Release Notes March 15th, 2024 - Enhancements to Calendar Integrations
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Written by Admin
Updated over a week ago

This release is aimed at one goal: ensuring that session scheduling is impeccably reliable. There are advancements in the calendar connections that allow administrators and coaches to up-level the game. Scheduling needs to be always on and always reliable, and this release provides the tools to make that happen.

In this Release

Calendar Integrations Overview

Ensuring coaches can effortlessly schedule and manage sessions and discovery calls with clients is of paramount importance. In late 2023, a revamped iteration of Nylas, named NylasV3, was introduced. Following the rollout of NylasV3, we've collected feedback on areas ripe for further improvement. These enhancements span across different facets, such as providing administrators with added controls and addressing specific issues.

The benefits of this upgrade include:

  1. Session invitations can now be sent directly from your branded email domains instead of from Coaching.com.

  2. Larger accounts now have the flexibility to specify multiple email domains, accommodating various segments within their organization.

  3. Controls are provided to enable or disable notifications directly from Coaching.com for session invitations.

The main issues addressed are:

  1. Some coachees receive email invitations, but do not have the corresponding calendar events automatically added.

  2. Emails from Coaching.com may be blocked by coachee firewalls, leading to the coachee not receiving the invite.

  3. Coaches are unable to view RSVPs from coachees on their calendars.

Whether you're an independent coach or an administrator for a business or enterprise, the solution to these problems lies in the implementation of new calendar features outlined below.

Summary Instructions for Administrators and Coaches

The following instructions are the quick guide to implementation to the calendar setup. There are more details found later in this document.

Instructions for Administrators

  1. Navigate to your Company Settings.

  2. Within Coach Settings, check the box labeled "Allow session invitations to come from coach calendars". This will enable enhanced calendar integration.

  3. In the field titled "Calendars in the following domains can send invitations to coachees," enter the domain(s) from which calendar invitations should be sent. For example if your coaches use company.com as their email address and calendar, then you would enter "Company.com" in this text box. this specifies the calendar connections that will be used for your brand.

  4. Ensure that the checkbox for "Allow Coaching.com to also send calendar invitations to coachees" remains unchecked to exclusively rely on coach calendars for communications. (If coaches do not have a matching calendar, session invitations will be sent through Coaching.com).

Instructions for Internal Coaches

  1. Navigate to your Calendar Settings page.

  2. Ensure that you are on NylasV3.

  3. If you have a single calendar within your company's specified domain, no action is required. Your calendar will automatically be chosen for sending invitations.

  4. In case you don't have a connected calendar within the company's specified domain, a banner will appear on your Calendar Settings page. The banner will prompt you to connect a calendar within the specified domain if you wish to utilize these features and have your calendar send invitations to the coachee.

  5. If you have multiple connected calendars matching the company's specified domain(s), follow these steps:

    1. Click the 'Select Action' button.

    2. Choose "Update Primary."

    3. Select the primary calendar that represents you as a coach from the options provided. There is more information on primary calendars found later in this document.

Instructions for Independent Coaches

  1. Navigate to your Calendar Settings page.

  2. Ensure that you are on NylasV3.

  3. Check the box labeled "Allow session invitations to come from coach calendars" to activate this feature.

  4. Ensure that the checkbox for "Allow Coaching.com to also send calendar invitations to coachees" remains unchecked to rely solely on your calendar for communications.

  5. If you have at least one calendar connection where you 'add' events:

    1. Click the 'Select Action' button.

    2. Choose "Update Primary."

    3. From the options provided, select the primary calendar that you would like to use to send invitations to the coachee.

Administrative Controls For Calendar Invitations

We're introducing new administrative controls accessible through Company Settings for business/enterprise accounts, and through Calendar Settings for independent coach accounts. These new controls are based on coaches being connected to NylasV3. These controls enable session invitations and reschedule notifications to originate directly from the coach's calendar. This has the potential to improve deliverability, enhance the coachee experience, and provide branding related to the session.

Screenshot for Business Accounts in Company Settings

For business and enterprise accounts, the controls that are account-wide for internal coaches is found within the Company Settings, and can be accessed by Administrators.

Screenshot for Independent Coach Accounts in Calendar Settings

For independent coaches, the new settings can be found in their Calendar Settings, within the Scheduling & Cancellation pane.

Allow session invitations to come from coach calendars

The "Allow session invitations to come from coach calendars" checkbox is a new addition, permitting specific coach calendars to directly communicate with coachees for session scheduling and rescheduling notifications. Enabling this toggle unlocks additional sub-options displayed in the screenshot. Once activated, these other controls become editable.

