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All Users appear to have been marked Not At Work on the system?


Adrian Simpkins

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Hi @Ehsan

In response to below before the update "Do Not Disturb" would not assign tickets to any of our users - our instance has "Include Offline Users" set to off, following the update it does - surely we should be told of this change? 

I am not sure about anyone else but I cannot find any information in regards to this change for example on the wiki and it doesn't seem we are able to configure this. We are a smallish sized team but I expect teams of a bigger size would find this change very frustrating. 

Do you have any advice on where the best places are to look out for changes? Since you have turned on automatic updating of instances (which I have no issue with) a couple of things have gone in that we would have previously made note of and checked before manually updating (the "update" notification was very useful!). 

I think notifications of changes would be helpful so we at least know what's going on, right now we personally feel a bit blind. My team have come to me a couple of times now asking why things are different and why didn't I give them a heads up . We do not find "Home > System > Hornbill Change History" very helpful whatsoever. Again "Home > System > App Store > Hornbill Service Manager" is better but still even now there are no details at all about said change in this thread. 

Thanks,

Jack

 

30 minutes ago, Ehsan said:

All,

There seems to be some confusion here. The Hornbill Automation in Service Manager provides the option to include or exclude Offline users. A user who's availability status is set to "Do Not Disturb" or "At Lunch" is still considered as online, or to align it with new terminology, they're considered as "Present At Work". A user who's status is set to "Out Of Office" or "On Holiday" for example is Offline. Gerry shared a screenshot above which shows the statuses that enables the "Present At Work" flag.

image.png

 

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Hello @AmyW

"We would like the ability to remove/hide this, we have a telephone system with a status and Microsoft Teams with a status, we don't really want a 3rd status to update when we get up from our desks"

I certainly understand that sentiment, but I would like to mention one thing that might help you consider this in a slightly different light.   Of the three systems you mention, your Telephone System, Microsoft Teams and Hornbill that you are using, Hornbill is a Business Process Automation tool powered by a pretty sophisticated business process automation capability, this is the primary reason our customers buy our solution.  Some aspects of the workflows use your Availability to make intelligent decisions around routing tickets, tasks and other stuff to you, or other members of your team, and for this to work we need to know about your availability.  I would suggest of the three solutions you mention, Availability is problem more critical on your workflow automation platform than it is in a collaboration tool.  The telephone system its self I cannot comment on, I imagine this is pretty important too. 

Sadly, in my experience, integrating with Teams is difficult because its done one a person-by-person bases from an authentication point of view (although we are looking at what might be possible here), and integrating with a telephone system to take availability information will most likely be difficult, invariably involved expensive licenses or integration gateways from the telephone system provider and/or will be technically awkward to achieve (very few telephone systems are known for having open API's)

For these reasons we have always had availability option in Hornbill, it was just quite well hidden, many customers asked us to make that more accessible, and in the COVID-19 lockdown/work from home era that became more of a priority.  

We don't want to create work for our customers, we want to enable them to make their work and lives at work easier and better, but by the same token it would be a mistake to restrict our solution to just the subset of features that other solutions cover.  We are always open to ideas though. 

Gerry

 

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+1 on Jack's comments - no issue with the automated updates, but having a schedule published of upcoming changes like this will enable me to manage and communicate this out to teams in advance, as  well as ensuring I am aware of what is coming and any potential impact (I spent most of the morning fielding questions on this change which of course took me away from other issues)

Many thanks

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@Jack_Podmore @Adrian Simpkins

Thanks for your comments with regards to advanced notice of features.  The problem I have with that is much like most of the other key modern digital SaaS products we use (O365, Hubspot, Netsuite for example) that we use on a daily bases, all of which do Continuous Delivery as we do, none of them are examples of products that provide "advanced notice of future changes". I think this is because it does not work in a Continuous Delivery model. Now of course, if anything that appears has an impact, as this one seems to have, then I can understand why you would ask for this, but in honesty, the impact the introduction of this change has brought will need to be looked at from our end, its our responsibility to ensure that we introduce new things in a non-impactful way, and in this case it looks like we could have missed the mark here, and that we will need to take up and improve internally. 

We have been doing CD for many years now, and for the most part it works really well and I don't create impactful changes, anything major of course we do give advanced notice, often by way of a preview and a "switch to the new way" type function. I appreciate there has been some impact with this availability status change and I apologize unreservedly for any inconvenience that has been caused, but I hope that on balance you will find the CD model we follow, that you get overall overall a far greater benefit from always moving forwards. 

