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April 7, 2016

Managers of Shared Resource Facilities to See Major Time Savings With Upgrades to the iLab System

Software provider iLab Solutions unveiled a host of new scheduling enhancements to its core facility management software, deploying over the coming weeks. Users of the platform can expect to see changes in a range of areas, particularly the popular usage tracking kiosk interface. These enhancements have been made to help core facilities better manage usage across equipment and more easily identify problematic usage records. Furthermore, core facilities will now have the option to restrict a user’s ability to schedule a resource due to those problematic records. Additionally, iLab’s scheduling settings interface has received a major redesign to make adding or updating a schedule faster and more intuitive.

“Accelerating research and making researchers more efficient — that’s what iLab Solutions is pleased to deliver to our customers.”

While iLab’s Scheduling Settings interface has certainly received a new look, the coming upgrade is more than cosmetic. For instance, the scheduling resource editor has been reorganized, now simplified to better suit busy workflows. An important new feature in this update is the searchable index of options and supporting help text, making it easier than ever for facility managers to find what they are looking for. The new interface also provides a unified way to set up usage types, further reducing the manual workload of core facility managers.

For the many institutions who adopt a kiosk interface for equipment usage, even more updates will soon be appreciated. iLab now offers a new capability to pause and resume a session, without creating cancelled events and allowing others to overbook an existing session. This increases the utilization of resources while also making reporting more accurate. The new kiosk interface also brings simplified session management, clearer button labels, and effortless extension of a Kiosk session.

“Accelerating research and making researchers more efficient -- that’s what iLab Solutions is pleased to deliver to our customers,” said Jeff Holden, Product Manager, iLab Solutions. “Not only has iLab streamlined the visual design, but facility managers can also have more confidence that they can make adjustments to their business policies and reflect those in iLab. Thanks to the enhancements to our usage tracking kiosk interface, researchers will be able to more accurately account for usage of their facilities, which is a win for cores and their customers.”

To further save core facility managers from the headache of administrative tasks, iLab has developed and deployed tools to help confirm usage across multiple pieces of equipment at one time. Cores also now have the ability to filter events across all schedulable resources in the core, including the option to filter by owner or by problems or warnings with reservations. This means facility manager can now easily view all reservations with a selected type of issue, allowing those issues to be resolved before they become a much larger billing problem.

Finally, cores will soon gain the ability to manually block users from using individual pieces of equipment. This is perfect for high-end technologies that require verification of training before the equipment may be used. Furthermore, iLab’s system may be configured to automatically block all users until necessary requirements are met. While this makes it easy for researchers to see the necessary requirements for using equipment, it also takes more work off the administrator’s plate. Together, iLab’s new updates save facility managers a great deal of time and headache.

While some updates such as the new ability to confirm usage across multiple pieces of equipment are already live, other features will not be released until later this month.

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