Registration and Authorization

All company employees obtain access to the portal resources according to access permissions set by the administrator. Furthermore, the portal administrator can customize the way the users register and authorize at the portal.

Before working with the portal:

  1. unregistered employees must register;
  2. registered employees must authorize.

Registration

If the portal settings allow for the self-registration of users, the portal web pages show a link Register:

  • at the top right corner of the screen. This link, when clicked, opens the following registration form:

  • in the authorization form. In this case, the registration form looks like shown on the screenshot below:

Enter the required information in the registration form: First name, Last name, Login, Password, Confirm password, e-mail address.

Click Register. The page will refresh. Now, you can start working with the portal.

Note: if the self-registration is disallowed, all the new users are added by the portal administrator or another person having sufficient permission.

Authorization

If the portal configuration allows the unauthorized visitors to view the portal web pages, such viewers see the authorization form in the top right corner of the screen:

Otherwise, if the unauthorized visitors are disallowed to access the portal in any way, they will see the following authorization form whenever they open the portal in a web browser:

In the form, enter your Login and Password and click Login. As soon as the page updates, you can start working with the portal.

Upon authorization, a welcome block containing links to the frequently used pages in shown in the top right corner:

Main page

The main page is a kind of desktop containing areas showing:

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  • recent company events;
  • various information about the company employees: honored employees, birthdays, new and absent employees;
  • recent blog and forum posts, etc.

Using links in these areas, you can switch to a corresponding site section containing the detailed information.

The Page "My Portal"

This page represents a personal web desktop which can be customized using small building blocks also known as gadgets.

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Note: a user must be authorized to access this page.

The main purpose of the gadgets is to show different information in a specific way. For example:

  • employee’s essential tasks and events;
  • recent updates for which an employee is subscribed;
  • workgroups an employee is a member of;
  • recent blog and forum posts; personal information about other employees etc.

The gadgets can be freely repositioned on the desktop. A gadget usually has one or more configurable parameters.

To add a gadget to the desktop, click to open a menu showing all the currently available gadgets.

After you have selected a required gadget, it will appear at the top left of the desktop.

You can reposition a gadget in the same manner as you move windows in your operating system: just click the gadget title and move it while holding the mouse button down.

The button opens the gadget configuration form whose layout is gadget specific

Note: this button is available if only the gadget has options to configure.

To minimize the gadget, click .To close the gadget and remove it from the desktop, click .

The system preserves the desktop preferences and gadget configurations between the authorized sessions.

Whenever a user wants to restore the desktop to the original state, he or she can use the button .

Notice that if the desktop customization was prohibited by the portal administrator, all the portal users see the same desktop lacking additional buttons or menus. In this case, the desktop layout is defined by the portal administrator.

Search

The portal users can search any information in almost anything: static pages, documents, user profiles, news, forum and blogs.

The search form suitably resides in the right corner of the portal screen:

The search system adds all possible titles to the search index and shows them as search tips when a user is typing the search text in the search input field. However, you may find that such tips are contextually different to what Google or other web search engines offer: the portal search form shows tips that are most appropriate for the employee rather than most frequently accessed or wanted web pages, like the web search systems do.

A dedicated search page is also available and can be accessed by clicking the link Search at the page bottom.

To find a user, just enter his or her name in the search field. However, a special user search page exists providing extensive filters allowing for various search criteria to be applied.

Employees

The Employees section contains general information about the company staff and structure.

  • If you need to find an employee and/or obtain a brief information about them, open the Find Employee page and find a user.
  • The Company Structure page displays a vivid and illustrative view of the hierarchy of company's departments, subdivisions, branches or affiliates. Click a subdivision to view its inner departments, or a department to view its members.
  • Each employee has a Personal Profile page that shows their personal and official information. A user can add friends; create groups; publish photos; create forum topics and blog posts; manage their personal calendar and file storage.
  • The Staff Changes page registers changes that have taken place among the employees. You can look through the changes of the whole company or in a certain department.
  • If an employee is absent for any reason, this event is registered in the monthly Absence Chart. The absence graph can be constructed for a certain department and the list may contain all employees, not only the absent ones. To view the graph for other months, use the navigation buttons.
  • Featured and honored employees are shown on the Honored Employees page. In the user profile title, the award or accomplishment is specified.
  • The Birthdays page reminds you to send birthday greetings or find upcoming birthdays. You can select the department for which birthday information is required.
  • Introductory information that a new employee may require can be found on the For New Employees page.

Finding Users

The following form is used to search the portal users:

To search for an employee, fill in any of the following fields in the filter form: Name, Phone, Departmant, E-mail.

Alternatively, you can find employees using the ABC panel. Click a letter to view the list of employees whose last name begins with the selected letter.

To switch the result view modes, use the List and Details buttons on the context toolbar:

For example, the List mode shows the employee profiles in the following manner:

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The Details mode:

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The search results can be exported in Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Outlook.

Telephone Directory

With Telephone Directory, you can easily find the telephone number of any employee. The only input data necessary is the required person’s name, e-mail or any digits of the telephone number you could still remember. You can narrow your search still further by selecting the person’s department or, for example, the current on-line status. The telephone directory and the search results can be both exported to Microsoft Excel or synchronized with Microsoft Outlook.

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Company Structure

The Company Structure page visually demonstrates the hierarchy of the company’s offices and departments:

This indented outline provides for easy finding and selection of any department. Click the department name to view the department’s divisions. Click the division link to view all the employees in that division:

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To add the division employees to Microsoft Outlook, click Export Employees to Outlook.

Staff Changes

The Staff Changes page reflects all the staff changes occurring in the company. Whenever an employee undergoes a shift in his or her career, this page displays the employee’s profile showing the date and kind of the change.

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You can view the staff changes of the entire company or a certain department. Select the required department in the list and click Search.

Absence Chart

The absence chart registers the company’s employees being out of office for whatever reason:

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Each type of absence is indicated with a unique color. The absence chart can display data in three time scales: intraday, weekly or monthly.

The monthly grid does not display intraday leaves so as not to overwhelm the chart with less relevant data.

To quickly view the leave details, hover the mouse pointer over the leave:

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Initially, the absence chart contains data for all the unavailable employees. If required, you can view the report on a certain department: select it in the drop-down list on the context toolbar.

To filter the data by the kind of leave, use the button Set Absence Types on the context toolbar:

Use the calendar navigation controls to view other days and months.

The system updates information in the absence chart automatically using data provided by the personal calendars. Alternatively, the absence chart can be corrected or replenished by a user having enough permissions.

Honored Employees

For his or her services or accomplishments, an employee can be credited by displaying on the Honored Employees. This page shows the honored employee’s profile the title of which reads the nomination awarded.

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Note: sufficient permission is required to place or remove an employee to/from the Honored Employees.

Birthdays

The employees whose date of birth is available in the system are seen on the Birthdays page.

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The birthdays components can be set to conditionally show or hide the year of birth. For example, the screenshot above shows the year only for males.

Personal Page

For each employee, a personal page exists that shows their personal and official information.

To switch to your personal section, open Employees > Personal Profile.

Alternatively, you can use the link My Page to access the personal page:

To view information about another employee, click a link with his or her name.

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General

The tab General shows the user’s personal and corporate information:

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The page is comprised of multiple sections showing:

  • the recently added friends (requires the friends feature);
  • the groups a user is a member of;
  • calendar events and tasks;
  • recent forum and blog posts;
  • personal files.

This information may be shown or hidden depending on the social network parameters and the user preferences.

If a user is away or on the Board Of Honor, this page reflects such status by showing an appropriate message.

Use the following links to manage the personal information.

  • Edit Profile is used to edit user information: contacts, personal and official information and authorization parameters.
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  • Edit Privacy Settings changes the permissions of other users to view your personal page, friends and groups; it also defines users allowed to invite you to groups and send personal messages to you.
  • Edit Settings enables or disables the portal features (Forum, Photo Gallery etc.), and assigns permissions with respect to these services.
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  • Use the My Subscriptions link to subscribe to or unsubscribe from the group and/or user updates:
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If a user is viewing the other user’s profile page, the available links are:

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  • Send Messag - sends a private message (aka PM) to the user;
  • Show Message Log - shows the messaging history;
  • Add to Friends (or Unfriend) - adds the user as a friend (or removes a user from friends);
  • Invite to Group - sends an invitation to the user;
  • Subscription - manages subscription for the user updates.

Friends

Note! This feature is disabled by default. However, you can send a message to any employee to invite them to a group. The portal administrator can enable this feature.

The Friends tab presents all the user friends. To add a friend, follow the steps below:

  • Click Add Friends to open the Find Employee page.
  • Find the required employee using this form (see the Finding Users lesson).
  • In the profile found, click the user name link. The employee personal page will open.

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  • Click Add to Friends.
  • Fill in the invitation form and click Send Message.

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    You will see a confirmation saying the message has been successfully sent. When the employee receives and accepts the invitation, they will appear in your friend list.

If an employee sends you a friend invitation, a corresponding message will immediately show on the left of a portal page.

To send a message to a user, do the following:

  • Select the required employee.
  • Click Send Message. The messaging window will appear:

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  • Type the message text and click Send. The new message will be shown in the dialog window.

If a user sends you a message but the messaging window is not active, a notification will immediately show in the left of any portal page.

Photo Gallery

The Photo tab represents the employee personal photo gallery. You can configure other user's access to your photos in your profile.

The Add album link creates a new photo album. In the album creation form, specify the required parameters and click Save.

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Upon saving, the new album is immediately added to the album list. To upload a photo, click Upload Photos.

Two photo upload methods are available: single upload and bulk upload. The bulk mode allows adding of a whole folder by selecting it in the folder tree and clicking the Add folder button. To add individual photos from any directory, click Add files.

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Using this form, you can preprocess the photos before uploading: specify their titles and descriptions; publish photos; add the copyright sign etc. Note that only published photos are visible. To upload photos, click Upload.

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Forum

Surprisingly or not, but the tab Forum contains the user’s personal forum. The user can assign different access permissions to other users thus, for example, rejecting unwanted posts from offensive writers (the link Edit Settings):

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Forum Topic Management

To create a new topic, click Add new topic. This will open the new topic creation form:

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The only mandatory field is the topic title. If needed, you can attach an image to the new topic (use the link Load image…) and add the new topic text. Click Post New Topic when you are done. The new topic will become visible in the user’s forum:

To manage the forum topics, select the required ones by checking the corresponding boxes and then select the action in the drop-down list:

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Forum Post Management

To add a new forum post, open the forum topic of your interest and click Reply. The forum reply form will show up:

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You can hide or show back your forum posts (or the posts of other users if you have sufficient permissions). To hide the forum post, select it by marking the checkbox of the target post and select Hide in the drop-down list. The hidden posts are rendered in different color:

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To show the hidden posts, mark them and select Show Messages in the drop-down list.

To edit a particular forum post, click the link Modify. You will edit the post in the same forum post editor you use to add a forum post.

To delete the posts:

  • click the link Delete;
  • select the posts you want to delete and select Delete Messages in the drop-down list:

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When replying to a particular post, quote that post: it will help the readers to keep the context of discussion. Select the text you want to quote and click the link Quote. The selected text will be added to the reply form:

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The link Name does just as it reads: it adds the name of the post author to the reply form.

Blog

The tab Blog encapsulates the user’s personal blog for posting opinions and other messages.

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Whether other users can see your blog posts or not is the matter of your preferences. If you open access to all users, your blog posts will be seen on the Blogs page (Communication > Blogs).

Creating Blog Posts

To add a new blog post, click Post To Blog. The new blog post form will open:

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After you are done typing the post text, you can make the new post visible by clicking Publish. Note that you can change the date and time of the post: just click the date/time link and select the desired date in the calendar:

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If you are not in the mood to tell the others what’s on your mind right now (or perhaps you are still afraid to tell the truth!), you can just save the post (click Post Later) and publish it later on: open the drafts folder by clicking Draft Messages and select the post you want to share with the people.

