Messenger v5 User Guide

What is Messenger v5?

Groupcall Messenger v5 provides an easy-to-use solution for parental communications. The system gives schools the ability to send text messages (SMS), emails and automated voice calls to the mobile phones and landlines of parents, staff and key contacts.

Messenger v5 Access

To access Messenger v5 please visit;

Introduction

This user guide is intended to provide users with all the information they need to select recipients, compose a message and then send the message; it also looks at analysing the responses.

Getting Started in Messenger v5

Groupcall Messenger v5 is a web-based system, so you first need to ensure your computer is connected to the Internet. Navigate to the following URL/address and enter your Messenger v5 username and password.

m5.groupcall.com

Your login credentials were either provided by Groupcall in the case of the Main Account Holder, or they would have been set-up by your School administrator. Please speak to that person before contacting support if you do not know your username.

Welcome Screen

Messenger v5 is very simple and intuitive to use, there are several main components to the system which you will see listed on the Messenger v5 welcome screen:-

M5.2_Home_Screen

  • Send Messages;
    • selecting recipients
    • composing the message
    • sending the message.
  • Incoming;
    • Easily view replies and incoming texts sent to the school account.
  • Message History;
    • Viewing messages sent and responses received.
  • Authorise;
    • Allow messages to be sent that have been composed by other users without the authority to send messages.
  • Admin;
    • Managing Users
    • Uploading Data and User Preferences
    • Manage Contacts.
Please note: The exact combination of items you see on the welcome screen may vary and are dependent on your individual account’s user roles and settings. The Welcome Screen can be accessed at anytime from within Messenger v5′s various pages by clicking the green Groupcall Messenger logo at the top left of the browser window. Mv5_Header

Composing Messages

To start sending messages, click either the main “Send Message” button on the welcome screen or choose “Send Message” from the header toolbar,  near the top right of the screen. Mv5_Header_SendMsg

Select Contacts

Once you are in the ‘Send Messages’ area of Messenger v5, your contacts will be displayed on the left hand side of the screen under the “Groups” tab.  The group structure is dynamic and what you see will depend on how your contacts have been synced from the MIS. Recipients can be selected in any combination of the following methods;

  • Click the arrow next to a Group field to expand the tree and select the group required and/or;
  • Select a Contact or Group from within the address book and/or;
  • Click the “Names” tab and search by name.

Your contact selection can be further refined using Filters;

  • Accessed by the blue hyperlink in the ‘Actions’ column, filters are used to refine the selection further.  Filters are dynamic and will only display the options available in your database.
  • Any filters active will be displayed in the filters column.
  • If you then wish to add more recipients from other groups you can do so by clicking on another group and again apply filters as you wish.

Message Costing Summary

M5.2_Approx_CostingWhen selecting contacts, you will see a pop up window displaying an approximate cost for the message(s) being sent. This is based on the message formats selected, the number of contacts (including message frequency) and the chosen message priority. You will see a new pop-up summary every time you change a contact selection option – i.e. if you choose a new group, the summary will re-calculate and adjust to the larger/smaller contact list accordingly. To hold the pop up on the screen click on the pin in the top right hand corner. Click off to remove. Please Note: The costings used are approximate and may differ based on your subscription; they are provided to give an indication of cost only and should not be taken as 100% accurate. The summary only shows SMS units and voice minutes as emails incur no charge. For more information on the costs per SMS/voice minute please contact us.  

Creating Messenger v5 Groups

From within Messenger v5 you can create your own groups outside of those created dynamically from your source data, allowing you to customise the filtering and add additional contacts as required. Once created, your new group will be displayed in the ‘Send Message’ screen along with the dynamic groups.

To create a Group;
  1. Select the appropriate contacts from your database using the steps outlined in the ‘Select Contacts‘ section.
  2. Click ‘Save Group’ from below the list of contact selection criteria in the centre pane.
  3. In the pop-up window, give the Messenger v5 Group a unique and relevant name.
    • We recommend you include filtering and group criteria to make this easy to use in future. The example shown could be called “Yr10&11 Students + all Teaching Staff”
  4. Click Submit.
You will then see your new group appear alphabetically in the groups list on the left side of the main screen, showing the total number of contacts within that group. This group will now be available for future use.

