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Apr 10 2017

[Product Update] ActivTrak On-Prem, New report, New funtionality

ActivTrak On-Premises

We’ve released an On-premesis version of ActivTrak!

This edition has all of the same features you know and love, but offers clients more control over data security and hardware choices.

Click here to let us know you’re interested!

More info coming soon!

User Activity Report!

We have a new report! While sifting through your top applications and top websites reports, you now have the ability to drill down into the specific website or application and view which user used which application, and when they used it, and for how long.

You’ll notice this is a much more visual representation of your data, with different colors indicating more or less time spent in the program, and when you hover over a block of time you’ll see more details such as the exact amount of time spent in the application.

Click a slice of the top apps/websites widget from your dashboard to go directly to this report and begin investigating who was using what and for how long. Alternatively, click ‘Users’ while inside the top websites/apps report on the website or application that you want to explore.

Export to Google

Use google tools? Your life just got a lot easier.

Now you can export and manipulate all reports and screenshots to your google account. All exports will create their own ‘ActivTrak’ folder in your Google Drive to house your exported data.

Now, when you go to export a report, you’ll choose what data you’d like to export (this page vs. all pages, etc…), but now you’ll notice two options appear next the drop-down labeled ‘Download’ and ‘Google.’ Simply choose the option you prefer, and you’ll have your ActivTrak data in your possession in no-time.

Mar 25 2017

ActivTrak Support Just got a Lot Better!

Category: Business Tips


 
We’re incredibly excited to introduce one of our newest additions to our team, our new Tech Support Ninja: Tiffany!

If you haven’t had a chance to work with Tiffany yet, you’ll soon find out she’s here to make your support issues non-issues.

We’ve made a concerted effort to expand our support team to better serve the needs of our users. Tiffany is one of a string of hires here at ActivTrak to ensure we continue to deliver you the highest quality product, support and service.

If you need to reach our support team, you can simply chat in via the chat icon in the bottom right corner of your dashboard, or send a ticket to Support@ActivTrak.com with your account number and your issue explained as clearly as possible.

Mar 20 2017

12 Simple Alarms to Curb ‘March Madness’ Madness

March Madness is here, which means so are distractions. I have a small window open on my computer streaming the Notre Dame v. Princeton game – it’s a nail-biter.

March is the time when you start hearing basketball talk around the office. Everyone has made a bracket, and want’s to see how their projections turn out. the NCAA official website even employs a ‘Boss Button’ this year, where your screen changes to a powerpoint-looking design and text begins to type. The distraction is real, and it’s becoming much easier to hide it.

No matter your stance on brackets, college sports or how much you care about your employees streaming basketball games, the needs of the business never stop, and productivity must be maintained.

To help with that, I’ve created 12 alarms to build an ultimate March Madness alarm suite to maintain workplace productivity, minimize distractions, and avoid forcefully blocking these websites entirely (see further down for a list of cable providers and other streaming sites to block), because no one likes .

Alarms & Conditions:

Your going to want to create 12 individual alarms. Each alarm will consist of two conditions.

The first condition will always be:

  1. Duration (sec) greater than 900 (15 minutes)

Use one of the following for each alarm as the second condition:

  1. URL Contains Ncaa Not Case Sensitive
  2. URL contains (Insert one of your top 3-5 cable providers in your area) Cox – Not Case Sensitive
  3. URL contains (Insert one of your top 3-5 cable providers in your area) Spectrum – Not Case Sensitive
  4. URL contains (Insert one of your top 3-5 cable providers in your area) TimeWarner – Not Case Sensitive
  5. URL contains (Insert one of your top 3-5 cable providers in your area) Comcast – Not Case Sensitive
  6. URL contains (Insert one of your top 3-5 cable providers in your area) Xfinity – Not Case Sensitive
  7. URL contains TNT – Not Case Sensitive
  8. URL contains TBS – Not Case Sensitive
  9. URL contains TruTV – Not Case Sensitive
  10. URL contains CBS – Not Case Sensitive
  11. URL contains ESPN – Not Case Sensitive
  12. URL contains BleacherReport – Not Case Sensitive

Do not put more than one URL condition, the alarm would not fire appropriately.

