Newslinks
February 2012

Regular Columns

From the Editor
by Betty Bouchie

Be Inspired
by Gary Blair

Something to Smile About...

IS Tip: Rube Goldberg, Where Are You?
by Kevin Procter

Stepping Up Your Game: Simplifying Your Business
by Gary Pudles, AnswerNet

Technically Speaking
by James Shigley

Featured Articles

Conference Reminders

Amtelco Annex

Option to Flash ANI Prior to Answering Call
by David Drenk

Two "Search” Display Formats Added to the IS Directory
by David Drenk

Infinity 101
by Michael Quimby

From the Editor

by Betty Bouchie

Speaking Out

On January 18, we had the first ever cyber protest! The SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills united people in a way not intended by the creators of the bills. Thousands of sites on the internet either went dark, or created their own protest page. Millions of people all over the world reacted. It is amazing to see such a united front. Imagine what could be accomplished in the world if that many people were united for other causes!!!

For more information about the cause, reaction and impact, please read the article below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protests_against_SOPA_and_PIPA

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Be Inspired

Submitted by Gary Blair

"Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech."
~ Benjamin Franklin

"At no time is freedom of speech more precious than when a man hits his thumb with a hammer."
~ Marshall Lumsden

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Something to Smile About...

From www.jdmfilmreviews.com

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IS Tip: Rube Goldberg – Where Are You?

Rube-napkinby Kevin Procter, Extend Communications Inc.

Building "Rube Goldberg” machines is a fun way to pass summer holidays . . . when you’re a child – or a crazy inventor. Business needs, however, require efficiency – Rube Goldberg aficionados need not apply. Although when I look at our industry, I see a real risk of Rube Goldberg-esque system design.

Rube’s goal was to invent machines that did things for people automatically. That particular theme, I believe, should be kept in mind when we provide services to our customers. As a programmer, it is the job of yours truly to instruct the computer to do whatever a customer needs it to do. Achieving this within some system paradigms can mean setting up repetitive information in many different places, a task with which even Goldberg may have issues.

Directory-LinkEnter IS Directories – the one central place where all your account programming should start. Do you really need to maintain a service list? Not really. Is UltraComm a must? Probably not. Account status setup with expiry dates? Unnecessary!

Take instead, one single source for all setup information. That source is your IS Directory.

Every field in an IS directory can be pulled into a script and used within the script for decisions, for dispatch, making phone calls, sending emails, text messages, etc. Proverbially speaking, with cliché in hand: the sky is the limit.

Using IS Directories allows us to take all the sordid parts of a Goldberg-esque account and pack them into one single location that is then handed to the programmer. With the proper information, a programmer can give an IS account the ability to process virtually any call, completely within the script – and all controlled by decisions that started with an entry in an IS Directory.

Setting up an account or making changes to an existing account can all done in one place. In fact, one could program a template script for "standard” accounts and have the entries in the IS Directory provide data for decision making within the computer. Hungry to setup an IS Directory and try it out? Sic your IT people on it right away.

So the next time you’re setting up a new account, or editing an existing one, ponder the goals of Mr. Goldberg, and watch this video of a real Rube Goldberg Machine. Hopefully your account’s functionality is not dependant on as many things as the machine in the flick. Otherwise, your system may be featured one day on a Goldberg website.

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Gary Pudles

Stepping Up Your Game: Simplifying Your Business

by Gary Pudles, AnswerNet

Managers use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) every day to measure the performance of their businesses. However, it's easy to get lost in those measurement tactics because they generate lots of numbers—many of them meaningless. The amount of revenue per rubber band may be interesting, but it isn’t essential to the success of your company.

The key to good management is to use five or six KPIs which let you know, in an instant, the health of your business. Not sure where to start? Look at your corporate goals for the year. Your KPIs must be aligned with them; otherwise you will not gain the relevant insights needed to improve your business’s performance. For example, one of the main goals for a call center is to retain clientele. Therefore, a call center measures client turnover as a KPI. Low client turnover means something is working well.

Unless your employees can read minds, you can’t expect them to understand what exactly you are looking for. So remember, a Key Performance Indicator must also be stated in simple terms, be easy to understand and be given a time frame. This will ensure that your employees get it right the first time.