To take a look at your new post without actually publishing it, click Preview:

Edit and delete you posts using the two corresponding commands:

Commenting And Managing Comments

You can add a comment to a blog post on the blog post page.

If the blog allows comments, the link Add comment is available below the blog post text:

Clicking this link opens the comment form:

To comment on an existing comment, click Reply below it:

To scroll to a particular comment, click Link (which also sets the address bar contents to the comment URL).

The multilevel comments show the link Parent which navigates to the message this comment is a child of:

Calendar

The tab Calendar represents the user’s personal organizer. The calendar has the following functional areas.

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1 - the user’s calendars;
2 - the favorite calendars;
3 - provides MS Outlook synchronization features;
4 - the calendar management and event controls;
5 - the main calendar grid.
  • - adds a new event;
  • - adds a new event using the scheduler;
  • -opens the calendar settings form:
  • Use the calendar settings form to:

    • select the invitation calendar: whenever you are invited to an event, the selected calendar will keep and track your invitation;
    • optionally choose to use a more positive visual cue to show the unconfirmed events.

Creating A Calendar

To create a new calendar, click Add Calendar:

In the calendar creation form, enter the calendar name and description. Select the calendar color; in fact, this is a background color which will be used in the calendars list:

Select the desired public mode:

  • Private Calendar - specifies that this calendar’s events are visible to the owner only;
  • Show availability - more verbose mode; other users will see the owner’s availability (Occupied, Undecided, Free, Away);
  • Show availability and title - same as the previous mode but also shows the event title;
  • Show all information - specifies to show any data available in the calendar.

The option Add all invitations from other users to this calendar, if checked, marks this calendar as the collector of all the invitation events. No other calendars will contain the invitations.

To enable MS Outlook connectivity, check the option Enable calendar export.

To show this calendar in the favorite calendars list (see the picture below), check the option Add to Favorites.

In the Favorites list, the link Configure opens the calendar selection dialog box:

A user is free to add the other users’ calendars to his or her Favorites. To do so, find a user by typing their name in the field Find User and clicking Add. Once a user has been found, select the required calendars:

To remove the calendars, click Delete.

Creating Events

The events (meetings, seminars etc.) in the calendars can take one or more days. The two methods to add an event are available.

Method 1

  • In the calendar grid, select the required day of the oncoming event and click it. The new event dialog box will appear:

  • Enter the event name and description; select the appropriate calendar for the new event. If the event will span multiple days, click More… to switch to extended mode (see Method 2).
  • Click Add.

Method 2

  • Click the button on the top left of the calendar grid to invoke the extended event form:

  • Set the start date of the event. The end date is optional. If required, set the start and/or end times by clicking

    .

    Enter the event name; select the appropriate calendar for the new event. Optionally, select one of the previously created event locations (usually a meeting room).

  • Provide the event description. The homonymic tab has the visual editor with rich format capabilities:

  • To invite persons to the event, click the tab Guests. Start typing the initial letters of the name of a person you want to add, select the name in the suggestion list and click Add:
  • Alternatively, you can add participants using the Company Structure:

    Once you click Save, the system starts sending the invitation e-mails to the persons you have added to the event. To provide your own invitation message text, click Add invitation text. Note that the system sends the invitations whenever you change and save the invitation text.

    The e-mail messages include links for the recipients to accept or decline the invitation. After the user has made a decision, the guest list will show the status:

    • - the user accepts the invitation;
    • - the user declines the invitation;
    • - the user is still deciding.

    Click to delete a single user from the guest list, or click Remove All to wipe the list out completely.

    Note: deleting the event creator will also delete all the guests.

  • The tab More contains additional event controls:

    • Recurring Event group: these controls can be used to specify the reiteration strategy of the event;
    • Reminder group: if the checkbox is marked, the system will remind of the event in the specified amount of time;
    • Special Notes group: the first selector sets the event importance (used as a hint for the participants). The last option (Private Event) makes the event visible to the event owner only (i.e. the one who created the event). No guests are allowed to private events.
  • Click Save.

Managing The Events

The event management controls become available when you hover the mouse pointer over the event you want to change:

  • - opens the event view form;
  • - opens the event for editing, the event edit form being the same as the one you have used to create the event;
  • - deletes the event.

The event view form also has controls to edit or delete the event.

The Event Scheduler

The event scheduler provides functions to devise and control collective events that involve multiple participants.

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You can open the scheduler:

  • by clicking the button on the calendar page of an employee, company or other organizational unit;
  • when creating a new event by clicking the link Event Scheduler on the tab Guests of the event creation form.

The creating of a new collective event requires that you specify:

  • The event Start and End date and time.
  • The event duration. The button / locks or unlocks the duration controls. If the duration is locked, the value is inferred from the start and end times.
  • The event location.
  • The event participants (guests).

To add a person to the event, start typing the person’s name in the Add Guest field and then select the required user from the suggestion list and click Add. Alternatively, you can use the link From Company Structure which is useful if you need to add multiple guests at once. To remove a guest from the event, hover the mouse pointer over the guest name and click . The link Clear removes all the event guests.

The Scale selector exists to change the time frame of the event grid. Lesser scale shows a more detailed picture of the employees’ activity.

Periods of time when an event guest is away or busy are marked yellow. Furthermore, if the event time interval intersects with at least one of the guests being away or busy, the whole event time is shown in red:

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The event scheduler provides convenient user interface to visually change the event time. Lock the event duration and use the mouse to drag the event to a vacant position in time. If the event time is good, it becomes green:

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Exporting The Calendars

The intranet portal calendars can be exported to MS Oulook by using one of the two available methods.

Direct MS Oulook Export

This export method allows for duplex synchronization of the portal and MS Outlook calendars.

Open a calendar page, select Connect To Outlook in the action menu and start synchronization:

Pay no attention to MS Outlook message boxes: most of them are just notifications; confirm the operations whenever your confirmation is required. For example, if you encounter a "Connect this SharePoint calendar to outlook?" message - click Yes without hesitation. The two-way MS Outlook integration fully conforms to Microsoft specifications and standards which guarantees an absolutely smooth operation.

If you want to control the process in detail, you can click Advanced... to provide a description to your calendar:

Now look at the result. Your Outlook has a new calendar showing all your events! What could be more convenient than viewing the company's events in Outlook after a long leave. Keep up with your company, connect and synchronize calendars, and be in the thick of things!

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Now connect all the required portal calendars in the same way. Show them in a single grid and voila - now your calendar looks just like the portal calendar!

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Whenever you add a new event to the MS Outlook calendar, the former will be mirrored in the portal calendar. For example:

  • select the event date in the calendar grid;
  • double-click it to open a create new event window;
  • fill in the Topic, Start, End and Description fields;
  • click Save And Close.

Now see the new event being added to the MS Outlook calendar.

You don't need to bother about synchronizing your MS Outlook calendars with the portal calendars. This task is performed automatically along with the Outlook e-mail check. The bottom right corner of the Outlook window will show the synchronization progress.

The following picture shows the same event in the portal calendar:

You can edit and delete events in the MS Outlook and portal calendars in the same way. Any changes made on one side will be reflected on the other side.

To edit or manage events, you can use MS Outlook or the portal calendar.

To edit an event in MS Outlook, double-click the required event. Modify the event as desired and click Save.

To delete an event in MS Outlook, select it and click Delete in the action menu.

Once the event is changed or deleted, it will be silently synchronized meaning the event will be updated or deleted in MS Outlook as well as on the portal.


To turn off calendar synchronization (between Bitrix24 and Outlook), the connection needs to be turned off in Outlook. Open the Calendar section of Outlook, right-click the name of the calendar and choose Delete from the drop-down options:

After confirming deletion, synchronization will be turned off.

Exporting To iCal

If the calendar parameters are set to enable calendar export, the item Export (iCal) will be available in the calendar action menu:

Additional option exists in the Favorite Calendars group: you can export all the favorite calendars by clicking below the calendar list.

To export a calendar:

  • Select the menu item Export (iCal) in the calendar action menu or .
  • Copy the link to the Windows Clipboard:
  • Run MS Outlook and select Tools> Account Settings.
  • In the settings dialog, select the tab Internet Calendars and click New....
  • Paste the calendar link you have just copied:
  • Click Add to open the Subscription Options dialog. Enter the calendar Folder Name and Description.
  • Save changes. The calendar is now connected to MS Outlook.

Files

File operations on the employee personal page are similar to those discussed in the Documents section.

You can configure other user's access to your files in your profile.

Using Messaging Services

Using The Portal Messenger

To chat with other portal users, a special messaging form exists. It includes the following functional areas:

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(1) - shows your correspondent’s name and online status. The shortcut controls:
- opens the user’s personal page;
- opens the messaging log window;
- fills the messaging area (2) with the today’s conversation (for example, if you close and then open the messaging window again);
- enables or disables sound notifications.
(2) - the current messaging session;
(3) - the message input box;
(4) - use this list to send the message to multiple users.

To start messaging session with a user, find him or her on the portal and click the link Send message which is available wherever the user info box is shown. The messaging window will show up:

Type the text and click Send Message or hit Ctrl+Enter. The message will be sent and added to the messaging area:

If your chat pal is a prompt person and does not hesitate too long to reply, you will get their message right in the messaging area:

However, if you have become tired of waiting and closed the messaging form, the portal will inform you of the new message by showing a notification box on any portal page you open or refresh.

To send a message to multiple users, open the company structure list by clicking the arrow gripper on the right of the messaging window. Select the contacts by marking the checkboxes:

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Type the message text and click Send Message.

Using XMPP Messaging

Rather than using the web browser based messenger, the portal users can communicate employing any conventional messenger software that has a XMPP (Jabber) support. Miranda, QIP Infium, Pidgin, Psi are few of the most known applications providing such functions. Before you can chat with your co-workers, however, you have to configure your messenger. The following information is generally required:

  • the login and password you use to log in the portal;
  • the portal domain as the server address;
  • the XMPP server port and the SSL option. Ask your system administrator for the correct value.

For example, the preferences in your Miranda IM options dialog may look similar to what is shown below:

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Once you click OK and log in the portal server, Miranda IM will load the employees (or contacts, which is better with messenger terminology):

Tasks

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The Tasks page helps view and manage the tasks an employee is assigned to perform.

Tasks serve to streamline personal and team work. They have a range of properties to control work time and productivity, priority, roles and some others.

An employee does not require special permissions to use tasks.

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The following roles are used with tasks:

  • Responsible Person is an employee to whom the task is assigned.
  • Author is a person who has assigned the task for the employee (e.g. a head of department).
  • Participant is a person to whom the same task has been assigned. Tasks may be assigned to multiple employees, e.g. to a whole department.
  • Observer is a person who is to be notified of the task progress but not directly related to it, e.g. a head of another department who, due to an established workflow, needs to be informed of what is going on in other department(s).

Task List

The task list is a grid showing the task properties and status. The following elements exist on the task list form:

  • Controls
  • Task Grid
  • Gantt Chart
  • Filter Pane
  • Simple Filter Mode
  • Extended Filter Mode

  • Controls

    The following controls are used with the task list.

    • - creates a new task using a special task editor form;
    • - the quick task button. Adds a new row to the task list allowing to set the new task’s properties in-place:

      Quick task creation

    • - creates a task using one of the existing templates;

      Existing templates

      Use the links titled by the task name to create a new task with fields pre-filled according to the template values.

      Use the View all tasks templates link to view and edit the task templates.

    • The following buttons switch the task view mode:

    • Include subtasks - shows the list as a tasks and subtasks view. In this mode, the child subtasks are hidden by default:

      Hidden child subtasks

      The number shows the total subtask count. To view the task’s subtasks, click :

      Task's subtasks

    • Flat view – activates the flat view mode which, if active, shows subtasks as if they are not attached to any parent task:

    • Use the Gantt chart button to view tasks as a project schedule on a bar grid.
    • Use the Reports button to design and view task reports.

    Note: if, when creating a new task, the option Propagate the task to multiple responsible persons is checked, the main task is shown as multiple subtasks belonging to a master task which is denoted by .

