Industry News, Trends and Technology, and Standards Updates

Data Delivery to Cimetrix Support

Posted by Cimetrix on Aug 17, 2010 7:00:00 AM

The Good, The Bad, and The UglyThe Security

by Ryoko Fukushima,
Application Engineer

Email, Search Engines, Blog, Twitter, Ebay, Internet Banking. The Internet is deeply integrated into our everyday life and work. It makes it possible to exchange information and data almost instantaneously anywhere, anytime, and to anyone. The changes the Internet brought to our world have been irreversible, and the only way we can go is to forward.

But like any great human invention, it brought the good with the bad. Computer viruses, spam, malware, spyware, phishing. It is like opening the 21st century version of Pandora’s box. Cyber security has become an even more critical part of government and business infrastructure. However, tightening security against cyber threats actually can end up working against us. For instance, sometime our customers' network security unintentionally blocks harmless emails from Cimetrix with important attachment/data. Cimetrix believes that a smooth data delivery system is critical for our customer’s success.

This year, we began providing a data upload/download function to our protected customer support site. Data exchange is performed without compromising the customer’s network security.

To access, log in to the support website provided by Cimetrix with a valid username and password.

Support Website

Picture 1: Support Website Logon Page

After successfully logging in, a user should see the following page with Support Files Upload/Download link.

Support Website

Picture 2: Successfully Logged On

Clicking Support File Upload/Download directs a user to a file uploading page. Select a file to be uploaded by typing its complete path and name in File textbox or by selecting a file from Choose File to Upload dialog opened by clicking Browse button.

Next, click Upload button to upload the file to the support site. When file upload is complete, the user will see the newly uploaded file below the Browse and Upload buttons.The  user can download the uploaded file by clicking on its file name.

Support Website

Picture 3: Upload Page

If you have any problems using the support website, please feel free to contact Cimetrix’s support group (support@cimetrix.com).

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Topics: Customer Support, Doing Business with Cimetrix

Requirement Gathering - Don’t be Afraid to Ask Why

Posted by Cimetrix on Jul 22, 2010 10:06:00 AM

by Derek Lindsey,
Principal Software Engineer

I have a four year-old who is heavily into the “Why?” stage right now. He asks, “Why?” about everything. Several years ago when my daughter was that age, she had a neighborhood friend who was the queen of, “Why?” One time I decided to play along to see how many times she would ask why before she gave up. I don’t remember the original topic, but it had something to do with our deck. After a few iterations of her asking why and me trying to explain, I had reached the molecular level of describing deck stain. (She outlasted me, by the way.)

Karl Wiegers wrote an excellent book called Software Requirements. In chapter 7, he discusses requirements elicitation. He calls it “the most difficult, most critical, most error prone and most communication-intensive aspect of software development.”

Often times, preliminary discussion of requirements will result in the customer telling you what he thinks he wants rather than what he really needs. Rather than ask the question, “What do you want?” we should really be asking “What do you need to do?” Wants are usually expressed as design details (i.e. “I want the button to be green if the state is active”) whereas needs are the real requirements (i.e. “I need a way of letting the user know when the state changes.”)

To really get to the heart of what the customer needs, we can all learn from my 4 year-old neighbor and ask “why” several times to get to the molecular level of the problem that needs to be solved. Just taking the customer comment that the button needs to be green at face value is easy to implement, but doesn’t really meet the need of the customer. Asking why the button needs to be green and a few follow on questions easily uncovers the real need.

Topics: Customer Support, Doing Business with Cimetrix

Connect. Chat. Collaborate.

Posted by Cimetrix on Mar 11, 2010 7:47:00 AM

by DeAnn Rowan,
Marketing

As a blog reader, we would like to ask you a question:

So….What do you think?

We’ve been at this blogging thing for 6 months (almost to the day) now. We’ve seen a lot of interest as the traffic to our blog posts continues to rise at a rapid pace. The entire Cimetrix team has provided contributions and feels passionate about the information that we have been sharing with readers.

