Hidden Treasure

jaray_treasuresA comment we often hear when we meet with our customers is that they didn’t know that something they wanted was already included with their system. They find things accidentally  – usually when they just hit a key wrong or call in for support and we log in to help them and notice they don’t have something set up. See those three little jewels in the upper left corner of the menu? Click them to make the screen larger or smaller. Works great when you use different devices to log in with. You can even have different sizes on the same desktop.

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One of the benefits of the Famhost family of integrated system is that all of the server and network processing runs in a secure virtual desktop, not on the user’s local device. Rather than sending your information back and forth across the Internet and finally uploading it on your computer or tablet, we securely process the data on our servers and simply display it on your device. That eliminates the possibility of your data being intercepted by the bad guys. You don’t have to worry about your company’s data being hacked because it is never exposed to the public Internet. It also enables us to apply all the updates for you. So when you log in each morning, you simply log in; you don’t have to wait for the JaRay system to update. Every time you have to update something that runs on your local device, you can appreciate that your most important application was updated and tested for you by us in the middle of the night so it wouldn’t affect you.

The Famhost system has enabled many of our customers to reduce or eliminate an IT staff. However, a downside is that many of our customers have not properly applied operating system, device, and security updates on their local equipment.

Cozette helps Rick update a server at 2:00 A.M.

Because JaRay runs on Famhost servers, we do all of the updates for you. However, when we log in to help you, we usually piggyback into your session, not on your local devices. We may not see any problems that you might have on your local equipment.

In most cases, malware or viruses on your local system don’t affect how JaRay runs. However, since printing and scanning obviously need to use your local printers and scanners, the device drivers on your computers need to be installed properly and updated to work properly. We created the cloud printing system to simplify the support, but unfortunately, it does slow down printing and creates extra steps. After our last round of training sessions, I realized that many of our customers wanted local printing. We updated all of the servers to enable it, but very few customers are able to use it because a program has to be installed on their local systems and our customers either didn’t want to take the time to install the client or needed to have an outside IT company do it. We’ve always been hesitant to provide technical support for the local devices, but this is important to us. So, we’ve hired additional staff and added licenses to our hardware support software system to help you.

We will install your local printers at no cost to you. Andy Clark is the project manager and will remotely log into each of your workstations and check it to make sure it has the necessary updates before installing the client. We are offering this as a free service. Before joining Famhost, Andy worked for the City of Wichita using the same HIPAA compliant processes and tools that we are using. If you would like to set up an appointment, install the client yourselves or want your IT department to do it, just give Andy a call at 800-658-1676 (8-5 Central Time) and he will provide the details.

We want you to fully utilize everything that Famhost and JaRay has to offer.


WWETT Show More New Product Announcement

Wow. What a show. This is probably the best show we’ve ever done. By the time I get to the room I’ve been exhausted. If you get a chance, come by the booth and we’ll give you a preview of 2 more new products and a couple with major updates.

So, #4 on the list is the Fam2Mail system. You can now automatically send any postal-serviceRealTimeForm, form, invoice, statement, letter, or anything else via email, text, and now Mail with the push of a button. The way it works is that we design an envelope with your logo. When you want to mail something, you just push the Fam2Mail button in JaRay (setup is required) simply check the Mail checkbox on a form. Depending on whether you want the form to automatically mail or route through the office or manager, the next day is it mailed via 1st class mail with your logo on the envelope. You can automatically mail post cards for product announcements, letters, and even multi-page bids or technical documents. Color or Black and White. – No more trips to the post office, buying stamps, envelopes and stationary. No need for a postage meter, no more obsolete numbered invoices. No more toner or expensive copier repairs. No more working late stuffing envelopes. – Cost is only $1 per page. Including stamp, envelope and your document. No minimum. Pay for only what you use.

#5 on the list is the new Famalytics system. This enables you to instantly create any kind famalytics-logoof report you want and view it in a graphical format. You can even click on a pie chart, bar graph, or other graphs and drill down to see what is driving the data. . . even across multiple branches. For your managers, you will be able to predefine the options you want them to see and set them up so that they will either get them via email or click them on their login. We’re really excited about this one. It enables you to simply look at your company information all types of ways without having to have us design the reports for you.

#6 is a completely revised CloudLinkit document management system. It enables you to easily capture paper or digcloudlinkitital documents and connect them to business processes to reduce costs while increasing accessibility, security, and compliance. As with most of the Famhost products, you can set workflows for your needs. We even have a gateway appliance enables your multifunction printer or scanner to  automatically scan your documents directly into the CloudLinkit system. Your salespeople and managers can view anything in your CloudLinkit system that you give them rights for right from the field. When you fill out a RealTimeForm, a copy is automatically stored and indexed by the customer directly into their CloudLinkit folder. Videos, photos, drawings, phone call recordings, or any digital file can be viewed by whoever you want, with any workflow.

