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From NioBase & NioSuite to the Akarion Compliance Cloud – all innovations at a glance

by Katharina Schmid & Isabella Schaufler (Translation)
18. May 2020

New name, many exciting features and a brand-new design! A lot has happened at Akarion in the past few weeks and months! Big changes can of course also cause some confusion. In order to ensure that you can keep an overview and use the new functions efficiently, we have compiled all the innovations for you in this blog article.

Why the rebranding?

Shortly after the release of our data protection software “NioBase”, we already noticed a great need for software solutions concerning other compliance aspects, such as Information Security or Whistleblowing. In collaboration with experts in the respective compliance areas, we set out to develop a software that could be used to manage different compliance aspects within a central solution, at that time under the name “NioSuite”.

Thanks to a lot of helpful customer, expert feedback and numerous innovative ideas, we are now in the process of developing this solution step by step, towards a modular, holistic management solution that delivers the right module for every compliance aspect. Particularly important to us is the optimization regarding synergy effects and the possibility to put together the modules yourself according to your needs and to gradually unlock them, depending on the implementation status within the organization and free resources. In the past weeks and months, we have put a lot of effort into the creation of a technical basis for this. A lot has happened "under the hood", but we have also made numerous visible new features and revisions, especially for the data protection module.

Do I have to take action as an Akarion customer?

Apart from logging in via the new URL akarion.app starting in May and enjoying the new functions and design, you do not have to take action. The prices remain the same.

What's new?

Naming

First of all, NioSuite will be called Akarion Compliance Cloud in the future. Furthermore, NioBase becomes part of the Compliance Cloud as a data protection module, however it is still available independently as well.

URL to log in

Until the end of April 2020, you are still able to log in via niobase.app using your access data as usual and still work with the old interface. Starting in May everything will be redirected to akarion.app, however you do not need any new access data, but can simply log in as before. Of course, you are already able to log in via akarion.app and work directly with our new interface and the new functions. Since the same database is accessed under both URLs, changes are made and saved globally.

Web pages

The website niobase.com can still be reached until the end of April 2020, niosuite.com will be redirected to akarion.com. In the future all important information about our company and our products can be found at akarion.com.

Design & system update

The website akarion.com has been graphically revised. There are new logos for all products and the user interface and layout of our software has undergone a major update. At the same time as the rebranding, there was a major system update. A lot has happened "under the hood" to make the Compliance Cloud faster, with even large amounts of data. But there are also many new features that are described in more detail below.

What has changed in the software?

Navigation

Within the new Compliance Cloud the main navigation is located on the left in form of a narrow blue bar. Here you are able to see all the Compliance Cloud modules that your organization has purchased so far. With this structure, it is possible to switch back and forth between the different modules very quickly and efficiently. Thanks to the color scheme characteristic of each module, you are still able to keep an overview and always know within which module you are at the moment.

With this new navigation the use of synergy effects will also improve. For example, all software systems (Gmail, Salesforce, etc.) only have to be recorded once, regardless of the module.

Softwaremanagement DPM

However, you not only benefit from the central administration concerning the software systems: Measures, categories, documents, etc. are also managed centrally and can be adopted into every module, since for example a measure, such as the creation of a password policy, is not only relevant for data protection but also for information security.

In general, the navigation now is always carried out in two stages. On the one hand, one selects the respective module within the first navigation level, while on the other hand, there are module specific menus within every module, that can be found on the second navigation level, which is also located on the left. These menus then contain different items depending on which module you are currently using.

Furthermore, Navigation is also two-staged within each module. Within the data protection module, for example, you can click on “Categories”, which you find as part of the point “Documentation”, and then will first get to an overview on the right within the first stage of navigation. Only when clicking on the respective category, you will be taken to the second stage, where you can edit the content.

Client management

To manage clients, click on the account icon that is located at the top left, in the case of our demo account this is a green “C”. Here you can easily switch back and forth between the different clients or add a new client directly. There is a search function on the top left that enables you to keep track of your clients and quickly find the right one. By clicking on “Show all” you get a clear overview of all clients, at the client dashboard. Various filters are available here, for example to only display all template accounts.

