November/December 2014

Regular Columns

From the Editor
By Kelli Harrigan

Be Inspired
by Gary Blair

IS Tip
by Kevin Procter

Widgets
by Michael Goumas

Featured Articles

NAEO Conference Details

NAEO Conference Spotlight on Mr. Harris Rosen
by Laurie Blow

Healthcare Roundtables at NAEO
by Bryan Weinstein

Upcoming Webinars


Amtelco Annex

Bill More Accurately with the Secretarial Cancel Setting
by David Drenk

Infinity Backup Service Simplifies Infinity Backup Procedure
by David Drenk

Make Mass Changes to Directory Information with the IS Directory Modifier
by David Drenk

Web.Config Setting to Show or Hide Subject Names on the IS Web OnCall Assignments Page
by David Drenk

Kelli Harrigan

From the Editor

By Kelli Harrigan

The Season of Gratitude…

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.
~ Brian Tracy

Every year at this time, we turn our attention to the holidays and our expressions of Thanksgiving and appreciation. It’s a wonderful season! And it got me thinking … many of the very obstacles that have challenged me are the very same things I should be thankful for, but often let slide by without a nod their way. Challenges (or should I say opportunities for growth?!) push us outside of our comfort zone, force us to change our way of thinking and hopefully, in the end, grow towards better versions of ourselves. It is not always easy – often it is grueling, difficult and hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But more often than not, I have found that in the end, the challenges life tosses my way make me stronger – hopefully a better person personally and professionally, more attuned to how much I have to be grateful for, and often thirsting for more knowledge about how to better use my newfound skills/strength/?? (whatever the challenge has brought my way). See Kevin Procter’s article for more on facing a Challenge!

I love the challenge of finding three new things to be grateful for each day. A group of my friends on Facebook have been posting these every day for the last month so far, and it is great to see the things we have all have to be thankful for. And the article about NAEO Conference speaker Mr. Rosen reminds us all to find ways to pay it forward as well – what a great message!

I wish you all happy holidays!

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Be Inspired

Submitted by Gary Blair

Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.
~ Henry Van Dyke

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarify. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
~ Melody Beattie

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
~ Albert Schweitzer

When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.
~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.
~ Zig Ziglar

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IS Tip

by Kevin Procter

Challenge

The ambient air temperature was -8 degrees Celsius (that's 17.6 degrees for Fahrenheit readers) January 1, 2014. Armed with only a pair of rubber shoes, a bathing suit and a smile, yours truly faced down a personal challenge: “The Polar Bear Dip”! Due to the very cold winter we'd experienced, the ice build-up on the shores of Port Dover, Ontario, forced the human polar bears to walk more than one hundred metres down the icy beach, where we climbed the ice bank and, like lemmings, followed each other into the frigid waters of Lake Erie, dodging the mini ice-bergs. Getting into the water and diving under was only half the challenge – the easy half. The greater challenge was getting out of the water, and surviving hypothermia.

Leading up to this fateful day of the new year, there were many people who were excited about joining me in this venture. As the date approached, the commitment wavered and one by one, those once-icy cronies began to melt away. In the end, this pink-skinned polar bear was alone against the frigid, ice-filled waters.

The experience of facing a personal challenge like this, while others shrink away (loose Seinfeld reference intended) was not unlike the experience of facing challenges in our professional lives. Perhaps something your company has never done before – something seemingly overwhelming – has come across your desk. Will you shrink away from the challenge presented, afraid of what might come – or will you pick it up, gather the resources needed, take calculated risks, and go it alone?

This programmer is thankful for any challenges that seem to be inconceivably difficult. Each time we are charged with a new task, we have an opportunity to learn, to improve ourselves – and to give our company an edge, providing new solutions that perhaps others don't have to offer their customers.

Will the polar bear dip be on this writer's agenda in the future? If you have the nerve to embrace this challenge yourself, for an experience you'll never forget, you just might see a familiar face. Likewise, if you embrace seemingly unworkable tasks, you and your company may be one of only a brave few, who were not afraid to step into the unknown and come out of it stronger, and more robust (and chilled) than before.

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Widgets

by Michael Goumas, ProComm

When to use a Case Branch, a List Branch and an If() Branch

How do you know when to use a Case Branch, a List Branch or an If() Branch in IS Scripts?

All of these are ways of controlling the script. The List and Case Branch elements are glorified If() Branches and they are easier to read. But it is up to you to decide which is most appropriate and which is easiest.

