October 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

A New Look for the 2015 NAEO Annual Conference
by Laurie Blow

Nominations Open for 2015 NAEO Board of Directors

Upcoming Webinars

NAEO Scholarship Opportunities - Deadline Fast Approaching
by Lina Masri Cunningham


Amtelco Annex

IS and Infinity Combined Message History
by David Drenk

Urgent Confirmation Time Setting for Alpha-Paging, SMS and miSecureMessages
by David Drenk

Kelli Harrigan

From the Editor

By Kelli Harrigan

Participation = ROI

I've been involved in the NAEO board and committee work inside and outside of the industry, and now am on the ATSI board as the NAEO representative. Pretty much every group I have been involved with wonders how we can demonstrate the Return on Investment (ROI) for membership in whatever organization we are involved with. Bosses wonder what kind of return they get on having employees involved with the groups. While having these discussions, it occurred to me how I viewed the ROI for the groups I have been involved with and it really boiled down to one thing—the more actively involved I was in the group, the better the return on the investment in both my time and dollars spent, both for me personally and for business associations, for our business.

It's often hard to quantify what value some groups bring to us personally or professionally. But when I look at my time spent volunteering for committee work or being involved on a board of directors, there is not a minute I would consider not well spent. The relationships gained, the insights shared, the various tips, tricks and other factoids learned, are all the result of my participation along with the other members. My professional knowledge and experience has grown by leaps and bounds by being around all of these great minds around us! By nature, I am more of a wallflower—observing and trying to gain intel by just being around others far more intelligent than me. But by actively jumping in and getting involved, I have opened myself up to so much more possibility—engaging in conversations, helping to move organization interests forward, and hopefully helping to get others to engage and grow as well.

All of this is to say, if you really want to make the most out of your NAEO membership (or any group membership), dive in! Don't just read the listserv and take the tidbits you can grab here and there. Join in to the discussion. Ask questions. Help out with a committee (they all need volunteers). Be a part of helping others and you will undoubtedly end up helping yourself as well.

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Be Inspired

Submitted by Gary Blair

Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.

- William Arthur Ward

Friend, there's no greater investment in life than in being a people builder. Relationships are more important than our accomplishments.

- Joel Osteen

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IS Tip

by Kevin Procter

Programmers Know How to Party!

Clicking a mouse, tapping on keys, overdosing on caffeine, masticating with good pizza, and creating algorithms: These are a few of my favourite things.

Considering all of the cool, stereotypical characteristics of the programmer's lifestyle, who wouldn't want to to participate in a community of silicon knights? Sharing stories of conquests, over a Jolt cola; or imbibing while working together to slay a dragon-of-a-problem is a great time!

With this kind of excitement in one's career, it may be tempting to cloister one's self—relegate one's social experience at work to that of the IT environment. However, there is a plethora of new and varying areas in any company to explore during one's career. New skills to learn, and other learned skills to hone.

If you're a programmer and do wish to stick strictly with that part of your organization, then by all means do that. However, it is beneficial for all of us (programmers and non-programmers alike) to step out of that comfort zone once in a while and see what we're made of ... proverbially of course (since we're all made up of basically the same material).

Perhaps you'd like to try your hand at sales: A programmer may have a lot to offer if a potential customer wants to know what your computer system can do. If the company is holding an open house, a programmer may wish to conduct some tours, or just meet and greet the attendees. Programmers—IT people in general—are stereotypically not known for their strong social skills. Thus, getting one's self involved in social engagements is always good practice for those of us who do measure up to that stereotypical bar of geekdom.

Do consider other areas of the business you'd like to explore. Participate in anything new and push yourself outside of programming. You may gain new experiences and your company may well gain a stronger, more varied skill set surrounding their IT Department; and who wouldn't want THAT!?

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Widgets

Action Tables

by Michael Goumas, ProComm

In continuation of the Action Groups and Action Tables from last month, we can look at the Action Tables now...

