System Updates Newsletter

Update on Time Entry

Dear Valued Customers,
While we are always trying to make operations easier for all users, lately we have dedicated a little extra time to one specific group: associates in cores that offer professional services, such as Biostatisticians in a Biostatistics core. These associates need to be able to quickly and easily account for the time that they spend on various projects so that the core can bill for their services, and the PI can pay for and report on the usage. Mayo Clinic had a proven method for this within their internal systems, and in collaboration with the CORES team at Vanderbilt, this design was adopted into the CORES application. We are pleased to announce that this module is now incorporated and available in the iLab system.

The functionality allows for "jobs" (PI, Fund Number, Core) to be created in the application. Once a job is created, it is then linked to a core associate. When the core associate logs in to enter his or her time, he or she is presented with an easy-to-use timesheet containing only the jobs to which he or she is linked. If the associate is working on multiple projects then the time can easily be split between projects. The screen displays daily totals, weekly totals, and totals by project to ensure the associate has accounted for his or her full work week.

This method benefits the stakeholders involved:

  • Core associates can quickly and easily enter their time in a weekly view
  • Core managers can easily review their staff's time per work week
  • PIs can easily view their charges

We're very excited to see this module go live within the iLab system. Please note that as this is a different workflow than the standard equipment-scheduling process. Those interested in Time Entry will need to work with an iLab team member to turn on and set up this feature.

We believe this will be another value-adding module that will reduce overhead for your core staff. We look forward to hearing your feedback and appreciate your continued support.

Thank you,

Keith Dance,

Head of Product Management
iLab Solutions, part of Agilent Technologies
 



New Features Coming Soon!

1. Catalog Upgrade - iLab's catalogs for Materials Management and Storeroom Management are being upgraded to Rails 4. As iLab hosts over 13.5 million live products for over 36 thousand vendors for a variety of customers, this transition is quite significant. The upgrade brings stronger performance and greater speeds, allowing for much faster processing of orders.

2. Update to Studies - iLab is upgrading its studies functionality to the newest version of its semantic interface. This is a newer, cleaner interface with greater reliability and stability. This update also allows for easier maintenance and future upgrades. 


3. Animal Management: iLab is in the process of developing a practical and intuitive Animal Management Module that builds upon and integrates with our base core facility management software. To ensure that we are designing this module to flexibly meet the needs of a variety of facilities, we are building this product in stages and in collaboration with a number of customer partners.
     The first two milestones for this product line were a Protocols Management component and Animal Ordering functionality, and the first round of development is complete for each.
     The Protocols Management component allows a facility to store the particular sets of data that animal facilities, core facilities, and principal investigators will need to reference in the course of their daily workflows and processes. With this feature in place, iLab can receive an input file containing approved protocols from their institutional Protocol Management system, or approved protocols can be manually entered into iLab. Core Managers and researchers can then associate approved protocols when placing service requests or animal orders.
     Animal Ordering, or Animal Acquisition, allows researchers to place online requests for Animals based on their approved protocols, and the facility administrator can review and approve the request and place the order to the vendor. This module includes workflows for ordering animals from "Approved Sources" (typically common commercial vendors) and "Non-Approved Sources."
     Housing and Cage Cards is iLab's third major phase of development, which is nearing completion. This phase includes the ability to assign incoming animals to facility animal housing locations, the printing and scanning of barcoded animal Cage Cards, and the development of a user-friendly Cage Record Management interface. Within this interface, facilities can quickly search or filter for cages and update various attributes and/or add attachments pertinent to the cage record.
     This current phase will soon be followed by the development of an Animal Census component. Stay tuned for further updates!

4. Configurable Reservations: Cores that offer services with costly setup and/or changeovers often want more prescriptive ways to pre-configure equipment. Further, customers may need to request detailed configurations for equipment in order to meet their needs. With our new configurable reservations capabilities, iLab will give service centers the ability to designate the specific set-up configurations for a particular time frame, and give customers the ability to view the schedule and select the time that meets their desired configuration needs. 

