Scheduling Assistant

The scheduling assistant allows participants to connect their calendars with Chronus, which shows them when their mentoring partner is and is not available, so long as their calendars are up-to-date.

The scheduling assistant is currently available only for the following email services:
  • Gmail
  • Office 365 (Outlook software client) / Outlook.com (web-based Outlook email)
  • iCal
Chronus supports organization wide calendar integration for Microsoft exchange and Google calendar. Please refer below for detailed step by step guide for the integrations

 

Table of Contents

 

Overview

The scheduling assistant feature can only be enabled by a Chronus customer success team member.

With the scheduling assistant enabled, your program participants can reduce their effort spent when trying to find a date and time where both can meet. This typically leads to more data being available to administrators about how active a connection is.

If a participant does not utilize one of the email services currently supported by the feature, they will be unable to connect their calendar and their mentoring partner will not be able to see their availability when scheduling meetings; thus, this feature works best when most or all participants utilize the same email service (i.e. everyone at your organization uses the Outlook software client for email management).

This feature works best when paired with the Calendar Sync feature.

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How to Connect a Calendar

Connecting During Sign-up

When filling out their profile for the first time, participants will be asked to connect their calendars as the last step of the profile completion process. After clicking the button corresponding to their calendar of choice (Google, Office 365 / Outlook.com, or iCal), the participant will be prompted to authorize Chronus to view their calendars:

After authorization is complete, the participant will be taken to their home page.

 

Connecting After Signing Up

Administrators cannot connect a participant's calendar when utilizing the Work on Behalf feature—only the participant can perform this action.

To connect a calendar after a participant is already in the program, have them click the circle in top right corner of the page (this circle will either contain the participant's profile picture, or their initials). Select Edit Profile from there.

Then, have them click Settings in the middle of the page.

Next, have them scroll down to the Calendar Settings section and click the button corresponding to the calendar type they wish to connect.

After successfully connecting, the following will always be shown under the Calendar Settings section for the participant:

iCal Experience

iCal has a slightly different experience from the other supported calendars. Once the participant clicks the button, they will be prompted to sign in to their iCloud account and asked to create an app-specific password:

Click here for a PDF document explaining how to generate an app-specific password, if needed.

After filling out the content in the dialog box, the participant will be rerouted to Chronus, seeing a success message similar to other calendars

 

MS Exchange Experience

Integration Steps (Microsoft Exchange - Online & On premise )
Step 1:
  To enable org wide MS Exchange calendar integration, please contact your CSM (super user) to enable organization wide calendar access at the global level.

ms_exchange.png


Step 2:
   User with admin privileges logs in and goes to the Manage page at the global level. From there, they click the Engagement card, then click the Integrations icon. The page as shown in the image below should be visible to the admin. If the page doesn't have Microsoft Exchange for Chronus shown, or if the Integrations icon is not visible under the Engagement card, please get in touch with your Customer Success team member.

integrations.png

Step 3:

   On clicking the Microsoft Exchange card, the administrator should be able to view two tiles

ms_exchange_2_ways.png


Microsoft Exchange Online - Can be integrated by admin.
   1) On clicking integrate button, administrator should login to Microsoft Exchange Online with their  account details to configure the integration
   2) The administrator will be prompted to allow Chronus permissions to view user calendars
   3) Once authorization is granted, the administrator will be taken to the Microsoft exchange integration  page. A flash with successful integration will be displayed
   4) To disable/remove the integration - administrator can click on the remove button and the integration will be disabled

Microsoft Exchange On premise - Please contact Chronus support team to integrate MS Exchange On premise

    Note : Please note that both integrations cannot be enabled simultaneously. If MS Exchange online integration is enabled and the organization would like to enable MS Exchange on premise then they should disable Online integration and enable On premise integration (by contacting chronus support ) & Vice Versa

 

Google Calendar Org wide:

Step 1: 

   To enable org wide google  calendar integration, please contact your CSM (super user) to  enable organization wide  calendar access  at the global level.

ms_exchange.png

Step 2: 

  User with admin privileges logs in and goes to the Manage page at the global level. From there, they click the Engagement card, then click the Integrations icon. The page as shown in the image below should be visible to the admin. If the page doesn't have Google calendar  for Chronus shown, or if the Integrations icon is not visible under the Engagement card, please get in touch with your Customer Success team member.  

integrations.png

Step 3:

   On clicking the Google calendar integration card , the below screen appears

Screenshot_from_2021-09-27_09-24-27.png

  1.  On clicking integrate button, administrator should login to Google account with their account details to configure the integration
  2. The administrator will be prompted to allow Chronus permissions to view user calendars
  3. Once authorization is granted, the administrator will be taken to the google integration page. A flash with successful integration will be displayed
  4. To disable/remove the integration - administrator can click on the remove button and the integration will be disabled

 

How the Scheduling Assistant Works

Once connected to a participant's calendar, the scheduling assistant will provide the participant's availability to their mentoring partner(s) when a partner goes to schedule a meeting with them through Chronus.