Deleting Messenger v5 Groups

To delete saved groups (i.e. those groups created within Messenger v5, outside of those created dynamically from your MIS data); GCM5_Delete_Group

  1. Locate the appropriate group from your ‘Saved Groups’ section
    • On the left hand side of the ‘Send Message’ screen, where you see group names and a bracketed number showing the total number of contacts within that group
  2. Right click the group you want to remove from Messenger
  3. Select ‘Delete’ from the drop down list
    • If you don’t see ‘Delete’ as an option, then your account does not have the correct role associated with it. You need to have the ‘editGroup’ role enabled on your account
  4. A confirmation window will pop-up ensuring you only delete the group as intended. Check the group name and select OK as appropriate. If you have selected the wrong group simply press cancel and repeat steps 1 – 4!GCM5_Delete_Group_Confirm
  5. Repeat, for any additional groups that you need to be deleted.
You will then see that the group has disappeared from the list of the saved groups, indicating that it has been successfully removed.

Contact Method

Messenger v5 provides you with the ability to easily choose the method and the contacts to whom messages will be sent. You can elect to send the messages to different types of contact held within the system, based on your intended audience;

  • Primary Parental Contact
    • Send messages to priority one contacts only. The priority level is dictated by the settings in the MIS.
  • Student Direct
    • Send messages directly to students (where relevant contact information exists).
    • You could use this option for emails only to email students with e.g. Homework information.
  • All Parental Contacts
    • Send messages to both primary and additional parental contacts.
  • All
    • Send message(s) to all parental and student contacts associated with a student’s record, i.e. to the Student Direct and any parent(s) linked to their record.
Simply select the method suited to your needs from the drop-down list labelled ‘Send To:’ above the contact selection criteria.

Message Frequency

Messenger v5 allows you to control how many times an individual contact receives a message; M5_Message_Frequency

  • If you are sending a whole school message, you may not wish parents with more than one child to get the same broadcast message more than once. You would therefore select ‘Once per Parent’ for this type of message so that each family get the message once only.
M5_Types_Broadcast
  • If you are sending a personalised message, you want each contact to receive one message per child so any personalisation information is correct. You would therefore select the ‘For each Student Parent combination’ for personalised messages.
  • It is imperative, when sending an absence or detention message, that you select “For each Student Parent combination” as the message frequency.
Mv5_personalised_texts_device        

New Contacts

Used for adding recipients who are not and should not otherwise be included in your source database. They are normally used for additional people who you may need to keep informed in the case of an emergency or updated in general, but are not usually a direct part of your school. Contacts who join the organisation and therefore would be part of your normal database, should be added at the data source (e.g. the MIS) and automatically updated through the integration schedule.

It is essential to keep data in the correct location to prevent it becoming unmanaged or out of date. An example of this may be Governors. For external governors you should add them to the address book in Messenger v5, as they have no natural ‘home’ in the MIS (e.g. they are not a member of staff as such), but you may like to text or email them alongside other contacts. A Staff Governor however would reside in the MIS as they are a member of staff therein (Parent Governors also are covered by this category as they would be linked with their child). You would then simply create a Governor’s group allowing you to select all governors together, regardless of where their data resides.
To add a contact who would not normally be included in your organisation’s contact database;M5_Add_Contact_Address_Book
  • Click ‘Add to Address Book’ on the main ‘send message’ screen.
  • In the boxes, complete all the details you have for the new contact.
    • Surname is a compulsory field.
  • Click ‘Add to Address Book’.

Edit Contact Details

To edit details for contacts which have been added within Messenger v5 and exist only in the Messenger v5 address Book, simply click on the contact name wherever you see it underlined. You will then see their contact record, along with some historic message information, where you will be able to edit or add numbers as required. To edit details for contacts from your source database, you must amend the information in your source database, not within Messenger v5.

