Activate Newsletter Q4 2017



Welcome to the 2017 Q4 Activate Newsletter, featuring the latest news and information on Activate and Business Automation.

In this issue: 
* Activate 6.5 Released 
* Cloud Folder Manager 
* 2017 Activate Customer Day Review 
* Christmas/New Year's Support and Office Hours


Activate 6.5 Released

The Activate team is proud to announce the general release of version 6.5. With a number of exciting new features and improvements, Activate v6.5 allows organisations to take greater control of their business workflows and truly automate to maximise cost savings and improve user efficiency and satisfaction.

Main Features:

Shopping Cart Enhancements
On-boarding Enhancements
Analytics and Dashboards
Mobile Progressive Web Application Enhancements
Web based Workflow Editor
Virtual LDAP and native Azure AD support
New Administrator Script Editor and 'Roslyn Compiler' and C# v7 support

Shopping Cart Enhancements

Users can now have multiple 'Incomplete Requests' or Carts outstanding on the web portal. These requests can be restarted and submitted at any time by the user. Incomplete requests are automatically kept in the current browser session for the user unless the request is explicitly cancelled. This means users do not have a do anything to enable the new functionality.

On-boarding Enhancements

A streamlined 'Create User' process makes it easier for managers to on-board new employees with Activate automatically suggesting the access that may be appropriate for the new user.

The user's default entitlements are now shown on the suggest access screen.
You can now also specify a list of categories that are always shown to the user (for example, Computers, Mobiles, Furniture etc), this provides a 'checklist' for the manager to ensure they order from the category.
Selected items are not removed from the suggestions but are now shown 'Checked' instead.

Analytics and Dashboards

Activate Analytics is designed to provide key stakeholders with accurate information around how employees are using Activate, real-time cost saving information, and insights into where further improvements and savings can be made.

Once configured, Analytics presents intelligent dashboards (role-specific if required) which highlight the key metrics that matter to your business.


Out of the box these include information on the number of jobs being processed, service usage, and approval timeframes, however these are just the beginning. Analytics can be set up to collect, analyse and present the data that matters to each organisation. This can help speed up decisions, focus ongoing automation efforts, and drive further user satisfaction outcomes.

Some possible examples that could be useful to your organisation:

Approval timeframes by department
Which parts of the organisation are hampering efficient service delivery?
SLA on Service Delivery
How quickly are you delivering hardware to your users?
Service Desk Password Resets by department
Is there one area in your organisation driving the bulk of your service desk calls for Password Resets?
Alternatively, is there one area where uses are masters of self-service and should be rewarded for helping the organisation cut costs?
Search Term Success
Are your users searching but not finding what they're looking for? Should those search terms be added as keywords to existing Services?

Analytics can be a powerful tool in driving more effective use of Activate, which ultimately drives cost savings and efficiency gains for your business. Analytics is included at no-cost in Activate v6.5 (there are some costs for initial configuration & setup), so talk to your Activate consultant about your upgrade and configuration.

Mobile Progressive Web Application Enhancements

We are continuing to enhance the experience for users on all devices. The Activate Web controls that are used to create custom forms have been enhanced to be more responsive and adapt automatically to different devices and screen sizes.

The aim is to design the form and have it change automatically for different form factors without additional maintenance. This means that we need to drop support for older browsers that make this difficult. IE11 is now the minimum requirement for v6.5, IE10 and below will no longer work.

Web-Based Workflow Editing

As part of Activates aim to empower organisations to more effectively automate their business processes, Activate v6.5 introduces a web-based workflow editor. This powerful tool allows authorised staff to create or modify Activate workflows via the web portal, with suitable controls around making their edits "live".

This function also allows your team to make changes to notification emails without access to the Activate Administrator, and to preview them as users will see them.


Virtual LDAP and Native Azure AD support

Virtual LDAP

The Virtual LDAP capability allows external directories such as Azure AD or any other user database to act like a virtual LDAP server within Activate. This means that Services can have default User Groups, Roles can have Default User DL's that link natively to the virtual LDAP just like they were in Active Directory.

Non-Domain Joined Support

This allows Activate to operate and manage an environment without being explicitly domain-joined; this aims to provide expanded options around cloud deployments. In conjunction, with Virtual LDAP, this allows Azure AD to be the primary user database for Activate instead of Active Directory.

These new features are considered "preview" functions - these are early releases of capabilities in development, and would require Activate involvement to set up and configure. Should your organisation be interested in either of these, please speak to your consultant.

New Administrator Script Editor and 'Roslyn Compiler' and C# v7

The new Activate Script editor includes advanced intellisense and warnings similar to Visual Studio 2017. In fact, Activate now uses the same advanced underlying 'Roslyn Complier' to provide this functionality. This means that all the advanced C# V7 language features can now be used to create scripts directly in Activate.

Activate 6.5 Availability

Activate 6.5 is available now, and you can check out the complete release notes via the Knowledgebase on the Activate Support Portal.

To arrange for your Activate 6.5 upgrade, or to get more details on any of the above features get in touch with your Activate consultant.


Cloud Folder Management Module

Whilst moving your organisation's file & folder environment to the cloud can bring great benefits in collaboration, sharing and reduced infrastructure costs, the fundamentals around structure management, access control and audit tracking unfortunately don't go away.

Activate 6.5 brings the ability to manage your cloud folder environment to the same level as your on premise environment, allowing you to manage access requests, security and user control all whilst providing the same self-service interface and back-end capabilities to users and IT staff. 
Activate 6.5 natively supports the top providers in the cloud folder space, including DropBox & OneDrive, with the ability to integrate with other services as necessary.


2017 Activate Customer Day Review

The 2017 Activate Customer Day was held in mid-October, with dozens of Activate customers and partners coming together to hear about the latest developments with Activate, as well as share and discuss success stories where Activate has reduced costs and raised business efficiency and user satisfaction.

Attendees heard from Activate CEO Shaun Blackmore as he looked back at the history of Activate, before he went through the latest developments with v6.5. Shaun also shared his views on the current and coming trends within IT, and how Activate will continue to develop to automate, manage and drive efficiency in the future.

Spark shared how they implemented external password resets and email approvals, both of which had a great reception within the company Attendees also heard how one of Activates customers moved from an on premise file & folder system to Drobox, using Activate to control and manage access and document management workflows with great success.

The value of synchronising Activate with an HR system to drive role automation at The Warehouse Group, as well as how they used Activate to migrate to, and manage, Office 365 was discussed - something a lot of other organisations are going through now.

Successful initiatives as organisations as diverse as Ministry of Primary Industries, Australian Department of Health, The Warehouse Group and ACC were covered to show the broad range of IT and business processes that companies are using Activate to improve efficiency, reduce costs and increase compliance and accuracy.

The day was a great success with diverse companies sharing problems, solutions and ideas on how they've used Activate to make their businesses more successful.

For those unable to attend, the presentations are available for download on the Activate website

Click here to download the 2017 Customer Day Presentations


Xmas / New Year's Support & Office Hours

The Activate office will be closed from Friday 22nd December 2017 through to Monday 8th January 2018.

During this time support for your Activate environment will continue to be available via the Activate Support Portal

If you encounter any issues log them and our on-call team will be in touch.

Kind regards, 
Your Team at Activate