Serio Blog

Monday, 04 Nov 2013

We've added an Extended Data Editor with new functionality within Actions and Change Plans.

  • Adding Extended Data to your Actions List

This will allow you to embed the capture of Extended Data into the Actions you take, and the workflow you use.

  • Viewing and adding Extended Data to Tasks in Change Plans

You can now capture and view Extended Data in a much simpler way. We've added the ability to create an Action that captures Extended Data, and then use that Extended Data in Tasks in your Change Plan.

For example, suppose one of your employees is leaving the company and you need to delete his email account. You will raise a Change, as usual, but you can now add an Action to capture the employee's username and department and then include this information directly in the text of future Tasks.

Suppose that you create an Extended Data definition called 'Deleted email account' (string type), and this is then set to joe.soap@mycompany.co.uk

You can include this in the Task

Account to Delete:  <</extended_start/>>Deleted Email Account<</extended_end/>>

So that when the Task is generated, the engineer sees

Account to Delete: joe.soap@mycompany.co.uk

We're expecting these changes to go live by the end of November.

Please let us know should you have any questions or want to make suggestions at serio-support-at-serioplus-dot-com.

Thursday, 31 Oct 2013

For those of you who've been experiencing some problems with Spam email in your Serio inboxes, we're letting you know that we're working on a solution for this.
Having resisted the urge to implement Bayesian spam filter system which would be detrimental to those who use their Inbox to receive a lot of machine-generated emails (such as monitoring alerts), we've decided to take a simpler and (what we believe is a) more effective approach, which keeps users in control..
We're working on an update that will allow you to filter incoming emails as follows:
1. Email arrives at your SerioPlus email address;
2. Serio looks for the email address of the sender and/or its domain email address and cross-matches it with the customer database we hold for you in SerioPlus;
3. If the address / domain is recognized, then Serio will let the email in you Serio inbox. If, on the other hand, Serio recognizes neither of them, then the email will be sent to a Spam List.
Another feature of this new update is that you will be able to move email from your Spam List to your inbox, should you decide so.
You will also be able to both whitelist or blacklist email addresses and/or domains of your choosing.
This change will be 'opt in', meaning that those of you who have not experienced spam can leave things as they are.
If you have any enquiries or suggestions about this, please get in touch through serio-support -at-serioplus -dot- com.
We expect this update to be ready by the end of November but we will let you know when this update goes live.

For those of you who've been experiencing some problems with Spam email in your Serio inboxes, we're letting you know that we're working on a solution for this.

Having resisted the urge to implement Bayesian spam filter system which would be detrimental to those who use their Inbox to receive a lot of machine-generated emails (such as monitoring alerts), we've decided to take a simpler and (what we believe is a) more effective approach, which keeps users in control.

We're working on an update that will allow you to filter incoming emails as follows:

  1. Email arrives at your SerioPlus email address;
  2. Serio looks for the email address of the sender and/or its domain email address and cross-matches it with the customer database we hold for you in SerioPlus;
  3. If the address / domain is recognized, then Serio will let the email in you Serio inbox. If, on the other hand, Serio recognizes neither of them, then the email will be sent to a Spam List.

Another feature of this new update is that you will be able to move email from your Spam List to your inbox, should you decide so.

You will also be able to both whitelist or blacklist email addresses and/or domains of your choosing.

This change will be 'opt in', meaning that those of you who have not experienced spam can leave things as they are.

If you have any enquiries or suggestions about this, please get in touch through serio-support -at-serioplus -dot- com.

We expect this update to be ready by the end of November but we will let you know when this update goes live.

Monday, 09 Sep 2013

It is now possible for a Serio Administrator to contact the Serio Service Desk to request a change in the Password Strength requirement for Serio Agents. These requests are usually made to ask for the Password Strength to be increased. Increasing the Password Strength will obviously improve Security, but it should be used with caution, as not providing your Users with good information in advance regarding the change can create a lot of problems for your Support Desk once the change is made.

The default setting for Password Strength in Serio is Low. Password Strength can be changed to Medium, or to High:

Low strength – Passwords must include a mix of letters and numbers and be at least 5 characters or more in length.

