Newslinks April 2013

April 2013

Regular Columns

From the Editor
by Betty Bouchie

Be Inspired
by Gary Blair

Something to Smile About...

IS Tip
by Kevin Procter

Widgets
by Michael Goumas

Featured Articles

Carol Doesn't Work Here Anymore
by Nancy Friedman

Innovation Machine Update
by Kurt VanderScheer

NAEO Conference – After Nashville
by Jessica Schipull and Kelli Harrigan

Upcoming Webinars

 

Amtelco Annex

Schedule Backups of SQL Databases through IS Supervisor
by David Drenk

New Features for Infinity Waits
by David Drenk

From the Editor

by Betty Bouchie

Spring Sings!

WOW!!! What an amazing conference!!! Innovation was not the only thing that sang. Fountains sang as well as each and every one of the presenters, who sang with great ideas. Lines were danced, fantastic food was eaten and more knowledge than could be stuffed into a head was shared! As a hospital site, I was happy to interact with other hospital sites and share common ideas and issues. I was also very happy for the commitment from NAEO to keep a hospital track at the conference. There was really a track for everyone, no matter what your area of expertise. IS, Technical, Management team, Sales – it was all there, just waiting to be shared. I hope you had a chance to attend, if not start planning for next year!!!!!

 

Back to top

Be Inspired

Submitted by Gary Blair

"I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues."
~ Duke Ellington

"If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music."
~ Albert Einstein

Back to top

Something to Smile About...

Although it is not music from Nashville, it is still music to give you a smile.

 

Back to top

IS Tip

Do You Play the Piano?

by Kevin Procter, Extend Communications Inc.

"Do you play the piano?" Cathy asked me that question as I typed code into one of her computers while installing a system for her processing plant in Sudbury. I felt like hacking a Star Trek line and telling her "Darn-it Cathy! I'm a programmer, not a piano player!" However, I held my wit - as clever as it is – and I simply said "Nope."

The fact remains, however, that while programming, I did look like I was playing a concerto. As musicians line up notes to make a melody flow, so a programmer lines up code to execute a virtual process in hopes it too will have a relaxing, easy, perhaps even catchy flow.

IS programming is a little different from simply tapping the keyboard – more like learning to play multiple instruments. An IS programmer needs to learn the language of IS scripting, as well as SQL programming (if you want to do a great job) and some HTML to boot. Soon, the accomplished IS programmer begins to command a virtual symphony of code on his or her computer. Using the keyboards to enter the notes of the code, and the mouse to conduct the remaining orchestrated harmony. This is all in preparation for the big show – the programmer's work is released to the company, and indeed to the world.

Just as a great violinist can make the most beautiful music come to life, so too can a skilled agent bring a programmer's work to life. The programmer can hear his binary symphony by listening to a room full of operators playing the music of taking a call. When it flows well, it leaves the caller feeling good, and the operator feels masterful, proficient, savvy. Just as listening to a great bit of music can leave you feeling invigorated, so too can listening to a well-programmed call in the hands of a skilled agent.

What kind of music do you or your programmers compose?

Although there are things that one must do to conform with the culture of the company where you live one third of your life, the individual style of each programmer will be heard seen and felt by everyone within that culture: Administrators, agents, and of course the callers. A programmer's compositional style is important, and can not be taken lightly.

This programmer has tried all kinds musical styles over the years: Country music was the greatest challenge as I could never figure out what country it was from. Truly, the melody of choice for yours truly is more or less classical, with a hint of jazz.

The next time you're watching a programmer code, in that near-nirvana frame of mind, watch his or her hands as they develop new IS scripts, build web pages, and program SQL queries. Consider the orchestra of binary notes that may be playing not just within the head, but fully within the heart of that programmer. And remember, each note will be played by your company to a waiting world of callers.

 

 

Back to top

Widgets

Holiday Reminder

by Michael Goumas, ProComm

Real world example:
You are closing an office on Wednesday (7/3) and you have IS scheduled to have Thursday (7/4 for us Americans) as a holiday. ould you not want to have the operators reminded of the holiday?

