Introducing Programmable Button Actions

Introducing Programmable Button Actions

Opmantek has long believed that Operational Process Automation is one of the foundational pillars that a successful network management strategy is built upon. One key piece to this is to ensure that actions are undertaken in a consistent manner each time, there should be no variance from what is outlined as the standard protocol. opEvents has introduced programmable button actions that help assist organisations in replicating troubleshooting actions and escalation procedures further solidifying opEvents as a technical service desk.

The buttons use the same pipeline as scripts in EventActions but now operators have the ability to manually kick off an action for an event. One of the most common actions will be to create a ticket in your issue tracking system, in our case we will create a Jira Ticket.

opEvents-Programmable-Buttons - 700

Configuration

To start create the following file in omk/conf/table_schemas/opEvents_action-buttons.json This must be valid JSON schema or the buttons will fail to render. You should see an error in opEvents.log if this is the case. [ { “description”: “Example Events Button Action”, “label”: “Create Ticket”, “fa_icon”: “fas fa-jira”, “script”: “create_ticket”, “tags”: [“ticket”] } ] Then add the following policy in omk/conf/EventActions.json|.nmis that triggers show_button.tag() EventActions.json “policy”: { “5”: { “IF”: “event.any”, “THEN”: “show_button.ticket()”, “BREAK”: “true” }, } & EventActions.nmis %hash = ( ‘policy’ => { ‘5’ => { IF => ‘event.any’, THEN => ‘show_button.create_ticket()’, BREAK => ‘true’ }, } ); These are the supported keys and how the change operation and look of the button.
Key Type Required Description
script String Yes Name of the script defined in EventActions.json
label String Yes Label which the button will display to the user
description String optional Tool-tip help text to be displayed when you mouse over the button
tags array[string] optional If no tags are defined the button will show on all events, if tags are defined the button will only show on events which have been tagged with show_button.tag_name()
run_once boolean optional If set to true the button will look for script.script_name key on the event, if found the button will disable itself. This allows manual actions to only be triggered once. Will not influence any defined EventActions.json operations.
fa_icon string optional Icon to be displayed from the Font Awesome library shipped with opEvents example: “fas fa-table-tennis” Icons here.
class string optional Define a css class to colour the button, see Notes on Button Classes below to see a list of supported types.

Notes on Font Awesome

In opEvents-3.2.2 we are shipping the library 5.12.1 In opEvents-2.6.1 we are shipping the library 5.8.2
Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards 2020 Monthly Winners

Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards 2020 Monthly Winners

Opmantek are honoured to be the winners of the monthly Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards for August and 2020 finalist for the IT and Digital Business Award of the Year!

Celebrating 25 years of operation, the Awards have grown to be recognized as the region’s most comprehensive and prestigious business awards scheme. We owe this continued success to our team, our community and most importantly all of our amazing and supportive customers.

Thank you to the IT and Digital Business Awards category sponsor Griffith University, Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards, The City of The Gold Coast and Trade and Investment Queensland for their ongoing encouragement and support.

To learn more about Opmantek’s award-winning automated network management software, book a demo with our team of experts.

Why Awards are Important

Why Awards are Important

In some ways, awards are more politically correct nowadays than they were when I was growing up. In some families, it was essential to try your best and enjoy your education and play (sport). In other families, there was pressure to win awards no matter what.

Fortunately for me, I was never too fantastic at sport and the academic competition at school always kept me free from winning a prize for the top 3. Many times I was close to a 3rd, but never cracked it. So, I never really experienced the pressure of winning and having to hold my ground. Either way, it never really worried me, because I did the best I could at the time, many times life just got in the way.

I played for a cricket team and in the second year, we were premiers. Everyone was excited. I was excited because everyone else was.

How things have changed. Now I understand the importance of awards and recognition.

I work for a company that wins awards. This is why it’s important:

  1. Recognition by your peers in your industry
  2. Recognition by the government
  3. Confirmation that we’re doing a great job

It’s not just customers who say our products are excellent. It’s our peers in the industry, in government or universities who recognise what we do, how difficult it is and how we compete on a global stage and punch above our weight.

Our staff are recognised within the company on all company calls for cool things they have done, or how they helped a customer or generally saved the day. Pre Covid-19, staff, would attend the awards nights and have a blast. For those nights, invitations are always extended to wives and partners. As our families support us and enable us to do the work we do, they should also experience the awards night with us.

While we’ve won National Awards in Australia, it’s the local awards that excite me the most. Being nominated for a local award and getting recognition from people within your local region is fantastic. It gives you a proper reason to drive yourself and be the best you can and set the example.

