Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Situation Critical – SmartSimple’s Escalation Line

Quick – what does 501 mean to you?

If you’re a SmartSimple client and said your favorite pair of jeans, you’d be technically right, but you’d also be missing a very important reference. In SmartSimple speak, 501 is our emergency phone extension for critical and high impact issues.

“Being available to our clients whenever they need support is a vital part of our Service Level Agreement,” says Sarah Harris, Director, Client Support and Operations.

 “As a global company, we know our clients operate in a wide range of time zones and often require support outside of our own regular business hours,” continues Sarah. “By creating our 501 phone line, we ensure clients experiencing critical system issues could speak to a systems expert, anytime, day or night. The 501 line is the companion to our critical email address. The difference is, by using the phone line you have the opportunity to speak with an expert immediately.”

When should I use the 501 Critical Line?
The 501 Critical Line is designated for Level 1 and Level 2 issues only. These are emergency, critical and high impact conditions that may arise outside of our regular support hours, but require immediate attention.

“By dialing our 501 extension from SmartSimple’s main number, you are immediately connected with our on-call systems expert,” Sarah continues. “As soon as they receive your call, they will take action to find a resolution.”

SmartSimple's tiered support structure to help our clients when they need us.
Keep in mind, this extension is for critical issues only. If you use the line for non-critical support issues, there may be a penalty fee charged. This makes sure that our on-call representative is only engaged for issues that are truly emergencies. All Level 3 and Level 4 situations can safely go through our regular support channels during regular support hours.”

Support Structure
To help you better understand what is considered a critical or high impact condition, we created a ranking system describing what each level of support entails:

Tier 1 – Emergency or Critical Condition: A Tier 1 situation requires immediate attention and resolution because your server is unresponsive, there is a security issue, major system failure or critical business processes aren't working.

Tier 2 – High Impact Condition: Tier 2 situations mean that there is a serious problem with how your software is functioning for the majority of your users, and can include impaired system functions or certain processes aren't working.

Tier 3 – Medium Impact Condition: Tier 3 means a particular system function isn’t operating the way it should, there is a risk of system failure or minor components of your system are not working as they should be.

Tier 4 – Low Impact Condition: Tier 4 covers minor problems that don’t affect normal operations and there is no overall impact to your system or regular business operations.

How to Reach SmartSimple Support
For critical issues, you can reach us 24/7/365 via our critical condition email or by phone at 1.866.239.0991, ext. 501. Please listen carefully to the instructions in the recorded message before proceeding with your call.

If you need help with the day to day use of your system, are interested in how to set up a new feature or have an idea for a future enhancement, You can reach our Support team between 5am and 9pm EST via email, by phone at 1.866.239.0991, ext. 1 or through your Community Portal.

More information, including upcoming webinars and events, are also available on our website.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How we Work with You Part Four – Learning to use SmartSimple

Welcome to the next installment in our series SmartSimple: How We Work with You. Today’s topic covers the training process for getting your team ready to start using your SmartSimple system.

Getting ready to go!
You’ve been working with your implementation team getting your system set up with all the great features and functions SmartSimple’s platform offers to help streamline your business process. Now, it’s time to get your team up to speed and ready to start using your system.

SmartSimple offers what we call a ‘Blended Learning’, approach, comprised of the following training components. You can choose one or a combination of methods that best match your organization’s training goals, learning style, and budget:

In-person Training
Train the Trainer - this offers you the opportunity to prepare an internal resource to train others within your organization.

SmartSimple-Led Training - SmartSimple conducts training at your offices or at a SmartSimple training facility for your administrative staff and can include program officers or other internal users.
Remote Training
For off-site training, we use WebEx. Remote training usually involves a series of training sessions that run from two to four hours in length. Remote training gives you the flexibility of attending from various locations, which is ideal if your users are spread out at multiple locations, eliminating travel cost and providing the opportunity for more members of your team to participate. These sessions can also be recorded so you always have a record of what was covered. Note that all off-site training sessions are conducted using WebEx.

Self-Paced Training
Another option for training includes using videos. Videos allow users to absorb material on their own time. Videos are kept brief, usually only about 7-10 minutes in duration covering various system features and functions. These videos are created especially for your version of SmartSimple.  These videos are also a great reference tool for your external community of users who may need guidance for their own portals.

System Administration Training
SmartSimple certification and product knowledge training gives your internal system administrator the skills they need to configure, support, and maintain your system. This is a very important component of the training as it ensures someone within your organization is intimately acquainted with your system configuration.
Next month will be the final article in our series, the transition to Support. In the meantime, be sure to sign up for our latest webinars, or contact us directly if you’d like a full demo of our system.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

SmartSimple at the BlueCross BlueShield GPO Symposium

The SmartSimple team had a great time attending its first BlueCross BlueShield Group Purchasing Organization (BCBS GPO) Symposium. This year’s Symposium was held at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago last July 28-30 2015. Representing the team at this year's event was our Director of Strategic Accounts, Todd Lapin, and our Director of Business Development, Gary Modlin.

As a BCBS preferred national Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Software supplier, SmartSimple also had the opportunity to present its CSR solution to a number of BCBS plans. The 45-minute presentation tackled SmartSimple’s engagement with BCBS Minnesota and BCBS Tennessee, and how we approached and implemented each plan’s unique needs. More specifically, the ability for SmartSimple to implement a system for plans regardless of how they currently track their CSR initiatives, whether the plan is coming from a paper based system or switching from a competitor’s CSR solution.

In addition, as a national CSR Software supplier, SmartSimple is able to provide a number discounts and benefits to BlueCross BlueShield members. SmartSimple offers discounts on implementation, license, services and training fees. The discount applies to all SmartSimple products.

In addition to the session, SmartSimple hosted a small reception with a number our current clients in the Chicago area. We take an active interest in meeting with our clients in a group setting, and always want to give our clients a chance to get to know others who are using our solution. Being based primarily in Canada, it’s important for us to connect with our client base whenever and wherever we can.

Coming up in Chicago is our own SmartSimple Fall Community Conference on Thursday, November 5th in the Chicago Community Trust offices. Look out for more information in the coming weeks!

Check out our website for upcoming webinars, to sign up for our monthly newsletter, or request a demo of our system.