5. Publication Tracker: iLab is nearing completion on its newest product module, Publication Tracker. Several institution and core facility administrators expressed that tracking publications is time-consuming, and that reporting on publications is becoming an increasingly critical part of the grant application and renewal process. To help our administrators solve these challenges, we've broken down publication tracking into the following basic steps:

  • Discover: Quickly identify publications of interest
  • Confirm: Request confirmation of authorship and facility contribution
  • Report: Download publication data for reporting purposes

Throughout the build, we've focused on delivering the following key values:

  • Save managers' time by making it easier to find publications to which core facilities may have contributed. This is accomplished by providing a dynamic query builder which can reflect on customers and members of the facility to generate lists of relevant publications.
  • Increase data quality and save managers' time by distributing the process of confirming publication contributions directly to researchers
  • Save researchers' time by providing simple confirmation interfaces instead of emailing back and forth excel spreadsheets
  • Improve facility insights by providing rich and detailed data exports that can be customized to meet a variety of different reporting needs.

By combining publication data with other reporting data available in our standard reporting module, core facility administrators can help understand which services are proving valuable and where to invest additional time and money. It is our hope that providing this tool will help facilities become more efficient at securing additional funding and at planning their growth.

The first version of our product supports a deep integration with PubMed. We will be working very closely with additional partners to identify other data sources for integration. 
 

These features are expected to deploy to the iLab system over the next few months. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your iLab representative.
 



iLab's Complimentary Webinar Series


Publication Tracker
Join iLab experts Andreas Hagan and Sarah Becker as they provide explanations, useful tips, and a Q&A session on iLab's newest module, Publication Tracker. This webinar will take place on January 25th, at 1:30 PM EST. Click here to register!

This session will provide informative new perspectives on how to use Publication Tracker to boost your reporting capabilities and maximize time spent tracking publications for the purpose of securing funding.

Topics to be covered in this complimentary webinar include:

  1. Discovering publications of interest
  2. Confirming contribution/authorship of publication
  3. Reporting features around publications
  4. How Publication Tracker:
    • saves managers time
    • increases data quality
    • saves researchers time
    • improves facility insights
  5. Walkthrough of functionality
  6. Q&A

Please go to our webinars webpage for more information: http://www.ilabsolutions.com/webinars/



2017 User Group Conference:

Registration is now open for our 2017 User Group Conference, which will be 20-22 February 2017 at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida. All administrators who use iLab are encouraged to attend. Click here to register!

More information about iLab's 2017 User Group Conference can be found here: http://www.ilabsolutions.com/user-group-conference-2017

System Updates Newsletter

Update on Animal Management

Dear Customers,
As you may be aware, iLab is in the process of developing a simple but robust Animal Management Module that builds upon and integrates with our base core facility management software. To ensure that we are designing this module to flexibly meet the needs of a variety of facilities, we are building this product in stages and in collaboration with a number of customer partners.

The first two milestones for this product line were a Protocols Management component and Animal Ordering functionality, and we have completed our first round of development for each.

The Protocols Management component allows a facility to store the particular sets of data that animal facilities and principal investigators will need to reference in the course of their daily workflows and processes. With this feature in place, iLab can receive an input file containing approved protocols from their institutional Protocol Management system, or approved protocols can be manually entered into iLab. Core Managers and researchers can then associate approved protocols when placing service requests or animal orders.

Animal Ordering, sometimes referred to as Animal Acquisition, allows researchers to place online requests for animals, based on their approved protocols, and the facility administrator can review and approve the request and place the order to the vendor. This module includes workflows for ordering animals from "Approved Sources" (typically common commercial vendors) and "Non-Approved Sources." As part of this build, we have integrated searchable catalogs from some of the most widely-used research animal suppliers and will also allow for the inclusion of institution-specific vendor pricing. We have also included the ability for researchers to place recurring orders of animals on a delivers schedule, which they can define within the order. 

iLab is now actively working on the third major phase of development (Housing and Cage Cards) which includes, in part: the ability to assign incoming animals to facility animal housing locations; the printing and scanning of barcoded animal Cage Cards; and the development of a user-friendly Cage Record Management interface, which allows a facility to quickly search or filter for cages they are interested in and then update various attributes and/or add attachments pertinent to the cage record.

This current phase will be followed by the development of an Animal Census component. This functionality will build upon the Animal Acquisition and Cage Records components and will also tie directly into the existing iLab billing module.

Thanks for your continued interest in this module; we're excited to see it progress towards completion!

