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  • What Is 811 and Why Is It Important to Call Before You Dig?

    So what is National 811 Day and why is it important? Once a year, utilities and excavators come together to promote safe digging on August 11th. Originally initiated by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), each year 811 Day grows to reach more and more people encouraging them to call before you dig. History of 811 In the late ’60s, there was a major accident on the west coast that caused major gas leakages, fires, and power outages. The cause of the accident was due to improper digging practices. This incident spawned a movement for notifying utility owners and operators before excavation projects started. This meant that before ground could be broken, an excavator needed to call each utility company in the area for markings. Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, the individual states created dedicated toll-free numbers which their residents and excavators could use to help consolidate the number of calls needing to be made. At first dialing, the number would help the call notify one or two utilities who opted to become members of each call center. This first step paved the way for more utilities with underground facilities to become members. At the same time that more utilities became members of their state one call centers, the laws started to reflect the value of protecting critical infrastructure and the lives of those on the job site. By the end of the 1990s, damage prevention became a staple of the excavation process with every state in the U.S. having a dig law and a way to call811. As time progressed, many states have updated their laws to include membership with the one call center mandatory. In 2005, 811 became the officially nationally recognized abbreviated number and was assigned by the FCC (United States Communications Commission) which would allow all homeowners and excavators to directly dial the one call center in their area quickly and efficiently. Importance of Contacting 811 Every 6 minutes, an underground facility is damaged by someone digging. In 2020 alone, 385,381 damages were reported to the Common Ground Alliance. 31.8% of those damages were due to not contacting 811 to get the facilities marked. Doing the calculations, that is 122,551 times that utility services were interrupted, 122,551 times the digger had to pay for repair costs, 122,551 times someone could have been hurt or killed, and it all could have been easily avoided by contacting 811. With the advancement of technology, submitting a request for utility markings is becoming easier, and most 811 centers offer multiple ways to make the locate request. You can call or submit the ticket online. As a homeowner, I have done both. By picking up the phone to dial 811, you will speak with a representative who can help you and answer questions you may have about the process. If you don’t want to talk with someone or if you are pressed for time, online entry is available. No matter what option you choose, it is extremely important to protect yourself, your property, and your community. You called, now what? After your request has been submitted, it is important to wait for the appropriate time for the utility locators to mark their underground lines. Depending on the state you are located in, this could be 2 or 3 business days. In many states, the point in time by which the facilities should be marked is called the “Proper Notice”. You can use the following link to review the laws in your state. Between the submission of the one call ticket and the proper notice, each utility will respond by sending out a locator to mark their public utilities within the requested dig site. These markings will be color coded by the facility type and will consist of one or any combination of paint, chalk, flags, stakes, brushes, or offsets. It is important to note what constitutes public utilities. This is the part of the facility lines owned and maintained by the utility up to the meter or point of sale. Anything beyond the meter or from one building to another is considered a private line. These lines are not the responsibility of the utility company and therefore would need to be located by a private locator. Private utilities also include wells, septic systems, invisible dog fences, and most irrigation systems. Once the proper notice arrives, use your ticket to confirm all of the utilities on the ticket have responded. Most states have a portal for you to view all of the responses in one location. Use this information along with a visual inspection of the dig site before the first grain of dirt is moved. Should there be any issues, you will want to contact your call center. After verifying that all of the utilities have responded and the markings are present, it is time to begin your project. However, you want to make sure that you respect the markings by digging around them and not on them. Most states have rules regarding the tolerance zones around the markings. Should the digging need to occur within the tolerance zone, there are ways to do so safely. There are two other things to keep in mind. Locate tickets are only valid for a certain amount of time and it varies from state to state. If your work will not be completed by the expiration date, it is important to renew your ticket. The other thing is the visibility of the markings. Should the markings become weathered, faint, or disturbed by the excavation process, stop digging and request a remarking of the lines. One day a year is not enough. It is great that each year we take the time to promote 811, but it's important to remember contacting 811 is not just for August 11th. We have to remember that 811 is available every day, anytime you want to disturb the surface of the ground. Whether you are removing the sod to install pavers, removing a stump, planting a tree or garden, or building an addition, take the time to call 811. The utilities are happy to mark their lines to protect the community and you. This is why they are members of your one call center and include information about contacting 811 on your utility bills. It is why 811 is listed on utility boxes, pedestals, marker posts, transformers, etc. Are you an old hand at 811? Spread the word. If you are someone who has seen and used 811 numerous times over the years you may be asking yourself why you are reading this. Here is a better question to ask yourself: What am I doing to help educate others in my community about 811? There are a number of ways to get involved. The easiest way is during conversations with friends and family. Anytime someone discusses an upcoming project, you can slip a reminder to contact 811 prior to starting. If they don’t know what 811 is, you have an opportunity to engage them in more detail. A second way to promote safe digging is to ensure any excavators, contractors, or those who will be doing work on your property are educated about 811. Make sure that all parties are in agreement on who will be responsible for making the locate request. To make a bigger impact in your area, you can always reach out to 811 in your state and the Common Ground Alliance. They will be able to provide more resources, information, and outreach opportunities to help reach others. Teamwork for Safety Only if we all work together can we prevent damage and save lives. So next time you think about planting a tree for Arbor Day, landscaping as a Mother’s Day present, redoing the patio for Father's Day, installing stakes to hold holiday yard decorations -- whether it's your first request or your thousandth: take the time to plan. More importantly, take time to contact 811. BOSS Solutions is a provider of industry-leading provider of ticket management software for the damage prevention industry. BOSS811 is a cloud-based One Call ticket management software for municipalities, utilities, and locator companies managing excavation requests. It comes with an award-winning UI and easy navigation. With facility map integration, it provides a visual component for effective management and tracking of dig requests. The powerful ticket screening capability makes it easy to close tickets automatically or alert appropriate locators. BOSS Solutions is a proud partner in damage prevention. About the Author: Kristin Reed is a Senior Support Engineer with BOSS Solutions. Kristin has been part of the damage prevention industry since 2010. She is committed to helping utilities and locators protect their facilities and keeping excavators safe at the dig site.

