3 simple steps to spice up your team communication by integrating Slack and apps you use for work

Slack is a great real-time chat built for team communication: all discussions in one place, instantly searchable, available wherever you go. Designed with simplicity and ease of use, Slack enables teams, even those distributed around the world, to quickly create both public and private channels for various topics or projects and discuss issues that affect them and they care about.
With Connect, X-Formation’s online service that connects different web apps, you can integrate Slack with Salesforce, JIRA, RSS, Twitter or an email service of your choosing to automate lots of daunting, repetitive tasks between these apps.
So, if you want to:
  • avoid continuously checking your email for new messages and get automatic notifications of each new email in the Slack channel of your choice instead
  • let your team know about new Salesforce leads or opportunities as soon as they arrive
  • stay on top of everything in near real time
  • immediately notify your team when a new item is published in an RSS feed of your choice
  • share new tweets in a Slack channel of your choosing,
.. so, basically, if you want to be less busy and more productive, then you should seriously consider setting up the Slack integration in order to have all the data your care about filtered and synced in one place.
To begin: In this example we’re setting a Slack channel for the sales team of your company because we assume that you would like to let your sales staff know about new Salesforce opportunities as they are created. Once we set up this integration, Connect starts to push new Salesforce opportunities into the Slack channel indicated by you.
Next: Log in to Connect or sign up for it. To do this, simply enter all the information as needed.

Step 1. Add an account for Slack. When doing this, you will  need to authorize Connect to access your Slack account (no worries, at X-Formation we take security of your data very seriously).
After you’ve successfully authorized Connect to access your Slack account, you are redirected back to Connect.

Step 2. Add an account for Salesforce. Name the account and you’ll again be prompted to authorize Connect to access your Salesforce account.
Once you’re back in Connect, follow Step 3, below.   
Step 3. Make a connection with Salesforce as a source and Slack as a destination.
a). Configure Salesforce as a source by defining the “create” trigger that Connect will perform on a Salesforce opportunity.  
b). Configure Slack as a destination and specify the Slack channel in which you want to receive notifications from Salesforce. 
Try this connection now and see how magically Connect will boost your own workflow with few simple clicks. Simply combine a source of your choosing and a Slack destination and let us know how we you’re doing so that we can make Connect even better for you.
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A new video walkthrough of License Statistics Dashboard

Recently we’ve made a new video walkthrough of how to use new, customizable License Statistics Dashboard introduced in License Statistics version 5.0. If you want to manage your license usage data at high level and have information you care about most right at your hand, watch this video and learn how to effortlessly customize the Dashboard by:
  • adding new and removing unwanted reports
  • rearranging reports
  • defining page layout in a way that best suits your needs
The new Dashboard is a very quick way to monitor and manage your license usage statistics. Make use of it!
PS. Remember that we’re only a click away. Don’t forget to contact us if you have questions, concerns or any suggestions that would help us improve our products.
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Case Study: License Statistics helps Walter Leisinger AG keep track of historical license usage data and optimize license purchases accordingly

About Walter Leisinger AG

The Walter Leisinger AG is an engineering company with around 25 employees and over 40 years of experience.
The company’s core activities centre around surveying, planning, and civil engineering. Being familiar with local and regional conditions, Walter Leisinger AG is capable of offering individual counselling and solutions tailored to the specific needs of their customers. Thanks to following high standards of performance and quality management based on ISO, the company can boast a loyal, long-time customer base and is proud to be keeping up with latest industry trends and developments.

The Business Challenge

The company, like many businesses today, wanted to shift their focus on minimizing costs and on effective use of expensive software licenses. Before choosing License Statistics, they didn’t know how many licenses they were using. Walter Leisinger AG wanted to ensure that they had the right number of licenses to accommodate their operations and they wanted to optimize usage of licenses; therefore, the company was looking for an effective license management solution that would help them estimate license costs and plan purchases according to actual license use.
Solutions other than License Statistics were not supplying all information they needed; for example, they didn’t provide storing usage history for monitored applications. License Statistics made all the above possible out of the box and delivered many more powerful features, increasing productivity and the ROI of software investment.

The License Statistics Solution

Walter Leisinger AG chose License Statistics, because the software meets, at an affordable price, their requirements for monitoring license usage over a longer period of time (for example, over a year). License Statistics proved to be a full-featured license monitoring solution that helped them monitor historical data and make well-informed purchasing decisions based on such observations.

Summary

Thanks to License Statistics, Walter Leisinger AG can effectively monitor their license usage and accurately plan license purchases. The company is satisfied with all features of the product, as well as with the high level of technical support provided by X-Formation.
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Case Study: RMC chooses easy integration and superior customer support with LM-X License Manager

About RMC

RMC delivers engineering consultancy services for the oil and gas (O&G) industry. With a wealth of experience dating back to 1980s, RMC is able to provide engineering consultancy services even for most demanding and complex industrial and commercial projects.
Currently, RMS is focused on developing the PCS (Pipe Calculation System), an application that provides pipe stress engineers with an interface for a finite element solver (Simulia Abaqus). PCS offers an easy-to-use interface that provides geometric modeling of pipe geometry, post-processing templates, report generation, as well as a number of other features used for finite element simulation of large piping systems.