You are passing the date only to the stored procedure from IS.

Here is my test:

To complete the test, I have 7/8 (a Monday as a holiday). 7/5 is Friday, 7/6 Saturday and 7/7 Sunday.



Here is the call to SQL:


 

The display is:

I could do this in IS but it was quicker to do it in one step in SQL and have IS figure it out.

 

Back to top

 

Carol Doesn't Work Here Anymore

by Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor

A few years ago, I interviewed and subsequently hired a woman for a position on the phones at our office. At Telephone Doctor, our customer service techniques are a condition of employment.

In this particular case, the young lady we interviewed was spectacular. She said the right thing. She looked right. She was the most positive, upbeat, happy individual we'd seen in a long time. We laughed and had a wonderful interview. Her laugh seemed contagious. Her beautiful smile was constant. Her positive mental attitude was perfect. She had faced much adversity in her life and she explained how she handled it with the same great mentality.

Her name was Carol.

I was impressed. After she left I thought about her. "Gee," I thought to myself, "what a special person this could be for us." Carol came back a day or so later for the 2nd interview. Again, the same wonderful personality. Her friendliness was so natural, so outgoing you wanted to bottle it. Bingo - Carol was hired on the spot. Everyone I introduced her to was very excited.

She went into our training program with gusto. She learned the Telephone Doctor products quickly and after three or four weeks we put Carol on the phones, to call our clients.

One day, shortly after she was put on the phones, I was walking past her office. I paused to listen to her thinking how great she'd be. Well, I almost fell over. Here was the same lady, but her entire personality had changed. The voice I heard was downbeat; almost depressing. There sure was no smile in her voice. The conversation she had going with a client was stilted and cold. One word answers. It was, to put it mildly, shocking and frankly, embarrassing.

I quickly called Carol into my office. "Carol," I said, "what happened? When we interviewed you a few weeks ago, you were wonderful. You were so cheerful, so happy, so full of life. Your voice had a personality I wanted to bottle. And now, while I was listening to you, it seemed as though you were an entirely different person. Your voice was down, there was no personality. You seemed cold and unfriendly. What happened?"

"Oh," she said without missing a beat and very firmly, "when we interviewed - that was different. We're like friends. That was fun. These are business calls. That's different."

"Wrong" I said, "these are our business friends and they need to be treated as such." I told her if she was going to give me half her personality I'd give her half her pay.

P.S. - Carol doesn't work here anymore.

Think about your interview. Did you tell the person you interviewed with you loved people? That you're a "people" person? That you loved to be busy? Did you smile during the interview to impress them? Why be any different to your customers?

Remember, customers are our business friends and deserve the same treatment as that 'great' interview you gave.

Don't be a "Carol." Be you. Be the person they interviewed. All the time.

 

Back to top

Innovation Machine Update

by Kurt VanderScheer, Technical Committee Chair

In 2011 Amtelco introduced the Innovation Machine to the NAEO membership. For the uninitiated, the Innovation Machine is a website where Amtelco customers can "enter new ideas for software development as well as to search and rank ideas suggested by other Amtelco users.” The bottom line is that this is the place where Amtelco will listen to you for product improvements and new ideas. You may have noticed the occasional "Amtelco Innovation Machine Idea Submission” messages posted to the listserve. Don’t ignore these! Read them, and if you find a suggestion - big or small - that would be beneficial to your company please take the time to follow the link in the email and vote or leave a comment! Your interest as expressed by your comments and rankings via the Innovation Machine has a direct impact on the future of Amtelco’s products.

Since 2012 there have been 195 ideas submitted with 24 being completed. It may seem like a small percentage, but Amtelco takes each and every submission into account. Many are in active development. With the creation of the Innovation Machine, Amtelco also created the Innovation Committee. This committee, comprised of key Amtelco employees and NAEO member representation, reviews and ranks the submissions on a regular basis. The review process takes into consideration the idea’s comments, ranking as ranked by individual members, and the number of customers an idea may impact. It’s important to note that an idea with the potential to benefit many customers will likely get more consideration from Amtelco management than one that may appeal to only a few.