Every year we give back to the community through the Opmantek Innovation Award that we do with Griffith University. We give students a sense of what it is like to win an industry award and hope they get as inspired as we do. Awards and recognition are more important than ever.

Opmantek Team Easter Update

Opmantek Team Easter Update

It’s been several weeks since Easter. I thought it would be good to share some insight through a thread that we had going inside the company about what was changing and our observations.

These are our stories from around the globe from the first 100 days.

Australia – Gold Coast

Gold Coast Arial - 700

Dogs are the winners

I think that the dogs are the true winners. Where I live in Miami (QLD) I see lots of dogs being walked all the time. There are only a few reasons why we are allowed to leave our houses and exercise is one of them. So you can walk your dog. I try walk my dog with my family every day. My daughter and I take Clover to the dog park in the mornings, so they can both have a bit of a run around.

clover-Adam

All the best,

 

Adam (and Clover)

(Miami, QLD, Australia)

United States – Boston

Boston - 700

I have observed that neighbors and friends are keeping in touch more often all be it remotely.  Checking in on each other and sincerely asking, how are you keeping through all this?  Also, staying home has brought my daughter and I to spending more time cooking, walking on the beach and yes even cleaning the house (which was not the case before Covid:).  We have a black cat named Mr. Poe and spend quality time with our target light laughing while watching him chasing it all over the house.  Sharing small joys while under restriction.

 

Happy Easter Everyone!

 

Leslie

(Boston, USA)

United States – San Francisco, Marin County

San Francisco - 700

I’ve been spending time with my kiddos involved in lots of sports, working and getting ready for college (add to that my daily schedule) and things have been moving too fast for too many years. To Leslie’s points, lots of cooking, talking and catching up have all made for a welcomed slowing down for us.

Our dog has also had a lot of attention during the isolation period:

craigs-dog

All the best to The Team this Easter Weekend!

 

Craig

(Marin County, CA, USA)

United States – North Carolina

North Carolina - 700

For us we’ve had a couple big changes. During the first week of the “stay at home” mandate one of our local animal shelters reached out to my wife and I and asked if we had room in our home to help one (or more) puppies that had been abandoned at the county animal control and were slated for euthanization that weekend.

Welcome Maggie, a 5lb black lab and who-knows-what that was the runt of a litter of 11 puppies, 4 of which had passed away within days of being left with animal control. North Mech Animal Rescue took up the remaining 7 and put out a call to previous foster and adoptive parents. Maggie joins a pack with a 3-year old golden retriever, 2-year old black lab (Maggie and Sammy are in the phot below on the right), 6 cats, and a menagerie of kids, spouses, significant others, and grandkids. As soon as she completes her puppy shots and rabies vaccine we’ll be taking her on walks at the park with the other dogs.

The second shake-up in our otherwise normal routine was the decision to add in some raised bed gardens in the backyard. Originally, it was going to be just a couple rows with some simple stuff. However, it’s already doubled in size from what you see here and we’re growing everything from beans to rutabagas

(Yes – I had to look that up too! TURNIPS)

and everything in between. I am still working to figure out how to grow toilet paper and hand sanitizer – if anyone has seeds for these please send my way. While it has only been a little over a week since we planted the first seeds, everything is up and growing and looking healthy.

 

Mark

(North Carolina, USA)

Australia – Brisbane

Brisbane - 700

I have observed so much in the last four days, a few highlights would be:

The air seems to be cleaner (view of Brisbane CBD from Mt Gravatt), taken while recovering from the ride up.  Looking South I could see the Gold Coast skyline as well (80km away, that is not normal).

Our House is appreciating the attention, having rehung all the art in our bedroom including finally putting up this beautiful piece, created by ArtiSue, https://www.artisue.com.au/, also been getting through many other tasks, including fixing fences, making big red buttons work and voice activated television.  However the Cat is a little confused with all of us home all the time interrupting his sleep.

 

The arts and sports are really having a hard time, being a keen cyclist I have seen the pros doing what they can to stay in shape and are competing online using Zwift and the other sports startups with online racing (is that e-sports?).  The top level pros will be ok, but what about all the up and coming professionals, I am guessing they are not getting paid.

 

Really sadly the Paris Roubaix which is a famous and long running race in the Spring Classic series has been postponed, previously only wars have caused it to be cancelled.

 

Out of sports loss, comes art, Graham Watson https://www.grahamwatson.com a famous sports photographer, created this collage of his favourite Paris-Roubaix photos (won by a few Aussies), an amazing piece of work.

