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Josh Bridgens

How do you balance your Every day job with Developing Service Manager?

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Just looking for advice really....

I am in the strange predicament to be developing Service Manager, and I am a 1st line Service Desk analyst, which means midway through a Eureka moment I have to take a call, or start working on something else.....

Short of developing the entire thing from Home, I'm not sure the best way of going about this....

 

Service Manager is so full of uses and tools that can make the life of the IT department easier, I just don't know if I'll ever reach the point where I can take a step back and stop developing and just "maintain" it......

 

Any Advice would be great.

 

Josh

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@Josh Bridgens I'd suggest you pick just one thing that you can do to "make the life of the IT department easier" and have a crack at that. If you haven't got the time to fit this in alongside your day job, do it at home.

Before you start working on that "one thing", I suggest you validate the usefulness of solving that problem with your colleagues/managers. If you can make a significant problem go away, you've created a business case to give you the capacity to take on the next problem, but this time, during working hours.  If you can attach a notional cost to the problem, then you can show the ROI too. I'd also suggest that you document the challenge, the cost of not addressing it and the solution you ideally want to deliver.   If you need help calculating costs, speak with one of your colleagues in Finance/Accounts and ask them to help. 

Once you've selected the problem you want to tackle, I'm happy to help you flesh this out and give you some guidance on how you might put a case together to resolve it.

I hope that helps. 

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@Josh Bridgens whilst I agree with Patrick, I tackled the issues in a slightly different way. I asked our Service Desk analysts one question before I started building our instance: 

"What would you like to change?"

Out of the list of things which came back I would say that 85% of them were "make my life a little easier" changes. Things like "I wish that we didn't have to add the same three people to a call manually when the call is X" or "I wish that we could have notifications automatically go to X team for this call type"

These kind of items are low hanging fruit and can be fixed quickly and simply, creating a love of the product from the people who use it the most. The Service Desk should be the Champions of the product within your business and naturally push the customer to use it wherever possible. "Did you know you can log this via the portal, it will be a lot easier for you to keep up to date with it" kind of conversations were heard almost daily after a few weeks of go live. We even added text to all outgoing email templates to push the portal because it makes everyones lives a little easier. 

18 hours ago, Josh Bridgens said:

I am in the strange predicament to be developing Service Manager, and I am a 1st line Service Desk analyst

So with what I said above you are in a very good position to see a lot of the "make my life easier" changes. If you find that you are not able to fully commit time to building something fully without being pulled away by other things I would speak to your line manager in the first instance. They may be able to set aside some time each week to allow you to complete the work you need to do on Service Manager. 

If this isn't possible, then you may need to bite the bullet and do some things at home as Patrick said, but once the team realise that the changes being made are of benefit to them they should be crying out to let you do it in the office (plus they get to see changes in real time and give you feedback immediately).

 

We stuck with our newly built Service Manager instance for maybe 2/3 months before we took a look at some analytics to see where could could really make some savings in terms of time or actual money.

Reports to show our top 3 request types etc were created and we went through a process of 'How do we make this more efficient?' A lot of things we automated, the custom PC form is a God send and allows us to assign tickets to teams or in some cases specific individuals with a great degree of accuracy.  Email templates and variables combine to make a very information rich notification to the right people at the right time and combined with authorisations we have cut out a lot of the waiting around for people to authorise requests (partly due to a time out of the authorisation to kick it off to someone else if people don't respond after X hours)

Saving time is saving money so if you can show that "By automating this small part of this call we do 1000 times a month we can save 5 minutes x 1000 calls = 83 hours per month"  which is time people can spend doing other things, learning other things or not killing the stats if they have a day off.

 

We are now in a position where other teams, outside of IT are finding me and asking to be added to my already long list of teams to be added to the platform to manage their requests. The benefits have been proven to them by their use of the portal from a customer view point and when I have given them a quick demo to show them what we can automate their processes and how we can do it the single most asked next question is "How long will it take you to build?"

