Blogs

New feature in version 7.0: Ticket Labels

One of the more colorful features in the new version 7.0 of CommitCRM is Labels but in fact of course they do much more than simply add a dash of color to the PSA interface!

Labels

Using Labels allows you to easily organize your Tickets queue, assigning incoming Tickets with Labels which can indicate pretty much whatever makes sense in your work flow. For example you can flag some Tickets as VIP to ensure your highest value customers get taken care of appropriately. You could label other Tickets as Hardware or CEO or FAO-Fred or whatever else you can think of and you can even have multiple labels on the same Ticket if you want.

Working with Labels is a breeze – just click a Ticket then drag & drop it onto the appropriate Label and then that Label is automagically added to the Ticket instantly. Removing Labels is just a matter of clicking the X which you will see in a Label when viewing a Ticket in the Preview window. To quickly filter your Tickets list based on a Label all you have to do is click on that Label in the list in the left column which is a very handy way to see what is going on in your busy support system.

Labels can be added and removed at any time during the lifecycle of a Ticket so you can see at a glance what or where a Ticket is within your system or organization and know immediately who it is for or what stage it is at or any other criteria you use for your Labels.

Of course a PSA such as this is all about automation and so naturally you can automate the process of adding Labels to new Tickets! Labels are comprehensively integrated with the Ticket management process throughout the system and setting Default Labels can be done from wherever the Tickets are created, whether it be the Web Interface or the Email Connector or elsewhere. In Accounts, Contracts and Assets you can define default labels to use for any Tickets created from those sections.

Account Default Labels:

Account Default Labels

Asset Default Labels:

Asset Default Labels

Contract Default Labels:

Contract Default Labels

You can even define default labels for all your Tickets which are created by an integrated RMM you may be using (GFI Max or Continuum for example) so you can automatically label them with RMM or GFI or something along those lines which makes it abundantly clear which Tickets came from your RMM. Not to be outdone by the RMM system, the Email Connector offers yet another way to add default Labels for Tickets, this time for those created by an incoming “Email to Ticket”.

Email Connector Default Labels

Labels are already featured in a selection of Reports but the new and improved Report Designer also provides access to Labels so they can be added to all types of Tickets related Report you generate and also Reports can be filtered based on your labels so for example you could create a Report only on Tickets which have a specific Label assigned.

We hope you find the new Labels feature (amongst others!) in CommitCRM v7.0 to be useful and please do let us and the community know how you are using them in your organization.

 

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New CommitCRM v7 Release!

commitcrm-labels-ticket-list-70Hi Commiters,

We are very excited to inform you that a major new version of CommitCRM has just been released!

CommitCRM 7 is ready and available for download right now!

This release is a very significant upgrade which we’ve been working on for quite some time and it comes with a whole host of new and enhanced features designed to make for an easier and more efficient workflow.

As is often the case, the new and powerful additions to CommitCRM 7 are a direct result of the great feedback and ideas we have received from you, our community members. Thank you for contributing to the growth of our product and our company. We appreciate all of your feedback and support!

Click Here for the full list of what’s new in 7 as well as upgrade instructions.

This release also complements our new and improved CommitCRM Website which was published recently and of course this blog which will be featuring a series of new articles with more detail on some of the key features in this release as well as other CommitCRM related matters so stay tuned for those. Furthermore you can always find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as of course on our own Forums.

We hope you enjoy the new version!

The CommitCRM Team
CommitCRM – Business Automation For Successful ITs!

Posted in CommitCRM Product | Leave a comment

Death & Taxes

Death and TaxesAs everyone knows there are two sure things in this life – death and taxes. Naturally there’s not much we here at CommitCRM can do about the former. As much as we’d like to cure death, that’s just a bit beyond the current capabilities even of the all new version. Taxes are however something we can work on, at least to some extent.

Taxes of one kind or another are just one of those things we all hate but have to deal with anyway, the taxman always finds us in the end and is not known for being overly forgiving. We are reminded of an episode of the classic sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf which, to the uninitiated out there, is about a space ship crewed by Lister the last remaining human, Rimmer who is a hologram of a crew member that accidentally killed the rest of the crew (including himself), a creature called Cat that descended from the ships cat, a mechanoid called Kryten and a slightly senile ships computer. Lister survived the accident by being in stasis at the time and was only woken up when the ships computer decided it was safe to do so – three million years later.

