SPS Contact Manager
The SPS Contact Manager application provides the primary user interface into the SPS relationship management database. In addition to capturing basic contact information such as addresses and phone numbers, the Contact Manager application also:
· provides access to the expanded custom relationship database using SPS AttributesTM,
· allows the addition of historical and formatted comments to contact records using the SPS Editor,
· provides both dynamic and static document associations to contact records,
· tracks ongoing activity with contacts including emails and calendar events related to contact records,
· provides the ability to add and view electronic business forms (and approval chains) related to contacts in a historical fashion, and
· provides dynamic and configurable detail reports about each relationship.
Contact categories provide your company the ability to organize contact records into a hierarchal fashion representative of your actual company associations. Each relationship should be placed into a category that has been defined by your SPS administrator using the SPS Categories application. For example, your company may wish to create a contact category named “Customers”. Upon entering the Contact Manager from the SPS Main Menu, you will be placed into the appropriate category as assigned to you by your SPS administrator. To change categories, simply choose the appropriate category from the drop-down menu at the upper left hand corner of the Contact Manager primary screen. You will now be taken to the primary screen of the Contact Manager for the selected category.
Your SPS administrator will establish the ownership rules in regards to categories. This means that he may decide to grant access to certain categories to specific groups. Only the categories to which you have been granted access are listed in the drop-down menu of the Contact Manager primary screen. Consult your SPS administrator if you feel that there is an error in regards to the categories that you receive.
To add a new contact, choose the point of the contact tree under which this new contact will be added and click New. The selected item of the tree will now become the “parent” of the new contact record.
If your SPS administrator has designated the contact category (to which you are adding this contact) to be comprised of both company and individual contact records, you may be asked to decide which type of contact you wish to add before proceeding.
Based on the type selected, you will receive different input fields (such as DBA for a company or First, Middle, and Last name fields for individuals). Additionally, attributes created by your SPS administrator may have been designated to only apply to the specific type of record as well.
To edit or view a contact, simply choose the appropriate contact from the contact tree (as shown above) and click Open (or double-click on the contact). You will now be at the Contact Manager detail screen. The name of the contact will appear near the top of the screen.
As mentioned above, you will see different input fields based on the type of contact. Company contacts will contain a Name (required field) and DBA input fields while individual contacts will have a First (required field), Middle, and Last (required) name fields. You may also see different input fields if your company has purchased an industry specific version of SPS.
The General tab of the Contact Manager detail screen contains basic address and telephone information that you may wish to capture about the contact. The following sub-sections detail helpful features of SPS as they relate to the General tab.
Postal Code Lookup
SPS can provide the city and state related to the postal code of a contact. Simply enter the postal code in the input area next to the Postal Code button and click the button. The City and State input areas would automatically be populated with the appropriate information.
Avoiding Multiple Data Entry
To avoid duplicate typing of data, you may automatically copy addresses from either the Shipping Address or the Mailing Address section by choosing the “Copy from …” button.
Additionally, any individual type record may automatically inherit the addresses or phone numbers of its parent by choosing the “Use parent’s…” checkbox found in the address and phone sections. This will cause information (either address or phone numbers) to be automatically linked back to the parent in order to prevent a re-entry of the data.
Link Contact To SPS Mail Server Address Book
If you wish for a contact to appear in the company email Address Book, you must enter a valid email address into the “Email” input field.
Now, you will effectively have ‘linked’ the contact to the SPS Mail Server Address Book. This means that you may compose an email to the contact without having to ‘look up’ the email address and you may avoid having to maintain the contact in multiple places – simply keep the email address current in the contact record and EVERYONE in your company with the permission to access the contact has the current address.
Phone Number Formats Based On Country Codes
The Contact Manager phone number inputs restrict access to appropriate formats based on the country code.
While the default entry format is for the United States, you may change the format of any phone input field by clicking the telephone icon next to the phone input. You will receive the Country Codes pop-up.
Choosing the appropriate country will format the phone number field for which it was selected. Please note that changing the format of the input will erase any entry that existed in the phone number input. The phone number input field may also be changed by selecting the appropriate country in the Shipping or Mailing address section. You will be asked to confirm the phone number format change based on the country selected.
The Attributes tab found in the detail screen provides access to the expanded custom relationship database defined by your SPS administrator using the Attribute Builder – Contacts application. Of course, the inputs found in this tab will vary based on those fields created. The following figure illustrates a sample view of custom fields that may be created under the Attributes tab of the Contact Manager. Your screens WILL VARY depending on the custom interface (if any) that has been created by your SPS administrator.
