EEMS Support – solving problems.

Every now and then we get a request for help via support that can’t be solved with the standard features of a product, and we need to look elsewhere for a solution.

Recently, we were presented with a need from one of our clients who wanted to be alerted when any user within the system was credited with a value exceeding a threshold. i.e. they wanted an administratoremail_alert to be emailed if (as an example) $100 was credited to a student user.

While the features of the products we promote cover most use cases, this particular need isn’t currently provided in the solution this customer uses. While adding it in future releases is certainly possible, in this case there is a need for urgency.

Knowing the database schema very well, and having a level of proficiency in Microsoft SQL Server amongst our staff, we were able to demonstrate quickly a solution using a trigger deployed on the database set to fire after a transaction is written to the database. If the given transaction met the requirement (exceeded the allowed limit), we called an existing stored procedure to send an email to the nominated recipient.

This is a great example of how knowing the product, understanding the supporting systems and a little bit of creativity can deliver the right outcome for the client. We enjoy the challenge of thinking outside the square, so be sure to contact support if there’s a particular problem you feel we can help solve.

PaperCut User Web Tools rebrand/customisation

A less frequently used option with PaperCut is the ability for a site to rework the PaperCut User Web Tools to better reflect the styling of the organisation.

EEMS have just completed one of these rebranding jobs for RMIT, changing the colour scheme and logos to match the approved colour choices and design requirements of the University. This included

  • The use of the RMIT logo including appropriate spacing around the logo to meet specification.
  • Changing the header, navigation and footer colour schemes.
  • Applying the sites choice of font.
  • In some cases reworking the lettering case on menu items.

This is achieved through custom applying css and jQuery elements on the PaperCut Application Server.

Tweaks like these can enhance the end user experience where the site feels more like home.

Any of our customers that are interested in a rebranding job are welcome to contact our support to discuss in more detail.

rebrand

An example of a simple rebanding using EEMS’ logo and colour scheme.

Snowy Ride

Melbourne cup weekend is my favourite time of the year, however not for the reasons you may think.

Over 10 years ago when I first started as an employee here at EEMS, I was invited to a charity event held in NSW.

I was and still am an avid motorcycle enthusiast, the company accountant at the time also shared a keen interest in all things 2 wheeled (with a motor in it) told me of the “Snowy Ride”. It was the inaugural ride to raise money for the Steven Walter Foundation.

bike 2

The ride is motorcycle event run annually in the Alpine Region of NSW and the ride is now in its eleventh year and has raised in excess of 3 million dollars for the Steven Walter Foundation.

“The Steven Walter Foundation which is the organiser and main benefactor of the Snowy Ride is a non-profit organisation which was started following the passing of nineteen year old Steven Walter after an eight year battle with cancer. The Foundation is involved in raising money for research into childhood cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment in children.”

I recall my first ride up there was perhaps the most incredible experience of my motorcycling life, more curves, more mountains and still more curves than I have ever experienced. My favourite stretch being the Tawonga Gap near Bright! The current group of riders I travel with has grown to 5, and for most of us we have attended each and every year since the inaugural ride. Typical attendance now sees riders of all makes and model exceed 3000 in numbers. If you think you would like to participate why not check out the “Snowy Ride” online , you get the added bonus of knowing you are supporting a very worthy cause while you are having the best riding experience you are ever likely to have.

It is an experience I hope to continue to enjoy well into the future.

Michael

EEMS rides again

Click either image to make a donation

Donate to Renee
Donate to Justin

We are on a conquest. We have decided to team up in The Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting the the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. It’s a cycling journey throughout Victoria’s scenic countryside in two days.

We’re here because we know that cancer is too big a disease to ignore. It affects everyone, maybe you, me, our parents, kids, siblings or friends. Sadly, maybe all of the above. But by riding in this event we are doing something about it. We’re rolling closer and closer to the end of cancer. It’s an awesome triumph in a physical sense and emotionally as well.

So hey, join us! This can be your opportunity to do something challenging and rewarding in so many ways. And you won’t do it alone. We will be doing training rides, helping each other to fundraise, and generating awareness for critical cancer research at Peter Mac, the only public hospital in Australia solely dedicated to cancer.

Please donate to us or join us. Thank you in advance for your support.

Page count validation

Image source: http://greenfield.blogs.brynmawr.edu/files/2013/02/pages-flip.jpg

One of the common support questions we get with a new installation is the request to validate what a customer is being billed for device usage from their MFD provider. People like an assurance that what they’re recovering through their cost recovery solution is withing a reasonable variance of what they’re being billed.

We normally go into this exercise with an expectation that the cost recovery solution will have a higher page count than the MFD fleet. Why? Well, most solutions we work with count pages at the server. What’s printed isn’t always what comes out. Paper jams happen. Jobs get cancelled at the device for a variety of reasons, and the all time favorite “Please load letter” error on convenience style printers.

However, there are always likely to be jobs on the MFD that our solutions have no visibility of and increase the page count on the device without increasing the figures we report about the device. These can include fax pages received (thankfully becoming less and less), configuration pages generated on the device, but the lion’s share of pages our solutions are blind to come from direct printing. Ideally we would prevent this as part of our design through the use of Access Control Lists on the MFD, so that the only server that can print to the device is one we control. This isn’t always a reality however, as there can be payroll systems and IT test machines that need direct access.

Our approach is to build a list of transactions per device and try and compare against the provided billing report from the MFD provider. Where we see unacceptable or concerning variances on a single machine, we start assessing the likelihood of either of the above situations. In a recent case, we gave confidence to a client of ours by generating a custom data set that showed the number of pages per day, per hour to demonstrate we were counting for prints 24/7.