 

Linked Contacts

Messenger v5 shows linked relationships between contacts for ease of accessing family members. These relationships are read from the school’s MIS. This information can be accessed by clicking on a hyper-linked contact name (i.e. a name underlined and in blue text). Mv5_Linked_Contacts In the example above, the MIS records that Rachael is a parent of Ben, Claire, Clarissa & James. Clicking on any of the linked children takes you to their contact information and will show a list of any linked relations. In the below example you can see that Francis Abbot is also linked to Ben. ‘Siblings’ do not show in each other’s details, only in those of an adult. Mv5_Linked_Relations  


Dynamic Groups

In addition to the groups from your MIS, Messenger v5 has a number of dynamic groups that are selected based on advanced filtering to take advantage of information recorded in the MIS that changes from day-to-day (or even hour to hour!) such as those listed below.

  • Attendance Groups;
    • Groups pupils based on their attendance marks over a specific date range (e.g. students absent from morning registration ‘today’).
  • Detention Groups;
    • Groups pupils that have a detention recorded in SIMS for the purpose of alerting parents that their child has a detention and the date of that detention.
All other groups in Messenger v5 are created from either;
  • Hard-coded information in the MIS that changes less frequently (e.g. Registration group that would only change annually) or is unlikely to change (e.g. Gender) or,
  • Manual Groups created directly in Messenger v5 (e.g. Governors – please see this information concerning Governor groups).
 

Attendance Searching

Messenger v5 integrates with your school MIS to produce details of those pupils who have been marked as absent as well as allowing students to be selected based on their attendance marks. Messenger v5 even provides the ability to select attendance marks over a specific date range. attendsearch1 You can select from predefined sets of criteria grouped as ‘Quick Access Attendance Search’ buttons;

  • Absent No Reason,
  • Absent Any Reason,
  • Present,
  • First Day Absence.
You may also wish to search on a combination of attendance codes using the ‘Selective Attendance Codes’ option when you need greater control over criteria. From within the ‘Send Message’ Screen click the Attendance tab.
  • Click on the desired ‘Quick Access Attendance Search’ green button (e.g. Absent No Reason, First Day Absence etc) or the ‘Selective Attendance Codes’ button.
  • In the pop-up window, the date range will automatically be populated dependent on the option you choose (see below for more information relating to each option).M5_Attendance_dates
    • This default selection can be modified as required by selecting a date from the calendar icon.
    • For  ‘today’ only, the start and end date both need to be entered as the current date.
  • Pressing ‘Search’ will return the corresponding students who will be added to the message recipient list.  By pressing ‘Select & Continue’ this will now enable you to send a message to these recipients and make use of the tokens to send a personalised message.
To see more detail for each criteria, please click on the links below;  

Detention Alerting

*SIMS is the only MIS to support detention recording therefore it is the only MIS that can make use of this feature. If any other MIS adds detention recording, Groupcall will assess the feasibility to include this feature in Messenger v5 for that MIS. Please contact sales@groupcall.com if you have a case for a non-SIMS MIS to use detention alerting.
Messenger v5 has the ability to search SIMS* for students that have an instance of detention in a given date range and create groups based on the date of that detention. You can then send a message with that date to each student’s parent/guardian.

