Tuesday, 29 November 2016

SkillsServe 6 Release Note

SkillsServe 6.0 is a major new release of SkillsServe with a number of great features and improvements that we are really excited about.

Discussions and Ask the Expert
Collaborative learning, knowledge sharing and asking your peers questions. Ask the Experts for help in private discussions and automatically be notified whenever anyone responds to discussions you are following.

How does it work?
When enabled, any activity in SkillsServe can be discussed and have Experts assigned. These discussions are available in My Activities, Pathways and throughout the Find Learning area. There is also a new centralised feed of discussions as they happen accessible from the main menu and a new Discussions portlet that can be added to the home page.

How do I get it?
This is available for Super Administrators to enable via our brand new self-service feature in Site Settings. For help on how to do this, view our Help Guide. This option is available to the majority of customers with the latest Find Learning feature enabled.

Report Dashboards
We have now added 6 new dashboard reports using our new chart report functionality. These include the following reports:
  • Activity Completion Status – shows a completion overview of all activities
  • Assessment Status – summarises pass and failed assessments
  • CPD Dashboard – a Red, Amber, Green ("RAG") health indicator showing CPD progress across your organisation
  • Form Completions – how complete different types of form are across your organisation
  • Pathway Completions – a completion summary of pathways across your organisation
  • Usage by month - a summary of the last 12 months’ login sessions, activities launches and activities completed

How does it work?
All of the reports are available within the reports area of SkillsServe. Most are available to administrators and managers and the Usage by month report is available to Super Administrators. Each report includes a number of carefully selected filters plus the ability to pivot on different sets of data such as by Organisation Hierarchy, Line Manager and Activity.

How do I get it?
This feature is available to everyone who has the ability to create and edit reports. For more in depth information about the new Report Dashboards, view our Help Guide.

Create Chart Reports
Share and present your own reports visually with the new Chart Reports feature. Configure reports to display key information in a graphical dashboard. Choose from a range of chart types including Bar Charts, Pie Charts and Line Graphs.

How does it work?
Chart reports can be added to any existing report. You can edit an existing report and add up to three charts. Simply click Edit Charts from within a report to be taken to the Charts tab in the report editor. Choose from options such as type of chart, colours and which fields you would like to report on.

How do I get it?
This feature is available to everyone who has the ability to create and edit reports. For more in depth information on how to configure and set up Charts, view our Help Guide.

New Rich Text editor and Image Support
The new rich text editor includes a significantly improved and streamlined user interface and new features such as pasting images from clipboard and image editing where appropriate.

How does it work?
The new text editor is available throughout SkillsServe, and can be seen in many scenarios such as within Discussions, the eCreator and the Knowledge Sharing area.

How do I get it?
This feature is automatically available throughout SkillsServe 6. Image pasting is limited to areas that are appropriate.

About You
Personalise your user profile. Upload your own profile picture and include additional information about yourself.

How does it work?
You can add your photo and a bio within the new About area in your profile. Your photo will be displayed alongside discussions you participate in. You can click on anyone else’s profile to see who is answering your questions and information about the experts you are engaging with.

How do I get it?
This is a standard feature of SkillsServe 6. Simply, click on your username in the page header to access your profile and upload your information. For further information on setting up your profile, please refer to our Help Guide.

Direct Debit
The SkillsServe eCommerce payment options have been extended to now include ad hoc Direct Debit payments.

How does it work?
Administrators can now setup a Direct Debit mandate for their organisation or cost centre. When available, this enables administrators, managers or users to pay for courses by Direct Debit payment.

How do I get it?
This feature needs to be enabled by Unicorn as it will involve configuring a bank account to collect the payments. Please ask your Unicorn relationship manager for further information

Self-Service Activity Ratings
We have extended our Activity Ratings solution to allow existing customers to enable this via our new Self-Service interface. We have also simplified the user interface so that you can now rate by clicking on the appropriate star rating.

How does it work?
Activity Ratings can be enabled via the Site Settings area of SkillsServe 6. Once enabled, users will be asked to enter a 1 to 5-star rating and optional comment on completing any rateable activity. You can optionally decide whether users can see the average rating in the Find Learning area and whether users are also allowed to access and view individual ratings and comments.

How do I get it?
The ability to switch on and manage this feature is available to Super Administrators in SkillsServe 6 within the Site Settings area.