If() Branch: The If() Branch is very dynamic and can accommodate multiple conditions with each “nest” if you have to evaluate multiple options. An example of that is:

To read this in layman’s terms, first I check to see if IS is in Holiday mode. If so, it sets up the script to be after hours. If it is not in Holiday mode, then it checks to see if the client’s status in Infinity contains “bad weather”. Again, if that is true, set up the script for holiday mode. If no, check the client status again to see if it contains “office closed”. If so, again set up the script for after hours. Then the meat and potatoes of it, after all of the previous If() is false, the script checks to see if the current date and time falls within their normal office hours. If it is, then it sets up the script for office hours. If everything is false, then the script assumes it is after hours. So I am testing dissimilar conditions one after the other to see if the office is closed, trying to override the office hours. The Office Closed status is used if the office closes early and that also overrides the “during office hours”.

List Branch: This is a great tool and makes it easy to display the condition and write the script within the List Branch. It is good for times when the script sees discrete conditions. So here are the properties of a List element:

I have four options, as you can see. So when my script needs to make a determination, this is an example of the List Branch.

To read this in layman’s terms, If PageOrFax equals “Contact doctor on-call”, do those actions. Else if PageOrFax equals “Reporting a death”, the message is for the office. Else if PageOrFax equals “Message for the office”, the message is for the office. Else if PageOrFax equals “Regarding appointments”, the message is for the office. Notice in this case the last decision was Else If — not just Else.

List Branches are great to view — but what happens if for some reason PageOrFax is none of those options? I know you are thinking to yourself that it always has to be one of those four options. It doesn’t. Programming scripts, if you don’t have the PageOrFax on the screen for the operator to choose from, you have to be responsible for setting the value of that element OR maybe you need to have another condition that is none of those. You would be able to set it for anything you want in the list or really anything you want. However, the List Branch will only show the four options that you set in your List element.

This gets me to the next element, the Case Branch.

Case Branch is a dynamic List Branch. The above List Branch can be rewritten as:

In layman’s terms, you read this as If PageOrFax equals “Contact doctor on-call”, do these actions. ELSE Message is for the office.

In my List Branch above, what if the condition was Patch instead of one of the four options the operator could choose from? Possibly if it is a hospital call it is always going to contact the doctor on-call BUT we are patching those calls. So I give an extra option for the script to handle. The List Branch can’t handle that, but the Case Branch could. So if I modify the Case Branch to take into account for that extra option it would look like this:

In layman’s terms, you read this as If PageOrFax equals “Contact doctor on-call”, do these actions. Else If PageOrFax equals “Patch”, we are immediately going to dispatch call. ELSE Message is for the office.

Case branches are extremely powerful as you can also use an Advanced Expression to evaluate to get to your conditions. If you are using Contact Based, you probably know about contact statuses and when you are using Status overrides, you will notice your script will add the word(s) “Override : ” to the status. So your status is “Override : On SMS” or something like that. I really don’t care if it is overridden. I just care about the actual status tree the contact is on.

So as you can see, my Case Branch is REPLACE(Contact Status, “Override : ”, nothing). This removes the words “Override :” from the status. If I didn’t do that I would have Text, Override : Text, On text and cell, Override : On text and cell, etc. I don’t really need the extra statuses with the words override so I just remove that as an option and look at the status without those word(s) in it.

If you have to make decisions based on values from a database, you cannot use a List Branch. You would have to use a Case Branch or an If() Branch. An example of something like that I use in my property management accounts.

What the operator sees is one thing but the script sees Above, Below, Yes, No, Partial, Full, 911 and Lockouts. I didn’t have entries in my Case Branch for Yes and No but I left them in the script, just in case later on I wanted to add something in the script. In this account there are about 20 options that show up to the operators — but as you can see, there are only 8 actual possibilities I am looking for. One option is “Caller wants to pay their bill” but in the database Reach = No.

There are so many possibilities for this type of programming. Let your imagination run wild... just not too wild!

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NAEO Conference Details

2015 NAEO Annual Conference

Rosen Shingle Creek | 9939 Universal Blvd. | Orlando, Florida 32819

Registration will open January 6, 2015

Book your hotel now!

