What Is CIS Cruise Control …

CIS Cruise Control is a Windows® 98/NT/2000 application which automates many of the steps required to find and use customer information in the Orcom™ Solutions, Inc. Enterprise CIS™ Customer Information System (CIS).

CIS Cruise Control pop-up

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CIS Cruise Control works with Seagull Business Software's GUI/400™ to make using the Orcom CIS much faster and easier.

Like the cruise control on an automobile or the auto-pilot on an airplane, CIS Cruise Control works by temporarily taking over individual GUI/400 sessions and operating them for you. Because CIS Cruise Control is a computer program it can respond instantly as each new CIS screen is displayed and can navigate the CIS much faster than would otherwise be possible.

CIS Cruise Control provides push button access to CIS paths and completes automated, multi-screen CIS searches in a fraction of the time required to perform them manually.

Implemented as a Windows 98/NT/2000 tool tray application, CIS Cruise Control is always just a mouse click or key press away.

The flexible telephone automation server included in CIS Cruise Control can be used to interface Orcom’s Enterprise CIS with a Computer Telephony Integration / Interactive Voice Response (CTI/IVR) system for even greater savings.

CIS Cruise Control‘s advanced multi-threaded design makes it possible for it to control up to four GUI/400 sessions at the same time. This opens new possibilities for increased efficiency. For example, while doing follow-up on a customer call on one session, you could have CIS Cruise Control perform a meter search on another session and look up service orders on a third. When the phone rings, CIS Cruise Control is already on the job, looking up the new customer’s record on a forth session.

Customer Service …

Together these ease-of-use and time saving features add up to one thing...
... significantly improved customer service!

 

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Using Multiple Sessions Has Never Been Simpler

Four GUI/400 sessions

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CIS Cruise Control identifies individual GUI/400 sessions with a unique numbered icon which appears on the GUI/400 title bar and in the Windows task list. The same icons appear as buttons in the bottom corner of the CIS Cruise Control dialog box and can be used to switch from session to session.

When one of these buttons is pressed, the corresponding GUI/400 session is popped to the top of the Windows desktop just behind the CIS Cruise Control dialog box.

To avoid desktop clutter, the application uses only one window, however, internally it maintains four separate sets of data: one for each session being controlled.

The data in the CIS Cruise Control dialog box is automatically swapped to correspond to the newly selected session whenever one of the numbered buttons is pressed. The effect is to have the dialog context and the GUI/400 session "switch" smoothly at the same time.

 

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Push Buttons for Your Favorite Paths ...

Change path button - popup

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CIS Cruise Control has nine push buttons which are used to select CIS paths. These buttons can be customized to allow you to automate the paths you use most often.

Its easy to change a path button. Just hold down the ‘Ctrl’ key while clicking the button. A pop-up dialog appears which allows you to change the CIS path associated with the button, as well as the button’s label and its fly out help ‘tool tip’.

The button’s label can be the same as the path name or it can be changed to provide a more descriptive name as shown in the example above.

 

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CIS Cruise Control is Easy to Use

CIS Cruise Control is always near by. It can be activated at any time by clicking the CIS icon in the Windows tool tray or by pressing a user-defined hot key (a function key or keyboard shortcut). When activated, CIS Cruise Control displays a tabbed dialog box, like the one shown below.

To use CIS Cruise Control:

  1. First, pick a GUI/400 session using one of the small numbered icons in the bottom corner of the dialog box; then
  2. Decide how you would like to retrieve information from the CIS and press one of the tabs at the top of the dialog box to select a search method; then
  3. Enter data in the selected search’s dialog box; and
  4. Finally, press one on the path buttons to begin the search.
Tabs are used to select from available CIS search methods.

Each tab displays a unique dialog box which contains only the fields relevant to that search type.

trans96.gif (821 bytes)
trans96.gif (821 bytes) Path buttons provide a quick and easy way to navigate the CIS.

They are easily customized to include the paths you use the most.

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CIS Cruise Control will take over the selected session, cancel out of the current operation if necessary and then attempt to find a single record which matches the data provided. If multiple records are found which match the search criteria, CIS Cruise Control stops on a CIS search screen which lists all of records that matched.

The ‘S/Orders & Lists’ tab provides a convenient method for locating service orders, displaying their history and printing local copies.  Additional buttons provide quick access to non-customer specific lists in CIS such as the orders to disconnect or final account list.

 

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Telephone Integration

In a Call Center operation, seconds count! Experience has shown CIS Cruise Control can reduce the time required to respond to a customer call by 30 seconds or more. CIS Cruise Control accomplishes this by automatically controlling a GUI/400 session to locate the customer’s information as the call is being received.

Phone Automation property sheet

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The application allows you to control many aspects of the CTI/IVR interface, including:

  • whether to use an account number or phone number to locate customer information;
  • whether to use 1 or 2 sessions for screen pops;

    (When using two sessions, calls are alternated between the sessions)
  • which CIS path to use;
  • default values for area code and exchange; and
  • the ability to "silence" screen pops.

    (The CTI/IVR data is still available on the CIS Cruise Control dialog boxes, as shown in the example in the previous section, and can be used in any of your host sessions)
  •  

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What Users Are Saying

  • "CIS Cruise Control's flexible design, made it easy to integrate with our Call Center’s IVR and CTI applications, allowing us to display customer information in the shortest time possible. It allows users to spend time on more important activities, like serving customers."

Steven Feindel, Project Manager, Nova Scotia Power IVR Project.