To try and wrap up this statement:

19 hours ago, Josh Bridgens said:

I just don't know if I'll ever reach the point where I can take a step back and stop developing and just "maintain" it......

The answer is, no! 

Hornbill are constantly adding new functionality and once people realise the potential for making lives easier (even if the platform says within IT) then you will be asked to create new workflows a lot. "Can we automatically log these emails from X" or "These teams need to know about this and I need to see that they have actioned X" type requests are things I get at least once a week. Also I find that I want to make changes whenever I see an area that can be improved. Either because I have had a brainwave (not as often as I would like these days) or because something new has been released by Hornbill (most often) or someone has come to me with an idea for something that would trim a few seconds off each call of X type.  

 

If you would like to see some of our workflows I would be happy to sent you some of our BPMs to have a look to see what ideas they give you. Apologies for the near vertical wall 'o' text but I hope that it helps you in some way.

Thanks 

Dan

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I don't mind chatting about how we approached things for Waltham Forest.  I will say though that the fact I was assigned to develop service manager full time was very useful and always the best approach if possible to have dedicated people/time allocated! I have a number of super users who I support to configure processes (who have day jobs too) and I am always advising them to take time away from their desks to do chunks of configuration so they aren't distracted.  I get their managers to agree to them spending a certain amount of time away from their day jobs in order to focus on Hornbill work each week and they back fill accordingly.  If managers and staff are invested in rolling service manager out then they need to invest the resource too ;) 

Sam

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I'm the Service Desk Lead & Problem Manager within my organisation and was given the task of implementing Hornbill back in November. Unfortunately the implementation of Hornbill never made it onto our operational plans and therefore was not properly resourced and project managed - it was something I was pushing for but received little backing due to other 'higher-priority' projects at the time. This essentially left me in a similar position to you @Josh Bridgens - whereby my responsibilities of managing a team, major incidents, etc. etc. did not allow the time needed to implement Hornbill during working hours. I attended all of the initial switch-on sessions, then performed configuration out of hours (lots of hours :blink:) but ultimately it has brought massive benefits to the IT department and changed the way we work.

Now that Hornbill has been implemented and the benefits have been realised however it has the focus and 'buy-in' from senior management. We now have a 'Phase 2' development plan for Hornbill which IS being properly project and resource managed. Other areas of the business are also looking to utilise the Hornbill platform. To echo what @Dan Munns has said, configuring and maintaining Hornbill as an administrator could work as a real benefit to you and in terms of enhancing your career. If the time really does not allow during working hours and you're willing to do so, bite the bullet it may well pay off in the long run.

 

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23 hours ago, Patrick Bolger said:

Once you've selected the problem you want to tackle, I'm happy to help you flesh this out and give you some guidance on how you might put a case together to resolve it.

I may just take you up on this..... 

there are a lot of things I would LIKE to get done, however I feel there are a lot of obstacles in the way.

I think the next step is fleshing out our Procurement process within Service Manager, I find myself relying on "tasks" too much.

 

6 hours ago, Victor said:

just an FYI as I moved you thread to Hornbill section... 

Sorry!!!! My bad, wasn't sure where to post it, it was more of a "I'm having a frustrating day" kind of post, however the answers I'm getting are helping quite a lot.

 

5 hours ago, Dan Munns said:

So with what I said above you are in a very good position to see a lot of the "make my life easier" changes

I have ideas, present them to the rest of the desk and people aren't enthused.  I have asked "how can I make your life easier" and the only answer I get is "can you switch round the summary and description fields"
When I (foolishly) ask why they say "it makes more sense."

Now I have customised forms for the simplest of things.

 

5 hours ago, Dan Munns said:

We are now in a position where other teams, outside of IT are finding me and asking to be added to my already long list of teams to be added to the platform to manage their requests.

This. I had a meeting today that ended up with a user requesting to be able to log their own requests in there, people seeing the work I've done and thinking "I could do with that" is such a great feeling.

 

5 hours ago, Dan Munns said:

The answer is, no! 

