HawkSoft allows you to create shortcut buttons to programs on your computer and to websites. These buttons will then show on your HawkSoft CMS toolbar. Just like the custom toolbar buttons that can automate HawkSoft activities, the external tool buttons can be used to make it easier to access programs and websites that you use frequently with HawkSoft. Unlike the custom toolbar buttons, the external tool buttons are unique to each computer. So, what you set up on your computer will not affect anyone else’s HawkSoft toolbar and anything you want on everyone’s computer must be set up on each computer individually.
If you host HawkSoft on your own server, you could put buttons to run any program that is on your server such as QuickBooks, Outlook, etc. We are hosted on Kotter, so we can only run programs that are installed on their server or that come with HawkSoft. Some of programs that we link to are Outlook and the HawkSoft Import that we use to import TurboRater quotes.
We use websites much more extensively represented as little globe icons on the toolbar. We keep the description of the program short to keep the icons close together. (I do wish HawkSoft could pull the web icon for my toolbar like it does for programs.) From my toolbar above you can see a few of my links:
- Court – the State Patrol website to pull accident reports
- DDL – a website that will assist in generating Washington State driver license numbers from the client’s name & birthday
- DOL – the Department of Licensing site where you can verify driver license status and check that the number you just generated using “DDL” is a valid driver license number or to see if a teen’s learner permit has been upgraded to a real license.
- Renters – the Safeco website to do a quick renter insurance quote
- IFS CSR and CanNP – links to some Infusionsoft webforms that we use and I am testing
What you may not know is that HawkSoft can map the client data into the linked websites just like you currently link a policy number to the built in ‘Website’ button. It is very handy to have a client’s name, address, phone number, etc. fill in for you ‘automagically’ on you when you click the button to pull up the website. I have mapped data to a number of the links above.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, click the Help icon in the top right corner of HawkSoft. Click Get Help, and then type “External Tools” in the search box. For instructions on how to map data into the website from HawkSoft, search for the “Hawklink Toolbar” article and follow the instructions to map fields on a website.
Here is a link to a short video tutorial that I created earlier this year about Setting up External Tools in HawkSoft. Please note that there are some minor differences due to the video being recorded using a prior version of HawkSoft. You will now access the External Tools through the Settings icon->Computer Specific Settings.
Let your imagination be your guide. What websites do you use regularly? Whether you map data to the website or just use it as a shortcut, the external website buttons are a great tool.