Here are the top three Innovation Machine ideas currently in discovery:
•Developing an Infinity API suggested by Robert Donnelly
•Developing IS Server Load Balancing and Cluster Awareness suggested by Mike Burkinshaw,
and
•Developing the ability for WinOp to have redundancy via multiple simultaneous server
connections suggested by Jeff Farber.
To submit a new idea or to search for and comment on an existing idea visit the Innovation
Machine website at https://service.amtelco.com/iswebscriptingim/. Once there you will find options
to add a new idea or search existing ideas. If you’d like to know what ideas are getting the most
traction try the "Top 32 by Popularity” search method.
Please remember to vote and comment on your favorite ideas...and keep the new ideas
coming! Amtelco’s listening!

Back to top

Kelli Harrigan

NAEO Conference 2013 – After Nashville

By: Jessica SchipullandKelli Harrigan, Conference Chair

The 2013 Annual NAEO Conference in Nashville has ended, and hopefully all of you came home with some great ideas to incorporate in your company. I personally came home with a whole LIST of ideas and changes that we will be incorporating in the weeks to come! I cannot wait for all of the changes to take place!

One of my biggest takeaways was from the Breakout Session with Lisa Phillips and Evelyn Portinari on Group Interviews. Even though I was moderating that session, my brain was taking everything in, and it is definitely something that we will start doing! I also enjoyed the Best Idea Session at the end, and picked up a LOT of ideas just from that one hour! The Conference would not be complete without all of the ideas and help I received simply from networking! WOW! What a fantastic conference we had this year!

In case you missed the Best Idea Session, here is a sampling of some the GREAT ideas that were shared:

  • Evernote – a free app to help you track all of your notes, ideas, etc. – easy to access from anywhere! (Courtesy of our Technical Track session: Useful Apps)
  • 30 Second minimum (per call) billing – per the round table discussion, immediately increased revenue over 5% (Courtesy of our Round Table on BillingLink Efficiencies)
  • Adding a 60-inch plasma TV to the Operations room to display real-time statistics and dashboard so everyone can see how things are going at any time (Courtesy of our Round Table on Performance Metrics)
  • "Get me outta Here!” button within an IS script to be able to handle a call that is outside of our scripted procedures (Courtesy of our Round Table on Converting from Infinity to IS)
  • Google Alerts – setting up Google Alerts on your company name to monitor what is being said about you on the internet (Courtesy of our Keynote session by Randi Busse)
  • Adding a Survey link for Customer Service Feedback on any outbound emails from your office (Courtesy of our Round Table on Customer Service/Retention)
  • MiSecureMessaging – of particular help to our international attendees, found that since MiSecure does not use SMS protocols, it does not incur hefty text messaging charges when traveling to the US from other countries! (Courtesy of Amtelco Presents sessions)

We’d like to give an additional word of thanks to all of our sponsors this year: US Risk, Steve Michaels at TASMarketing and NotifyMD. Thank you all for contributing to this year’s conference, and we hope to see even more sponsors in the years to come! And of course, a big Thank You to Amtelco as well for participating extensively throughout our workshops and conference and hosting a fantastic party on Monday night.

The next NAEO Annual Conference will be held in Dallas, TX March 10-13, 2014 at the beautiful Omni Hotel in Downtown Dallas. This will definitely be an exciting conference and plans are already in the works! I can’t wait to see everyone next year!

Back to top

Upcoming Webinars

Key Note Randi Busse
April 24, 2013 | 2:00 pm EST

Presenter: Randi Busse
Moderator: Evelyn Portinari

At the NAEO annual conference, Randi Busse, President of Workforce Development Group and the co-author of the book you received, Turning Rants Into Raves, introduced us to her two fictitious employees, Rant and Rave, taught us about renters and owners, and gave us five principles for delighting customers. We left Nashville inspired, motivated and ready to put some great ideas into action. Randi has offered to present a webinar to talk about what happened when you returned home and confronted real Rants and Raves in your workplace! What concepts did you put into action? How did it work? Have you changed some of your own behaviors? Bring your questions and stories and get inspired all over again.