Some of our most popular posts to date – and ones you’ll want to check out if you haven’t already - include a narrative touting the benefits of software frameworks, a comparison of the data collection functions of SECS/GEM and Interface A, and the answer to the “He Said/ She Said” game between equipment and host.

What have you found to be the most valuable?
What topics would you like to see discussed more? Or less?

We want to be a resource of information for you regarding the SEMI connectivity standards and their implementation. As you read through our blog, please feel free to ask questions or provide insight on the topics being discussed. We welcome your comments!

In addition to this blog, we encourage you to interact with us, and others within the manufacturing community, via various social media networks:

Cimetrix Twitter   Cimetrix Facebook   Cimetrix LinkedIn   Cimetrix RSS   

Use these avenues as an alternative means to ask questions, provide feedback, and stay abreast of any industry or Cimetrix updates.

Thank you for your continued readership and we look forward to future discussions.

Connect with Us on LinkedIn:

 

Topics: Industry Standards, Semiconductor Industry, Customer Support, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Cimetrix Company Culture

Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance and Cimetrix

Posted by Cimetrix on Feb 5, 2010 8:59:00 AM

by Peggy Faulkner,
Assistant Controller

Sarbanes Oxley ComplianceWhen I confided to a long-time friend with whom I used to work in the financial arena at General Electric that I was thinking of returning to work after 20 years of raising a family, and that I would be doing Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance work for Cimetrix, she gasped, and blurted, “I am SO sorry!” I was pretty sure her dismay was not an indictment of me returning to work, nor to Cimetrix—it was all about SOX.

When SOX was federally mandated in 2002, as a financial regulatory response to the Enron and Worldcom (and others) scandals, the intent was to soothe panicked investors and restore confidence that our public companies operate under sufficient financial control, oversight, and transparency. Revenue level or company size matter not—all public companies must comply, and compliance places a disproportionately heavier cost burden on small companies such as Cimetrix. Annual auditing must be performed by an independent, registered public accounting firm, and an extra layer of control in the form of reporting and certification is included in all SEC filings by financial management. Transparency to financial reports is now greater, and penalties for financial fraud or misrepresentation are harsh.

In an economic downturn, such as we are now experiencing, the cost of compliance becomes even more burdensome. Nonetheless, Cimetrix is fully compliant with all SOX regulations, and has been for some time now, due to the diligence of the Finance team. Long before I joined the company, measures were taken to reorganize, analyze, report, and verify financial data at a SOX-mandated level.

Currently, cross-training and report collaboration within the department ensure an additional level of review. Our goal this year is to become paperless—in keeping with environmental concerns, and our connection to the PV industry, perhaps?

Eighteen months after talking with my old friend, when she asks how things are going, I smile and say, “Piece of cake!”

Now, if I could just win the company Soup Cook-off!!

Topics: Customer Support, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Cimetrix Company Culture, Investor News

New Year, New Operating System

Posted by Cimetrix on Jan 6, 2010 10:25:00 AM

by Brent Forsgren,
EFA Practice Manager

It is the start of a new year, thank goodness! I wonder what is in store for my Global Services team this year. Last year was a tough year for the semiconductor market, but early indications and market experts are saying that 2010 should be much better than 2009.

On top of the market’s expected upward turn, Microsoft released Windows 7 in late 2009 to replace their not so popular Windows Vista. I expect that a significant portion of our customer’s equipment sales this year will be of existing technology and software. But for our customers that will be developing and selling new tools and software, will you jump to Windows 7 or will you wait for it to prove itself in the market place? Additionally, if you switch to Windows 7 will you also make the jump to a 64-bit architecture or will you stay with the aging 32-bit architecture?

We welcome your comments and feedback! I would love to hear your thoughts and plans.  Please comment below or email me at brent.forsgren@cimetrix.com.