  • "CIS Cruise control is a valuable work tool that provides our Customer Service representatives with a quick and efficient way to retrieve customer information. It truly is a user friendly system!

Once people started using it they loved it. Here are a few comments from our reps… It's great! It's fast! I love it! I don't know what I did without it!"

Dawn MacDonald, Training Coordinator, Nova Scotia Power.

  • "I’ve been using CIS Cruise Control for 6 months now. It's a great application! CIS Cruise Control allows me to take shortcuts that save time for me and for my customers. I can do my work much quicker than I could when I used just the CIS. The application is especially useful for repetitive actions on multiple accounts.

All of my CIS sessions are clearly identified, so that I can do follow up work on one screen, while leaving the others open for customer calls. CIS Cruise Control keeps tabs on my sessions so that I don't have to.

CIS Cruise Control was easy to learn with virtually no training time. I think that's why I took to it so quickly. I find the CIS awkward to use without CIS Cruise Control now.

My favorite part about CIS Cruise Control is its versatility. I am able to change preferences to perform specific tasks. Changing the path buttons is so easy, that I can customize the application in seconds."

Shawna Fraser, Customer Service Representative, Nova Scotia Power.

 

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Features and Benefits

Feature

Benefit

Fast automated searches

CIS Cruise Control can find information significantly faster than a person can ‘by hand’. By taking control of a user’s session, CIS Cruise Control drives the search process and moves quickly through the multiple screens involved.

Telephone integration

Improved customer service and reduced cost.

CIS Cruise Control’s telephone integration server provides the components needed to successfully integrate Orcom’s Enterprise CIS with a CTI/IVR system.

Using telephone integration, CIS Cruise Control can ‘screen pop’ a customer’s account automatically as the call is being received by a Call Center agent.

Push button access to CIS paths

Navigate CIS paths with the click of a button. CIS Cruise Control moves quickly through the steps of canceling back from the current operation and starting a new search.

Simple User Interface

CIS Cruise Control is easy to learn and easy to use.

The tabbed dialog used by CIS Cruise Control simplifies use of the CIS ‘System Access’ screen.  Tabs pick specific search types and only the fields relevant to the selected search appear in the dialog.

Multiple session support

Keeping track of multiple GUI/400 sessions on a busy desktop can be a challenge.  Especially when one or more of them are being used for automated ‘screen pops’.

CIS Cruise Control makes it easy to identify GUI/400 sessions by providing each with a unique numbered icon. Corresponding buttons on the CIS Cruise Control dialog boxes can be used to move effortlessly between sessions.

Windows hot key and
tool tray icon
CIS Cruise Control is never far away.

Press a user-defined Windows hot key or click the CIS icon in the Window’s tool tray and the CIS Cruise Control dialog appears.

Built-in CIS knowledge CIS Cruise Control knows how to get the most out of E-CIS.

Like… combining first and last names to improve search times, avoiding searches with missing data keys, folding/unfolding screens when necessary, combining customer name & address on the system access screen, and adding phone numbers with just a button click.

No stacked paths Improved accuracy and fewer "recursive" screens.

CIS Cruise Control will not normally stack CIS paths. Instead, it begins new searchs on the CIS ‘System Access’ screen or on one of the 12 secondary search screens. This avoids "recursive" screen errors and problems which can occur when the wrong account, customer or premises data is accidentally carried forward.

Utility specific dialogs

All of the labels and pull down lists used on CIS Cruise Control dialog boxes can be easily changed to meet utility specific needs and customizations.

Multiple Versions of
E-CIS  

Each release of CIS Cruise Control can support multiple versions of Enterprise CIS.

This simplifies desktop support by de-coupling the Windows client software from the AS/400 host.  It makes it possible to upgrade the client software in advance of any major E-CIS  update and not during the conversion weekend.

The current release of CIS Cruise Control can control E-CIS version 4.x and 5.x sessions concurrently.

 

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Technical Information

CIS Cruise Control is a 32-bit Windows application built using Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) and the Microsoft Visual C++ development environment. The application‘s object-oriented design employs an object wrapper to encapsulate the GUI/400 interface and a CIS screen class library to localize dependencies on Enterprise CIS versions.

CIS Cruise Control is multi-threaded and executes in 6 Windows threads. A single thread handles the user interface and DDE Server, another thread implements an active GUI/400 session monitor and the remaining four threads control individual GUI/400 sessions.

CIS Cruise Control uses Seagull Business Software’s Open Interface Services for GUI/400 (OIS) application program interface to control up to four GUI/400 RTS sessions on the desktop.

The application uses GUI/400’s OIS event notification to maintain synchronization with the CIS host application. Because CIS Cruise Control works with the "green" screens behind the GUI panels, it can respond instantly to each new CIS screen, often seconds before the corresponding GUI panel is even drawn.

CIS Cruise Control provides a flexible CTI/IVR interface implemented as a DDE/Server. The interface allows CTI/IVR software running on the client PC to ‘screen pop’ a customer’s account based on CLID (phone number) or account number.

 

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System Requirements ...

  • Personal computer with 486DX or higher processor running either the Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 operating system;
  • 8MB of memory;
  • 3MB of available hard-disk space;
  • GUI/400 RTS version 3.2 or later;
  • Orcom Enterprise CIS version 4.x, 5.1 or later.


Footnotes:

Computer Telephony Integration / Interactive Voice Response
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The appearance of the tabs can be easily changed to: include icons or not; and to appear as buttons or as tabs. A sample of the button format is shown on the first page of this brochure. Many users prefer the button format because, unlike tabs, buttons don’t "move around" on the dialogue box.

 

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