Medium strength – Passwords must include a mix of letters and numbers, of upper and lower case characters, and be at least 8 characters or more in length.

High strength – Passwords must be as the above, and include punctuation.

If the Password Strength is changed, Service staff will be locked out of SerioPlus, at which point they will be prompted to reset their password via SerioWeb. Therefore, it is important that Users now how to access SerioWeb without the use of the Welcome Page in SerioClient (which they will temporarily be locked out of).

In SerioWeb, after stating that they do not know their password, the User should input their Email Address, at which point Serio will check that it corresponds to a Serio User, in which case a new password with the new strength setting will be automatically created, and of which the User will be informed. Although the password is generated automatically, it can afterwards be easily changed by the User.

For more information please view the following Serio Online Help: Login Password Strength Roadmap.

Wednesday, 19 Jun 2013

Last Updated: 28/08/13

As stated in my last blog, I am pleased to provide details of the new features which have been included in the next Major Update of SerioPlus, as well as existing functionality which has been improved. Also listed are new reports which will be available for use.

The Rollout is planned for August 31st.

 

NEW

  • Operational Level Agreements

Operational Level Agreements (OLAs) gather statistics on the length of time it takes for activities to be completed; helping Users monitor the progress of Tickets and their assignments, aiding them in reducing the time it takes for a Ticket to be resolved.

  • Actionable Service Catalog

Enables Users to view the list of Services that the Service Desk offers via SerioWeb, and allows Users to request access to these Services, and to request Information regarding the Services available.

  • Priority / Urgency / Impact Matrix

Allows Users to combine the ‘Urgency’ and ‘Impact’ of a Ticket to automatically set the ‘Priority’. Other factors, like the Company the Ticket is logged against, or the Subcategory of the Ticket, can be used to define the Priority. There is a new ‘Urgency’ field, and both it and the ‘Impact’ field are now displayed next to the ‘Priority’ field.

  • Release Deployment (RFDs)

Release Records are provided as a means of both controlling and documenting the Release of Changes into different Infrastructure environments (Testing, UAT, Production and so on).

Release Records are associated with (and can be viewed as extension of) Changes and document the designated release interval, current workflow Status, steps needed to deploy, rollback instructions, and specific user notification requirements.

Each Release record carries its own Reference number, and mandatory Infrastructure environment.

  • Documents Library

Found under the Manage menu, this allows you to store Documents in SerioClient without having to link them to Tickets, and to create folders to store them in. These can be attached to Emails, giving Users the ability to email standard documents.

  • Supplier Email with Full Action history

Provides Users with the ability to send the Action History of a Ticket to a Customer or Supplier. With Active Data placeholders, Users can include either the Public Action History, or the Full Action History, when creating an eDoc for use in emails.

  • Auto-Acknowledgements

This allows an Email that has arrived into the Inbox to be replied to automatically. This is especially useful for emails that come into the Inbox “Out Of Hours”, enabling an auto acknowledgement to be sent that will notify the Customer that the Help / Service Desk is shut.

The feature is distinct from the existing ‘Auto Response’ mechanism, which is used to offer solutions automatically to emails that have specific criteria set.

A 20 minute delay is built into the function for Auto-Acknowledgement emails sent to the same email address, thus preventing an “Acknowledgement loop” forming, with emails going back and forth continuously.

 

IMPROVED

  • Service Explorer – Bookmark a Ticket

Enables Users to place any Ticket in a new ‘My Bookmarks and Quick Loaded Tickets’ directory.

  • Service Explorer – Quick Load

Enables Users to use the Quick Load function within the Service Explorer. Typing in a Ticket Reference Number will place the Ticket in the new ‘My Bookmarks and Quick Loaded Tickets’ directory.

  • Service Explorer – ‘Subscribed Tickets’ directory

Enables Users to access a ‘Subscribed Tickets’ directory in the Service Explorer, allowing to them to view all Tickets Subscribed to them in one handy location.

  • Service Explorer – view Queries via the ‘Manage’ chapters

Enables Users to view a list of Tickets in a query, through Manage (Incidents / SRs/ Problems/ Changes), from the Service Explorer. The query criteria will match the directory in which the selected Ticket is placed, e.g. Assigned To Me, All Active Tickets.