    Subtasks are discussed in more detail in the lesson Creating Tasks.


    The Task Grid

    Attention! The task grid displays only the tasks to which you relate in any way (that is, you are the task creator, the performer or the observer).

    To view the tasks:
    • use the employee personal page (the Tasks tab);
    • use the extended filter mode on your personal page;
    • use the workgroup page (the Tasks tab).

      A user can view other person’s workgroup tasks if such action is allowed by the Permission to view all tasks on the workgroup settings page.

    The tasks are grouped by projects (usually represented by workgroups), the workgroup name highlighted. Use the links to add more tasks to the selected project.

    The tasks that are not bound to a project (workgroup) are displayed as free ungrouped entities (as shown in the green frame on the figure below).

    Tasks list

    The grid includes the following columns:

    • Tasks

      This column is as simple as it is: it just shows the task names. The names are links opening the task view form. The task names may have different colors depending on the status:

      • green are the tasks that has been created but not accepted;
      • blue are the tasks accepted by an employee;
      • black are the accepted tasks or the tasks currently being fulfilled;
      • red are the overdue tasks;
      • grey are the completed or suspended tasks;
      • orange are the declined or unconfirmed tasks.

      The task title may show extra information icons:

      • - this is how many times the task has been updated since it was last viewed;
      • - the number of comments to this task;
      • - the files attached to the task.

      Action menus:

      Each task has the action menu you can activate by clicking on the icon Action menu.

      Action menu

      • View: opens the task information page;
      • Edit*: opens the task for editing;
      • Create Subtask: adds a child task to a given task and opens the task edit form in which you can set the subtask’s parameters;
      • Create Quick Subtask: adds a grid row to set the new subtask’s parameters in-place;
      • Accept: use this command to accept the task (think twice!);

        This menu item is unavailable to an employee if a task was created by a supervisor. In other words, any supervisor’s tasks are auto accepted.

      • Decline: think twice again;
      • Start Execution: starts the task which effectively starts the task timer;
      • Close: use this command once you have completed the task;
      • Accept as Completed*: this command is for supervisors. It is only available for the tasks created with the option Require approval to close task checked. Selecting it means that a supervisor is satisfied with the employee’s results;
      • Return for Completion*: as opposed to Accept as Completed, this command expresses the supervisor’s dissatisfaction. An employee is thus kindly asked to review the task and finish it;
      • Pause: temporary suspends the task;
      • Copy: duplicates the task; that is, creates a new task whose fields have the same values as the original one. The duplicate is always created as a subtask;
      • Add to Daily Plan:adds the task to the working day report;
      • Delete*: wipes the task out.

      * - these commands are available to the task author only.

      The task status column:

      This column shows icons indicating the current status of the task.

      • - the task is awaiting acceptance by the assigned employee*;
      • - the completed task is awaiting to be approved by the supervisor;
      • - the task result requires supervisor’s attention*;
      • - the task needs to be accepted;
      • - the task is currently being fulfilled;
      • - surprise! this is a button, not an icon. Click it to start the task. This button becomes available once you have accepted the task.

      * - this status is available to the task author only.

      The task priority column:

      This column shows the task priority.

      • – low priority;
      • – medium priority;
      • – high priority;

    • The Deadline column:

      This column shows the date and time after which the task is overdue.

    • The Responsible column:

      This column shows the name of an employee who is responsible for the task progress and result. The name is a link leading to the employee personal page.

    • The Creator column:

      The Creator (author) column shows the name of a supervisor (or employee) who has created and appointed the task to the responsible person. The name is a link leading to the user personal page.

    • The last column (untitled):

      This column shows the task rating menu:

      • - unrated;
      • - positive rating;
      • - negative rating.

      There is another option in this column:

      • - the dimmed flag (acts as a command button). Click it to close the task;
      • - the full gamma icon indicates that a task is completed.

    To sort the grid by any of the columns, click the column header title.

    Tasks sorting in a column

    Click х to make the grid unsorted back.

    Task detail popup


    The Gantt Chart

    A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart developed especially for the purpose of illustrating a project schedule:

    The Gantt charts provide a mechanism for the visual editing of the task schedule. You can use the mouse to change the duration or start and end time or date of a particular task by simply dragging it in the chart.

    Tha chart displays an infotip when you hover the mouse pointer over a task. The infotip shows the task name, author, responsible person, due date, status and priority. The colour of the task bar in the chart mirrors the task status (in progress, overdue or completed). The completed tasks are marked with flags. To view the task details, simply click Details in the infotip.

    Right-click on a task on the chart to open the popup menu containing the task management commands:


    The Filter Pane

    The list shows tasks according to the filter criteria. The filter has two modes: Simple and Extended.

    The filter pane includes the following links:

    • Templates: opens a page containing your personal task templates;
    • Reports: shows your reports.
    • The "export to" links sends the tasks to a respective application.

    Simple Filter Mode

    This mode, allowing for fast switching between task types, is useful for quick navigation.

    Simple filter mode

    The simple filter has the two areas:

    1. Filter by user affiliation
      • My Tasks – selects all the tasks for which you are a responsible person or a participant.
        • I'm responsible – selects only the tasks for which you are responsible;
        • I'm a participant – selects only the tasks assigned to other employees and you;
        • In Report – selects only the tasks that are assigned to you and will be listed in the Efficiency Report;
      • Created by me – selects all the tasks you have created.
        • For Report – selects only the tasks you have created that will be listed in the Efficiency Report;
      • Observer – selects only the tasks that are not assigned to you but of whose progress you will be notified.
      • All – selects all the tasks you have any affiliation with.

      Note: The task count you read in the affiliation filter depends on the selected task status (see below).

      The Created by me tasks may show the number of your tasks in different statuses, if any exist. These figures are the same as in the Statuses filter section. Consider the following illustration:

      The number of active tasks in the "Created by me"

    2. Filter by task status
      • Active tasks may include:
        • Unaccepted* are the tasks assigned to you but not accepted by your supervisor yet;
        • Awaiting control* are the finished tasks you have assigned to another employee; these tasks require your control and approval;
        • New are your tasks that you have not accepted yet; or the tasks you have submitted to another employee and awaiting acceptance;
        • In progress are the tasks that are now being fulfilled;
        • Accepted tasks are those you need to have finished in due time;
        • Overdue are the tasks that have failed to be fulfilled in time.
      • Deferred are the tasks whose execution has been paused;
      • Completed: this status is ascribed to tasks that are finished and/or require control.

      * - these statuses are available only to employees who have permission to enable the option Control Task Result.

    The Unaccepted and Awaiting control statuses are available if Created by me is selected in the affiliation filter.

    It is obvious that the tasks you see (or don’t see) in the grid depend on the filter selection. If your selection does not match any task, the task list will come up empty even is there are plenty of tasks but unfortunately, they do not match your selection.

    To show all the existing tasks, select All in both filter panes.

    Attention! When you browse your own tasks, the affiliation filter is talking about you, in a manner of speaking: Created by me, I'm a participant – it’s all about you. But, when browsing some other employee’s tasks, do not confuse their Created by me’s and I'm a participant’s. It’s all about that person!

    The affiliation filter is not available when viewing workgroup tasks.


    Extended Filter Mode

    Use this mode to search for tasks by one or more of the task properties (name, author, status etc.).

    Extended filter mode

    If you are of the supervisor role (head of department etc.), use the option Show subordinates' tasks to select the tasks assigned to your subordinates.

    Viewing a Task

  • Task Description
  • Task Management Controls
  • Info Pane

  • An employee can view the details of only the tasks to which he or she is affiliated. Those are the personal tasks, the tasks in which he or she participates, or the tasks assigned to an employee’s workgroup.

    To view a task, click the task name in the task list. This will open the task details form:

    The Task Description

    The task description is exactly the text the task author entered when creating the task.

    If you are the task author, the Tags field will include the add link: use it to create tags for the task. See Creating Tasks for more information on using tags.


    The Task Management Controls

    Below the task description are the controls you will use to manage the task flow:

    • - accepts the task assigned to you;

      This button is unavailable to an employee if a task was created by a supervisor. In other words, any supervisor’s tasks are auto accepted.

    • – completes the task. Use it when you have finished every activity required by the task;
    • – starts the task meaning that you are really getting down to it;
    • – rejects the task. Use it when you are not ready to fulfill the task for some reason;
    • Pause – temporarily suspends the task execution;
    • Resume - starts the task again.

    For the task creator (author), the controls are different:

    • * – accepts the task fulfilled by an employee assigned to perform it;
    • * – assigns the task again to the same employee. Use it if you are not satisfied with the results;
    • Edit - opens the task for editing in the task edit form;
    • Resume - starts the previously suspended or completed task;
    • Delete - deleted the task irreversibly.

    * - these controls are available only for tasks that were created with the option Require approval to close task checked.

    If a current task has subtasks, they will be included in the task details form:


    Below the task management controls is the Add Comment link which expands the comment editor. Use it to add your opinion or report to the task:


    The Info Pane

    On the screen right is the information pane showing the task details. The info pane has the following controls:

    Info pane

    • the Deadline link: changes the task deadline;

      Deadline can be modified by:

      • the task creator;
      • a task performer if the creator enabled the option Responsible Person Can Change Deadline.

    • the Duration link: changes the time actually spent for this task.

    For the task author, the following additional control links are available:

    Info pane view for the task author

    • change: use it to reassign the task to another employee;
    • Priority: changes the task priority level;
    • Rating: use this link to rate the task;
    • Add Participants: allows to assign the task to more employees;
    • Add Observers: use this link to specify the persons who will receive notifications about the task progress.

    The supervisors can include the task in the efficiency report:

    Creating Tasks

  • Creating Tasks
  • Editing a Task
  • Creating a Subtask

  • Creating Tasks

    To create a new task, click New task in the task list form. This will open the task edit form:

    Fill in the form fields:

    • enter the task name. This field is required;
    • in the Responsible Person field, select an employee who is going to fulfil the task:

      • by picking an employee from the recently used names:
      • by browsing the company structure:
      • by live searching for a person by their name:

      To change the responsible person, just select another one.

    • To assign the task to more than one employee, check the box Duplicate the task and choose multiple responsible persons and click the Change Responsible Persons link to show the employee selector:

      Select the desired responsible persons just by clicking their names. To remove a responsible person from the selection, click beside the person’s name:

    • Once you have selected the responsible persons, click .

      Note that when using multiple participants, a copy of the task is created for each of them, each subtask being a child of the master task:

      The icon denotes that the task is duplicated for each of the participants.

  • The Creator link allows you to change the task author which effectively creates the task on behalf of another person. For example, you can create a task for yourself on behalf of a user who cannot do it for some reason.
  • To assign the task to more than one employee, use the Participants link.
  • If required, change the task weight using the Priority toggle.
  • Use the Tags (add) link to add tags to your task.

    Note: tags can greatly simplify task search when using the extended task filter.

    • First of all, create the tags appropriate for the task. Click add and type the tags, separate multiple entries with a comma. Then, click :

      The new tags will become available in the tags form:

    • Now, select the required tags and click "Save".

    • Whenever you need to modify the tags, click in the tags form. Then, edit the tags in the input fields or delete them by clicking х.

      Having done editing the tags, click "Save Changes" to save the tags and return to the tags form.

    • To change the existing task tags, click the change link.

    • To rid the task of the tags, just uncheck all the checkboxes in the tags form.

  • Set the task deadline. The time planning link can be used for more sophisticated deadline specification:

  • To allow a responsible person to change the task timeframe, mark the Responsible person may change deadline check box.
  • Use the Require approval to close task checkbox if you want to check the task output before closing it. Note that the task will not be closed until you verify it.
  • Supervisors can create tasks for their employees in such a way that, once closed, these tasks will appear in the productivity report by checking the Include Task In Efficiency Report checkbox.
  • Enter the task description.
  • To attach the task to a workgroup, select a required group in the This task is in group (project) list.
  • The More link can be used to specify additional task parameters:

    The Observers mini-form contains the persons who will receive notifications (PM’s) about the task progress.

