Newslinks March 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

Archive Search
by Kevin Gill

What Is in a Date?
by Phillip Johnson

Innovation Machine Update
by Kurt VanderScheer

NAEO Conference
by Jessica Schipull

Tips for Making Your NAEO Annual Conference Experience a Success!
by Kelli Harrigan

Upcoming Webinars

 

Amtelco Annex

64-Bit Compatible Applications
by David Drenk

Find Information about Infinity Supervisor with the AmtelcoPedia Hyperlink
by David Drenk

From the Editor

by Betty Bouchie

Ides of March

Did you ever wonder about the "ides” of March, what the "ides” are, and why that constitutes a warning? "Ides” is taken from the Roman calendar and refers, roughly, to the middle of the month. There are "ides” in the other months, as well. In the Shakespearian play Julius Caesar, the words, "Beware the ides of March,” are spoken to warn Caesar to be careful, but alas…. he is not, and is assassinated.

For me, the "ides of March” doesn’t bring warning, it brings happiness. Although, technically, the "ides” is on March 15, the spring equinox is on March 20! That is close enough for me. I know that the days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, and pretty soon, I will be able to wear sandals and go to the NAEO Conference!

Ahhhhhh…. Be aware, I’des be goin’ to Nashville, and all y’all should be there too!

For some interesting information on the Ides and the Roman calendar, check out the article below. http://www.infoplease.com/spot/ides1.html

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Be Inspired

Submitted by Gary Blair

It may be that your whole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
~ Author Unknown

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Something to Smile About...

One fine day in ancient Rome, Julius Caesar turned his attention to a problem plaguing his mighty empire: laundry. Getting all those white togas clean was a constant pain. He also had some weird ideas that if he could get the togas stiff enough, they would be like a light coat of armor... not enough to last through a sustained battle, but enough to ward off an assassin's arrow.

He figured the easiest way to get this done on a large scale would be to dump a bunch of detergent into a tidal pool, and dump the togas in afterwards. (This was two thousand years ago... the environmental movement was restricted to a few druids here and there.) The gentle motion of the tides would wash the dirt out. Afterwards, all that would have to be done would be to throw some starch in, and then pull the togas out to dry.

He assigned this task to some of his scientists and engineers. They started executing his plan, and all was going well until they threw in the starch. The goddess of nature, angered at the environmental destruction, caused a huge tidal wave to spring up and wash over the assembled workers. A stiff breeze afterwards dried them off so quickly they were all frozen into place.

After a little while, Caesar began to wonder about the progress of the enterprise, so he decided to visit the site with some of his advisors. Arriving at the tidal pool, he was unable to make heads or tails of the sight of his workers stuck standing there.

Until of course, one of his advisors whispered to him: "Beware, the tides of starch.”

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IS Tip

Poor Julius: Should’ve Gone to Nashville

by Kevin Procter, Extend Communications Inc.

"Beware the Ides of March” – words that a certain Julius failed to heed. No worries of that around this programmer, and not just because my name is not Julius. Up here in the great white north, the Ides of March is observed with consumption of "Bloody Caesars.” What's to fear about that?!

In Nashville, however, the Ides of March will be celebrated by NAEO members from around the world, as they gather to exchange ideas and share best practices, as well as just learn new stuff.

Being a programmer for many years, yours truly has been to conferences with groups of other programmers. The level of geekdom in the room at those gatherings becomes other-worldly. From within that other world, one is able to learn an amazing amount of information.

The NAEO conference is the same. Of course there is certainly a lot more to NAEO and this industry than programming. Hands will be shaking, faces will be put to names, and within the conference itself there may be exclamations such as "I didn't know you could do that!” and "HOLY COW!”.

While attending a conference like this is fun and informative, the real benefits are only seen when you arrive back home and return to your daily tasks, putting your newly acquired information to work. Just like programming takes ideas and puts them into a virtual world of cyberspace, so attendance at NAEO conferences takes near-tangible ideas and brings them into the real-world context, to be used on a daily basis.

Companies that do not use programmers would benefit greatly from attendance at the NAEO conference by finding out what a programmer can do for their company. Further, those who do use programmers will also benefit as their programmers not only learn new skills and techniques, but also return to work with a greater set of professional relationships and resources.

