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FAQ's - Cable - Summit Traffic Cable

Cable Frequently Asked Questions

Start by selecting a category:

Logs-Programming

Contracts and Spots

Log Generation, Tracking

Operations and Reconciliation

Sales Management and Reports

Billing and Accounts Receivable

Support and Maintenance

General


Logs - Programming

How is new programming information entered into the Summit Traffic system?

How difficult is it to enter new programming for an additional network or headend?

Is the Summit Traffic system totally electronic?  Can ‘hard copy’ logs be printed?


Contracts and Spots

How are orders (Contracts) entered into the Summit Traffic system?

What happens if the requested time is sold out?

What happens if the requested time is booked by lower priced spots?

How are priorities set?

How is Copy entered?  Can it be linked to multiple Contracts?

Is spot placement on the log dictated by TIME, PROGRAM or SOME COMBINATION?

How are combo orders handled?


Log Generation, Tracking

How far in advance can a log be generated?

How are manual changes to the log affected?

How does the Summit Traffic system manage timing or competitive separation requirements?

Prior to finalization of the log, what safeguards are in place to identify problems with spot separation (timing or competitive issues), such as missing Copy, missing spots, etc.?  Who is notified of these problems?  How are they notified and when?

Does the Summit Traffic system provide any type of alert for accounts with credit problems?  Can parameters be set to flag accounts that exceed a certain balance or have outstanding balances over 90 days old?


Operations and Reconciliation

What automation equipment interfaces are there?

After a log is finalized, how can changes be made and communicated to MCO?

How is the log reconciled?


Sales Management and Reports

How far in the future can avails/breaks be viewed?

What other sales and management reports will the Summit Traffic system provide?

Can reports be generated and printed at any time or are there processing constraints?

Can reports be generated and saved in various formats?

Can reports be generated and emailed to a third party?

How much history can be stored by the Summit Traffic system?

Can report access be restricted so Account Execs see only their Contracts/clients/data?


Billing and Accounts Receivable

How are payments posted to the receivables?

How does the Summit Traffic system handle billing for non-traditional revenue sources?  (I.e., Sponsorships, billboards, packages, web advertising, etc.

Does the Summit Traffic system allow both broadcast and calendar billing?

Is electronic invoicing available and compatible with NCC?

Does the Summit Traffic system provide a method of maintaining and accessing notes made in conversations with clients?

Does the Summit Traffic system generate both invoices and statements?

Can an invoice from a prior period be printed?  How far back can it go?

Are Sales people able to review their aged accounts?  Is it in real time?


Support and Maintenance

What about support?


General

What modules comprise the Summit Traffic system?

So, what does it cost?

What external system interfaces do you have?

What database engine does Summit Traffic use?

What hardware/OS environments are available?

What are the hardware requirements for the Summit Traffic system?

Is remote Summit Traffic system access available?

How do we get up and running on the Summit Traffic System?


How is new programming information entered into the Summit Traffic system?

New programming is entered into the Summit Traffic system either by importing the information or by entering it by hand.  After programs have been imported or entered by hand, they are immediately placed on the schedules when committed.  Multiple stations can be specified on a single program.

IMPORTING PROGRAMMING 

We offer our Cable clients a monthly programming import for a fee.  Summit Traffic imports programming for several Cable networks.

Summit Traffic can import programming from any network (or syndicator) that can provide an electronic format.  To import programming, open the Import Programming Module then specify the run dates, time, etc.

Summit Traffic can import programs from our Program Inventory module.  Program formats can be imported into the Program Inventory module if they can be provided in a machine-readable format.

Existing programs may also be copied and pasted and then the dates and run times changed.

ENTERING PROGRAMS BY HAND

Regular programs are specified to run on one or more channels, on one or more dates and days of the week.  They are entered in program data entry.  Multiple days (E.g., M-F) can all be entered once for the same program.

Pre-empt programs run on one given day at a given time.  They are entered in program data entry.

Program elements are also entered in the programming module.  They can include just the avails/breaks or all the elements that account for the entire length of the program.   What you will have to enter will depend on your automation system.

Other info that is entered in the programming module is audio/video sources, printing options, target rate for reporting purposes and payment information for paid programs.


How difficult is it to enter new programming for an additional network or headend?

The process for adding an additional channel is quite simple.  A new channel is added to the channel definition table then programming is entered as above.  The length of time depends on the complexity of programming for that channel.  The time can range from one to several hours.

A channel group may be used for the same network on all headends.  You would just add the new channel to the group and rekey the programs.


Is the Summit Traffic system totally electronic?  Can ‘hard copy’ logs be printed?

The Summit Traffic system can print hard copy logs in addition to creating schedule files for various automation systems.  Logs can be in one of many predefined formats, or you may define your own.


How are orders (Contracts) entered into the Summit Traffic system?

The process to enter an order is very simple.  There are several options for entering Contracts and then approving them.

Orders can be imported to traffic from third party systems.  List of systems.