Comments for a contact may easily be added, viewed, or modified through the Activities tab of the detail screen. Much like contact categories, your SPS administrator may create comment categories (using the SPS Categories application) in order to organize comments related to contacts. To add a comment, go to the Activities tab and choose the category from the category tree to which the comment will be associated and click New. Of course, the categories found in the comments category tree may differ from the figure below.
You may also add a comment to a contact from the Contact Manager primary screen by choosing the contact from the contact list and clicking the Notes button.
In either case, you will receive a new window containing the SPS Editor.
Comments may be formatted in a variety of ways, including colored text, bold, highlights, font variations, and more. Furthermore, spelling may be checked by using the S button found in the SPS Editor. See the section titled “SPS Editor Functions” in the SPS User Manual for more details about formatting comments. The Comment window allows multiple saves. Once added, the comment will be listed in the table found in the right side of the Activities tab screen.
Comments found in categories below the “Notes – Comments” section of the Activity Categories tab can be seen collectively by clicking on the Notes – Comments activity category. Of course, comments found in specific sub-categories can be found by clicking on the desired sub-category. To view or edit the comment, simply select the Comment entry (causing it to highlight in yellow) and click Open (or double-click the comment). You may delete the comment by selecting the comment and clicking Delete. Additionally, you may move the comment from one sub-category to another by choosing Move. Keep in mind that your SPS administrator may not have provided you with appropriate permissions.
The Contact Manager application provides a central repository for all information associated with a contact. Documents, emails, calendar events, notes and comments, and electronic forms are all incorporated with a contact record as “activities” related to that contact. The Activities tab of the Contact Manager detail screen provides a common facility to track the above-mentioned contact activities.
The Attachments activity category provides you the ability to attach a “dynamic” document to a contact record. The “Attachments” activity category represents dynamic attachments while the “Attachments – Historical” category represents static, uploaded documents.
A “dynamic” attachment in this scenario means that users with appropriate permissions may change the document at any time. For example, if you wish to use a Microsoft Word document for project documentation that can be modified as project requirements change, you may attach the Word file to the contact by clicking on the “Attachments” activity category and clicking the New button.
A pop-up will appear with the documents available for sharing. Choose the document to share and click OK. The document will now be associated with the contact record and will display in the right-hand side of the Activities tab. You may edit the document by selecting the document and clicking Open (or by double-clicking the document). Your desktop will automatically launch the appropriate editing utility (such as Microsoft Word or Excel) and any changes to the document will automatically retain their association to the contact record.
Historical attachments (static in nature) can be uploaded and associated with a contact by clicking the “Attachments – Historical” activity category and clicking the New button. Much like an email attachment, you will receive the Upload File dialog that allows you to browse the file structure of your local hard drive for the file you wish to upload.
Once a file has been chosen and uploaded, it can only be viewed by users with proper authority – no further changes to the document itself are allowed. This feature is ideal for company documents that should not be changed, for example, images of completed contracts, drafted letters, notices, and other important documentation.
If a contact detail record contains an email address and an email has been sent using the Same Page Mail Server to that address, a link to that email is established under the “Emails” activity category of the Activities tab for that contact. In this manner, all email communication via SPS users (regardless of the email client used) is tracked and historically available.
Email addresses which have been designated as private (by checking the Private checkbox next to the email address) or those contacts without an email address listed under the General tab of the detail screen will not track email communication with that contact under the Activities tab. For all others, emails listed under the “Emails” activity category can be opened and viewed (but not edited) by selecting the email and clicking the Open button (or by double-clicking on the email listing).
In order to provide better calibration between company events and the contacts that those events are associated with, calendar events may be “linked” to a contact. This can be done in one of two ways from the Contact Manager detail screen. First, the event may be added by selecting the “Events – Appointments” activity category from the Activities and clicking New.
Second, you may open the calendar for any contact by clicking the Calendar button found in the upper left-hand corner of the Contact Manager detail screen. The SPS Calendar application will open in a new window with the calendar data filter applied to only display the data for the requested contact (see the section in this manual discussing the Calendar application for more details about calendar filters).
Once an event has been associated with a contact, it will appear under the “Events – Appointments” activity category within the Activities tab for that contact. To view, or edit this event, simply click on the event listing and choose Open (or double-click on the event listing).
Electronic business forms created in SPS (known also as “Tickets”) are linked to contacts found in the Contact Manager and can be viewed under the Tickets tab of the detail screen. To view, edit, or delete a ticket, simply select the ticket from the listing and click View (or double-click on the ticket entry), Edit or Delete.
For more information about creating a new ticket for a contact, see the section below titled “Creating a New Ticket For a Contact”.
If your SPS administrator has configured the SPS Scheduler function to track customized events related to this contact category, you may access the scheduler application for each contact using the Scheduler button found at the upper left-hand corner of the Contact Manager detail screen.