  • Attention:
    From now on you can no longer create an account on the website niobase.com. Existing customers can add a new account in the client management. If you are interested, please contact us via our contact form, we would be happy to set up a test account for you.

With a click on the respective client you jump directly into the corresponding account. If you have a new client, for example, when you want to create a subsidiary, simply click on the “New” button at the top right. Here it is important that you set yourself as a user for this account within the creation process in order to ensure that you can still access the account later.

Account settings

Account Settings DPM

By clicking on the gear icon at the bottom left of the dark blue navigation bar, you can access account settings.

At the account dashboard you get an overview concerning your entire account. Here you can add other users to the account as usual. Furthermore, you are able to use the user roles in order to control the authorization concept and specify which modules this specific user role should be able to see. Furthermore, you can find all contact persons and departments here. Clicking on “Account”, which you can find on the left, enables you to can make more detailed settings (languages, templates, etc.).

Moreover, you can edit the experimental functions in the account settings under the point “Account” -> “Overview” -> “Experimental functions”. The conformity index and the approval processes were initially removed from the experimental functions. These are currently being fundamentally revised and will be available again later.

  • Tip:
    You can change the avatar icon at the top left, via which you can access the client administration, under “Account” -> “Account Avatar”.

User settings

User settings can be accessed by clicking on the initials of your name at the bottom left. As usual, you are able to change your personal user language, your email address, etc. here. New is that you can also see all your own activities and manage your sessions here. For example, if you have logged on using a device that you do not own and forget to log out, you can log in with any other device and log out from the device remotely. However, if you do not use the "I want to stay logged in" function, you will be automatically logged out after a few minutes anyway.

Miscellaneous

The notification icon in form of the bell can now be found at the bottom left. If you click on the symbol, you can now use the configuration icon (gear) at the top right to exactly define concerning which events and via which channels you want to receive notifications. The search icon in the form of a magnifying glass has also been moved to the bottom left.

What's New in the Data Protection Module?

We are now not only supporting the GDPR, but also the Brazilian LGPD and are currently working on support for other data protection laws.

Dashboard

The dashboard has also been revised and will be configurable in the future, so that you can drag and drop your own widgets. Furthermore, there are always “quick links” at the top, which give you information about how many processing activities, measures and software have already been entered. Below are event cards for everything that should be seen at a glance, such as requests for data subjects, data breaches and open tasks.

  • Attention:
    The log-out button can now only be found on the dashboard at the top right.

New list views

If you for example go to “Processing activities” under “Documentation” within the Data Protection module, you will find an example of the new list views. At the top you always find the data type, (“processing activities”). Next to it, there is an icon in the form of a shield, where you will find references to the relevant legal texts (e.g. GDPR). At the top of the bar you can search for processing activities or apply filters. Here you can, for example, only display the processing activities of your own department. At the bottom left the total number of records of the corresponding data type is displayed, and you can furthermore determine how many rows you want to be displayed per page.

List view DPM

List views can now also be configured individually. Columns can be drawn wider or narrower, arranged differently using drag and drop, and new columns can be added. These views can be saved by clicking on “Standard list view” located in the top left. Applied filters can also be saved. For example, employees from the marketing department can create a view that only shows marketing processing activities and the information that is relevant to them.

For each data record, the actions “Edit”, “Copy” or “Delete” can be carried out by clicking on the three dots on the right. With a click on the respective data record you get to the form view, where a detailed processing can take place.

Batch processing allows you to edit multiple records at once. If, for example, the data protection officer is leaving the company and therefore the process owner must be changed for all data protection-relevant processes, you can easily go to processing activities and click on "Batch processing" in the top right. Here you select the type and decide whether you want to edit all data records or only those with a filter, e.g. only records of a certain department. Then select the operation, the fields to be changed and the new value.