The main benefits of Key Performance Indicators are that they keep the entire organization working towards common goals and that they simplify the management of your company. KPIs will help your staff eliminate useless activity and ultimately keep everyone on track.

Technically Speaking

Upgrading a Basic IS Script

by James Shigley, Monroe Telephone Answering Service

Last month I showed you how to make a very basic script. Now I’m going to show you how to do some basic upgrades to that script: including how to add ANI, both where the operator can see them, and where they can’t; how to add a landing page; and a few other things.

Let’s start with the landing page. Well, starting at the "Home” screen of my script, before I create my new start screen/landing page/home screen I’m going to rename the message-taking screen, which I created in last month’s article. To do so, from the Home screen, you need to click the screen you wish to rename to highlight it and then click it again. If you want to rename the screen, DO NOT do a rapid double click as this will open the screen instead of allowing you to rename it.

You can name the page whatever you want. I normally name my main message-taking page just "msg”. Now I have renamed the screen from last month from "Screen” to "msg” and pressed the green cross to create a new Screen.

Now click on the new screen once, and then Press the black upward arrow labeled "Move Up”. Whatever screen is at the top of the list is where IS will start the script. Also rename this screen. I usually name it "Home”, but I know a lot of services use "Start”. It doesn’t really matter what you name it, as long as you and any other programmers/supervisors at your service can recognize what the page is by the name without having to open it and look.

As a note, from now on unless requested, I will show how to do each of these steps in tree view and only tree view, not the page view. There are a couple of things that can only be done in the page view (changing styles and putting fields on the same line), but almost everything can be done in the tree view, far more efficiently. Using the tree view will cut the time it takes to do things by half, at least.

Tree view

This is the same information in tree view. We are not going to do anything on the "msg” page so press the "-"symbol next to its name and collapse the display screen.

tree view expanded

Now, from the Palette on the right, Drag and Drop a "List” input to the "Display” portion of the "Home” Screen.

tree view list

Right click on the "List” you just created and click Properties.

  1. Change the name to Type, CallType, Start, or something that uniquely identifies this list. I prefer to use Type.
  2. Delete the Label.
  3. Set Description to "What type of call is this? -- Press the Enter key after selecting an option. You can use Tab instead of enter if you prefer. Or phrase the question another way. In our case the operator knows she doesn’t ask this question to the caller that the question is to the operator.
  4. You can choose to set the option "Blank first entry” or not. I always do, as it forces the operator to look at the options. Since 95% of accounts have the same options we want to make sure our operators always look so that when they come across one of those 5% of accounts that have other options, they will notice.
  5. Check "Limit to list”. We will do a list branch off this question, so custom answers will not work well with that.
  6. You can choose to check "Required” or not. But since this will be the only input on the page, it really isn’t necessary.
  7. List properties

Now change to the Values Tab, and input the values you want. I will show in this How to: Message, Client Check in, Hang-up/Wrong#/Solicitor, Flash Hook, Wake Up, and Account Change.

Note: If you use the options I listed above, you will need to raise the "Number of Rows” on the general tab to 6.

list properties 2

Now click to the "Summary” Tab and check "Exclude from summary".

exclude from summary

Press the Apply button in the bottom right hand corner of the Properties box.

And finally, change to the Actions Tab. Next to Tab or Enter, depending on what you want your operators to press, click the Blue "Add/Remove Actions” link.

Click "List Branch” and then click the Arrow pointing to the right.

list branch

In the Dialog box that opens, click the blue "Select List” Option and select the List box you created. Note that, if you have not applied the changes as you have gone through the steps. Your list will still show up as just "List” and when you select it nothing will happen, because your values have not been saved. However, if you did apply the changes you will see it appear as whatever you named it, as in the screenshot below.

branch properties

When you select it, the list will display, as shown below.

List Branch properties list

Click the Blue "Add/Remove Actions” link below the ‘Message’ option.

