Last week we held our first ever online Mifos user meeting and it was a big success with 44 people from 12 countries in attendance. Despite some hiccups with the logistics of GoToWebinar, the turnout and participation was fantastic. The mix of people attending was just what we were looking for – existing Mifos users as well as new potential Mifos users, Specialists supporting MFIs implementing Mifos, and contributors strengthening the Mifos platform. We got to hear some detailed feedback from new users like I.Can Capital Microfinance in the Philppines and valuable insight on product architecture from long-time Mifos veterans like Terry Wong, who is still following our project even after volunteering 5 years ago.
It was the perfect time to share what’s been going on, take a closer look at the new features in our most recent releases, and unveil a huge step forward, the Mifos Business Intelligence Suite. The questions and feedback were invaluable. We are definitely going to have user webinars like this again and do it more often, covering more topics that you want to learn about. While planning is underway for a global developer summit in India this summer, we’re also looking to potentially host a global Mifos user conference in a year. We’d love to know if you’d like to attend in the comments.
Check out the presentation below and our 4 main takeaways from the meeting after the jump!
Looking back the user meeting, there were four big take-aways:
Show what we’re building.
need to understand and see how that technology works. We showed some screenshots and did a live demo during the user meeting but we need to be more visual and demonstrative about what’s new in the product. It’s easy to read over a list of features and not fully grasp the power of what’s inside and what you can do with Mifos. With Questions Groups, we’ve really opened up the potential to collect rich data and information about your clients; we now have integrated social performance measurement through PPI, and our M-PESA integration is coming just in time as Safaricom looks to roll this out across Africa. Business Intelligence is a major focus for the product going forward; our Mifos Business Intelligence Suite 1.0 is only just the tip of the iceberg. The demo we gave prompted a lot of questions and we’ll soon share more about the new standard reports, the data warehouse, and the exciting capabilities of Pentaho like dashboards and ad-hoc reporting that are on the horizon.
Listen to what you need.
customizing the product. We encourage you to voice these questions on our developer and user mailing lists. There you can get a quick response from our team or any one of our worldiwde users or contributors in the Mifos community. We also have great documentation. Technical and systems admininstration documentation is on our wiki on MifosForge. User documentation and how to configure the product is on mifos.org. Processes and tools for deploying mifos can be found in our deployment toolkit along with live case studies in our deployment project pages. If you can’t what you’re looking for, let us know how we can make it more accessible or what you want to see. With that said, you can only get so much help online or through email and nothing beats talking through a problem with a real human being. We’ll try to have more of these user webinars covering different topics based on your feedback – some will be more technical, others more strategic and business-focused.
Share what you’re doing.
- Nuru International completing data entry for their Mifos deployment.
- Two new deployments discovered at Hivos/Triodos Facet ICT Workshop in Tanzania: KADERES in Tanzania and Friends Capital Finance in Uganda.
- Lumana, an MFI in Ghana led by University of WA students, and the innovative work they’re doing with PPI, Mifos, & Open Data Kit.
- Mifos Specialists, Iniciativa Mifos Moçambique and Magnus Consulting Group participated in local events promoting Mifos in Mozambique and Nepal, respectively.
- Conflux technologies has developed the first version of their offline collection sheet entry prototype.
- Mann India developed a prototype of Mifos through a mobile interface.