Dear Bitrix24 users,
Although we initially had a well-thought-out plan for 2020, the reality quickly tore that plan to shreds along with what was left of the economic stability. We had to improvise a lot creating new features and releasing updates as we went along.
Once everything started to go way off the rails in March 2020, we knew we had to react immediately. Being a major international IT company, we realize that business is not all about making money but also about bearing social responsibility and helping people.
That’s why it was a no-brainer for us to remove the limits and make our free plan available to an unlimited number of users. The rationale was pretty simple:
lots of businesses had to go remote and they needed a collaboration and sales platform for the whole company, not just one department
even though our paid plans are not all that expensive, we did not want to put additional stress on businesses that were already under enough stress
The overwhelmingly positive feedback that we got from our clients, both old and new, was a nice reaffirmation that we were doing the right thing.
The free plan is still free for unlimited users, by the way. The only changes we had to make were some technical limitations regarding search filters and telephony - more on that here.
Although Bitrix24 featured video calls since day one, we never thought this tool would become THAT big in the year 2020. As soon as it hit the fan and companies started going remote en masse, our dev team undertook a major overhaul of videoconferencing in Bitrix24 churning out a gigantic update in just under a few weeks.
As a result, all Bitrix24 users can now hold online meetings and communicate without boundaries (and time limits). During the course of the year, we have added a few other notable features, including:
Background blur + custom backgrounds
Integration with Zoom
Next up is bringing all these features to our mobile app so that your Bitrix24 experience would be as seamless as possible.
Another trend that was simply too big for us to ignore is the rise of e-commerce and online stores in 2020. Not that this industry was waning before but this year it received a major (and rather unexpected) boost.
We reacted quickly with major updates to our website builder and made it even easier to use. Now you can create a website, landing page, or even an online store using nothing else but Bitrix24 visual editor. No coding skills required. Hey, we’ll even host your website and let you choose a custom domain name.
Another highly expected and much-wanted update was the improvement of the product catalog for our online stores. Now that it’s fully integrated with your CRM and accounting, it’s easier to manage your inventory and orders. Plus, you can now export your sites and online stores to another Bitrix24 account - a really helpful tool for those who use our service for making websites.
We’ll be releasing more updates for Bitrix24 Sites & Stores really soon - here’s a little teaser from our most recent presentation.
CRM Store For Remote Sales
Now, this is something else. One day our project management team was brainstorming various ideas on how to help businesses that had to close down during the quarantine and an idea popped up: what if we give our users the ability to accept payments, send receipts and organize deliveries all within Bitrix24?
A few integrations later we released CRM Store - a built-in tool inside your Bitrix24 CRM allowing you to run sales completely online, even if you’ve never done it before.
This is for all you lazy people out there. Behind this abbreviation hides nothing more than a dire need to rid you of workflows that can and should be done automatically - document approvals, business trip requests, and so on.
If it still sounds like technobabble to you, rest assured - setting up an automated business process in Bitrix24 is super easy and requires nothing but common knowledge of the process you’re trying to automate. Much like with our website builder, it’s all done via a simple and intuitive visual editor - 15 minutes and you’ve got one less problem to worry about.
God only knows how many years we’ve been asked to add the ability to configure access permissions in CRM - well, it’s finally here! Now you can set access permissions for custom CRM fields by making these fields visible to selected users only. This will result in more secure and organic work with client data.
We thought “well, if we’re gonna start giving access permissions left and right, why not do this in Tasks?”. Now you can grant granular permissions to employees or departments so that they could have access only to the tasks and actions that you want them to.
Three roles are available:
However, you can always configure existing roles or create new ones.
This year, our desktop has finally become what we’ve always envisioned it to be - a lean and mean version of the default in-browser Bitrix24.
Aside from the new design and improved performance, the latest update brought many features that were previously partly available or not available at all in our desktop app, including:
video calls and conferences
groups and projects
The desktop app is now available for Mac or Windows - get it here.
We’re constantly improving our product and adding new features that we believe will be useful for businesses struggling to make it in the new post-COVID-19 world.
The recently announced tools like Online Store or Live Shop are certainly going to boost your online sales and offer a fresh and engaging shopping experience to your customers. Be sure to learn more about them here or watch our most recent presentation Bitrix24 Seoul.
Thanks for joining (or being with) us this year - if we made it together in 2020, then there’s nothing that can stop us in 2021. Keep your hopes high and your feedback coming.
Happy holidays and remember to stay safe.
Your Bitrix24 team