Kinetic Calendar Gives Building Materials Giant Solid Insight into Environmental Permitting and Testing Requirements

It Happened in Vegas

When the company’s BMC Remedy administrator and developer saw a demonstration of the latest version of Kinetic Calendar at last year’s World Wide Remedy Users Group conference in Las Vegas, he peeled off a symbolic $1 bill and gave it to Kinetic Data’s President, John Sundberg, on the spot. It was a tailor-made solution for a big challenge.

The company has long used BMC Remedy for custom-built help desk forms, project and asset management, as well as leave requests and other applications. One BMC Remedy application the company acutely needed was a calendar that would give upper management quick views into how environmental and regulatory deadlines were being met in the company’s cement and ready-mix concrete divisions.

Both divisions are required to meet strict environmental standards and regulations. The ready-mix concrete division had built out an Environmental Management System (EMS) that tracked permit deadlines, air-quality testing and other requirements. Part of its EMS included a calendar built in BMC Remedy using tables. When the concrete division reviewed the ready-mix group’s EMS, users quickly fell in love with most of its features.

Except for the calendar.

For starters, the EMS calendar application was resource-intensive and the wait for a calendar to come up was agonizingly slow. Even worse, the calendar content was not configurable, showed only limited views into EMS activity, and couldn’t provide an overall view of all the different modules in the EMS system—let alone allow managers to drill down into modules for more details.

Delivering What Management Needed

Luckily, the company found their problem’s solution in Las Vegas.

Kinetic Calendar is a surprisingly simple to deploy off-the-shelf BMC Remedy application. And it works seamlessly with custom-built BMC Remedy applications. Both requirements were important to the company because it had been disappointed before by purchasing a software product that didn’t work with customized applications and instead required extensive development work. The company wasn’t going to make the same mistake again.

That’s why the company was delighted when it learned that Kinetic Calendar works easily with custom-built applications. In fact, Kinetic Calendar worked so well with the company’s custom-built applications that two calendars were ready to be rolled out to its U.S. cement production sites in just a few weeks. In all, the company will roll out 10–15 Kinetic Calendar modules with specific dates for tracking purposes in such critical EMS areas as permit expiration dates, site inspections and air-quality testing. All modules can be tracked on one main calendar view—a critical requirement for management. Users can also drill down from the main calendar into specific modules and site locations.

It’s a one-stop shop for upper management. Executives can view any level and detail of EMS tracking they need—by month, week or day—at any time, anywhere they have an Internet connection. And they don’t need to know how to use BMC Remedy or any special application, so their learning curve is practically nonexistent.

Who Says Great Software Can’t Be Boring?

One of the most appealing aspects of Kinetic Calendar to the company is its ease of use. So much so that BMC Remedy developers in the company find Kinetic Calendar actually kind of boring.

One Remedy developer recalls the Friday afternoon when the company purchased and downloaded Kinetic Calendar. It was a busy day at work so he didn’t get around to playing around with his new “toy” until after he went home and had dinner. His wife expected him to be holed up in his home office for hours, which was often the case when he tried out new software. Instead, he emerged from his office 45 minutes later and announced he was bored.

“You just got new software and you’re bored already?” his wife asked incredulously. Sad but true. Kinetic Calendar poses no challenges to BMC Remedy developers. Users, however, probably will find Kinetic Calendar’s ease of use anything but boring.

 

Personalizing Kinetic Calendar

By Derick Larson

Kinetic Calendar is possibly my favorite product—and not just because we get fewer support calls. Kinetic Calendar gives you an entirely new way to view your Remedy data and opens it up to a much wider audience.

The most common question about Kinetic Calendar is how to let customers view the events they want without making multiple calendars. The idea is to give the customer a lot of data and let them “filter” down to what is important to them. This lets you have one main calendar that customers can personalize for their own requirements.

For example, you have one change management calendar that multiple departments use to view their changes. You could create multiple calendars, but that is limiting if a customer wants to see the changes for multiple departments. Filtering lets the customer personalize the calendar, without requiring you to make any changes to the actual calendar definition.

Filtering is done two ways.

First, there is an event type for a calendar called Filtered that lets you select fields (from the BMC Remedy form you are using for your data) for your customers to filter the individual events. You can set the order of the fields and even set a default. The fields are listed along the top of the web display of the calendar for the customer to choose.

The second method allows you to put parts of your qualification in the URL that is used to display the calendar. You have to build your own web page to collect the parameters and call the URL (Kinetic Request and Kinetic Survey are perfect for this), but you can really add to your customers experience by letting them make selections before the calendar is displayed. This method uses a feature called Parameter Values, and can be combined with the filters.

Combining the two methods together allows you to present very informative and personalized views into your own BMC Remedy data. For example, a service provider could see events by one or multiple companies, or their customers can be limited to just their own tickets, but still have the ability to filter based on other criteria like priority, status or assigned to group.

Let us know what cool things you’ve done with Kinetic Calendar—we love to share ideas and experiences with our customers.