NAEO Newslinks

January 2017 (Issue 1)


Regular Columns

Get Inspired
by Gary Blair

2017 NAEO Conference

Dues Restructure

2017 Board of Director Candidates

Featured Articles

NAEO Member Spotlight

NAEO Member Benefit Spotlight

Webinar Recap

Amtelco Annex

Using Split Expression
by Michael Goumas

IS Web Simple Message Options
by David Drenk

Gary Blair

Get Inspired

by Gary Blair

I have no way of knowing how people really feel, but the vast majority of those I meet couldn't be nicer. Every once in a while, someone barks at me. My New Year's resolution is not to bark back.

Tucker Carlson

Back to top


2017 NAEO Conference

Have you already had enough of winter?

Are you sick of the cold and blowing snow?

Do you find yourself seeking fresh ideas and positive approaches to what starts to feel like the same concerns month after month?

Join us in beautiful San Antonio for the 2017 NAEO Annual Conference and Advanced Technical Workshop!




From March 12 – 15, 2017 you will able to learn from industry experts as they focus on topics appealing to Managers, Owners, Technical staff, Supervisors and Programmers alike.

Attendees will now have the option to follow one of four individual tracks throughout the Conference that are focused around Operational, Technical, Owner/Management and I.S. related content, respectively. Each track will offer the same high level of charismatic presenters, with sessions jam-packed with the type of juicy ideas, solutions, and takeaways that we have all come to expect from an NAEO event!

Register today and take advantage of the Early Bird discount before the February 13 deadline is here.

The Hilton Palacio Del Rio is honoring special room rates for all registrants who book prior to February 20, 2017. Located downtown on the world-famous River Walk, this year’s hacienda-style conference venue offers breathtaking views of the city from a balcony in every hotel room!

Click here for more hotel info.

We can't wait to see you there!

Back to top


Dues Restructure

We are about to make a big change that we think will improve the operations of NAEO.

Recently, the NAEO Board of Directors voted to move to a common membership renewal period for all members. Beginning in 2018, all memberships will run January 1 - December 31.

Why are we doing this?

  • Having a common renewal period will help all members better remember when their membership starts/ends.
  • It will provide the Membership Committee singular focus on the renewals at one point during the year.
  • It will assist with annual operational budgeting.

What’s going to change?

In 2017 you will get a hardcopy invoice not for a full year of membership — but just for the remaining days in 2017 (e.g. if your membership expiration date is June 30 then you will receive an invoice for just half a year). You will then receive an invoice late in 2017 for the entire new membership year — calendar year 2018.

For Example:
Category B Member is $953.00 for a full year.
The June 30, 2017 invoice would be $476.50 and run from July 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017.
In December 2017, you would receive the 2018 invoice for the entire year
.

We appreciate your understanding of this pending change. Please note that while both credit card and check payment options will be available in 2017, we will not be able to enable online renewals given the individualized rates based on anniversary dates. We will have the online renewal system back for 2018 renewals. It will take quite a bit of work, and we would not make the change to a common membership renewal period if we did not believe the time invested would yield benefit to the members and the organization. Please contact any of us if you have any questions, comments or concerns.

Best regards,

Lisa Philips, NAEO Membership Chair, lmphillips@STERICYCLE.com

Theran Mossholder, NAEO President, TMossholder@NewtownAnswering.com

Eric Ewald, NAEO Executive Director, erice@ewald.com

Back to top


2017 Board of Director Candidates

Candidate videos are now posted on the NAEO website.

View the videos here.

Again, our congratulations to this year’s candidates! Listed alphabetically:

  • JoAnn Fussell
  • Patrick Labbett
  • Marie McGuire
  • Alana Nikiforuk
  • Evelyn Portinari

As a reminder — with passage of the NAEO bylaws amendment at last year’s Annual Meeting regarding the election process, the elections will now be conducted electronically.

Here is how the process will take place:

  1. In an earlier email, we announced the official slate of nominees for the information of the members.
  2. During the week of January 16, 2017, the primary contact at each member firm received an electronic ballot and has 30 days to cast their vote.
  3. Voting will close on February 17, 2017.
  4. Results will be announced on February 24, 2017.

