So, how can Xinet help me do. . . . .?

Posted by Brian Dolan on Wed, Apr 01, 2009 @ 11:27 AM

Tags: Xinet, Elegant, knowledge, Dalim, Dialogue, Creative Banks, nTransit, how to

Being in the position that I’m in affords me the opportunity to travel and see many of our clients around the country.  I love working with all of you and you all have your own unique personalities as well as challenges in your respective environments.  Something I want to share with you all is a question I’m often asked, “How can I make Xinet do more for us?  I know it can do X, Y or Z but I only use it for (fill in the blank) and want to do more with it!”  Usually the next questions is, “How do your other clients do it and how are they using Xinet?”  Well, let’s start with the second one. . .how DO other clients work with Xinet.  This is a hard one since all of you use it for different reasons and have unique needs even though many of you are in the same business. 

So, how do I make it do the trick your asking?  Get to it already would ya!

A couple of things to think about before I can suggest anything:

1) Listen to your clients (internal and external)- You know your company and how it ticks better than us.  Yes, we at NAPC all have been around the industry for a long time and bring plenty of knowledge to the table but. . .you're the one hearing the conversations in meetings or through the hallways with questions like, "How can we share out assets to client X but not allow them to do or see Y", or "How can I automate the process of creating multiple PDF's from one print command?", or "How can I customize the interface so it looks like my clients brand?" or "Can I do . . ."  You get the point right???. . .if not, the point is you know your world better than we do so listen to your user community and then start thinking about how to solve their challenges with the tool set at hand. And if the current tool set doesn't accomplish the needed task, then there is most likely a plugin or a solution to make it do the trick like Creative Banks or Elegant or nTransit.  Xinet is an open product so customizations can be done and probably already have been.  Ask us-we'll be happy to help.

2) Be creative yourself- it's easiest to hear from someone that says yeah, we did this thing and it really rocks or ask us to replicate something that was done before but think about how to do "it" yourself.  You may be in IT or work in some IT capacity but that doesn't mean you're not creative!  You are-you just have to find the time to sit down and think about it. I know, I know, easier said than done as we're all super busy but if you want to really do something, you'll make the time. 

3) Is my idea even possible? Look, all technologies have their limits so if you want Xinet to make your coffee (not too strong of course!) AND fold your laundry, you might be pushing it.  So, this is a good time to ask NAPC as well as look at the Xinet manuals.  Seriously, look at the manuals.  I know a lot of you depend on NAPC for the knowledge to be handed to you and we don't mind that at all.  That's what we're here for!  Although, you might be better served by reading up on the technology you manage.  Right!?!?!?!?!?  You've all heard RTFM or to be politically correct I should say RTM but whatever, you get the point.  I've been to plenty of training classes, received lots of great advice from others in and out of the industry but my best resource to date has been the manuals.  Read up everyone!

So really, those ARE my suggestions.  Listen to your clients, be creative yourself in coming up with ways to solve the challenge and do your research by speaking with us and reading up on the Xinet manuals.  Seriously, you all will be waaaay better off in the end if you put the time into it.  Again, I know you're all busy but this is important stuff here right?!?!  Just like working out, which I do all the time! :), it takes dedication and Xinet is no different.

Also, after working the three steps above first, you'll be able to better answer your first question yourself,  "How can I make Xinet do more for us".  And if not, again, we're here to help with suggestions and industry knowledge to get you to where you need to be.

Bottom line, be proactive with learning this stuff . . .it'll really help you in the long run.

Oh yeah, one more thing on this subject, work closely with the people that have a hand in Xinet.  If you're more on the creative side of things, create the relationship needed to work together harmoniously with your IT staff.  Contrary to popular belief, they are truly there to help you, not hold you back even though sometimes it may seem that way.  And, if you're in IT, be open about this stuff and the ideas that may come your way.  Don't start with "No", think about it and be creative in helping solve the problem or challenge at hand by working closely with your clients.  Can I get a "Kum ba ya!"

Any way. . .two quick things before I get off my high horse. . .

1) Dialogue ES is around the corner.  If you're familiar with how Dalim's Dialogue currently works then you'll probably be happy to hear how it's evolving.  This week Dalim is releasing the internal beta so I'll get my hands on it and write another blog entry just on that subject later but some quick things to mention:
The interface has changed quite a bit.- this is good stuff guys and gals. . .totally revamped and much more slick.  Again, more to come later.  As far as functionality, it's totally rewritten from the ground up and now has a database behind it.  This can open up all kinds of possibilities, think about it.  Linear versus non-linear workflows.  So now, instead of having user a, b, then c approve or reject a document, it can be more of fluid approval process and not so much in a linear fashion as it is now.  Also, once a user approves or rejects the document, that action doesn't have to stop the process as it does now in a multi-user approval process.  In other words, if user a rejects the document, user b or c can still approve or reject it themselves versus how it is now.  In the current version, if a user in an approval workflow rejects the document, it's done, that's it.  No one else can approve or reject it using the built in approval tools.  That changes with ES.  New icons for statuses, new list views to easily see all users status, new interface, etc.  Lots more to come there.

Any way, thanks for taking the time to read our blog and I hope you all stay tuned for more from NAPC.  We're dedicated to making you successful!


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