Post-trigger Actions:

So, now that you’ve triggered you alarm on March Madness activity, what should happen next? Well, it depends on your policy.

As always, we suggest to do what’s right for your organization, your office culture, and your regulatory compliance policies. With that said, here are some suggestions for polite post-trigger re-directs to remind users to maintain their responsibilities, no matter who is playing.

Remember, we put a duration of xx seconds in our alarm, so it should only trigger if the active window is the basketball game for the specified duration.

Email Alert:
“$User$ is on $URL$ watching $titlebar$.”

Pop-up message:

“I know it’s March Madness, but you’ve been here for 15 minutes now.

Please return to work. “

Then of course, you always have the option to terminate the browser. This a great way to get the user off the site, but may result in lost work.

For this reason, I would recommend creating a duplicate alarm adding 120 seconds more to the duration condition (making it 1020 sec) with the terminate button selected. You may want to create another email notification to let you know what certain users disregarded the first notification, and continued watching.

That should cover it! Remember, your local TV providers will vary from place to place, and you’ll most likely have to list more than one. I hope this helps you keep the madness at bay in your office.

If you’re a more strict admin, simply block the following websites and cable providers to prevent users from visiting them. Please note, this is not a comprehensive list, and it lists sites  and providers for streaming sports as well as cable/internet providers who have a presence in more than one state, and offer streaming services :

ncaa.com
espn.com
Sling TV
TBS.com
TNT.com
CBS.com
TruTV.com
AT&T Wireless
HughesNet
Verizon Wireless
Sprint
dishNET
Level 3 Communications
Earthlink Business
XO Communications
T-Mobile
Windstream
XFINITY from Comcast
Comcast Business
CenturyLink
Cricket Wireless
MegaPath
Global Capacity
Frontier Communications
Wisper ISP
Time Warner Business Class
Time Warner Cable
King Street Wireless
Charter Spectrum
TDS Telecom
Exede Internet
AT&T U-verse
FairPoint Communications
Lightower Fiber Networks
U.S. Cellular
Cox Communications
Rise Broadband
Cable ONE
Unite Private Networks
Suddenlink Communications
Mediacom Cable
WOW!
Verizon High Speed Internet
Verizon Fios
Sunesys
US Signal Company
RCN
Bright House Networks
Wi-Power
MetroPCS
Optimum by Cablevision
Startouch
WATCH Communications
Wave Broadband
C Spire Wireless
Pixius Communications
E-Vergent Wireless
GTT Communications
Freewire Broadband
PenTeleData
Mercury Wireless
Packet Layer
EasyStreet Online
WANSecurity Wireless
MetroSpan

Let us know what you think, and what you would add to this alarm to make it perfect!

Feb 24 2017

[Product Update] Weekly Digest, On-Prem & More!

ActivTrak’s Weekly Digest is here!

Now, you have a simple way to keep track of what’s going on with you ActivTrak account.

Once a week, you’ll receive a handy little email that provides you with some high-level stats from your ActivTrak account. We think this will make managing your account much easier, and should make it easier to quickly identify issues and outliers that require your attention.

Doesn’t that look nice?

If you’d prefer not to receive a weekly digest, you can turn off the emails by navigating to Settings > Weekly Digest and unchecking the box that says “enable.”

Announcing ActivTrak On-Premesis (Beta):

We now have an on-premises version of ActivTrak!

After numerous requests regarding an on-premises version of ActivTrak, we’re proud to announce that we have a fully functional Beta version of ActivTrak for on-premises deployment!

This development comes after some enterprise clients expressed concerns about soaring their sensitive data in the cloud. This is the exact same ActivTrak you know and love from the cloud, except using your own hardware, housing your own data on your own servers. The idea here is to allow users to utilize ActivTrak in a way where you have control over your hardware, security and now data.