The Ins and Outs of Billing Link 4 with Infinity
May 8, 2013 | 2:00 pm EST

Presenter: Jeff Farber

Host: Evelyn Portinari

The Ins and Outs of Billing Link 4 with Infinity: Are you currently using Billing Link 4 or considering an upgrade? This Q & A webinar will provide insight as you learn how to efficiently use the software to integrate with Infinity and generate the maximum return on your investment.
Register your webinar seat now.

Back to top

david drenk

Schedule Backups of SQL Databases through IS Supervisor

by David Drenk

A Backup Database action has been added to the System Schedule in IS Supervisor. The Backup Database action can be used to back up the IS database or any other SQL database that the IS Server can access.

To schedule a database backup, open the System Schedule and click the green plus icon on the All Items screen. The Schedule Item window is displayed.

Action

Select "Backup Database” from the Action drop list.

(1) Parameters

The Parameters pane contains settings based on the selected action.

Backup Database

The Backup Database parameters are displayed when the Backup Database action is selected.
Server: Type the name or IP address of the server where the database is located.
Database: Type the name of the database that you want to back up.
Use SQL Security: This option determines whether SQL security or Windows security is used to authenticate access to the SQL server. To use SQL security, select this check box. If this check box is not selected, the credentials for the Windows account on which the IS service is running is used for Windows authentication.
User: If you are using SQL Security, enter a user name that can log into the SQL server.
Password: If you are using SQL Security, enter the password associated with the user name.
Shrink on Completion: If this option is selected, the SQL database will be resized to free up unused space after the backup is finished.
Backup File: Enter the path to the location where the backup file should be written. This path must be accessible from the Intelligent Series server, not your own workstation.

(2) Scheduling

Use the settings on the Scheduling pane to specify when the selected action will take place.

Recurs

Click the drop list and select the frequency at which the selected backup routine should be performed.
Setting Recurs to "Never” will perform the backup routine once, at the date and time selected in the Beginning field. Other options for the Recurs setting are "Hourly,” "Daily,” "Weekly,” and "Monthly.” The options in the right column change depending on which Recurs option is selected.

Beginning

The Beginning field indicates the date and time that the Intelligent Series server will first attempt to perform the backup routine. If the Beginning date and time fit into the restrictions selected in the right column (under Runs), the backup routine will be performed at the selected date and time. If the backup routine is limited to a specific time, days of the week, or dates in a month, the backup routine will be performed at the first opportunity to meet those requirements after the Beginning date and time.
To set a date and time, click on the portion of the date or time that you want to change, then type a new value or press the up or down arrow key on the keyboard.
You can move to a different portion of the date or time by pressing the left or right arrow key on the keyboard.
To set the date using a calendar, click the drop list.
A calendar is displayed.

? Click a date on the calendar to select it.
? Click the Today hyperlink at the bottom of the calendar to select today’s date.
? Click the left arrow icon to select a date from the previous month.
? Click the right arrow icon to select a date from the next month.
? Click the month and year at the top of the calendar to change to a calendar of months.

After selecting a date, set the time by clicking on the element of the time that you want to change and then typing a new value or pressing the up or down arrow key on the keyboard.

Runs

The Runs options vary depending on the value selected for Recurs.

? If Recurs is set to "Never,” the only option for Runs is "One Time Only.”
? If Recurs is set to "Hourly,” click the drop list and select "Every Hour” or the number of hours between each run of the backup routine.
? If Recurs is set to "Daily,” click the drop list and select "Every Day” or the number of days between each run of the backup routine.
? If Recurs is set to "Weekly,” a calendar is displayed for selecting the days of the week that the backup routine runs. First, click the drop list and select "Every Week” or the number of weeks between each run. Next, click the days on the calendar that the backup routine should be run. Selected days are highlighted in orange.