Calendars in the following domains can send invitations to coachees;

The option "Calendars in the following domains can send invitations to coachees" is exclusively available for business accounts. It empowers administrators to designate which of the coach's connected calendars can be utilized for sending invitations. For instance, a coach may link more than one calendar for scheduling, such as:

Administrators can impose restrictions so that only calendars under 'company.com' are utilized for sending invitations, ensuring consistent branding. The text input permits specifying the domain. Moreover, for larger organizations with multiple email domains, they can specify multiple domains separated by commas, like: companyA.com, companyB.com. If a coach lacks a calendar connection in the specified domain, invitations will continue to be sent from Coaching.com as usual.

What's particularly convenient about this feature is that coaches may not need to configure anything to benefit from it. If a coach has a connected calendar in the specified domain, the system will automatically start sending invitations using their calendar. If a coach has multiple calendars in the domain(s), they'll be prompted to select their primary calendar. For instance:

In this scenario, it's advisable for the coach to choose their email as the primary calendar instead of the secondary calendars that they may be subscribed to. If no primary calendar is chosen, the platform will default to sending invitations from Coaching.com.

*Note for Independent Coaches: Independent coaches with their own accounts and emails can select any calendar where events are recorded to act as the primary. This is elaborated in the "Setting a Primary Calendar" section of this document.

Allow Coaching.com to also send calendar invitations to coachees

"Allow Coaching.com to also send calendar invitations to coachees" is an additional option for account administrators and independent coaches. This feature is important because if "Allow session invitations to come from coach calendars" is enabled, and the coach has a primary calendar, then the coachee will get two notifications. One notification would come from the coach's calendar, and one would come from Coaching.com. By default this will be disabled to avoid duplicate invitations. However, this toggle can be enabled to ensure deliverability of session invitations and reschedules if desired.

Setting a Primary Calendar

The following is for coaches who are on NylasV3. Once the administrative controls are configured, as detailed in this document, the coach's primary calendar will be utilized to dispatch session invitations to the coachee.

The primary calendar differs from other calendars in that it includes the session participants as guests in the calendar event. With Microsoft, Google, or iCloud calendar providers:

  • Notifications are automatically dispatched to the coachee when the event is created or modified.

  • RSVPs from the coachee are visible to the coach on their primary calendar.

For business clients, the designation of a primary calendar may occur automatically for coaches if they possess a sole calendar connection within the specified domain. However, there are instances where the coach will have the choice to designate a primary calendar, including:

  • Independent coaches always retain the option to designate a primary calendar, or not, since they have ownership of their account.

  • Internal coaches with multiple calendar connections within domains specified by the administrator will need to select the calendar that best suits as their primary.

Preview of the Calendar Settings

When a primary calendar has been designated, it will be labelled as seen below.

The primary calendar can be adjusted by using the 'Select Action' dropdown and selecting 'Update Primary'.

Selecting 'Update Primary' will open the Edit Primary Calendar dialog. This dialog allows for the coach to select the primary calendar.

The options available in the dropdown menu will exclusively feature calendars that are used for writing events. In business accounts where domains are specified, only the calendars associated with those specified domains will be displayed for selection.

How to Determine Your Current Version

The Coaching.com platform has increased capabilities in calendar integrations:

  1. Cronofy: Cronofy was the original integration on the platform. It has a unique look and feel. An example of the Calendar Settings page layout is shown below:

  2. NylasV2: The platform was upgraded to Nylas as an integration partner to streamline some of the issues with Cronofy. The calendar settings layout is different than with Cronofy. Most notably, coaches will see in the bottom left of their Calendar Settings a nylas version, and for NylasV2 it will appear as 'nylasv2':

  3. NylasV3: Was a further advancement on the platform and improved real-time information regarding availability and scheduling. Coaches who are on NylasV3 will see 'nylasv3' at the bottom left of their Calendar Settings page.

Upgrading to NylasV3

If you would like to upgrade to NylasV3, simply follow the steps below

  1. Disconnect ALL calendar connections from your calendar settings page (https://app.coaching.com/settings/calendar)

  2. With no calendars configured, under the 'Select Action' dropdown select 'Connect Calendar'. This will automatically start connecting calendars on Nylas v3.0. (See below of screenshot)

  3. Any additional connection will also be on Nylas v3.0

  4. Please don't forget to review your Open Office Hours, which is configured below your connections.

FAQ's

Upgrading Calendar Connections

As a coach, should I upgrade to NylasV3?

