Get a fresh start
2019 is now in full swing, and it’s a great time to make your resolutions to build a better business this year. This week, we’re bringing you some easy tips to help you make your list.
2019 release schedule: We release a new version of Ascend every quarter to ensure that you continually receive the best features possible. Mark your calendars for these 2019 release dates!
|Ascend version||Release date|
|March 2019||March 19, 2019|
|June 2019||June 18, 2019|
|September 2019||September 24, 2019|
|December 2019||December 17, 2019|
Want to get new features faster? Get in on our beta program and help us test/break our new versions before they’re released to the general public. We have a couple of options for you to choose from:
- Early release: Get the final version of Ascend updates approximately one month prior to the general release. At this point, most of the kinks have been worked out by our beta users – but there’s still a chance something might have slipped through the cracks, so you may have several updates during this time period. (Want a peek at what you’ll get? Check out the release notes from our last release.)
- Beta: Get in on the cutting edge of our software development. This release track generally gets an update every two or three weeks. Larger features are often released in smaller portions. While our QA team does extensive testing prior to releasing to retailers, there are often scenarios we miss. You don’t need to be a “techie” to choose this release track, but you (and your employees) will need to be extra-observant so that we can understand the exact steps we need to take to re-create the issue, and you will need a good deal of patience to temporarily work around minor issues (if you do happen to find something major that we missed, we will of course get this resolved right away!) and incomplete features. We may also re-work new features based on your feedback, so you’ll need to be prepared to re-learn a process or two in a short amount of time. (Want a peek at what you’ll get? Check out the release notes from our current release.)
Stay current: Microsoft’s support for SQL Server 2008 ends on July 9, 2019 and for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. Both of these products are nearly 10 years old – which is several lifetimes in the software world! If you’re still running one of these systems, make plans to upgrade ASAP. Similarly, Microsoft support for Windows 8.1 ends on January 10, 2023. While this isn’t quite as dire as the older systems, it’s still coming up fast.
It’s also good to keep in mind that electronics, including computers and printers, only have a lifespan of about three to five years. Check our minimum hardware requirement list often to make sure your computer and hardware will continue to work with Ascend so you can keep running your business without interruption.
SQL Server 2008 will no longer work with the March 2019 version of Ascend. Windows 7 will no longer work with the December 2019 version of Ascend. However, these systems may start causing issues well before these versions, so don’t delay replacement until it’s too late.
If you need to upgrade SQL Server or replace your entire server computer, contact the support team to schedule this service. This process can take up to three hours, and Ascend cannot be used during this time. Please schedule at least one week in advance so that we can ensure we have adequate coverage to assist other retailers!
Chase certificate replacement: If you use Chase for integrated payment processing, you may have received an email that your point-of-sale system requires updated security certificates by March 31, 2019. This email has a subject of “Action Needed: Symantec Certificate Replacement requires your payment processing solution to be updated by March 31, 2019 to avoid interruptions” or something similar. Well, good news – we’re already working on it!
This change will be included in the March 2019 version of Ascend, so mark your calendar and make sure you update right away in order to avoid any payment processing outages.
Current TCRM campaigns: The Trek Connect Retail Marketing team is starting the new year with a bang – they’re running a whopping three campaigns in January to help you bring in as much business as possible during what tends to be the slowest month of the year. To learn more about the Trek Connect Retail Marketing service, see Dexter.
If you’re already participating in these TCRM campaigns, get all the details on handling them in Ascend in our knowledge base:
- Automated post-purchase emails
- 2019 Smart Trainer/Zwift promotion
- 2019 Project One paint upgrades
- 2019 Love your bike service promotion
Sherpa rewards: Make it a resolution for your shop in 2019 to have all your employees attain – and retain – Sherpa status (complete all modules in all three schools with a score of at least 80%) on Ascend University. And to sweeten the deal, everyone who’s a Sherpa as of 11:59 PM Central on February 1st will be entered into a drawing to win a 1 TB PlayStation 4 Slim Spider-Man bundle! Get all the details here.
Limited support: The support line will have a few closures coming up this week due to all-company meetings:
- Thursday, January 17th from 12:45 pm-2:00 pm CST
- Friday, January 18th from 9:15 am-10:30 am CST
If you need an answer right away, our self-help resources can help you troubleshoot the issues we see most commonly or show you how to use the most common features in Ascend. If you still need help, just leave us a message, and we’ll get back to you ASAP when we’re available!
Tags: Beta, Certificate Replacement, Chase, December 2019, early release, end of life, end of support, hardware requirements, limited support, Love Your Bike, March 2019, Paymentech, PlayStation, post-purchase emails, PS4, Server, server swap, service, Sherpa, sherpa rewards, Smart Trainer, Spider-Man, SQL, SQL Server 2008, support outage, Symantec, TCRM, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Zwift