Again, congratulations to all those who have been nominated. NAEO is fortunate to have a great field of candidates for leadership service each year!

Best regards,

Gordon Mott, NAEO Nominations Committee Chairman, secretary@naeo.org

Back to top

NAEO Member Spotlight

Member Company: Alliance Communications
Contact Person: Mike Crossman
Position: VP, Operations

How many years has Alliance Communications been in business?

Alliance has been in business since 1948.

Where is Alliance Communications located?

200 Binnington Court, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

How many years has Alliance Communications been an NAEO member?

5 years.

What is the #1 benefit that NAEO has to offer your company?

If I had to choose one benefit that stands out, it would be the list serv. Having access to so many people can really make a difference when you hit a problem or a roadblock; chances are someone out there has already solved the problem.

Is there one challenge specifically that NAEO members have helped you overcome? Please share details.

One of the biggest challenges came for us when we switched from our previous platform to Amtelco. We came on board as a full IS site and the learning curve was really steep — but that being said, so many folks reached out to give us a hand. I cannot imagine how we would have made it without NAEO, its members, our friends and the education they afforded us.

Has NAEO contributed to your leadership skills and experience? If so, how?

There are so many opportunities to grow through NAEO and I would say without any reservations being part of the NAEO board has improved my leadership skills. Being part of the processes and exposed to/mentored by exceptional leaders has helped me to grow as a leader myself.

Have you been on the NAEO board or on one of the committees? If so, which ones?

In the four years Alliance has been part of NAEO, I have been a part of the Membership Committee, ran the Mentorship program, currently am on the board and chair the Future Directions Committee. I have also been lead on the Owner Executive forum.

Have you attended any NAEO Conferences or Summer Series Workshops? If yes, which one(s)?

2011 New Orleans, 2012 Las Vegas, 2013 Nashville, 2014 Dallas, 2015 Orlando, 2016 San Diego…and will see everyone in San Antonio in 2017!

If you have attended any NAEO Conferences, which was your favorite and what was your favorite memory?

My favorite conference was New Orleans. It stands out as the best as it is the first time I had been to an Amtelco conference and we had not yet switched to Amtelco. I was welcomed with open arms into the fold. As for favorite memory…way too many to list or even count.

Do you have any encouraging words for other potential members of NAEO?

NAEO pays for itself. Between the discounts and the invaluable information that you have access to, I cannot understand why a company would not be part of NAEO.

The NAEO Member Spotlight subject is chosen randomly from our membership base. The hope is to provide a glimpse into the rich diversity of our membership, the varied backgrounds from which it springs and share some great stories and experiences from our most valued asset — our members. If you are interested in being featured in our Member Spotlight, please email membership@naeo.org.

Back to top


NAEO Member Benefit Spotlight

Who isn’t interested in saving money $$?

Did you know that your NAEO Member Benefit Amtelco Service Contract Discount Program can do just that? In fact, in some cases it can pay for your NAEO membership.

What is the Amtelco Service Contract Discount Program?

The program teaches and tests technicians or managers how to assist with maintaining their Amtelco equipment. By understanding how to perform basic functions, you help the Amtelco Field Service team troubleshoot prior to needing their assistance, as well as having a better understanding of your equipment while working with them.

What needs to be done to receive the discount?

A short course and a test are given based on your Amtelco system, either Infinity or Eve. After completing the course, a passing grade on the Internet-based test qualifies you for up to a 10 percent discount (up to $1,000 USD) on your service contract with Amtelco. This discount applies to only new tests/results — but once received, it carries forward on an annual basis providing the member maintains BOTH their NAEO Membership AND an Amtelco Support contract.

And remember, depending on the size of your business, this Amtelco discount literally pays for your NAEO membership!

Where can I find the test?

Visit the NAEO website under Member Benefits and the course/test is just a click away. You will first be prompted to login.

What if I am not a member?

Unfortunately this discount program is only for active/current NAEO members. But don’t worry; it’s easy to join and not only receive this great benefit, but many more. Visit our website and join through our Membership area. We look forward to having you join our amazing organization!

