Business Communicator Window

The 'Business Communicator' window allows you to communicate with any Contact (both external and internal) using any method (e.g. telephone, mobile, Skype, SIP, email, text SMS and the chat feature built in to Standard ERP).

To open the 'Business Communicator' window, click the [Communicate] button in the Navigation Centre:

This button can also be found in record and browse windows belonging to registers such as Activities, Invoices and Contacts where you may need to communicate with a Contact (e.g. with the Contact quoted in an Activity or Invoice). Clicking the button here will open the 'Business Communicator' window with the relevant Contact's telephone and mobile numbers, Skype Name, email address and so on shown in the Contact Methods list, ready for you to open communications.

The 'Business Communicator' window contains the following sections:
The Contact List
This is a list of the records in the Contact register in your current Company.

As with all lists of records in Standard ERP, you can scroll through the list using the scroll bar on the right, and you can sort the list by clicking a column heading. By default, the list is sorted by Contact Name.

Use the Search field and button (above the Contact list) to find a particular Contact in the list. First, sort the list by the column that you want to use for the search. In the illustration above, for example, the list is sorted by Name allowing you to search for a particular Contact Name. Then, type the first few characters of the Name in the Search field (there is no need to click in the field before typing). Then press Enter or click [Search]. The first exact match (or, if there is no exact match, the nearest match) will be highlighted. If you are not certain of the exact spelling, use the * character as a wildcard. For example, in the illustration shown above, if you want to find a Contact named Giacomelli but are not sure of their first name, sort the list by the Name column, type "*Giacomelli" in the Search field and press the Enter key. If the first record found is not the one you want, press the Shift-Enter key combination to search again.

By default, the list shows every record in the Contact register. You can restrict the list so that it only shows your Personal Contacts. To do this, click the button marked 'Company', hold down the mouse, and choose the 'Personal' option. The button text will change to 'Personal'. Repeat the procedure to change the list back to showing every record. A Personal Contact is one where you are the Salesman, or one with your Signature in the Address Books field (on the 'User Defined' card). The Address Books field can contain the Signatures of more than one Person, separated by commas, so a Contact can be the Personal Contact of more than one Person.

To create a new Contact, click the [New] button above the list. The 'Contact: New' window will open, allowing you to enter the details of the new Contact. By default, the new Contact will be marked as a Customer. To edit an existing Contact, double-click their name in the list. Please refer here for full details about creating and editing Contacts.

To communicate with a Contact, click their name once in the list. The available communication methods (telephone and mobile numbers, Skype names, etc.) will be shown in the Contact Method list, described below.

To find out more about a Contact, click their name once in the list and then click the [Customer Status] button. If the Contact is a Customer or a Contact Person who works for a Customer (i.e. a Contact Person linked to the Customer in the Contact Relations register), a Customer Status report will be printed to screen. This report will display the current account status of the Customer, with its contents being user-definable. If you would like a Customer Status report to be shown automatically each time a call is established (i.e. when the Contact answers your call and when you answer an incoming call), select the Auto Display Cust. Status on Incoming Calls option in the Local Machine setting in the User Settings module. This option can be set separately on each client machine.

The Call List
The Call list in the lower left-hand corner of the 'Business Communicator' window shows the open calls being made by everyone in your Standard ERP system. This same list is shown on every client. This list will help you manage calls as you will easily be able to see whether a Person is already engaged before transferring a call to them or inviting them to a conference call. You can also interrupt another Person's call by highlighting it in the list and then clicking the [Hold] or [Hang Up] buttons.

The Contact Method List
To communicate with a Contact, click their name once in the Contact list. The available communication methods (telephone and mobile numbers, Skype names, etc.) will be shown in the Contact Method list. Choose a communication method by clicking, and then click the appropriate button below. Please follow the links at the bottom of this page for details about the various communications methods.

In the cases of Asterisk, Switchboard and Mobile calls, when a call is established (i.e. when the Contact answers your call and when you answer an incoming call), a new Activity will be opened, allowing you to record the details of the conversation immediately, thus adding the call to the Contact's call history. When the call ends, click the [End Activity] button in the Activity: this will bring an End Time and Cost (Time) in to the Activity and will also save the Activity. In the case of a Skype call, a new Activity may also be opened, depending on the version of Skype you are using. From 2014 onwards, Skype began to reduce the level of communication their product has with other applications. Skype no longer reports to other applications when calls are answered, so there is nothing to trigger the creation of Activities. Activities are described here.

If you have more than one Company in your database, the new Activity will usually be created in the Company in which you are currently working. The exception is when you have a Global User record in which a Main CRM Company has been specified, in which case the Activity will be created in the Main CRM Company (you must also be working in your Main CRM Company for the Activity to be created). Please refer here for details about Global Users.

Types of window in Standard ERP:

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