Details of the function of the contact scheduler will be provided to you by your SPS administrator since much like the contact attributes function, the contact scheduler application is entirely configured to your company requirements. As such, details of its operation depend entirely upon the configuration scheme applied by your SPS administrator.
Calendar events filtered specifically for a contact can be accessed by clicking the Calendar button found at the upper left-hand corner of the Contact Manager detail screen. A new window will open the SPS Calendar application with calendar events representing only those pertaining to the selected contact.
From this calendar screen, you may view, edit or delete related events if you have been given permission to do so by your SPS administrator. Additionally, you may add calendar events specifically linked to the selected contact. See the manual section pertaining to calendar filters for more information on how to adjust the calendar data filter to view information regarding different contacts.
Form letters that have been composed using the SPS Document Manager may be merged with the information from a given contact by choosing the appropriate contact from the Contact Manager primary screen and clicking the Merge button. A dialog will display the available documents from the Document Manager file folders. From this new window, choose both the document that you wish to merge and the delivery method from the lower left-hand option menu. The delivery method allows content to be sent directly to a new browser window or an email screen.
Mail merge may be used to incorporate names, addresses, and other company information found in the contact record with pre-formatted letters and other documents in order to quickly compose standardized letters and emails. Please see the section in this manual discussing the mail merge features of the SPS Document Manager for more information.
Contacts listed in the Contact Manager primary screen may be targeted as recipients of emails by selecting the contact and clicking the Email button. A new window will open and provide the Compose Email screen.
The email address of the selected contact will be displayed as the “To” recipient if that contact has an email address listed under the General tab of the Contact Manager detail screen.
Once the email has been delivered, an entry can be found under the “Emails” activity category found in the Activities tab of the detail screen.
Clicking the Find button of the Contact Manager primary screen will allow a detailed search of all contacts found within the selected contact category. This detailed search includes not only the items found within the General tab of the Contact Manager detail screen (such as address information and phone numbers), but also any user-defined information found within the Attributes tab (described above in the Contact Attributes section).
You may search on any combination of available search fields found in either the General or Attributes tab of the Find dialog. The following are specific search rules:
(1) Any field left blank (or any numerical field containing zeros) will not be included in the query conditions of the search,
(2) You may execute a “wildcard” search by placing an asterisks (*) after any character entry,
(3) You may execute a “wildcard” search on phone numbers by entering a few numbers and leaving the remaining numbers as zeros.
(4) Attribute input fields may appear different in the Find dialog than in the Attribute tab of the Contact Manager detail screen because input types are represented in a manner required to establish appropriate search criteria. For example, whole number inputs are represented in the Find dialog as a range of numbers and any attempt to execute a query based on that input field would require completion of the range.
If your SPS administrator has given you the ability to delete a contact record, simply highlight the contact that you wish to delete from the Contact Manager primary screen and click the Delete key.
You will be asked to confirm the action. Please note that deleting a contact permanently removes all links to that contact, including any comment and ticket histories.
The contact detail report provides a comprehensive view of the data captured about the contact in the General and Attributes tabs of the contact detail screen. Collapsing any unwanted sections of the report may further customize this report. To run the detail report, choose the contact from the contact tree of the Contact Manager primary screen and click the Detail button. You will receive the contact detail report in a new window.
To collapse any unwanted sections of the report, click on the appropriate section header (changing your cursor from an arrow to a hand).
Please note that you cannot undo a collapse action. To reverse the action, you must re-run the contact detail report. All printing and export functions are performed through the browser print, print preview, and export facilities as found under the File option menu.
If your SPS administrator has created electronic forms (tickets), you may create and link those tickets to any existing contact record found in the Contact Manager by choosing the contact from the contact tree of the primary screen and clicking the Ticket button.
You will receive a pop-up containing all the available tickets for the contact category to which the contact belongs. Simply choose the appropriate ticket and choose OK. You will now receive the ticket pop-up for that ticket. Of course, all ticket pop-ups will vary based on the information designated for the ticket by your SPS administrator. Your screens WILL VARY depending on the custom interface (if any) that has been created by your SPS administrator.
Once a ticket has been completed, it may be viewed (among other places) under the Tickets tab of the detail screen for a contact record. See the section above for more information on ticket histories.
You may export information from the Contact Manager application to a Palm Pilot or to any other application capable of accepting contact information in a comma separated file format by clicking the Sync button from the Contact Manager primary screen. The export will only contain those records found in the selected contact category.
Choosing the comma separated file format delivers information using SPS defined headers. This data can then be formatted further to your specifications using any text editor or spreadsheet program (such as Microsoft Excel). The Palm Address Book file format delivers a file in the proprietary .aba format that can be imported into the Palm Pilot Desktop software’s address book application.
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