SAML Single Sign On Enhancements
We have significantly improved the SAML Single Sign on capability. This now includes the ability to have multiple inbound and outbound single sign on from different identity and service providers. Our new simplified user interfaces support easier certificate renewals. We have extended the security options to include SHA256 now for both inbound and outbound integrations. We can now also support deep linking whilst using SAML single sign on.

How does it work?
This functionality is built into our SAML Single Sign on capability.

How do I get it?
This is configured by Unicorn project coordinators. Please contact your Unicorn relationship manager if this is of interest.

Customisable Slider
A new rotating banner that can be managed by Super Administrators. This enables promoting different areas of interest and activities within SkillsServe

How does it work?
When enabled, you can add between 1 and 6 different rotating banners. You can upload a different image, target link and caption text to each banner.

How do I get it?
This feature is available to Super Administrators within the new self-service area of SkillsServe in Site Settings.

When will I get SkillsServe 6?
All customers are being upgraded to SkillsServe 6 automatically over the next 4 weeks. Most of the features mentioned are now completely self-service and can be enabled by Super Administrators. Super Administrators are the top level administrator for a SkillsServe site. If you do not have Site Settings available and believe you are the top level administrator, please contact your Unicorn Relationship Manager to get this changed.

Monday, 24 October 2016

SkillsServe 5.9 Release Note

This release includes a series of minor enhancements that have been frequently requested to help day to day administrative tasks.

What does it include?
  • Default calendar reminder added to events ics file for Outlook - When your learners save an Outlook invite from a SkillsServe event email they will now receive an automatic reminder alert ahead of the event start date
  • Enhancements to form PDF printing - Improved layout when printing any completed forms to PDF, such as appraisals, one to one's etc.
  • Support for importing delegations - You can now choose to include delegated manager/supervisor relationships within your ad-hoc or automatic data feeds
  • Pathway data source enhanced to support filtering by child activity - This provides greater flexibility when analysing pathway progress reports, allowing you to easily focus in on specific child activities
  • Cost centre field added to key report data sources - Keep track and report against Cost Centre within your most commonly used reports
  • Rendering of report output directly within emails - When scheduling a report from SkillsServe you can now opt to render the information directly within the body of the email as opposed to as an attachment
  • More intelligent scheduled emails - You can now opt for scheduled emails to only be issued when there is relevant new data to review
  • Additional hierarchy reporting option - The SkillsServe reporting tool now provides you with the option to include up to 6 hierarchy levels from the top down, making it far easier to report over extensive corporate hierarchies that are not alwayse consistent
  • New hierarchy picker in report filters - This new filter options allows you to quickly and easily use a single report to analyse distinct areas of your business hierarchy
  • Lockable filters within reports - When creating reports you can now choose to lock down your filters to pre-define the available data-set by particular criteria, locked filters will not be visible on the report output page
  • Improved integration with 3rd parties through increased API support - SkillsServe now provides increased API support for 3rd party integrations, including the automatic creation of users and organisation hierarchy

For further guidance please refer to our Knowledge Base guide.

How do I get it?

These features are now live and will follow a scheduled rollout to current clients over the next couple of months. For further information about how this change will affect you, please contact the Helpdesk at helpdesk@unicorntraining.com or on 0800 055 6586 .

Friday, 30 September 2016

SkillsServe 5.8 Release Note - Question Banks

It is now possible to upload and download Question Banks in XLSX format (Excel 2007+)  where previously you could only use CSV.  This update means you can correctly upload question banks containing special characters such as a pound sign £ .
Also included in this update we have made improvements to the Question Bank Guidance and a minor amendment to the template itself.

How does it work?
To download the question bank template, select the dropdown field a the top of the Question Bank page in SkillsServe and select the format you wish to download (XLSX is recommended).

When editing question banks, you can choose whether to download the current question bank as either XLSX or CSV.

Within the template, we have updated the column title which was previously 'Modules' to be 'ActivityCode' to better reflect the terminology used in the system. Copying the code of a learning activity within SkillsServe and pasting it in this field will link the question to that activity as related learning.

For help completing the templates and understanding what data is required in each column, click on the Template Guidance link on the Question Banks page in SkillsServe - this area has been updated to make the instructions clearer and easier to follow.

This feature is now live and no action is required. For further information about how this change will affect you, please contact the Helpdesk at helpdesk@unicorntraining.com or on 0800 055 6586. A 'how to' guide on creating a question bank can be found in the Knowledge Base.