  • BOSS Solutions Suite Receives Several Awards from Gartner Digital Markets

    BOSS Solutions Suite has recently received several awards including FrontRunner® for IT Service Management from Software Advice, Category Leader for Help Desk and Ticketing from Get App, and Top 20 for IT Asset Management from Capterra. Software Advice, Capterra and Get App are all part of Gartner Digital Markets, a service designed to help small and medium-sized businesses evaluate which software products may be right for them. The recognition is due to the high ranking from users, a wide range of features, and excellent customer support. The FrontRunner report for IT Service Management is available here. The Top 20 IT Asset Management report is available here. The Category Leader report for Help Desk and Ticketing is available here.

  • 8 Things to Consider When Choosing New IT Service Management Software

    What to Look for in a New Help Desk Tool Does your help desk software address today's needs? When it comes to deciding on a new IT service management solution for your organization, there are many products to choose from. While certain considerations such as size, budget, and specific organizational needs will be different from one company to the next, there are some criteria that will be common among most during the ITSM tool selection process. Here, we examine eight key elements that should be considered during the decision-making process. 1. Out-of-the-Box Readiness It’s obvious that choosing a tool that suits your needs straight out of the box will always be more convenient compared to a tool that requires lots of early-stage configuration. What is often less obvious during this stage of the selection process is checking to see if the product will require any additional software packages in order to operate as required and also deliver any specific requirements that the organization has. As well as this, considerations should be given and even tested as to the compatibility of specific platforms the new product will support such as Windows operating systems, browser editions, and mobile devices. 2. Customization and Flexibility Many tools allow the flexibility to easily customize components of the product such as forms, fields, reports, workflows, and permissions. The ability to customize these items is often a very important factor when choosing a new IT service management product. Not having the ability to customize such areas of the product prevents you from being able to tailor the product to your organization’s needs now and in the future. Even if the product does allow for customization, consideration should be given as to how easily these changes can be made. Will it require a third-party consultant or can the customizations be carried out by internal IT resources? Similarly, it’s important to check if future software updates will have any effect on both the customizations that have been made and on any third-party integrations that work with the product such as remote desktop platforms. 3. On-premise or in the Cloud For many organizations choosing a product that has a choice of being hosted on-premise or in the cloud makes sense. Typically a hosted product requires little or no maintenance, has no additional cost in terms of hardware, and can easily be accessed from anywhere using most web browsers. However, many organizations still prefer to keep such products hosted locally (on-prem) so that they can easily and securely access the information that’s contained in their databases. The other advantage of having the data readily available is in the scenario of having to migrate the information to a different product at a later stage. As the data is hosted in your environment, it’s often easier to extract and move to a new database than it would be if the data resides in the cloud. 4. Ongoing Technical Support and Maintenance When choosing any new software product for your organization, you want to rest assured that the vendor you are purchasing from is going to be able to provide you with the ongoing support and product maintenance quickly and efficiently. With this in mind, ask the vendor how they provide support, how many years the company has been in business, and if they have been through any recent acquisitions. This will be a good indication of whether they will still be operating in 5 years. Likewise, how does the vendor provide support for the product? Is it in-house technicians or is it outsourced to a third party who might have less knowledge of the product? 5. API Integrations Regardless of what tool is right for your environment, you will mostly likely have a need for third-party applications that work in conjunction with the chosen product. These might be applications for custom web forms, remote help desk software, or integrations to other databases. In order to make sure that the information is shared between these products, check if your newly chosen ITSM vendor provides access to the product's API for the purposes of integration. 6. Additional Costs When reviewing a product’s functionality, it is important to examine which features will not be included in the cost of the standard product platform. Many products offer features such as mobile applications, remote helpdesk tools, and modules for incident and change management. However, quite often these items are not included in the standard product offering and are considered add-ons that are charged separately. 7. Interface and Mobile Platform Capabilities When implementing new software tools, it can be difficult to get end users on board with using the new product. Choosing a tool with a user-friendly interface will assist in encouraging users to adopt the new product. Get a firm understanding during the evaluation stage of which browsers the product supports, if configurations and forms are easily customizable, and whether there is an easy-to-use self-service portal for users. 8. Total Cost of Ownership Determining the total cost of ownership of your new IT service management software should be calculated based on a minimum of a 5-year period. Often, a cloud or SaaS product will appear to be the more cost-effective option when compared to an on-premise hosted solution. However, when compared over a 5-year period, the cost can often be similar or sometimes less. With that said, even with an on-premise solution, there are additional overheads that need to be taken into consideration such as the hardware and software costs to host the product and how frequently these items will need to be upgraded. Other areas of additional cost that should be examined are the ongoing costs associated with training additional licensing and upgrades. BOSS Solutions is a U.S. company providing innovative software solutions for ticket management software. The company’s major product lines are BOSSDesk which provides IT service management both in the cloud and on-premise, and BOSS811, a One Call ticket management software for the damage prevention industry. About the Author: Kris Giroux is the Director of Product Support at BOSS Solutions. He is a product evangelist for BOSSDesk and has been helping customers implement best practices in IT service management for more than 15 years