 

Keith

(Brisbane, QLD, Australia)

Australia – Gold Coast

Gold Coast Arial 2 - 700

It has definitely been a major change of perspective for me and a reevaluation of my priorities.

One major factor has been the friendship community that I have and the reliance I have on them and they have on everyone, we have made sure we have at least one zoom catch up a week where we have a beer/wine, talk recipes and also pass along new stories from the week;

 

The transition with working from home has been tough in a small apartment with two other people, but it has been successful. I built a desk and a screen mount, rather than buying one, because I have the time to do so;

But there is always a need for a second office and it is great to be outside a lot more;

Health and fitness is important to me as well, my gym has transitioned to online training with zoom, it has worked surprisingly well too, the environment is different, but the community spirit is still fantastic.

All in all, it has been a transition, but I feel that there has been some new connections with people I wouldn’t normally have, I am enjoying how everyone is discovering hobbies they never had time to try and I really like seeing everyone working together on this. I am lucky to be here, with Opmantek and most of all, living in such a wonderful place;

 

Dan

(Mermaid Beach, QLD, Australia)

Australia – Melbourne

Melbourne - 700

The main thing I’ve noticed is the number of people out simply taking a stroll at different times of the day.

And complete strangers simply saying HELLO randomly everywhere.

We were due to go camping this easter weekend. SO we went camping – in the backyard.

 

Nick

Melbourne, Vic, Australia

Australia – Gold Coast

Burleigh Heads - 700

With my twins in lock down in London and Mermaid Beach, we have been helping my London girl with an ‘emoji guess the movie challenge’.

memes

So far we have answered 22 from 25.   We are missing answers for 10,16 and 25.   All help appreciated .

Also happy to provide you with the answers we have once you have burnt out trying to get them.

 

Graham,

Gold Coast, Qld, Australia

Australia – Brisbane

Brisbane 2 - 700

We couldn’t go on our camping trip with eight other families, but…I wore my camping shirt, we burnt a mozzie coil, we ate slow cooked meat, we drank beer & rum and we had an outdoor fire. Zoom got a workout with multiple families tuning in for “happy hour”.

I guess that’s as close as we’re gonna get this year. It has made us and our group of close friends appreciate how easy we normally have things. We have made a group resolution to get out more when this is over.

 

What we would rather have been doing…

Mark

(Brisbane, QLD, Australia)

Spain – The Island of Tenerife

Spain - 700

An update from Spain. I live in a small village in the island of Tenerife. After 5 weeks in lockdown, it is a bit exhausting sometimes, but I feel very lucky to have a job that I enjoy, an outdoor space, where I can have some chickens – I’ve never though they could be so funny -, the cat (and me) can run and my partner can grow some fresh vegetables (we are starting with tomatoes).

I’ve just discovered that the chickens are better hunters than my cat . They love lizards.

Routines have changed. I’ve changed the gym for new exercises routines, I’m learning new recipes – they say the yeast is the new gold in these times – the beers with friends are now online, and every day at 19.00 we have an appointment in the windows and balconies to clap for some minutes for the sanitarians.

The lockdown is quite strict. We are only allowed to go out for buying some food, go to work – only the ones allowed, as sanitarians – or emergencies. The police and militaries are watching the streets, penalties are applied. The future is still very uncertain, but is time to be positive, and learn new things! To appreciate what we have, and to appreciate that our family is healthy.

Also, the weather has changed. The pollution is much lower, – We had the biggest drought this year – but now, it is raining almost every day. The earth is breathing.

 

Josune

(The island of Tenerife, Spain)

Mexico – Mexico City

Mexico - 700

I hope you and your families are doing fine, even though these days have been difficult, it is very important that we learn to adapt and take advantage of the situation.

Sergio-dog

Currently the security measures are very strict and we can only go out for basic things.

My routine has changed a lot, here at home I have tried to keep exercising and it has been much more comfortable to exercise from home.

Dogs are happy to keep me at home all day, although sometimes they also require their own space.

Sergio's Dog - 700

I think the best thing we can do for now is to stay safe and try to take things positively, greetings to all!

 

Saludos Cordiales,

 

Sergio,

(Mexico City, Mexico)

COVID-19 update from Craig Nelson, Opmantek CEO

COVID-19 update from Craig Nelson, Opmantek CEO

To our customers, partners, users, community and friends,

As the global COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, I want to share the steps that Opmantek is taking to ensure the health and well-being of our employees and our business continuity.