Hotel Room Rate: The room rate at the Rosen Shingle Creek: $209

Click here to sponsor | Click here for conference details

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Laurie Blow

NAEO Conference Spotlight on Mr. Harris Rosen

By Laurie Blow

Be inspired by those who work hard, are grateful for their good fortune and live a pay-it-forward lifestyle.

Cy Wakeman2015 NAEO conference attendees will have the unique opportunity to see our very own Gordon Mott interview Harris Rosen, 2011 National Philanthropy Day Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Mr. Rosen grew up in Hell’s Kitchen and through education and hard work, he found his way out and achieved his dream of success in the hospitality business. Forty years later, he is the owner of several properties in the Orlando area including Rosen Shingle Creek, the site for our conference. Along the way, Mr. Rosen did not lose sight of those who helped him and the value of his education. He made the decision to pay his success forward to give others an opportunity to succeed.

Through the creation of the Harris Rosen Foundation, thousands of peoples’ lives have improved. The Tangelo Park Program provides free preschool and college education to children in what was once a high-crime and underserved community in Central Florida. This community has seen a 60% reduction in crime and a 100% graduation rate since the program began. The Harris Rosen Foundation has also been committed to making lives in Haiti better by providing food, education, healthcare, clean water and employment opportunities.

Mr. Rosen has applied the pay-it-forward concept to his staff as well. Full-time employees of three years or more are eligible for a safety net scholarship program for tuition and books for their children at a public college or university in Florida. The company also offers an associate scholarship program to staff after five years of employment.

Take a few minutes to watch the video below — and be thankful for your success and inspired to pay it forward.

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Healthcare Roundtables at NAEO

By Bryan Weinstein, V.P., Business Development & Contracts, Call 4 Health

With NAEO's Annual Conference right around the corner, I would like to provide you with a spotlight on something new that we are introducing this year. We will have healthcare roundtables. We will have several topics that hospitals and call centers in the healthcare industry deal with every day. This will be an opportunity to meet with peers and discuss challenges, brainstorm ideas and find solutions.

Some of these topics include:

  • Processing Code Calls Efficiently
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Utilizing Data to Measure Outcomes
  • Integration Ideas
  • Road Map on How to Move Forward
  • Reporting

If there are any additional topics that you would like to discuss in the healthcare roundtable sessions, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your requests and suggestions.

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Upcoming Webinars

Director of First Impressions
December 17, 2014 | 2:00 pm ET

Speaker: Deborah Anders
Host: Evelyn Portinari

How to become the Director of First Impressions: Needing to develop those "soft skills" with some of your team members? Falling a little short on that "WOW" factor on some of your calls? Or just needing to get back to the basics? This webinar will show you ways to coach your team members to create that award-winning first impression for your customers and their callers. Sign up today—space is limited!

Goal Setting/Strategic Planning
January 14, 2015 | 2:00 pm ET

Presenters: Michelle Matte
Host: Alana Nikiforuk

Goals may be “dreams with deadlines,” but you don't get paid to daydream, so attend this webinar on Goal Setting and Strategic Planning.

Strategic planning, both at work and in your personal life, will help to ensure that your “bucket list” and your plans to move the business forward stay on track and top of mind.

Setting goals and milestones within that strategic plan will allow you to break down a perhaps daunting and seemingly unachievable ambition into smaller bite-sized pieces, thus keeping you motivated and engaged.

In this hour-long session we will review the three key steps to planning and goal setting:

• Identification (What do you want to achieve? What will be the end result?)
• Documentation (What steps will you take to achieve this and when? Who will help you?)
• Execution (Putting the plan into action, and re-adjusting when necessary)

Join us on Wednesday January 14, at 2 pm EST and learn how to turn your BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) into BTDTs (Been There Done Thats)

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david drenk

Bill More Accurately with the Secretarial Cancel Setting

by David Drenk

All rights reserved © September 2013

Contact: insider@amtelco.com

The Secretarial Cancel setting in Infinity Supervisor configures Infinity to stay in Secretarial Mode when a call is canceled. This setting can provide more accurate statistics for answering services that bill differently for Secretarial time versus Checkin time and Non-Live time.

MDR stores the state in which the call ended, so enabling the Secretarial Cancel setting configures calls that come in as Secretarial calls to be stored as Secretarial calls. If this setting is disabled, calls that come in as Secretarial calls are stored as Checkin calls if the operator cancels the script.

The Secretarial Cancel setting is located in Infinity Supervisor on the Client Setup pages.