  • Known Errors – Workaround

A Known Error can be published without a Workaround having been stated. Workarounds can be viewed against associated Problems in the Service Explorer.

  • Known Errors – Configuration Items and Services

The tool allows Known Error information to be shown against Configuration Items and Services, regardless of the state of the linked Problem. The Known Error information is displayed in the Service Explorer.

  • Known Errors – Scope

You can now designate an Environment for the Known Error. SerioPlus asks you to define the “Known Error Scope” when you take the ‘Known Error Add’ action on a Problem. This allows you to define the environment you wish the Known Error to be created in.

  • Logging Screen – Customer Lookup

Multiple possibilities are listed when you type and tab a Customer Surname. The Customer Lookup displays Email address, Branch and Telephone number. A "View Tickets" button allows Users to view a list of a Customer’s open Incidents or Service Requests. Fields change accordingly when you select a different Customer.

  • Logging Screen – Insight and Service Impact

The position of ‘Insight’ and ‘Service Impact’ windows have been altered, enabling them to utilise more space within the Logging Screen, and (in the case of 'Service Impact') increased in size.

  • Customer Records – Customer Email Addresses

There will now be the ability to store four email addresses, in individual fields, in a Customer record, via Manage Customers and the Customer Lookup in the New Logging Screen.

The email addresses are split into one Primary email address, and three Secondary addresses. A Checkbox next to each new field allows you to indicate whether this address is to be CC’d in when replying to the Primary address, thus allowing the Agent to control identity and associations.

  • Knowledgebase – Search Criteria

Users will be able to use ‘Agent Status A’ and ‘Agent Status B’ as Search Criteria in a Knowledgebase Query.

  • Attachment Linked Documents preview

SerioPlus gives you the ability to preview an attachment from the ‘Attach Linked Docs’ tabs in the Send Email action, by simply right-clicking on the file you wish to view. This enables you to differentiate between different versions of the same file, or when there are many files shown.

  • Maximum upload/download limit

The Maximum upload/download limit for sending Attachments and Linked Docs via email has been increased to 6MB.

  • Chapter Tabs – Ticket Number display

Chapter 'tabs' display the ticket number that's highlighted, making it easy to identify specific Tickets when multiple Chapters are open.

  • Saving changes to Screen Layout

You have the ability to save changes to the screen layout, by moving the window dividers, in a variety of chapters. Upon saving, any new chapter you open of the same type will contain the same layout as the one you have saved. These changes will be saved even after closing the application, so that they will remain the same when you log back in. This function can easily be toggled on and off when you require it.

  • Agent Profile ‘Issue Logging-2’ tab

New options on Agent Profile to control which types of ticket you can open.

You may also restrict the types of Tickets that an Agent can log. This is done through the Issue Logging-2 tab. Here you will find four checkboxes which can be flagged, allowing or restricting an Agent to / from logging Incidents, Service Requests, Changes, Problems, and Changes.

  • Broadcast Alert / Assignment Definitions

Agents are now able to automatically define a method of Ticket Subscription when creating Broadcast Alert / Assignment Definition Rules. Agents may set the Contact Group to be Automatically Subscribed using Serio Messages or Email, when a Rule has been matched. The designated Contact Group will receive a Message or Email when an Action has been taken on any Ticket they have been automatically subscribed to.

In addition to this, the ‘Company-Branch’ field can now be defined as a Rule Type in both Broadcast Alert and Assignment Definitions.

  • eDocs

Users will be able to include the “Product Version” field of a Configuration Item as an Active Data placeholder in an eDoc, in both short and long formats. A ‘Main Issue Summary’ placeholder has also been included.

  • Scheduled Reports – Editing

Users will be able to edit the existing data of a Scheduled Report, including the Description, Frequency, Time, Destination Email Addresses, Email Title, and Email Message, within SerioReports.

 

REPORTS

  • Monthly Status Report (TS4a)

New summary found in the ‘Daily, Weekly, Monthly Status Reports’ directory that, when run for problems, shows the number of Incidents linked in the period to Problems, and the number of Changes raised from Problems.