M5.2_Detention_Alerting_Select

  To send a detention message:M5.2_Detention_Group
      1. From the ‘Send Message’ screen click on the small arrow next to ‘Detention’ on the left hand side.
        • If there is no ‘Detention’ group listed on the left hand side, this means that either you are not using SIMS or that there are no detention records occurring in SIMS in the next 7 days.
      2. You will then see an expanded list of groups.
      3. Simply tick the box next to ‘Detention’ to select all sub-groups, or tick/untick individual sub-groups to suit your needs.M5_Detention_Groups
      4. Above the list of contacts you need to select the category of recipient, the message formats, the contact method and the message frequency.
        • When sending a detention message, it is imperative that you select “For each Student Parent combination” as the message frequency.
        • If a parent has more than one child in school receiving detention, they need to receive one message per student with the student’s name and the date of their detention.
        • If the student receives a detention on more than one day, their parent needs to get 1 message per occasion.
As an example:
    • Rachael Abbot should receive 4 messages; one for each of her children.
    • David Abbey should receive 2 messages as Jimmy is in detention twice in the next week.
    • Steven Abrahams should receive 1 message as Jacqui has no siblings and she is in detention only once.
    M5_Detention_MsgFrequency_Example If the option to send messages “Once per Parent” were selected:
    • Rachael Abbot would receive one message; one for Ben as he is alphabetically first in the database.
      • She would not know that Claire, Clarissa and James had detention too and so would wonder why they had not come home on time.
    • David Abbey would receive one message telling him about one of Jimmy’s detentions.
      • He would wonder why he came home late on the second occasion.
    • Steven Abrahams would receive one message; Jacqui has no siblings and she is in detention only once.
          • In this instance Steven would be unaffected by the “Once per Parent” option, but the others would suffer.
      M5_Detention_Contact_Method Finally, filter the groups if you need to and continue with your message composition as normal. The token $Student Detention Date$ will allow you to compose suitable messages to inform parents of the date of their child’s detention.M5_Detention_Token_Examples    

    Create Message

    Basic steps

    Once you have selected your distribution list, chosen the contact method, selected the message frequency and chosen the message formats, click on Create Message where you can now begin to create your message(s).
    1. Select Message Type from the 3 types of Messages available.
    2. Enter message text, taking note of SMS character limits where appropriate. i – For each message format (SMS, Email, Voice, Letter) active formats will be identified by a bracketed number showing the number of available contacts for that message format. In the above example 13 SMS contacts, 79 voice contacts and 90 Email contacts will receive a message based on the selections made in the ‘Message Recipients’ screen as SMS, Voice and Email were all selected. If a format was not ticked, that tab would not show a number. ii – SMS forms the priority option in Messenger and a copy of the SMS text will be applied before any other selected formats. If you wish to override this functionality, simply untick the ‘content same as SMS’ box and edit the text as required. iii – You can also select from the message library and then edit accordingly or enter new text.
    3. If you have parents listed with English as a second language on your MIS, you have the option to tick the ‘Translate Message’ option to enable Multi Language sending of SMS and Email. a – In order to check the translations generated, click on ‘View/Modify Translations’. b – Be sure to click on ‘Reset Translations’ if you make any changes to the message content.
    4. If you have chosen the eLetters functionality you may like to see a PDF preview of your letter complete with Letterhead Template – this can be accessed by selecting the green ‘preview’ button located to the right of the text entry box.
    In order to help you keep below the 160 character limit for an SMS, while you are typing one of two things may happen depending on how your system has been set up:
    • The area will go red as a notification if you exceed 160 characters. This limit doesn’t apply to email.
    • You will not be able to type more than 160 characters.
    If you have ‘Email content same as SMS’ selected, then you need to un-tick this to edit the email message and allow more than 160 characters to be typed into the email message body.
    Once you are happy with your message(s) select ‘Next’ to go to the…

    “Preview & Send” Screen.

    From here you can choose to send messages ‘now’ or schedule them for sending later in the day or even a date in the future! You can also send a preview to e.g. your own phone to see what the message will look like before you send it to your distribution list. If you are using the eLetter functionality when you select ‘send now’ or ‘schedule’ your letter will be generated in a PDF format. Depending on the number of letters being generated this may take a few minutes but once complete you will be given a link to download your letters – this link will also be emailed to you so that you do not have to wait for it to be generated.  Click on the pdf link and print your letters off as required. You can now access the ‘History’ area of Messenger v5 to see the message status, including replies and delivery statuses as well as the resultant translations of any multi-language recipients if desired, by clicking the white ‘Show Status of this Message’ button.

    Message Formats – ‘Send Via:’

    Principal Formats

    SMS and Email are widely used by both Messenger and Emerge as well as certain other Groupcall Products.  