  • Attention:
    Batch processing is a powerful tool! Be careful when using it and check your entries carefully.

Even if you want to insert a new location in the module in a foreign-language country, batch processing is suitable as well since it, for example, is a good way to automatically translate all entries.

  • Tip:
    Have you already saved a standard list view that uses a filter? If you, for example, only display the processing activities of your own department, this filter is adopted by default when you open batch processing.

If two or more people are currently working on a data record, you can click on "Reload" in the top right-hand corner to display the latest changes.

Improved forms

If you click on a data record directly, you get to the form view. You will now see a central overview page. On the right you have the last activities with the usual comment function, a report overview, which you can always use to output a standard report for the respective data record, and references if there are any. These functions can also be accessed via the three dots at the top of the tab.

Form view DPM

You can jump to the individual areas of the central overview page. For example, if you click on “Status”, you are now in the “Description” tab, here your current location is always color-coded and you can easily edit the status. On the right the table of contents is located, where you can jump to the respective areas.

Reports

Reports can now be found in the management area. Here you have an overview of all reports that have already been created. Of course, the reports that you have created in the old version are still available. If you click on the configuration icon (gear wheel) in the top left, you will be taken directly to the list view, where all reports are clearly displayed. All reports are regenerated with the current live data.

The reports have also been restructured and are now more flexible. You can insert free text fields and compile very individual reports. Furthermore, you can insert tables and, like before, we already provide standard templates for reports, which of course can still be used.

Extended export formats

Also new is the export function at the top right (“Download”). Here we provide a PDF export as usual. In addition, you now have the option of exporting the report as a Word document as well. This is particularly useful if you, for example, want to insert the data protection report in a full annual report and need a header or footer or an individual cover page. HTML export is also new. We are currently working on a template that you can use to generate a data protection declaration directly from your data, based on your entered measures, order processors, used systems, etc. You could then download this .html file and embed it directly on your website. Finally, you can now export your reports in Markdown format.

Now let’s take a look at a report in detail. Simply click on the gear on the top right. In the central overview you will find all areas of the report, such as the description and which module you are creating this report from. In the future you will of course also be able to create cross-module reports.

In the “Context” area you will find the categories “List of data records” and “Merge reports” as usual. New is that you can now select the "Free text" and "Single data record" fields. Free text is e.g. B. very exciting if you want to work with variables. On the “Content” tab you can specify exactly which content fields should appear in the report. Again any changes can be seen live.

Free text reports

If you switch to free text in the context, you will see an editor directly in the content, where you can create a completely individual report. If you click on the “Fullscreen” icon on the right, a preview appears in which you can directly see all changes. By clicking on the “Insert variable” icon, you can for example integrate the account avatar or other data records.

Thanks to these many innovations, the report function has now become a very powerful tool. If you should have any problems in this area, please contact us. Our Customer Success team will be happy to look at your individual requirements together with you and, if in doubt, can send you a template for the report.

  • Tip:
    We are also currently working on our own blog article on the report function, where we will go into detail about the functionality and possibilities of this powerful tool. We hope this blog post gave you an impression of the new features and functions. The best way to discover the innovations, of course, is to log in and simply get started!

We hope this blog post has given you an impression of the new features and functions. But of course the best way to discover the new features is to log in and just get started yourself!

In Conclusion

The NioSuite will be called Akarion Compliance Cloud in the future. As a data protection module, NioBase becomes part of the Compliance Cloud, but is still available independently. The new access URL is akarion.app. There are many new functions, including new list views, form views and an expanded report function.

Do you have any further questions? Then just contact our Customer Success Team at info@akarion.com. On request, we would be happy to provide you with a video in which the innovations are explained directly in the app.

Katharina Schmid Isabella Schaufler (Translation)
About the authors

Katharina Schmid studied mathematics and works as a copywriter & content marketer at Akarion, Isabella Schaufler studies Global Sales and Marketing at FH Steyr and works as a Sales Assistant at Akarion.