    To start the task again after a required time period, use the Repeat task option.

    Sometimes a task must not start until another task is completed and closed. If this is the case, use the Previous Tasks link to specify the task dependencies.

    The Parent Task link allows to select a task to which the current task will be related as child. In other words, if you select a parent task, the current task will become a subtask of the former.

  • Click to save and assign the task.

  • Editing a Task

    To edit a task:


    Creating a Subtask

    Subtasks come in handy when a strict control is required over complex and sophisticated tasks. Such tasks can be split into several simple ones thereby streamlining the task workflow. What is more important, the subtasks can be assigned to different employees or departments which brings the flexibility of the underlying business process to a higher level.

    Attention! The parent task acts as a grouping container; the subtasks are independent of each other.

    To create a subtask:

    • select a parent task in the task edit form. This will essentially make the task being edited a subtask;
    • or by clicking Create Subtask in the task view form;
    • or by clicking the quick subtask button right in the task list.

    The subtask will show “inside” the parent task:

    Task Use Cases

    In this example, we are going to create a task on behalf of the head of finance department located in New York for the employees of accounts department located in Berlin. And there is more – we have a very eccentric person, the head of Paris finance department whose strange whim is to know everything about the New York proceedings. He goes haywire if there is something going on and he’s not “kept posted” like he would say, so we better keep him informed.

    This is going to be a controlled task, and it should not be closed until all the participants have completed it and the head of New York finance department has confirmed it.

    Each of the involved employees will have to create a subtask belonging to this master task according to his or her function.

    Sequence of actions: the head of New York financial department

    • Create a new task; enter the task name and description:

    • Set the task priority to High and mark the Propagate to multiple responsible persons checkbox:

    • Now click Change Responsible Persons and select the Berlin accounts department employees who will be involved:

    • Create new tags by clicking add and using the tags form add the tags to the task:

    • Click the time planning link:

      to set the task timeframe:

      The result should look like shown below:

    • Check the Require approval to close task option: otherwise, the task will be closed as soon as an employee completes it:

    • Now click the More link:

      Select the head of the Paris finance department as an observer who will be notified of the task progress:

    • Now click Add Task.

    In the end, the task list will show the new task and the subtasks:

    And this is what the task looks like in the task view form:

    Click to Enlarge

    Sequence of actions: the employees of Berlin accounts department

    Once the head of New York finance department has created the task, it will appear in the task lists of the Berlin accounts department employees:

    The task details in the task view form:

    Click to Enlarge

    Each of the affiliated employees will receive a new task notification (a personal message).

    • Start the task by clicking Start Execution.
    • After the work has been finished, click Add Comment and compose a report.

    • In this example, we assume that an employee has created a Microsoft Office presentation and uploaded it to the personal file folder.

    • Now, click Finish to complete the task.

    Since the supervisor (the head of the financial department) has checked the Require approval to close task option when creating the task, the latter will not be closed automatically. The hourglass icon will notify the supervisor of the task requiring control:

    The task will be closed as soon as the supervisor has verified the task results:

    Sequence of actions: the head of New York financial department controlling and accepting the task

    Once an employee starts the task, the task status icon in the task list will change.

    After the task has been completed (it is not yet closed, remember!), the supervisor will see the icon change again:

    Click to Enlarge

    This icon indicates that the task has been finished and needs to be verified. The supervisor may accept the task, or “send” it back for revision:

    Click to Enlarge

    Exporting Tasks

  • Exporting Tasks To Microsoft Outlook

  • Exporting Tasks To Microsoft Outlook

    Attention! Outlook 2007 is required for full integration.

    To set up duplex integration between the portal tasks and the Microsoft Outlook tasks:

    • Click Export To Outlook:

    • Microsoft Outlook will be launched and show the following message box:

    • Click Yes to contiue, or Advanced ... to invoke the folder settings dialog box:

    • Enter the folder name and description and click OK.

      The tasks will be added to Microsoft Outlook:

    Whenever you add a new task to Microsoft Outlook, it will be automatically mirrored on the portal.

    To add a task in Microsoft Outlook:

    • Select New > Task:

    • Fill in all the fields: Assigned To..., Subject, Start date, Due date and description.

      Attention! Specify the portal user e-mail address in the Assigned To field. For better convenience, you can import contacts to the Microsoft Outlook address book and select a responsible person here in this field from the address book.
    • Click Save & Close.

    The task will appear in the task list in Microsoft Outlook and on the portal.


    Company

    The Company section contains various information about the company.

    Here you can learn:

    • the company background;
    • the company's lines of activity.

    Moreover, the company address, contacts and vacancies are listed here.

    Dry facts about the company can be smoothed by the event calendar, photos and video about the company life.

    Documents

    The Documents section allows sharing of files, texts, documents, spreadsheets etc. and enables teamwork activity.

    Access to the site documents follows the permissions of the group to which a user belongs. A document not being available for editing indicates that a user does not have appropriate permission. Access permissions are defined by the portal administrator. Thus, if you want to edit a document but get the “access denied” message, you should consult the portal administrator.

    If you want to create a document section for a department but the latter is not shown in the left menu, you have to contact the portal administrator as well.

    Managing the Documents Library in a Web Browser

    Creating a Folder

    In order to create a folder, open the Documents page (Documents > Common Documents). Click Create Folder on the context toolbar:

    This will open a folder creation form:

    Type the desired folder name and click Save. After the page reloads, the new folder will show in the file list:

    Click on image to enlarge

    Deleting a Folder

    You can delete an unneeded folder by clicking on the actions button in the row containing the folder to be deleted, and selecting Delete in the menu:

    The system will ask that you confirm the deletion, and delete the folder upon positive answer.

    Uploading Documents

    Before you upload the documents, open the destination folder, and click Upload on the context toolbar:

    An upload form will open. Here, you can choose one of the three view modes:

    • Standard – uploads individual files from different folders (by clicking Add Files) or all files from a selected folder (by clicking Add Folder);
    • Classic – uploads files from a selected folder;
    • Simple - uploads individual files.

    Choose the mode that fits you best and add the files to be uploaded.

    Click on image to enlarge

    If you want to unconditionally update existing files, check the box Overwrite existing files. Otherwise, the system will notify you that a file (or files) already exists in the destination folder.

    Select the status for new files and click Upload. The upload window will appear showing the upload progress:

    Click on image to enlarge

    After the files has been uploaded, the updated files page will show:

    Click on image to enlarge

    Viewing Documents

    To view a document, click the action button of a required file and select View in the menu:

    The file properties page will open:

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    Alternatively, you can use the eye icon shortcut:

    Editing Documents

    In order to edit a document or modify its properties, click the actions button in a row showing the document and select Edit:

    A new form will open in which you can alter the document properties:

    Click on image to enlarge

    You can edit the file properties here. The following operations are available:

    • the General Parameters group:
      • change the file Name;
      • specify the file Tags that will be used for search;
      • you can Replace File by selecting a new one;
      • activate or deactivate the file;
      • provide the Description.
    • the Workflow Parameters group:
      • change the file Status;
      • add a file Comment.

    Click Save.

    File History (Change Log)

    To view the document change log, click the actions button in a row showing the document and select History.

    A file change log form will open:

    You can receive all new comments on the library documents. Just click Subscribe on the context toolbar:

    To cancel your subscription, click Unsubscribe:

    Deleting Documents

    Click Actions in a row showing the document to be deleted. Select Delete in the action menu:

    The system will ask that you confirm the deletion and only then delete the document.

    Editing Documents Using Microsoft Office

    If you want to edit documents in Microsoft Office, you should have it installed on your machine. This feature requires Microsoft Office 2003 or higher.

    Important! Editing can be done only via Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Other browsers will not enable the Edit in MS Office menu point in the document library or the similar button in the document detail page. So when using a browser other than IE or Firefox, you will need to download the file.

    For Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint documents, just click the document name. Click Edit in MS Office menu point in the document library:

    • Internet Explorer:

      Click OK in the warning window:

    • Mozilla Firefox:

      To edit documents in Firefox, there is an extension that needs to be installed.

      When you first want to open a document in MS Office, you will need to click the Install extension option:

      Enter the user’s login and password to the intranet to obtain access to the document:

    The MS Office application needed will automatically launch.

    Edit the document. Save and close the application. The changes will be saved in the document library and the previous version will appear in the Change History section.


    While the document is open and being editing, it will be block from editing by other users. The user editing the document will be displayed in the document library:

    After saving the changes, the document is automatically unblocked.

    Using the Document Library in Windows

    Any folder in the document library that can be accessed according to the user's permissions can be mapped to a network drive or folder at any Intranet portal computer. Once mapped, a folder can be browsed using Windows Explorer. This feature is available in the Windows operating systems, XP and newer with Internet Explorer.

    Browsing a Web Folder in Internet Explorer

    Open the required document library folder in your browser. Click Network Drive on the context toolbar:

    When asked, enter your User name and Password:

    Click on image to enlarge

    Windows Explorer will open a window showing the contents of the specified folder:

    Click on image to enlarge

    Note! This method of connection may possibly fail due to improper parameters in the Windows registry. If so, please contact your portal administrator.

    Adding a Web Folder to Network Places

    Run Windows Explorer. Select Service -> Map Network Drive. Click the link Sign-up for online storage or connect to a network server to run Add Network Place Wizard:

    Click on image to enlarge

    The wizard window will appear:

    Click on image to enlarge

    Click Next here.

    Click on image to enlarge

    In this window, click Choose another network location and then click Next. The next Wizard step will open:

    Click on image to enlarge

    Type the URL of the folder to be mapped in the Internet or network address field: http://<your_server>/docs/shared/. Click Next.

    If prompted for a User name and Password, enter your login and password, and then click OK. The system will authorize you and open the next Wizard step:

    Click on image to enlarge

    In this step, you can specify an arbitrary title for the mapped folder. By default, the title is the folder name. Click Next. The last step will open, in which the Wizard confirms that the folder has been successfully mapped and offers an option to open the folder when you finish the Wizard.

    Click on image to enlarge

    Click Finish here.

    The system will map the folder and, if you have chosen to open the folder, open the Windows Explorer window showing with the mapped folder:

    Click on image to enlarge

    The folder is now always available in Windows Explorer. To open it, select Start > My Network Places > folder name.

    Mapping the Library as a Network Drive


    Note! This method of connection has known limitations in Windows XP. If you have any problems, please contact your portal administrator.

    Run Windows Explorer. Select Tools > Map Network Drive. The network disc wizard will open. In the Drive field, specify a letter to map the folder to. In the Folder field, enter the path to the library: http://<your_server>/docs/shared/. If you want this folder to be available when the system starts, check the Reconnect at logon option. Click Ready.

    The authorization dialog will open. Enter your login and password. Click OK. The system will authorize you and open the mapped folder in a Windows Explorer window.

    Later, you can open the folder in Windows Explorer where the folder will be shown as a drive under My Computer, or in any file manager.

    Services

    The Services section offers special services and useful information to employees.

    • To view the current busy status of the meeting rooms, select and reserve time for your oncoming event, use the page Meeting Room Booking.
    • You can request services on the Submit An Order page. First, select the request type, and then fill in the request form.
    • The Knowledge Base page contains frequently asked questions. Here you can quickly find answera to your basic questions. If the answer to your question is not listed there, refer to the IT service department.
    • You can send a request to the IT service department on the Technical Support page. There you will describe your problem, and then discuss it with an IT service specialist who will try to solve your problem.
    • The Training section contains various training courses. Each course consists of a number of lessons; some lessons can be grouped. A course may contain self-check tests, and a final certification test that you can take to receive a certificate confirming that you passed the course. A summary of tests taken and certificates obtains can be viewed on the pages Gradebook and My Certificates, respectively.
    • Polls and surveys are the means to reveal the company employees' opinions on different matters. Users can vote in any active poll on the Polls page which shows a list of all polls and voting history.
    • Popular links are shown on the Link Directory page.
    • You can manage your subscriptions to newsletters on the Subscription page. There you can select subscription topics and specify your e-mail.