Back to top

Webinar Recap

Topic: 2017 Goals for the Year


Date: January 18, 2017

Our second webinar of the year was presented by three of NAEO’s longstanding members: Jim Wagner - Wagner Communications, Linda Wilson - A1 Professional Answering Service, Inc. and Robin Bailey - the Legacy Connection.

Our panelists discussed, from an owner’s perspective, the importance of setting goals for your staff, your clients, and for yourself.

Staff Goals included fostering more teamwork, creating a more positive work environment, and continued staff education and training, be it from in house training, NAEO’s eLearning suite or outside vendor training programs.

Client satisfaction ideas included surveys with a drawing to motivate more participation. It was stressed that you should not just address the negative responses, but also have your staff thank your clients for their positive comments.

These were just a few of the excellent points that our speakers provided.

Remember: Happy Staff = Happy Callers = Happy Clients = Happy Owners


If you missed the original presentation, all of our webinars are recorded and are available on the NAEO website about 7-10 days from date of presentation.

As always, the Professional Development Committee, on behalf of the NAEO Membership, extends our appreciation to all of our hosts, presenters and panelists for sharing your ideas and experiences.

Upcoming Webinars Include:

02/08/2017: San Antonio Conf Webinar ATW Pre-Conference Preview Crystal Reports

02/23/17: What's up with Millennials?

Back to top

Using Split Expression

By Michael Goumas

Amtelco has given us a way to create a simple list inside a script using a single field. This is called Split Expression. It was introduced in IS 4.3. You will find this little tidbit inside the Properties of a Set Field element (looks like a green calculator).

You can use this to create a delimited field that houses any number of elements separated by a delimiter of your choice. I usually choose the ~ as the delimiter.

Here is an example of one of the lists:

The list comprises Michael G., Tom, John and Michael S. If you want to grab the first element, you have two choices. You can specifically tell it to grab the first field.

Or you could leave the Extract first field unchecked, and it will grab the first field the very first time.

To set this up, you would have another Set Field and Set to value the field that holds your list. In this case, I have called the list, List.

Then I specifically want the first element in the list.

So let’s try this in the script. Here is the script (Tree View):

And the result of this is:

Now let’s say I want the second element in the list. I could hard code it, as in the example in the picture below, except the second Selected = [List] I have unchecked the Extract first field.

That’s not too useful (in my mind). I don’t like to hard code specific steps; I don’t want to have to know which step I am on or which element unless it is the last element.

Let’s say I want to make that variable. You can use an Action Table to pull out any position in the list.

Here are the test runs. I will do them out of order and show you the results as I run them.

As you can see, I can pull the specific element out of the list. Here is the Tree View of the screen now.

Each time in the actionTable, I initialize the routine and grab the first element and immediately proceed with the Loop. I check to see what Position I want, and if that equals where the actionTable is (Loop) it immediately jumped out of the looping. Otherwise it grabs the next person in the list and goes back to “itself” (Loop in actionTable) and evaluates again.

Disclaimer: I want to caution you on using any type of looping. You can get in to an endless loop if you are not careful. When I am testing I usually have a Prompt Yes/No. If I answer Yes on the Yes/No, I continue with the loop. If I answer No, I can jump right to the End and stop it. This is very handy with debugging any type of looping. Also, I can’t stress enough that you should Save your script (not necessarily activate it) before Test Driving. If you get in to an endless loop, chances are you are going to have to kill the program in Task Manager.

Now let’s talk about an example where you want to go step by step. That is easier to do — but the loop changes since you really know how many elements you are going to have to go through. I have added a Next button to the screen.

That’s all well and good — but what if I want to loop it? The way the actionGroup I have shown you for this, it will not work correctly. But I can rework it will come back around and start again.

The Selected = [List] in the FirstPosition step explicitly has Extract first field. Then the Loop has Selected = [List] with Extract first field unchecked.

I have a real world case where I am using this to SMS everyone that I have contacted in a script. The list contains the name of each person I have reached using the Contact Based Architecture. I am using the second example (actionTable1) to go through each contact, select them and then text them who took the message.

