NAEO Newslinks

August 2017




NAEO Now

Get Inspired
by Gary Blair

Register Now for the NAEO 2017 IS Summer Series!

IS Summer Series - A Checklist
by Michael Goumas

Save The Date: NAEO 2018
by Jillian Henry

Featured Articles

President's Report
by Lina Cunningham

The Value of Membership
by Rob Bennett

Looking Ahead
by Kevin Mahoney

Learning Management System (LMS)

Amtelco Annex

Follow Multiple Levels of “Covered By” Status with the Resolve Contact Override Response Element
by David Drenk

Gary Blair

Get Inspired

by Gary Blair

Friendship, engagement: Canada and the United States have shown the best there is in partnerships between nations, all the great potential that awaits all the free peoples of this Earth if they can join in common cause.

President Bill Clinton

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Register Now for the 2017 NAEO IS Summer Series!

IS Workshop Photos

Hotel Info | Register Today


Starts August 14 and runs to August 16 at 5PM

Travel Days: Sunday, August 13 and Thursday, August 17

Embassy Suites Dulles Airport
13341 Woodland Park Rd
Herndon, VA 20171

Become an IS Programming Wizard!

NAEO's Professional Development Committee is offering an exclusive, three-day hands-on training seminar on Intelligent Series Programming starting August 14, 2017 at the Embassy Suites, Herndon, VA.

This year there are a few new and exciting things happening:

  • The workshop is scheduled for 3 full days starting August 14 and concluding August 16 at 5pm! This year we are at the Embassy Suites Dulles Airport in Herndon VA, just a stone's throw away from Washington, DC.
  • There will be two simultaneous tracks: Beginner/Intermediate and Intermediate/Advanced
  • An optional event, “Fork In The Roadkill,” which is an offsite dinner at Bar Louie filled with food, networking and probably a few laughs!

Speakers include industry experts Marie McGuire of AnswerTel, Michael Goumas of AnswerFirst, Jaimie Guidry of Dexcomm and Amtelco trainers Michael Quimby and Jordan Beale. Whether you are new to Intelligent Series or looking to cross-train co-workers and build a programming department, you’ll learn first-hand, invaluable knowledge to efficiently and consistently program or convert your clients into Intelligent Series.

There are only a few seats left, so don’t delay any longer - register today

Register Now

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IS Summer Series - Checklist

by Michael Goumas

IS Workshop Photos

If you are attending NAEO’s IS Summer Series later this August, here is a rundown of what you will need in addition to what you will learn!

Advanced Track, presented by Michael Goumas and Jaimie Guidry

You will need a notebook with access to the following applications:

  • IS Supervisor
  • Telephone Agent (WinOp)
  • SQL Server Management Studio

You will also need access to your SQL server, at least a user login to the instance.

We will be covering the following:

Dispatching as a Process (DaaP)
Advanced Expression Builder
Call Fields
Custom Summaries
Named Expressions
Named Formats
Email Parsing
Message Center
SQL Basics
SQL Stored Procedures
APIs
Database connectivity in scripting
MergeComm

Register Now

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Save The Date: NAEO 2018

by Jillian Henry

February 25-28, 2018

NAEO 2018

Annual Post Conference Survey Results

2017 NAEO Annual Conference survey results are in and reviewed! The Conference Committee thanks all respondents as your feedback is translated directly into progress and considerations for the event moving forward.

Primarily we heard from owners — who felt the conference satisfied their hopes and objectives, found the educational content this year to be exceptional, the host city atmosphere inviting and the hotel staff impressively accommodating. If there was a downfall expressed, it would be with so much great material offered and never enough time to do and see it all!

"If there was a downfall expressed, it would be with so much great material offered and never enough time to do and see it all! "

The pre-conference workshop was overall well received and members are looking forward to this pre-event continuing for years to come.

How-to and management based sessions are the most popular. A mix of panel, round table and single speakers is preferred. We are accepting session and speaker recommendations as we look toward our Fort Lauderdale conference in 2018. Inform any member of the Conference Committee if you'd like to suggest topics or contacts.

There was great enthusiasm for the Future Directions Committee Session and multiple ideas were submitted on how to better focus the brainstorming, as well as harness and track the ideas shared in this session.

"Inform any member of the Conference Committee if you'd like to suggest topics or contacts. "

Possibly the biggest news of all was the Conference app; this had the most comments on the survey and was overwhelmingly successful.

Great ideas on how to maximize sponsor involvement were also included on the survey form. If you have a specific sponsor you'd like to see featured at Fort Lauderdale 2018, please do let any member of the conference committee know.