    Booking a Meeting Room

    This page (Services> Meeting Room Booking) shows the available (currently listed in the system) meeting rooms. Below the table is the link opening the calendar showing the reserved meeting rooms and the reservation time.

    Click to Enlarge

    To find vacant meeting rooms, use the search form with filters which is available by clicking Search Meeting Rooms:

    Click to Enlarge

    Set the search criteria matching your prospected event and click Search. The system will show the meeting rooms available at that time. If no vacant rooms exist, try to amend your parameters and repeat the search. Once a suitable choice is found, you can book that room by clicking the icon on the table right. However, you can do so only if you have sufficient permissions.

    Otherwise, refer to a person who is in charge of the meeting rooms in your company.

    The rows in the Meeting Rooms form have the action menu column on the table left. In that menu is the item Meeting Room Schedule which, when selected, opens the meeting room availability chart:

    Click to Enlarge

    To view multiple meeting rooms in a single calendar grid and/or book a room, click the link Meeting Room Booking Calendar View. The meeting room calendar form will open:

    Click to Enlarge

    The list Calendars contains the meeting rooms that are shown in the grid. You can select the rooms manually by checking the respective boxes:

    To view the event details, hover the mouse pointer over the event and click the button View Event:

    As with the personal calendars, you can change the grid “scale” but here the scale selector is a set of tabs: Day, Week, Month.

    You can book a meeting room right in the grid view if you have sufficient permissions.

    e-Orders

    Placing An Order

    To place an order:

    • Open the e-Orders page (Services > e-Orders> Submit An Order):
    • Click to Enlarge

    • Select here the order type (e.g. Office supplies). Fill in the order form:
      • Enter the order details – order items here;
      • Provide comments to your order if required.

    Send your order by clicking Submit Order.

    Note: the order form varies for different order types.

    Once you have submitted your order, the form My Orders containing all of your orders will show up:

    Click to Enlarge

    Managing Orders

    On the page My Orders you can view, edit and track your orders. Orders just placed have the status New, orders in progress – Received. The status of a successfully fulfilled order is Completed, and if an order was rejected for some reason – Refused.

    All the orders in the form are grouped by type and sorted by date.

    The link all requests of this type below each order group shows the orders only of the corresponding type. To show the order details, click the order name link. If the order in question is in the status New, you can modify it in the order details form. Orders in other statuses cannot be changed.

    Viewing And Editing An Order

    If the status of the order you want to view or edit is New, clicking the order name link opens the order edit form.

    The link View switches to read-only (view) mode. To return to the order editor, click Edit. If you have amended the order in the edit form and wish to save changes, click Submit Order or Apply.

    Received or Completed orders cannot be changed.

    Technical Support

    A contemporary intranet portal dazzles with numerous features, and taking a right step in the maze of user interface is sometimes a hard problem for an employee. Most companies consider it essential that the employees get answers for their questions in the shortest time possible. Bitrix Intranet Portal is equipped with the Helpdesk module allowing to provide the company employees with technical support services.

    Creating A Trouble Ticket

    A special wizard exists to create a ticket and send it to the technical support staff. At the first step, enter the ticket title and select the kind of your problem.

    Click on image to enlarge

    Click Next.

    The number of steps and the content of the next step depend on the problem topic you have selected. For example, if you choose to ask a question about the portal, the second step demands clarification from you:

    Click on image to enlarge

    Check the required option and click Next.

    Here, describe your problem in as much detail as possible:

    Click on image to enlarge

    Describe the problem in detail and click Finish. The wizard will show the preview of your trouble ticket:

    Click on image to enlarge

    Make changes, if required, in the form below:

    Click on image to enlarge

    In addition, you can use this form to attach files to the ticket and specify priority. Later, you can close the ticket in this form.

    Click Save to send the ticket. The ticket will show in the list of your tickets:

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    Viewing Tickets And Discussing Problems

    To view or post new comments to the existing tickets, click the link My Tickets on the Technical Support page. This will open your tickets page. This page is equipped with a special filter form enabling you to find tickets matching your search criteria.

    Each ticket has an indicator. The grey indicator stands for the resolved problems. If the last comment in your ticket was yours, the indicator is green . If the last response was from a techsupport specialist, the indicator is red .

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    To view the replies or correct the ticket, click Modify in the row showing the corresponding ticket. The page with the ticket discussion will open.

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    You can add your reply using the form below. The form is similar to the one in which you amend a ticket during creation.

    Polls

    The portal includes the polls services to set up votings or polls and publish the results. The polls services are controlled by the access permission distribution system which allows to enable or disable a voting or poll for a certain user and make the poll results available to only the permitted persons.

    The following picture is a portion of a portal main page showing the currently active poll:

    You can vote directly from the main page, or click the link Polls to view all the active polls and votings:

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    The link Results shows the distribution of votes for the selected poll:

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    Link Directory

    Link Directory is, in essence, a list of links and resources frequently used and required by the company employees.

    The links in the directory are grouped by topics and subsections based on their attributes. For example, the topic Business has subsections: Finance, Management etc.:

    Obviously, to view the resources of a certain subsection, click the corresponding link. For example, the image below shows the Finance links:

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    Subscription

    This page (Services > Subscription) encapsulates services you may need to send messages, newsletters and information bulletins from the portal.

    To subscribe for newsletters, open the subscription page and select the required topics and the message format. Click Subscribe:

    The system will inform you of the successful subscription.

    Note:you must be authorized to use subscription services. Only the users with sufficient permissions can manage subscriptions.

    Workgroups

    Workgroups is a section containing information on workgroups in the company. Workgroups are classified by function, for example: Projects, Management Board etc. The group subjects are defined by the portal administration.

    Users can create or enter groups in their personal profile.

    Note: not all users can create groups. If you want to create a group but do not have permission, contact the portal administrator.

    Finding Groups

    To search for a group, open the Search Groups page (Workgroups > Find Groups).

    You can search for groups in two ways:

    • using the tag cloud by clicking a tag (a keyword) to find the required groups:
    • using the search form: specify a keyword in the Search field and a topic in the field (optional).

    To start the search, click Search. To clear all the form parameters, click Cancel.

    The results of the search will be displayed below the filter form:

    The "My Groups" Page

    This page (Workgroups > My Groups) is user specific showing the information cards of the workgroups a currently logged in user is a member of:

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    This page will not show if a user is not logged in. The button Create Group is available if a user has a workgroup create permission.

    The Workgroup Page

    The workgroup title page can be opened by clicking the workgroup infocard on the My Groups page:

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    The page General (or tab, depending on the current user interface) presents information on the workgroup purpose, moderators, members and shows recent reports, discussions and tasks.

    The functions available on this page depend on the Social Network module settings and the individual workgroup preferences.

    The system supports the following group types:

    • public group: any registered user or employee can freely enter such group;
    • private group: a user becomes a member of a private group only after his or her application has been approved by the group moderator;
    • visible group: visible to all users;
    • invisible group: these groups are visible to the group members only;
    • archived group: any group can be moved to the archive if it is no longer active.

    You will find the workgroup management functions in the Manage area (which is obvious, nevertheless frequently forgotten). The links available in this section depend on the permissions of a currently logged in user. The group moderator and the system administrator have full management access.

    The following workgroup controls exist:

    • Write Message: opens a text editor to create and send a message to the group members:

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    • Edit Group: changes the group parameters (the name, description, picture etc.):

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    • Edit Settings: manages access to the workgroup features:

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    • Delete Group: wipes the group out of existence:

    • Edit Moderators: adds or removes the workgroup moderators:

    • Edit Members: adds or removes the workgroup members:

    • Ban List: shows the users who are denied access entirely to this workgroup; ban or unban users here:

    • Invite to Group: sends an workgroup invitation message to the users:

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      The message a user receives contains a link which, when clicked, allows a user to become the group member.

    • View Join Requests: shows the workgroup membership application requests thereby allowing the workgroup moderator to accept or decline new members:

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    • Subscription: sets the method by which the group members are notified of the news and updates:

    To organize the workgroup events, use the page Calendar. Besides, an individual group member can have his or her favorite calendars. The strategy and methods of the calendar management and usage is similar to that of the user calendars.

    The page Tasks provides framework for the setting up and management of the business tasks. The workgroup tasks can be stored in folders classified by a particular trait. The use of folders allows for splitting a task into subtasks to be assigned further to multiple employees. When managing tasks, you can exercise approaches similar to that of the user tasks.

    As is the case with user personal pages, the workgroup has a private forum, a blog, a file storage and a photo gallery each of which can be accessed using the corresponding tabs.

    A full list of the workgroup members is available at the Members page.

    Creating a Workgroup

    Note: a user can create groups and the button Create Group is available only if he or she has workgroup create permission.

    To create a workgroup, follow the guidelines below:

    • Click the button Create Group. You will find it at the pages My Groups and Find Groups, or at the user personal page, the tab Groups.
    • In the group parameters form:

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      • type the group name and description;
      • upload the group image (optional);
      • select the group topic. If you cannot find an appropriate selection, refer to the portal administrator or other known person with sufficient permissions;
      • set the group type (in Access And Visibility):
        • Visible to All: unchecking this option makes the workgroup invisible to the portal users;
        • Public Group, Anyone Can Join It: uncheck this option if you require membership pre-moderation;
      • select the persons allowed to send membership invitations (Who Can Invite to Group);
      • select the persons allowed to send arbitrary messages to the group members.
    • Click Create Group.

    Communication

    The portal offers various features for communication among its users.

    The Blogs section shows the blogs of employees and groups. The main page of this section gives you a brief overview of all the new blogs, latest posts and user comments.

    Using Forums, you can ask for help on a certain problem or read the existing topics of other employees. Forums are grouped in the following way:

    • General Forums - for example, the public forum in which any user can create topics for discussion.
    • Forum for comments - the employees can leave their comments on the company news and events here.

    The published photos of employees and the pictures of workgroups are available for viewing in the Photo Gallery section. The gallery name follows the employee's name. If an employee allows viewing of their photos, the employee's personal page will open upon clicking their name.

    The Classifieds page allows you to view advertisements of the company employees or place your own using Classifieds link, and further view them by clicking My Ads.

    Blogs

    The page Blogs shows recent blog posts and comments created in the employee and workgroup blogs. However, if a user of a workgroup moderator has restricted access to their blog, the posts of such blogs are never seen on this page.

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    To view the blog post of your interest, simply click the post title.

    Forums

    In addition to the obvious features and uses of forums as we find them on the Web, the portal forums act as the means to concentrate knowledge and experience of the company employees thereby becoming a unique source of business information and useful practices pertaining to the company field. The page Forum contains all the forums available on the portal (with the exception of the private and workgroup forums).

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    Creating a Topic

    To create a new topic, click the button. When clicked, it will open the new topic creation form:

    Click on image to enlarge

    Type in the topic title, description and enter the text of the first post in the new topic. If required, add some tags that would describe your topic, for easier user navigation.

    If required, you can have notifications about new posts in this topic send to your e-mail. If so, check the Subscribe to New Posts in This Topic box.

    Click Create. Your new topic would look like this:

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    Creating Posts

    This is trivial: to add a new post, type the text in the reply form and click Reply:

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    Your post will appear at the bottom of the thread:

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    Subscription for New Posts and Topics

    Whenever you want to subscribe for new posts or topics, click . In the drop-down list, select New posts or New topics.

    If you want to manage your subscription, click on the context toolbar. In the subscriptions form, click the Delete link of a subscription you want to deactivate:

    Click on image to enlarge

    Photo gallery

    If the galleries of employees or workgroups contain photos, this page shows these galleries as links with names of the employees or groups. A user can view the photos only if the employees have allowed viewing their galleries.

    New photos of employees and groups, if they are approved by the portal administrator, can be viewed in the New section:

    Click on image to enlarge

    If a photo is public, clicking it will open the user or group profile where you can view the images:

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    Classifieds

    To post an advertisement, open the Classifieds page (Communication > Classifieds).

