My Favorite Abak 7.3 Feature: Outlook Integration

Abak 7.3 is right around the corner, and we’re very excited about that! Amongst all the new features, our new Outlook integration is the shining star. There are two reasons for this:

  1. It was voted in by our users in our 2010 survey! 93% of all survey participants said they wanted Outlook integration, and there you have it. Have you filled out the 2011 survey yet?
  2. It ROCKS! Abak sends project assignments and datebook entries to Outlook, so the information is where we spend so much time, Outlook!

Here’s how it works!

It’s easy to decide exactly what information will be transferred to Outlook, using the same type of variables as we do for building invoice texts. If you’d like to reference the project, the client name and the contact email, then add those variables to the text template!

Configuring variables in Abak

Once you log in to Abak, the system will check if you have new or updated assignations and reminders, and update your Outlook calendar and tasks. And the result?

The Task List in Outlook describe the image An appointment from Abak to Outlook

Ta-da! Appointments show up in your calendar, or in tasks. You decide what goes where.

Security is managed by user group. You select who should get Outlook integration (although in our book, everyone should!).

What do you think? Where should we take Outlook integration from here? Tell us in the comments!

How disconnected is your business?

When business owners come to Abak, they’re having problems figuring out what’s going on in the business, and which projects to focus on.

So, we decided to make a video that explains how Abak works as the central nervous system for your business: identify business lines and client types to grow, and phase those that are not profitable.

Tell us what you think!

Create a Configurable Resource Productivity Report in Abak

Our clients love our Resource Productivity Report because it shows the proportion of billable time VS non-billable time worked for each employee and contractor. However, some of our clients need to exclude some data from the calculations. For example, excluding vacation, sick days and other paid leave from the report might give a more accurate representation of the proportion of billable time.

While the standard Resource Productivity Report is not configurable, we can use the Pivot Reports to produce the same information, while being able to exclude pay codes, activities or projects. The genius behind Abak’s pivot reports is that we can save and share report templates, for use by other users or with a different data set later on. Moreover, since the templates contain no data, there is no risk to the business’ confidentiality of data.

Here’s how to use the Resource Productivity Pivot Report Template.

  1. Download the template files here. Unzip the files and save them on your computer.
  2. In Abak, go to the report section and create a pivot report for the dates you want.
    Abak Report
    1. Choose only timesheets
    2. Add the pay code data to your pivot report data set.
  3. Open the report in Abak. Now, we’ll apply the template. To do so, open the Template menu and browser to the files you saved on your computer earlier.
    Abak Report
  4. Your report should now display billable VS non-billable hours and percentages, per employee, pay code and task. You can click on the + sign next to the employee name to see more detail.Abak Report
  5. To exclude a pay code or an activity from your report, click on the configuration button on the left-hand bar. This will open the activity list window and allow you to uncheck activities such as vacation or leave, so they are removed from the report.Abak ReportAbak Report
  6. And you’re done!
  7. Export your report to Excel or PDF format from the Export menu.