Topics: Customer Support, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Global Services, Cimetrix Products

Holiday Hours 2009

Posted by Cimetrix on Dec 23, 2009 2:35:00 PM

Cimetrix's main offices in Salt Lake City will be closed starting, Thursday, December 24 through Friday, January 1. Returning to normal business hours on Monday, January 4th.

Should you require assistance during that time, please do not hesitate to contact us:

As always, for urgent Support incidents, please dial the support line +1 800-344-7292 or call the main line (+1 801-256-6500) and select option #2.

From all of us at Cimetrix, we sincerely wish you a Joyous Holiday Season. May the New Year bring you continued success and prosperity.  We look forward to furthering our business relationship in 2010!


Topics: Customer Support, Doing Business with Cimetrix

Got Licenses?

Posted by Cimetrix on Dec 15, 2009 1:32:00 PM

software licensesby Stephanie Sampson,
Project & Sales Coordinator

Need a license for a Cimetrix software product? Not sure how to go about getting one?  Well, let me share with you some quick and simple steps for requesting and receiving a license as efficiently as possible.

First, you will need a Purchase Order. Once you have that we would love to see it! Email or fax, can’t decide which way to send it? Either one of these will work:

Upon receipt of the Cimetrix software and Certificate of Authenticity (COA), it’s time to request your license file. The license file contains installation codes required to correctly install the software. You can send all of your license requests, transfers, or questions to licenses@cimetrix.com.

Please list your MAC ID and indicate one of the following to activate your license:

  • Purchase Order Number
  • Sales Order Number
  • Certificate of Authenticity Number

If a license transfer is what you are looking for instead, then please send your “Old” MAC ID along with your “New” MAC ID to complete the transfer.

If you are not sure where to find your MAC ID, then please use the following steps:

  1. Go to the “Start” menu on the computer you want to license
  2. Click “Run”
  3. Inside the Open box type “cmd” then press OK
  4. At this point a Command/DOS/Shell window should pop-up
  5. Type “ipconfig –all” Then press Enter
  6. You can either take a screen shot here or type in the information that corresponds to the
  7. Physical Address of the primary network card.

Now that we have all of your information your license file will be emailed to you within the one business day.

See, it’s almost as easy as 1..2..3! If you are still unsure about any of these steps, please feel free to contact us at licenses@cimetrix.com or call 801-256-6500.

 

Topics: Customer Support, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Cimetrix Products

“This is Cimetrix Support, How May I Help You?”

Posted by Cimetrix on Dec 2, 2009 9:03:00 AM

Quality Customer Support Callby Ryoko Fukushima
Application Engineer

Computers, cell phones, video games, internet, online banking, etc., we live in a brave new world of technologies. It is true that these technologies have improved our lives tremendously. But, when things stop working or you have questions outside of the information found in a manual, who ya gonna call?

Tech Support !!!
(If you whispered “Ghostbusters” in your mind secretly, give yourself a little pat on the back and pull your legwarmers from your closet.)

Cimetrix Support works very hard to give the best support to our customers. Since this spring, I began working as one of support engineers. After handling various cases, I began to feel more and more like a CSI, than a support engineer. Most often, I spend my time gathering enough information to formulate a logical explanation and solution for an issue reported by the customer.

From a customer’s perspective, this adds more time until incident resolution. So, I thought I could save our customers any unnecessary delays and headaches by providing insight on how to expedite the technical support process.

In order to have your issue effectively handled and solved in a speedy matter, please provide the critical pieces of information listed below to your support engineer:

  • Version of Product(s) you are using
  • An output file produced by Support Tool
  • Product Log Files (i.e. log files generated by CIMPortal, CIMConnect, etc.)
  • EPJ file (for CIMConnect/CIM300 User)
  • A details instruction for how to reproduce your issue
  • A stand-alone application reproducing the your issue

As a member of the Cimetrix Quality Customer Support team, my goal is to serve as an extension of your engineering department, partnering with you to efficiently solve all incidents. Working together, I am sure that we can get you back on track in no time.