The Business Challenge

RMC was facing many integration issues with third-party software providers delivering their APIs on a custom python kernel, which proved to be challenging for them. The company needed a licensing solution that would address their licensing needs and would offer a solution capable of integrating some custom APIs.

The LM-X Solution

LM-X License Manager fit the company’s requirements for the software well because it has all the needed features, works without hassles, and the support is excellent. According to RMC, LM-X provides first-class license management utilities even when it’s implemented in fairly uncommon software environments, which is exactly what they were looking for in a software license management solution.

Summary

RMC has been satisfied with the solution they’ve found with LM-X License Manager because LM-X was easy to integrate with their own solutions. They also discovered that X-Formation understands them and is able to address their unique needs by providing effective and quick customer support.
For RMC, LM-X License Manager proved to be the better license management solution, with better flexibility, features, and great technical support.
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Receiving is great but sharing is even better: when RSS meets HipChat

RSS is useful because once you subscribe to a feed, you don’t have to patrol the websites for the news, sparing yourself lots of time and effort. But what if you want NOT ONLY to do nothing (except watch the information that interests you roll in), BUT ALSO automatically share this interesting, relevant content with others? This sounds great, especially if you’re keen to:
  • keep tabs on competitors and immediately share information about their doings in the HipChat room of your choosing
  • keep abreast with the activities of your key customers and immediately bring the news to your team members
  • post new blog posts, industry articles, or any updates you want right in a given HipChat room
Connect is a SaaS solution that allows you to connect different business apps to automate parts of your business. We encourage you to use our RSS addition to the Connect integrations family to easily pipe your favorite RSS feeds into any HipChat room and let the news come straight to you!
The RSS-HipChat integration is easy to set up. Here’s how to make RSS talk to HipChat with Connect:
1. First off, you need to either log in to Connect or sign up for it by entering all the information as needed.
2. Add an account for RSS. When doing this, you will need to provide the RSS feed URL to “tell” Connect where it should be looking for the content you want to push further.
3. Add an account for HipChat.
To add an HipChat account, you will need to generate a HipChat token, as described in HipChat integrations.
4. Make a connection with RSS as a source and HipChat as a destination.
– Configure RSS as a source by specifying the query interval at which Connect should check the source for new updates, defining data extractions and specifying other settings as desired, etc.
– Configure HipChat as a destination by specifying the HipChat room where a message should be posted, determining the format of the message, and so on.
Try this connection now and see how magically Connect will boost your own workflow with few simple clicks. Simply combine RSS source and a destination of your choosing (like HipChat, Slack, Email or Webhook) and let us know how we’re doing so that we can make Connect even better for you.
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5 New Year resolutions for small businesses with a BIG vision

January is a nostalgic month in which many people resolve to improve themselves in some way. Prompted by the start of a new year, people tend to make big wishes to turn over a new leaf.
Whether 2015 was a boom or not, the first month of the new year is the ideal time to review how your company performed in the last year and set your personal and professional goals for 2016.
Small businesses all too often scratch ambitious plans or lofty ideas just because… they often focus too much on their own size. They tend to think that they cannot compete with large corporations and become comfortable being small – both in terms of size and … achievements. Here’s how to think big even if you run a small company.

1. Remember that size does not matter

Given the fact that “businesses with fewer than 20 employees have only a 37% chance of surviving four years (of business) and only a 9% chance of surviving 10 years”, it is worth thinking about the amount of time, commitment and effort that people working in small companies contribute to make their businesses not only come to life but also stay alive.
On the client side, there are many perks that small companies can offer to customers such as more personalized, hands-on customer service or customer-driven development (at X-Formation we offer both of them, let alone other perks).
Your small business doesn’t have to have a small vision. You can adopt the same practices that large businesses use. And even if you operate on a small scale, your business can be successful.

2. Put customer first

We’ve already shared with you some of the lessons we’ve learned over many years about how to deliver excellent customer experience and maintain a loyal customer base, but let’s recap what was said once again.
In small companies customer service is more personalized and flexible. And although there are exceptions to every rule, most customers expect that a smaller business will deliver stronger customer service. Such service is possible due to employees’ personal commitment — when they have a more hands-on role within the company, they’re building a stronger sense of care for what they do. At X-Formation we always let our customers’ voice be heard and we remain responsive to our customers’ needs. We keep development on track with our customers’ needs thanks to, among other channels of communication, our X-Formation feedback page. Our customers can ask questions and suggest new features in our products whenever they want. In addition to that, our ability to roll out frequent, stable releases that solve real issues for our user community is attributable to our customer-driven development approach.

