Feature deprecation is an inevitable part of SaaS software development. As a HotSchedules customer, your monthly subscription pays for continuous improvement of our products. Innovation of course, brings change, and change is hard - especially since we are such an integral part of your daily work life. With this in mind, our goal is to minimize the impact on your organization with timely announcements, training, always-available Customer Care, and most importantly, an improved alternative to the deprecated functionality.
Key Terms to Understand Are:
End of Life: The feature is in the end of its useful life, and we intend to stop selling, supporting or sustaining it in favor of recently-developed and improved functionality.
End of Service Life: As a step toward removing the feature, we will no longer provide customer or technical support (bug fixes). With that being said, customers may continue to use the feature as long as there is an active plan to migrate to the replacement functionality by the End of Life date.
The table below includes all current and planned feature deprecations. Click on the feature to learn more about the deprecation and how your team can prepare.
|Feature||Date Announced||End of Service Life||End of Life|
|Internet Explorer 10||July 03, 2017||March 01, 2018||
March 01, 2018
|Windows Phone App||July 24, 2017||October 12, 2017||
January 18, 2018
|Home & Settings Page Features||July 25, 2017||January 15, 2018||
April 9, 2018
To help you understand the how, why, and when of feature deprecation, we have provided the following frequently asked questions to address your most pressing questions.
Why Does HotSchedules Deprecate Features?
To continually improve the application, we will periodically replace one feature with improved functionality - always with the goal of either improving the performance of the product or your user experience. Only after extensive testing and customer adoption of the new feature is concluded will this result in the “End of Life” for that feature.
Supporting out-dated features negatively impacts the value that we bring to our customers as well as the HotSchedules teams that support them. Not only is there a significant monetary expense, but there is an opportunity cost to consider as well.
Product & Engineering - A feature is typically deprecated because there is a new and better way to deliver that particular functionality. Maintaining both old and new features ties up these valuable human resources and negatively impacts the cost to support the product which thereby impacts future development plans. Streamlining the support of our applications enables the product and engineering teams to move faster in their efforts to continually improve the product.
Customer Support, Training & Implementation - We are one of the few SaaS companies that offers 24/7, live support to all levels within your organization. The cost of the human resources associated with this service is significant and can drive up your monthly subscription fees if we are not careful to control the versions of the application. Maintaining staff trained to support you on multiple, out-dated features is costly and inefficient. Most importantly, it impacts the team’s ability to offer a fast, effective service.
Customer Impact - Change management is never fun. That’s why we make every effort to develop features and functionality that delivers significant improvement of your HotSchedules experience. Making sure that you know of, and are actively using, new developments is key to your satisfaction. This ensures that you are using functionality that HotSchedules is actively supporting today.
How Much Notice Will I Receive Regarding a Deprecated Feature?
We will begin to communicate the plans for feature deprecation no later than 6 months in advance of the End of Life date. High-impact features where customer training is required to make a smooth transition will be communicated 9 months of the planned deprecation date.
A list of feature deprecation plans will be maintained on help.hotschedules.com, and you will be notified with various different methods in order to limit any surprises for your teams.
How Will HotSchedules Announce Feature Deprecations?
We use multiple channels for communication. It is our goal to ensure that you have ample time to prepare for any changes in HotSchedules. Here are the various methods of communication that we employ:
help.hotschedules.com - This is the best and most complete resource to learn all about HotSchedules feature releases and deprecations. Every new feature is covered in the Release Notes section, and in most cases, accompanied by an in-depth article found in its corresponding area. For example, a new Logbook feature will be covered in Release Notes, and will have a full write-up in the Logbook section of help.hotschedules.com.
Each deprecated feature will be outlined in a future table within this article. There will also be a separate article which will include an overview of the situation, important dates leading up to the removal of the feature, what each phase of the deprecation will include, how it impacts you as the customer, and the process to upgrade to the new, improved functionality.
In-app Messaging & Walk-Throughs - You may notice that HotSchedules utilizes a tool called WalkMe to educate customers on new features while they are using the app. This facilitates contextual learning, guiding you through a task while you are in the moment for maximum retention. WalkMe allows HotSchedules to display alerts while you're using a feature that is scheduled to deprecate. It may be difficult to determine exactly who will be affected, so we will err on the side of inclusion, as to not miss any customers.
In-app Messaging & Pre-loads - In high-impact deprecation situations, affected customers will see a pre-load upon logging in which will include a link to more information. Because the link needs to be clicked in order to use the app, this is a very effective way to reach customers.
Email Communication - Email is an effective way of reaching HotSchedules administrators and managers. HotSchedules will send a series of emails leading up to the deprecation to ensure that you have taken the required action. The content of these emails will include a summary of what you might find in the Help Center with links to more extensive information.
Newsletter Communication - HotSchedules sends a monthly newsletter to all customers who haven’t opted out of email communications. The goal of the newsletter is to share industry and product information that might impact you. High-impact deprecations will be linked in the newsletter in an attempt to reach the broader HotSchedules community.
Social Notifications - HotSchedules is very active on social media channels including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We find that this is the best way to stay connected with you and your staff. If we are launching or deprecating a feature that will impact you, we will make sure to include social postings in our communications plan.
Live, Telephone Communication - Any HotSchedules customer that has an assigned Customer Success Manager and/or an Account Specialist will receive a personalized communication in addition to the email and in-product notifications. This personalized communication may include emails with specific instructions from Customer Care or a scheduled meeting to plan your transition. Depending on the time frame, this may also be addressed during the quarterly business review.