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  • Chambers Bank Success Story | BOSS Solutions

    CHAMBERS BANK SUCCESS STORIES / Chambers Bank Leverages BOSSDesk to operate more efficiently Request a Demo Contact sales Customer Overview Chambers Bank is a regional bank located in Arkansas with 24 branches. Founded in 1930 as Danville State Bank, it has remained in the Chambers family since its founding. Chambers Bank’s mission is to improve the financial well-being and the quality of life for all their customers in the communities they serve. With over $1 billion in assets and growing, Chambers Bank has been helping their community for 90 years. Challenges Prior to implementing a ticket management solution, Chambers Bank IT department wanted to update the way they processed IT requests. At the time, they were using a shared inbox which did not provide ownership of tickets or enable coordination. Their first experience with ticket management was with a company that offered many different technology solutions and ticket management was not their highest priority. So when they needed help from the vendor, it took a while for Chambers Bank to receive a response. Additionally, that company incurred a data breach which led the bank’s IT management to explore and implement BOSSDesk. Solutions Chambers Bank selected BOSSDesk for several reasons. First, they appreciated the fact that BOSS Solutions specializes in ticket management. With a US-based support team, BOSS is readily available and easily accessible. Secondly, the BOSSDesk Service Catalog provided a “done-for-you” set of templates to build upon paired with an easy-to-use modern user interface. Additionally, BOSSDesk comes with mobile apps for both iOS and Android which provides technicians with the ability to access, update, upload attachments, and close tickets in the field. Chambers Bank employees adopted the system quickly and are finding new ways to get their work done faster than ever before. Results With BOSSDesk, Chambers Bank quickly embraced the Service Catalog extending help desk and service desk capabilities enterprise-wide reducing workloads while increasing the details of the ticket including: Number of Tickets Handled: Increased ticket volume from 200 tickets per month to 800-1000 per month . 2-Click Request Handling: Successfully implemented a “2-click rule” which enables their team to enter a service desk or service request with just 2 clicks. Facilities: Streamlined facilities management by turning requests into a work list so they can determine if a vendor needs to get involved or if the repair or change is something that can be performed by internal staff. This enables problems to be fixed as soon as possible. Appraisals: Expanded ticket management to the Appraisal Department and enabled the loan officers to operate independently from all other tickets. The loan department can now create a stream of communication, including relevant documents, and access them at any time. Reg E Compliance: Expanded ticket management to the Fraud Department specifically for the purpose of developing an audit trail for Reg E disputes compliance. Prior to BOSSDesk, managing fraud disputes was accomplished using secure email, corresponding back and forth with the customer. BOSSDesk provided a coordinated and secure approach to gathering and collecting information from all points of contact – from the customer to the teller to the customer service rep. It was a process improvement success story as it helped them find new ways to get their work done faster than before. Audits: Enabled the IT department to perform an internal audit with an outside party to ensure they are providing everything as promised. BOSSDesk is now the bank's system of Audit . Using the Advanced Search feature in BOSSDesk, a comprehensive report is provided to Auditors who then go through it and narrow down the instances where more info is required to complete the audit. A pdf of relevant tickets is generated along with the chain of approvals and details with time stamp . This results in an easy and quick audit with a complete audit trail. Everything is done electronically and the audit process is a breeze. Handling Complex Requests: Empowered bank personnel to handle any type of request – from complex detailed requests requiring support documentation to small requests such as expediting refreshments for an impromptu meeting. New ideas for extending BOSSDesk to solve various issues are being explored on a daily basis and users love the solution. There is great user adoption due to the flexibility of the solution and the fact that the Service Catalog is visually appealing and very easy to use. Watch the webinar recording of the implementation. "One of the things we really like about BOSSDesk is the fact that they are a service desk company. They eat it. They dream it. They think it. That's all they think about. The other thing that really impressed us was the workflow automation." Shawn Kohltfarber Service Desk Manager Want to share this customer story with someone? Send Email More success stories See All Stories Chambers Bank Chambers Bank Leverages BOSSDesk to operate more efficiently Lexington County School District One Lexington County Schools - Taking Service Management Beyond the Help Desk in Education Holt of California Holt of CA integrates Bots to Improve Efficiency and Service Delivery Across the Organization