    SMS

    Sent to mobile phones only.
    • If the phone number type/location is not set as ‘mobile’ in the MIS, Messenger v5 and Emerge will not recognise that number as a valid SMS recipient, even if it is the number for a mobile phone.

    Email

    Sent to ‘proper’ email addresses in the format ID@domain.tld (e.g. jbloggs@gmail.com, jbloggs@school.sch.uk etc).
    • If the email is not in a valid format the system will not include that address in the list.
    • If the system encounters an error with an email address that is properly formatted, but is not legitimate (i.e. does not exist), the message will be sent by Messenger v5/Emerge, but later rejected by the receiving domain. This is default behaviour for any email message and is not specific to Groupcall Products and is also true for any other receiving errors such as a full inbox.

     

    Auxiliary Formats
    Additionally Messenger v5 also supports Voice and Letter as outlined below;
     

    Voice Messages

    Sent to any phone number, mobile or landline, as a pre-recorded or text to speech message from Messenger v5. You can record the message through our telephone call record service so that recipients hear a familiar human sounding voice. This process is covered in detail in our Messenger v5 Voice User Guide. By default voice messages will be sent only to contacts that do not have a mobile phone number – i.e. if a contact has both a landline and a mobile phone number, SMS will take priority over Voice messages. However this is a customisable option in the admin area.

    Letters

    The eLetters functionality allows Messenger to either:
    • Produce a copy of SMS or Email messages as a printed letter for any contacts without relevant contact details for seamless side-by-side communication.
    • Produce a traditional letter for whole school distribution for those occasions in which a traditional printed approach is more suitable than email etc.

     

     


    Message Types

    Below is a brief explanation of the 3 types of message, along with some examples of that type.

    Broadcast

    Broadcast messages are simple ‘push’ messages. They are intended to give information that does not require a response.

     

    Open Responses

    This allows your recipients to respond with free text and should be used when you require unrestricted information back from the recipient.

    Closed Responses

    The recipient is restricted to respond with 1 of 3 specific answers and should be used when you need quick, track-able responses. In order to send a closed message, some additional steps are required;

    Using Tokens

    Much like a mail merge function all messages created within Messenger v5 can be personalised by using ‘tokens’.  You can use these tokens in broadcast, open or closed response messages, using SMS, voice, email or letter. You should avoid using tokens when ‘tweeting’ a message and if a token is used, you should ensure that the Message Frequency is set to ‘For Each Student Parent Combination’. Tokens can be activated by placing your cursor in the message text where you wish the token to appear, then ‘right-click’ to show the list of available tokens. Click on the preferred choice and it will appear in your message surrounded by two dollar signs. Additional tokens can be added via the source data. The tokens supported in Mv5 are shown in the table below. Any tokens relating to a student (4 – 14 below) will only render in an outgoing message if the recipient was set up in the MIS and has a student associated with them; i.e. Staff contacts and contacts saved within the Messenger v5 Address Book will, for example receive a message that says “$StudentName$” as opposed to “Clarissa Abbot”.

    This contact has a student associated with them, so the token $StudentName$ displays as the Student's name when they receive it.

    This contact has a student associated with them, so the token $StudentName$ displays as the Student’s name when they receive it.

    This contact does not have a student associated with them, so the token $StudentName$ displays as it is on their phone.

    This contact does not have a student associated with them, so the token $StudentName$ displays as it is on their phone.

        Certain other tokens may be enabled in your school based on your particular set-up.  

    Multi-language Support for SMS and Email

    Messenger v5 supports the sending of messages in multiple languages for SMS and Email. If a contact in the recipient list has an additional language configured in the MIS, the “Translate Message” option will be displayed under the SMS and Email compose window under ‘Create Message’.