I have to admit, at first I didn't like the idea of an action table because I thought the scripting I created was better. The more I looked at it, the better the tables looked to me. You can use the Action Tables in myriad ways. The most common that I have seen is using Contact and then without using Contact. Action Tables make it easy to move from step 1 to step 2 to step X easily without having to re-invent the wheel. You can use multiple tables simultaneously if you want—or you can use a single table with multiple conditions to determine what the first or next step is. The tables can get out of hand very quickly if you don't think it out. The simpler the better. Action Tables are like Action Groups, in that you can put them in the Script Shared area or the Screen Shared area and they can be utilized script wide (Script Shared area) or within the single screen (Screen Shared area).

So let us create a simple action table in the Script Shared area. Go in to the Tree View, right click on Shared, Insert, Action Table. It automatically creates it with the name actionTable. Right click and go to Properties. You will see something like this:

You can change the name to whatever you want. The description is what the table does if you wish to document it. And then there are Conditions. Default is "default" but if you change it, whatever the first condition name is that would be the default if you do actions on the Table without specifying a condition. We will talk about this later.

Using only the default condition or single condition:
This is the easiest of the tables. I have renamed my table to EscalationTable and left the default condition.

Then click on Edit Steps and you get to the next screen and land on the General Tab. This is essentially the same as the Conditions section above. We will leave this alone and move to the Actions Tab. Now is where you want to plan out your steps. You can click on the green plus and it will start adding steps in named step1, step2, step3 ... stepX. This is by default, so I will add six steps. You'll notice that your tree view is also updated when you are adding the steps. You do not have to keep those names—but the order you see is the order in which the standard behavior will go. You could reorder step3 before step2 and the script will go step1 > step3 > step2. You can rename them, but please note the naming DOES require the same rules you use in the rest of the script (no spaces, can't start with a number, etc.).

Now click on OK and then OK again and you are back out to your tree view and you will see something like this:

You now add whatever script actions you want to happen on each step. Let me show you what mine looks like on this one.

If you notice, I have what appears to be the exact same on each level—except it is pulling the next role name from the Client Shared Fields and then calling an Action Group. If you remember in my Action Group article, I used a group to select contacts because if I change in one place I change it everywhere. Here is what the Action Group Script.GoNextContact looks like. To explain this in easier terms, the Action Group looks at Escalation (which I set before calling the Action Group) to see if it is empty. If so, Do Step [next] for default of Script.EscalationTable is basically saying Go To Next Step. If it is not empty, read the on-call. If unsuccessful set SelectedContact to *** NO ON-CALL. Now test to see if SelectedContact is *** NO ON-CALL. If so, go to the next step; otherwise I know I have a contact there and now document it in the script.

So in my example above, I can drop this on any account where I have the escalation table in the Client Shared fields and I have my script all set to go as long as I move the Action Table Script.EscalationTable and Action Group Script.GoNextContact.

You could use the above with Contact's automation on an Unsuccessful or I do it on demand when the dispatcher clicks the option to Escalate and the script goes to the next step.

A simple Action Table is maybe each step has a field for dispatching instructions. When you go to the [next] step it just updates the field with the next step's instruction. If you aren't using Contact with the automation and you just want to have the most current dispatch instructions in the script, you can just have a button that goes to the next step on the table.

When you are using the Do Table Actions you see the following screen. I typically only use two of the four options on the Do Table Actions action: Select and Next. Always select a table; you can use [Current Table] but in my opinion it is better programming to select the table you want to use. Now you are presented with 4 choices:

  • Current: this basically “replays” the step you are on.
  • Next: go to the next step in the table. If it is the last step, it does nothing.
  • Expression: you can use an advanced expression to select a step. I haven't found a good use for that unless you wanted to match the step name with the role.
  • Select: you can specify any valid step in the table. When I am telling it to select a step, it is almost always step 1.

Last is your condition: If you only have one condition, you can leave this blank—but again I don't suggest it. Good programming tells me to just select default or whatever you have named your one condition.

Using multiple conditions:
When you are using more than one condition, you can think of an HVAC company, maybe a plumbing and an A/C condition. Now the conditions break the scripting rule that you can have spaces and special characters in it but I don't suggest it. Just be consistent. So I will remove the default condition and add Plumbing and AC conditions and rename the table. You would use this if you have very different actions happening for your condition.

When you are ready to go to the next step, click Apply (always do this in the Tables) and then click Edit Steps and you will get to the next screen.

This screen (General tab) is actually the same as the first screen for adding conditions, removing conditions and changing the order of conditions.

