Monday, September 26, 2016

Timesheet Summaries

SearchManagers and their substitutes can review the timesheets of the people who work in their organization. They can do this in the Analytics console. Now, when they select a timesheet of a specific employee for a certain month, they will notice something new: the timesheet summary.

Timesheet summary by allocation
By default, the summary is provided by allocation, but by clicking on the 'Service' option, the time spent is summarized by service.

Timesheet summary by service
Similarly, selecting the 'Customer' option summarizes the time spent of the selected employee by customer organization.

Timesheet summary by customer organiation
When a week is selected, the same summaries are available for the selected week. And when a specific date is selected, these summaries are offered for that day.

These summaries are important, because on any given day, some people will spend time on more than 20 requests, they may complete several tasks, and can be involved in a few projects. For managers to get a sense of what people have been working on takes too much time when they need to look at each individual time entry. This would be almost impossible when the review is performed for a whole month. The summaries make it possible for managers to quickly screen through the timesheets and to only go into detail when the summaries show something unexpected.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mentions

SearchIf you were at InfraVision's ITRP Customer Event today, you will already know about the new Mentions feature. This exciting new feature allows you to 'mention' someone when you are adding a note to, for example, a request or task. By mentioning someone, you make sure that this person receives an email with your note.

To mention someone, click on theSearchoption of the text formatting bar that becomes available when you place the cursor in the Note field. Alternatively, just enter the @-symbol.

Activating the mention option
This causes the 'Add Mention' dialog to pop up. The cursor is already in the Search field, so you can start to type without having to use the mouse. When you enter the first few characters of a person's first or last name, a list of options is presented.

Selecting someone to mention
If you are a specialist, you can select any of your colleagues. In case of a request, you can also select the person by whom the request was submitted or the person for whom this was done. End users can also mention someone in a note, but their options to select specialists are limited to the ones who already added a note to the request.

Note with a mention
When the note is saved, an email is automatically generated for the mentioned person. This email notification contains the note (including its inline images when there are any). The email templates 'Note added to ...' are used to generate these notifications.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Broadcasts for Teams

BroadcastsThe Broadcast functionality has been extended again. This time an option has been added to send out a broadcast to the members of specific teams.

Let's assume, for example, that your organization is planning to allow end users to order Chromebooks and you want to let the specialists of the End-User Support teams know about this. Now you can write your message and select these teams to target your message only at them.

Search results
It is an easy and quick way to inform only a subset of the specialists. They will see the broadcast at the bottom of their Inbox console.

Search results

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Inline Images

ImageEarlier this week the new text formatting features were released. You may have already noticed that the bar with the formatting options includes one extra option when you are working in a Note field. This extra option allows you to insert an image between the text.

Search results
Many users have indicated that they would like to be able to add screenshots and pictures inline, rather than as an attachment. That makes it possible for people to digest the textual information and the related graphics more quickly.

They also told us that it would be nice if they could drag and drop images into a Note field. Alright, that's possible now also. But what users really seem to want, is the ability to paste images directly from their computer's clipboard. So we have made that possible as well.

Give it a try to see if you like it. If you try it on your smartphone, you will find that you can take a picture when you press the 'image' icon in the formatting bar.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Text Formatting

FormattingThe large text fields in ITRP now offer some user-friendly formatting options. Only the most useful formatting features were added, to ensure that users will almost immediately feel comfortable using them.

The screenshot below provides an overview of the 10 formatting options:

Search results
The bar with the formatting options is also available in ITRP Self Service and ITRP Mobile, so that end users can use it to get their message across more effectively.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Search for Services in Self Service

SearchNowadays, it is not uncommon for a large IT department to support more than a hundred services. Email is often cited as an example of a service, but each department of a modern enterprise seems to rely on a whole set of specialized application services. The finance department has its applications, but so does HR, the sales team and the people responsible for the manufacturing process. All these applications need to be hosted, supported and maintained.