Michelle Detwiler

Product Marketing Engineer
iLab Solutions, part of Agilent Technologies
 



Interface, Performance, & Feature Updates


As iLab constantly strives to improve its user interface, a number of updates have taken place over the past weeks, with more coming in the near future. These changes boost performance as well as ease of use for all users. 

1. Institution Page Updates - iLab is in the process of redesigning its institution management pages. The new look will provide easier navigation as well as performance enhancements.

2. Scheduling Tab - iLab's Scheduling tab is also being updated. In addition to a more modern look, the Scheduling Tab has been redesigned specifically for users to more quickly find what they're looking for.

3. Updates to Schedules - iLab has invested time to re-configure scheduling calendars in order to boost performance. Users will also notice a visual change with these enhancements.

4. Fund Approval Management Enhancements - We are continually adding workflows in which administrators can manage funds in iLab. Soon to come are the following fund approval management features:

  • Per institution set-up, admins will not have to be associated with a lab in order to manage funds used bya lab
  • Also with this setting, only people who are designated to approve a particular fund can manage fund approvals

Please note: Integration build will be required for this to work.

The changes mentioned above are expected to deploy to the iLab system later this year. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your iLab representative.
 



New Features Coming Soon!
 

1. Volume Discounts: Cores will have the ability to provide discounts to users based on the amount of usage, either by hour or by dollar amount. Administrators can define discounts by user type, group association, usage type, and by equipment.



2. Time Entry: Associates in cores that offer professional services, such as Biostatisticians in a Biostatistics core, will be able to quickly and easily account for the time that they spend on various projects. Upon logging into the iLab system, the core member is presented with an easy-to-use time sheet where he or she may track work associated with a specific job.

This method allows:

  • Core members to quickly and easily enter their time in a weekly view
  • Core managers to easily review their staff's time per work week
  • PIs to easily view the charge


3. Configurable Reservations: Cores that offer services with costly setup and/or changeovers often want more prescriptive ways to pre-configure equipment. Further, customers may need to request detailed configurations for equipment in order to meet their needs. With our new configurable reservations capabilities, iLab now gives service centers the ability to designate the specific set-up configurations for a particular time frame, and gives customers the ability to view the schedule and select the time that meets their desired configuration needs.



4. Software Interlock: In collaboration with Sassafras Software, iLab is in the process of developing a new Software Interlock module. This new feature allows access to specific software programs to be controlled using a combination of iLab’s Scheduling and Interlock functionality with Sassafras Software Licensing and Management suite of tools.
 

These features are expected to deploy to the iLab system later this year. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your iLab representative.
 



iLab's Complimentary Webinar Series


Join iLab experts Sarah Becker and Vaughn Hinrichs as they provide explanations, useful tips, and a Q&A session on iLab's Advanced Scheduling tools. This webinar will take place on Wednesday, September 28, at 1:30 PM EST.

Whether you are a seasoned iLab user or new to the system, this session will provide informative new perspectives on how to most effectively use iLab's advanced scheduling features.

Please go to our webinars webpage for more information: http://www.ilabsolutions.com/webinars/
 



Core Facility Management Benchmarking Study Coming This Month!

Our sixth annual Core Facility Management Benchmarking Study is nearing completion. This year's survey saw the highest number of respondents to date; thank you to all who participated!

Upon completion, you will be able to view this year's survey results free of charge on the iLab Benchmarking Study webpage. In the mean time, you are encouraged to check out previous studies: http://www.ilabsolutions.com/benchmarking-study/.
 



2016 EU User Group Conference:
 

EU.png


Registration is still open for our 2016 EU User Group Meeting, which will be 11-12 September 2016 at Fundação Champalimaud in Lisboa, Portugal. All administrators who use iLab are encouraged to attend. We will continue to have a North American-based conference in early 2017 as well.
 

More information about iLab's 2016 EU User Group Conference can be found here:

http://www.ilabsolutions.com/2016-eu-user-group-conference/

 



2017 User Group Conference:

Save the date! The 2017 User Group Conference will be held Febraury 20-22 at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida.

Agilent Technologies Completes Asset Acquisition of iLab Solutions, a Leader in Cloud-Based Laboratory Management Software

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 1, 2016 – Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced it has completed the asset acquisition of iLab Solutions LLC, a leader in cloud-based solutions for core laboratory management.