We actively incorporate and utilize the feedback provided from survey responses. If you have let the survey go by the wayside in the past, I encourage you to let your voice be heard and be sure to respond in 2018!

If you have any additional suggestions, please email the conference committee at conference@naeo.org.

"We actively incorporate and utilize the feedback provided from survey responses. "

By all means feel free to join in the fun at any time! We are always looking for new members and perspectives to join the committee!

See you at 2018 NAEO Annual Conference!

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president

President's Report

by Lina Cunningham

Being NAEO President this year is truly an honor for me. The people in this organization are the reason why I have served on the NAEO board over the past several years. I get to work closely with many industry leaders and I am happy to call them my friends. The online community is always willing to help when I have a question, problem, or concern. The benefits of being involved with NAEO have helped me in business and personal growth over the years and I am happy to give back.

This year was the first year that our Board of Directors elections happened before conference via online voting. It was a great success. We had more votes this year than in the past three years, so thank you to everyone who took the time to vote. Our board welcomes Joann Fussell, Patrick Labbett, and Alana Nikiforuk. Congratulations to each of you! For those of you who sought election to the board but did not get elected, please consider running again. It is limited seats but we definitely need great people like you. After many years and many selfless hours and more responsibilities then I can list, Past President Gerald Brosseau, who was the brain child of our very successful eLearning Suite, Director Mike Crossman who headed FDC and the mentor program, and Director Lisa Phillips who was our Membership guru all ended their terms on the Board. Thank you for all your dedication and hard work. Finally I would like to congratulate Ian Cook on being elected by the Board of Directors as the President-Elect/Vice President for 2018.

Welcome our new NAEO Board of Directors and NAEO Committee Chairs.

Please remember that our NAEO Board and our committees are here to serve as volunteers and they look forward to hearing from you! If you want to join a committee please don’t be shy!

We are over the half way mark of 2017 and this year has started off great. First I would like to thank everyone who attended our Conference in San Antonio this year. I would also like to extend a big thank you to all our presenters, moderators, and hosts. We couldn’t have done it without you. The educational content was top notch and with so many options made it hard to choose which session to go to. Our Conference Committee members deserve a round of applause for all the hard work they put in all year to make our conferences a success. Thank you all!

At the Annual Conference this year I had the pleasure of being Conference Chair for the second year in a row. Learning from my experience I am happy to say we had tremendous success with our budget due to sponsorships and conscientious spending. Our fiscal responsibility to our members was surpassed, which will allow us to provide more benefits and educational content while keeping our costs and fees at a minimal.

The owner’s forum session this year produced several great suggestions that members felt were important items for Amtelco to focus on for the year. Your message was heard loud and clear. We sent out a survey after conference itemizing the top 7 suggestions. The survey results in the order of importance came back as follows:

  1. Completion of Genesis with every item in Infinity
  2. IS Server High Availability
  3. IS Reports
  4. MiTeam Web App
  5. White Label MiSecure App
  6. Simplify MiSecure App
  7. System Action Groups

Armed with our surveys, in May the NAEO Board went to Madison Wisconsin for our Annual Amtelco Summit. This meeting has always been a great opportunity for NAEO to sit down with Amtelco to discuss the success and direction of both our organizations. After reviewing the Conference Survey which overall was extremely positive, we examined the Vendor Survey in detail. Having these survey results made the focus of our meeting directly related to what our members are asking for. We used the results from all of our surveys to measure what we are doing well, which is our educational content, as well as what we should stop doing. Amtelco offered key personnel Kevin Beale to join our Future Directions committee and specifically the subcommittee, which is focusing on High Availability to create an open line of communication and immediate action.

During our meeting at Amtelco we discussed marketing of NAEO with Amtelco. Updating the Amtelco website with current NAEO content and fueling the Amtelco sales team with current NAEO information is currently being addressed.

Overall, Amtelco was very receptive and collaborative towards getting more involved in addressing member questions, concerns and ideas. The NAEO Board was very pleased with this meeting and the overall impression was that Amtelco is listening to NAEO to help our members succeed.

Please remember to fill out your surveys, and if you missed the surveys we always welcome feedback at management@naeo.org. Better yet join one of our committees and get involved to make changes for the better.