 

Yes, the Ides of March will be visited upon the attendees at this year's conference. Hopefully all those in Nashville will take a moment to share a Bloody Caesar or two. (If clamato juice is your thing that is – I've never figured out how to juice a clam.). Given all the good things that can come of a conference like this, let all NAEO members not fear, but rather embrace the Ides of March this year.

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Widgets

by Michael Goumas, ProComm

I have another option for script settings. I have a Client shared field that I use that can hold 250 characters. It holds some script settings so that I don’t have to change the script if these specific changes are needed.

In my example (bad naming convention on my part), I have a Client field called FaxCalls. I place some information in it that controls the scripts. Most of the time I have it set so that there is a schedule in the script that rarely changes and we don’t want to have to remember to put it in the on-call.

OR the second idea is: those places that are closed for a holiday (example President’s Day) but the rest of our clients are not. This normally causes me to have to go in to the script and change the script and then remember to change it back. I don’t want to have to do this every time and someone else that is on the phones or managing the day-to-day operation can go in and change it without my involvement.

Case 1: A case of an observed holiday by the client but your system is not on holiday mode. I have already set the client to

In the script there are a few pieces of code.

This is to pull out the unique identifier in the field and pull out what is after the = sign

This is to look at the schedule based on the day of week in the script.

Script.FindMethod has a variable that is passed to it MethodNo. In this case I am passing the day of week. In this case you are staying within the 24 hour boundary and not going from one day to the next.

In the example it is looking for Monday. So it calls the FindMethod and passes that to it. The Method returned is what is between the " signs. returns No.


Here is another example of the the same parser in the On-call/Directory (click on the image to enlarge)

This holds who is supposed to be on-call. This is every week and therefore no need to change it unless it changes for one particular day. So Monday the on-call for this account is David Jones. But Sunday says Round Robin. In my case here, Round Robin now tells the script to look at M0, M1 and M2 as who is on-call. All three are on-call but the script knows which one to start with. Also in this case you are going past 12 midnight. Monday is actually Monday 9am to Tuesday 9am.

I pass the previous weekday to the Find Method action (click on the image to enlarge)

In the example of Round Robin, I have the script looking at the Unique Call Number, dividing by 3 and giving me the remainder: result of 0, 1 or 2. Then it goes out and picks M0, M1 or M2.

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Archive Search

by Kevin Gill, Answerphone, Inc.

You should confirm that the message which you are looking for was/is delivered. A message does not archive until it is delivered.

You will need to make sure that you have access to log into the Network Archiver.
Open up Infinity Supervisor.
From the main screen select Operator.
Select the login name you will be using and click the Access tab.
Ensure that Msg Archive is checked.

Now that you have confirmed that the message was ready to be archived and that you have the ability to log into Network Archive, let’s head there now.

After you log in, you will be shown a screen similar to the one below. Size in Mb may or may not be shown depending on the back office setup of the database. If you are storing the database on an SQL server, it may show as 0 Mb like mine does. If the database is on an MS Access platform, you should see a size. Regardless what is displayed for size, you can confirm that the Network Archive program is able to open the message database by clicking on a button called "Db Maint”.

After you click it, a new screen should appear. If you’re quick, you may notice that the screen will be a default similar to the one shown here.

Eventually, it should change to display the date range of items stored in the database.

Now is a good time to confirm that the item you are looking for is stored within that range. It is possible that your organization might break up the database into different segments, perhaps due to date or size constraints. If the item you are looking for is not within these dates, you may need to load a different or historical database or examine why Network Archive is not running/Importing the items into the current database.

IMPORTANT: click "Exit” without changing anything. We do not want to do anything here. All we did was test that the tool you are using can connect to the Archive database and whether the item is within the date range contained.

Now that you’re back to on the first screen, you can begin your search by clicking "Search Msgs”.

Fill out the search screen and click "Retrieve”.

Miscellaneous Searching notes:

  • Keep in mind that the StartDate and EndDate actually have AM or PM at the end, even though the field is not wide enough to show it. (Highlighted by the blue arrows). If you omit the AM or PM when you enter a date and time, the search will be based on military time. 12:00:00 in military time is 12:00:00 PM (noon), which can be a source of confusion if you were expecting 12:00:00 AM (midnight).
  • I tend to use billing number for my searches rather than account number; hence the reason why StartAcct=1 and EndAcct=999999999 and StartBill=1000 and EndBill=1000. I may not know which account a message began on, but I’m usually certain of the billing number where ended up.
  • If you are having trouble finding a message, I wouldn’t use a KeyWord until you know at least some result will be returned. If you still do not have a result, expand the search to more days or all billing numbers.