Now follow the same process as you would to add steps.

When using multiple conditions and you want to do a Next step, you must use a conditional to be able to use anything but the first (default) condition. Conditional is an If() branch, Case branch or List branch.

Note: if you have 10 steps in your table, it doesn't mean that all conditions must use all steps. If you leave the step blank, nothing will happen. One table one condition had 3 steps and another had 7 steps.

And finally, it is very easy to go back to the first step. If you have an on-call escalation that says to try everyone and if you haven't reached anyone to go back to the beginning. On your last step in the table you can Do Table Actions, Select step1 (or the first step).

This is a very open topic and you can use it much differently than I have. I hope that this may help you understand tables a bit more.

Laurie Blow

A New Look for the 2015 NAEO Annual Conference

By Laurie Blow

2015 NAEO Annual Conference

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

We want to highlight the following conference session for you:

Customer Relationship Systems (CRM)

Why do you need to use one to better track your interactions with current and potential customers? What are the pros and cons of programs on the market? Do you create your own system? How to link your CRM to your Infinity data? – Join Scott Harbin, Adrian Trevino, Jake Phillips and Robert Donnelly for a panel discussion and get the answers to these questions. This is a "don’t miss" session! Robert will provide us with a how-to guide for a DIY approach to creating your own CRM system linked to Infinity.

What does the 2015 NAEO conference look like?

Something fresh and different! We have listened to your feedback and think you will be happy with the results. Here are just a few things to look forward to:

  • Extended breakout sessions to allow for more in-depth discussion and questions
  • Many topics will be covered as point/counterpoint sessions to allow for strong opposing viewpoints followed by group discussion
  • Sessions for both IS and non-IS sites
  • More opportunities to participate in sessions
  • Hospital and medical breakouts

Save the date! March 7-8: Advanced IS Programming Pre-Conference Seminar. March 9-11: Conference

Stay tuned and check back at naeo.org for more session information and conference details!

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Nominations Open for 2015 NAEO Board of Directors

Inspired to contribute your efforts, creative ideas and passion to the smooth running and further development of our association? If so, we strongly encourage you to let your name stand for election to the NAEO Board of Directors!

NAEO has begun to look for candidates to run for the NAEO Board for terms beginning in March 2015. There are three openings for next year, and the election will be held at the business meeting at the Annual NAEO Conference in Orlando, Florida at the Rosen Shingle Creek hotel.

Being a Board Member is an interesting and rewarding job. Besides meeting two or three times a year, you will share ideas and work with some of the best people in the industry. Directors gain special perspective on our industry and, of course, on the functioning of the very successful trade association that NAEO has become. It is also a three-year commitment to work to make a difference in our association and in the well-being of our members.

Candidates seeking election should be individuals who are action-oriented, enthusiastic, honest and hardworking. Both owners and key managers from hospitals and private TAS/Call Center businesses are eligible to run. Required is some in-depth experience in an organization that utilizes Amtelco call processing equipment and some time and enthusiasm to take on organizational and industry issues.

Board members are typically the Committee Chairpersons. While we meet in person two or three times a year between conferences, we also conduct a great deal of business by e-mail, telephone and conference calls. There is no monetary compensation for Board membership; however, in recognition of the efforts of the Board and the work that they do at the annual conference, Board members receive a 50% discount on conference fees. Additionally, all expenses that are incurred for travel to and from non-conference board meetings are paid by NAEO. Most of all, you will also get the personal satisfaction that comes from being a part of the action for this wonderful association!

So, when the Nominating Committee calls on you, please consider running for the Board. We need people who love the industry and want to learn as much as possible and who are willing, ready and able to share their time and talents for the benefit of our industry. If you are not called, and you would like to be on the ballot, please contact one of us on the Nominating Committee. You can also nominate a fellow NAEO member or yourself (with two written seconds by current NAEO members) by filling out the nomination form. Please note that the nomination forms are due to the NAEO Office by Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Central Time.

For more specific information on the commitment of being a NAEO Board member, click here for the Board of Directors Job Description.