Summer is now upon us and NAEO is kicking up the heat with the I.S. Summer Series. With two full separate workshops going on at the same time the beginner/intermediate level track will educate attendees from how to get started with info pages and shared fields to writing scripts, building directories and on call schedules. The intermediate/advanced level track will include sessions on building Advanced Expressions, SQL tables, SQL stored procedures, SQL database and API integration in scripts and Mergecomm. Even if you have attended the I.S. Summer Series in the past, the expansion of the topics covered makes it worth attending a second time. Register here.

Our new NAEO Superior Agent Service Awards program is now in full swing. Mystery calls will begin on July 15, 2017. As our newest NAEO benefit we are looking forward to announcing our first winners at the 2018 Annual Conference.

Also coming up in September is the Amtelco 1Call conference and this year for the first time NAEO will be hosting a 90 minute IS training seminar. Rossi Frankel (Allina Health), Theran Mossholder (Newtown Answering Service) and Tifani Leal (A1 Professional Answering Serice) will all be representing NAEO at the conference. We are very excited to get in front of the 1Call user group and hope that we can encourage some of the healthcare organizations to join NAEO.

In closing I ask that you please consider volunteering your expertise on one of the NAEO Committees, regardless of whether you can commit to a monthly call or just offering to help in some fashion. If you are reading this, you already possess invaluable skills that our association needs. I can honestly tell you that I have gained more personally and for my business through volunteering than I ever would have by just reading the posts on the Online Community/ listserve.

NAEO continues to be an outstanding organization of talented individuals that extends far beyond a “users group.” We’re considered both competitors and colleagues, yet friends and business associates. Above everything is a priceless relationship in which we are all committed to sharing ideas, expertise, and knowledge for the betterment of us all. As your President, I appreciate the opportunity to serve you and give back to the many who have given to me. I can’t wait to see everyone again in Fort Lauderdale for our 2018 Annual Conference; until then, Please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime at president@naeo.org, especially if there is anything NAEO or I can do for you and your business.

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PDC

The Value of Membership

by Rob Bennett

A long time ago, American Express used to have a tag line on their commercials “membership has its privileges.” I firmly believe if you are a member of any organization that you will, at some point, benefit from membership.

In a service organization such as Rotary, one gets gratification from doing things for others. This could be donating money to help with clean water initiatives in Haiti or India. Or, simply, volunteering time at the local Food Bank or charity to help others in need. It’s truly a gratifying experience. Not to mention, the friendships you form from belonging to a club can last a lifetime.

The same can be said for NAEO! Membership definitely has its privileges and many of my dearest friendships have been fostered over the years of working together on committees, board work and even networking at our conferences.

Often times, when we get buried in the day-to-day of running our businesses, we focus on the cost of membership, not the value. We seem to forget about what we get for the cost of admission. On the surface it’s simple: A wide network of experts in our industry, List Serve, Monthly Publications, Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance and excellent educational content, just to name a few. If you dig a little deeper, the cost of admission can be invaluable…

For the past couple of months (longer than I care to admit), we had been experiencing issues with our mail hosting provider. Some of our e-mails sent through Ultracom were being rejected and we received all sorts of node check timeout and other frustrating errors. It was easily remedied by resending the failed messages or in worst-case scenarios, shutting down and re-starting Ultracom Supervisor, e-mailer and Manager. We band-aided the problem but never resolved the issue at hand.

After several calls to both our mail host and Amtelco, we could not resolve the problem. As a last ditch effort, I gave “cry for help” to our listserv. Within minutes, I had several responses from the gurus who know how this stuff works and even a personal phone call from someone telling me they had the same problem and who to call!

After my brief phone conversation, I reached out to one of our members and discussed the issue. The fix was simple and very cost effective. The following day, we made changes to our mail host, set up Stunnel (based on the recommendations of several) and made a few changes to the e-mail manager portion of Ultracom. 30 minutes of work! 30 minutes, and the issues we had been experiencing had gone away. Since the change, we have not received one rejected e-mail error.

So, what is the value of membership? For me, it’s the willingness of others to share their time and knowledge to help fellow members who are in a bind or need help when they have exceeded all options. You can’t put a value on that! The value I get from my membership in NAEO far exceeds the cost I pay for membership on an annual basis.

For all of you who willingly donate your time and knowledge to benefit others, thank you!

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PDC

Looking Ahead

by Kevin Mahoney, Major Clients Advocate and Engineer, 1Call Division

In this edition of Looking Ahead, let’s explore “The Cloud.”

My Inbox receives daily articles on an array of cloud related topics such as “Cloud Migration Strategies,” “10 Ways the Cloud is Changing the World,” “Choose the Best Cloud for Your Enterprise,” and on and on. The daily barrage makes my head spin with all its marketing speak. What do we actually mean when we say The Cloud and what are the essential characteristics that makeup cloud technology?