    Click Classifieds to open the creation form:

    Click on image to enlarge

    Fill in the following fields:

    • Type a short title for your ad.
    • In the Category field, select the most appropriate category for your advertisement.
    • Type in the text of the advertisement.
    • Specify the contact information in the following fields: website, phone.

    Click Save. The new advertisement will look similar to the following:

    Click on image to enlarge

    The My Ads link opens a page containing all of your advertisements.

    Instant Messenger Configuration

    In order to set up communication between the Intranet portal users, almost any instant messenger can be used; the only requirement is the support of XMPP protocol. We tested several messengers and can recommend you to try Miranda IM.

    If you use any other messenger, you have to find the corresponding options in the messenger configuration window.

    • Open the Miranda options dialog and select the Network > Jabber page.

      Click on image to enlarge
    • Enter your Intranet portal login and password in the User and Password fields.
    • Type the domain of your server in the Server field.
    • Ask your Intranet portal administrator to advise you of the XMPP server port. Type the port number in the corresponding field.
    • Ask your administrator if SSL is used by the server. If so, check the SSL box.
    • Leave other fields as is. Click OK to save changes.

    Working Time Management

    The Working Time Management system installs discipline in the work schedule without creating a high pressure atmosphere. Clocking in, clocking out, and breaks are transparently recorded, and a convenient planner and daily report keep tasks organized and prioritized. The data input into this gadget is saved and used as the basis of the work report for each employee. Additionally, time spent on tasks can be tracked using this tool.

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    Features

    The features available to the company employees depend on the access permission of a currently logged in user. The table below lists the module features, the corresponding page on which a particular feature can be found, and the required permission.

    FeaturePageAccess
    Working time and tasks tracking Any page; click Working Day on the status bar on top of the screen Employee
    View personal data Employees > Time Tracker Employee
    View personal and department data Employees > Time Tracker Head of Department
    Edit data and confirm non-standard working hours Employees > Time Tracker Head of Department
    Edit company wide tracking parameters Control Panel: Settings > System Settings > Module Settings > Working Time Management System Administrator
    Edit department specific tracking parameters Employees > Company Structure > department Head of Department
    Edit employee specific tracking parameters Control Panel: Settings > Users > User List HR Department

    Controls

    For the purpose of working time management, the two user interface elements exist: the Working Day bar and the Worktime summary.

    The worktime summary shows in the Bitrix24 cloud at Company > Worktime; for the on premise, it is under Employees > Time Tracker.

    The Working Day bar

    This bar is essentially an employee’s front-end to track working time and tasks. The bar is available to and has the same controls for all employees. Normally, the bar is collapsed to the status bar:

    When collapsed, the Working Day bar shows:

    • the current event (if any assigned);
    • the current time;
    • count of the today’s unfinished tasks.

    The use of this bar is discussed in the Working Day Tool.

    The Worktime page

    The information this page shows and the functions it provides are different for common employees and their supervisors.

    An employee can only view the statistics of his or her working hours but cannot change them:

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    Supervisors can view working time reports – for their immediate departments, or for subdepartments as well which depends on the settings. The way a supervisor can track and manage the subordinates’ working time is discussed in Worktime Summary.

    Working Day Tool

    Employees provide information for the working time report (time tracker) using the Working Day tool which can be shown by clicking on the Working Day bar. In fact, that is all an employee can do about their working hours: he or she clocks in and out.

    The tool is available to and has the same controls for all employees and supervisors.

    Clocking In and Out

    The first thing an employee has to do when starting his or her working day is start the clock. Of course, in this discussion it implies that he or she clocks in by expanding the Working Day tool and clicking Clock In – the big green button. By doing so, an employee starts the clock using the default time parameters set by the administrator. If you need to change the time of commencement of your workday, click Change clock-in time and set the required time.

    Analogously, to end the working day, click Clock Out (or Change clock-out time to use non-standard working hours):

    If an employee has failed or not had a chance to end the working day for some reason, he or she cannot clock in until the current the working day is in effect. In this case, just clock out before clocking in:

    When using the links Change clock-out time or Change clock-in time, or closing the previous working day, the reason for time change must be specified – one cannot clock out otherwise:

    Whenever an employee needs to make a break (having a launch, visiting a physician etc.), the working day has to be paused by clicking the Break. As soon as you come back, click Continue to resume clocking.

    Planning Your Daily Activities

    Though not entirely obvious to a first time user, you will use tasks to plan your working day. The simplest way to add a task is type the task name and click the button (denoted as “Method 1”), or click the link select from list to pick one of the predefined tasks (“Method 2”):

    When using the method 1, a quick task is created which does not possess timeframe, priority or any other parameters pertaining to a common task. A quick task is a private object and cannot be attached to a workgroup.

    When using the method 2 (by clicking the link select from list), you will pick a task from the user task list:

    Use the Search option to find a required task. The Recent Tasks option shows the tasks you have created or used lately.

    The tasks you have created or added from the list will appear in the Daily Plan:

    • The icon is shown for the tasks that are currently being performed.
    • The icon removes the task from the daily plan; it becomes visible when you hover the mouse pointer over the task title.
    • Clicking the task title shows the task window.

    Events

    Under the daily tasks list are the employee’s personal events that are going to happen on that day. The event management techniques are similar to those of the personal tasks. However, the events may appear in the event list in an unattended fashion.

    You can create events right in the Working Day popup window: just enter the event name, specify the time period and click . If your event is going to take place somewhere else, check the Out of office box to reflect the event in the Absence Chart.

    Click the event title to view the event information:

    If you click the event title here, in the event info box, your personal calendar will open.

    Daily Report

    You can keep record of your working achievements by writing down the accomplishments on the Daily Summary tab at the end of the workday.

    The reports you create are available at the Worktime Summary page.

    Worktime Summary

    This page shows the worktime report in the calendar like format. A common employee can view only their own worktime data (or the data of their respective department which may be allowed by the administrator). A supervising user (a head of department, for example) have full access to information on all the employees under his or her administration, and can edit the employees’ and personal time data.

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    The days on which a non-standard working time occured are highlighted with an alert icon: .It means that a supervisor ought to confirm or decline the non-standard working hours. The confirmed days show the icon: .

    Tracking The Non-Standard Days

    Only the confirmed working days are used in the calculation of the non-standard figures. The red numbers in round brackets show the unconfirmed non-standard day count. The non-standard day percentage is a ratio of the total non-standard days to the total working days.

    An employee’s working day is marked as non-standard if:

    • it started later than officially established for the employee, his or her department or the whole company – Latest clock-in time;
    • it ended earlier than officially established – Earliest clock-out time;
    • it ended before the required working day duration, accounting for breaks, is achieved - Minimum duration.
    Important! A non-standard working day does not necessarily imply a violation, the former being a deviation from the working day requirements specified by the administrator (supervisor), while the latter is the abuse of corporate ethics. Whether the non-standard day is a violation is up to the employee’s supervisor to decide.

    Example: Sarah needs to leave at 4:00 PM because her daughter’s nurse fell sick. She discusses the situation with her supervisor Bill and he allows her to have her work completed at home. The system will show the non-standard day; however, Bill sees no violation here.

    Viewing The Daily Statistics

    To view the employee’s time table data, click the corresponding cell in the Worktime Summary chart. The information card will show:

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    If this is a non-standard day and it needs to be confirmed, the button will be available to the supervisor who can confirm or decline the working day, and change the times if required.

    Setting the Working Day parameters

    The working day standards can be assigned to the whole company; however, an individual employee or a department can have personal specifications. The company wide standards are deployed by the administrator (supervisor). If no specific parameters are assigned to a particular employee or department, it will use the standards specified for an entity of a higher level (department or company). In other words, the standards are inherited.

    Access to the working day configuration is denied for common employees.

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    Example: the department regulations stipulate the working hours from 9:00 till 06:00 PM and a hour lunch break. The simplest solution is to set Latest clock-in time to 9:00, Earliest clock-out time to 06:00 PM and Minimum duration to 8:00.

    However, what if the department allows for more flexible schedule: from 8:00 till 05:00 PM or from 11:00 till 08:00 PM?

    In this case, set Latest clock-in time to 11:00, Earliest clock-out time to 05:00 PM and Minimum duration to 8:00.

    Extranet

    Bitrix Intranet Portal implements special interface providing for confidential communication with the third parties (partners, clients, contractors etc.) by accessing the portal via the Internet.

    Extranet provides:

    • a common information source for our employees, clients and partners;
    • a highly confidential means of communication;
    • a common teamworking space (also for remote working);
    • secure external access to workgroup information.

    Basically, the Extranet module is a kind of additional story built on your corporate network (Intranet Portal) that can be used as a neutral territory for inviting and working with people who do not belong to your company directly.

    Extranet Basics

    For employees who have Extranet access permission a special Extranet link exists on top of the intranet portal screen:

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    When clicked, this link opens the Extranet site:

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    To return to the intranet realm, click Intranet.

    The external users receive a special Extranet link in their invitation. However, they will neither see the Intranet link nor be able to access the intranet portal.

    In addition to common intranet portal functionality, Extranet site has some extra features.

    • The main workplace in Extranet is a workgroup. An Extranet workgroup is almost the same as the portal workgroup.
    • The section Contacts is similar to the portal’s Employees, contains available external and internal contacts, the absence chart, the birthdays table and the blog LiveFeed.
    • The section Documents is configured to contain only the extranet files.
    • The company information page includes the subscription form.
    • • The help section contains a brief introduction to the extranet features and includes a techsupport contact form.

    The following differences should be taken into consideration when working with the Extranet site.

    • external users (or intranet portal users) can be invited when creating or editing the extranet workgroup;
    • the extranet workgroup is visible and available only to the group members;
    • the external members of archived extranet workgroups can access the extranet site until they are removed from their respective workgroups;
    • only the contacts (calendars and tasks) that are accessible by the external user can be exported to MS Outlook;
    • most of the standard intranet portal gadgets are unavailable, but there are additional special Extranet gadgets: My Tickets and Contacts.

    Inviting Users To Extranet

    You can invite a user to the Extranet site using the workgroups only. First of all, you have to create a workgroup, and then invite the company employees and external users to it.

    • Create a new Extranet workgroup, or open an existing one.
    • Click the link Invite to Group to open the form Invitation to Group:
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    • Fill in the form:
      • Company Employees: specify here the names of your colleagues you want to invite, or use the link Add From Structure to select users from the company tree;
      • External Users: specify the e-mails of the external users. The e-mail addresses must be valid and in canonical format: xxx@site.com or "first name last name" ; separate multiple entries with a newline or a comma;
      • Your massage: type here the message that will be sent as an invitation.
    • Click Send Invitation.

    The employees and the external users will receive the invitation to join the workgroup. Unregistered external persons will receive the invitation e-mails. They will have to click the link in the invitation and fill in the authorization form:

    Once authorized, a new user will be able to log in the Extranet site and accept the invitation.

    The workgroup access permissions can be configured to enable invitations from any group member. If the inviting person is not a company employee, the link Add From Structure is unavailable.

    CRM

    CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a class of software which provides structure and coherency in the management of business contacts and potential contacts. “Leads” obtained through any number of methods can be entered into the system, assigned to responsible employees, and developed into clients, customers, or partners with a full record of all interactions. The CRM organizes information about customers and the various interactions with them from the qualifying stage through closing of sales. The fundamental process which a CRM enables is the development of a potential client (a sales ‘lead’) into a paying customer.

    The CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System in Bitrix24 handles interactions with clients and potential clients, and/or with partners, journalists, and other persons. Its objective is to provide a convenient and transparent tool which improves relationship quality and therefore the bottom line.

    Leads

    A lead is a CRM object containing information (telephone number, email, website) of a person or company who has the potential to become a customer – that is, to complete a deal. A lead is the beginning of the process, thus the information contained in a lead may come from a business card collected at a conference, the company website, or a phone call coming in to the sales department.

