You may have heard us talk about it before, but for those who haven’t, what is Tessitura? Tessitura Network is a not-for-profit organisation supplying services and products to over 500 leading arts and cultural organisations across the globe. Their core product is their CRM and ticketing system, which was originally developed by the Metropolitan Opera of New York over 15 years ago. Nowadays, it’s used by many of our clients to establish effective online box office systems and seamless ticketing for audiences. So, what’s new?
As part of their offering beyond the full API, Tessitura has also developed an off-the-shelf website application, called TNEW (Tessitura Network Express Web). TNEW allows organisations to get up and running with a ticketing function far more rapidly than the full API integration. While it offers less functionality and features, TNEW is a powerful solution, perfectly positioned for many organisations’ needs.
And, at the end of this year, a new, much-anticipated version of TNEW will be released - v7. Version 7 promises to be a complete overhaul of existing functionality. Across the board restructuring of the application and brand new fully responsive templates (hooray) will bring TNEW bang up-to-date and offer huge improvements for administrators and audiences alike.
The reported new features include:
- A complete restructuring of the user interface
- Fully responsive templates
- Stronger, more consistent, standardised HTML structure
- Expanded content options
- Reworked and simplified workflows
- Faster application performance
- Enhanced administration capabilities
- Integration of many aspects of the new REST API
So, what does this mean if you’re already a Tessitura client?
- TNEW v7 is only supported by Tessitura v12.5.1 and above. So, if you’re using an earlier version you’ll need to update before thinking about a move to v7.
- Your TNEW templates will need re-building. This may seem like a painful repetition of work, particularly if you have only recently begun using the previous version of TNEW, but it will be a great thing in the longer term. The new templates will give far better opportunities to keep your ticketing pathway on-brand with the rest of your site and flexibility moving forwards.
- The old Flash-based seating maps are being phased out completely in favour of HTML5. This is great news for compatibility and accessibility with advancing web technology and standards.
To TNEW or not to TNEW - that is the question…
One of the first questions we are often asked by our clients who use Tessitura is whether we think they should go for TNEW or not. Historically, there have been two choices when a client wants a website integrated with their Tessitura box office system; they can either use TNEW, or have a third-party provider build a full-scale integration (the whole hog), which allows them to build a fully bespoke purchase pathway.
There are obviously pros and cons to going with either option. The former is, of course, the cheaper option initially. However, in the past TNEW has often resulted in an obvious disconnect between the client's primary website and the ticket buying pathway for customers. The latter option can provide a much smoother and more customised user journey, but it comes at a price (both in terms of money and time for implementation).
Recent developments in TNEW (and even more so with the forthcoming v7 release) mean that there is now a third option. We can now do something called ‘session sharing’ between the website and the TNEW instance, which allows us to provide a hybrid solution. This means we can provide our clients with a full spectrum of possibilities, from the completely bespoke to a bare minimum of ‘nice-to-have’ flourishes.
It’s important to know that it's not a choice between using TNEW and having access to the full Tessitura API - every Tessitura client has access to the API, whether they are using TNEW or not. This means that even if a client chooses to use TNEW we can still offer value-added extras - everything from simply importing production data to save having to duplicate all your data in your website, right through to building a custom Priority Booking system for your members.
For us, as we’re always looking at new ways to push the technology to new highs, v7 offers some incredible new opportunities to our clients wanting to make use of TNEW and we can’t wait to push the research and development of our work with Tessitura in this next phase.
"Using our Bridge product we’re able to offer fantastic, dynamic new solutions to our clients. Over the years, it's been fascinating to see the developments that have come into play and to have been part of that movement. That's why I love working with the Tessitura Network and our arts clients, in a space where innovations can be shared and furthered."
- Mark James, Developer at After Digital
We’re proud to have almost a decade’s experience in working with Tessitura (both the people and the technology in its many forms). Our first ever Tessitura integration (for Pitlochry Festival Theatre some 8+ years ago), was praised by the Network’s global CEO for the speed and quality of delivery. Since then, we’ve helped deliver highly complex and bespoke Tessitura integrations for the likes of Wigmore Hall and London Philharmonic Orchestra, and numerous TNEW applications, including the recent Experience Arts Salt Lake, which featured many brand new enhanced applications of the technology. So, here's to more exciting projects and developments to come.