I don't want to stop working on it, there just doesn't seem to be enough interest from the rest of IT for me to find enough things to "revolutionise!"

5 hours ago, Dan Munns said:

f you would like to see some of our workflows I would be happy to sent you some of our BPMs to have a look to see what ideas they give you. Apologies for the near vertical wall 'o' text but I hope that it helps you in some way.

If I could see how you are handling your calls for people to actually want to work with you regarding it that would be amazing.

The wall 'o' text is brilliant, finding other people who want to make work life easier and are enthusiastic regarding work is a breath of fresh air.

3 hours ago, SJEaton said:

I will say though that the fact I was assigned to develop service manager full time was very useful

I wouldn't call it useful... I'd call it intelligent planning. A powerful tool like Hornbill extends past the ability to "help the service Desk" and can benefit an entire company. Kudos to your management!!!

 

2 hours ago, dwalby said:

Now that Hornbill has been implemented and the benefits have been realised

We're implemented, and looking from the inside out I can see the benefits, just do't feel like the rest of the team here even WANT to see the benefits..... was there a certain point for anyone that sort of cemented it as a fantastic tool, then start people being interested?

 

Sorry for replying to everyone in one go, just felt like an easier way to do it without exploding everyone's feeds!

I really appreciate all of the input.... Knowing that there are others who may have been in the same predicament as me, who have managed to make an impact, makes me hopeful.

 

I must admit the original post was a "I'm a bit annoyed today, I need to see how everyone else is doing it" but I think i needed to know that maybe I'm just a bit inexperienced and hopefully it will come to me in time.

 

Josh.

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7 minutes ago, Josh Bridgens said:

I must admit the original post was a "I'm a bit annoyed today, I need to see how everyone else is doing it"

This! This is the main reason why Hornbill Community Forum exists. Sure, we do answer questions and give guidance using the product but the main purpose is for each user to collaborate, to make the best use of the tool, improve the way things are done, grow as an organisation and ultimately be successful as an organisation using this tool :) 

So, I think it was a good thing "you got annoyed" as you ended up "ranting" here which seems it work in your benefit more than you probably expected :) 

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40 minutes ago, Victor said:

Hornbill Community Forum

Originally I was skeptical how much I would use the forum past fault diagnosis.... definitely the wrong way to go into it, it’s much more an information and advice sharing tool, my favourite posts are the ones where people share how THEY are doing things. 

 

Josh

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1 hour ago, Josh Bridgens said:

I have ideas, present them to the rest of the desk and people aren't enthused

I guess it depends on how you present the ideas. If people really aren't interested then I would copy the BPM or PC and then make the changes to the copy and just implement it in the background. 

If people complain you can change it back in seconds and it will only effect the open tickets. If no one says anything you can probably take it as a sign that it is well received (or at least isn't making peoples lives worse) . 

 

It may be worth asking your management about membership to an organisation such as SDI. They hold awards every year and in places I have worked in the past, even though we didn't end up going for the awards / accreditation the fact that it was a possibility drove people to look at how we did things and suggest improvements. 

Another thing I have implemented in the past was an 'anonymous' suggestion (mail)box. Create a mailbox called something like Suggestions@business.com, give all your full users access to send mail from it (remove it from the address book) and let them mail you with suggestions. You may find that people have ideas, they just don't want to stick their  heads above the parapet in front of people incase said idea goes down like a lead balloon. Have a team meeting every Friday (assuming you have had mail) and go through each idea in turn with the team. This should prompt some discussion at any rate.  

 

1 hour ago, Josh Bridgens said:

I think the next step is fleshing out our Procurement process within Service Manager

If you are not getting much buy in from people within the Service Desk at the moment it may be worth trying to find out why first rather than starting a new 'project' like this. Just my two cents on that. 

 

1 hour ago, Josh Bridgens said:
4 hours ago, SJEaton said:

I will say though that the fact I was assigned to develop service manager full time was very useful

I wouldn't call it useful... I'd call it intelligent planning.