    Leads can be assigned various statuses which determine how the lead will progress through the CRM. At some point, a lead will either be removed from the system (junk) or converted to a Contact, Company, or Deal.

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    Leads can be added automatically using data from forms on your web site. If your website is based on Bitrix Site Manager, setting up integration with the CRM is done in the Web Forms module. Otherwise, you can transfer data to the CRM using the Rest API, which is also simple to set up.

    Watch video

    More details about lead creation from web forms can be found here.

    More details about using the Rest API can be found here.

    Contacts

    The customer relationship starts with making contact with a person who is either the client or a representative of the client. Contacts can be displayed in a list view where individual and mass operations are available, and contacts can be added, imported, or exported.

    Like other CRM objects, Contacts can be opened from the list and further modified, converted, or have an event attached to them.

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    Companies

    A Company is a CRM object holding data and the history of interaction of a company. As with Leads, a list of Companies can be viewed and various operations can be performed on them.

    A company is generally a large record in the CRM, since it can contain several contacts and deals, and their histories.

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    Deals

    A Deal is a CRM object containing the interaction with a Client or Company pertaining to a transaction. A Contact or Client may have any number of associated Deals.

    Deals can be viewed in list form, edited, and exported. A deal can be added by hand or initiated through the conversion of a lead. Deals proceed through a number of customizable statuses, and rules for working with Deals can depend on the status.

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    Activities

    Activities encompasses all actions on objects, that is, calls, tasks, meetings, and emails are all grouped together as Activities. By grouping these communications together, sales agents can plan their work for each contact or lead, etc.

    On the page named My Activities, all the sales agent’s activities for all leads, contacts, and other CRM objects are listed. This list can be filtered and sorted so that the sales agent can immediately see what is of highest priority, and what specific task is at hand for clients, deals, etc.

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    In the CRM object lists, whether for deals, leads, contacts, or companies, there is a column, Activity. When viewing a list, the sales agent can immediately see which records have an upcoming activity. Furthermore, the activity, for example a phone call or email, can be performed and logged directly in this list.

    Events may be also added directly from the lists of CRM objects using the action button menu.

    Quotes

    Quote – a document convenient for formalizing the conditions of purchase for the client, and mandatory when dealing with any organization that uses purchase orders as the preferred payment method.

    Watch video

    Quotes are a separate CRM entity and are another important step toward accommodating a truly comprehensive sales cycle. Creating and sending out sales quotes to clients is usually the last step before receiving payment and invoicing.

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    Creating a quote can be done from the main CRM menu, the Quote list, or from within a CRM object (Contact, Company, or Deal).

    You can create a quote and send it CRM clients via email, download it as a PDF, or print it.

    Your logo, stamp, signature, and custom fields can all included in the printed form of the quote by configuring them in the CRM settings (CRM -> Settings -> Payment and invoices).

    Over the course of finalizing a deal, several quotes may be sent to the client, and once a quote is confirmed by the client, it is very simple to create an invoice based on that quote. All data from the quote is automatically transferred to the invoice, so no repetitive data entry is required.

    The product table is an important element in this document. You can not only choose a product from the catalog, but also create a new product which will be saved only inside this quote – meaning that you have the flexibility to create a unique item and put it in the quote without having to add it to the catalog. So, for example, you can use an additional row in the quote to indicate delivery charges or package and handling.

    This table allows you to apply a discount on a particular item and to show taxes; the prices and totals are calculated dynamically.

    If you are working with an “Item-dependent tax (VAT)”, then the tax on an item can be applied either on the entire document (all items in the quote), or you can turn it off for selected items. Options for applying tax rates to separate items within a single quote are configured on the tax page in the section: CRM -> Settings -> Taxes.

    Invoices

    The CRM supports sending invoices directly to clients for payment of products and services.

    With the invoice functionality you can:

    • Issue invoices directly from the CRM
    • Follow the entire sales process – from incoming lead to sending an invoice
    • Save all invoices in a single place and find them easily using search
    • Send invoices to clients by email, print them, and save them as PDFs

    Creating invoices

    You can begin creating a new invoice by clicking on the corresponding location in the CRM’s top menu.

    When you create an invoice, you can choose the contact or company to which the invoice will be sent, sel ect the associated deal, and enter the expected payment date, status, payment method, and more.

    Note that some fields will be filled automatically when the Company or Contact is selected.

    For example, the field Banking details is filled in with data from the company selected, the payment method can be selected only after the Contact or Company to be invoiced is chosen.

    In the invoice creation form, you can choose not only existing contacts and companies, but also create new ones on the spot. For example, if an order is placed by telephone, the sales associate can open an invoice form and initiate all other actions, such as creating a new Contact or Company, directly from the invoice form. Products and services can then be added and the new invoice sent to the client.

    Creating an invoice based on a Deal, Contact, or Company

    The detail page for these CRM objects now include an Invoice tab, where all invoices associated with these contacts, companies, or deals are kept.

    Here you can create a new invoice which will automatically include the information from the CRM object on which it is based.

    Working with invoices

    After an invoice is created, a number of standard operations can be performed with it.

    The Invoices page has all invoices which have been created in the portal. Each manager can see only those invoices to which permission is granted. Supervisors can see all invoices.

    A filter allows location of individual invoices or sets of invoices quickly simply by showing the desired parameters.

    Sales associates can easily change the status of the invoices, edit fields, view, download, and print.

    Likewise you can send invoices to clients via email simply by clicking on the Send e-mail button.

    An invoice can be closed when paid, or deactivated. Changing statuses is as simple as changing lead status or deal stages using the indicator.

    Configuring invoice fields

    On the CRM –> Settings page, there are some items which affect invoices. You can configure the geographic areas for taxes (locations), tax rates, payment methods, invoice statuses, etc. here.

    As always in the Bitrix24 CRM, all the default values can be changed, and new ones can be added.

    Invoice statuses

    Invoice statuses are created and modified in a section of Selection Lists.

    Currency

    The currency in which the invoice is set is indicated in the CRM -> Settings -> Currencies section, it is named the Default invoicing currency.

    Taxes and locations

    When you are generating an invoice, you can include taxes which are set up in the: CRM -> Settings -> Taxes:

    Note: when you first open the page with the list of taxes, you will be offered to create or upload locations (regions) which influence the tax obligations on transaction (in-state, out-of-state, for example). Follow the instructions.

    The Bitrix24 CRM supports two types of taxes:

    • Location-dependent tax (sales tax). This tax is applied to the total order amount. The tax rate depends on the customer location.
    • Item-dependent tax (VAT): This tax is specified and applied to each item individually.

    To choose between these, click Settings in the context panel and the following popup will appear:

    Note: The system can only employ one of these tax regimes.

    When using the first option (location-dependent), a field will appear in the invoice creation form asking for the location. The appropriate tax will then be applied.

    Note: location-dependent tax rates, which are assigned to each location listed, can be created only after a location tax is entered and saved in the system.

    When using an item-based tax (like VAT), a tax rate is assigned to each individual product in the creation/modification form of that product:

    Payment options and company details

    Currently the system does not support any payment systems except bank transfers. For this, there are special handlers vary according to the languages supported by Bitrix24.

    There are 2 options for bank transfers, depending on whether the object on which the invoice is based is a Contact or a Company in the CRM.

    Depending on the recipient of the invoice, different payment methods will be available in the invoice creation form.

    In the payment method form, you can indicate the contact or company details (your company as the supplier of goods or services), a logo or stamp, the name of the director or financial officer and their signature as an image file. This information will be visible in the pdf version of the invoice.

    Events

    Events (CRM -> Events) show changes made to objects in the CRM as well as activities (interactions) associated with them.

    Click to Enlarge

    Catalog

    The catalog lists products and services involved in deals. That is, sales managers can select items from the catalog list when creating a deal.

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    Reports

    Reports are one of the most important parts of the CRM system, since it is reports that allow prognosis and analysis of all work with clients and, in turn, optimization client interactions at individual stages or systematically.

    Bitrix24’s CRM has a report builder for the following types of CRM elements: leads, deals, products, invoices, activities. Using this tool, you can create customized reports which provide insight into critical processes. The CRM includes 9 standard reports, as well. You can use these reports as they are or as templates for customized reports.

    To work with CRM reports, navigate to the page CRM -> Reports. Available reports are visible here. If no reports are created yet, a button will offer to launch a wizard that creates the standard reports. We will not discuss the standard reports. You can get familiar with them in your Bitrix24 instance.

    Click to Enlarge

    Here we will look at the report builder.

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    When creating a new report, you need to name it and indicate a reporting period (e.g. week or month).

    The Columns section configures the reports columns:

    • The Calculate column option lets you show a value in the report that is calculated using other values. This could be a sum or a count of unique values in the column.
    • The arrow buttons let you modify the order of the columns in the resulting report.
    • To change the name of a column or to delete it, use the control buttons to the right of the column name:

      Note: for data types that show numbers, you can display the value as a percentage using the % control button:

    • The Add button adds a new column to the report.

    The Filter section allows filtering parameters in the report:

    • The + and allow adding additional conditions to the filter or deleting an existing condition. When multiple conditions are entered, a drop-down list appears which allows you to choose the limitations of the results in the report according to all, or any subset of the chosen conditions.

    • The and/or button builds the condition tree:

      In the above example of building a report, the following conditions are applied:
      (Responsible person = Alex Boston and Deal stage = Closed Won) or (Responsible person = Ian May and Deal stage = Closed Won).
      Note: the level of ‘nested’ conditions is arbitrarily limited to 4 levels in order not to complicate the interface.
    • The Change filter in reports option lets you change applied conditions in the filter panel and change them directly while viewing the report.
    • Using the Maximum items option, you can limit the number of items which show up in the report.

    The report builder allows reports to be previewed.

    Data in the report changes in real time depending on changes in the CRM. Each user can build reports and see results corresponding to all the CRM items to which he or she has access.

    By default:

    Managers (Sales managers) can build reports based on their own activity.

    Department heads see reports which include all the activity of their subordinates.

    Chief Executive and Administrator roles see all applicable CRM data in reports.

    Sales Funnel

    The sales funnel is a report which visually represent the number of deals at various stages along with their amounts.

    There are two funnels created for the two end results possible. The % column indicates the percentage of deals at the given stage, and lower, from the total number from both funnels. Deals which are in progress or which have completed successfully are shown in a funnel with any number of stages.

    Click to Enlarge

    Deals which have been made inactive or been closed without success are shown in a separate funnel.

    Duplicate detection

    When working with the CRM, checking for duplicates is important. Often a single Lead or Contact has multiple employees working with it, and so it’s important that all the information related to the client is located in a single record.

    Even if there is only 1 sales agent, it is impossible to remember all the clients that have ever been registered. Repeated correspondence and confusion in communication can result, wasting time and energy.

    Bitrix24’s CRM has a duplicates checker (which works when new objects are created – Leads, Contacts, or Companies), searching and merging duplicate entries that can be performed at any time.

    Duplicate prevention

    When a new object is created, the system indicates whether a similar object has already been registered, along with information concerning the data fields which match (first or last name, company name, email, and telephone number).

    Aside from this pop-up, if a new object is being created by hand, and some fields are skipped in the interest of quickly entering the data, the system will show a list of potential duplicates when the new object is saved.

    If a suggested match is indeed a duplicate, then quick editing of the existing object can be performed by clicking on it.

    If a sales agent enters data that matches an object to which he or she does not have access, the system will still show some basic information from the object and provide a link to the manager responsible for the existing object, so that a discussion about work with the given client can be initiated.

    If you are sure that the match(es) is not a duplicate, then you can ignore the suggestion and save the object.

    Checking for duplicates lets you avoid creating multiple records of single clients and saves time of sales agents, as well as solution the problem of data spread out over multiple CRM records.

    If needed, you can deactivate the duplicate detection system under CRM -> Settings -> Other settings – in the Duplicate control tab.

    Searching and merging duplicates

    Creating an index

    Duplicate search is available for three CRM entities – leads, contacts and companies. You start by selecting a CRM entity that you want to search for duplicates and create index for it. After the index has been created, all you have to do is click the gear icon in the upper right corner and select Duplicate control, which is the last item in the drop down list.