In one episode (“Better Than Life”) the mail pod finally catches up with the ship and carries with it a letter for Rimmer from the dreaded “Outland Revenue”, in other words the taxman! Rimmer immediately panics, saying “Just because we’re three million years into deep space and the human race is extinct, that means nothing to these people!” Of course you’ll have to watch the episode in question to find out if the taxman does indeed get Rimmer for his unpaid taxes (not to mention three million years interest!) but in the meantime you’ll no doubt be pleased to learn that CommitCRM has a new and improved tax management system to help keep you from falling afoul of the “outland revenue” or any other brand of taxman on or off the planet.

You can read the specifics of the new tax features in CommitCRM on the version history page here but we are sure many of you will find the ability to now define many more different tax rates to be immensely useful. Also Items can now be set as ‘Taxable’ so the taxes to apply are automatically taken from the relevant Account in the Charge by default so you no longer need to explicitly define the Tax Codes in the Item itself. You can also rest easy in the knowledge that all your current settings will be preserved and the system will continue working for you in the way you are familiar with while also being easier and more powerful.

Until next time,
The CommitCRM Team

Posted in CommitCRM Company, CommitCRM Product | Tagged | 1 Comment

The New Suit

The New Suit - a new website for CommitCRMYou know that old suit or outfit you have, the one that has served you well for many years and you’re loath to change? Most people have one, it’s starting to look a little worn out now though, the style is not exactly up with the latest trends anymore but still you feel comfortable wearing it, you perhaps scored some big contracts while wearing it or some other positive events happened while you were wearing that one.. it’s your lucky suit!

However you’ve started to notice that everyone else has a fancy new outfit and yours is beginning to stand out from the crowd for the wrong reasons. It is about time you got a new one, you’ve no more excuses to stick with the old, no matter how lucky you think it is. So it is with the trusty old CommitCRM web site which has served us all well for many long years, but like all good things it must finally come to an end and be sent to website heaven where all the other old sites end up.

We here at CommitCRM are pleased to announce the launch of our brand new Website, complete with a new design and enhanced features to present the CommitCRM application to new visitors and of course to better serve our existing customers. The new site includes a detailed Tour which gives a clear overview of the application, explaining all the main features so you can easily see how it it all works together and how it relates to and serves your business. There is also a new animated video on our homepage showing what CommitCRM is all about which we hope you will enjoy. For a more in-depth description of the many features offered with CommitCRM you can also browse the Products pages. If you’re new here and still not convinced, you can always download our fully functional free trial and see exactly what CommitCRM can do for you today.

We hope you like our new (lucky) site as much as we do and find it useful and informative as well as exceedingly stylish. Feel free to let us know what you think – we always welcome your feedback.

Until next time,
The CommitCRM Team

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New CommitCRM 6.0 Release

Hi Commiters,

We are very excited to inform you that a new major version of CommitCRM has just been released!

The development of CommitCRM 6.0 has been a labor of love and some interesting new features have been added.

CommitCRM 6.0 is ready and available for download!

As usual, the new and powerful additions to CommitCRM 6.0 are a direct result of the great feedback and ideas we have received from you, our community members. Thank you for contributing to the growth of our product and our company. We appreciate all of your feedback and support!

Warning: the list of new features and options added to this major release is long! :-)

Here’s a hint of what’s included (click the link below to see the entire list):

CommitCRM Web Interface - Now Optimized for Mobile Devices!

CommitCRM Web Interface - Now Optimized for Mobile Devices!

==> Click here for a complete list of new features and upgrade instructions.

Enjoy!

Until next time,
The Commit Team

Posted in CommitCRM Company, CommitCRM Product | Leave a comment

GFI MAX RemoteManagement™ and CommitCRM – Now Integrated


Hi Everyone,

We are happy to officially announce the integration between CommitCRM and GFI MAX RemoteManagement.

Dr. Alistair Forbes, General Manager, GFI MAX said:

“The two key tools for an IT Services business are their RMM tool and their service management tool and having these two tools work together in a seamless and efficient way is a very substantial operational enabler. The CommitCRM integration with GFI MAX RemoteManagement provides this and will help our shared customers to focus on growing their businesses with confidence that they can deliver great service and high levels of internal efficiency.”

We couldn’t agree more!

The official press release can be found here.

Overview

CommitCRM-GFI MAX Link module offers a direct integration with GFI MAX RemoteManagement RMM solution.

The integration can link GFI MAX Site and Device information with CommitCRM’s Account and Asset respectively, in real time. This integration module has been developed by Commit and is based on GFI MAX’s API.

