the CMO emailing system will give a big boost to the performance of our email features, helping your church communicate and stay connected.
Your emails are now processed on a separate server farm, so they no longer share bandwidth with the regular CMO servers. That way, emails can be handled faster, especially large email blasts and emails with attachments. The change also allows IconCMO to operate at optimal capacity regardless of whether large volumes of emails are being sent.
We’ve also changed the message that comes up when you send emails. The message used to say “Emails Sent,” but that’s not quite accurate.
You see, email servers handle emails on a first-come-first-served basis. So if the server receives 10,000 emails, it puts them in what is called a queue (pronounced like “cue”) and prioritized. The queue is like an email waiting room, and the emails are sent out in the same order they come in.
That’s why the new message says “Messages Queued” – to more accurately describe what’s happening. The message also gives a number so you know how many emails have been sent to the server’s queue.
We’ve added another feature. If any of your emails fail, you’ll receive an email back confirming what emails failed and why. Below is an example of such a message.
These changes should better your CMO emailing experience and make it easier to keep people informed.
At Icon Systems we value our clients’ trust. Churches trust us to ensure their data is secure, reliable, and always accessible.
We wanted to inform our clients that in 2013, we have replaced every server that the IconCMO application runs on for our clients. We have also replaced the servers for the blog and website.
All the servers that are in the current setup have a terabyte (TB) or more of data storage.
Some fun facts to give everyone an idea of how much 1 TB is:
50,000 trees made into paper and printed is equal to 1 TB.
Having 1,000 copies of the full edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica is equal to 1 TB.
1 TB can hold a million minutes of MP3 music.
1 TB can remember 8,000 times more data than the average human.
Wikipedia’s raw data dump of the entire site on Jan 2010 was 5.87 TB’s.
The first 20 years worth of observation by the Hubble Space Telescope amassed a little more than 45 TB’s of data.
As of April 2011, the Library of Congress has collected about 235 TB’s of data total and adds about 5 TB’s per month.
Now that we have established that a TB is a lot of data, rest assured Icon Systems has numerous servers that make up the entire server architecture to house each clients’ data. This means our clients have at their disposal many TB’s of space to use on IconCMO.
In addition to the hardware updates, we also updated all the software that is used to create the reports, the servers’ operating system, and other programming tools to the latest version available. With these software updates for the report generation and other tools, our programmers will be able to deploy faster solutions on the system.
After all the software was updated, we migrated all of our clients’ databases to the new servers including the backups. Once we migrated the data and planned the roll over in the wee hours of the morning, it only took 10 minutes to physically switch out all the servers in the data warehouse!
Our commitment to our clients is paramount and with these improvements to IconCMO, we hope our clients know we are on their side.
It has been an awesome year here at Icon Systems! We thought it would be nice to wrap it up with some highlights from throughout 2012.
A big thank you to all of our customers, partners, and everyone else for helping make 2012 so great! We are looking forward to working with you again in the New Year! 🙂
A beta version of custom reporting has been released for IconCMO!
IconCMO Custom Reporting is designed to help you get the information you need from IconCMO as quickly as possible.
You can find it in the menu under System→Utilities→Custom Reporting.
To give a user ID access to this window, go to System: Security: Membership and select a user ID. You can then assign ‘Read-Write’ access to the custom reports window and click the save button.
IconCMO Custom Reporting is still in its very earliest stages, and we will be continuing to improve it! It should be helpful as-is for some churches and it is definitely a good basis to provide some really great functionality moving forward. This is a completely new kind of program for us, so there’s a lot we will be learning over the next couple months.
Please leave a comment below and let us know what would make this tool more useful for you!