For a long time now, one of the most requested features for Quirkos has been a way to work with remotely stored data, on any device. Researchers frequently switch between computers, laptops and mobile devices, and want to collaborate with people across the world. They want the convenience of knowing your data will be accessible wherever you are, and will be safely backed up for you.
That’s why we’ve spent nearly two years working on a cloud version of Quirkos. This will have the same great interface and feature set of the traditional version of Quirkos, but all your projects and data will be remotely and securely stored in our cloud servers. This means that you can log into your Quirkos account from anywhere in the world, on any computer, and be able to work with your qualitative analysis project.
Increasingly this is the way that computer services are being delivered, and people expect their software services to synchronise without any effort. It’s a pain coming into the office and remembering that your laptop with the most recent project is at home on your laptop! Just like services like Office365 and Dropbox, your login will be your key, and grant access to all your latest projects anywhere.
In the future you will also be able to work collaboratively on qualitative analysis projects with a team of researchers who are based anywhere in the world. You can work independently, or together at the same time on the same project, able to communicate and see other’s changes in real-time. It’s a very powerful way to make qualitative analysis more efficient by splitting up work, and more engaging by being able to challenge and question each other.
It will also allow us to offer a subscription model for Quirkos, another option that has been long requested by users. Although Quirkos licences are probably the cheapest around for qualitative analysis software, some people don’t need a permanent licence, and would prefer to pay just for the time they need to do some qualitative analysis. A lot of organisations (including universities) increasingly prefer to rent rather than buy software, and have a user model that is linked to individuals rather than particular computers.
But it also allows us to offer a lot of new features and services in the future. We’ll be able to use this new cloud platform to deliver new tools like integrated automatic transcription, access to qualitative archives, and machine learning for accelerating basic coding. We are already working on these areas and hope to deliver them as optional features in the next few years. It also lets us offer proper versions of Quirkos for iOS and Android, operating systems that don’t provide easy access to offline files. Actually, we’ve had a very useable Android version in-house for a long time, but getting project files on and off the system was such a pain, we never released it!
Just like our current licences for Quirkos, subscriptions for Quirkos Cloud will be priced very affordably, fitting our aims of making qualitative analysis software more accessible. We’re sure it will be the cheapest cloud tool for qualitative research, but keep to the basic features that most people need. There will be no restrictions on project numbers or size, just a simple monthly plan, and discounted prices for students, education and charities.
For subscribers to Quirkos Cloud, you can have Quirkos installed on as many computers as you like, and log-in anywhere you want to work. Since your data is hosted remotely, your project will always be the most up-to-date, and be saved as you work. It will be securely stored, transmitted and backed up, with options to host your data in geographic locations that are appropriate for your local data-protection regulations.
Today, after a lot of work and testing, we are announcing that Quirkos Cloud is nearly ready to go. In fact, we are opening a private beta at the end of the month, so that users can start testing Quirkos Cloud on their own projects and systems. If you are interested in helping us test and giving feedback, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put together a small team of valiant testers who’ll get a free sneak peek at the future of Quirkos.
But don’t worry, we will keep the ability to save to your local computer, and nothing is happening to our current version of Quirkos or existing licences! If you are happy with your current workflow, we will continue to support it in the future. In fact, the beauty of the system is that it looks identical to the end user, with an added option for storing your project in the cloud for maximum convenience and ease of use.
When will it be publically available? When it’s ready! We are not going to rush this. Although we already have months of internal testing and are confident in the system, we won’t launch until we are sure it is safe, secure and dependable for everyone. We are aiming for an autumn launch, but the best way you can make this day come sooner is to help us test!
Don’t forget, you can still download Quirkos today for your computer, and see how it makes qualitative analysis intuitive and colourful...