    Searching for duplicates

    You will see a small duplicate search form appear right above your leads, contacts or companies. There are three boxes – Full name/Company name, email and telephone that you can search for duplicates, either individually or all of them simultaneously.


    Note Bitrix24 CRM comes with flexible access rights. This usually means that multiple managers work with CRM, each having access only to his or hear leads, contacts or clients. Each manager is able to perform duplicate search, however if a duplicate entry is found among CRM entities assigned to another manager that the first manager has no access rights to, entity merging will not be available, meaning each manager can only merge entities that he or she is responsible for. CRM administrator, however, will be able to merge duplicates regardless of the fact that such entities have been assigned to different mangers.

    Duplicate merger

    So, now you are ready to merge duplicate entries.

    Attention! You can not reverse or undo duplicate entry merger right now, so this operation should be performed only by a person who understands the process and what information and access rights will be lost/altered as the result of the merger.

    When merging duplicate entities, our CRM first determines which lead, contact or company will be primary entity and which ones will be secondary and thus deleted after the merger is complete.

    When determining primary entity, the following factors are considered:

    • Citation index. Citation index is calculated based on how often CRM manager has worked with this entity and how many connection this entity has with other CRM elements such as deals, activities, quotes and invoices. The more entity is connected and worked with, the higher its citation index.
    • Date. CRM entity with more recent changes is ranked higher than the one where no recent changes have been made.
    • Profile. Profiles with more information filled in are ranked higher than profile with fewer records.
    • Access rights. Access rights determine the order in which entities are displayed. Entities with view-only rights will be displayed at the bottom.

    So you’ve generated a list of likely duplicates for a particular entity. You’ll see several columns with entity fields that have been used to determine that these entities are duplicates – like same name, email address or phone number.

    If another manager is responsible for that entity, you are given an opportunity to contact that manger via calling or sending message to alert him or her of the fact that a duplicate entry exists, that you are about to merge all duplicate entries into one and ask if there’s any important information than needs to be saved.

    If you want to see a full profile for the entity in question, you can simply click it. If you determine that a particular entity is not a duplicate entry, you should click ‘Skip’ and it will be deleted from the list and not used for a merger.

    If you determine that the entities in the list are in fact duplicates that should be merged, click ‘Merge’.

    Merger completed

    Again, it’s worth reminding that you can not undo or cancel merger in the current version of Bitrix24 CRM. After you’ve merged entities, access rights to the final entity might be changed, and information, such as history, activity stream or product catalog associated with the deleted secondary entities, will no longer be available.

    Manager who had access rights to the primary entity will inherit these rights after the merger is completed. Managers who had access rights to secondary entities, but not the primary one, will not have access rights to the merged leads, contacts or companies. If a merger results in access rights loss by one or more managers, you will see a warning beforehand.

    Connections to deals, tasks, quotes and invoices will be changed too. If these were associated with a secondary entity that was deleted, they will no be connected to the primary entity. However, events fr om the activity stream of the secondary entity, such as creating a deal or an invoice, will not be added to the primary entity.

    After you’ve search for duplicates and merged them, your managers will still be adding new information to CRM, which means that it’s still possible to have duplicate entries in the future. If you click ‘Update list’, the system will search for duplicates again, showing you if any new duplicates have appeared in your database:

    Features

    The element list

    The element list, or grid, is a useful tool in itself, since the columns shown can be sorted according to a selected field, hidden or shown. Frequently-used views for the list can be saved for convenient use any time.

    Selection lists

    Watch video

    The Selection Lists are the values for parameters which are used throughout the CRM. These values are easy to add and modify.

    In the above picture, you can see that the values for the Contact Type field can be modified, deleted, or added very easily. These values will show up in the pull-down list in the corresponding field in Contacts.

    Custom fields

    In the forms for creating various CRM elements (leads, contacts, etc.), you see the standard fields which can be filled out or edited and contain the basic information concerning the element.

    Since every company will need additional fields which are specific to its business, there is a simple system for adding custom fields.

    Opening the Custom Fields page (CRM -> Settings -> Custom Fields), you are shown the various element for which new fields can be created.

    The following data types are available for custom fields.

    Example

    Let's add a custom field of the Bind to Information block elements type to a deal; this will let us link to a file in a specified Bitrix24 document library.

    Now when a deal is added or edited, a link directly to the contract can be given (5.png), and when viewing the deal, the link to the contract is visible. The user’s access permissions to the document itself will determine whether the link can be followed and whether the file can be edited.

    Access system

    Watch video

    General information

    Access rights in the CRM are based on roles. That is, roles can be created and the access levels for those roles can be assigned, and then users can be assigned certain roles. Importantly, roles can be assigned to individual users, entire user groups, project groups, or to departments in the company structure.

    Click to Enlarge

    There are four default roles which can be used or modified as needed:

    • The Manager role is for sales managers, allowing work only with leads, contacts and companies which are specifically assigned to the user.
    • The Head of department role allows all activities with personal and departmental contacts, deals, and leads as well as with all companies.
    • Chief executive has access to all functions with all objects.
    • Administrator has access to all objects and can change access settings.

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    If a role is assigned to a department or group, then all users in that department or group will have the access allowed to that role.

    If a user is assigned various roles (e.g. belongs to both a workgroup and a department which are granted different roles), the user will always be granted the highest level of access allowed by the various roles.

    The access system allows configuration of access not only for objects ‘belonging’ or assigned to users, but also to objects belonging to (users inside) their department or sub-department. Thus a user in department A could be allowed to see that department’s objects, a user in department B those of department B, and a supervisor could be allowed to see both departments.

    The access system can be set not only to CRM objects, but to specific statuses (this applies to leads and deals) for those objects.

    Working with roles and adding access rights

    If you want to create a new role in the CRM, click Add below the list of roles.

    To edit a role, click on the edit icon (pencil). To delete a role, click on the ‘X’ next to the roles name.

    To grant access to a user, department or group, click Add access permission under the Access Permissions list.

    The interface for assigning access is a dialog box where the users or user categories can be selected.

    In the first column, you can choose the category type from which you will select users; the options are: User groups, (individual) Users, Departments, and Social network groups.

    In the middle of the form, you can choose the groups, users, and departments to which you want to grant a new level of access.

    The right-hand column contains a list of chosen groups, users, and departments.

    When you have chosen the various types of users, click Select, and they will appear in the Access Permissions list, where you can then assign the exact rights you wish to provide selection.

    Save the settings.

    Email integration

    Bitrix24’s CRM manages email correspondence with contacts, companies and leads and can receive and append incoming email to the appropriate CRM object or record.

    Sending messages from the CRM

    Sending emails from the CRM can be done individually or in bulk, files can be attached to messages, and pre-made templates can be implemented.

    Such correspondence is saved as an event in the given CRM element, whether it is a lead, company, or contact.

    No additional settings need to be configured for this system of interaction with contacts to operate – as long as the email addresses of both the contact and the sales manager are correct, all email will be sent by Bitrix24.

    Saving incoming email in the CRM

    Bitrix24 also allows receiving and saving of incoming emails – using our Send&Save email integration technology. For example, a sales manager sends an email to a lead from the CRM, then the lead replies to the email. This reply will be appended to the lead record in the CRM. Thus, all email correspondence with leads and contacts can be kept in the CRM and reviewed at any time by a user with appropriate access permissions.

    To implement this mode of email handling, you should assign an email address to your CRM, for example, CRMsales@your_company.com, for reception of email.

    When a sales manager sends and email from the CRM, a special code is attached to the message (either in the body or in the subject – depending on the setting), and the ‘reply-to’ field is filled with the email of the CRM. When the lead or client responds to the message, the email goes to the sales manager and is sent to the CRM’s inbox. The CRM collects the messages in this inbox periodically and uses the code to determine to which record the email should be appended.

    The location for setting up an email address for the CRM is found at CRM - > Settings -> Send&Save Integration (Email integration) in your Bitrix24 portal.

    Delete messages from server when delivered – this option deletes the messages in the CRM’s inbox after they have been processed. We do not recommend this option if the inbox is used for messages other than the CRM, since all messages are deleted, whether intended for the CRM or not.

    Create lead for unknown sender – if an email comes to the CRM’s inbox and cannot be identified as belonging to an existing record, a new lead will be created with the name “Lead from…”

    In the “Filter incoming messages by subject…” block, advanced users can set your own rules concerning the proper formulation of service codes.

    Integration with business processes

    Watch video

    Business processes, also called workflow, are a series of actions that are carried out by the system and/or users so that operations are standardized and carried out with monitoring. Common actions in a business process include: approvals, sending notifications, changing some information in a Lead record, or setting a task to be performed relating to the Lead or other object. Creating these workflows takes a little know-how, but NO coding skills.

    Business Processes are designed in the CRM -> Settings -> Business Processes section. Each CRM object (or Contact, Company, and Deal) has its own set of BPs.

    Three standard business processes for the CRM are included standard: Process lead, Contact processing and Web store deal.

    More details about business processes can be found here.

    Useful blog posts:

    Units of measurement

    There are settings for product units, as well as the capability to use partial units (CRM -> Settings -> Units of measurement).

    Units are used in leads, deals, quotes and invoices while specifying products.

    Integration with a Bitrix e-Store

    E-commerce websites based on Bitrix Site Manager can be integrated with the CRM. In this case, orders in the e-store will be created as deals in the CRM, and the ordering users will be brought in as contacts. Moreover, sales managers can view the product catalog of the website from the CRM and create orders. These orders will be mirrored in the e-store.

    Setup for integration starting from the CRM is done at CRM -> Settings -> Web stores in your intranet.

    More details about integration with a Bitrix e-Store can be found here.

    Membership ticket sales

    Let’s consider the implementation of membership ticket sales using Bitrix24 tools.

    Task description

    This scenario is developed for the sale of two types of membership tickets with different costs (one month and two weeks). We also need to register visits and send reminders about the termination of customer tickets to the responsible manager.

    In this example, such a scenario is implemented as follows using Bitrix24: We create a contact for each customer in CRM and a product for each membership ticket in the CRM catalog. Upon the sales of a membership ticket to the customer the deal is created. After the deal is created the business process is initiated. Such a business process calculates the time until the membership ticket termination and creates a task for the manager responsible for certain sales a couple days before such termination date.

    Deal creation

    Let’s consider the implementation of such procedure step by step.

    In the section products we create a membership ticket:

    A Two week ticket is implemented in the same way.

    Upon ticket sales, create a deal for the customer:

    Completed form of deal creation

    Please complete the mandatory fields in the deal creation form:

    • Indicate the deal name and fill the required fields.
    • If necessary, select a different responsible person.
    • Contact association is done automatically.
    • Select the deal product.

    Business process

    Then, the previously created business process with automatic start up upon deal addition starts:

    Upon the creation of any deal the system checks the condition of business process execution (Buying ticket), where the Amount field value is verified. Let’s consider an example of a branch for a one-month ticket (two-week ticket is the same):

    Business process is further executed in this branch only if the amount of the created deal contains the value of 33. Respectively, this value is lower for a two-week ticket.

    Then, we indicate an execution pause for 27 days:

    For a two-week ticket, the pause equals 12 days.

    After 27 days, the manager who concluded this deal (suppose that this manager is a responsible manager) receives the task to inform the customer on the soon termination of his/her membership ticket.

    • The deadline contains the expression
      =Dateadd({=System:Date}, "1 d")
      It sets one day after the current system day as the deadline.
    • Head of Department is selected as the task author.
    • Task description displays the ID of the contact associated with the deal:
      {=Document:CONTACT_ID}
    • To fix the task to the deal, select Yes in Bind to current CRM entity field.

    Customer notification

    After the termination of the period set in the business process, the manager responsible for the deal receives notification about the task created for him/her.

    The manager searches for the customer in the contact list using the customer ID, informs the customer on the ticket termination and offers to prolong it.