When I started with building our instance I was covering the Service Desk team leader on a 6 month FTC. 2 years later (now) I am the IT Service Operations Manager (perm) and spend a good deal of my time with the Hornbill platform. I do, however, have other things to be doing. 

Starting with my 'boots on the ground' made it a lot easier to suggest / implement improvements as I had actually done the tasks I was writing BPMs / PC for. While it would be nice to have a single role in which to throw all of your time and effort most companies don't have that luxury and experience is law when it comes to things like this. You are in a great position and while you may have to do some work from home or stay late now, the benefits will mean that everyone gets an easier ride. Hopefully this will result in some recognition for yourself but if not you will be able to have that warm fuzzy feeling every time someone makes passing comment on how easy something is these days.

 

1 hour ago, Josh Bridgens said:

If I could see how you are handling your calls for people to actually want to work with you regarding it that would be amazing.

I may (depending on your location) be able to do one slightly better (if you are interested) and come and show you the service desk part of our instance / talk to your service desk guys etc.If travel is a little too much then I would be happy to host a webex or similar so you can see things 'live' which I think is always better than trying to decipher BPMs which may not be suitable for your methods of working. Plus I get to see how you do things so a win all around really. 

 

1 hour ago, Josh Bridgens said:

The wall 'o' text is brilliant, finding other people who want to make work life easier and are enthusiastic regarding work is a breath of fresh air.

Finally (I am sure some people will be glad of this fact) I got into IT Service roles because helping people have easier lives is something I enjoy doing (and I am a little bit lot of a nerd). Be it helping the end users / customers have a better experience or helping the guys on the ground provide a quick, efficient and painless service, I like to think that the changes I make have (even a little) an impact on peoples work day. And considering the amount of time spent at work that can only be a good thing. 

If I can remove the frustration felt when trying to complete the simplest of tasks (how many times have you tried to complete a web form only to have to randomly reset / fail to submit or ask the same question on every page of a 4 page form? Or how many times have you had to fill out a paper form, get it signed by 4 different people who all work different days before you are allowed to submit a PO?) then I have, in my mind at least, done a good job.

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13 hours ago, Josh Bridgens said:

A powerful tool like Hornbill extends past the ability to "help the service Desk" and can benefit an entire company. Kudos to your management!!!

 

Yes they've really been on-board at LBWF as can see the potential of the product for other services across the council, my work plan is extensive. Its great to be commissioned by an organisation that has a 'just do it' attitude :)

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13 hours ago, Josh Bridgens said:

my favourite posts are the ones where people share how THEY are doing things. 

Hi Josh, always happy to have a conversation about how to get people more on-board, I've done a lot of that in my past projects and roll outs :)

Sam 

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17 hours ago, Josh Bridgens said:

We're implemented, and looking from the inside out I can see the benefits, just do't feel like the rest of the team here even WANT to see the benefits..... was there a certain point for anyone that sort of cemented it as a fantastic tool, then start people being interested?

 

Hi Josh

 

just to throw my tuppence worth in here, I thought I'd tell you about our experience of getting Hornbill pushed out to 'other' teams in the business who weren't initially enthused with the idea! 

We've always used a Service Management tool to log and manage IT tickets, but we've been trying to push the Enterprise Service Management idea to the other teams in our company. So we approached HR to see if we could help them. Initially, they said they were too busy to spend time away from their work (which should be an initial indicator that something may be wrong and that something needs to change) AND they were suspicious that we were going to show that they, as a team, were over-staffed or some such which meant that they were scared that we'd put their jobs at risk!  So we asked them what their most time-consuming jobs were. It turns out that these were little, quick jobs which involved a process of opening an email, getting information from it, doing something WITH that information then reporting back that this had been done. Small jobs, but a LOT of them!