Select “Intelligent Series Options” from the Page menu.

Click the Misc tab.

A check box labeled “Secretarial Cancel” is displayed on the Miscellaneous page.

• Select the Secretarial Cancel check box if you want Infinity to remain in Secretarial Mode when a script is canceled on this client account.

• Clear the Secretarial Cancel check box if you want Infinity to switch to Checkin Mode when a script is canceled on this client account.

Click the Save button to save your setting changes.

Requirements:

    • Infinity 5.60.00 or later
    • Infinity Supervisor 5.60.17 or later
    • IS Server 3.7.4582.19038 or later
    • IS Supervisor 5.60.4364.24 or later
    • IS Messaging
    • SQL Server 2005 or later
    • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.4364.35 or later

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Kelli Harrigan

 

Infinity Backup Service Simplifies Infinity Backup Procedure

by David Drenk

All rights reserved © May 2013

Contact: insider@amtelco.com

The Infinity Backup Service is a Microsoft Windows Service that automatically writes a copy of the Infinity system database to a storage location. The backup file is intended for use in recovering the Infinity system in the event of a service outage or other need.

A Windows Service is an executable file designed to run indefinitely and to perform specific functions without any human involvement. A Windows Service can be started and stopped manually as needed or it can be configured to start when the operating system is booted and run in the background as long as the operating system is running.

The Infinity Backup Service eliminates the need for a Digital Audio Tape (DAT) drive in the Infinity chassis. The service can reside on either a workstation or a server provided by the customer.

The service can write the back-up file to any location on the local area network (LAN) on which the Infinity server and the computer housing the service reside.

The Infinity Backup Service can be triggered to run manually as needed, or it can be scheduled to run at a specific date and time using the System Schedule pages of the Infinity Supervisor application.

The Infinity Backup Service feature consists of three components – a Windows Service and its companion Configuration application, and a Client application.

The Infinity Backup Service, whether running on a workstation or a server, must be assigned a Station Number in the Infinity system hardware configuration.

Requirements:
• Infinity 5.60.13 or later
• Infinity Supervisor 5.60.0016 or later
• Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.4364.09 or later
• Microsoft Windows XP or later with .NET Framework 3.5
or
• Infinity 5.60.13 or later
• Infinity Supervisor 5.60.0016 or later
• Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.4364.09 or later
• Microsoft Windows Server 2003 or later with .NET Framework 3.5

Amtelco Part Number: 232S844

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Kelli Harrigan

 

Make Mass Changes to Directory Information with the IS Directory Modifier

by David Drenk

All rights reserved © September 2012

Contact: insider@amtelco.com

The Intelligent Series (IS) Directory Modifier utility is an optional component of the Intelligent Series suite of applications. The IS Directory Modifier is used to make mass changes to information contained in the IS Directory. The Directory Modifier is designed to avoid manual labor by automating changes that affect every listing in a directory.

The Directory Modifier can be used to make one-time modifications to a directory, or the settings can be saved and scheduled to perform modifications on a regular basis to adjust data imported into a directory with the optional IS Transformer.

The IS Directory Modifier presents controls for making mass changes to information stored in the IS Directory. A Select Subject menu and a Clear button are displayed at the top of the IS Directory Modifier window. A Navigation Menu is displayed on the left, with hyperlinks to each of the pages.

• The Select Subject menu contains the names of each Directory Subject created in the IS Directory. Click the Select Subject menu and select the directory subject that contains information that you want to modify.

• The Clear button is used to clear the settings on all of the Directory Modifier pages when setting up a new directory modification routine. To clear the settings on all Directory Modifier pages, click the Clear button.

• The Navigation Menu controls the display of different pages within the Directory Modifier utility. A check mark icon is displayed next to the title of each page that has been set to modify the directory. This feature makes it easy to see which controls have been set before running the modification routine.

To open a specific page, click the corresponding hyperlink on the Navigation Menu. The controls for the selected page are displayed on the right side of the IS Directory Modifier window.

General
The General page is used to make changes to the Time Zone, Client, and Agent settings for directory listings.

Time Zone
The Time Zone controls are used to apply a Time Zone to all listings in the selected Directory Subject. Time Zone is used with the optional Directory Contacts feature to adjust the Status Schedule for contacts based in different time zones than the IS server.