  • Company/Monthly Activity Summary (TS5)

Found in the ‘Daily, Weekly, Monthly Status Reports’ folder, has been modified to include all Tickets that were Resolved during the chosen period of time, regardless of when it was Logged.

  • Company/Monthly Activity Summary (TS5a)

This report includes the same data as the Company/Monthly Activity Summary (TS5) report, with the addition of the text entered into the ‘Details’ window during logging. It is found in the ‘Daily, Weekly, Monthly Status Reports’ folder.

  • Executive Summary ES10 report

It lists the amount of Tickets Logged, Resolved and Outstanding on the date range set, by Type of Ticket. There are three additional tables: the First Time Fix percentage for Incidents, by Agent; the amount of each Type of Ticket Logged, by Agent; the amount of each Type of Ticket Resolved, by Agent.

  • Tickets Logged by Subcategory (3 months) (IL33)

Found in the ‘Tickets Logged Analysis’ directory, this report enables you to view a graphical representation of historical, related Incidents, by Subcategory over a three month period. The graph is split, displaying each month individually. This allows you to see how the frequency and distribution of different types of Ticket is changing over time.

  • Tickets Logged by Category (3 months) (IL34)

Found in the ‘Tickets Logged Analysis’ directory, this report enables you to view historical, related Incidents over time, listed by their Category.

  • Problem/Linked Incident Analysis 3-month review (P1)

Found in the ‘Problems and Problem Analysis’ directory, this report displays a graphical representation of the number of linked Incidents that have been logged during a three month interval for each Problem. It is divided into four parts: it displays all current Incidents, and Incidents which were linked in each of the three months covered.

  • Problem/Linked Incident Analysis 3-month review (P2)

Found in the ‘Problems and Problem Analysis’ directory, this report provides the same information as P1, displayed in a standard list form. Also included is column to indicate the number of Changes raised from a given problem record, and another listing the Assigned Agent.

  • Problem/Linked Incident Analysis 3-month review (P2a)

Found in the ‘Problems and Problem Analysis’ directory, this report provides the same information as P1, but listing Linked Problems only (and without Changes Raised).

  • Problems converted to Known Errors (IR3)

Found in the ‘Problems and Problem Analysis’ directory

  • Logged by Item (IA8)

Found in the ‘Configuration Items and Services’ directory, this report lists the numbers of Tickets that have been logged against each Configuration Item within the given Date Range. Information includes the Item, Item Description, Product, Product Description, and the Ticket Count.

Sunday, 09 Jun 2013

Serio are pleased to announce that a major update is due in the next 7 weeks. Many thanks are due to those customers that have helped us with feedback and testing. The status right now is that we are putting the finishing touches to the code, and undertaking final testing. All customers will need to do is to update their client code. An update will follow detailing what is new.

SerioPlus Service Desk achieves Pink Verify 2011 Certification
Serio are very pleased to announce that SerioPlus Service Desk has passed the Pink Verify 3.1 and Pink Verify 2011 assessment process in the Incident Management, Problem Management and Change Management disciplines.
The certification is proof of our ongoing commitment to IT Service Management Best Practice.
We expect to be adding a number of other processes in the coming months.

Serio are very pleased to announce that SerioPlus Service Desk has passed the Pink Verify 3.1 and Pink Verify 2011 assessment process in the Incident Management, Problem Management and Change Management disciplines.

The certification is proof of our ongoing commitment to IT Service Management Best Practice.

Well done to the team involved.

You can read more about Pink Verify here.

We expect to be adding a number of other processes in the coming months. For more information please visit our Serio ITIL Helpdesk Software page.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

If you have been reading any IT Service Management Blogs lately then you are certain to have seen the current hype around the integration of Social Media tools into the running of the Service Desk. 

So, should you be exploiting social media channels to reach out to your customers from the service desk? 

Every large corporate and most Governments around the world have now appointed full time staff to monitor social media to see what is being said about them and to react to the 'buzz'. What is becoming more and more common is for those same organisations to be actively involved in starting the 'buzz'. Social media is not going anywhere, so it is time for us to harness the huge power that exists and use it to proactively communicate with our customers. 