Account Executives can enter orders in Summit Traffic and the orders will be placed on hold until a manager with the appropriate access approves them.  The results can be emailed to the Account Exec.

If using paper Contracts once they are approved they can be given to traffic for data entry and placement on the log.


What happens if the requested time is sold out?

If the time is sold out with non pre-emptable spots, the spots may be allowed to go to make goods or the Contract can remain on hold.  The Account Executive could then be notified and allowed to modify the Contract, if possible.


What happens if the requested time is booked by lower priced spots?

If the lower priced spot is pre-emptable and a lower priority, the higher priced spot could be placed on the log in the lower priced spots place.  The Summit Traffic system could then try to reschedule the lower priced spot into another acceptable position/time, or if unable, place the lower priced spot into make goods.  See Implicit Priorities in the Scheduling rules for more information.


How are priorities set?

There are up to 36 priority codes.  Within each priority, there can be implicit priorities by rate and by schedule span.


How is Copy entered?  Can it be linked to multiple Contracts?

Copy is entered as a Copy order with rotation specifiers and run time parameters.

Copy can be easily attached to multiple Contracts as well as each Schedule page on a Contract can have a different Copy order attached.


Is spot placement on the log dictated by TIME, PROGRAM or SOME COMBINATION?

Spot placement may be specified by time, program or user defined Daypart.  See Contract Schedule page Data Entry for more information.


How are combo orders handled?

Very easily!  Simply select a channel group instead of a single channel on the Contract schedule page. 

You also have options to combine the rate among the channels, rotate the spots among channels, or run those spots at the same time across all channels.


How far in advance can a log be generated?

The schedule can be extended as far in the future as necessary.  We don't recommend going past 18 months.  The more days you have extended the longer the system takes to schedule things.


How are manual changes to the log affected?

The schedule can be hand edited in edit schedules.  Drag and drop functionality makes this a simple process.


How does the Summit Traffic system manage timing or competitive separation requirements?

Separation can be specified for Advertiser, Industry, and Product.  You can set defaults that are used on all Contracts, and you can change each Contract as it is entered.


Prior to finalization of the log, what safeguards are in place to identify problems with spot separation (timing or competitive issues), such as missing Copy, missing spots, etc.?  Who is notified of these problems?  How are they notified and when?

Spot separation will not be violated by the Summit Traffic system.  If manually overridden, a spot separation issue will show up on the Discrepancy report.  A Discrepancy report can be run at any time.  The Discrepancy report will show missing copy and a variety of other potential problems.  In addition, the Summit Traffic system will not create Automation schedule files with missing copy.  This report can be saved and emailed to interested parties.


Does the Summit Traffic system provide any type of alert for accounts with credit problems?  Can parameters be set to flag accounts that exceed a certain balance or have outstanding balances over 90 days old?

Contract preferences can be set up to show Advertisers past due and/or over their credit limit.  Contracts for Advertisers who are over their credit limit will give a warning when scheduling that may be overridden if you choose.  Contracts for Advertisers that are Past Due will show a message in red above the Advertiser name at the time the Contract is entered.


What automation equipment interfaces are there?

Summit Traffic has interfaces to most analog and digital automation equipment.  If we don't already interface with your equipment, we can easily create a tight, seamless interface to the equipment that best meets your needs.  Cable Interfaces in use.


After a log is finalized, how can changes be made and communicated to MCO?

After the schedule is locked, the lock can be overridden, then a new log may be printed, or a new automation file produced.  This may be done within minutes of airtime, if desired.  Check with your Automation vendor to be sure a log may be re-loaded.


How is the log reconciled?

If using an automation system, a file from the automation system is sent to Summit Traffic and the reconciliation is done automatically.  You set the parameters as to where Summit Traffic looks for the verification file.

If reconciliation needs to be done manually, run times may be changed appropriately, copy may be changed to reflect the actual spot played, and missed spots may be moved to make goods in edit schedules.


How far in the future can avails/breaks be viewed?

The avails browser and reports show the current and future scheduled programming and spots.  Avails/Breaks can be seen as far out in the future as the schedule is extended.


What other sales and management reports will the Summit Traffic system provide?

There are numerous sales reports, management reports, and report charts available: Inventory Usage Reports, Sales Reports, Sales Report Charts, Traffic Reports, Utility Reports, and others.  See the report book (PDF, 4.2MB) for details.


Can reports be generated and printed at any time or are there processing constraints?

Reports can be generated at anytime, and always reflect the most current data entered into the Summit Traffic system.


Can reports be generated and saved in various formats?

Reports can be generated and saved in .txt, .xls, .rtf, .csv and other formats.  If you have PDF printer installed, you may print to it to create a PDF file.


Can reports be generated and emailed to a third party?

Yes.  Just save the report to a file in the format you prefer and attach it to an email.


How much history can be stored by the Summit Traffic system?

Tithe Summit Traffic system will hold at least 5 years of billing history plus the current year. 