The integration enables you to manage all RMM Tickets from within CommitCRM to streamline your workflow. Failed Checks in GFI MAX are automatically converted into service Tickets in CommitCRM. Also, the information about Devices and Sites that is recorded in GFI MAX is automatically sent to CommitCRM, and you can easily select whether to link or import the data into CommitCRM.

Main features include:

  • Easily link GFI MAX Sites and Devices to CommitCRM Accounts and Assets.
  • Automatically syncs GFI MAX failed checks to CommitCRM Tickets.
  • Allows you to manage all issues (RMM events and standard Tickets) from within the Tickets module in CommitCRM.
  • Failed Checks status changes in GFI MAX automatically update the Tickets in CommitCRM.
  • Saves you time and helps you avoid duplicates and errors common in manual data entry by automatically sharing data between GFI MAX and CommitCRM.
  • If you are already using GFI MAX RemoteManagement please contact us to learn more about linking it to CommitCRM.

    To learn more about GFI MAX visit the GFI MAX RemoteManagement Web site.

    Until next time,
    The Commit Team

    Posted in CommitCRM Product, RMM | Leave a comment

    Speaking Their Language

    Knowing how to best sell your services is an important and, often, underrated skill. Many IT support providers assume that they can use the same language they use with their suppliers, technicians and industry connections when they go about marketing or pitching their services to potential customers and even providing their customers with service. That however, is high up on the “What not to do” list!

    Customers do not speak the same language as their technology entrenched support providers. Your customers probably don’t use three letter acronyms to describe the services they are looking for, nor do they always know the names of the Assets they need monitored. They might not even know how to accurately describe the hardware or software problem they encounter.
    IT Acronyms
    Whenever you interact with your customers, recognize that not all of your customers have a firm enough grasp on technology to enable them to use industry lingo and to understand your more advanced explanations or instructions. So, based on preliminary interactions with your customers, assess the best language to use in your current and future interactions.

    In other words, make your customers feel comfortable. Develop a relationship with your customers that does not make them feel inferior, confused or overwhelmed. The language you use with your customers should convey an understanding of their comfort level and their needs.

    When need be, simplify, explain everything, and ask your customers questions to make sure they understand the problem you are addressing, what you need to do to correct the problem, and they ways they can prevent the problem or properly use the device in the future. Use jargon that informs your customers, empowers them and addresses their needs. In doing so, you will succeed in developing a relationship with your customers based on trust, openness, understanding and respect. Not only is this dynamic advantageous to your customers, but it also benefits you by keeping your customers happy, feeling tended to and appreciated. In turn, these sentiments will help you increase your customers’ loyalty, build up your business reputation and client roster.

    Until next time,
    The Commit Team

    Posted in CommitCRM Product | Leave a comment

    Turn ON the Light – Geeks Corner

    [Warning #1 - This post is for geeks only!]

    A few days ago @lpopejoy posted something in the CommitCRM user forums that drew our attention.

    He wrote:

    On a side note, I also have a stoplight in my office – yellow light turns on when there’s new tickets in the inbox…

    At first we thought that this must be a joke, so we wrote back:

    @lpopejoy, Is this for real? If so, can you take a photo of this and email it to us?

    It wasn’t too long before we received an email from @lpopejoy saying:

    So here they are! Didn’t believe me did you?

    Well, we have to admit, we did not, but if a picture is worth a thousand words… what can we say? We were wrong!

    No New Tickets in the Queue:
    Stoplight OFF - No New Tickets

    New Tickets Alert!:
    Stoplight OFF - New Tickets Alert!

    Excited about this cool thing we asked @lpopejoy to tell us how it all works:

    [Warning #2 - Try this at home at your own risk]

    Just be warned it isn’t very elegant. I got a parallel port powered relay and wired the stoplight into that. From there, I setup some batch files that send special commands to the relay board that turn on the lights that I want.

    What pulls it altogether is a script that I wrote that runs every 15 minutes that queries the [CommitCRM] database via [CommitCRM API] ODBC to check for the existence of tickets that are both unread AND in the inbox. If they exist, then it send the “yellow” command to the parallel port and the light comes on! When it runs next time, it turns the light off, if the alert has been cleared.

    Thank you @lpopejoy! You made everyone here smile!

    Until next time,
    The Commit Team

    Posted in API, IT Industry, Misc | 1 Comment

    SMB and the Cloud – Are You Ready?