The first thing you need to get clear is the difference between social media and social networking. Social Media refers to the material that is distributed via the social networking platforms. Social Networks are the platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked in, and you can easily utilize these platforms as part of your communication strategy. With Facebook expected to hit one billion users by August of this year, the chances are the most, if not all of your customers will have Facebook accounts which they will use to varying degrees. Setting up a closed, invitation only, group on facebook for your company will allow you to reach many of these customers via a channel that they are familiar and comfortable with. I personally interact with a number of companies via my facebook account.

Linked-in has a rather more ‘business-like’ feel and reputation, again a closed, invitation only group on linked-In is a good way to communicate with your customer base. Twitter gives you the opportunity to send short, sharp messages to your followers…you will be surprised just what you can say in 140 characters or less!

In the coming days we will discuss just how to harness these platforms for the benefit of your customer service. In the meantime, rather than reinvent the wheel, I suggest you read some of what has been written by Chris Dancy, probably the loudest voice in Social IT right now. Chris’s blog here does a lot to explain exactly what Social IT is.

Thursday, 27 Oct 2011

The confirmed changes and enhancements for the Sat 29th October update are below.

Quicker Engage Login – We have introduced a faster way for clients to contact you through Engage. Whereas previously customers had to enter their Account Code (for example, A154B-N76WK) they can now just enter a much shorter 4-character 'pin' such as A123. The pin for your account is shown on the 'remote support' page within SerioClient.

Data Filters – Serio now allows you to define quite complex expressions to filter out data in Manage Incidents, Problem, Service Requests and Changes. The filters can use boolean operators, string and data comparison operators, data functions and wildcards.

A filter editor is provided to help constructing the queries.

Eg: (branch='Edinburgh' or branch='Glasgow') and priority in ('Critical', 'High')

Text customisation – We've added the ability to change text phrases used within SerioAdmin and SerioClient. Edit a phrase or word once, and wherever that phrase or word appears in the application it will be replaced.

Report Text Customisation – We've made it so that you can change any text on the standard reports contained within SerioReports. For example, you might decide to change the company name displayed at the top or each report to that of your own organisation.

Block Hours – We've extended the support for billing models beyond the current pay-for-time, pay-per-event models by introducing a concept of 'Block Bookings' or 'Block Hours'. Under this new model, customers can purchase time in advance. When technicians then spend this time with customers, they can easily record the time they've spent with customers against this booking.

Tools are available to help managers know when bookings are running out, and the status of bookings can be viewed at any time.

Bookings can also be recurring, automatically renewing on a scheduled basis.

Linked Documents – We've added the ability to upload documents and associate them directly with Company/Branches. The existing ability to upload/download to other entities such as CIs is unaffected.

Custom Ticket Prints – Serio now allows you to define custom ticket printouts. These templates are (typically) designed using an HTML editor, added to Serio, and they then become available when you want to print a ticket. These templates can also be directly emailed from the system, and can be used both from the Service Explorer and from the Manage … chapters.

New CSV Export Option - In Incident/Problem/Change/Service Request Management, a new 'Save to CSV' option has been added: 'Description with Resolution'. If chosen, this option causes the Comments made a the ticket is set to Pending Complete and Complete to be added to the Export (assuming the ticket is resolved).

New Reports – New Billing reports have been added (IB18 and 19) .

New Reports - New report IL26a shows how tickets were received (email, phone etc) by Issue Type. The satisfaction survey reports allow you to specify a resolving Team. It is optional; do this and you'll get a team-by-team view of satisfaction. The first-time fix report has a new version 14a that again allows you to specify one or more resolving teams.

New Reports – Summary reports that can be automatically sent directly to customers (TS5 and TS6).

Emails – The amount of information you can send about Changes and Change Plans, and the specific handling of the Main Change has been strengthened and expanded – meaning you can cite more data in the Task emails you send.

Emails – Extended Data can now be included in any email you send.

SLA Selection – We've added the ability to 'wild card' SLA selection, where many different characteristics of a ticket can be combined to derive an Individual SLA. Company, Branch, Priority, Impact, Ticket Category, Ticket Subcategory, Issue Type can all be combined together. Existing selection criteria remain.

