As part of the continuing product growth of MINCOR planning has begun for Service Release 6, meaning a number of features are being examined and we welcome clients wishing to contribute their feedback.
Currently we are investigating enhancements to the following four areas of the application.
Implementing a context based help easily configured for each customer on site. This allows a client to upload help content to be displayed based on a number of key factors – their role, the item type and the item status. This enables clients to include multimedia content such as video or audio files, rather than just links to manuals.
With the emergence of new technologies an opportunity to review how MINCOR handles processes such as approval of a document and see if addition of a third party system could represent significant cost or efficiency savings. With this in mind we have begun investigating Microsoft Lync. It is being considered for use for the following reasons:
- To improve the approvals process and remove process inefficiencies,
- To allow real time collaboration/editing,
- To capture conversations that relate to MINCOR items,
- It is readily available to most government agencies through W.O.G. Microsoft arrangements.
Support for Tablet and Mobile Devices
A large amount of effort has gone into investigating the usability of an iPad as part of MINCOR, and how this application could add value to the process. The iPad application exists for three reasons:
- To facilitate a simple and seamless bi-lateral synchronisation of information between the MINCOR and the iPad.
- To provide a user friendly facade over the launching of 3rd party viewing, annotating or editing applications such as PDF Review, GoodReader, CloudOn tools etc.
- To record and enact user preferences for the editing tools and the document synchronisation scheme.
Longer Term MINCOR Adaptations
The following are two areas in which we believe large scale change will arise over the next 2-5 years. They involve both slight and radical changes to the way departments approach correspondence handling. We are tabling these situations now to allow us to respond to them with gradual product changes that meet the progressing needs of this profession.
1 - MINCOR Cloud Addition
A version of MINCOR hosted externally to the customers organisation assists in improving the use of MINCOR and reduces timeframes or effort to manage items. Aspects of this system could include:
- Public access to submit information,
- Public access to retrieve status and progress of an item,
- Other agency interconnection between MINCOR systems, providing a confederated view or assisting the transfer of items between systems.
This project is not necessarily a tablet solution which would focus on an information worker role and a set of focussed actions.
2 - "Tomorrow's Correspondence Worker"
A look to the future of how people would be interacting with correspondence in two years' time.
The government workplace is changing and IT resources may not always be readily available. The expectation is both the worker and support are more removed from each other than they are today. This leads to a change in facilities provided to workers and fixed desks may not be available to all. If new buildings and layouts provide only temporary desks, stand-up areas and limited conference rooms, what are the changes to the work practice and tools to make this easy and viable?
What impact does "hot-desking" have on a person's ability to access information and communicate with peers to complete correspondence activities;
- Would people come together more often in group meetings to collaboratively work on items thereby creating a sense of focus?
- Is the use of teleconferencing tools a suitable replacement for the face-to-face collaboration and what is the work practice to get the best out of this style of interaction?
An extension of teleconferencing is general remote access:
- Are the requirements the same for a user working from home on flexible working hours arrangement compared to an employee in the new workplace.
The feature set for SR5 has been locked in for some time and it is now tested and production ready. A number of agencies have begun upgrading their MINCOR to SR5. As part of the upgrade process we work with the department to configure each item to meet their needs. This can include "turning off" a new feature should it be counter-intuitive to departmental processes.
Below is a list of the updates made to MINCOR as part of SR5.
Improvements in the user experience
- Navigation Menus – This will allow users to navigate more effectively between key functions. For example, it provides them access to search while any tracking item is open.
- Information Views – On the right hand side of a MINCOR item there are information views that allow fast access to Attachments, Related items and Recently Opened items.
- Search – From search you can now open up multiple items at once. These will be opened in new tabs or new windows depending on your browser setting.
- Template Handling – Auto attachment is far more consistent and all the available word properties can be auto-added into a word template.
- User Administration – Fast, type as you go searches can be performed on user name or email.
- Free Text Search Syntax – More closely approximates Google's syntax and you no longer need to put quotes around a multi word search phrase.
- List Paging – Very large lists that result from searches on items, clients and users are better managed.
- Worklists – Officers with multiple roles now have access to each of the Worklists for each of their roles.
- Access Log – A log accessible by administrators which records all access, views, document views and edits.
- Administration Filtering – Large volume administration lists can be filtered, to remove old inactive entries
- Externally Hosted Operation – MINCOR now operates with full functionality in externally hosted environments (cloud).
- MINCOR Address Book Handling – This is intended to support the new organisational structures. It includes a new MINCOR managed Address book and the XML GAL, which is also used by the MINCOR security module. The new GAL will allow MINCOR to show more filtered data, i.e. only the EC's for a division. It can also show organisational information, i.e. the default division.
- More Efficient Review officer Allocation – All three review officers may now be entered simultaneously.
Document configuration, application configuration and BTM administration forms allow more options to be controlled without the need for a new MINCOR release. Among the things an Administrator can now control:
- Control what roles perform what operations on attachments,
- Turn operations on and off,
- Control email notifications,
- Control what roles create what items,
- Assign certain defaults,
- Turn the process guide off and on,
- Turn on new options for quality checking,
- Use new options for early stage item creation and bypassing EMG.
The support for operating environments continues to keep pace with Microsoft's N-1 strategy. In some instances we support older versions of IT infrastructure. MINCOR SR5 supports the following environmental components – Office 2010, SQL & Windows Server 2008 R2, Internet Explorer 9 & 10 (compatibility mode), Chrome and FireFox.
- 40 defects have been addressed in this upgrade.
Modules you may not know about
- Custom Fields – Add you own fields (text, drop down lists etc) to MINCOR and be able to search and report on them.
- Scanning – Integrate with Multi-function devices to automatically create MINCOR items and attach the scanned documents as attachments.
- Email Scanning – Integrate with email to automatically receive formatted emails and create MINCOR items and attach the scanned documents as attachments. Useful for integrating with your corporate web site.
- Barcoding – Add predefined barcodes to electronic documents that will be printed and may be later scanned after signature. MINCOR will recognise the scanned document via the barcode and automatically update the latest version of the document with the new scanned image.
- Call Register – Provides a very direct and minimal data entry option to record and process important telephone phone events.
- Electronic Signatures – Add electronic signature images managed by MINCOR to the electronic response document after final approval.
- PDF Conversion – At finalisation convert attachments to PDF as the final revision.
- Delegated Trust SRMS – Allows the current users security clearance to be delegated to other users in the processing chain for an item, where these users would not normally have clearance to the item.
New Modules IN SR5
- Organisational Entity – A single MINCOR system can be used by multiple departments. The organisational entity module allows a range of administration data to be separated per group and assists with limiting the visibility of information between the groups.
- SharePoint Integration – This module allows information from MINCOR to be presented in your SharePoint site. Normal SharePoint lists and views can be configured by the user and the module supports searching from SharePoint.
- TRIM Security – The DMI module for TRIM now allows SRMS security and organisational entity security attributes to be synchronised with TRIM.
Please contact your account manager now if you wish to implement this functionality.