Now remember, if there's something weird and it don't look good...
Who ya gonna call?

+1 801-256-6501

Cimetrix Quality Customer Support 

Topics: Customer Support, Doing Business with Cimetrix

New Efficient Phone System & Holiday Hours

Posted by Cimetrix on Nov 24, 2009 2:44:00 PM

VoIP phoneAt Cimetrix, we are always looking to improve the customer experience. We also are constantly looking for means for improving efficiency and – especially this year – cutting costs.

Well, all three of these objectives converge in our decision to implement a new phone system. We chose to go with a hosted VoIP system. Not only is this the most cost efficient option, it also allows for flexibility – integrating email, faxing, conferencing, and voice mail into one application. Internally, it allows us to more efficiently manage incoming calls, make employees more productive and reduce the wait time callers experience to be connected to their desired party.

From a customer’s perspective, this also means:

  • Since users can take their VoIP adapters everywhere, Cimetrix team members are available while traveling at the same number that you would reach them while at the office.
  • With call forwarding and call following capabilities, your single call gets routed to the desired party regardless of whether or not he/she is at the office.
  • After hours, you will be provided a dial-by-name directory so that you can leave a message for a specific Cimetrix staff member. Also, for those employees that choose to route their calls outside of normal business hours, you may be able to reach the desired individual outside of the office.

Please note that the Cimetrix main offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday this week to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. However, with the new phone system in place, you will be able to dial-by-directory to leave a message for a specific employee and/or for those that have chosen to route calls to their home or cell phone, may be able to still reach specific staff members.

We hope that callers have a more pleasant experience with this new system in place and welcome any feedback. Please direct questions and comments to deann.rowan@cimetrix.com.

and Happy Thanksgiving!

Topics: Customer Support, Doing Business with Cimetrix

Collections – A Dirty Job, but Someone’s Got to Do It.

Posted by Cimetrix on Oct 28, 2009 7:40:00 AM

By Jentry Norse
AP/ AR Coordinator

Cimetrix CollectionsAs the Accounts Receivable Coordinator, people are not typically excited to hear from me. I’m a really nice guy and all… but usually, if you receive a call from me it’s about a past due invoice. And who likes receiving those calls?

Fortunately, we have very few past due accounts…and haven’t had to use a collection agency (although I get about 2 calls a month soliciting their services). With the industry slowly coming out of this slump, I myself have been pretty amazed at how open the lines of communication have been with the accounts payable departments of many of our customers.

In my opinion, communication is KEY. I rarely have to wait more than a day for a response to my collection efforts and feel like everyone is a little more aware of the need to know when payments can be expected especially during this difficult economy.

As much as I love talking to people, I feel the need to provide you (our customers) with some tips on how NOT to get a call from me (or how to not to continue to get calls from me):

  1. Note your terms on each invoice and submit payment as soon as possible.
  2. Make sure that you are sending your electronic payments to our new bank account (effective May 21, 2008). A memo was sent out last year; however, bank account information can be provided if you do not have it already.
  3. We review our accounts receivables weekly and send out inquiries requesting payment status updates. If you receive one of these requests, please send a simple response letting us know when the invoice in question is scheduled for payment.
  4. If we do not hear from you……..we will keep inquiring until we do.
  5. We understand that many of you have to check with your purchasing departments and/or Project Coordinators and need a day or two to get back with us. We also realize your time is valuable and want you to know we appreciate your efforts and look forward to your correspondence.

If you have any questions (and would like to contact ME), please contact me directly at 801-256-6617 or jentry.nourse@cimetrix.com.

THANKS to the Accounts Payable / Purchasing departments of our many customers for their AWESOME communication! Your quick and friendly responses make my collection calls much easier.

Topics: Customer Support, Doing Business with Cimetrix