Month: October 2017

Communicate quicker and easier with your Customers using Catalina’s SMS Central

Communicate quicker and easier with your Customers using Catalina’s SMS Central

SMS Central is perfect for quick communication with your customers over SMS texts.  Unlike email, SMS messages have an extremely high open rate (usually greater than 99%) and 90% are read within 3 minutes of delivery.  This makes SMS ideal for delivering important information from business applications to your customers.  Your customers can also text information back which can then be recorded in your business systems.

SMS Central can send notifications to your customer

  • Notify customers of pending field service visit or changes in date/time
  • Notify customers of product shipment
  • Notify customers of tracking information or delivery
  • Schedule automatic follow up messages to customers after a service call or support incident is closed
  • Send images to field staff so they can see what the customer has reported needs work
  • Send images to customers showing damages found, repairs needed, proposed work site
  • Get customer approval on completed work displayed in images sent to their phones

Appointment Reminders and Confirmations

  • Send customers messages when a service call is scheduled
  • Send an automatic service call appointment reminders prior to scheduled visit
  • Have customers confirm they can be available for a service call (if required)
  • Have customers confirm site will be ready for the service call
  • Send customers notices when service calls need to be delayed or changed
  • Have customers confirm service call date/time changes

Photos

  • Get photos from customers of damages, repair sites, or other useful images
  • Get GPS coordinates of mobile images for proof of location, tracking movement
  • Get before/after service photos as proof of work
  • Read barcodes using only a mobile phone camera and record results in business application (GPS coordinates are also available on barcode images)
  • Send images to customers showing damages found, repairs needed, proposed work site
  • Get customer approval on completed work displayed in images sent to their phones

 

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Send Pictures and Locations to Dynamics SL through SMS Texts

Send Pictures and Locations to Dynamics SL through SMS Texts

You can allow your field service and sales people send pictures, updates, and even location to Dynamics SL service module with SMS text messaging.  No app needed and any phone will work (even a flip phone)!

Some of SMS Central’s features:

  1. Catalina’s SMS Central allows a field person to update status of a field service call by just sending an SMS text message (no app needed) on any phone.
  2. Take pictures from your phone and auto-attach to a service call in Dynamics SL.
  3. Catalina’s SMS Central can capture the GPS coordinates of the picture and plot it on a map.
  4. SMS Central can forward pictures to your customer for them to reply to, for proof of work.
  5. Catalina’s portal allows easy viewing of history using any web browser.

Catalina Portal for Viewing Messaging History

Images are not only stored as attachments in Dynamics SL, but also captured in a web based portal accessible by any modern browser.  The Catalina portal can also pin the locations of the photos on a map as well as display Dynamics SL data for quick access of the Service Call information.

smsCentral

 

Catalina does IoT with MQTT

 

Catalina Technologies Integration Toolkit is IoT ready with strong MQTT connectivity.

Catalina is IOT Ready-smaller

You can subscribe to feeds on existing MQTT brokers, publish to feeds on MQTT brokers, and the Catalina Toolkit even has it’s own built in broker that can be published to which maps and routes the MQTT packets to other systems.

Features:

Subscribe to feeds

Catalina Integrator can subscribe and listen to feeds on existing brokers.  This allows you to monitor data coming in from devices and map that data to other systems and storage.  If you don’t have an existing MQTT broker, Catalina Integrator has a built in MQTT broker.

MQTTDetail

Data mapping and route to other systems

When data is received from a monitored feed, Catalina Integrator can then push it to a script and redirect it to other systems such as field service, ERP, CRM, Support, and Help Desk systems.

Scripting

Send data to an MQTT broker

So far, we have been talking about subscribing to MQTT feeds and acting on them.  But what if you need to send data to a device through MQTT?  Catalina Integrator allows you to redirect any data to an MQTT broker feed.  This means that you can send messages and control devices out in the field directly from your Service, Helpdesk, Dispatch, CRM, ERP, or other system.  Below, is an example where we are turning on lighting based on an event in the service call system in Dynamics SL.

postToMQTT

Create your own incrementing scheme in SQL for Dynamics SL Order Line Items

Earlier today, I was asked if I could come up with a query that would allow you to bring back line items for a sales order.  But create a numbering scheme for the line items that re-start for each new order number.  So, example:

You can see below, that ORD1234 has 3 items, indexed 1,2,3.  and ORD5555 has 2 line items indexed 1,2

OrdNbr InvtID LineIndex
ORD1234 IN82344 1
ORD1234 IN82341 2
ORD1234 IN82344 3
ORD5555 IN089723 1
ORD5555 IN0123998 2

I accomplished this by using the DENSE_RANK().

Here is sample code:


SELECT DENSE_RANK() OVER (PARTITION BY OrdNbr ORDER BY OrdNbr, LineRef) * 10  AS LineIndex
, OrdNbr
, LineRef
, InvtID
, QtyOrd
FROM   SOLine
ORDER  BY OrdNbr, LineIndex

What I wanted to do in this was to show the order number, lineRef, invtID, and qtyOrd.  But I wanted to show the LineIndex in increments of 10 that restarted for every time the OrdNbr changed.  I have one of the orders that have multiple line items circled below.

sql

 

Read and Control IOT devices using SMS messaging

Over the weekend, I connected our home hydroponics system to Catalina Technologies SMS Central messaging system.  This system allows you to receive notifications from your sensors as well as even control devices just using SMS messaging.  No apps needed.  You can even control devices and get notifications from an old school flip phone.

Here is a video I took of doing simple control of lighting and hydroponics pumps just using SMS messaging.

SMS Central allows people in the field to send pictures and other attachments to Dynamics SL without any special app (Just SMS Messaging)

Catalina’s SMS Central allows you to easily dispatch your field techs, salespeople, and others straight from your Dynamics SL without any special mobile apps.  All using SMS messaging.  Nothing to deploy, works on any phone, and easy to maintain.

Your people in the field can send updates as replies that will get automatically updated in your back office.  They can even send pictures, GPS coordinates, and other attachments which will automatically be attached to the service call, quote, invoice, timecard, or any other screen in Dynamics SL.

1. Create a service call, quote, invoice, or any other type of record in Dynamics SL.  SMS Central will send an SMS message to the appropriate person in the field.

dispatch

2.  Your person in the field receives the message and can respond.  Those responses will automatically update Dynamics SL.Hand-Holding-Cell-Phone

 

3. The field person can also take pictures, GPS coordinates, or other mobile files and attach them to the service call, quote, invoice, or other screen in Dynamics SL using just an SMS message.

Picture-Cellphone

 

4. That photo, or other attachment, automatically attaches to the appropriate record in Dynamics SL

DynamicsSL Attachments

 

5. All attachments and SMS communication are also stored in a web portal, allowing your field people to review history without needing any special app.  Any browser on any type of device will work!

Webportal Images

Simple way to create an API to Azure Service Bus Queues

Most of the time, you have to write code that drops data into an Azure Service Bus Queue.  Catalina Technologies Integration Toolkit can simplify this process by allowing you to easily create a webhook that can read data, transform it, and then send it to any message queue you have a valid shared access key for.

The toolkit can also automate reading data from other API’s and then bridge that data to Azure Message Queues as well.  It is very customizable and configurable.

Below is a quick demo showing how you can create a webhook, assign security to it, and then transform received data before pushing it to an Azure Service Bus Queue.