#7 is our updated GPS Window mapping system. A right click on the map enables you to toggle on and off whether you want to see all of your jobs or trucks . . . or both. All in real time. When a job or truck’s status changes, the color of the icogps-window-logo-largens change. Show realtime traffic conditions, click the truck to send a text message to the driver. When you click a truck, you can not only see how fast they are driving, but also the posted speed limit on the road. Click the satellite view to check parking options. Text “Where Paul” to from any authorized phone to see not only where “Paul” is, but also where he is supposed to be on the same text message. Click on the link and it will open your phone’s default mapping program to see the him on a map. If you have JaRay, it is already active on your system.

Booth 6318. See you there!


WWETT Show New Product Announcements

I have never been more excited about our product offerings. After almost 4 years of intensive development, I can truthfully say that I’m proud of our mobile offering. There is so much that went into it from how it reacts with different types of tablets, whether the user has a connection or not, how it interfaces with the backend systems, and especially how the field workers like it and whether they think it is too complicated or not.

So, #1 on the list is the Mobile App. We call it RealTimeForms, but it is actually a platform that enables you to create any kind of app and have it interface with any of the Famhost apps and Quickbooks. Other integrations are coming soon. It includes Invoicing for all kinds of businesses, Inventory, Bids & proposals, Inspection forms, DOT forms, Time Sheets, OSHA and other compliance forms, permits, and any form you currently use. You can also set up work flows so that certain forms have to be approved by different managers.

#2 (for today!) is Auto Dispatching! We’ve played with this one for years. Now you have the ability with just a click to move jobs into a queue so that when the mobile worker finishes a job, he automatically gets his next one without needing to call in. You still maintain as much or as little control as you need. A big thing is that worker can’t see other other people’s jobs unless you want them to.

print-options4#3 (for today!) is Printing. That sounds funny to say. The Famhost platform now enables you to print to the printer of your choice just like any other application from either a PC or Mac. You can even save a bunch of individual documents and print them all at one time. They can also be converted to a PDF and copied to your clipboard or just printed to your screen. Reports can be converted to Excel° or  CSV.  But that’s not all! Now any document or documents (like statements) can be batch emailed with your signature just like you were emailing from a client. But that’s not all! Now you can print to mail. That means that any document like bids, statements, post cards for announcing new products or contracts due, copies of invoices, and letters can be mailed by just clicking the “Mail” button! Famhost automatically prints the document(s) and prints envelopes with the appropriate logo (you can have different logos for different companies) puts it all together and mails it first class mail – all for less than you can buy a stamp, envelope, and print it yourself – not even counting labor. Just think, at the end of the day, there is no mad rush to get the mail together and drive to the post office. You can print from anywhere, your computer, your tablet, your home, your office. No printer needed.



WWETT Show Attendees

WWETT 2017 kicks off February 22 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Phillip (my youngest brother) and I drove down last night and we’re getting things ready. Phillip runs the plumbing division of our family’s Roto-Rooter franchise. Here are the Famhost team members who will be joining us:

Tom Farmer, another brother, and his wife Deanna. I’ve wanted Tom to join the Famhost team since 2005! He is a senior member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), a professional affiliation he has held for over 20 years and his specialty is Customer-focused Strategic Planning, Process Management and Team Building. What a joy it is for me to work with so many family members as we continue to make Famhost a world class system.

Ron Nibbelink comes to Famhost with 30+ years of experience in software design and development. Ron specializes in solutions that provide business intelligence – insightful success metrics and analytics to help business owners focus on opportunities for improving quality, profitability, and growth. He looks forward to helping our customers leverage their data to uncover and focus on business improvements that matter most.

Melinda Miller has been with Famhost since 2005. If you’ve come to our training seminars, you’ve met probably met her. She serves as the company’s focal for user manuals and training aids to promote the use of JaRay best practices. Her youngest daughter, Hailey is my co-boss. We have all these little kids running around our office now. What an incredible blessing it is to work in an environment our sole mission is to help people.

Jane (my sister) and Ray Jantz have decided to stay home this year so that Melinda could come. We’ve also got three new programmers that they want to work with and are right in the middle of a couple of new integrations. This is an incredibly fun time as we roll out our new mobile applications.

James Thorne brings to Famhost almost 10 years of sales and marketing experience. He has a diverse background with national companies, large privately owned ventures, and a great understanding of the banking industry. James appreciates the importance of businesses that provide specialized service, and his goal is to make things as efficient and smooth as possible for their customers.

Brooke Mueller is pure excitement and you will love her! Not only does Brooke have a great deal of knowledge in the areas of sales, bids and contracts, customer relations, and business support, but she truly cares about people and remembers important things like birthdays, work anniversaries, and has fun with them . . . like Paula used to do. Brooke assists in the coordination of Famhost’s sales-related processes and customer interface and doesn’t let things fall between the cracks. She is the epitome in satisfying customers’ needs to exceed their expectations.

Come and meet the members of your team! Booth 6318. Let’s do something great together.