2014 Nominating Committee
Billy Peppard
Jim Wagner
Gerald Brosseau

Upcoming Webinars

Call Distribution
November 12, 2014 | 2:00 pm ET

Speaker: Theran Mossholder
Host: Evelyn Portinari

Learn all about call distribution. We will take a look at the difference between operator groups and station groups. We’ll also look at how to assign accounts and operators to the proper distribution groups. We will go over the process to develop a good call distribution plan, and how to implement that plan into action.

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!

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Lisa Phillips

NAEO Scholarship Opportunities — Deadline Fast Approaching!

by Lina Masri Cunningham

NAEO is proud to offer two scholarship opportunities to its members. The Deadline for Applications is fast approaching—scholarship applications are now being accepted until November 20, 2014. It is not too late to apply!

The William & Eleanor Curtin Scholarship is worth $500 to be used to attend a conference, educational course or the development of an innovative approach to call center management in your office. If you or someone in your office is motivated and encouraged to share their ideas and entrepreneurial traits, please don't wait to apply.

The Christina Collins Educational Scholarship is bestowed on a worthy employee from an NAEO member office for the sole purpose of attending the NAEO Annual Conference or any other seminar or training sponsored by NAEO. If you are committed to education and believe that attending a conference will help support your efforts in assisting and/or training in your call center, then this scholarship is for you!

There has never been a better time to apply for one of these scholarships. Use this scholarship to join NAEO members as we focus on Pursuing Excellence through Education and Collaboration at the Annual NAEO Conference, March 9-11, 2015.

Visit the NAEO website for your application and apply now.

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david drenk

IS and Infinity Combined Message History

by David Drenk

In newer versions of Infinity Telephone Agent, the Infinity message history and the IS message history are displayed together in one window instead of on two separate pages. This change was implemented to allow operators to view the entire history of a message in one list.

To view the message history in Infinity Telephone Agent, fetch a client account programmed to use Checkin or Combo Checkin mode. (Message Center accounts show only the IS history at the bottom of each message summary.)

Select a message and then press the keyboard shortcut programmed for “History.”

The Message History window is displayed.

IS history entries are marked with a green IS icon.

The three buttons in the Dial-Outs pane can be selected or cleared to show or hide the Dispatch history, Auto Dials, and the IS history.

Requirements:

  • IS Supervisor 5.60.4364.06 or later
  • IS Server 3.7.4364.19150 or later
  • SQL Server 2005 or later
  • IS Messaging
  • Infinity 5.60.11 or later
  • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.4364.09 or later

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Kelli Harrigan

 

Urgent Confirmation Time Setting for Alpha-Paging, SMS and miSecureMessages

by David Drenk

A field is added to the Paging Management page of the Client Setup pages in Infinity Supervisor to establish an Urgent Confirmation Time for unconfirmed messages. The new field makes it possible to set a confirmation time for messages marked as Urgent that is different from the confirmation time for non-Urgent messages.

To access the Urgent Confirmation Time setting, open the Infinity Supervisor application.

Click the Client icon.

Select a Client account.

Open the Page menu and select "Paging Management."

The Paging Management page is displayed.

The Urgent Confirmation Time setting is located in the pane labeled “Alpha-Page, SMS, and MSM Confirmation.” The Confirmation Time setting establishes the confirmation time for messages that are not marked Urgent; while the Urgent Confirmation Time setting establishes the confirmation time for messages that are marked Urgent.

Urgent Confirmation Time

Enter the number of minutes to wait for confirmation.

Click the Save button.

When the Urgent Confirmation Time interval expires, urgent alpha-paging messages, SMS text messages and miSecureMessages messages that have not been confirmed by the recipients as being received are returned to the operators who initiated the messages for further dispatching.

Requirements:

  • Infinity Supervisor 5.60.16 or later
  • Infinity Server 5.60.00 or later
  • Infinity Telephone Agent
  • Infinity Alpha-Paging and Infinity Alpha-Paging Confirmation

or

  • Infinity Supervisor 5.60.16
  • Infinity Server 5.60.00 or later
  • Infinity Telephone Agent
  • Infinity SMS

or

  • Infinity Supervisor 5.60.16
  • Infinity Server 5.60.00 or later
  • Infinity Telephone Agent
  • miSecureMessages

Amtelco Part Number:

  • 232S165 and 232S817 (Alpha-Paging)
  • 232MP127 (SMS)
  • 232MP149 and 232MP153 (miSecureMessages)

 

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