Winter Edition 2019

Table of Contents


User Groups and Conferences

VSI offers over 20 User Groups annually and we attend Park and Recreation conferences around the country. To find out when we will be in your area, visit our web page.

Current Release Levels

VSI Product Release Levels are listed here.

How to Contact VSI

PHONE

Toll Free: 877-883-8757
Local: 802-879-6993
Fax: 802-879-5368
Mon-Fri 08:00am - 08:00pm ET

ADDRESS


EMAIL


VSI Web Site

www.vermontsystems.com
Login with your Customer ID and Password and generate a Support Ticket


VSI Website


Facebook


Twitter


Family Skiing



FROM THE PRESIDENT

By Giles Willey, President/CEO


Giles Willey

Over the holidays, I had some time to reflect back on 2018 - and WOW! - it was a busy year at Vermont Systems. From completing the expansion of our office to the addition of 16 new employees, growth and change were at the forefront of our operations. What does this mean for you, our valued customer? It means that VSI is committed and well-positioned to continue providing the most comprehensive parks and recreation software products and services today and into the future.

One of the things I enjoy most about coming to work every day at VSI is that I get to interact with individuals who are passionate about parks and recreation technology and dedicated to VSI's culture. Speaking of dedication, two of our long time employees, Bruce Gepfert and Kathy Messier, retired at the end of December. While it is sad to see them go, I sincerely want to thank them for their loyalty and dedication to what we do, which ultimately is to serve you, our customers. Bruce and Kathy will be missed, but we wish them well in the next chapter of their lives.

On that note and on behalf of the entire Vermont Systems family, I want to wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2019. We appreciate your business and loyalty, and we look forward to working with you throughout the year ahead.

Warm regards, Giles Willey
gilesw@vermontsystems.com, 877.883.8757 x3005.


Operations News

By Barry Pius, Chief Operating Officer


Barry Pius

The Operations team continues to move forward on a variety of initiatives. We are dedicated to improving VSI's communication, customer service, learning management capabilities, and staffing. I am pleased to provide you with a brief update on our efforts.

Communication

VSI recognizes the need to respond to our customers with comprehensive information in a timely manner. Therefore, we intend to offer chat functionality in Q1 2019 to all customers. We have been testing our chat function over the past few months, and we are ready to launch this feature. In addition, we are committed to making continuous improvements to the new on-line support portal. We recognize the importance that this feature represents to VSI's overall service experience.

Customer Service

By using Microsoft Dynamics, VSI is experiencing several efficiency gains that are leading to better response times and case management. For example; the use of an automated email system (which sends an automatic reply when a case is created and closed) has resulted in significantly fewer cases. The reduction in active cases has allowed our service associates to spend more time with customers on case resolution.

VSI also has experienced significant efficiency gains by creating a tiered service structure. MS Dynamics provides functionality to route cases to the associate with the appropriate level of expertise. Consequently, our Tier 1 associates are able to service additional customers each day and reduce response times. This has allowed our more experienced associates to spend the appropriate amount of time solving complex cases.

Learning Management System

I am excited to announce that VSI has partnered with eLogic to create a self-paced learning platform for customers and employees. This system will allow VSI to provide significant improvements to the current learning management technology and to customer support. I will continue to provide updates on our progress in future newsletters.

Staffing

The staffing at our municipal and military services desks remains strong and experienced. Earlier this year, we made a decision to create departments whereby a primary responsibility was to provide reliable Help Desk service. I am pleased to report that we have experienced fewer transfers of cases to other team members and that we have been able to maintain consistent contact with those customers who require dedicated service and support.

Although the VSI Operations team continues to make many improvements to its processes and systems, we recognize that this is an ongoing journey. Our team will continue to work hard to help you and your communities thrive in 2019 and beyond.


Page Break


Sales News

By John Willey, Vice President of Sales and Marketing


John Willey

RecTrac User Groups

With the beginning of a new year, our Spring RecTrac User Groups will be in full swing. Invitations will begin appearing in your inbox over the next few weeks. We strongly encourage each organization to send representatives - two (2) seats are reserved for you as part of your annual maintenance.

RecTrac User Groups have proven to be a great way to find out what is new at Vermont Systems, exchange best practices with other users, and discuss "Did You Know" features and capabilities. The breakfast and lunch aren't bad, either! Please keep an eye out for your invitation. If you want to make sure you are on the mailing list, call us or send an email to sales@vermontsystems.com

Mobile Credit Card Processing

Do you have a need for remote mobile credit card processing? VSI has teamed with CardConnect to provide a solution using the Ingenico iSMP4. Common scenarios are beverage/snack carts on a golf course, a boat launch, or pop-up membership or registration outreach locations. As long as you have access to the internet (WiFI or cellular), you can now process credit cards.

If you are running RecTrac on a tablet, the iSMP4 is the perfect partner. The device communicates directly to CardConnect. Therefore no communication between the tablet and the iSMP4 is required. (VIC is not required.) If your back office staff takes over-the-phone transactions, the iSMP4 could be your economical solution. Instead of each workstation using a dedicated EMV device, they could share a single iSMP4. Of course this would depend on volume, as only one transaction can be processed at a time. Give Sales a call and tell us about your scenario!!


Did You Know?

Allowing Waitlist-Only Enrollments

You can prevent enrollments into an Activity that has a Waitlist, except for those enrollees who already are on the Waitlist.

The Allow Non-Waitlist option on the Daily Processing profile • Miscellaneous Information group provides this functionality.