Resolution Email BCC – You can now BCC the resolution email for a ticket to an number of email addresses. This works in much the same way as Broadcast Alerts; define the ticket characteristics that the ticket must match (such as Priority or Company) and then attach to this a list of email addresses. When the resolution email for a ticket is sent to the logging customer, it will be BCC'd to those on your list.

Service Explorer – You can now edit Extended Data information from the Service Explorer, bypassing the need to open the ticket directly.

Extended Data Editor – The Extended Data editor has been improved. It makes better use of screen space and can be maximised, making it easier to work with long free text data.

Assignment Notification – You can now broadcast assignment notifications to the whole team if you choose.

Service Explorer - Depending on when you last took an update, a number of improvements have been made to the Service Explorer. Extended Data is now easier to access, links to CIs from tickets (and vice versa) are easier to follow.

ODBC Driver - Our 'hosted' ODBC drivers has been through a number of revisions to improve interoperability with other tools.

Customised Broadcast Alerts – Broadcast Alert emails can be customised, giving customers an alternative to the standard email template. The template for the email is simply placed into the comment for the Broadcast Alert.

Improvements to Networking Architecture – Client-side networking infrastructure and algorithms have been improved, leading to greater reliability on poor networks.

Copying of Extended Data – Both tickets logged from Quick Logs and from Scheduled Events now both copy Extended Data.

Default Company Branch on Scheduled Events – A System Setting has been added to control the way that the Company/Branch is defaulted for tickets logged via Scheduled Events – either the Customer Company/Branch can be used, or that from the template ticket.

Sunday, 05 Sep 2010

We are pleased to announce the availability of the SerioPlus ODBC Driver. The driver allows SerioPlus customers to use third-party applications such as Access to write their own reports, whilst  enjoying all the benefits of a hosted solution.

It works wherever you are, over the Internet, through firewalls. Proxies are supported.

What follows assumes an existing knowledge of using ODBC-based report writers, which I know many customers have in depth, having seen the reports they have created for themselves prior to switching to SerioPlus.

We are delighted to say they can now run these reports on SerioPlus.

Testing and Compatibility

In this release, we have focused mainly on ensuring compatibility with

  • MSQRY32.exe (the query tool in Microsoft Office 2010)
  • Access 2010 (please read the notes below)
  • Powerbuilder
  • Infomaker

If you use an earlier version of Office we recommend an upgrade to the latest version.

Pricing

The driver is free to use now for anyone with a SerioPlus account, from December there will be a charge in order to cover the significant bandwidth that is used by some applications (notably Access)

Availability

Just download the latest tools from the Plustools download area. Contact support if have not yet bookmarked this.

Setup

Setup is like any other ODBC driver. Simply use the pre-existing SerioPlus ODBC profile which is installed when you install the client tools, or setup your own as you would any other ODBC data source.

About the Driver

The driver limits the amount of rows you can download in a single query to 3000, to prevent excessive loading on the SerioPlus servers. Experienced SQL users will know that this is not really a restriction – use the SQL language to aggregate rows on the server prior to download, and retrieval arguments to select just the portion of data you are interested in.

The driver also limits the amount of time a single query can take to 90 seconds. As above, this isn't really a restriction – design your queries intelligently and they will execute in a few seconds or less.

Serio has a number of long string columns. The ODBC driver limits these to the first 4K of content.

The driver has no update capability. If you try to modify data the results will be unpredictable – this is by design.

You cannot use the driver to create tables, indices or stored procedures – this is by design. It's a read-only source.

Special Notes for MS Access Users

If you have pre-existing queries, these queries will be bound to a data source name (the actual name will have been set by you when you created it). Simply create a SerioPlus ODBC profile with the same name to run your queries.

If you are importing tables LINK to the tables. If you import them Access will try to download the entire data in the database onto your computer.

Without doubt, the best way to work with Access is to write focused queries and to have a good understanding of SQL. Having tried customer Access queries designed to look at service level performance, these run quickly and in seconds because they are well designed. If you design your own properly you will enjoy the same results. Used in this way Access is very powerful indeed.

Pivot tables are fully supported.