We know that Opmantek has a vital role in your business — whether that’s through our products managing and monitoring your infrastructure or managing your assets. I want to assure you that we foresee no interruptions to our ability to deliver our support and services — and we don’t foresee any disruption to our critical business operations. We will continue to offer support and services as you need them. Our development team continues to roll out excellent products and new features.

Our company is distributed by design. The team, systems and our infrastructure is distributed. Many of our staff do already work from remotely around the globe. Those who worked from one of our offices have now set up home offices during this time so that we are still able to “follow the sun” in supporting our customers. We are using all the collaboration tools like you (Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp and so forth) to communicate quickly and effectively. I see great resilience in our staff who are making every effort to respond immediately to our customers needs and making us all proud.

Like every other business, we are not attending any face to face meetings and have moved all meetings online.

We know this is an uncertain time. I know that you’re inbox will be full of emails like this, so the team and I will provide you with updates on our blog as required.

Stay safe, and all our best wishes to you and your family,

Craig

COVID-19 Effects On Businesses: Your Business Is Not Dead, But Your Market Probably Is

COVID-19 Effects On Businesses: Your Business Is Not Dead, But Your Market Probably Is

Over this past week I’ve received a number of calls from CEO’s and founders seeking advice on how to navigate through the economic downturn that we are faced with. All businesses will need to change – some more than others – some will be significantly boosted by this period while others will be significantly harmed. In Australia, we haven’t had a recession since 1990/91, so if we do enter recession, the majority of people in the workforce will have never experienced one – I am 50 years old and was at University when Australia had its last recession. For those of us operating in the tech industry, we have experienced several significant economic events – especially the .com crash of 2000 and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. We know what happens during economic slowdown while there are some unique factors at play in relation to COVID-19 also.

 

I’m going to focus my comments towards entrepreneurs and high growth companies (particularly tech companies), but there will be some relevance to all businesses.

Fundamentally what we have with the COVID-19 coronavirus, is a change in the marketplace and without doubt, economic slowdown. There are some unique factors relating to the virus pandemic, but there are also common forces at play that relate simply to an economic slowdown. Some businesses will naturally flourish, for example, if you’re producing products which help people work from home, you’re probably excited at the opportunity, if you’re in a business which requires mass gatherings, e.g. an events business, you might be wondering how you’re going to get through this. Every business has ways they can optimise the outcome for themselves. For some it’s about minimising losses for others it’s about maximising gains. Let’s look at fundamentally how this works.

 

I’m not going to cover off the simple things which we should already know or have read about, but I will talk about some fundamentals I don’t see being written about.

There are two fundamental parts to a business, not to oversimplify it, but a business has operational costs and incomes (which are typically sales).

Let’s start with the two combined together:

 

Cash Burn and OPEX

Quite simply as we all know the difference between the cash in and cash out is your burn rate. If you need to reduce your cash burn, then do it fast. We will all be implementing travel bans etc so those cost reductions will happen naturally. If people are working from home, try and sort something out with your rent to have it reduced or stopped. If you need to cut staff, then try and do it all at once – you don’t want people coming in each day worried, those that are left need to feel safe and positive – they will not feel that if a coworker is getting retrenched every second week (or day). You need to structure your business for the new reality, do not hang on to the past – it’s not your fault and you haven’t failed anyone. Alternatives to cutting staff include reducing all staff salaries, cutting incentive payments (especially for executives – show some good leadership and cut your own and other executive salary and incentives harder than the rest of the staff, it is common to cut exec incentives in full and salaries by as much as 30-40%), don’t forget that an employee’s leave will be paid out if you retrench them so also look at enforced leave (especially leave without pay) or reduced hours for staff in order to keep the team together. Also, remember that you’re going to get some good government assistance too, so factor that in.

 

Cash Incomes and Sales/Marketing 

During an economic slowdown, for most businesses, it is harder to raise capital and it’s also harder to generate sales, however some businesses will flourish in hard economic times.

In summary – your market no matter which side of it you are on has changed so your business needs to change with it.

 

The key on the revenue side (when you have economic slowdown or any other event which produces significant changes to the market) is that it becomes necessary to realign how you are selling your products and potentially which market segments you are selling them to. In the situation that we are in at the moment with COVID-19, we know there are a lot of home workers, pressure on the healthcare system, certain government departments are going to spend lots more and there will be boosts to many online businesses etc.

 

Step 1. Look at who is going to be busier or benefit from this new market – if they are potential clients for you, then target them.