The problem was, this was being done from a shared mailbox, with 5 people accessing it at any one time, so there was no real way of knowing if what YOU were doing wasn't already completed by someone else at the same time.  So, we created a mailbox in Hornbill, forwarded all of these Outlook emails to it, and started automatically logging the tickets for them. This way they KNEW that everything was being dealt with by one person (the right person!), and, after sitting with them and figuring out the process and what information they were constantly asking the end user for, we created some catalog items for the portal to ensure they got the right info in the right place at the right time, along with business processes which they could follow quickly and easily. 

After a month of doing this, we showed them a report of what they'd done. What it showed was that their team was massively over-worked (or under staffed!) because, in this report, we could show what TIME people were doing their work, and one person was regularly working until 9 at night to keep up! With this knowledge,  we've now managed to streamline the processes, and prove to the powers-that-be that something needed to be done. And it has.....they're now looking for a new member of staff! 

What they've ALSO done though, is to come to us with a whole list of OTHER processes that they feel will help them. It's a two-fold thing - we've given them a tool which HELPS them be more efficient (and which, thanks to the reporting, can PROVE what they're doing), and THEY have now realised that, rather than a tool to take work away from them, it's actually empowering them to offer more services to their customers.

 

So, in answer to your question, YES, there is a point when people realise just how much they need a tool like Hornbill - it's not always easy or quick to get these people to understand, but when the penny DOES drop, it opens up all sorts of other ideas and avenues. 

 

I would suggest (if you haven't already) getting in to the reporting and showing people exactly how much work they're doing whether that is how many tickets are being logged and resolved, or which teams are working the smartest, or whatever. Then use these results to ask the teams 'how can we improve these numbers?'. There are so many different ways that you can use Hornbill to streamline your work....either through pointing customers to the Portal instead of using email (ensuring you get the correct info from them first time), adding FAQ's so that people might not even need to log a ticket, creating a BPM with all of the relevant information contained in the activities (either pointing to a 'how to' document, or hard coding a web address so that people don't have to go looking for it or whatever). The possibilities are endless......but I'd say stick with it, and you WILL get a result. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Victor said:
17 hours ago, Dan Munns said:

I do, however, have other things to be doing.

Wait.... what?? No...no... no, no!!! :P :D 

Well those Steam games aren't going to play themselves @Victor :D 

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1 hour ago, Paul Alexander said:

people realise just how much they need a tool like Hornbill

people realise just how much they need a tool like Hornbill :P 

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@Josh Bridgens

I have read this thread with interest, there is a lot of very positive feedback and encouragement here from some really great people who have done what you are trying to achieve really successfully so in that regard I do not have much to add.  But what I wanted to offer is some encouragement not to underplay your capability.   You have referred to what you are talking about as finding time for "Developing Service Manager" and if I may suggest, you are really underplaying what you are instinctively leaning towards.  Service Manager, and our BPM and our other capabilities are just tools.  I think what you are talking about is doing process improvement, you just happen to be using Hornbill as your tool of choice (which is handy because it is one of the best ones you could be using of course :P ), I would encourage you to frame what you are trying to achieve in terms that your business will place more value on.  If you position your need for time as "Developing Service Manager" that could easily be construed as an IT guy trying to find more time to play with toys. Instead, think of yourself as trying to find more time to look at how your business is functioning with a view to optimize and automate repetitive processes so that you and your team can focus on delivering better service to your organization.  In that context you are important, your tools (Hornbill) are just your tools. Frame it like that and no manager worth his/her salts will not support you. 

Gerry

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Hi Guys,

 

I apologise for not replying sooner, unfortunately I was involved in a Car accident and have been off work for a while. (I'm Okay now and back in work!)

On 8/3/2018 at 1:19 PM, Gerry said:

If you position your need for time as "Developing Service Manager" that could easily be construed as an IT guy trying to find more time to play with toys.

This has really rung a few alarm bells and now I can sort of see what may be confusing some people as to what I am doing. I have asked for my manager to setup a meeting to show the possibilities of Hornbill's platform to the rest of IT, the Recent ESM Webinar was fantastic in giving me a few ideas as how to present it. I feel that sometimes people may misconstrue my ideas and thoughts as "hes just wanting to play about with it" when I ask for permission to test Hornbill's iBridge to Azure function. Instead of that, I am putting together a business case to automate the Starter and Leaver Process that I can hopefully use to "justify" the time I spend working on Service Manager that will free up many hours of time for the Desk, instead of doing Admin work all the time!!!