We begin with a quick visit to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST.gov) to learn what cloud computing is. The NIST guidelines on information privacy and security served as the basis for the requirements eventually embodied in the HIPAA and HITECH legislation.

This definition tells us The Cloud is convenient, on-demand, and available for many resources including networks, servers, storage, applications, and services. It also tells us there is minimal management effort and plenty of self-service aspects to The Cloud.

Cloud technologies are all about separating the physical IT resources from the actual underlying infrastructure. This is virtualization technology at its finest, and applies to the many resources available to us in this service-oriented model. For example, when we think about our cloud-based e-mail accounts, we are no longer thinking about Microsoft Exchange as an e-mail service. We now are thinking about Google, Yahoo, and other such cloud-based e-mail applications. When we are using a hosted storage service, we are not thinking about rack upon rack of storage in our data centers, we are thinking about services such as Dropbox Inc.’s Dropbox and Microsoft’s OneDrive.

What a win-win scenario cloud technologies bring to the table. It’s a win-win for users because it is on-demand, contains self-service features, is highly available, and presents users with all kinds of interactive interfaces or API’s. For an API refresher, check out February’s Looking Ahead column, in which Alan Tucker talks about the many API’s (application programming interfaces) that Amtelco offers. Plus, cloud technology providers are attractive because they help their customers reduce costs, better utilize equipment, provide end users an engaging experience, and build a fail-in-place environment.

Of course, it’s easy for some to say, “What’s the big deal? All these technologies have been around for quite some time. Virtualization, for example, has been around since the 1970s. What’s so special about today?” The growing trends toward consolidation, automation, and standardization are what make today’s cloud computing so interesting. Computing and application power are being consolidated into central data centers. Automation provides time-saving and self-service technologies (I set up an Azure website in less than five minutes). And standardization enables all vendors to work together. These trends bring us the robust solutions we’ve come to know as cloud computing.

The NIST definition goes on to outline five essential characteristics of The Cloud: on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service. Let’s talk briefly about each of these.

When one thinks of on-demand self-service, the first analogy that comes to mind for me is Dropbox and OneDrive. Both are excellent services. Before The Cloud, when we needed additional storage we contacted our provider, got a quote, negotiated the contracts, and attended to other time-consuming details … and eventually ordered and installed the hardware. Not today. With The Cloud, adding additional storage is accomplished quickly through a self-service cloud portal. Gone are the red-tape and the administrative headaches. Although, let’s be clear, there are still contracts and legal agreements with ample fine print to read before signing up.

This leads into the next characteristic, which is broad network access. What good is my additional storage if it is not able to be accessed by a variety of devices? It is important to have access to these resources at any time and any place, assuming this is appropriate for your business. After all, you might be running a private cloud to which access is limited by design. Otherwise, it is important to allow access from multiple devices including smartphones, tablet computers, desktop computers, and even game consoles such as Xbox. Using the OneDrive example again, I can access my shared storage resource from all of these devices without issue. Pretty cool. I can access this storage from my office, my home, and even my local Dunkin Donuts.

Next on the list is the concept of resource pooling. One way to look at resource pooling is to think about the massive data centers built or being built around the country by folks such as AWS, Microsoft, and Google. Inside each of these data centers lives equipment from Cisco, VMware, NetApp, EMC, and Red Hat, to name a few. All of this technology works together to provide a multi-tenant environment for many different customers with many different needs. Resources, both physical and virtual, are pooled within these data centers and are assigned dynamically to customers. In fact, customers often don’t know exactly where their resources exist nor do resources of one customer interact with those of another customer. While a customer can usually pick a general location for their resources, say the U.S. Northeast, even within this area one doesn’t really know exactly where everything is coming from.

Next is rapid elasticity – “Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released …” The best way to visualize this concept it to imagine a small start-up business that needs a website. The website is up, customers begin to arrive and the business starts to grow. As news travels fast, the business grows more rapidly. Additional computing power is needed to meet these growing needs. A slump occurs, fewer resources are required, then growth returns, and so on. This ever-changing atmosphere helps us illustrate the elastic needs of many organizations. Cloud technologies satisfy these dynamic raw resource needs by easily adjusting both physically and financially to the ever-changing needs of the growing business.

Elasticity goes hand-in-hand with the final characteristic, measured service. Cloud providers can automatically control and optimize resources based on the type of service or resource. Back to my OneDrive example, Microsoft will meter my storage usage, provide reports, and maintain a consistent and optimized solution. This keeps everyone honest by providing transparency for both the user and the provider.