We’re currently in the process of reaching out to select new and current users to acquire a group of Beta testers to deploy the first instances of ActivTrak On-prem.

Interested in ActivTrak on-prem?

Click here to add your name to the list!

Want more info? Click here to send an email to our sales team. They can answer any questions you have.
 

Block by Category:

This is some long-awaited functionality that we’re very happy to announce. Now, on the blocking page you have the ability to block complete categories of websites and applications. You’ll notice we’ve added a etgories section to the blocking page. To block a category, simply choose from this list, then use the select all button to block everything in the category.

Uncategorized Time:

Previously, we excluded uncategorized time in the top categories report because, well, the time was uncategorized, so it can’t really display as a category. However, this made the report less accurate and informative. To fix this, now the top categories report on your dashboard, and in the reports section will display and calculate uncategorized time. When you click on uncategorized time, ActivTrak will send you to the uncategorized page where you can view all websites and apps that are being used, but have not been categorized yet. From there, you’ll be able to select the desired category for both general activity and the productive value from two dropdown menus on the right side of your page.

Agent Updates:

We’ve added more robust reporting capabilities to our Windows and Mac agents when reporting activity in both Firefox and Edge browsers.

Improved Data Density:

We’ve improved the data density on reports with a lot of data to be displayed. Now, you’ll be able to view more data at once in your ActivTrak window, and frankly, we think it looks a little better as well.

New Multi-screenshot image:

We’ve also updated the image for alarms and screenshot conditions that take multiple screenshots when triggered. You’ll notice the new icon has multiple ‘image’ layers, and a single screenshot alarm or condition will only display one square ‘image.’

Feb 16 2017

[Case Study] Take Your Company to New Heights with ActivTrak


 
Download PDF
 

Executive Summary:

A startup with cutting edge technology wanted to implement Six-sigma Lean Methodology in their process on a key project. In order to do so, Biorev, LLC implemented ActivTrak’s software to gain control over their remote workforce productivity, increase focus during projects, and block distracting websites to keep team productivity high, and overall business flowing smoothly. With ActivTrak’s easy-to-use monitoring suite, Biorev can monitor productivity to ensure business goals are met.

Short Summary:

Using ActivTrak’s user behavior analytics service, Biorev is able to become operationally profitable and ensure productivity meets business expectations.

Background:

Biorev, LLC is an international consulting and 3D rendering startup company that specializes in 3D rendering and animation, web design, mobile application development, and end-to-end manpower staffing solutions. Biorev has the track record, support, and service to take projects to a new level. Providing multiple services for a variety of large companies internationally from the construction industry to technology spaces, Biorev has zero space for errors, and less to correct them.

The Challenge:

Executive VP of Media and Digital Marketing, Sagar Gupta, contacted ActivTrak with a mission to improve his company’s performance, unfavorable team productivity, and to eliminate repeated errors on completed projects. Given that his entire team was working remotely (either from home or their Offshore Indian Offices), Sagar realized he did not have a detailed understanding of what was being done during working hours, which resulted in numerous errors in projects due to not having control over his team’s internet or work activities.

With Biorev trying to implement Six-sigma Lean Methodology in their process on a key project, Sagar wanted a solution that would give him complete control over his employee activities to ensure they’re dedicated to their work, and not making those same errors from previous projects.

After preliminary research, Biorev came to find that many monitoring services come equipped with unnecessary features, which made the products complicated to use, and much more expensive than they could justify. Sagar realized these additional details provided little-to-no value in helping him solve his problem.

Moreover, as a startup, Biorev couldn’t justify paying hefty costs on a limited budget for unnecessary feature packages that didn’t directly address his clear, immediate issues.

The Solution:

After just over a week of using the free trial to test the software, Biorev decided to move forward with implementing ActivTrak across the entire company. The upgrade process was quick and painless – Sagar even managed to negotiate an extra agent free of charge!

Sagar soon realized that ActivTrak is truly a plug and play software, as he easily installed the tracking agent on every computer in his company, and configured all settings in under two hours. Once the data began to collect, Sagar knew ActivTrak was the answer Biorev had been looking for.