As you can see, I have texted 4 people. Let’s say one of them texts back or calls back in. I put in who we gave the message to and it texts all 4 people.

This is the script doing the work. I know you are thinking, “what if you contact Tom Kappers and he tells you to contact someone that it hasn’t texted?"

Now I have contacted Christopher Fakhar. And now the script will send him a text as well.

To add to the delivery list group that I want to text from, that is done by using the following If statement:

The reason I use the If statement is that I don’t want to duplicate someone getting a text so the "If" just weeds out the duplicates for me.

You can have multiple lists running simultaneously as well. So for those services where you use a First and Last name for your contacts you can have a FirstNameList and a LastNameList. You would just have to modify the looping to take both fields in to account when selecting the next or the specific position you would like.

Back to top

David Drenk

IS Web Simple Message Options

by David Drenk
All rights reserved © June 2015
Contact: insider@amtelco.com

The Intelligent Series (IS) Web application has several configuration options that relate to using Simple Message forms. The first four of these options can be used to customize the user interface when taking messages in the IS Web using Simple Message forms. The fifth option controls whether a message script or Simple Message form is displayed when continuing a message that was created using a message script.

Simple Message Dispatch

The IS Web config file includes a setting for Simple Message Dispatch. The default value is “true.”

When the simpleMessageDispatch option is set to “true,” messages sent by selecting multiple contacts from the IS Web Directory are sent using each contact’s status. The message is sent to the first Contact Method indicated by each contact’s status that is not a Phone contact method.

When the simpleMessageDispatch option is set to “false,” the dispatch options are presented as check boxes that the user can select to determine which Contact Methods are used to dispatch the message per contact.

Group Message Dispatch

The IS Web config file includes a setting for Group Message Dispatch. This setting is similar to the Simple Message Dispatch setting, but applies to messages sent using the Enhanced Group Dispatching feature. The default value is “true.”

When the groupMessageDispatch option is set to “true,” messages sent using the Enhanced Group Dispatching feature on the Group Messaging tab are sent using each contact’s status. The message is sent to the first Contact Method indicated by each contact’s status that is not a Phone contact method.

When the groupMessageDispatch option is set to “false,” the dispatch options are presented as check boxes that the user can select to determine which Contact Methods are used to dispatch the message per contact.

Simple Message Include From

The Simple Message Include From setting in the IS Web config file is used to include the From field of a Simple Message in the message body. This feature was created for use with TAP paging because TAP pagers do not accommodate a From field or Subject field. The default value is “false.”

When the simpleMessageIncludeFrom option is set to “true,” the text “From:” and the contents of the From field are inserted into the message body of every Simple Message before it is transmitted.

Simple Message Include Subject

The Simple Message Include Subject setting in the IS Web config file is used to include the Subject field of a Simple Message in the message body. Like the Simple Message Include From option, this feature was created for use with TAP paging because TAP pagers do not accommodate a From field or a Subject field. The default value is “false.”

When the simpleMessageIncludeSubject option is set to “true,” the text “Subject:” and the contents of the Subject field are inserted into the message body of every Simple Message before it is transmitted.

Continue Does Resume

The Continue Does Resume setting in the IS Web config file determines what action is performed when the Continue icon is clicked in the InBox. This setting only applies to messages that were created using scripted messaging. The default value is “false.”

When the continueDoesResume option is set to “true” and a user selects a message in the InBox and clicks the Continue icon, the script that was used to create the message is launched so that the user can use the script to continue the message dispatch process.

When the continueDoesResume option is set to “false” and a user selects a message in the InBox and clicks the Continue icon, the Simple Message form is displayed so that the user can create a new message.

Requirements:

  • IS Server 4.1.4924.19197 or later
  • IS Supervisor 4.1.4924.22 or later
  • IS Messaging
  • Enhanced Group Dispatching (for Group Message Dispatch)
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition or later
  • 64-bit Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 or later
  • IS Web 4.1.4924.21 or later
  • IS Web Scripting 4.1.4924.15 or later (for Continue Does Resume)

Amtelco Part Number: 232MP112 and 232MP181

Back to top