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What Is in a Date?

by Phillip Johnson, CMS

Problem: Your SQL query returns a datetime expression in a format that isn’t user friendly. The default SQL date time for 1/15/2013 5:00 PM, for example, is "2013-01-01 17:00:00.000”. Accurate, but it might not be what you want for a report.

Solution: Use the CONVERT keyword to convert the datetime to a friendlier format. Here are some examples of just a few possibilities:

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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 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 ide,a 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!

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NAEO Conference

By: Jessica Schipull

Registration and Full Details

Yee Haw! It's that time of the year! And this year, it's NAEO in Nashville!
Put on those cowboy boots, kick up your heels, and head on down to Nashville for a Grand Ole Opportunity!

Speaking from experience, the annual NAEO conference is not something you want to miss. I attended my first conference just four years ago, and haven't missed one since! Each year I come back to the office overflowing with ideas and goals!

NAEO is an absolutely amazing group of people, and I am lucky to have met so many that I now consider to be great friends of mine!

Please consider attending the First Timers luncheon on Sunday, March 17, beginning at noon. It is a great opportunity to welcome the first-timers and help them to feel comfortable in our wonderful group! If you are a first-timer, and have not yet RSVP'd to the luncheon, please click on the link and RSVP! We can't wait to meet all of the new attendees!

http://wilmington.appletreeanswers.com/NAEORSVP/Default.aspx

This year's conference includes sessions that will appeal to all levels of your organization, a Keynote speaker that you won't want to miss, and networking that will send you home with fantastic innovative ideas!
So don't wait - SIGN UP TODAY for the 29th Annual NAEO Conference, March 16-19, 2013!

2013 NAEO Conference Invitation from NAEO on Vimeo.

This video highlights the 2013 NAEO Conference, which will take place March 16-19 in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

Conference Quicklinks:

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Kelli Harrigan

Tips for Making Your NAEO Annual Conference Experience a Success!

By Kelli Harrigan, Conference Chair

A few tips for making the most of your NAEO conference opportunity …

1. Come early! Even if you do not plan on attending the Supervisor or IS Programming workshops, conference events start on Sunday morning with the Amtelco University. Be sure to join us for our opening lunch and First-Timers Welcome and then after our afternoon conference sessions, be sure to attend the Opening Reception. These are great opportunities to catch up with old friends and get acquainted with new contacts in the industry.

2. Set a Goal for the Conference – whether that is to find the answer to a nagging question, meet five new people in the industry, match a face with a name you’ve seen on the list serv or brainstorm with someone on how to script a problem account, if you come prepared with a goal for what you want to accomplish, you are bound to succeed and leave with even more than you bargained for!

3. Participate – throughout the workshops and conference sessions, you will have opportunities to ask questions and, just as important, share your experience with your peers. While our speakers pave the way with the topics, the participation of our attendees is often what can really turn a session into an "AHA!” moment.

4. Network – Conference sessions and workshops aren’t the only time to be on your toes! Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, in the hall between sessions – these are all times for you to continue the conversations started in meeting rooms. NAEO is known for having one of the most "sharing” groups of members and you will always find someone willing to continue the discussion. Bring business cards to share and continue the discussion even after the conference is over!

5: Learn what’s new – stop in and see Amtelco in their demo room to get some hands-on demonstrations, hear the latest news and discover what new features await!

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Upcoming Webinars

New England Payment Systems
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 | 2:00 pm EST

Presenter: Linda Monaco

New England Payment Systems, LLC, was formed in July 2000. The principle of the company is Linda Monaco. Before forming the company, Linda worked as the Regional Manager for Certified Merchant Services out of Houston, TX, for three years. As a Regional Manager, she would arrange sales appointments to analyze credit card processing statements for merchants, prepare proposals, download and install terminals. New England Payment Systems, LLC, provides merchants unique and innovative ways to grow their businesses with non-cash payment services. New England Payment Systems currently has a portfolio of more than 600 merchants. We are very proud to say that we are a "debt free company and will always be.”