Specifically, Biorev loved the ability to label the productive value of activities, and block unproductive websites to keep employees on-task and focused. With ActivTrak, Biorev was back in complete control, and on top of their employee activity.

Success Story:

In less than a month, Sagar saw a complete turn-around in his team’s productivity, and increased operational profitability.

That key project where Biorev implemented ActivTrak actually won the company “Best Home Technology Product” at the NAHB 2017 International Builders’ Show® (IBS), because they were able to able to finish their projects on-time, free of errors and at the superior level of quality expected by both Sagar and Biorev as a whole.

All of Biorev’s computers are currently paired with ActivTrak’s agents. Biorev plans to use ActivTrak on every computer for every employee for the foreseeable future.

“ActivTrak was simply plug and play, believe it or not. It took me 2-3 mins per machine to get started and overall took me 1 hour to block all the unnecessary sites. In no time, I was ruling the entire thing, and was on top of my employees activity.”

– Sagar Gupta, Biorev, LLC EVP – Media & Digital Marketing 

About Biorev, LLC

Biorev provides photorealistic 3D renderings and 3D animations for the design/build industry, inventors, and product developers. Biorev is dedicated to customer service. We stand behind our work and we support client technology needs unconditionally. Biorev has the track record, support, and service to take your project to a new level. We create beautiful conversion-friendly websites, drive targeted website traffic, and create outstanding 3D Renderings and Animations. The staff at Biorev has been responsible for designing multimedia presentations for a variety of large companies internationally.

We are young HR technologies, outsourcing and Services Company, We provide end-to-end employee life cycle management solutions to organizations. Biorev is a leading HR Outsourcing company, specializing in HR Shared Services, Recruitment, Offshore Staffing, Consultancy Services, Technology solutions for web and mobile applications, Social Media Solutions and IT solutions

We are proudly serving clients globally ranging from IT to Construction Industry.
 

Jan 30 2017

[Product Update] New feature, SSO w/Google and more!

We’ve been hard at work this cycle. We’ve got some really cool stuff to tell you about, even a new screenshot feature!

SSO w/ Google

ActivTrak now allows you to create and log into your account using Google Single Sign On (SSO).

In addition to making it quicker and easier to log in with a Google account, ActivTrak just got a lot more secure. By adding sign up/ sign in with Google, ActivTrak now has two-factor authentication through Google account creation.

Google OAuth 2.0 is the industry standard for two-factor authentication, which is why we’ve decided to add this option first. We plan to expand our single sign on options in the future.

This new addition also makes access management for ActivTrak much simpler in situations where an employee leaves your organization. Now, instead of logging into ActivTrak to revoke access, you can simply remove an email address from your Google admin console, and the user will also be removed from your ActivTrak account. Pretty cool, right?

Screenshots

This is a big one! Screenshots has has a new look! You’ll notice the Screenshots button now has its own dropdown menu with a couple new sections to play with.

Here’s what you need to know: 

This brand new feature will show you the most recent screenshot captured from each user in your account. Now if you’re interested in what’s happening on your computers you can just head to the Recent Per User section and you will literally see the most recent screen ActivTrak has captured. Every user, all the time.

The refresh in the top right corner will grab the most recent screenshot since the currently displayed image.

This is just the first bit of added screen capture functionality for this year, we’ve got much more in the pipeline, so stay tuned.

  • History: This is your typical screenshot section that you know and love.
  • Configuration: This section allows you to create screenshot rules independent of alarms. This used to be a small button on the screenshot page, but we figured it should be a little easier to find.

Groups

We’ve simplified the way you add users to groups.

Now, when you select your group and click ‘Add/Remove Members’ you’ll notice a select all button and two new search fields labeled ‘Domain’ and ‘Computer’ on top of the user selection box while creating your groups.

The idea here was to make it easier to find and select multiple users at once.

Use either filter to display all computers and/or users with the associated keywords.

Give it a try here.


