Archive for the ‘Interaction Community Systems’ Category

You may have noticed that two of our three main services are getting major updates this month, first FargoTube and then Interaction Community Systems. Both of these updates, plus several pieces of news we plan to announce via press release in the next two weeks, are specifically designed to drive faster growth for our services.

Up to now, and probably for the next couple of months, our business-development team has put a lot of effort into recruiting new partners, particularly for FargoTube and Interactive Defense because they are groundbreaking services that require a lot of explanation.

The focus of the each of the two updates has been to streamline the registration process for new partners (client communities in the case of Interaction and Interactive Defense and revenue-sharing partners in the case of FargoTube). The updates will make it easier for F3 to bring on larger numbers of customers and revenue partners with each passing week, while requiring the company to spend less staff time acquiring each individual customer or revenue partner.

At the same time, we’re launching a three-pronged marketing campaign, with paid targeted advertising buys on Google, Facebook and MySpace. Those ads could go live as soon as Monday. More details on the campaign once it’s underway.

We’re continuing our recent streak of updates and refinements to our websites as part of our transition into high-growth mode. As the enhanced version of FargoTube goes live this week – with capabilities for music and images – our developers will be finishing up with an major update to Interaction Community Systems, our management and social-networking platform for HOAs and other member associations, with the goal of putting into service it within a couple of weeks.

Perhaps the most important Interaction update: We are automating Interaction’s sign-up process, allowing us to acquire more client associations while spending less staff time on the process. A new client will be able to create an Interaction community and begin to use the system within a few minutes, either as a fully paying customer or on a 30-day free-trial basis.

We’re making similar improvements to FargoTube and Interactive Defense System in the course of this year, and for the same reason: F3 is shifting into high gear. Interaction has grown to 20,000+ registered users in recent months, thanks to the series of refinements we’ve already made and thanks to F3’s expanded sales force. We expect Interaction’s database to grow to 22,000 or so when we import the membership lists of client HOAs that have signed on in the last few days. As our client associations grow in number and sophistication, we are ensuring that Interaction also grows in sophistication. Updates to Interaction over the next few months will enhance users’ ability to manage events, facilities, and maintenance in their associations.

The August update will include streamlined processes in Interaction’s accounting module, which allows communities to collect dues and donations and to manage payments. Users will soon find it easier to journalize transactions and create invoice templates, for example. Many of the accounting improvements reflect the expertise of Senior Vice President for Business Development Stephanie Miller, who is a CPA and graduate-level accounting professor. The updated Interaction also gives each community several new options for its system’s interface, and allows admins to manage all of the design features, including log-in page, system interface, e-mail module and visual elements — in a single Design Center. And each community will now be able to apply a single visual theme throughout its system, across all communication points.

We’ll let you know when the updated Interaction goes live. We encourage you to test it out for yourselves, to see why Interaction will expand its reach. We’re confident that many of you will see its value for your own HOAs and other member associations.

We’re going to have lots of news about FargoTube and Interaction Community Systems next week, so stay tuned. The short version: We’ve made major progress on several partnerships for FargoTube and one major partnership for Interaction.

In the meantime, you may have noticed that we’re continuing to refine our corporate presence online. Our new website went live at the beginning of the week, we’ve added a few new tools to this WordPress blog, and we’ve polished up our Twitter page with the logos of our three major services. The tweets are only going to get better from here, so we’d love for you to retweet them to your own followers.

Several recent news articles have underscored the necessity of social-networking software for homeowners associations, such as Interaction Community Systems.

Perhaps the most shocking, if not entirely surprising, was this story in the Dallas Morning News, about an HOA that foreclosed on the home of a U.S. Army National Guardsman while he was deployed in Iraq. Depressed in his absence, the man’s wife had stopped opening mail and didn’t see the HOA’s notices that the couple owed $978 in dues. The HOA has expressed regret — apparently sincere regret — but argues that it can no longer help the couple because it sold the foreclosed house to an investor who then flipped the house to a second buyer.

Whether or not the foreclosure was justified, it has created a headache for everyone involved, and it might have been avoided if the HOA had been using Interaction or a similar platform. Interaction lets HOAs announce upcoming due dates through multiple channels — e-mail, message boards, “walls” and calendars. And it’s easy for Interaction users to arrange automatic payments to their HOAs.

A rep for the HOA in Dallas called the series of events a “perfect storm.” And of course the Guardsman and his wife are not an entirely typical case: Not everyone who ignores their mail is going to be checking their e-mail, for one thing.

But HOAs foreclose on numerous houses each year, for all sorts of reasons, as detailed in this article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

I’m guessing that some homeowners simply don’t prioritize their HOA dues highly enough in relation to other expenditures. The Interaction platform helps avoid that problem — and probably a lot of other problems — simply by strengthening residents’ sense of community and connectedness. People who interact with their neighbors and their association on a regular basis — whether in person or online — feel a stonger sense of obligation to the group. Interaction users can post pictures from a neighbor’s touch-football game on a “wall” where it’s visible only to their neighbors. They can put out alerts on stray dogs or suspicious loiterers. They can reserve a block of time at the community clubhouse, tennis court or golf course.

On a different note, a widely read blog about issues in condo associations features this recent post about a spat between an HOA board member and an executive at the management company that the HOA had just fired. The jilted executive e-mailed HOA board members to complain about one of their colleagues, labeling him “a troublemaker.” The alleged troublemaker is considering a lawsuit. With Interaction, you won’t have to worry about defamatory e-mails from an incompetent management company — or about the incompetent management company itself.