Yes. NylasV3 offers the best in terms of functionality and performance. NylasV3 improves accuracy of availability, and when in use with Primary calendars (described in this guide) provides the best in terms of deliverability for clients.

How do I upgrade to NylasV3

Every coach can find their calendar settings by clicking on the Gear (Settings) icon in the top right of their portal, and then click on the Calendar settings card. You may already be on NylasV3, and you can verify by looking at the bottom left of the Calendar Settings page. If you are on NylasV3 you will see the following at the bottom left:

If you do not see NylasV3 then you can upgrade by:

  1. Disconnect ALL calendar connections from your calendar settings page (https://app.coaching.com/settings/calendar)

  2. With no calendars configured, under the 'Select Action' dropdown select 'Connect Calendar'. This will automatically start connecting calendars on Nylas v3.0. (See below of screenshot)

  3. Any additional connection will also be on Nylas v3.0

  4. Please don't forget to review your Open Office Hours, which is configured below your connections.

Screenshot for Connecting to a NylasV3 Calendar

How is NylasV3 different from NylasV2

NylasV2:

  • Some coaches have issues with the accuracy in availability of their calendar slots when scheduling sessions.

  • For every calendar connection that is being written to ('Add in the user interface), the coachee will get a corresponding notification for scheduled and rescheduled sessions. This may not be desired.

  • Notifications from Coaching.com for session schedule and reschedule may not automatically include the RSVP for the calendar event within the notification email for the employee. This could result in events not being added to the coachee's calendar.

NylasV3:

  • Availability requests are always directly from the calendar provider, giving the most accurate real-time results.

  • NylasV3 allows for coaches (or admins in business/enterprise accounts) to specify primary calendars or domains to be used for a primary calendar. This allows for direct communications from the coach's calendar to the client for scheduling.

  • When using a primary calendar, this also circumvents the issue if Coaching.com notifications are being blocked by a firewall.

Scheduling & Previously Scheduled Events

What will happen with events that were scheduled before I upgraded?

When you connect a calendar via NylasV3, it will synchronize the events if you used the same calendar for NylasV2. Also, after you or your company designates a primary calendar, the system will look for any events that may have be problematic. The coachee (or other participants) will be added to the previously scheduled events 1 week prior to to their scheduled date. The coachee will receive an invite from the coach's calendar at this time. This ensures that the coachee has recieved the invite, and also that the invitation was auto-added to their calendar.

Primary Calendars

What is a primary calendar?

Primary calendars are only available in NylasV3. Since coaches can connect to many external calendars, guests for each session are not added to every calendar. If guests were added to each calendar event, then coachees would get an invite for every connected calendar that the coach had.

Primary calendars resolve duplicate invitations, and allow for a coach to specify which calendar they would like to use for communicating with clients. The difference between a primary calendar and another calendar connection, is that the session participants are added as guests to the invitation. Then the external calendar will communicate directly with the client in terms of session invitations, or modifications to the schedule.

I am an Internal Coach, why can't I set a primary calendar?

Internal coaches, who are part of a larger organization, may be more limited in their ability to set a primary calendar. And this is based on settings that an administrator within the account has set.

The administrator within the account can enable coach calendars to send invitations directly. When this is enabled, then internal coaches can freely choose a calendar that should serve as the primary. However, if the administrators also designate specific email domains that can send the invitations, then internal coaches will be limited to these domain(s). If you do not have any calendar connections within the domain(s), you will see a warning banner on your Calendar Settings page. If you have only one calendar connection within these domain(s), it will be auto-selected for you. There is nothing more for you to do. If you have multiple calendar connections within these domain(s), you will see a warning banner asking you to select one to be your primary.

I am an Independent Coach working for multiple organizations, what should I do?

As an independent coach, you have control of your own account. This includes your ability to specify if you want your calendar to send invitations, and also you can specify the primary calendar for sending.

If one of the organizations has branding requirements, and your selected primary calendar does not meet these requirements, you can alsways choose to not select a primary calendar. To do this from your Calendar Settings page, select the "Select Action" dropdown and select "Update Primary". Simply select None on the Primary Edit dialog. You will still receive the updates related to this release, and enjoy a strengthened and more robust calendaring system.

Disconnecting a calendar from the Coaching.com platform

What happens when I disconnected a calendar from the platform?

If the calendar still has scheduled events in the future on that calendar, updates to those events may still send notifications to the coachee even through the calendar is disconnected from Coaching.com. i.e. The event may have guests, and when changes are made to the event, the guests are updated. For example, if the event is deleted, guests of the event will get notifications that the event has been cancelled. This may not be intentional. It is best to leave these events on the disconnected calendar if you are unsure.

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