That’s it for now. Have a suggestion? Let us know here, and we’ll try to add it to our pipeline!

Jan 16 2017

[Product Update] ACH Payments!

We’re excited to announce that you can now pay for ActivTrak directly from your bank account!

Here’s How You Can Upgrade Via ACH :

  • Go to Subscription > Upgrade OR Click Upgrade Plan’
     in the top right corner of ActivTrak
  • Select your new subscription
  • From the payment page, click the tab labeled ‘Bank Account’
  • Enter all required information including your bank account number and routing number. 
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  • Click ‘Update Account’

That’s it! After the transaction is processed successfully, your account will automatically reflect your new plan.

Ready to upgrade? Click here! 

Jan 4 2017

ActivTrak 2016: A Year of Growth

Now that all the new year craziness is winding down, I’d like to take a second and talk about the year we had at ActivTrak.

ActivTrak as a company had an amazing 2016! We got some new digs, made some new friends, and as always, added to and improved upon our fantastic software you know and love.

I’m going to start by going over all of the major additions from 2016, then tell you a bit about what we’re currently working on, and finally, I’ll give you just a sneak peek at the most exciting plans we have for the coming year.

MILESTONES IN 2016:

New Dashboard

One of the biggest upcoming changes we noted in last year’s review piece was the redesign of our product. The goal here was to create a more modern looking easy-to-use product with all of the same bells and whistles you know and love to use. We debuted our shiny new dashboard in February of 2016.

Old ActivTrak Dashboard

Old ActivTrak Dashboard

New ActivTrak Dashboard

While the transition took a bit of getting used to for some, based on the year analysis we’ve seen increased numbers of logins, and decreased numbers for time spent logged in across an identical time span.

What does that mean? ActivTrak is easier to use than ever, and users are finding the data they need faster.

That said, we’re always looking for ways to improve ActivTrak, so please let us know here if you have any suggestions on how we can improve usability, and we’ll take it into considerations.

 

Real-time Monitoring

Real-time Monitoring was also released it back in February 2016. The idea was to create a feature that gave administrators an immediate idea of what activity was going on in the moment.

With Real-time Monitoring administrators can check in on what’s happening on the monitored workstation at any given point during the day. Real-time provides a live data stream of the active window on a monitored workstation. Critical usage data is transmitted in real-time so you know what application is being used, the titlebar of the current page, how long the user has been there, and much more. This visible data is also adjustable.

Now if you see something fishy walking through the office, head to your Real-time page inside ActivTrak and see exactly what’s happening there.

 

Productivity Reports (Indiv. & Aggregate)

We announced the initial Productivity Report shortly after Real-time Monitoring. The first iteration of the feature would show the color of the productive value in a timeline format so the administrator could understand when and where to look while investigating productivity.

This proved to be a great representation of activity for a single workstation on a single day, but we soon found that you, our users, wanted to see this information across a longer time span and for more than just one user. For this, the Aggregate Productivity Chart was created. This graph appears both on your Dashboard and in the Productivity Report.

Aggregate Productivity allows ActivTrak administrators to view productivity for multiple users over any given time span in chunks of days, weeks or months depending on your preference and need. Simply select the date range and the users you’d like to analyze, then decide how you’d like your data to be displayed (weeks, months or years).

 

Scheduled Monitoring

In our continued effort to build a product that protects both those monitoring and being monitored, we’ve added Scheduled Monitoring to our options for customization. Now administrators never have to worry about gathering any activity outside of scheduled hours.

With Scheduled Monitoring, you can create a schedule then assign them to the individuals or groups on that schedule. Once assigned, the schedule will tell the agent only operate and collect data during the hours specified on the assigned schedule.

Access Scheduled Monitoring by navigating to Settings > Scheduling.

 

Easy Screenshot Configuration

Some users thought the way we captured screenshots was a bit confusing. Now, with our ‘Configure’ button on the Screenshots page, you no longer need to create an alarm to capture screenshots!

Historically speaking, screenshot timing has been configured by creating an Alarm. Now you can just click the ‘configure’ button to create new screenshot settings directly from the Screenshots page.