Gerry

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@Jack_Podmore,

I just wanted to add to Gerry's response and to address your concern. The option "Include Offline Users" in Requests > Assignment > Assign to Most Available Analyst or Requests > Assignment > Assign on Round Robin Basis have been in play for many years and they're documented on the wiki also https://wiki.hornbill.com/index.php/Service_Manager_Business_Process_Workflow. There has been no change in behaviour to these Hornbill Automations. The enhancements to availability status did create confusion on how the enhancement correlates with the various applications on the platform and the team here at Hornbill do recognise this. I can assure you that this will not be ignored and we do our best to publish all the information required in the release notes.

Ehsan

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@Ehsan We currently do not see the User Availability States screen but as Gerry says, it may still be in Beta.  In the meantime, this has caused us unnecessary work and wasted internal resource.  Some of the Internal comments are:

·        The status 'Do Not Disturb' stopped auto allocation prior to the changes applied via the latest build

·        The status 'In a Meeting' and 'Training' should also stop auto allocation and worked previously

·        The  only status that auto assigns, should be "available" all others would have the logic to not assign.

·        It appears that HB are missing the point. The Availability DND used to stop auto assignment.

·        From my testing today, all availabilities are allowing auto assignment (incl. out of the office) except “Not At Work” and this is not how HB worked yesterday

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@sprasad, I would like to apologise for the inconvenience that this has caused and I apprehend the frustration. Ofcourse if you were able to access the Availability States, you could've easily adjusted the states to your needs.

I can make a change to that affect to address the concern. The change will be as below, unless otherwise indicated:

  • A user is available if they're present at work and are not "On Call" and don't have "Do Not Disturb" ticked. With the default states in the system, this translates to "Available" status only.
  • A user is not available if they're not at work or are on call or have enabled "Do Not Disturb". With the default states in the system, this translate to all the other states.

Would this in affect bring your operations back to where they were?

image.png

 

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@Gerry @Ehsan thank you for getting back to me on this. Like I said, I favour the continuous delivery method but this along with a couple of other changes recently in addition to this have caused us issue in house although you are clearly well aware and are trying to avoid any impact to us as customers which I appreciate. 

@Ehsan as per @sprasad's comments there are statuses that were able to be used before to stop allocation of tickets which do not stop this assignment since the update so we would appreciate any patch/amendment to our instance too unless we have the flexibility to change this ourselves any time soon? 

1 hour ago, Ehsan said:

@Jack_Podmore,

I just wanted to add to Gerry's response and to address your concern. The option "Include Offline Users" in Requests > Assignment > Assign to Most Available Analyst or Requests > Assignment > Assign on Round Robin Basis have been in play for many years and they're documented on the wiki also https://wiki.hornbill.com/index.php/Service_Manager_Business_Process_Workflow. There has been no change in behaviour to these Hornbill Automations. The enhancements to availability status did create confusion on how the enhancement correlates with the various applications on the platform and the team here at Hornbill do recognise this. I can assure you that this will not be ignored and we do our best to publish all the information required in the release notes.

Ehsan

Thanks again, 

Jack

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@Jack_Podmore

Thanks for the comments.   I would be the first to acknowledge that with the best will in the world we will not always get it right, big software systems are very complex and its difficult reading every scenario, so we we try very hard to do things in a way that eliminates issues.  In this instance, there was a core platform change, and the application teams that depend on that availability status (in particular previously hard-coded ID numbers) needed to react and adjust the application logic accordingly, we obviously missed a few beats and we are trying resolve whatever outstanding issues there are as quickly as possible.  I think its incredibly important for both Hornbill and our customers that the CD model is championed and driven forwards, I have seen first hand what happens to a product and a customer community when everyone is penned in from making any changes for fear of breaking stuff, its not a good place to be, and most of the modern software world seems to have recognised that. 

Thanks for your understanding, and your support, delivering exceptional value, service and long term partnerships with our customers matters above all else. 

Gerry

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@sprasad

"From my testing today, all availabilities are allowing auto assignment (incl. out of the office) except “Not At Work” and this is not how HB worked yesterday"

It looks like we did not get this mapping right, we will make sure we address that as soon as we possibly can, I can only apologise for the inconvenience. @Ehsan
 is on the case and will ensure it gets resolved. Sorry for the inconvenience caused. 

Gerry

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@Gerry @Ehsan Many thanks for your response and we appreciate your acknowledgement.

We currently do not use 'On Call' so happy for this to be turned OFF

To resolve the Auto Assign issue, we just need the mapping applied so that only a status of "Available", gets requests assigned.    Thank you.