? If Recurs is set to "Monthly,” a calendar is displayed for selecting the days of the month that the backup routine runs. First, click the drop list and select "Every Month” or the number of months between each run. Next, click the days on the calendar that the backup routine should be performed. Selected days are highlighted in orange.

Click the button to schedule the task.
The task appears in the Intelligent Series System Schedule.

Requirements:

  • IS Supervisor 5.60.3925.1 or later
  • SQL Server 2005 or later

 

Back to top

Kelli Harrigan

 

New Features for Infinity Waits

by David Drenk

Infinity versions 5.60.08 and later include new options and features for the Waits window of the Infinity Telephone Agent call handling application.

  • The "Op Wait Retrieval” printer event sends information to the system printer whenever an operator answers a call from the Waits window.
  • The "Display Hrs:Min:Secs in Hi-Res Waits Window” option is used to have the Waits window display the elapsed time that each call has been in the queue instead of number of rings.
  • The "Disable Wait Answer” option can be used to prevent an operator from answering calls from the Waits window.
  • The "Announce Calls in Queue” option uses the Auto-Answer feature to announce a caller’s position in the Waits queue.

Op Wait Retrieval Printer Event

Infinity versions 5.60.08 and later generates a system printer event when an operator answers a call from the Waits window. The system printer will show the date, the time, "Op Wait Retrieval,” and the operator name.

Display Hrs:Min:Secs in Hi-Res Waits Window

Infinity Telephone Agent features an option to display Waits by the elapsed time that a call has been in the queue rather than by the ring count. The option is located in the Setup Control Panel, which is accessed by pressing the CTRL+F12 keys at the Infinity Telephone Agent Login screen.

Expand the Screen node and then click Calls. Select the check box labeled "Display Hrs:Min:Secs in Hi-Res Waits Window.” With this option enabled, the Waits window displays a Time column in place of the Rings column. The Time column shows the wait time in hours, minutes, and seconds. The time is incremented in six-second intervals, as the times are converted from ring counts at the ratio of six seconds per ring.

Disable Wait Answer

The "Disable Wait Answer” option prevents an operator from being able to answer calls from the Waits window. This option is intended to prevent an operator from arbitrarily choosing which calls to answer.

The "Disable Wait Answer” option is located in Infinity Supervisor in the Operator Setup pages. Select an operator name and click the Advanced tab. Select the check box labeled "Disable Wait Answer.” When this option is selected, the "Answer” button is not displayed to the operator on the Waits window in Infinity Telephone Agent.

Announce Calls in Queue

The Announce Calls in Queue option announces the caller’s position in the Waits queue while the call is in the Auto Answer state. The setting is located in the Auto-Answer settings in Infinity Supervisor.
To enable this feature, open the Client Setup pages and select "Call Behaviors” from the Page menu. Click the Auto-Answer tab, then the Basic tab. Select the check box labeled "Announce calls in queue.”

The caller’s position is determined according to the value selected in the "Average Time to Answer Match” menu. Calls can be grouped by account, originating account, or billing number. Auto-Answer announces the caller’s position within that group according to the time the call was sent to Waits. If "Default” is chosen, the caller’s position is determined based on all calls in Waits. If the caller is third in the selected group, or third overall if "Default” is selected, the system will say to the caller, "You are the third caller in Waits.”

The other Auto-Answer settings determine when this announcement is played and how often it is repeated.

  • Infinity 5.60.08 or later
  • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.3748.22 or later

 

Back to top

© 2013 National Amtelco Equipment Owners. All Rights Reserved.
NewsLinks is distributed quarterly to NAEO members.

National Amtelco Equipment Owners
www.naeo.orgmanagement@naeo.org
1000 Westgate Drive, Ste. 252, St. Paul, MN 55114
800-809-6373 • Fax: 800-809-6374