So there you have it, the five cloud characteristics as defined by NIST. They are an important part of today’s fundamental cloud technology blueprint. In my next article, we will discuss Cloud Service Models.

Till then …

Kevin Mahoney is a hospital and healthcare-related account advocate and sales engineer at Amtelco, a manufacturer and supplier of call center solutions located in McFarland, Wisconsin. Contact him by e-mail at kmahoney@amtelco.com

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PDC

Learning Management System (LMS)

Questions? Email professionaldevelopment@naeo.org

We need to bring learning to people instead of people to learning.
—Elliot Masie

Did you know that an LMS is included with your NAEO membership?! Once you upload your education materials into NAEO’s LMS and publish them, your staff has unlimited access to the information they need 24/7. Even your remote staff can log in!

Three benefits of using NAEO’s LMS:

  1. Centralized learning
    One benefit of using NAEO’s LMS is that it offers a centralized source of learning. This means that the education, performance and development content are available any time and are from the same source. Plus, multiple users can access the information at the same time!
  2. Tracking and reporting features
    Another great benefit of NAEO’s LMS are the tracking and reporting tools. You can track the progress of new users and review the records to analyze which areas users need extra assistance with.
  3. Simplified learning process
    NAEO’s LMS system is easy to use for both the learners and the administrators. The LMS enables you to deliver integrated and enriched learning experiences for your users.

Check it out! "Get with the Program" today!

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David Drenk

Follow Multiple Levels of “Covered By” Status with the Resolve Contact Override Response Element

by David Drenk
All rights reserved © June 2016
Contact: insider@amtelco.com

The Resolve Contact Override response element is used to follow the Covered By status of a contact that was selected from the Sandbox, the IS Web, or a MergeComm job and passed to the message script.

If the selected contact’s status is Covered By, the Resolve Contact Override action selects the contact that is covering. Resolve Contact Override can follow multiple levels of Covered By status to select a contact that is covering for a contact covering for another contact, and so on.

The Resolve Contact Override response element is a component of the optional Directory Contacts response element.

Configuring the Resolve Contact Override Properties

To add the Resolve Contact Override response element to a script, click one of the Add/Remove Actions hyperlinks.

The Select Actions window is displayed.

Select “Resolve Contact Override” on the left side of the screen and then click the Right Arrow button.

The Resolve Contact Override properties window is displayed.

The General Properties page contains the settings for resolving Covered By status.

Contact Definition

The Contact Definition menu contains the names of the Contact Definitions that have been created in Script Properties. Select the Contact Definition that matches the IS Directory Subject that will be used to select a contact from the Sandbox, the IS Web, or a MergeComm job.

Summary Field

For each Covered By status that is followed to select a contact, a log containing the text specified in the Override Text property is saved to the Summary Field. Click the Summary Field menu and select a script field to receive the log information returned by the Resolve Contact Override action.

Override Text

The Override Text is the text that will be added to the Summary Field for each Covered By status that is followed to select a contact. To use the default Override Text, click the Set To Default hyperlink. The following text is inserted into the Override Text field:

Contact: [Contact._Description] is currently being covered by: [CoveredBy._Description]

When the Resolve Contact Override action is performed, [Contact._Description] is replaced with the Description of the contact that was selected and [CoveredBy._Description] is replaced with the Description of the contact that is covering for the contact that was selected. Then the information is saved to the Summary Field.

You can also type your own text into the Override Text field. Brackets can be used to insert the contents of Contact Fields assigned to the selected contact or the covering contact.

  1. To insert the contents of a Contact Field for the selected contact, use the format [Contact.ContactFieldName] and replace ContactFieldName with the name of the Contact Field.
  2. To insert the contents of a Contact Field for the contact that is covering for the selected contact, use the format [CoveredBy.ContactFieldName] and replace ContactFieldName with the name of the Contact Field.

When the Resolve Contact Override action is performed, the fields in brackets are replaced with the values contained in the Contact Fields. Then the information is saved to the Summary Field.

Requirements

  • IS Server 4.1.5577.22050 or later
  • IS Supervisor 4.1.4924.33 or later
  • IS Messaging
  • IS Directory Contacts
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition or later
  • 64-bit Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 or later
  • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.4924.34 or later (optional)
  • Soft Agent 4.1.4924.19 or later (optional)
  • IS Web Scripting 4.1.4924.20 or later (optional)

Amtelco Part Number: 232MP099

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