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21 hours ago, Gerry said:

Hello @AmyW

"We would like the ability to remove/hide this, we have a telephone system with a status and Microsoft Teams with a status, we don't really want a 3rd status to update when we get up from our desks"

I certainly understand that sentiment, but I would like to mention one thing that might help you consider this in a slightly different light.   Of the three systems you mention, your Telephone System, Microsoft Teams and Hornbill that you are using, Hornbill is a Business Process Automation tool powered by a pretty sophisticated business process automation capability, this is the primary reason our customers buy our solution.  Some aspects of the workflows use your Availability to make intelligent decisions around routing tickets, tasks and other stuff to you, or other members of your team, and for this to work we need to know about your availability.  I would suggest of the three solutions you mention, Availability is problem more critical on your workflow automation platform than it is in a collaboration tool.  The telephone system its self I cannot comment on, I imagine this is pretty important too. 

Sadly, in my experience, integrating with Teams is difficult because its done one a person-by-person bases from an authentication point of view (although we are looking at what might be possible here), and integrating with a telephone system to take availability information will most likely be difficult, invariably involved expensive licenses or integration gateways from the telephone system provider and/or will be technically awkward to achieve (very few telephone systems are known for having open API's)

For these reasons we have always had availability option in Hornbill, it was just quite well hidden, many customers asked us to make that more accessible, and in the COVID-19 lockdown/work from home era that became more of a priority.  

We don't want to create work for our customers, we want to enable them to make their work and lives at work easier and better, but by the same token it would be a mistake to restrict our solution to just the subset of features that other solutions cover.  We are always open to ideas though. 

Gerry

 

Is this status not something we can hide as we don't use this at all in our processes we have requests assigned to a team only, not to individual agents and it's causing us confusion as it's now appeared without warning.

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I would like to echo the comments of @AmyW 

As an organisation that does not make use of automation we would like the ability to disable the visibility of this feature.

Currently we manage availability through our telephony system, multiple availability statuses is going to cause considerable confusion.

Also, I'm surprised a feature has been pushed out without the corresponding administrative control, that's not normal practice surely?

 

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@AmyW @AlexRutter

Hi Amy, its not something that can currently be turned off, the feature has always been there and the availability status was visible throughout the system. However, it was brought more to the foreground because people asked for it, and it seemed in times of lockdown, it seemed like a good thing to prioritise. 

Hi Alex, found your comment interesting because almost every Hornbill customer does use business process automation, its at the very heart of our product. I asked our team here to take a quick look at your instance, you currently have 49 different active business processes, all are active and all do request assignments in one form or another.  In just this year your instance has executed just shy of 33000 automated business process instances, so it looks like you are using the business process automation capabilities of the Hornbill platform. 

On the point of the feature, its not actually new, its always been there, and our business process has always had the capability to consider ones availability in things like, group, round-robin and emergency assignment, call escalation routing and so on. Al we have done is improved the flexibility of the statuses and made switching status easier/more accessible than it was before. We had not flagged it as something that could cause confusion or breaking changes to be honest.  

We are still taking feedback, and there has been a lot of very positive feedback which was not surprising given what people were asking us to do. We will of course review this in light of all feedback, so your request is noted. 

Thank you for your feedback, we do listen and we do care about our customers and the value we deliver to them. Feedback positive or negative is always most welcome. 
Gerry

 

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@Gerry

Thank you for taking the feedback on board.

I'm sorry I could have phrased it differently, we do not automate the allocation of requests to agents, eg we do not use round robin. 

I didn't mean to imply Hornbill isn't doing anything else automatically, it very much does!

If any company doesn't use availability status to allocate requests though, is there a benefit to the button?

You could potentially use availability when assigning requests to individuals but as a process we assign to teams, not individuals. If we do need to find an individuals availability we would use our telephony or consult the individual's calendar.

I am a keen advocate for Hornbill and completely on board with this being useful, just not for everyone. Please consider making this button optional.

Many thanks

 

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@sprasad All,

The Hornbill Automation tasks "Requests > Assignment > Assign to Most Available Analyst" and "Requests > Assignment > Assign on Round Robin Basis" have been reverted back to only assign Requests to users who have set their status is set to "Available". This has been applied to all instances.

Ehsan

 

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Hi Ehsan,

 

Just wanted to see if there is any update about the 'At Lunch' issue showing against customers (see below for my account) as well as any update as to when the Amend Availability States function will appear in the System / Organisation within Admin please?

Many thanks

image.thumb.png.fab86712d00a9e8122afed8bcee1eb0e.png

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