'Invalid Descriptor Index'

If you get this error, it means you have a long string in the middle of a SELECT list, when such columns should always be at the end.

For example, this query is correct and will run without error

select issue_no, issue_desc

from issue where log_date > '2010-09-06'.

This query will produce an 'invalid descriptor index' error

select issue_desc, issue_no

from issue where log_date > '2010-09-06'.

If you get this error, please re-design your query.

SerioPlus ODBC FAQ

Q: I downloaded the latest plustools, but there is nothing that says 'ODBC'. Is there an install problem?
A: The install creates an ODBC driver, and the ability to create an SerioPlus ODBC data source. There is no 'ODBC' icon as such, it's just like any other ODBC driver – it works with your reporting software.
 
Q: I keep getting 'unrecognised Account Code/Pin' when I try to connect.
A: You entered your Account Code or Account Key incorrectly when you setup your SerioPlus ODBC connection. Please re-enter these details.
 
Q: I have a Proxy, how do I set-up the driver?
A: Enter your Proxy details into SerioClient, and ensure that SerioClient works.
 
Q: I've got more than 3000 Incidents, can I still use this ODBC driver?
A: Yes. Use the SQL query language to create results on the SerioPlus server, and then only download these results. It's really what SQL was designed for. Most properly-designed reports download no more than a few hundred rows.
 
Q: Will you make this work with earlier versions of MS Office and MS Access?
A: It may work with earlier versions. However, we will only look at problems with the latest versions of the Microsoft products.
 
Q: I really want to download more than 3000 rows.
A: In that case, download them in batches of 3000. However, it should not be necessary to download entire databases in order to generate reports.
 
Q: Is the driver 64-bit or 32-bit?
A: It's a 32-bit driver, which means that you'll need to use 32-bit applications for best results.
 
Q: I've never written a report before, but I'd like to learn. Where do I start?
A: Access is a good place to start because there are a lot of web sites dedicated to novice users. Firebird is a good starter database. It's free to download, and comes with a simple starter database and has an active user forum. Once you learn how to construct SQL queries, apply what you've learned to SerioPlus.

Thursday, 17 Jun 2010

This weekend (19-20th June), we're releasing our first required update to the SerioPlus tools (SerioClient, SerioAdmin, and SerioReports). In addition to fixing some bugs, we made some important enhancements which we hope you'll like.

How to install

When you log in on Monday morning, you'll see a message prompting you to download and install the new version - just run the setup and you're ready to go.

Enhancements

Serio Engage (Server Edition)

Server Edition is a new version of Serio Engage that allows you to make secure through-firewall, unattended connections to your customer's servers in order to perform remote maintenance, including reboots.

We will be including one or more free licenses of the new Server Edition of Serio Engage in each SerioPlus account.

New Billing and Itemisation Features New billing features in SerioPlus allow you record all of your billable actions as you take them, along with the amounts charged. You can set-up the standard price bands for your time-based and fixed-fee services (which you can vary on a per company basis). You can then link these price bands to actions (for example, remote support or site visits), and accurately record the amount to be charged to the customer as the action is taken.

Later you can link individual chargeable amounts with an invoice. This enables you to produce itemised bills through SerioReports, giving a detailed breakdown of all your chargeable work, to send in support of your invoice.

New Reports

We've added some new reports to SerioReports. A new section called 'Billable and Charging Reports' contains a selection of itemisation reports that support the new billing features (see above).

There are also two new Company based activity summary reports (TS5 and TS6 in the 'Daily, Weekly, Monthly Status Reports section'), showing a breakdown of tickets logged for a selected company, along with service level statistics and a graphical summary.

As with all SerioReports, you can schedule these reports for automatic delivery to your customers.

Additionally, we've added a new detailed, per company billable time analysis report (IB18) in the 'Billable and Time Spent Reports'.

Bug Fixes

We've taken the opportunity to fix the few funnies you've reported to us since the launch of SerioPlus in March.

Spellchecker Problems

Some users found that the spellchecker dictionary seemed to be empty when pressing F7 (causing every word in Ticket and Action descriptions to be checked). We've fixed this issue now.