You should also look at how buying processes and decisions change – again this is predictable. There will be less face to face meetings and more virtual. Adapt to online and virtual sales. For many smaller/high growth businesses this is fantastic as you won’t have to compete face to face on sales for the time being.  One clever tactic is to organise a “virtual tour” for one of your rarer people– believe me it works, for example, “our CEO will be conducting Zoom meetings with clients in San Francisco this week, so I’m reaching out to see if I can schedule some time before he moves on to London next week”.

 

As the remote workforce is on the rise it is crucial to stay connected to your business community to enable your growth. Business incubators such as the Gold Coast Innovation Hub are now offering virtual membership options; facilitating continued connections, collaborations, grow, investment opportunities and expansion into global markets.

 

Step 2. Adapt your sales strategies to the new manner in which your potential clients are working.

The other part of the buying process which always changes during an economic slowdown is that more businesses buy things that reduce their costs and less businesses buy things that increase their productivity – look at your potential clients, if they are a net beneficiary in the new market they will likely keep investing in growth – most will be losers (that’s what the slowdown is – net losers) so most of them will be looking to reduce costs. The “losers” don’t actually stop spending, they are happy to spend on products which help streamline their costs and assist in managing their pain.  A lot of products have multiple benefits (I’m sure yours do) and you can reproductise and remarket your products so that they realign with new decision making – especially cost-cutting decisions which are widespread during a significant economic slowdown. In the case of this particular slowdown, there are obvious changes – nobody is travelling, more people are working from home, businesses cutting costs so it’s about realigning and pivoting your marketing and productisation messages, and potentially making some tweaks to your products, but remember, we will get out of the economic slowdown so you are likely to want to focus on your marketing and sales to align with the shift in the buyer’s mindset than completely changing your products.

 

Step 3. Adapt your productisation and your sales and marketing messages to align with the new market.

Channels to market change with new markets also. Look at your resellers or channels to market, in this new market if they rely on face to face sales or mass gatherings at events, then likely they are no longer good channels – if they work mostly in sectors that are being ravaged (e.g. travel) then they may no longer be a good channel – move your sales to channels that make sense to the new market.

 

Step 4. Secure your current sales channels/sales partners if necessary or move your sales channels and partners to those that align with the new market.

 Let’s look at a simple example that everyone can relate to (and specifically steer around a tech business) – a bicycle (and please excuse lots of assumptions below – you should do market testing when repositioning anything).  You’re selling bikes and you’re selling them mostly through your shop and bike clubs. You’re selling awesome bikes, which are light in weight, strong and fast and that’s your main pitch. Your whole market just changed. Bike club memberships are going to drop, as will activity at the clubs – they aren’t the right channel anymore. There is also going to be less foot traffic in the store so you may need to close that or maybe it can survive or shrink – watch and act fast if you need to. You will likely want to be pushing more of your sales through online, social media and referrals. Bike ownership is probably not going to tank – in fact, it is quite possible it will rise as more people work from home and want to take a break and get out on a bike, and as more people look for socially isolated exercise rather than gyms. The benefits of the bike may well now also be that you can use your bike and stay off public transport in order to avoid the virus. Your whole pitch changes. Looking at your product set within your bike range – if you’re selling on socially isolated exercise and avoidance of public transport, it may well be that there is not enough extra benefit of a high-end bike over a low-end bike. The benefits of high-end bikes may now become secondary marketing items (they don’t go away; they just get pushed back). Sales of products like rollers (which allow you to ride your bike indoor at home for exercise rather than go to the gym) may increase and perhaps could be packaged with a bike in a new productisation effort if you expect to see an increase in purchases of home gym equipment including exercise bikes.

 

 

I’m sure you get the idea – your market is probably dead, but you are not – you are simply in a new market.  

 

These are unprecedented times with COVID-19, we know there are a lot of teleworkers, pressure on the healthcare system, certain government departments are going to be under pressure to boosts online businesses and they will need our expertise to do this.

Every business will need to change, Opmantek want to help our community to optimise their outcomes; this is where access to network management support is critical so that Australians can stay better connected.

As a final note – financially at this time – re-do your forecast, especially your cash flow forecast. The economy recovers slower than the virus – look at 12 months to start with.  You need to step back just like you would if you were starting a new company or a new division launching into a new market, look at how the market is reacting and adapt fast. Those that are familiar with agile project management within the software development world – use similar methods in your financials too –be very conscious that your ability to plan twelve months is now a lot lower than it used to be and you need to undertake agile planning and forecasting.

This will be a time of continual change however we do know that these things will be a constant.