    Microsoft® has recently published the ‘Microsoft SMB Business in the Cloud 2012’ research report which was designed and conducted in conjunction with Edge Strategies Inc. in December 2011. The research questioned 3,000 SMBs that employ 2 to 250 employees across 13 countries worldwide, completed in December 2011.

    SMB Cloud

    From this research it is clear that there is a big opportunity for IT services providers and MSPs to serve as the central point of contact between their SMB clients and the different cloud solutions providers.

    Most SMBs do not employ in-house IT consultants and most rely on service providers to manage everything related to technology in their business.

    The research presents interesting findings and we thought of sharing some with you:

    Of all surveyed SMBs:

  • 60% don’t have resources to implement new technologies and applications
  • 65% expect to be using cloud email services in the next 2-3 years.
  • 70% want to know where their data is located.
  • Voice communications, online backup and databases, and IM are also expected to be used by 1/2 of all companies. [within 2-3 years]
  • The number of very small companies (2-10 employees) using paid cloud services will triple in the next three years.
  • You can download the research from Microsoft’s Web site here.

    While we cannot tell whether or not things will end up exactly as the research suggests, one thing is clear – more and more SMBs will start using more and more cloud services and will need someone to handle it all for them.

    Are you ready for the job?

    Until next time,
    The Commit Team

    Posted in IT Industry, Misc | Leave a comment

    The Power of Communication

    The power of good communication is undeniably great. Effective communication skills is one of the specific abilities that enables some people to succeed while many fail. In fact, the building and sustainability of all relationships, from personal contacts and family members to business related contacts, is largely dependent on effective communication skills.

    It is these skills that help you know when to be assertive and when to be supportive, how to be persuasive and how to be an active listener. Mastering the art of effective communication enables you to improve all of your relationships, including your relationships with customers, coworkers, suppliers and prospective customers.

    By knowing how to be an effective communicator, you can inspire your coworkers to do and learn more, convince your suppliers to give you better deals, encourage your customers to trust you with bigger contracts and persuade prospective customers to choose you as their service provider.

    In order to achieve these goals however, mastery over multiple components of effective communication is required. Once obtained, you can harness the power of effective communication to not only help you strengthen your personal relationships, but your business relationships and bottom line, as well.

    In your quest to maximize your communication skills and improve the way you interact with others, you should be sure to remember the ABC’s of effective communication, namely Active listening, Body language, and Communication.

    Active Listening:

    People speak at an average of 100- 175 words per minute, but we can listen at a rate of 300 words per minute assuming however, that we are actively listening. If our minds wander or we think about multiple things, our ability to hear, comprehend and retain information decreases.

    In order to become a good communicator, we need to be more than a good orator; we need to be skilled at receiving information, as well. To be a skilled listener, it is necessary to not only show that you are interested in and paying attention to your speaking partner, but to also be actively interested in and paying attention to your speak partner. This skill not only gives you the ability to strengthen lines of communication so that you can better address the concerns and needs of your speaking partner, but it also helps you to figure out the best way to relay your own needs and concerns.

    Traits of active listeners are their ability to encourage their speaking partner to engage in conversation by focusing attention on the speaker and following-up on the speakers’ remarks with questions or comments to show that they are listening and that they care.

    Body Language:

    Body language is an unspoken form of communication that conveys to your speaking partner that you are engaged and trustworthy. Even small things, like making eye contact and nodding, reaffirm to your speaking partner that you are committed to the conversation and the exchange of ideas. Similarly, body language also encourages your speaking partner to participate in the conversation while ensuring that lines of communication remain open so that follow-up exchanges are possible.

    Communication:

    In addition to being a good receiver of information, through both active listening and body language, it is also important to be a good disseminator of information. Being able to be tactful, open and honest while communicating your message in a clear and concise fashion is the true mark of a great communicator. In other words, good communicators use language to convey ideas without being malicious, argumentative, coy, or unengaged. Instead, language is used to express oneself and one’s message in a way that the listener can hear and be open to the information.

    Using good oratory skills, you can sway your customers, prospective clients, suppliers and technicians to be open to your suggestions and initiatives. Combined with mastery over active listening and body language, good communication skills can help you transform into an effective communicator who can be persuasive, understanding, a problem solver and a leader.

    In this capacity and with these skills, you can maximize your professional and personal relationships, bringing added success to all of your endeavors.

    Until next time,
    The Commit Team

    Posted in Misc | 2 Comments