Add a "Navigate” Action and when the box appears, set the navigation Type to "Screen” and the "Navigate to”, to your message page.

navigate

Now press "OK” on each of the properties boxes until you are back to the tree view, which will now look like this:

tree view type

Drag and Drop the "Navigate to: msg” action to the "Client Check in” area, then right click and go to the properties of the "Navigate” action which will be under Client Check In. Set the Navigation Type to Cancel.

navigation type- cancel

We use this option so that the operators can leave the script to go to the index to give clients any messages they have, add new o/c, etc., cases where the caller is the client/client’s employee and a message is not necessary. Note: when necessary, we use a separately made "Employee Check In” option when we need to take a message from one of the client’s employees. Also note that once you apply the change, you will see the action change in the tree from "Navigate to: msg” to "Cancel Script”.

We have not yet made the pages for the other 4 options; so for now, press the minus symbol next to the "Home” Screen to collapse it.

Drag and Drop the "msg” page on top of itself in order to create a copy of the msg page.

As a note: Most of our clients do not want to see Hang-up/Wrong Number/Solicitor messages, but we still charge for them since the operator spends time on the account. However, since our clients don’t want to see them, we save the messages to another account, specifically for tracking these messages and save Originating account # and name, along with the caller's ANI Name and #. For billing purposes, we also save it to two separate SQL databases on separate servers so that we can generate a quick, easy report for our billing department to be able to input the tallied numbers to our billing software without having to manually count the number of messages for each account. We save to the account as a backup in case both the SQL servers should be down simultaneously, and as proof should we be questioned on the number of messages.

Rename the screen to HWN (HWN being my acronym for Hang up Wrong number) by right clicking on it and selecting properties, and then replacing "msg” with HWN in the name option.

Hang Up Wrong Number

Press the + symbol next to the HWN page and delete the Firstname, Lastname, Phone, and Regarding inputs. Now drag and drop the Company input until you have four.

company input

Go in to the properties of the first Company Input.

Name: OrigAcct
Label: OrigAcct
Description: Empty

Now on the right side of the "Default Value” input, click on the word "Text”, Mouse over "Change To” and the select "ACD Field”.

ACD Field

Now press the arrow to open the Default Value Drop down, and change it to either _acdBillingNumber or _acdClientNumber. I use Client number so that we know specifically which account it came from, but "Billing number” may be preferable to you.

Orig Acct

For the next three fields do the same process, only make those fields OrigAcctName, ANI, and ANIName.

Set the Default values to _acdClientName, _acdANI, and _acdAniName.

Note: To speed up the process you can just make three copies of your OrigAcct Field and save yourself a little bit of time by not having to change it from a text field to an ACD field and not having to delete the description. I am suggesting the longer way this time, because doing it more than once well sets the knowledge in your mind more firmly.

Now, if you wish to save these messages to another account, change your Palette to the "Infinity Integration” Tab.
Drag and Drop a "Change Account” action from the Palette on the right to the "Unload” Section of the HWN page. Make sure to put it above the "Navigate to close” option; otherwise the script will end before the account change happens. Right click on the Action and select properties. Fill in the box with the account number to which you want to change.

Change Account Properties

Save your script.

Now make a copy of the HWN page and rename it to FH (a flash hook is what we call it when we receive a fax signal on a client line). In this case, we do a flash hook patch to our own fax line and then we forward this on to the client. We also charge per page for the service.

On your FH page, drag a "Textbox” input from the palette (on the Inputs tab) and place it above "OrigAcct”.

input textbox

Go to the properties of the input called "Input” that you just created.

Name: PageNum
Label: Page #
Description: How many pages were faxed?

Reset the "Change Act #” to the account that you use to track flash hooks.

As with the HWN page, I also save this to the SQL databases. The Infinity message is a backup policy. I will not go in to SQL databases saves at this time.

If you’re wondering how our operators know how many pages were faxed, they either ask the supervisor next to the faxing station, or they park the call to the supervisor for them to fill in if the calls are too busy for them to wait.

change account

Now make a copy of the FH page and name it WU for ake-ups.

Change the "change account” action to your wake-up tracking account. (Again, we bill for this extra alarm clock service.)
Delete the "PageNum” field. Drag a "Date Time” input from the palette into its place.

Name: WUDT (my acronym for Wake Up Date Time). You can name it something else.
Label: Wake Up Date/Time
Description: You want us to wake you up when, Sir/Ma’am

Change the Default Value to an "Advanced Expression”.