Woman Snowboarding

TECHNOLOGY NEWS

By Jon Winer, Chief Technology Officer


Jon Winer

Winter greetings! I hope everyone enjoyed their Holiday Season. The end of the year culminated in bringing many of our initiatives across the finish line.

Staffing

We have successfully on-boarded nine (9) new hires into the Technology Group. The roles include a User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) Designer, a Product Owner, an Automation QA Engineer, QA Analysts, Software Engineers and an Architect. These new faces help to fill out our new Agile teams and focus on specific disciplines more formally.

We now have three (3) Agile teams operating. They work with industry best-in-class tools, such as Portfolio, JIRA, Confluence, BitBucket, Jenkins and more. Each team consists of the necessary roles to promote Agile concepts, such as self-organization, and provide the necessary skill sets to deliver features and product.

Some of the new roles will be matrixed across these new Agile teams to provide continuity and direction in certain areas; one of those areas is user experience. Over the coming months in coordination with Product Management, we will be developing a roadmap to include revisions to the RecTrac and WebTrac user interface. While our product is feature rich, we realize there is room for improvement in its usability and view this as an exciting opportunity to remove complexity.

Continuous Build and Continuous Integration

As I mentioned in my Fall article, the completion of our continuous build and integration pipeline has been a priority. Just weeks ago, we officially released our first version of RecTrac through this new process and toolset. This was a significant milestone for us with additional milestones to come. I look forward to sharing progress in upcoming newsletters.

Backlog Visibility

We recognize that having visibility into estimated completion and availability of reported defects is important to you. We are actively working to develop methods to provide you this information. Our first phase will focus on having this information available internally. As we find success, future phases will include external visibility as well.

Oracle's Java Licensing

As many of you may know, Oracle owns Java. They are changing their support model around Java beginning in January 2019. Our software, which primarily runs on the Progress Software technology stack, leverages Java 1.8. We have been in active communication with Progress and Oracle to address this change to ensure our product is able to serve you without interruption. This process is underway but will take some time. We anticipate having a formal decision and model of support during Q1 of 2019. The good news is that RecTrac/WebTrac (10.3 and 3.1) will continue to work unaffected by this change.

Page Break 3

Product News

By Patrick Hayden, Director of Product Management


Patrick Hayden

Exciting Times Ahead!

We are in the midst of some exciting times here at Vermont Systems with the completion of several initiatives in our Technology division, including the on-boarding of many new hires. Within the Product Management Department, we now have a full time UI/UX Designer and three (3) dedicated Product Owners to ensure we are continuously improving our products and delivering as much value as possible to our users.

As previously mentioned, our products are extremely feature-rich. We provide you with the capabilities to automate your business processes with robust and comprehensive applications. However, we understand that there are many situations where the steps and interfaces to complete those processes offer room for improvement. As we finalize our product roadmap, our emphasis is on improving the user experience by simplifying and automating technical complexity, which may be required to achieve our shared goals. This means focusing our efforts on improving the features already in our products to make them easier, more intuitive, and more engaging for you.

Our upcoming initiatives to improve the user experience span RecTrac, WebTrac, MainTrac, CYMS, and third-party integrations. We are approaching these improvements from numerous angles to ensure that we add maximum value for all of our users, most notably your patrons. With the help of Chris O'Connell, our new UI/UX Designer, we have begun examining the user interface and workflows of RecTrac and WebTrac and are exploring several exciting initiatives to simplify and modernize our applications.

2019 is going to be an action-packed year at Vermont Systems as we take advantage of our new processes and resources to deliver you a more robust, simpler, and refined solution. We will begin exposing our product roadmap to our customers to provide visibility into the future of VSI products.

Here are some examples of the product initiatives included on our roadmap:

  • Increased automation to reduce customer effort in 10.3 to 3.1 migration
  • Overhaul of RecTrac UI focused on modernization and UX
  • Overhaul of WebTrac UI focused on modernization and UX
  • Simplification of core management functions (Menus, Screens, Fees, Rules)
  • Production release and continued expansion of InteliTrac embedded BI/Analytics solution
  • Focus on reduction in credit card issues
  • Simplification and automation of "End of day" reconciliation and corrections
  • Expanded WebTrac authentication options (i.e. Login with Facebook)
  • Expanded RecTrac authentication options (i.e. Further Active Directory integration)

In future newsletters, you can look forward to additional details and timelines surrounding these and other initiatives. We are excited to share the future of our products with our customers.


Employee Profile

Meet Ryan Mitchell!!

Employee Profile Ryan Mitchell

Resident of: Essex, VT.

Time in Service at VSI: Three and a half years.

Job(s) at VSI: Implementation Consultant and Grill Maestro.

Family: One brother that lives and works in Boston. I also have the pleasure of working with seven (7!) close relatives here at VSI.

Hobbies: Basketball and Golf are the two big ones. Hopefully I can do some more skiing this winter, too.

Last Book Read: Enemy of the State by Vince Flynn. Actually, I'm reading all of the books in the "Mitch Rapp" series.

What I am Currently Binge-watching: Last show I binged was Narcos.

Most Recent Accomplishment: I recently turned 25, which means my car insurance went down!

Why I Do What I Do: I was preparing tax returns before joining VSI and found out - rather quickly I might add - that I didn't want that to be my career. Working at VSI is great. No two days are ever the same, and I truly enjoy the daily challenge of solving problems and helping our customers. I also love to travel and love the people with whom I work.

Favorite Quote/Words to Live By: Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. So, keep moving, keep growing, and keep learning. See ya at work. - Denzel Washington


VSI Welcomes These New Customers

  • Clay County, MO (October, 2018)
  • City of Elgin, IL (November, 2018)