    If you do not see this option, then Messenger has been unable to find any languages configured against the currently synced contacts within the relevant field in the MIS, with which to use as a translation language.
    Translation is activated via  is a simple Tick Box option with two supported actions accessed via buttons below the Translate Message tick box:
    1. View/Modify Translations
      • Allows you to see the translations generated – useful if you have a native speaker on hand to view the translations or just want to see the eventual output!
      translate2
    2. Reset Translation Changes
      • Used to update the translation to match the text in the compose window. It is imperative you press this button after you make any changes to the composed text in either the SMS or Email view. If Messenger v5 detects a mismatch between the translated text and the text in the compose window, you will see a reminder to go back and update the translation.
    The translation is carried out using Google’s Translate services. To understand a little more about Google translate (it’s very interesting) please click here to find out how it works and to see some of the challenges associated with computer based real-time language translation.   What languages are supported?
    As Google add to their list of supported languages all the time, the below list will be updated periodically for guidance, but for an explicit list you should refer to the Google page itself. At time of writing the list contains 80 languages.
    Afrikaans Czech Haitian Creole Khmer Persian Telugu
    Albanian Danish Hausa Korean Polish Thai
    Arabic Dutch Hebrew Lao Portuguese Turkish
    Armenian English Hindi Latin Punjabi Ukrainian
    Azerbaijani Esperanto Hmong Latvian Romanian Urdu
    Basque Estonian Hungarian Lithuanian Russian Vietnamese
    Belarusian Filipino Icelandic Macedonian Serbian Welsh
    Bengali Finnish Igbo Malay Slovak Yiddish
    Bosnian French Indonesian Maltese Slovenian Yoruba
    Bulgarian Galician Irish Maori Somali Zulu
    Catalan Georgian Italian Marathi Spanish
    Cebuano German Japanese Mongolian Swahili
    Chinese Greek Javanese Nepali Swedish
    Croatian Gujarati Kannada Norwegian Tamil
     
       

    Twitter Integration…when sending messages

    There is a selectable option allowing you to ‘tweet’ a copy of an SMS or Email. This will require you to have a twitter account that can be used on behalf of the school (and that has been linked to your Messenger v5 account).

    If you are new to Twitter, we have produced a Twitter Cheat Sheet that you may like to read.

    Time Saving in Messenger v5

    Check Spelling

    If you would like to check the spelling of your message you are able to do so by clicking on ‘Check Spelling’ at the bottom of the text entry window. The dictionary for the spell-check function is a standard English dictionary, but also allows you to add custom entries. The custom entry area for the dictionary is held against the account and therefore any custom entries added will be available to all users, regardless of the computer used to access the system.

    Adding message templates

    Once you have composed your message as normal, you will notice a ‘Save to Library’ button above the compose message box. If there is a message you send frequently, you may like to save this as a template in the message library. This can help save time by saving messages for quick sending or editing in future. Click the ‘Save to Library’ button to save your message for future use.
    1. Either choose from the drop down list of Folders or type a new name to create a New Folder.
    2. Give the message a unique name.
    3. Click ‘Save’.
     

    Recalling message templates

    On the left of the screen you will see a list of ‘folders’. Each folder heading can be expanded by clicking the arrow next to it. You will then see a list of pre-saved messages. Clicking on any of the available messages will populate the message compose box with the saved text. You can then edit the text as you would any other message.    

    Deleting message templates

    To delete a template that is no longer required, simply right click the appropriate template and choose ‘Delete’. You will need the appropriate role in order to do this – if you do not see a ‘Delete’ option when you right click, please speak to your School Administrator. To delete a folder, you will first need to delete any templates in that folder.


    Preview Message

    Before messages are sent they are shown as a preview, although any personalisation selected as tokens will only show when the message is sent.   A test can be sent to a specified number or email address. To send a test message, enter details of a phone number and/or email address where you can receive the preview in the next few minutes. Click ‘Send Preview’. Once you are happy with the way the message appears you are ready to send your message(s). If you are not happy, click ‘Previous’ to return to the ‘Create Message’ screen to edit as needed, before returning to the ‘Preview & Send’ screen; repeat as appropriate.