The sheer number of services is a challenge for the IT department, but it can also be difficult for the end users to find the service for which they need to obtain support. This gets even harder for the end users when they can request support not just for IT services, but also for the services provided by HR, facilities management and the legal department.

ITRP Self Service has the advantage that end users only see the services that are relevant for them (e.g. an end user who works in marketing should not see the services used by the R&D department). Also, these services are nicely grouped by support domain and category. But in many cases, the user just knows that there is an issue with SAP or Salesforce CRM. In such cases, it would help if the user could simply search for 'SAP' or 'CRM' to find the service.

That is now possible. The scope of the Search functionality in ITRP Self Service and ITRP Mobile has been extended to ensure that it also looks for matches in the service names and service descriptions.

Search results
So when searching, end users not only see the request templates that match their search criteria; they also see the services that might be relevant. This provides another quick way to get help from the right specialists.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Real-Time Search

SearchYou probably did not notice that, over the past two months, your search queries were gradually redirected to ITRP's new search engine. The beauty of this new search engine is that its indices get updated almost instantly when a record is added or updated. In the past it could take a few minutes before new or updated information could be found; now it's instantaneous.

Search results
So from now on, your search results will always include the very latest information.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Partner Announcement: 2Grips

BelgiumToday, we are proud to announce the partnership with 2Grips. The consultants of this Belgian/Dutch firm have gained an enormous amount of experience implementing different IT service management solutions. They have recognized the unique benefits that ITRP provides for multinationals and organizations that want to actively manage their external service providers.

2Grips logoOver the past months, 2Grips has already been very active with ITRP for several customers. They witnessed first hand the ease with which these organizations achieved service management success.

"Seeing how quickly ITRP can be set up, even for organizations with requirements that are difficult to meet with conventional enterprise service management applications, has convinced us that this is something extraordinary," says Joost van Iersel, Managing Partner at 2Grips. "Every large enterprise should, at the very least, take a serious look at ITRP."

It is wonderful to see the ITRP Partner Network grow with so much expertise. We are looking forward to working with 2Grips for many years to come.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Search Refined

SearchThe screen that displays the results of a search has been improved a little. This was done to make the 'Refine Search' options a little more intuitive to use.

These options are now revealed when theCogbutton is pressed.
Refine search options
After you have selected the necessary options to refine your search, you should find it more natural to press theSearchbutton to refresh the results.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Adding Time for Others

Time entryManagers (and their substitutes) use the 'Timesheets' section of the Analytics console to review the timesheets of the people who belong to their organization. It was already possible for them to adjust the time entries that they review. Now they can also add time entries when they are reviewing someone's timesheet.

Pressing the big + icon next to the total number of workdays opens a new time entry for the selected day.

Timesheet with 1-day selected
When a week is selected, the blue + icon next to the weekly total can be pressed. That opens the 'Add Time Entries for Week' form, which allows time to be added for a whole week with a single update.

Timesheet with 1-week selected
Adding time on behalf of an employee can be useful, for example in cases where an employee has been ill for a few days. When this happens at the end of the month and the timesheets need to be locked to start the billing cycle, the manager can add the time on medical leave without having to interrupt the employee's recovery.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Beautiful Email Designs

Email DesignSupport organizations are now able to perfect the styling of the email notifications that ITRP generates for their end users and specialists. The new Email Design functionality makes it possible to use HTML to define the styling (including backgrounds, fonts, colors, tables, images, etc.) of these notifications.

Default email design
Apart from ensuring that the email notifications comply with the organization’s corporate identity, you can also use the Email Design functionality to translate the standard texts that need to be included in these notifications. The email signature, for example, may need to be translated into all the languages that the organization supports so that it gets sent out in the recipient's preferred language.

Multiple email designs can be defined. That allows for a specific design to be applied to an email template that is used to generate notifications that need to look a little different.

