Happy New Year! 
 It's 2016 can you believe it? 
It seems not so long ago we were worried about 2000 and the chaos it was going to cause.
UFO Board Update
by Chris T. Bohn, UFO President

The votes are in and to my surprise, I'm still the President for 2016.  I was expecting a coup by Kevin Stevenson, our current and re-elected VP, but I was able to hold him off for another year by my cunning campaign strategy.  Take that Kevin, the people have spoken!

Thanks to those of you that voted in the end of year elections and as a result, your Board of Directors that were up for re-election are back in the saddle for another year.  We also welcome a new member this year.  Tammy Jones is joining us from Epting Distributors.  Epting is an HVAC distributor with 12 locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.  Nice to have you on board Tammy and my sincerest thank you for volunteering!

We also have a few changes in our User's Group ByLaws that are mostly legal stuff that won't really affect the way the user's group offers services to you but they got voted in as well.  Part of the change was the result of our becoming a 501.c.6 tax exempt organization effective February 2015.  That was an important and significant change to our classification but again, is more of an organizational/legal change.  Hooray for Sis Richardt, our ByLaws committee chair and Debbie Hudec, our Treasurer for getting this dull and painful task completed! 

As I reflect on 2015, I saw plenty of unicorns and rainbows, with some significant progress at Epicor and Eclipse.  I am again encouraged by the commitment and investment Epicor is making into Eclipse.  While we have not yet fully realized that investment, the fact that they are doing so will only show increased dividends as those investments in new staff and technologies materialize.   I also want to acknowledge the improvements the Eclipse Product Development team is making in creating a programming environment that is focusing more and more on delivering quality upgrades in a time frame that is manageable by our companies.  While there are some bumps with any structure and process change, I do honestly believe the Eclipse development team maintains the overall desire to do what's best for their customers, i.e. you and me!

Having said all that, my glasses are not 100% rosy and I do see some thorns and trolls.  There is an incredibly difficult balancing act of spending resources, developing new features to keep Eclipse viable for the future and attracting new customers versus enhancing or fixing already released features for existing customers.  I see the best way your User's Group can represent our members in 2016 is by influencing the Eclipse development team to swing the pendulum back a bit toward squashing existing issues and back off a bit on releasing new features.  I would welcome your feedback and opinions on this.  Please email me,Chris Bohn, with your comments even if you think I'm off base!

Also, we have the changes to Eclipse Support to keep an eye on this year with the inclusion of additional support staff in India and a new Eclipse support site coming online later this year.  Rhetoric is that these should both provide improvements to support in 2016. 

With the services offered, the User's Group itself has an excellent year ahead with the highlight of the year being Encounter 2016 in Pittsburgh, PA  (GO STEELERS!).  We had an outstanding Encounter 2015 in San Antonio with lots of learning, networking and deals being made with our vendor partners.  Encounter 2016 looks like it is shaping up to be our biggest event yet!  Mark your calendars for September 11 to 13.  Did I say, GO STEELERS?!?!
As a final word, I'd like to remind you of your mission, which is to make sure your company is taking advantage of the User's Group.  Only GREAT things come from user's helping users!

Thanks and I'm looking forward to serving you in 2016.

Epicor Eclipse Support Update
by Camille Alberico, 
Senior Manager, Eclipse Software Support/Customer Support

Hello Eclipse customers,
Ian Ashby, the Senior Vice President of Global Support, and I put together an Eclipse customer support update which you will find on the Epicor Eclipse Customer Website.  It addresses our new office in India, along with an update on the new Support Tool that is part of the "EpicCare" initiative.  Please take some time to read it.  See below for a screenshot of how to find the letter.

A quick summary of our progress in India is that a small number of the new application (inventory & accounting) support reps have graduated to taking calls.  Their job is to create a Service Request (SR), take down the information you give them, and put the SR into the Tier 2 queue where an experienced rep picks up the SR as quickly as possible.  The team in India has not yet progressed to solving the issues.  That will occur in the next phase.  I understand that taking down the information, and not giving you the answer, is frustrating some of you which is certainly not our intent.  It is a very important step in their training plan as there is no other way to prepare them for the variety of questions that we get in support.  Although they have been through extensive training, structured product training cannot cover the many ways that the Eclipse software is used by our customers.  The only way to get that training is by talking to our customers.  It's how each and every rep in the United States learned as well.  I appreciate your patience and professionalism during this critical stage.  Also, please be aware that the tier 2 reps in the United States are still on phones every day.  This coverage has not changed at all.  We simply have more individuals on phones now.
Sheila Turley and I will be traveling to India the first week in January.  Our mission is threefold; First, we want to see the office and meet the team in person; Second, we will do some team and one-on-one training, and coaching; Third, we will listen into some calls so we have first-hand understanding of how call handling is going.  Of course, the end goal is to improve any process that is in need of adjustment.
Again I appreciate your patience, understanding and the kindness that you extend to our new reps. 
Happy holidays to you and yours from the Eclipse Customer Support team, and may you have a blessed New Year!
Kind regards,