From the rightmost box Labeled "Functions”, expand the "DateTime” section. Drag a "Date” function to where it says "empty" in orange. The empty should be highlighted green when you go to drop the function. It should replace the word "empty" with Date (). If the empty is still there, right click on it and press Delete.

Wake Up date and time

This will automatically fill in the current date when the page loads. Thus the agent probably will only need to change one number, to possibly the next day’s date and add the time. Note: You could use "DateAdd” and have it add 1 day to the current date if you expect the date given to be the next day’s date, most of the time.

Wake Up change account

Now for the final page: Make a copy of the HWN page and rename it to AC for account change.

Add two Text Boxes and a Memo Input from the palette.

The first text box is Name (who is requesting the change); the second textbox is for their position at the company. The memo box is for what the caller wants changed about the account (Info page, directory info, delivery method, or whatever).

Change the "account change” function to the account where you track account changes.

Account change

Now collapse the AC page and re-expand the Home screen, by clicking the +.

Expand home

Drag and drop the Navigate to: msg action from under message so that there is one under each of the four remaining options. Go into the properties of each action and change the page from msg to the correct page. Your finished product should look something like this.

navigation to ac

Your script is finished, except for few questions.

  1. Do you want caller ID to be on every message?
    1. Yes, See question 2.
    2. No, you’re done; have a nice day. I hope you found this article helpful. If you want me to go into more advanced IS how to's, such as using SQL functions, use of custom summaries, etc, then please email me on or off list to tell me.
  2. If yes to question 1: Do you want the agent to see the ANI while the agent is taking a message?
    1. If yes, drag and drop the ANI and ANI Name fields from one of the pages we created, such as the HWN page, into the display portion of the "msg page”. See Screen Shot One below.
    2. If no, change your palette to the "Calculation” Tab, then see question 3.
  3. If no to question 2: Do you want the ANI at the beginning or end of the message?
    1. To place the ANI at the beginning, drag two "Set Field” functions from the "Calculation” tab to the "Load” portion of the "msg” page. Configure the properties to the name ANI, and set the value to ACD and select _acdANI, then do the same for ANI Name on the second "Set Field” function. See Screen Shot Two.
    2. If at the end, follow the same process, only place the functions in the "Unload” portion of the "msg” page making sure to place them above the "Navigate to close” function. See Screen Shot Three.

 

Screen Shot OneScfreen Shot 1
Screen Shot Twoscreen shot 2
Screen Shot Threescreen shot 3

In closing, if you wish to see more advanced how to's, such as advanced expression usage, SQL usage, Custom Summaries, etc., please write to me on or off list. Please include what you specifically want to see.

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Visit the hotel website for more details.

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David Drenk

Option to Flash ANI Prior to Answering Call

by David Drenk

flash account ANI

Infinity Telephone Agent can display a caller’s phone number to an operator before the operator answers the call. The option, which is enabled in the Infinity Telephone Agent Setup Control Panel, uses Automatic Number Identification (ANI) to display the caller’s phone number when available.

The option is enabled in the Infinity Telephone Agent Setup Control Panel, under Screen, Calls. Select the "Flash between Account and Ani” check box to enable the option.

When a call comes in to an operator while this option is enabled, Infinity Telephone Agent alternates between showing the account number of the client that is being called and the ANI of the caller. The ANI is displayed in italic type to distinguish it from the client account number.

Requirements:

  • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.51.3504.25 or later
  • Infinity 5.51.00 or later

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David Drenk

Two "Search” Display Formats Added to the IS Directory

by David Drenk

Two "Search” display formats have been added to the IS Directory to provide a quicker way to search a directory subject: Description List Search format and Field Table Search format. With the new display formats, no listings are displayed until the agent enters search criteria. The Search formats are designed to improve speed for agents doing searches because only the relevant listings are loaded.

The display format setting is found in IS Supervisor Directory Setup on the Subject page, under the General Settings tab.

Field Table Search format is similar to Field Table format, but no listings are displayed until the agent enters search text and presses the ENTER key or the Find hyperlink.