Agilent announced its intent on June 27 to acquire substantially all of the assets of iLab, including iLab’s technology, intellectual property and product portfolio, as well as employee talent.

iLab Solutions’ offerings enable Agilent’s customers to easily and accurately book time in shared facilities, to bill and invoice for projects, to manage studies, to generate reports and business intelligence, and to schedule instrument reservations across multiple projects.

With the completion of the acquisition, the iLab team is now a part of Agilent CrossLab Group’s Laboratory Enterprise Division.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), a global leader in life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets, is the premier laboratory partner for a better world. Agilent works with customers in more than 100 countries, providing instruments, software, services and consumables for the entire laboratory workflow. The company generated revenue of $4.04 billion in fiscal 2015 and employs about 12,000 people worldwide. Information about Agilent is available at www.agilent.com.

 

iLab Solutions Announces Integration with Illumina BaseSpace® Clarity LIMS to Accelerate Workflows

  

Software provider iLab Solutions announced it can now integrate with Illumina BaseSpace Clarity LIMS, a laboratory information management system, to help researchers accelerate and simplify their workflows. Scientific shared resource facilities will now be able to utilize iLab’s core facility management software in tandem with BaseSpace Clarity LIMS, effectively maximizing efficiency while minimizing manual data re-entry.

For shared research facilities, this combination encompasses the entirety of their workflows. Researchers are able to make requests in iLab using custom forms or uploading necessary information about their samples. Once the facility staff agrees to the work in iLab, the necessary sample information is passed to BaseSpace Clarity LIMS to track sample processing through the facility's workflow. BaseSpace Clarity LIMS then pushes project status updates to iLab allowing customers to view progress updates.

Lab administrators are able to report on the services provided in iLab, as well as bill for services directly from within the system. The integrated platforms offer a seamless experience throughout the process, saving time for facility staff to serve their customers.

“We are pleased to offer this integration to our mutual customers,” said Michael Ball, Vice President of Commercial, Enterprise Informatics at Illumina. “Working with iLab Solutions to develop this integration demonstrates our ongoing commitment to simplify and expedite laboratory workflows.”

With this partnership in place, facilities using both systems will see major advances in efficiency. The two platforms are now able to seamlessly exchange data, eliminating the need to manually re-enter information and allowing users to focus on the science.

"We've been discussing an integration with BaseSpace Clarity LIMS for a long time," said Heather Lorenz, Vice President of Business Development at iLab. "It makes a lot of sense to integrate the two systems to better manage a facility's workflow, and we are excited we've worked together to develop this first integration utilizing our APIs."

With iLab handling the business aspects and BaseSpace Clarity LIMS managing the scientific data, core facilities have much to gain from this integration. Those interested in learning more about the partnership are encouraged to contact info@ilabsolutions.com

  

iLab Solutions names Chris Lopes as the New Lead for its Materials Management Product

Chris Lopes, Director of Materials Management Business Unit

Chris Lopes, Director of Materials Management Business Unit

iLab Solutions is bolstering its Materials Management efforts and has named Chris Lopes, former Director of Support, to lead this endeavor. In this role, Lopes will oversee all Materials Management operations, communicating with current and potential customer partners to continue to make sure their needs are met.

Materials Management allows research laboratories to more efficiently keep track of the products they frequently order, use, and reorder. While the software provides lab members with access to a virtual catalog of all the items they may need, it also eases the workload of lab administrators. All orders are now in one place, preventing unnecessary duplicate orders. As many facilities are constantly running through supplies such as gloves, pipettes, and other resources, manually keeping track of orders and inventory can become quite a nuisance. With an electronic management system, that headache disappears.

“It’s very exciting to see Chris Lopes take over our Materials Management business unit,” stated Heather Lorenz, iLab VP Business Development. “In looking for ways to ramp up our Materials Management activity, we needed someone extremely capable behind that wheel. Chris has a proven track record of attention to detail and customer satisfaction, and has a deep knowledge of the product; we couldn’t be more thrilled for him to direct our focus in this area.”

Before leading iLab’s support team, Lopes actively marketed and sold the Materials Management product, meaning his familiarity with the tool is second to none. In addition, his history of dedication to customer satisfaction hints at a great future for iLab’s customer partners.