 

On 8/3/2018 at 11:13 AM, Paul Alexander said:

either through pointing customers to the Portal instead of using email (ensuring you get the correct info from them first time)

We recently rolled out the Self Service Portal and it (Touch Wood) seems to be going down a treat, we get a few emails here and there but we just point them to the correct link. This has made the biggest impact so far, no more email chains for hours, simple, quick, logging.

 

Once again, ALL of you, I thank you for the input.

This is such a fantastic community for those less experienced to seek advice and guidance, and those with a lot more experience to share knowledge (And hopefully pick new things up along the way ;) )

All of this in between the fault finding posts that @Victor deals with :P 

Josh 

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Sorry to hear about the accident @Josh Bridgens and glad you're OK.

It sounds to me like you're doing all the right things by focusing on outcome and the business value of what you are doing.

You might be too busy to post for a while, but shout if you need help. :D  

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Whilst I have no particular IT background, I was (and still am) the main builder for our area of business on SM.

I was very fortunate that our Head of Dept approved the block booking of the project team's diaries for the initial 30 days whilst we learned the tool, the skills, and the content to build the system. I appreciate this isn't something everyone can be afforded, but it certainly helped me to really grasp the system and how to make it work for us.

Since the end of our initial 30 days (end of Feb'18) I was given another member of staff to train up and work alongside me, both whilst completing our day jobs too. We had the flexibility to plan our days around SM requirements though, and were still having a number of calls with project specialists to learn more intricate details.

We've now been live for 4.5months, and there are still things we have the manage and change on the system, but this is definitely now BAU for us. With the implementation of two more phases on the horizon, I believe we will be block booking diaries again to enable a smooth initial 30 days (this time led by us) for the new areas coming on board.

There are definitely times where I feel like I don't have the time to commit to SM, but we've been very lucky in how understanding our team has been as if they give us the time, we give them the process improvements.

I'd considering speaking with your teams @Josh Bridgens and working out if there is a way for you to have a dedicated morning/day to work on the system...to make their lives easier at the end of the day!

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Hello @lokent

Good to hear you are getting to BAU now.  We really tried to learn from our past experiences and built a solution that specifically does not require you to be an IT boffin to get value. I wanted the Hornbill platform to enable people to really focus on their business goals and outcomes rather than being distracted coding or supporting the product that was supposed to help make life at work easier/better.   We have seen so much really positive feedback from customers (just like above) many of who, now have had no in-depth technical/developer/IT experience, but who have subsequently become greatly appreciated by their organizations because of how they better support business outcomes, rather than just keeping the IT lights on - the use of Hornbill by non-IT people and departments are rapidly out-pacing the use of Hornbill just for IT.  Its great to hear your feedback, thank you for posting. 

The more I have seen how the use of Hornbill has evolved the more I am convinced that ESM is the best opportunity for IT, since IT.  Not because it's yet another new toy or buzzword for IT to spend money on, but because the very idea of ESM means you are actually trying to help your business solve business problems, the ever so critical day job still remains, but the perceived business value of IT-as-usual is very low in comparison to actually going out to your business areas with your head held high and saying "IT-as-usual is taken care of, now let me help you improve your XYZ process".  As @Paul Alexander pointed out in his story above, expect skepticism and push back, but persevere and you will get good results, you will no longer be the guy/girl in IT, you will become the go-to person to help improve business operations and process issues - you transition from IT person to Trusted Advisor.  So if you want iBridge or Project Manager because you instinctively know that will help, go and find a business problem to solve, demonstrate how it can be done and I am pretty sure "no budget" and "no time" will become non-issues for you. 

@Josh Bridgens I do hope your recovery was speedy and you are back to full strength. I hope the ESM strategy is making headway.   

Gerry

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