Serio Engage Performance Enhancements

A few changes we've made to the way our servers handle screen-sharing traffic from Serio Engage should enhance its performance for most users.

Problems Browsing Configuration Items from SerioClient

Users with large CMDBs (e.g. many thousands of records), were having problems browsing those through the Service Explorer in SerioClient. This problem has now been resolved.

Lots of Error Messages when your Session Times Out

Some of you found that SerioClient put a large number of error messages on screen after a session time out. Session time outs usually occur after a period of inactivity when your workstation goes into standby mode, cutting it off from our server. They can also happen as a result of our scheduled weekend maintenance, if you leave SerioClient logged on on Friday night.

We've reduced the messages shown on a session time out - you now just see a single message saying "Session Timed Out".

Problems with the Detailed Incident Print (ID1)

We have corrected a problem on the detailed Incident print (ID1) - Ctrl+P from Manage > Incidents - which caused the Configuration Item to be blank on the report (although it was shown if the report was reprinted).

Update to SerioPlus Tools on Monday 21st July

 

On Monday, we're releasing our first required update to the SerioPlus tools (SerioClient, SerioAdmin, and SerioReports). In addition to fixing some bugs, we made some important enhancements which we hope you'll like.

 

How to install

 

When you log in on Monday morning, you'll see a message prompting you to download and install the new version - just run the setup and you're ready to go.

 

Enhancements

 

Serio Engage (Server Edition)

 

This update of SerioPlus introduces a new service-based version of the Serio Engage host, targeted at remote server support.

 

Install the Serio Engage Server Edition service on your customer's server, and you can make secure unattended connections to the server to perform remote maintenance, including reboots. We will be including one or more free licenses of the new Server Edition of Serio Engage in each SerioPlus account.

 

New Billing and Itemisation Features

 

New billing features in SerioPlus allow you record all of your billable actions as you take them, along with the amounts charged. You can set-up the standard price bands for your time-based and fixed-fee services (which you can vary on a per company basis). You can then link these price bands to actions (for example, remote support or site visits), and accurately record the amount to be charged to the customer as the action is taken.

 

Later you can link individual chargeable amounts with an invoice. This enables you to produce itemised bills through SerioReports, giving a detailed breakdown of all your chargeable work, to send in support of your invoice.

 

New Reports

 

We've added some new reports to SerioReports. A new section called 'Billable and Charging Reports' contains a selection of itemisation reports that support the new billing features (see above).

 

There are also two new Company based activity summary reports (TS5 and TS6 in the 'Daily, Weekly, Monthly Status Reports section'), showing a breakdown of tickets logged for a selected company, along with service level statistics and a graphical summary.

 

As with all SerioReports, you can schedule these reports for automatic delivery to your customers.

 

Additionally, we've added a new detailed, per company billable time analysis report (IB18) in the 'Billable and Time Spent Reports'.

 

Bug Fixes

 

We've taken the opportunity to fix the few funnies you've reported to us since the launch of SerioPlus in March.

 

Spellchecker Problems

 

Some users found that the spellchecker dictionary seemed to be empty when pressing F7 (causing every word in Ticket and Action descriptions to be checked). We've fixed this issue now.

 

Serio Engage Performance Enhancements

 

A few changes we've made to the way our servers handle screen-sharing traffic from Serio Engage should enhance its performance for most users.

 

Problems Browsing Configuration Items from SerioClient

 

Users with large CMDBs (e.g. many thousands of records), were having problems browsing those through the Service Explorer in SerioClient. This problem has now been resolved.

 

Lots of Error Messages when your Session Times Out

 

Some of you found that SerioClient put a large number of error messages on screen after a session time out. Session time outs usually occur after a period of inactivity when your workstation goes into standby mode, cutting it off from our server. They can also happen as a result of our scheduled weekend maintenance, if you leave SerioClient logged on on Friday night.

 

We've reduced the messages shown on a session time out - you now just see a single message saying "Session Timed Out".

 

Problems with the Detailed Incident Print (ID1)

 

We have corrected a problem on the detailed Incident print (ID1) - Ctrl+P from Manage > Incidents - which caused the Configuration Item to be blank on the report (although it was shown if the report was reprinted).

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