Those interested in learning more about iLab’s Materials Management software are encouraged to visit http://www.ilabsolutions.com/lab-management/


About iLab Solution, LLC

iLab Solutions, LLC is the global leader in providing web-based core facility management services to academic research institutions. The functionality includes request management, equipment reservation and usage tracking, project tracking, billing and invoicing, and reporting. iLab has extensive experience providing enterprise-level solutions at major research institutions, including integrations with institutional financial systems and identity management systems. iLab’s dedicated implementation team and full customer support result in high adoption rates. Core facilities across 150 institutions in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region rely on iLab, including universities, hospitals, independent institutes and government labs. For more information, visit www.ilabsolutions.com.

Agilent Technologies to Acquire Assets of iLab Solutions, Leader in Cloud-Based Laboratory Management Software

SANTA CLARA, Calif., and BOSTON, June 27, 2016 – Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and iLab Solutions, LLC today announced they have signed a definitive agreement under which Agilent will acquire substantially all of the assets of iLab, the market leader in cloud-based solutions for core laboratory management.  The acquisition includes iLab’s technology, intellectual property and product portfolio, as well as employee talent.

A privately held company based in Boston, Mass., iLab Solutions provides laboratory management services to leading universities, research hospitals and independent institutes across the globe. 

Using iLab’s offerings, customers can easily and accurately book time in shared facilities to bill and invoice for projects, to manage studies, to generate reports and business intelligence, and to schedule instrument reservations across multiple projects.

“Agilent is a one-stop partner to equip, manage and serve our customers’ entire laboratory,” said Mark Doak, president, Agilent CrossLab Group.  “Our acquisition of iLab further expands our offerings portfolio in a space we previously did not have a presence in.”  

“iLab’s solutions are robust and scalable, allowing for expansion into large-enterprise accounts, including Pharma,” he added. “With iLab’s experience and outstanding enterprise-level management solutions, we will be able to immediately deliver broader value for our customers.”

“Joining forces with Agilent is an excellent fit for us,” said Tad Fallows, chief executive officer, iLab Solutions. “It is also a tremendous opportunity for our customers, who will benefit from integration with a broad family of solutions and a range of new applications. Together, we’ll be able to further accelerate our offerings to additional markets through Agilent’s global reach and leadership in multiple market segments.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed in early August, subject to local laws and regulations and customary closing conditions. iLab Solutions employs nearly 70 employees and contractors, all of whom will be offered opportunities with Agilent. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.    

iLab Solutions, LLC is the global leader in providing web-based core facility management services to academic research institutions. The functionality includes request management, equipment reservation and usage tracking, project tracking, billing and invoicing, and reporting. iLab has extensive experience providing enterprise-level solutions at major research institutions, including integrations with institutional financial systems and identity management systems. iLab’s dedicated implementation team and full customer support result in high adoption rates. Core facilities across 150 institutions in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region rely on iLab, including universities, hospitals, independent institutes and government labs.

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), a global leader in life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets, is the premier laboratory partner for a better world. Agilent works with customers in more than 100 countries, providing instruments, software, services and consumables for the entire laboratory workflow. The company generated revenue of $4.04 billion in fiscal 2015 and employs about 12,000 people worldwide. Information about Agilent is available at www.agilent.com.

Questions? Check out iLab's FAQ page.

iLab Solutions Unveils Intuitive New Functionality to Streamline Stockroom Facilities

Storerooms, Stockrooms to See Major Time-saving Advantages with New Features

Software provider iLab Solutions has two new pieces of functionality which further alleviate the workload of shared resource facilities. iLab Solutions’ storeroom management module is designed to help facilities such as stockrooms, supply closets, and scientific stores manage and sell the products that they have produced internally or procured from outside vendors. These new updates benefit those facilities that keep any quantities of samples or products on hand for resale. Both new features, entitled Formal Inventory Audit and Self Checkout Kiosk, are nearing completion.


