"I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best."
Oscar Wilde, Irish poet and dramatist (1854 - 1900)
This list of features in OutBack is not complete, simply because OutBack has so many features that we choose to only list the most interesting ones here. If there is some particular feature you are interested in and which is not on this list then you should contact your dealer or Merlinia to check if it may already be in OutBack despite it's absence on this list.
Basic in/out board features
- Indication of which employees are available to take a telephone call, so telephone calls are not routed to telephones that will not be answered.
- Status message indicating current activity and expected time of return if not available, so telephone receptionist can provide useful information.
- Employee availability determined from multiple sources: calendar appointments, PC logged in, manual input from keyboard/mouse and from mobile telephone SMS messages.
- Everybody in the company, not just the telephone receptionist, sees the status messages for everyone else (and themselves).
- For a person who is not available a large message is displayed on the person's screen so visitors can see that person's status at a glance. This also reminds the employee to clear their status when he/she returns.
- A global hotkey on the keyboard (by default the Pause/Break key) works irrespective of which Windows program is active.
- One keystroke sets "Away for a few minutes" as the default message.
- One keystroke plus a few mouse clicks sets any other message and expected time of return.
- One keystroke clears the OutBack status when returning to your desk.
- The OutBack license fee includes labels that can be affixed to the Pause/Break keys; a good reminder to hit this key when leaving your desk.
- Optional fully automatic setting of OutBack availability status dependent on calendar appointments.
- Alternatively, a user can manually select one of the next few calendar appointments to provide the text and return time for his/her OutBack status.
- The data grid shows a graphic representation of free/busy times from the calendar system for each employee, so information can be given as to when the person should be available.
- Click on a busy block to open the calendar appointment (if user is authorized to do this).
Mobile telephone SMS integration
- Mobile telephone user can update his/her OutBack status message via an SMS message.
- An SMS message can also be used to query another user's OutBack status - the reply is sent via an SMS message.
- OutBack can be used to send an arbitrary SMS message to any mobile telephone.
- See this page for more information about the OutBack SMS gateway.
Microsoft Active Directory and Lotus Domino integration
- Automatic update of list of OutBack users from Microsoft Active Directory or Lotus Domino (or other LDAP compatible source); no administration of OutBack needed for new employees or employees who have left the company.
- Alternatively, the list of users can be administered directly by using OutBack's native text database.
Fully customizable and searchable set of employee information
- The IT dept. decides how many columns of employee information is displayed in the data grid and what information these columns should contain.
- Employee information is normally obtained from Microsoft Active Directory or Lotus Domino. This means that there is no duplicate maintenance of this information.
- Alternatively, this data can be obtained from any ODBC-compliant database.
- Typical employee information is local telephone extension, e-mail address, mobile telephone number, department name, etc.
This makes it easy to provide this information to a potential customer.
- Data structure is completely customizable, allowing data such as product competences, home telephone number, sales district, birth date, favorite music, etc.
- All employee information is easily searchable, allowing the telephone receptionist (or anyone else) to find, for example, all persons in the sales dept. with competence in product xyz.
Customizable display of data by the client program
- The OutBack client program displays the name of each employee, the employee's OutBack availability status indicator and messages, and all of the employee information columns in a data grid which is completely customizable by each user.
- Examples of things that can be customized: which columns are displayed, the order of the columns, the width of each column, the text and background colors for users with different status, etc.
- Users can be placed in two special groups, so you can quickly switch from seeing all users to only seeing those in a certain department.
- OutBack includes a simple messaging system that allows a user to send a here-and-now message to one or more OutBack users. This is used instead of e-mail for short messages that need immediate action.
- It is also easy to send an e-mail to the currently selected OutBack user, avoiding having to enter his/her name again. This is useful for the telephone receptionist, telling the user to call a specified number.
- You can set an alert for a specified user, resulting in you being notified when this user changes his/her OutBack status. This is useful if you need to talk to a coworker and want to know when he/she has returned to the office.
Telephone system PBX integration - the ultimate tool for the telephone receptionist
- OutBack can be integrated with a number of telephone systems, providing the ultimate tool for the telephone receptionist. This is explained in detail on this page.
OutBack's list of features goes on and on...
That's what makes Merlinia OutBack the best employee information system around!
Extra cost options!
Some of the features listed on this page require extra cost options and/or the installation of additional hardware. For example, the mobile telephone integration requires a GSM "modem" with a subscription with a mobile telephone operator, plus the OutBack SMS Gateway software.
Merlinia is a member of the Alcatel Applications Partner program. Click here for more information about OutBack integration with Alcatel PBXs.