Famhost Online User Manuals

If you’ve been to the training sessions, you have a printed manual, but as you would expect, anything on paper is obsolete the day we print it. We’re happy to finally announce that the manuals will now be digital. This will enable us to update them often. You will be able to access them from any device, even smart phones. Just go to famhost.info from any browser or Google. Note, there is no “www” in front, no dot com at the end.

The first time you log in, you will info-sign-inneed a password. I hate passwords as much as the next guy, but this will be easy,  I promise. Give us a call, send a problem ticket or email, and we will give you a password.

When you log in, you will see a bookshelf with current versions of the manuals and catalogs. Depending on the device you are using, the navigation icons will change, but you will be able to zoom in and out, search for key words, go to specific pages, display thumbnails and click links and media inside the manuals. You can also print single pages, ranges or even the whole document. If you would like a manual in Word so that you can edit it for your own work flows, just contact Melinda at Famhost.



Note: Please handle all Famhost® communications of whatever form as you would handle your most sensitive information in view of the likelihood that the contents contain protected Confidential Information not generally known by industry competitors and would cause harm if known. We appreciate your discretion.




Famhost new offices and training options

As many of you know, this last 3 months have been quite eventful. I’ve wanted to restart the blog many times and tell you about all of the changes in JaRay and Famhost but they have been so fast in coming that I just couldn’t even begin.

Staffing update:


We are growing! Many of our employees have been with us a long time . . . some even decades, but we’ve got some new faces. We are updating our website and will put photos and bios of everyone and their contact info there. We should have it updated next week. I’ll give you the scoop on them in upcoming blogs. You can also connect with us @famhost on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube and Pinterest. Each of us brings unique skill sets to help you grow your business.

Office update:

We’ve outgrown our current office and are in the process of moving into the building that houses our critical-services server farm. The entire facility is being designed for collaboration and training and we’re looking forward to having training meetings on site. Every office has a 65 inch interactive monitor. Two state of the art conference rooms have 70 inch interactive monitors and our small training area has both an interactive 90 inch and 60 monitor. We also have 40 inch monitors in various areas to show work flow and demos with. All of the offices have whiteboards and even one of the kitchens has a 65 inch monitor and gorilla glass whiteboard for spontaneous collaboration. The campus has its own cafeteria and we can seat over 100 people in the large training area. We can’t wait to have you visit us.


Software update:

The biggest changes have been in our mobile platform software and how it interacts with GPS Window, CloudLinkit, and JaRay. The net result is that our mobile development and core products will all work together to enable you to set up secure work flow processes. That means that you can make sure that certain things are done before others and that nothing will be missed. It makes the entire system smarter so that you can concentrate on servicing your customers better and less on data input and computer stuff.

The mapping system continues to get much faster and more interactive. JaRay is sporting all kinds of new reports and alerts, scanning and document management is much more powerful and accessible, and the mobile platform is stable, faster and easier for your field workers to use.

We have a new R&D lab which will be focused on sensors and cameras for vehicles. When you come to reception area, Tim Garcia (our security specialist) will take your picture and print an interactive badge that will enable you to access various parts of the facility. You will be able to see how your movements are monitored, just like your equipment will be.

As we migrate to our web services platform, we will enable your customers to interact more and more with JaRay. You can already automatically send texts and email to your customers with photos of your mobile workers when they are dispatched, but we want your customers to say “WOW!” when they see how you take care of them through state of the art systems. When your field workers create bids and show the differences between your services, we want them to feel confident and your customers to understand the benefits you offer.

I’m committed to exposing the hidden gems in the Famhost family of integrated business applications so that you can get the what you deserve from the system.

Stay tuned and hang on to your britches. It’s going to be a fun ride!


Scheduling jobs using BizYak

Scheduling a job using the BizYak interface is much easier than typing in an address or phone number. In most cases you can pop to the customer record in just a couple of clicks. Often all you have to do is check to make sure that the address the system pulls up is the same as the jobsite they want to order work for. It eliminates incorrect spellings and duplicate records.

By scheduling through BizYak, you attach a link to the actual phone recording of the call to the customer job record regardless of how the customer is calling you. So if a maintenance man calls you from his cell phone, a customer calls from her work phone for her home, or a property manager calls to order work from a blocked number, the call is still recorded and linked to the specific job record. By simply going to the jobsite record, you can listen to any calls that pertained to the job. If you simply record the call using a conventional system, you may never be able to find it.

BizYak also knows what number was dialed. So if you have different phone numbers on different media campaigns, you can get reports for each campaign. Because the call is linked to the actual invoice, you can not only get counts per phone number dialed, but also revenue by campaign for any date range. So when it comes time to renew an ad, you will know how much money the campaign produced, not just how many spammers called you.

If you are using a campaign where the advertiser owns the phone number, you can point their calls to an unique BizYak number. That way, you get all the benefits of the BizYak system, but also a list of everyone who called that number. If you decide to cancel the campaign, you can notify your customers to change the number in their records.