For facilities focusing on resale, iLab’s Self Checkout Kiosk feature brings numerous benefits. With a self checkout station set up on a computer or tablet, facility staff are freed from playing the role of cashier, and can focus their time on providing value added services to their customers such as negotiating prices and optimizing stock levels. The self checkout workflow has been optimized for the facility customer and involves three simple steps: 1) Scan the desired products 2) Select a payment method 3) Sign digitally for the products. For those institutions which have opted for financial and ID authentication integration with iLab, self checkout becomes even faster as core customers use their existing credentials and fund numbers when selecting their payment method. Additionally, a wall-mounted tablet serving as a self checkout kiosk is a simple and efficient way to save floor space, a limited resource for many facilities.


iLab’s Formal Inventory Audit feature especially benefits those facilities which tend to keep a large and varied quantity of inventory on hand at all times, necessitating formal inventory counts. Stockroom managers can perform cycle counts via a simple and intuitive interface. After first determining what they’d like to inventory, managers then assign staff to do an initial count. After the count is complete, facility managers upload counts and review any discrepancies. Staff are then assigned to recount any discrepancies, and stock adjustments are created for any true discrepancies. A report can be generated which shows the expected versus new amounts as well as the dollar value of that difference in stock. What further distinguishes this feature is that storerooms can now do inventory on a rolling basis, giving them the flexibility to inventory their complete stock over time and as it becomes available.


“We’re thrilled to bring these new features to our stockroom customers,” stated Andreas Hagen, Chief Software Architect. “We have many facility managers and staff who could be adding a tremendous amount of value to their organizations by focusing on product procurement or production, discount negotiation with vendors and helping their customers with special orders or activities that are less than routine and that can leverage their expertise. Being able to simplify and accelerate the inventory count process as well as the checkout process are two ways that we hope to give back more time for these other valuable activities.”


When looking to streamline research efforts on limited resources, both Formal Inventory Audit and Self Checkout Kiosk can supply major time savings. With the help of these automation tools, not only is the administrative burden lightened, but more accurate records are also generated and kept on file. With accuracy and consistency a staple of scientific research, automated tools like these make for versatile and valuable assets.

Software Provider iLab Solutions Named 25th Fastest Growing Company by Boston Business Journal

Sriram Gollapalli accepts iLab's award

Sriram Gollapalli accepts iLab's award

In a list published by the Boston Business Journal, iLab Solutions was ranked number 25 out of the state’s 76 fastest-growing private companies; a small percentage of the state's 615,000+ small businesses. The list examined companies based in the state of Massachusetts, and ranked organizations on the percent change in revenue from 2012 to 2015.  

Our focus remains streamlining the efforts of the research community, and facilitating scientific breakthroughs. We’re excited to participate and contribute to this progress as we grow.
— Sriram Gollapalli, COO/CTO

As this award comes on the heels of iLab’s induction to the Inc. 5000 list, the organization is no stranger to growth. From 2012 to 2015, iLab’s revenue more than tripled. During that same time, the company also managed to double its number of team members. Additionally, iLab has focused on growing its global presence during the past years, now serving research facilities in 15 countries across the planet.

“Being named to this list is truly an honor,” stated Tad Fallows, iLab CEO. “It’s only from an incredible work ethic seen across our team that we’re able to see these kinds of results. I couldn’t be more proud of both our focus on quality and our dedication to the research community, both of which are foundational to the company as a whole.”

In addition to personnel, the company has deployed a vast amount of new functionality over the past few years, all of which aims to streamline scientific research efforts. While such growth is certainly noteworthy, the organization shows no plans of slowing its progress.

“We’re thrilled to make the list,” stated Sriram Gollapalli, iLab COO/CTO, pictured. “We’ve all worked so incredibly hard over the past few years, and this recognition is great. Our focus remains streamlining the efforts of the research community, and facilitating scientific breakthroughs.  We’re excited to participate and contribute to this progress as we grow.”

iLab Solutions System Updates Newsletter, April 2016

Letter from iLab's Chief Software Architect:

New! Publication Tracking

unnamed.jpg

To date, iLab has provided core and institution administrators a collection of reporting tools that provide detailed information about the volume and dollar value of work conducted within their network of facilities. Increasingly, the NIH and other funding agencies are looking for other metrics to understand the overall impact of shared resources. In collaboration with several customers, we have developed a new Publication Tracker tool, which is designed to make the process more efficient for all stakeholders involved in the research publication tracking process. Highlights of this new module include:
Core Facility Administration can quickly and easily build custom queries to import publications into iLab from PubMed.
Customers of Core Facilities can be prompted to confirm their own publications as well as select the level of core facility contribution to the specific publication.
Core Facility Administration can download reports that include detailed information about publications and which core facilities provided a contribution.
We are excited to be rolling out this module! Along with many of the other features listed in this email, we expect it to release in the next month.
 