Field Table Search Format Before a Search
Field Table Search Format Before a Search

After the search is performed, the directory fields for each listing that matches the search criteria are displayed in a table across the top of the directory window. The view actions are displayed above the table of listing fields, and the details page for the selected listing is displayed across the bottom of the directory window. Field Table Search format does not display contact methods, messages, and IS Directory OnCall and Appointment assignments.

field tab format after search
Field Table Search Format After a Search

Description List Search format is similar to Description List format, but no listings are displayed until the agent enters search text and presses the ENTER key or the Find hyperlink.

Description List Search Format Before a Search
Description List Search Format Before a Search

After the search is performed, the description field for each listing that matches the search criteria is displayed on the left side of the directory window along with the view actions. The details page for the selected listing is displayed on the right side of the window. The IS Directory OnCall and Appointment assignments for the selected listing are displayed above the details pane. If the Contacts Subject option is enabled, an icon for accessing the listing’s contact methods is displayed beneath the listing’s description. If the listing is assigned to a client account, an icon for viewing messages is displayed beneath the listing’s description.

Description List Search Format After a Search
Description List Search Format After a Search

Requirements:

  • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.51.3504.05 or later
  • Infinity 5.51.06 or later
  • IS Supervisor 5.51.3504.6 or later
  • IS Server 3.1.3504 or later
  • IS Directory
  • SQL Server 2000 or later

or

  • Soft Agent 3.1.3504.07 or later
  • IS Supervisor 5.51.3504.6 or later
  • IS Server 3.1.3504 or later
  • IS Directory
  • SQL Server 2000 or later

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Michael Quimby

Infinity 101

by Michael Quimby

Questions

1. All of the following are reasons to program the Infinity Supervisor - Status screen EXCEPT:

A) To allow a mailbox user the ability to change his or her status.
B) To have the Infinity lady read back statuses to a mailbox user through the voicemail checkin line.
C) To make the Follow Me feature work.
D) To make a lunch greeting, an after-hours greeting, and a holiday greeting work.

SEE ANSWER

2. The List # field to the right of a status behavior or a source setup behavior can reference either a service list or a system list.

True or False?

SEE ANSWER

3. A Follow Me dial string should prompt the caller to "please stand by” and should redirect the caller to Infinity voice mail if no answer. Which is the correct dial string?

A) Q1+2@5N8675309:
B) Q+2@4N8675309:
C) Q+2@5N8675309:
D) Q1+2@6N444>8675309:

SEE ANSWER

4. An IS script display should default to the current Infinity status. Which programming is correct?

A) B)
C) D)

SEE ANSWER

5. Which statement best describes the following expression about the selected contact?

A) Display the current Infinity status and disposition information.
B) Display the current Infinity status and info card information.
C) Display the current IS status and disposition information.
D) Display the current IS status and info card information.

SEE ANSWER


Answers

1. A
This is a Voice Mail setting. Letter B requires some additional Voice Mail settings. Letter C requires additional programming in Paging Management, Service List, Source Setup, Status and Voice Mail and may require additional pay-for features. Letter D may require Status Greetings, an additional pay-for. Custom statuses are available in System Settings – System Configuration – Statuses – Custom Statuses.

2. True
Whichever works best for the programmer…

3. C
The letter "Q” is an Auto-Attendant value. The "+” plays "please stay on the line”; the "1+” plays "please hold while your call is being transferred”. For the latter option, the account’s recorded mailbox name and current status can play. The "2@” tries the number 2 times. A value of "4N” after the specified tries returns the caller to the Infinity operator after the specified tries. A value of "5N” after the specified tries returns the caller to Infinity voice mail. A value of "6N” followed by an account number and the ">” sign after the specified tries redirects the caller to the account number specified. End the dial string with the number to dial and a ":”. For more information on dial strings, visit TechHelper.
https://service.amtelco.com/INFINITY/Inf5x/KnowledgeBase/BooksManuals/Dialstrings11.pdf

4.B
Letter A displays the first Infinity Special. Letter C displays the IS status and works with Contact Based scripting. Letter D defaults "Holiday” in the field.

5.D
The contact options appear in the smaller Fields window of the larger Expression Builder window.

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