Four Things We Love About Hoopla

hoopla leaderboard

We tried out Hoopla for a client, and we love it. It’s a simple, lightweight solution that perfectly meets their needs.

Port & Starboard provides analysis of alternatives as a service for our clients, which means we do all the research, contact the software sales reps, sit on the demo calls, negotiate the pricing, and provide our clients a recommendation and matrix of all the solutions we reviewed for them. In this case, we took a look at Hoopla, Ambition, and LevelEleven. Each of the three are exceptional products, two of the three offered a little too much functionality for what this particular client needed. In the end, Hoopla was the solution we recommended, and here’s why:

1     Look and Feel
Hoopla’s newsroom-inspired appearance is right up our client’s alley. It’s less “corporate presentation” and more “current events.” The slide transitions and ability to add custom slides, videos, and graphics was just what they were looking for. The channels will be playing in an office frequented by both their sales personnel, and their customers, so it was important to them to be able to communicate their message to both audiences.

What our client wanted:
A leaderboard to feature their top sales talent on the impressive flat screens in their multiple office locations
A solution that would allow them to pepper in videos, graphics and slides that compliment their branding and decor in each location
Something simple and affordable – they weren’t looking for a complex dashboard, analysis or coaching tool
The ability to display real-time or recently updated data from Salesforce
Scalability — the ability to implement the solution in future office locations as they grow

What our client didn’t need:
Fancy user-specific dashboards
A solution native to Salesforce or accessible through Salesforce
Complex data analytics
Management or coaching tools

2     Salesforce Integration
Hoopla is not built on the Salesforce platform, but it does offer a fairly simple integration, allowing customers to broadcast live Salesforce data as part of any leaderboard. It has a direct connection to Salesforce, so the use of a third-party middleware is not necessary. The integration enables Hoopla Users, Teams, and Leaderboards to be managed through the use of reports stored in a single folder in Salesforce. We were pleasantly surprised (and impressed!) by Hoopla’s Salesforce connector. The connector makes two to three API calls per report per sync, and settings allow administrators to choose the frequency that report data is updated.

3     Ease of Use
Whenever possible, we build a proof of concept of solutions we recommend to clients with their data, so clients can get a true feel for what the product will do for them. We set up a trial version of Hoopla, connected it to our client’s Salesforce org, and created a few leaderboards within two hours. Our client already had their Salesforce reports created, which made it really easy. We estimate it will take 6-10 more hours of set-up time to truly get them up and running for each office, but the initial set-up and proof of concept was really easy.

4     Standalone App
Based on our client’s requirements, the fact that this app lives outside of Salesforce is actually a better fit for them. There was no need to install a managed package and a bunch of new objects in Salesforce to meet their requirements. Doing so would add a layer of complexity that was just unnecessary for this client’s use case. This lightweight, standalone app with a connector gives them just enough functionality to meet their needs, and nothing more.

Our views and review of Hoopla are our own and primarily based on a single client’s needs. Ambition and LevelEleven are additional products we would recommend, depending on your needs! If you’re in the market for a leaderboard solution integrated with Salesforce, please contact us today! We’d be happy to help you evaluate solutions for your company’s specific requirements.

How to Integrate Google Apps and QuickBooks to Email Attachments

After a recent Google Apps implementation, our client let us know she was unable to email directly from QuickBooks using her new email address. She was attempting to connect to QuickBooks using the default Gmail settings, but the system kept prompting her for a password. After a frustrating call with Intuit, she resorted to downloading each PDF individually and attaching manually via Gmail until we came to the rescue to figure it out.

To connect your Google Apps for Work email account to QuickBooks Pro 2015, here’s what to do:

Note: There is one potential downside to this approach. You’ll have to enable users to sign in from what Google considers “less secure apps.” You can enforce this for all users (essentially allowing anyone to authenticate from any app) or you can enable it, so each user can turn it on for their account specifically. We recommend the latter if you have a bunch of users who do not need to email from QuickBooks.

Have your Google Apps Administrator enable or enforce Less secure apps in your account.

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console
  2. Click Security > Basic settings.
  3. Under Less secure apps, select Go to settings for less secure apps.
  4. In the subwindow, select the Allow users to manage their access to less secure apps radio button (this option allows each user to toggle their access on or off) OR select Enforce access to less secure apps for all users (this option allows all users to sign in through less secure apps).
  5. If you choose Allow users to manage their access to less secure apps, you’ll have to have each user needing QuickBooks email access do the following:
    1. Go to the “Less secure apps” section in My Account.
    2. Next to “Access for less secure apps,” select Turn on.

Change preferences for sending forms in QuickBooks.

  1. Click Edit > Preferences.
  2. In the list at the left of the Preferences window, click the Send Forms icon.
  3. In the Send email using section, select Webmail.
  4. Click the Add button. QuickBooks opens the Add Email Info window.
  5. In the Email Id field, enter your email address.
  6. In the Email Provider field, choose Others.
  7. In the Server Name field, enter “” (without quotations).
  8. In the Port field, enter 587.
  9. Ensure the SSL box is checked.
  10. Click OK.
  11. Click OK again to exit the preferences window.
  12. Test using a QuickBooks form!

We hope this solution saves you some time integrating Google Apps/Gmail with QuickBooks. Need help with this or anything else technology related? Leave us a comment or contact us.

Port & Starboard LLC specializes in technology consulting for small businesses. We can help with any technical problem, big or small. We specialize in web hosting, business application implementation (, Xero, Google Apps and WordPress are a few of our favorites), technical project management IT procurement and training. We’re also based in Virginia Beach. If you’re local, let’s meet for coffee and talk about your business!