If you are interested in learning more, please contact your iLab representative!
 
Sincerely,

Andreas Hagen
Chief Software Architect
iLab Solutions
 


iLab's Complimentary Webinar Series

 

Join iLab experts Sarah Becker and Vaughn Hinrichs as they provide explanations, useful tips, and a Q&A session on advanced scheduling tools.

Whether you are a seasoned iLab user or new to the system, this session will provide informative new perspectives on how to most effectively use iLab's advanced scheduling features.

 

Click here to learn more!

 


New Helpsite!

iLab has been working on building a client Help Site that will help our clients and their customers maximize their iLab solution. We are expanding and improving every week, and are proud of the way the site is developing. Contact your iLab representative for more information.


Core Facility Management Benchmarking Study Closes in May

Our sixth annual Core Facility Management Benchmarking Survey is nearing its close. Please click here to complete the survey. Your input will help contribute to an in-depth look at global trends in core facility management.


New Features Coming Soon!

The following are features that we expect to deploy to the iLab system within the next couple of months. If you have any questions about the features, please feel free to reach out to your iLab representative or to support@ilabsolutions.com.

1. Flagging Expiring Funds: iLab now provides the ability to prominently highlight and flag funds that are due to expire within the next 30 days on payment information drop-downs and relevant list views throughout the system.
*This feature will ONLY be applied when a) institutions have a full financial integration with iLab and b) submit a fund file that includes fund expiration dates.

Estimated Release Date: April 2016
 
2. Blocking Users from Scheduling Equipment: iLab Solutions has developed a Confirm Usage Manager, which allows cores to more easily manage multiple reservation records across numerous schedules, including the ability to filter and search for specific record types.
With this tool administrators can easily filter and omit any usage records that have flagged errors from the billing file and then use this information as a basis to manually or automatically block users from scheduling equipment.

Estimated Release Date: May 2016

3. Configurable Reservations: Providers that offer services with costly setup and/or changeovers often want more prescriptive ways to set up equipment and give customers the ability to request detailed configurations. With its new Configurable Reservations capabilities, iLab now gives service centers the ability to offer options that allow users to incorporate specific equipment set-up details to their reservations. Further, it allows cores to restrict reservations to times when those configurations are available.
 
Estimated Release Date: May 2016
 
4. Charge Upload / Charge Entry: iLab will be implementing updates to its Charge Upload and Charge Entry functionality. Not only can core administration add charges to processing requests but they will also be able to create new requests from the updated Quick Add interface.  In addition, core administrators will have the ability to include supplementary information in charge upload (pending Institution settings).
 
Estimated Release Date: May 2016

5. Core Facility Networks: Many core facility groups who may share a similar geographic region or common scientific, technological, or medical goals are joining partner networks to allow for more efficient research and collaboration. To help these core networks give their associated researchers a consistent and easily accessible experience, iLab now offers the ability to add individual cores, potentially from different institutions, to a single Core Partner Network. This new functionality allows users to search for services and equipment across the specific core facilities within that network. Researchers can easily find the resources they are looking for without having to log into the iLab system.

Estimated Release Date: May 2016
 
6. Volume Discounts: Cores will have the ability to provide discounts to users based on the amount of usage.

Estimated Release Date: June 2016

7. Time Sheets: Associates in cores that offer professional services, such as Biostatisticians in a Biostatistics core, need to be able to quickly and easily account for the time that they spend on various projects. iLab's time sheets tracking feature allows the core to account for and bill for the professional services.
 
Estimated Release Date: Summer 2016


Updates to iLab's Add-on Modules

1. Storeroom Management - Formal Inventory: We have recently introduced functionality that simplifies the process of taking formal inventory of stockrooms. The functionality has been designed flexibly so that administrators can conduct a partial or complete audit. When ready, a report can be generated, which will show any stock adjustments associated with the formal inventory, including the change in quantity as well as the cost of that quantity change.