Chronus cannot view any information in any item in a calendar (e.g. meeting details)—the platform only looks for times that the individual has indicated they are occupied, and returns that date and time frame to the person scheduling the meeting as "Unavailable".

If Calendar Sync is also enabled for your program, note that Gmail will automatically put the scheduled meeting on the participant's calendar, in addition to sending the invitation email. Outlook users must first accept the invitation before the meeting is placed on their calendar.

 

Group Mentoring/Circles Experience

A back-end setting needs to be toggled by a Chronus team member before this feature can be used by groups/circles. Please ask your regular contact to check that this setting is enabled before advertising the feature to your participants.

To make use of the scheduling assistant in a Group Mentoring or Circles connection, the meeting creator will need to click the Create a Poll with Proposed Meeting Slots button to display times that invitees who have connected their calendars to Chronus are not available.

The interface will indicate how many invitees have connected their calendars for reference.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A participant says they connected their calendar, but their availability isn't being updated in the software. What could be happening here?

1. Check to make sure that the participant has actually connected their calendar by working on behalf of them, going to their profile's account settings, and seeing which of the following options is being presented to you: "Your calendar is not connected", or "Your Google/Outlook.com/Office 365/iCal calendar is connected." Follow the steps here when working on behalf of the user to discover this information.

2. Try having the participant disconnect and reconnect their calendar in the software, then wait roughly ten minutes to ensure that the system is given enough time to retrieve the information.

3. If they have an all-day event scheduled, the assistant will interpret this as not being available. Have them ensure that this isn't blocking their calendars.

4. Your organization's IT team may need to authorize Chronus to access calendar information first. Please ask them to ensure that permissions are enabled for all users and not just a select group (enabling this will not affect non-participants in your organization at all, since they won't be using Chronus anyway).

If none of the above address the issue, please get in touch with our support team and let them know that you have already tried the options listed in this article to help expedite assistance.

 

A participant is saying that their mentoring partner's schedule is always completely open/never available.

This typically means that the mentoring partner either has not connected their calendar or has "out of office" settings configured in a way that prevents them from being shown as available. The participant may need to reach out to the mentoring partner about this and ask them to make adjustments.

 

Can the email address of the scheduling assistant be changed to something else?

The email address for the scheduling assistant cannot be changed.

 

Can the sender name of the scheduling assistant be changed to something else?

The sender name for the scheduling assistant cannot be changed.

 

Which specific (tech) permissions are being utilized by Chronus when looking at a calendar?

"calendars.read" and "offline_access". iCal uses the app-specific password to look at the free/busy slots on the specified calendar.

 

Will Chronus need to store any user credentials to utilize the Scheduling Assistant? How exactly are the login and the calendar synchronization set up and maintained in the backend?

For Google Calendar and Office 365 / Outlook, Chronus does not store user credentials with this integration; after a user successfully validates their login credentials, the authorization server returns an access token which the software saves instead. Chronus uses this access token to connect with the resource server (where Chronus pulls free/busy slot information from) to retrieve that data.

For iCal, Chronus does store the encrypted Apple ID and encrypted app-specific password, as Apple does not provide a backend framework similar to the other calendars to allow token authorization. Chronus does not store the Apple ID password.

 

Why can't participants schedule meetings on weekends or later/earlier in the day?

By default, Chronus prevents meetings from being scheduled on weekends and during late/early hours in the day. A global administrator can change these settings under the General tab in the Program Settings tool at the global level, as can a single-track admin.

 

Can I limit which email services are available to participants?

Global administrators/Single-track program administrators can toggle these under the General section of Program Settings:

mceclip1.png

 

Is there a way for my program's participants to have their calendars automatically connected when they first sign up?

This is possible, but only for organizations where the program's participants are all using the same email service. This also requires the organization's IT team to create a "dummy" email address that utilizes the email service for Chronus as well. For more information, please reach out to a Customer Success team member.

 

How do you disconnect or connect a new calendar?

A participant can disconnect and/or connect a calendar through their profile's account settings. See the Connecting After Sign-up section above for instructions on how to get to this page.

 

Can a participant have multiple calendars connected at the same time?

Only one calendar can be connected per account at a time. This means the same calendar availability shown to partners in one track will be shown to partners in other tracks as well, should the participant is engaged in more than one program.

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