The functionality is essentially the same, but we’ve removed the distracting additional options you see while creating an alarm. Simply enter the condition(s) in which you’d like to collect screenshots (e.g. URL contains Facebook), then select whether you’d like to collect a single screenshot or multiple in an interval, and click save!

Don’t worry, you can still create alarms the exact same way you used to, just know that you have another option now that’s a bit quicker and easier to access.

 

Split Categories

Much like with screenshots, we figured the categorization aspect of ActivTrak could be a bit more simplified. To fix the issue, we gave the two types (activity & productive values) of categorization their own dedicated page within ActivTrak!

Now you have one place to categorize the activity, and another to assign the productivity value. All functionality is the exact same, but now it’s just a little easier to differentiate the two. We think it’s a bit cleaner and less confusing this way.

 

Proactively Categorize Any Application

Some of our more advanced users knew exactly which applications their team should be using, and which would end up causing distractions. These users asked for the option to label applications with a category and productivity value before anyone had the chance to open it, thus ensuring complete regulatory compliance and control.

Now, you can upload an application file directly from your computer to the ActivTrak categorization pages and assign categories all before anyone has the chance to open it.

You can Add an application on both the Settings > Categories page and Settings > Productivity page

 

Downloadable Invoices

We wanted to make it easier for you to track your costs, so we added an Invoice page where you can view and download your invoices.

Invoices can be found under Subscription > Invoices.

 

Our Team Grew! 

Last year we grew our team from 2 to 12 people.

This year, we’ve added 5 more members to the team, and we’ve got more on the way!

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Interested in joining our team? Check out careers page here!

 

Moved into a new office

Did I mention our team grew? Well, we needed some more space, so we moved into a shiny new office!

Same building, different office.

In our old office we had some folks in cubicles, some shoved in a closet and a few others stashed away in a coat closet. Just kidding, but we were packed pretty tight.

Now we have double the space and room to grow!

 

 

Plus, we created all this awesome content!

WHAT WE’RE WORKING ON NOW:

Weekly Digest

This year we’ll be announcing and implementing ActivTrak’s Weekly Digest.

Your Weekly Digest will consist of key account metrics that you’ll need to stay up-to-date on what’s going on inside your ActivTrak account. This way you can understand exactly what your team is doing without even logging in!

 

Public API

We’re working on a public API to make your data more flexible and accessible!

The details on the API will have to wait until we release it, but you can start to anticipate integrating your ActivTrak data with all other key business metrics.

 

WHAT’S TO COME IN THE FUTURE:

We’ve got quite a few large improvements scheduled to be knocked out during 2017. Here’s just a taste of what you can expect from us throughout this year:

  • Improved Account Management features
  • Improved Mobile Experience
  • Expanded real-time features
  • On-Premises Deployment
  • More detail on Activity Log

THAT’S ALL FOR NOW!

We have a lot of exciting stuff planned in 2017, but most of it is top secret. Keep checking in here to learn about new updates, and don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list to get our quarterly newsletter!

Dec 15 2016

[Product Update] Easy Navigation Between Reports

Two of our most popular reports have a cool new feature that makes it much simpler to keep your web and app usage categorized.

From now on if you’re scrolling through your Top websites or Top Application report and you see something that peaks your interest, just click on the productivity indicator on the far left side. If the website or application is categorized, it will take you to the activity log filtered by that website or application. If the activity is uncategorized, you’ll be taken to the productivity settings page.

Nov 30 2016

[PRODUCT UPDATE] Drill-down From Top Users

We’ve added a bit of functionality to your dashboard that makes it much easier to find and investigate interesting activity. Now if you see something interesting on your top users report, just click on the user you’re looking at, and you’ll be taken to the activity log filtered by that user (date/time filter will hold as well). As with last update, the goal here is to get you to the information you want to see as fast as possible.

Also, for new users, your timeline is now set automatically based on your browser, this way you don’t have to worry about configuring your timezone in the settings section.