    Sending Messages

    Now you are ready to send your message(s) you have two options:

    1. Send your message(s) immediately or
    2. Pre-schedule your message(s) to be sent at a specified date and time.
    Press ‘Send Now’ or ‘Schedule’ as appropriate.

    Message Authorisation

    Depending on your school’s preferred settings, an additional authorisation layer may be activated.

    Sending a message without authorisation

    If your user account does not have the authorisation to send a message, you can follow all the steps to compose your message, including recipient selection, but you will only be able to submit your message for authorisation. A user who has the required authorisation level will get alerted to the fact there is a message needing to be approved when they log in to the system. If you are in a scenario where you require immediate authorisation, we recommend you speak to your school administrator or another user who has this level of permission  as opposed to waiting for them to log in and see it.

    Authorising a message for another user

    If you are a user who has been asked to authorise a message for another person, click on  the link below to see how to do this.

    Message Count PIN

    As an additional security measure to prevent unauthorised high SMS/Voice usage and to avoid potential email spamming, a pin code is required to send a message count over a certain threshold (this threshold is set by the school administrator but defaults to 1000).  If you breach the threshold, your system administrator will be able to supply you with a pin code which will allow the message(s) to be authorised and sent. This is calculated as the total number of messages required, across all contacts and all message formats – NB this does not include the SMS unit count. So a long message sent to 999 recipients would not require a PIN.

    Mobile phone numbers in contact list

    +

    Emails addresses in contact list

    +

    Phone numbers receiving a voice message in contact list

    =

    Total number of messages

    To provide some clarity on this, some examples are provided below;

    History & Response Centre

    The History & Response Centre is accessed via the ‘History’ button in the top right – please note you may not have access to this area dependent on your user settings; speak to your Groupcall Administrator if you believe you should have access. The History view keeps a permanent record of all messages together with;

    - Transmitted Date and Time – Message Title – Type of Message – Who sent the message -

    - Delivery Status – SMS Count – Email Count -

    - Voice Count -


    To understand more detail about the individual meanings of message statuses please see below;

     

    Incoming Messages

    The ‘Incoming’ tab allows you to easily view incoming SMS messages in one place, with the ability to view the whole conversation in a new screen for complete history. You can filter on all columns showing a funnel icon M5_Filter_Icon and/or choose from pre-defined date ranges. GCM5.2_incoming_overview

    Show Messages From…

    Use the drop down menu to choose to show messages from;
    • Today
    • Last 7 Days
    • Last 30 Days
    • This academic Year
    • or ‘All’ incoming messages.
    If the number of total incoming unread messages (as shown in the header of the Messenger v5 pages) is seemingly higher than the number of unread messages you see on screen, make sure the ‘Show Messages From’ drop down is set to ‘All’ and/or that you have checked subsequent pages. You can then filter on unread messages, as explained in the sections below and use the bulk ‘mark as read’ function.

    Filters…

    Each column showing a funnel icon M5_Filter_Icon can be filtered on using advanced filtering.
    1. Enter a search term.
    2. Click the funnel icon and select a filtering option.
    3. View list of returned results.
    4. Filter on additional columns in combination as required.
      • e.g. to show messages from Mrs Abbey, regarding her son Ben but not her other children, you can filter on the ‘Name’ and ‘Regarding’ column together.
     

    Columns…

    The columns are;
    • Status
      • Shows if message is Read M5_Read  or  Unread M5_Unread .
    • Type
      • Shows if message is SMS, Email or Voice.
      • As of March 2013 (v5.2), only SMS is supported. Email and voice to be added in a future release.
    • Name
      • Shows the Name of the person who sent the message to the school.
        • This is ascertained from your contacts database in M5. The system searches your contacts records and displays the name of the contact with which that sending number is associated.
    • Regarding
      • Shows the name of the student to which that message relates.
      • Will only be populated when the original outgoing message expects a response (i.e. Open or Closed, but not Broadcast).
    • Subject/Summary
      • Shows the content of the SMS for ease of reading. You can click any row to get a more detailed view.
    • Received
      • The date the message was received by Messenger v5.
    • Sent By
      • shows the name of the school user that sent the message to which the reply relates.
      • Will be blank for unsolicited incoming messages and ‘replies’ to broadcasts.
    • Check_Box_Cleared [Check Box]
      • Select rows to mark as read in bulk. Checking the box in the header row selects all rows.
      M5_Conversation_View

    Conversation and detailed view…

    By clicking any row in the summary view, at the top of the page, you can see a conversation view with that contact, as well as access attendance marks for writing back to your school’s MIS and open a history pane for that contact.