About New England Payment Systems, LLC

  1. Located in Derry, NH, with agent sales offices in MD, NJ, NY, TX, and CA.
  2. More than 16 years industry experience.
  3. Local presence to provide exceptional service.
  4. All service and account management provided in-house.
  5. Active member of ETA, NAOPP, NEAA, and BNI.

Benefits to Merchants

  1. Competitive pricing
  2. Exceptional local service
  3. Online reporting
  4. Flexible processing solutions
  5. Ancillary services
    1. Check acceptance
    2. Debit
    3. Gift and loyalty cards
    4. Commerce solutions
    5. ACH
    6. Cash advance

Benefits to Bank Partners

  1. On time and accurate residuals
  2. Multiple revenue stream system
  3. No risk or liability
  4. Dedicated sales partner
  5. Portfolio growth
  6. Attract new customers

Equipment
New England Payment Systems offers every piece of equipment and software you will ever need

  1. Lipman
  2. Hypercom
  3. Verifone
  4. Integrated Point of Sale Systems (Micros, Aloha, etc)
  5. Internet Gateways (EProcessing Network, Authorize.Net, Verisign, Go Software)

Dial String Commands
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 | 2:00 pm EST

Presenter: Mike Quimby
Host: Hettie Dunwoody/Lina Masri

Mind Your "P"s and "Q"s - A Discussion Of Amtelco Dial String Characters This session will provide an overview of various dial string characters. Participants will learn about dial string components and features used in day-to-day operations such as texting and will receive an introduction to dial string components and features that can automate call processing and message notification.

Conference Best Ideas and Wish List
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 | 2:00 pm EST

Presenter: Gerald Brosseau
Host: Hettie Dunwoody/Lina Masri

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david drenk

64-Bit Compatible Applications

by David Drenk

The latest versions of Amtelco’s Infinity and Infinity Intelligent Series (IS) applications are 64-bit compatible, allowing the applications to be installed on computers that are running in 64-bit mode.

The 64-bit designation refers to the maximum size of each piece of data that can be stored and processed on the computer and also the size of the memory addresses that are used to access that information. A 32-bit system can handle data and addresses that are 32 bits long. A 64-bit system can handle data and addresses that are twice as long: 64 bits long. The 64-bit compatible Amtelco applications can run on both systems.

The following table lists the Amtelco applications that are 64-bit compatible, and the minimum software version required for each application.

Application

32-Compatible Version

Infinity Logger

1.00.16 or later

Infinity OnCall Supervisor

5.51.4 or later

Infinity Supervisor

5.51.11 or later

Infinity Telephone Agent

5.51.3504.21 or later

IS Server

3.1.3588.24187 (3504) or later

IS Supervisor

5.51.3504.21 or later

MDR

3.03.30 or later


When Amtelco software is installed on 64-bit systems, the program files are installed to C:\Program Files (x86)\Amtelco rather than to C:\Program Files\Amtelco.

In the Registry, the program containers are located at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Amtelco instead of at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Amtelco.

Contact Amtelco Field Engineering for assistance in installing Amtelco applications on 64-bit systems.

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Kelli Harrigan

 

Find Information about Infinity Supervisor
with the AmtelcoPedia Hyperlink

by David Drenk

Infinity Supervisor is linked directly to help files using AmtelcoPedia. All sections of Infinity Supervisor include an AmtelcoPedia logo, located in the center of the main toolbar. When you click on the logo, your default web browser displays the applicable section of Amtelco's AmtelcoPedia website. The hyperlink automatically navigates to the page of the AmtelcoPedia that corresponds to the settings that you are viewing in Infinity Supervisor.

Beginning in Infinity Supervisor 5.51.0008, you can also hit the CTRL + A keys to bring up the AmtelcoPedia pages.

AmtelcoPedia is a web-based tool that contains definitions and descriptions of terms related to Amtelco products. The AmtelcoPedia also contains links to related topics, documentation, and training videos. AmtelcoPedia resides within the Amtelco TechHelper website, so you are asked to log in with your user name and password. If you don’t know your TechHelper user name and password, please contact your Project Manager for this information.

For more information about AmtelcoPedia, please visit the AmtelcoPedia Home Page.

Requirements:

  • Infinity Supervisor 5.51.0005 or later

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