3. Be willing to experiment

Small businesses are nimble and can think agile. The owner can make quick decisions and is able to interact with customers on a daily basis to find out what they really want. There is no need to struggle through bureaucracy or overcome resistance from internal rivals who favor the status quo, so try to surprise your customers by launching a new product or service.
At X-Formation we’ve recently gone above and beyond developing software license management solutions (License Statistics, License Activation Center, and LM-X License Manager) and we’ve launched a new service, Connect, that connects together different web apps (like Salesforce, HipChat or Twitter) to automate parts of companies’ workflow.

4. Monitor quality and make your teams talk to one another

Hands-on attention to detail and strong focus on quality create value not only because, as the saying goes, “the devil is in the detail”.  Monitoring quality fosters the culture of continuous improvement. And improvements mean more customer satisfaction. It also contributes to the sense of responsibility of each employee. Another important aspect is nurturing close collaboration between teams. Being too focused on one’s own goals can lead to informational silos and lack or organization.

5. Use social media

Social media can help you promote your company not only with regard to potential employees (who are probably keen to find out who works in a company they’d like to join), but also in regard to customers interested in purchasing your products. At the end of the day, who wouldn’t like to see a real human face rather than a computer-generated, artificial graphics? At X-Formation we recognized this long ago — this is why we set up our X-Formation Facebook Fan Page where we show the highlights of our company life. Try to show that your company is alive and try to encourage people to like your Facebook Page.
Remember that not only can you reach more people through Facebook, you can reach the specific people who are most likely to become your customers.
Your business may be small, but it that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. You should find your own vision and pursue your goals to set the stage for your immense success of your small (but big!) company.
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LM-X License Manager v4.8.2 out today!

We’re proud to announce that we’ve just rolled out LM-X v4.8.2, a new minor release of our software license manager.
 A few highlights of this release:
– Enabled downloading sets of data (instead of downloading all data at once) and monitoring the download progress in order to improve the speed of loading graphs in the LM-X License Server Client.
– Dropped support for Solaris (64 bit) x64 and Solaris (64 bit) Sparc64
Enabled continuous checking of custom HostIDs to eliminate the possibility of moving the same dongle to a different machine and simultaneously starting another instance of the license server on that machine.
– Improved the speed of loading data for UI charts with long ranges by reducing the volume of the sent data.
– Added the possibility to display two or more features with the same name and version on graphs in the LM-X License Server Client as different features with different counts of licenses instead of displaying them as one feature.
On top of that, we have fixed other bug fixes, so be sure to read the Release Notes for all details.
Interested in evaluating the latest version of LM-X License Manager? Submit your request for evaluation today. Already using LM-X? Download the latest version of the vendor LM-X SDK and see what’s new.
As with all of our product improvements, the improvements and fixes in this release were made in direct response to customer feedback. We do our best to listen to you and incorporate as many of your suggestions and requests as possible. This interactive process is ongoing, so please continue sharing your comments to help us make LM-X License Manager even better for you in the future.
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Office closed for a public holiday

Dear Customers,
Our office in Cracow will be closed on Wednesday, January 6, for a public holiday. Our sales and technical staff will not be available on this day, so answers to your questions may be delayed.
Kind regards and apologies,
X-Formation Team
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Christmas public holiday notice

Dear Customers,
Please be advised that during the holiday season our office in Krakow, Poland, will be closed on the following days:
  • 24 December 2015 (Thursday)
  • Christmas Day (Friday, 25 December)
  • New Year’s Day (Friday, 1 January)
  • Epiphany (Wednesday, 6 January)
We wish you a happy holiday season and all the best in the New Year!
X-Formation Team
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Salesforce is great but using Connect can make it even better

If you’re a sales rep, chances are that you regularly use Salesforce to manage your leads, accounts, contacts, and opportunities. Salesforce helps you spend less time doing administrative work and more time on winning new customers. But however useful Salesforce is, there are always ways to make it better. And here’s where Connect steps in, boosting your Salesforce workflow and making you work smarter, for example by
automatically creating a JIRA issue each time a Salesforce opportunity is updated, created or deleted
How to do it
To let Salesforce talk to JIRA with Connect:
1. Add two accounts:
– one for Salesforce:
– and one for JIRA :)
2. Configure Salesforce as a source:
3. Configure JIRA as a destination.
Try this connection now and see how magically Connect will boost your own workflow with few simple clicks.
Some other scenarios in which Connect may help you boost your daily workflow include:
  • keeping your sales team up to date on sales and marketing activities by sending automatic HipChat alerts for new Salesforce leads or opportunities
  • informing sales team that a lead turned into customer (HipChat, mail)
  • informing customers or your account department via email that payment in Salesforce has been received
  • sending HipChat notifications for new Salesforce leads
Combine the Salesforce source and a destination of your choosing and improve your Salesforce workflow today.
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