  • BOSS811 Free Trial Request | BOSS Solutions

    Try BOSS811 for free with a 14-day trial Experience how our technology can reduce cost, is easy to use, and is both scalable and highly secure. No credit card required We will provide a dedicated support resource to help you with any configuration issues and answer any questions Free trails will be for the Professional version of BOSS811 with unlimited number of agents Trial effective for 14 days from submission request At the end of the trial your data and configuration remains intact should you decide to purchase the product BOSS811 can be purchased for as little as $0.10/Ticket for the Essential version Offer limited to USA and Canada First Name Last Name Company name Email Phone Start Free Trial Your trial request has been sent.

  • Capterra BOSSDesk | BOSS Solutions

    REQUEST A DEMO Award-Winning Help Desk Solutions Highly ranked by customers for providing an affordable solution, great user experience, wide range of features, and excellent customer support. Improved user adoption Dedicated customer support Significant cost savings Ensured compliance First Name Last Name Company name Email Phone Message (optional) Get a Demo CUSTOMERS Trusted by leaders worldwide BOSSDESK BENEFITS Transform the way you manage service requests across your company Streamline Ticket Management Operate efficiently using a service catalog and pre-built templates Use advanced screening to pre-process tickets as they are received Access via Single Sign On (SSO) Set up user roles and permissions Ensure user satisfaction by implementing self-help tools Optimize and Automate Processes Set up rules, triggers and routing to automate workflows View real-time data and search tickets using advanced search reports Automate onboarding, requests for PTO, device upgrades, repairs, facility & operations management Integrate with external monitoring systems to create and escalate tickets for fast resolution to issues Improve Accountability & User Satisfaction Ensure nothing falls through the cracks with SLAs & notifications Upload attachments to support documentation Visualize your data using our state-of-the-art customizable dashboard Stay on top of your metrics with a variety of analytical reports Enable On-The-Go Workflow Provide field technicians with the tools to effectively respond to service requests with BOSSDesk mobile apps for iOS and Android Improve asset management using barcode and QR code scanning Create, update and track tickets on-the-go enabling your team to improve efficiency and increase user satisfaction CITY OF MARIETTA "Our agency likes the flexibility within the platform. We use it to collaborate with our internal users as well as some of our external vendors. The platform allows our employees to keep all service tickets in one solution." Ronald B. Director of Information Technology Not ready? Have a look at our other pages. BOSSDesk Features Industries Pricing BOSS811 Features Industries Pricing Resources Success Stories Videos Events & Webinars Support Email Support Phone Support Support Portal Stay connected with us!

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