Can report access be restricted so Account Execs see only their Contracts/clients/data?

Very easily, by setting up access restrictions on their user record.


How are payments posted to the receivables?

To post a payment to receivables, select the Advertiser or Agency, enter the payment amount, check number and then specify whether to apply to the oldest invoices, click to select a specific invoice, or choose to carry a credit balance.


How does the Summit Traffic system handle billing for non-traditional revenue sources?  I.e., Sponsorships, billboards, packages, web advertising, etc.)

Known-traditional revenue sources are handled on the miscellaneous billing page of Contract data entry.  These can be billed simultaneously with spots or on separate invoices.


Does the Summit Traffic system allow both broadcast and calendar billing?

Summit Traffic’s system allows broadcast, calendar, end of schedule, end of flight, bill on demand and many other billing cycle options


Is electronic invoicing available and compatible with NCC?

Electronic invoicing (EDI) is available, and is compatible with NCC and many others.


Does the Summit Traffic system provide a method of maintaining and accessing notes made in conversations with clients?

Notes made during conversations with clients can be maintained in the notes section of the Advertiser record.


Does the Summit Traffic system generate both invoices and statements?

Yes, the Summit Traffic system generates both invoices and statements.  Statements are optional and both are customizable.


Can an invoice from a prior period be printed?  How far back can it go?

Yes, an invoice from a prior period may be printed.  You can go as far back as you have kept history.


Are Sales people able to review their aged accounts?  Is it in real time?

Sales people can review their aged accounts in real time.  Sales people’s access may also be limited to their specific accounts.


What about support?

24 x 7, of course.  Not that someone is in the office all that time, but someone is at the end of a pager or cellular after hours.  More information.


What modules comprise the Summit Traffic system?

Standard system modules:

A/R

Advertiser Schedule Query

A/R Balance Query

Avails Reports

Billing

Billing History/Goals Utility

Define Channels/Groups

Define Users

Extend Schedules

Inventory Usage Reports

Programming

Quick-Ref Reports

Reschedule Make goods

Report Customization

Send Files to Summit

Sales Reports

Sales Reports Charts

Traffic

Traffic Reports

Utility

Utility Reports

Add-On Modules:

Avail Export

Import Contracts

Import Programming

Media Inventory

Program Inventory


So, what does it cost?

It depends on the modules purchased, the number of networks and headends you want to operate from a single location, the amount of training and consultation you want, and whether you choose to purchase a license or lease the Summit Traffic system.   Request information to be sent to you.


What external system interfaces do you have?

Summit Traffic has interfaces to many external systems, for importing programming, importing Contracts and proposals, exporting avails/breaks, invoices, programming, etc.  Interfaces in use.


What database engine does Summit Traffic use?

Summit Traffic uses the outstanding Pervasive PSQL v9.71 database engine from Pervasive SoftwareWhy did we choose the Pervasive PSQL engine?


What hardware/OS environments are available?

DOS or Windows clients (Windows 7 32-bit only) (64-bit Windows 7 requires Virtual software with 32-bit Windows 7 installed) (32 or 64-bit Windows 8 requires Hyper-V with 32-bit Windows 7 installed); NT, Novell, Linux, and Peer-to-Peer client-server based systems, or standalone workstation systems.


What are the hardware requirements for the Summit Traffic system?

Summit Traffic will run on most any modern Pentium based PC running Windows 32-bit operating systems.  We recommend Windows 7 Pro.

If you use Windows 7 with 64-bit, you will need to use VMWare or similar software and then install a licensed copy of Windows 7 32-bit to a virtual machine.

If you use Windows 8 with 64-bit, you have to have the Pro version and you will need to install Hyper-V and then install a licensed copy of Windows 7 32-bit to a virtual machine.  Microsoft has some info here - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh857623.aspx.  You can also use VMWare or similar software, which may be more user friendly.

A minimum of 512 MB of memory is required for workstations.  We recommend at least 1GB.  A minimum of 2GB for servers; of course - more is better.  We recommend at least 512 MB per concurrent user.

Internet access to download updates, send files to Summit Traffic Product Support staff, etc. is required.

Some method of backing up files (flash drive, etc.), antivirus protection, and a UPS are recommended.

A printer is required for printing reports, invoices, etc.

To have multi-user access, the Summit Traffic system will need to be run on a LAN.  We support Novell, Windows, or Linux based networks as well as Peer-to-Peer.  No special database or application server is required.

We use the Pervasive PSQL v9.x database engine which will need to be acquired and installed on the server and client machines or a standalone workstation.  Please call the office for pricing.

When purchasing hardware, factor in the operation's tolerance levels and desires.  For one operation, a lower cost system may be more important and less throughput more tolerable; for another, throughput may be paramount.


Is remote system access available?

Yes. We can connect to your workstations and/or servers via join.me.  It requires a small install program.  We only connect when you give us the code when you share your desktop.


How do we get up and running on the Summit Traffic System?

Contact Sales.



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