Estimated Release Date: April 2016

2. Storeroom Management - Self-service Check-out: We have heard from several customers that self-service stockrooms are not uncommon and for many, desirable. We understand that these self-service stockrooms come in two basic flavors:

A larger, supervised facility where customers can select items off-the-shelf and then self-checkout in a manner not too dissimilar from automated tellers at a grocery store.

Smaller, unsupervised facilities within departments or buildings with restricted access and a high concentration of researchers who benefit from centralized stockrooms of common reagents and consumables

At iLab, we have been working on tools to help improve the ability of these two facility types to work efficiently at providing researchers access to commonly used reagents. In the case of supervised facilities, the goal was to build a tool that allows facility management to spend more time working on special requests and orders that require attention and to allow researchers to quickly grab consumables and items that they use regularly without the need for additional staffing. In the case of unsupervised facilities, we wanted to create functionality that would allow department administrators or dedicated staff to manage the procurement of products and stock levels, while providing 24/7 access to consumables for researchers who work long hours. To that end, we have built a Self-Service Checkout module to operate on tablets such as the Apple iPad (mounted within an enclosure) or on a desktop computer located within the facility connected to a barcode scanner.

Estimated Release Date: May 2016

3. Instrument Access Control - Software Interlock: Core facilities often maintain expensive and sophisticated instrumentation and software to support the needs of their scientific researchers. They would often like to manage and sometimes restrict user access to these valuable resources. Currently, iLab offers a Kiosk and Hardware Interlock solution where instrumentation access can be physically controlled using a hardware access control module, but there are scenarios where certain equipment may be too sensitive to be administered in such a way. To that end, iLab Solutions, Purdue University and Sassafras Software (a third-party software licensing management provider) are partnering to develop a method to manage access to the software that controls the instrument rather than controlling the physical instrument itself.
 
Estimated Release Date: Summer 2016
 
4. Animal Management - Animal Acquisitions: iLab is in the process of developing a simple but robust Animal Management Module. To ensure that we are designing this module to flexibly meet the needs of a variety of facilities, we are building this product in stages and in collaboration with a number of customer partners.

The first milestone for this product line was a central Protocols Management component of which we have completed the first round of development. While this feature is not intended to replace full institutional protocol management systems, it is built to store the particular sets of data that core facilities and principal investigators will need to reference in the course of their daily workflows and processes. With this feature in place, iLab can receive an input file containing approved protocols or approved protocols can be manually entered into iLab. Core Managers and researchers can then associate approved protocols when placing service requests.

The next milestone, Animal Acquisition, is wrapping soon. This component will allow researchers to place requests for animals, based on their approved protocols, and the facility administrator can review and approve the request and place the order to the vendor. This module includes the workflow for ordering animals from "Approved Sources," (typically common commercial vendors) and "Non-Approved Sources". As part of this build, we will be integrating searchable catalogs from some of the most widely-used research animal suppliers and will also allow for the inclusion of institution-specific vendor pricing. We have also included the ability for researchers to place recurring orders of animals, on a delivery schedule which they can define within the order.

iLab is now preparing for the third milestone, Animal Housing. This will be followed by Census, which will be linked to the Animal Acquisition component and will also tie directly into the existing iLab billing module.
 
Estimated Release Date: Summer 2016

5. Partnerships - iLab and Genologics Collaborate for Smoother Data Transfer Process: iLab and Genologics are collaborating to better serve facilities that use both the iLab system and Clarity LIMS Gold. In partnership, we have written scripts which will enable both systems to "talk," allowing specific sample meta data and status to be passed back and forth. This will automate the data transfer process and ensure the workflow is more efficient in its entirety.

Estimated Release Date: Summer 2016


2016 EU User Group Conference:

We have added a second User Group Conference date this year, which will be 11-12 September 2016 at Fundação Champalimaud in Lisboa, Portugal. All administrators who use iLab are encouraged to attend. We will continue to have a North American-based conference in the spring as well.
 
More information about iLab's 2016 EU User Group Conference can be found here:
http://www.ilabsolutions.com/2016-eu-user-group-conference/

We hear Portugal is beautiful in September and hope you can make it!
 


Questions? You can reach us in the following ways:
Open a ticket by clicking on the 'HELP' link at the top of the iLab page.
Email support@ilabsolutions.com
Call our office phone: +1.617.297.2805
 

Sign up for the iLab web discussion group at www.ilabusers.com!