HOA-ly moly! Looks like it’s embezzlement week for homeowners associations. HOAs in metro Denver and the Outer Banks of North Carolina lost a total of more than $1.5 million to a couple of crooks. In North Carolina, an HOA’s property manager embezzled $860,000 in dues from the HOA to pay for personal expenses. The woman issued checks to herself and other businesses, used the HOA’s credit card, and withdrew money from the HOA’s bank account, apparently over a period of about five years, WRAL-5, the CBS-affiliated television station in the Raleigh area, reported on Wednesday.

In Denver, an employee of a property management company stole a total of $700,000 from several homeowners associations, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison yesterday. In November, an employee at a different property management company was arrested in a seperate case of alleged embezzlement.

That’s scary stuff for homeowners who are asked to fork over hundreds of dollars a month, sometimes backed up with the threat of foreclosure. They expect the money to fund algae-free pools and landscaping for their streets and entrances, not a gambling spree at the local casino.

“That is very disconcerting,” Rita Guthrie of the Rocky Mountain chapter of the Community Associations Institute told 7NEWS in Denver. “It is of great concern, I think, to anyone in (the property-management) industry.”

F3 Technologies developed its community-management system, Interaction Community Systems, with extensive input from our in-house accounting expert, Stephanie Miller, who teaches accounting systems at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Interaction enhances the internal controls around cash receipts and cash disbursements for HOAs, as well as reporting.  Interaction has an electronic payments feature that reduces the number of checks received and handled by people, thus eliminating opportunities for embezzlement.  And Interaction makes communities’ finances more transparent by allowing members easier and more immediate access to reports than they get with other management platforms.

And not just that — Interaction doubles as a social-networking site for residents and community members. They can post pictures from the cul-de-sac kickball game on a “wall” where it’s visible only to their neighbors. They can put out an alert about a stray dog. They can even post links to articles about theft and embezzlement in someone else’s HOA.

Interaction Design Center

Posted: May 25, 2010 by f3technologies in Interaction Community Systems, Uncategorized

Working on new “design center” for Interaction. Hope to roll out soon.

In our effort to obtain the “Pink Sheets Current Information” status, we are pleased to advise our shareholders that on May 19th F3 filed an updated Attorney Letter as part of our Q1 2010 Earnings. We are extremely pleased with this action as we move one step closer to obtaining this premier status on the OTC Markets.

First of all, I would like to personally thank all of you for your continued support and input as we work to expand the F3 product lines and customer base. On a regular basis, emails are received from you providing us insight into new market opportunities or product ideas and while not everyone will not pan out the information is extremely beneficial to our team. Please keep the information flowing.

Secondly, as we work to build and nurture our sales & marketing organization I would like to share with you some of the strategies and activities underway that will help us drive revenue and build value for you.

Interaction Community System (ICS) – the ICS system is a great social networking tool, which continues to experience strong demand across HOA’s, Churches and Property Management companies.  We continue to innovate with this product to deliver new and exciting features that will enhance our ability to market to a broader range of member associations. We also understand that this is a volume business, which can drive a steady recurring revenue stream over time. In light, the team is currently working on automated enrollment tools, which will allow associations to register and build a social network/community without the involvement of F3 resources. This automation feature will allow us to focus more energy on marketing and less on direct selling. In addition, we are exploring partnerships with several national Ad networks to enhance our ability to generate revenues through the solution.

Interactive Defense System (IDS) – the new company continues to work diligently towards securing the first city contract. The team has talked to more than a dozen cities over the past 3 months with several of the opportunities leading to 2 or more meetings with various city departments / officials. Our initial launch and marketing focus is concentrated in the geographic region surrounding the Atlanta area, as our goal is to demonstrate the benefits of communication between public safety departments. In addition, through discussions with the cities we have found there is an opportunity to broaden the relationship by leveraging current ICS functionality to address needs of Public Works, Community Development, Parks and Recreation and Code Enforcement. We are also in early stage discussions with companies that offer complimentary services to expand and enhance our offering to the cities and we look forward to finalizing details of these relationships over the next few months.

FargoTube – as you know the company is working very hard to launch this newest generation of online video entertainment. While the team focuses on finalizing the product functionality, the sales and marketing activities are in full swing. We have engaged a marketing firm to assist us with several elements of the initial rollout, signed an alliance agreement with a partner connected to the Hip-hop and R&B space as well as working towards a second agreement, which will bring connections from Northern California. Additionally, the team has identified numerous market opportunities, which will be the initial market focus with the goal of securing video content as quickly as possible.

Sales Team – the team continues to work a very robust sales pipeline for the ICS product and we recently added a new sales representative located in Austin, TX to assist us. Our new sales representative will focus on the ICS Church market as well as FargoTube when launched.  Additionally, we are working to expand the sales organization further by adding a resource to assist our West Coast activities.

I continue to be encouraged by the tremendous progress the team is making during these early stages of growth and look forward to an exciting year ahead as we bring the Interactive Defense and FargoTube products to market.

Thank you again for your continued support and please feel free to contact me at paul@f3technologies.com or (770) 521-8930 with any questions or comments.

Paul

As we continue to work on building the foundation of the company, we are listening very closely to what our customers are saying. In response to their requests, we are announcing 2 new initiatives focused on improving our communication (Interaction Support News and Interaction Support Process). These initiatives are designed to enhance how we communicate information as well as establish standard methodologies and expectations around customer service.

Customers are our greatest source of insight and knowledge. Building close partnerships is a core principle for us and will ultimately lead to long-term customer relationships.

Weissman Nowack Conference – Update

Posted: February 25, 2010 by f3technologies in Interaction Community Systems

There was great attendance by HOA Board Members and Property Management companies at the conference this weekend. Our booth remained extremely busy throughout the show and we now have more than 80 new leads to follow-up on. The next few weeks will be extra busy!