    Incoming Messages Conversation View

    From the Incoming Messages page within Messsenger v5, the ‘Conversation View’ allows you to see the parental replies in the context of the message to which they relate. This gives you more of an understanding of the message meaning; e.g. a reply to a message saying “Stomach Ache” may be confusing, however as soon as you view the reply as a response to an absence message, asking for a reason for a child’s absence, the meaning becomes clearer. mv5_Incoming_Conversation From the ‘Conversation View’ you can also perform an ‘Attendance Update’ and write-back to your schools MIS (at present this feature is only available for SIMS schools). This functionality is accessed from the ‘Update Attendance’ link, located under the text “Conversation with David Abbey” (to the left of the screen) on any outgoing message that was sent as an open or closed response. Mv5_Attendance_WritebackIn the subsequent pop up window, you can;

    • Choose the date to which the absence relates (the selection will default to ‘today’),
    • Select from the MIS supported attendance codes,
    • Add a note (e.g. copy the text from the reply) and
    • If relevant add a value for minutes late.
    You can also see any activity relating to attendance write-back from the ‘Click here for details’ link as shown in the top screen shot above.

     


    Tools Menu

    Most areas of the tools menu are reserved for admin users; however, some elements will be relevant to all users;

    User Preferences Settings

    Here users can change their own user settings; this menu item is available to all users and not just Administrators.

    • These settings are used in the preview screen as default when sending messages.
    • The email address is compulsory and will be used by the system in the event of a forgotten password.
    • An optional mobile phone number will also be used for resetting your password in addition to the email address. Add your mobile number if you have limited email access for easier password resetting.
    The ‘Change Password‘ interface to allow users to manage their own passwords thus preventing the need for administrator intervention and consequently increasing security. The ‘Confirm email address’ button will send an automated email to verify that the email address given is a valid address. User Account Settings will also inform you of your message threshold before a pin code is required.

    Change Password

    Messenger v5 has a simple to use password change interface to allow users to manage their own passwords thus preventing the need for administrator intervention and consequently increasing security. To change your password;M5_Change_Password_Window

    1. Ensure you are in the Tools > User Preferences screen.
    2. Click on the ‘Change Password’ button.
    3. In the pop-up window first enter your current password* in the ‘Old Password’ box. *This could be a temporary one emailed via the reset password function.
      • If you have forgotten your current password, you should follow these instructions instead.
    4. There are some password rules to ensure you set a strong and secure password.
    5. In the ‘Confirm Password’ box, enter the password exactly as you entered it in the ‘New Password’ box.
    Your new password will not be accepted if it does not meet the criteria below;
    1. Minimum of 8 characters.
    2. Cannot be the same as your username.
    3. Cannot be any of the following unsafe common password choices;
      • “password”, “liverpool”, “god”, “123456″, “123″, “letmein”, “qwerty”, “monkey”.
    The system will also advise you how strong your password is, you should make it as strong as you can whilst making it memorable.

    A strong password means a more secure system and better protection of valuable children’s data.
     
    You have now changed your password – you will need to use your new password next time you login (and every time after that until you change it again!).  

    Release Note

    This shows the current features and a list of new features from each previous release.

     

    Next Steps…

    If you need any further assistance or get in to any difficulty, please contact your School Administrator. Alternatively, they can contact Groupcall Support on your behalf.

    …And Finally

    Have you followed Groupcall on Twitter and Facebook? Stay informed, get the latest news, updates and useful tips on all of our products!


     
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