Email design selection in email template
If you are an ITRP account administrator and you feel comfortable with HTML, this may be the time to create a stunning-looking email design. The 'Email Designs' section is waiting for you in the Settings console.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Add Relations to Task from Trusted Account

Timesheet SettingsOne of the unique features of ITRP is that it allows two companies that both use ITRP to establish a trust relation. Among other things, a trust relation makes it possible for one or both of these companies to allow the other company to assign tasks to them.

What's new is that once a task has been assigned to a team of another company, that team is able to relate their service instances and configuration items to this task.

Track time spent for specific organizations
Above is an example of a task assigned by Widget Data Center to its external service provider GlobalNet. GlobalNet has related one of its service instances and and two of its CIs to this task.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Require an Attachment

UI ExtensionTo ensure that end users provide all information necessary to complete a specific type of request, support organizations add UI extensions to their request templates. These UI extensions deliver the fields that need to be filled out by the requester. Making these fields required ensures that the requester does not forget to fill them out.

But what if the support organization requires the requester to include an attachment? To request a security badge, for example, a digital picture may need to be attached to the request.

Making it mandatory to include an attachment now only takes a few mouse clicks, thanks to a new snippet that can be used to add the necessary JavaScript to the UI extension.

Attachment Required Snippet in UI extension
The result in Self Service is that the 'Attach file...' link is highlighted in blue and that the new request cannot be saved until an attachment has been added to the request.

Attachment Required Snippet in Self Service
This feature can also be used to for tasks. For example when test results need to be attached before approving a new application release, it is helpful when the approver cannot accidentally forget this.

Attachment Required in Approval Task
Approval tasks should only need an attachment after they have been assigned to an approver. So for approval tasks it is best to refine the JavaScript code as follows:

if (ITRP.record.initialValues.get('status') === 'assigned') {
  ITRP.field('attachment').required();
}

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Flat Toolbar Design

SaveThe icons and buttons of the ITRP toolbar have been redesigned to make them easier to recognize.

Toolbar buttons - left
Toolbar buttons - right
Save toolbar buttonThe Edit button received a special makeover. Now, when you press this button to open a record in Edit mode, the button is updated to show the 'save' symbol.

If you are unsure about the purpose of a button, just hover over it with your mouse cursor and a short explanation will appear.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

More Distinct Record Icons

InboxTo make the record-type icons stand out more clearly in the Inbox console, the small 'form' symbol has been removed. This makes it easier distinguish between the different record types.

Enhanced record icons in Inbox
To ensure that the 'form' symbol was removed consistently throughout the application, the following 6 record icons (or avatars) were affected:

Old and new record icons

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Descriptions for Time Entries

Time allocationSome organizations have internal or external customers that require a description of the time that has been spent for them. In such cases, the administrator can check the new box 'Description required' in the relevant time allocations.

Timesheet in Calendar in view
This ensures that the Description field becomes available when someone is registering time for one of these allocations. The Description field is required to ensure that no one forgets to enter a short description when this needed.

Timesheet in Calendar in view

Monday, June 6, 2016

Add Time Entries for a Whole Week

Time entryThe Time Tracking functionality has been extended with a helpful feature that makes it possible to quickly register your time for a whole week.

Time Spent Today toolbar buttonTo access this new feature, click on the Time Spent Today toolbar button to open your timesheet for the current month. Next, move your mouse cursor toward a weekly total. This causes a blue + icon to appear next to the weekly total.

Timesheet in Calendar in view
Click on this blue + icon to open the 'Add Time Entries for Week' form. By default, the time allocations that you used last week are already selected. More time allocations can be added as needed.

Add Time Entries for Week form
The total time spent is presented just below each weekday. If you had already registered some time for the week, e.g. because you resolved some requests, this time is included in the totals.

When you place the cursor in one of the boxes, the remaining time for that day is automatically filled out. Entering a number automatically overwrites this value. Numbers between 1 and 9 are considered hours, unless they are preceded by the colon ( : ) character. Higher numbers are interpreted as minutes, unless followed by a colon. In most cases, this should avoid the need for typing in colons, which makes registering time a little easier still.