Client
The Client controls are used to set the Client property of all listings in the selected Directory Subject. The Client property is required to pull information into the Client Fields referenced by the directory. The Client property also is required to send messages to a listing from the IS Web application and to display a person’s messages on the Inbox page in the IS Web application.

The Directory Modifier can be used to set the Client property of all listings to a specific client account, or to set the Client property of each listing to a client account referenced in a directory field. Each listing can be assigned a different client account, provided that account number is contained in one of the directory’s Master Fields.

Agent
The Agent controls are used to set the Agent property of all listings in the selected Directory Subject. The Agent property is used to access the My Settings page and the Inbox page in the IS Web application.

The Agent property of all listings can be set to a specific Agent Login Name, or the Agent property of each listing can be set to match the Agent Login Name referenced in a directory field. Each listing can be assigned a different Agent Login Name, provided that Login Name is contained in one of the directory’s Master Fields.

Roles

The Roles page is used to assign one or more roles to all directory listings.

Roles are used with IS Directory OnCall schedules, IS Appointment Schedules, and IS Class Registration events to specify different types of resources that are needed. Roles also can be used to filter IS Directory Views and to determine which contact is selected from a message script.

Status

The Status page is used to assign a Default Status and a Status Schedule to all listings.

The Default Status setting is a component of the optional IS Directory Contacts feature. The default status is the status that will be in effect for a listing when no time and day settings on the listing’s Status Schedule apply.

Status Schedules are used in IS Directory contact-based dispatching to control which Contact Methods are used for dispatching from an Intelligent Message script to a specific contact person at specific times and days. Status Schedules also determine the order in which the Contact Methods are presented in the Dispatching window.

The Status page in the IS Directory Modifier can be used to create a common Status Schedule for all contacts, which can be modified later on an individual basis for contacts that require a different schedule.

Contact Order

The Contact Order page is used to associate Contact Methods with each status that has been created for the selected Directory Subject.

Assigning Contact Methods to a status determines which Contact Methods are displayed in the Dispatching window when a Contact Dispatch action is performed from an Intelligent Message script, the order that the Contact Methods are listed, the number of attempts that should be made, and the interval between attempts.

The Contact Order page in the IS Directory Modifier can be used to create a general dispatching protocol for each contact based on status. Administrators or staff members can then alter the contact order for individual listings through the IS Supervisor or IS Web applications.

Running Directory Modifications
A Directory Modifier routine may be run immediately or scheduled to run at a later date and time using the Task Scheduler tool in the Windows operating system of the workstation.

To run a Directory Modifier routine immediately, click the Run button at the bottom of the IS Directory Modifier window. The directory modification session starts and a progress screen is displayed. When the directory modifications are completed, the progress screen closes and the IS Directory Modifier window is displayed.

The IS Directory Modifier can be scheduled with the Microsoft Windows Task Scheduler to perform directory modifications hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly at specific dates and times. This makes it possible to configure the Directory Modifier and then have it run automatically at an off-peak hour to minimize the application’s data traffic over the local area network (LAN).

Requirements:
• IS Supervisor 5.60.4364.00 or later
• IS Server 3.7.4364.20349 or later
• IS Directory Modifier
• SQL Server 2008 or later

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Kelli Harrigan

 

Web.Config Setting to Show or Hide Subject Names on the IS Web OnCall Assignments Page

by David Drenk

All rights reserved © October 2012

Contact: insider@amtelco.com

A setting called OncallRosterSubject has been added to the web.config file for the IS Web application. This setting can be used to hide IS Directory Subject names on the OnCall Assignments page, so that just the OnCall schedule names are displayed.

The OncallRosterSubject setting is located in the web.config file for the IS Web application. By default, this setting is set to “true.” The OnCall Assignments page is displayed by clicking the OnCall tab in the IS Web application.

If the OncallRosterSubject setting is set to “true,” the Directory Subject names are displayed to the left of each schedule name on the OnCall Assignments page.

If the OncallRosterSubject setting is set to “false,” the Directory Subject names are not shown on the OnCall Assignments page. Instead, just the schedule names are displayed.

Requirements:
• IS Web 3.7.4364.0 or later
• IS Supervisor 5.60.4364.06 or later
• IS Server 3.7.4364.19150 or later
• SQL Server 2005 or later

Amtelco Part Number: 232MP113

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Newslinks November/December 2014 - National Amtelco Equipment Owners (NAEO) Newslinks November/December 2014 - National Amtelco Equipment Owners (NAEO)