June 10, 2004
2. Resources: Booking requests and approval process; substitute resources for bookings; customer engagement history; enhanced bookings chart. We have made substantial additions and enhancements to the OpenAir Resources module this month. First, a new series of features provides a request and approval process for bookings. This new workflow enables users with the requisite role privileges to request resources to be booked on projects and to submit the request to a resource manager for approval. To create a booking request, users navigate to Resources > Booking requests > Create Booking request. The booking requester selects the resource to be booked (either generic or regular user), specifies the client:project, start and end date for the booking, the booking type and whether the booking is by percentage or hours. There is also an option to send email notification to the requester if the resulting booking is modified.
Once the request is created, the requester then submits the booking request for approval; the request proceeds through an approval process similar to the timesheet approval process, with email notifications to both approver and requester. Project-based approvals are supported and can be enabled in My Account > Company > Settings > Approval options. If the booking request is approved, a booking is automatically generated for the requested resource on the specified project. An unapprove option for booking requests is also provided; if a booking request is unapproved, the associated booking is deleted.
To enable the booking request feature, an administrator navigates to My Account > Company > Settings > Resources options. Check the box to "Enable booking requests". There is also an option to "Allow an approver to edit a submitted booking request". A default booking type for new booking requests can be defined in Account > Resources > Booking type > [select booking type]. There is also an option to make the booking type field read-only in My Account > Company > Settings > Resources options. Check the box “The booking type field on booking requests cannot be modified”. This setting, in conjunction with specifying the default booking type for new bookings requests, can be used to guarantee that all bookings start out as “soft” bookings, for example. The booking request layout can be modified by going to Resources > Options > Booking request layout. To create booking requests, users must have the role privilege "Create bookings requests" in Roles > [select a role] > Resources. Users who have the role privilege to “view and modify booking requests” can edit requests created by other users. There are also more limited role options available ("View booking requests"; "View booking requests for me”).
A second new feature is resource substitution for bookings. This addition allows the manager easily to search for and substitute resources with similar profiles or job codes on a booking, directly from the booking list. To enable the feature, administrators navigate to My Account > Company > Settings > Resource options. Check the box to "Enable resource substitution searching on bookings", and from the dropdown below, select the criteria to use when searching (either profile or job code).
To substitute a resource on a specific booking, administrators (and users with privileges to modify bookings) navigate to Resources > Bookings > List. To the right of the modify icon (the pencil) is a new substitution search icon (two inequality signs pointing to each other). If your browser supports hover text, hover the cursor over the icon to display the type of search to be performed ("Substitution search using profile" or "Substitution search using job code"). Click the new icon to initiate the search. A window will pop up with the results of the search.
The results window displays all resources (including generic resources) that might be substituted for the current resource, based on the search criteria. Availability is not considered in presenting the list of proposed substitutions; managers can view the resource's calendar in the search results window and choose to overbook one of the proposed substitutes. If searching by profile, the results display only resources that have matches in each of the profile types (skills, industries, job roles, locations, education, etc.) that are in the original resource's profile. The search results window has a link to view the search criteria; it also displays the job code and a configurable chart of the users' existing bookings. Click the "Booked" link to open another new window with all the existing bookings for the possible substitute; click on the bar chart to view bookings within a particular time frame for the proposed substitute resource. There are additional links in the search results window to the profile, calendar, and engagement history of each of the matching resources, provided the user performing the search has role privileges to view those items.
To substitute a resource for the existing booked resource, click on the swap icon in first column, below the resource's name. Only users with the role privilege to modify bookings have access to the substitution search and swap icons.
Engagement history is a third addition to the Resources module in this month's release. The engagement history for each resource identifies the clients and projects for which the resource has transactions. In separate columns, it displays whether or not the resource has bookings, project task assignments or timesheet entries associated with those clients and projects. To access the engagement history, administrators and those with the requisite role privilege navigate to Resources > Resources > [select a resource] > Engagement history. An administrator can give users access to their own engagement history by enabling the role option "View own customer engagement history". Users who have the broader role privilege to "View customer engagement history" can see the engagement history for other resources within their filter set.
Finally, we have enhanced the booking chart display options. The booking chart is available to users with role privileges to view bookings by going to Resources > Bookings > Chart. Click the customize link at the bottom of the chart to select the fields to be displayed and the order in which they are displayed. Available options are resource, chart and details. Among the details that can be displayed are the calendar, profile, engagement history and job code. In Resources > Bookings > Chart > Settings, select which details to display on the chart. Whether the user can actually view the details depends on his/her role privileges with regard to calendar, profile, engagement history and job code information.
3. Projects: Pricing report changes; billing and recognition enhancements; link to associated workspace on project list view.
OpenAir’s Projects module includes numerous enhancements this month. The pricing feature, a flexible tool for estimating project revenue, cost and profit, has two new options. First, we have added a line for weighted net revenue to the pricing analysis report. This represents net revenue weighted by the closing probability entered in the pricing scenario setup. We have also added an option to exclude from projected revenue calculations any time from non-billable tasks. Hours from non-billable tasks are still included in the cost calculations for the pricing analysis. This feature operates only where the pricing scenario is configured to get revenue time from tasks. Tasks are marked non-billable in the Task edit form, by checking the "Non-billable" box. To take advantage of this feature, users who have the role privilege to modify project pricing navigate to Projects > Options > Pricing options. To access the pricing report, select a project and click the Pricing link.
On the billing and recognition fronts, we have also added several new features. First, we have enhanced the flexibility of time billing rules with an hour cap in addition to the existing money amount cap. Billing rules can now be configured to bill the first 100 hours at one rate and the next 100 hours at a different rate, for example. We have also added custom field support to project billing rules. In My Account > Company > Custom fields, administrators can create custom fields for project billing rules. These custom fields are available in the fixed fee projections report layout (Reports > Advanced > Projects > Fixed fee projections) and can be displayed on the project billing rule list as well, by clicking the customize link. Finally, we have added an option to suppress billing and recognition notification emails if no transactions are billable or recognizable. Administrators can select this option by going to Billing | Recognition > Auto-bill. In the Email settings section, check the box to suppress the email if nothing is billable/recognizable.
Finally, the project list view now has an optional workspace column. If the project has an associated workspace, the column displays an icon linking directly to the workspace, without the need to open the project first. To display the workspace column, navigate to Projects > Projects. Click the customize link at the bottom of the list to add the Workspace column to the project list view, order the selected items as desired and click OK.
4. Invoices: Display custom fields on invoices.
OpenAir invoices provide great flexibility of presentation and layout. This month, we have added an option to display on the invoice custom fields associated with users, customer, project or invoices. To configure the invoice layout, administrators and users with the required privilege navigate to Invoices > Options > Invoice layout > [select an invoice layout] > Other > Invoice header custom fields > Create/edit. Select the custom fields to include, order them as desired, and click OK. The custom fields appear in the invoice header. Project custom fields display only on invoices that include a single project.
5. Workspaces: Download all documents.
A new feature in the Workspaces module allows a user to download all documents in the workspace with a couple of clicks, instead of one document at a time. Users need the role privilege “Download all documents” to have access to this feature. Users with this privilege have a new “Download all documents” link on the workspace dashboard. One click generates a ZIP file containing all the workspaces documents, which can then be downloaded with another click.
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